the appetizer:

Prepare your holiday entertaining in advance with this cookbook's time-saving tips and tasty recipes, including Spinach-Wrapped Chicken Bites with Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce and Butternut Squash Soup with Crab.



Happy Holidays from the Diva of Do-Ahead
A Year of Feasts to Celebrate with Family and Friends

by Diane Phillips

Diane Phillips knows how to throw a terrific holiday party. As an author, chef, and teacher with twenty years' experience as a caterer, she understands how the anxiety of entertaining at home can overwhelm an otherwise festive day.

In her new book, Happy Holidays from the Diva of Do-Ahead, Diane has just the solution to beat stress: twelve full holiday menus for delicious gourmet meals, each broken down into manageable steps that can be done days, weeks, even a month or more ahead of time without sacrificing quality!

Based on Diane's extremely popular do-ahead cooking classes, Happy Holidays is more than a book of classic and creative holiday recipes; it contains advice for getting organized, planning ahead, and setting the right mood so that both hosts and guests can relax and enjoy the holiday. For each menu, Diane provides a complete course of action with a helpful countdown, a list of items to have on hand (and how to find what you need without spending a lot of money) and Diva Tips on substitutions, decorating and presentation, such as:

  • Who says mashed potatoes can't be made ahead of time? Diane's foolproof and delicious Make-Ahead-Mashed Potatoes recipe uses sour cream, Parmesan, and cream cheese to keep the consistency fluffy and smooth, and can be frozen for up to a month before baking. They can even be finished in a slow cooker.
  • Instead of tending bar at your own New Year's Eve party, have a limited liquor selection and create a few signature cocktails for the occasion! Diane suggests the mixers and liquors that every home bar should have.
  • Instead of opening up a bottle of white wine to use in a recipe, use dry vermouth instead. It keeps indefinitely, so it will always be in your pantry when you need just a small amount.
  • Arranging crudites on a platter is a creative opportunity akin to flower arranging. Create beautiful vegetable arrangements using cabbage or kale leaves fanned out as a base, and garnish the platter with fresh herbs, pea shoots or broccoli sprouts. Diane's recipe for Tarragon Mustard Dip is a delicious accompaniment that can be made up to four days ahead.

About the Author

Diane Phillips has been teaching do-ahead cooking classes around the US for more than 15 years, including her very popular classes for do-ahead Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are routinely sold out. Diane is the author of the James Beard Award nominated Perfect Party Food, The Perfect Basket, The Ultimate Patisserie Cookbook, The Soup Mix Gourmet, and The Perfect Mix.

Buy the Book  

Happy Holidays from the Diva of Do-Ahead
A Year of Feasts to Celebrate with Family and Friends

by Diane Phillips
Harvard Common Press
Hardcover; 288 pages; $26.95
Softcover: $14.95
ISBN: 155832321X
Information provided by the publisher.


Happy Holidays


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