If I was forced to choose just two current cookbooks featuring party foods, I’d go with Hors d’Oeuvres (DK, 2012) by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Eric Treuille and Real Snacks (Sasquatch Books, 2012) by Lara Ferroni.
Both titles are filled with beautiful photographs, if not the simplest of recipes. I’ll take gorgeous food shots over easy recipes any day, because the photos are the key to getting me re-inspired and re-interested in cooking and eating. Not that I’ve ever had any real trouble eating, but every once in a while I dip into a phase of just going through the motions, either eating unconsciously or eating for energy alone, enjoyment forgotten in the wake of five thousand responsibilities.
Hors d’Oeuvres is a lovely book that will strengthen your will to host honest to goodness parties, and hopefully inspire you to liven up your day-to-day meals. The authors have created “6 ways with…” features, which include innovative approaches to crostini, wraps, skewered foods, and more. I think that skewered foods are going to be a big hit at our house.
Real Snacks is basically Pandora’s jar (yes, I do mean jar!) in book form. If you open it, even once, I cannot guarantee your safety. You’ll most likely be persecuted by snack demons, demanding that you try every last recipe. Think of any favorite, guilt-inducing processed food snack (goldfish crackers! potato chips! TWINKIES!), and chances are that Lara has created a sublime and somewhat healthy version. So far we’ve only drooled over the book, but the first recipe we plan to try (hopefully tomorrow night) is her version of fried mozzarella sticks. Lara’s blog and web-site are also amazing, and to top it all off, this photography and snack food goddess is from Portland. As if I didn’t have enough reasons to want to move back…