Hot Dish

Celebrate Warm Weather with Parties at Home

A new book with gorgeous photography and great ideas (from an unexpected source) has caught our food editor's eye.

BY April 1, 2016

Spring is here, and that means our window for perfect outdoor entertaining has also arrived. It’s not too hot, not too buggy—Goldilocks would proclaim it just right.

Another fair-haired maiden is also looking to give input. Lauren Conrad Celebrate (Dey Street Books) is a 

just-released, luxuriant, aspiration-prompting home-entertainment tome. Want to host a clambake featuring our little local darlings from Pine Island Sound—or need to throw a baby shower for your favorite niece? There's a party in the pages for everyone, with lush photographs to make anyone swoon. Not to mention it’s chock-full of clever ideas: I've seen a zillion prosciutto-wrapped melon pieces at fêtes over the years but never ones arranged with mint to look like rosettes (top: upper left), or the why-didn’t-I-think-of-that individual spaghetti and meatball bites (top: bottom right). 

You're probably looking at the picture and saying, "Wait—isn't that the girl from those MTV reality shows Laguna Beach and The Hills?" Conrad, now in her 30s, has traded nights at Hollywood's Les Deux for backyard soirees with her husband and close friends and reinvented herself as a Martha-Stewart-like style maven for the millennial set (in addition to writing nine books, she has multiple product lines with major retailers). The only disappointment here is that while there are great menus and pictures of food and drinks, there are barely any recipes, which I guess makes sense for the target audience raised on quickly searching and riffing from there.

In full disclosure, a copy of the book landed on my desk because an old friend is one of the publicity directors at HarperCollins working on the title.

But it’s worth your while all the same.


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