I come to this review with a bit of bias; I like Martha Stewart. I find that people either really like her or really don't, and that's okay with me. Years ago I met her at a book signing at The Library Ltd. bookstore in St. Louis. I stood in line with my mother for two hours to get my book signed, during which time we were served numerous and delicious small snacks made from the recipes in her latest book. Food! On silver trays! By a crisp apron-ed waiter. Classy. When we finally reached Martha she greeted us warmly, graciously signed our books, thanked us for buying them, and expressed sincere appreciation for the length of time that we had waited. I have been to a lot of book signings over the years, some from rather obscure authors, and never had such a positive experience.
I have come to learn, in my various attempts to emulate her, that a domestic diva and staff of thousands are capable of much more than just, well, me. It took me a while to come to grips with that, but I have. But Martha has been a great inspiration to me, and you're in denial if you say that she hasn't been to you as well because, even if you don't like her, she generally stirs up enough emotion in people for them to take action in one way or other. I'd say this is rare.
Her latest book is a real gem. Due for publication September 8th, Martha Stewart's Appetizers is a book worth standing in line for. Beautifully photographed and styled, there are more than 200 mouth-watering recipes for “snacks, starters, small plates, stylish bites, and sips.” Every fuss-free recipe in this book, and I have read each one, is doable by the average cook. Every. Single. One. Some of these recipes have as little as two ingredients. The recipe for the Hot-Crab and Pimiento-Cheese Spread is worth the price of the book alone. Another simple recipe is the one for Hot Artichoke Dip that knocks the ubiquitous version right out of the park.
There are tips on hosting a party, strategies for party planning, and information on serving essentials. In addition, the majority of the recipes are accompanied by helpful tips, or “make ahead” information to take some of the stress out of entertaining. It's like having Martha in the kitchen right beside you.
This morning I served us a rather unusual breakfast of Glazed Bacon Bites (three ingredients) and Cucumber, Dill, and Caper Deviled Eggs, one of six unique deviled egg varieties, the recipe of which I'll be sharing with you tomorrow.
This is a book to have fun with and I cannot recommend it enough. Seasoned cooks, new cooks, single cooks, anyone who eats, should have this book.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.