Desperation Entertaining!

Desperation Entertaining!

by Beverly Mills, Alicia Ross
     
 

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Socially inclined but time-deprived? Want to see friends for dinner, but can't do more than order takeout or meet in a restaurant? Well, help is here. From Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross-whose nationally syndicated column reaches millions of readers through 115 papers comes the perfect cookbook for the harried would-be host and hostess.

Desperation Entertaining

Overview

Socially inclined but time-deprived? Want to see friends for dinner, but can't do more than order takeout or meet in a restaurant? Well, help is here. From Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross-whose nationally syndicated column reaches millions of readers through 115 papers comes the perfect cookbook for the harried would-be host and hostess.

Desperation Entertaining! is filled with 200 marvelous recipes for impressive dinner party food. Desperation Entertaining! is a complete game plan for having guests over (children included) without having to spend more than 20 minutes on a dish, or 20 minutes per cook-ahead phase. There are tips on saving time (buy pre-peeled garlic, doctor supermarket potato salad with fresh chopped onions and paprika); sanity (tie the bottle opener to the cooler); and money (sangria costs less than wine). But of course the genius of the book is in the recipes: Cajun Catfish Gumbo, Cabernet Pasta Sauce with Italian Sausage, Greek Stifado with Artichokes, Citrus Shrimp Kebabs, Grilled Pork Chops with Southern Peach Salsa. Plus plenty of homemade desserts that won't break the host, including Rocky Road Brownie Sundaes, Berkshires Blueberry Crisp, and Sunset Key Lime Pies. Who's coming over next week?

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
Close your eyes. Imagine Grilled Pork Chops with Southern Peach Salsa or Greek Stifado with Artichokes or Citrus Shrimp Kebabs. Now imagine preparing these meals in no more than 20 minutes. Desperation cooking gurus Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross explain how.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761118152
Publisher:
Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
05/06/2002
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
982,086
Product dimensions:
7.34(w) x 9.04(h) x 0.79(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Chicken with Mustard Glazes
Plum spicy glaze, orange-Dijon glaze and/or golden mustard glaze (see recipes)

8 frozen, skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 2 2/3 pounds total)
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper (optional)

Start to finish: 20 minutes.

1. Turn on gas grill to medium-high.
2. Make mustard glaze(s) of your choice.
3. Brush or rub each piece of chicken all over with about 1 teaspoon olive oil. Place chicken on hot grill and cook, with grill covered, 5 minutes on first side to partially defrost, then turn and grill, covered, 7 to 8 minutes on second side.
4. Turn chicken back to first side and brush each piece with mustard glaze. Continue to grill, uncovered, for 1 minute. Turn chicken and brush second side with glaze. Continue to grill, uncovered, until breasts are no longer pink in center, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from grill and serve at once or hold at room temperature for up to 30 minutes.
Makes 8 servings.

Plum spicy glaze
1/2 cup Chinese plum sauce
1/4 cup Chinese mustard

Put plum sauce and mustard in small mixing bowl. Stir to mix them well.

Orange-Dijon glaze
1 cup all-fruit orange marmalade
1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard

Put marmalade and mustard in small mixing bowl. Stir to mix them well.

Golden mustard glaze
1 cup spicy brown prepared mustard
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Put mustard and sugar in small mixing bowl. Stir to mix them well.

Smashed Potatoes with Horseradish
Using horseradish instead of garlic gives potatoes a flavor kick - an unexpected one. This can be a signature dish for you to make for guests.

Serving: 8
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

3 pounds red potatoes
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste

1. Bring 2 1/2 quarts of water to a boil in a 4 1/2-quart Dutch oven or soup pot over high heat. Meanwhile, scrub the potatoes. Leaving the peels on, slice each potato into quarters. Cut each quarter in half.
2. When the water boils, carefully add the potatoes to the pot. Cover the pot and let return to a boil. Uncover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-high, and continue to cook at a moderate boil until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
3. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Cut the butter into 4 pieces and add to the pot. Add the half-and-half. Use a potato masher to "smash" the potatoes until all of the large lumps disappear (small lumps are fine).
4. Add the horseradish, salt, and pepper and stir to thoroughly mix. Taste for seasoning, adding more horseradish or pepper if necessary.

Heirloom Fudge Pies
For decades, this rich concoction has satisfied friends of all ages at parties, church suppers, and informal dinners. With only 20 minutes of actual work, it's just as easy to make two fudge pies as it is one, and since they freeze beautifully, that's what we usually do. The pies are heavenly served slightly warm, and if we don't have one fresh from the oven, we just stick one in a 300 degree oven about 10 minutes before serving.

Serving: 16
Yields: 2 pies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes unattended baking time
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

6 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened baking chocolate
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
3 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 large eggs
1 package (15 ounces; 2 crusts) refrigerated pie crusts
Whipped cream from an aerosol can or premium vanilla ice cream, for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place the chocolate and butter in a 2-quart microwave-safe bowl, cover with a paper towel, and microwave, uncovered, on high just until the chocolate and butter are almost melted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir until the chocolate and butter are finished melting, about 1 minute.
3. Add the sugar, milk, and vanilla extract to the melted chocolate and butter. Whisk the eggs lightly in a bowl and add them to the chocolate mixture. Whisk until well combined.
4. Place each pie crust in an 8-inch glass pie pan, following the directions on the package, and crimp the edges in a decorative fashion. Pour half the chocolate mixture into each pie crust.
5. Place the pies on the middle rack of the oven and bake just until the pie filling is set, about 40 minutes.
6. Remove the pies from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
7. Garnish the pies with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired, and serve.

The pies can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 24 hours or frozen for up to 1 month. Take them out to thaw at room temperature the morning of the day you plan to serve them.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"The desperation gals have done it again! Their doable, delicious, and festive fare makes me want to get on the phone and cook up a party!"
—Anne Byrn, author of The Cake Mix Doctor

Meet the Author

Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross have been writing together as a team for almost ten years. Their weekly newspaper column, "Desperation Dinners", is syndicated by United Media and appears in over 90 newspapers nationwide. Ms. Mills lives with her husband and two children outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Ms. Ross lives with her husband and two children in Raleigh, North Carolina. Their Web site is www.desperationdinners.com.

Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross have been writing together as a team for almost ten years. Their weekly newspaper column, "Desperation Dinners", is syndicated by United Media and appears in over 90 newspapers nationwide. Ms. Mills lives with her husband and two children outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Ms. Ross lives with her husband and two children in Raleigh, North Carolina. Their Web site is www.desperationdinners.com.

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