There is more to entertaining at home during the holidays than greeting your friends and relatives at the door.
“The Bartender’s Best Friend: A Complete Guide to Cocktails, Martinis, and Mixed Drinks,” by Mardee Haidin Regan (softcover, Wiley & Sons, 2010, 392 pages, $19.95). It’s been called “the ultimate bartender’s guide,” and this updated and revised edition includes up-to-date recipes, step-by-step instruction and a mini-course in bartending — just in time for holiday parties.
“Hoyle’s Encyclopedia of Card Games: Rules of All the Basic Games and Popular Variations,” by Walter B. Gibson (softcover, Broadway Books, 1974, 398 pages, $12.95). There is, perhaps, no better book to have on your shelf at home than “Hoyle’s” if you have a family whose card playing is limited to the holidays. There will be a need to review the rules.
“Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life,” by Gail Blanke (softcover, Springboard Press, 209, 320 pages, $13.99). Make room for the gifts. And make sure that your home bids “welcome” to the guests you are entertaining. The author, president of Lifedesigns, shows you how to whip your home — and your life — into shape.
“Nigella Kitchen: Recipes From the Heart of the Home,” by Nigella Lawson (hardcover, Hyperion Books, 2010, 489 pages, $35). “Nigella Kitchen” has recipes — yes, loads of them. But it also provides a lengthy chapter called “Kitchen Caboodle,” which counsels readers on the setup and supplying of an efficient kitchen. You’ll be glad you’ve got one during the preparation of holiday dinners.
“Home Sweet Home: A Journey Through Mary’s Dream Home,“ by Mary Englebreit,
with text by Patrick Regan (hardcover, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2004, 144 pages; $34.95). “The Queen of Cute throws the doors of her home wide open and invites the reader on a private tour,” says the publisher. She lives in cozy family colors, perfect hues on which to reflect this holiday season.