Comments: For the late Leonore Annenberg, the key to entertaining successfully was, "first of all to have interesting people.” For A.J. Rathbun, it is the quality of the food that transforms a party from a social obligation to a pleasure, and he has put together a book of recipes to help your pull that off.
The 50 recipes fall into such categories as spreads and toppings, foods on skewers, stuffed snacks, baked foods, and treats that can be put together very quickly. Some are be expected – crudités, watercress finger sandwiches, an antipasto platter, chicken wings, bruschetta; others are less familiar – white bean and rosemary paté, creamy cauliflower crisps, savory cannoli stuffed with corn and cheese, eggplant parmesan toasts, etc. All in all, there's a nice mix.
If any ingredients are going to be hard to find, they will be among the many cheeses Rathbun chooses. And, oh yes, that Tiger Sauce and sriracha sauce. You'll also need a food processor to pull off a fair number of these dishes.
As the author of a couple of books on cocktails, he makes suggestions here and there for beverages that might accompany some of his snacks. And he provides other suggestions to keep you from being overwhelmed, so that you have fun at your own party.