by David Burtka
106 killer recipes, 16 creative party themes, and 250 gorgeous photos--plus playlists and easy planning tips--make LIFE IS A PARTY the indispensable cookbook and guide for home cooks.
Chef, actor, and entertaining authority David Burtka knows that every day can be a party. Over a lifetime of throwing epic gatherings, the Cordon Bleu-trained Burtka has perfected the formula for creating easy and perfect get-togethers at home. Now, in the pages of his debut cookbook, he's sharing all of his secrets and an intimate look into the lives of one of Hollywood's favorite families. Everything you need to throw a memorable party, or to make a delicious weeknight meal, can be found right here.
Whether your event and budget are modest or you're going all-out, and whether the guest list is an intimate crew or it's a blowout bash, David's sixteen party themes-from cozy game nights at home to elegant New Year's fêtes-are built around doable, show-stopping menus that take the guesswork out of high-impact hosting. Complete with endless and fun ways to mix-and-match dishes, create stunning decor, prep ahead, and get guests involved, David helps you put all the elements in place to make every party a success without ever losing your cool.
At the heart of the book are David's amazing recipes, including delicious twists on comfort classics like Corn Cakes with Bacon Jam, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, and Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwich Cake. And you don't need to wait for a party to try recipes like Ham, Egg, and Cheese Calzones; Mint Pesto Pasta; and Thyme and Gruyère Popovers. Never one to miss the opportunity to toast friends and family, David also shows you how to make delicious cocktails for a crowd: think Mojito Slushies, Charred Peach and Plum Sangria, and Cucumber-Lime Spritzers. So raise a glass and get cooking! Because there's no better time than now to make your life a party.
SERVES 8 TO 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Active Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (includes baking and cooling)
VEGETARIANS GO CRAZY: for this protein-packed dish, which can be served hot or at room temperatures
- 1 large bunch ramps (about 4 ounces), cleaned, bulbs and greens separated
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups packed baby spinach (5 ounces)
- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives (about 12)
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (about 10), with a hefty splash of the oil they’re packed in reserved
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 12 large eggs
- 6 ounces Greek feta cheese in brine, drained and crumbled into large pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In an 8-inch square baking dish, toss the ramp bulbs with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Bake, stirring midway through, until tender and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the ramp bulbs cool slightly, then transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Add the chickpeas to the same baking dish you used to cook the ramp bulbs. Set aside.
3. Slice the ramp greens into 1-inch pieces. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the ramp greens and the spinach to the pan and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper (you may need to cook the greens in batches). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the ramp greens and spinach are just wilted, about 5 minutes, then transfer to a bowl.
4. Top the chickpeas in the baking dish evenly with the wilted greens, chopped ramp bulbs, olives, sun-dried tomatoes with a splash of their oil, and oregano.
5. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with a large pinch each of salt and pepper until well combined. Evenly pour the eggs over the ramps in the baking dish and sprinkle with the feta.
6. Bake until the top is lightly browned in spots and the frittata is mostly set but still jiggles a bit in the center when you lightly shake the baking dish, about 50 minutes, rotating the baking dish halfway through cooking. Set aside to cool for at least 20 minutes (the frittata will continue to cook as it cools).
7. Cut the frittata into 8 large or 12 smaller pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.