Patricia Mendez has created a wonderful primer for the novice entertainer in her book, "Easy Entertaining for Beginners." Mendez offers 13 tasty party menu ideas complete with beverage and music selections. Chapter titles include "My First Cocktail Party," "Romantic Dinner for Two," "Dinner for the In-Laws," "Girlfriends' Tea," Mother's Day Brunch," "Family Fiesta," "Fourth of July Bash," "Two Themed Children's Birthday Parties," "Dinner Party with Close Friends," "Guys' Night Out," "My First Thanksgiving," and "Christmas Season Social." My favorite menu items include Chicken Salad with Grapes and Walnuts on Mini-Croissants (from the Girlfriends' Tea menu), Carne Asada (from the Family Fiesta menu) and Cheddar Hash Brown Gratin (from the Christmas Season Social menu). Mendez's dessert

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and beverage offerings are fantastic and include Kahlua Fudge Brownie Pie, Cointreau Chocolate Truffles and Strawberries, Hurricanes, Cosmopolitans, Guava Mimosas, Pomegranate Sparkling Punch, and more. Mendez also offers practical advice and etiquette tips for each celebration. She puts the reader at ease and makes them believe they'll be able to execute a fun party. And for people like me who lack organization skills, she has even included a checklist for each party that includes a timeline of when to do what -- I love that! "Easy Entertaining for Beginners" has won the following awards: 2009 Silver Recipient Mom's Choice Award, 2008 National Best Books Finalist, First Place cooking category: 2008 Reader Views Literary Awards, and 2009 Indie Excellence Finalist. I highly recommend this book for the novice, and not so novice, entertainer.