Picture Perfect Parties provides blueprints for a year’s worth of get-togethers, covering every holiday and occasion. From her years of experience, Annette Joseph has developed an arsenal of tricks for making entertaining easy, and here she shares them for the first time. Her focus is always on making use of items that are already at hand in the house, ingeniously transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary—a style of entertaining that doesn’t require spending a lot of money. For example, for the Fourth of July, she shows how to turn galvanized buckets upside down to create fun stands for her Sour Cream Apple Pie, or for Christmas, she explains how to serve Mini Pavlovas in cupcake liners. Her philosophy centers around the idea that the best way to bring people together and make food enjoyable is to create table presentations that excite the eye and delight the imagination as much as they do the palate. To this end, she transforms tableware in new and unexpected ways to make an inviting display. Sidebars sprinkled throughout give step-by-step instructions for the inventive trappings that make an event memorable, such as centerpieces, placecards, take-away containers, and linens. Among the recipes—which tend to have a fresh Mediterranean accent—you’re likely to find some that will become everyday favorites, such as Carrot Farro Soup with Charmoula, Cheese Puffs with Sage, Lemon Shrimp Risotto, and Sweet and Sour Tuscan Kale. From simple to lavish, The Elements of a Party delivers brilliant solutions to create fabulous and foolproof parties.
Annette Joseph is the entertaining expert for The Today Show and Better Home and Gardens. She also appears regularly on Atlanta’s Fox Morning Show and Martha Stewart Sirius Radio. Her recipes and entertaining ideas have been featured on Epicurious, Design Sponge, MSN, The Huffington Post, Southern Living, Woman’s World, and Goop, among others. Hugh Acheson is the author of A New Turn in the South and is the chef of the celebrated restaurants Empire State South, Five and Ten, and The National.