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.
MAKES 12 MUFFINS
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Active Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 10 1 hour 40 minutes
My kids are such huge fans of these—an entire batch can literally be gone in a day! When we photographed these for the book and had to set the most beautiful muffins aside for the camera, the kids were so disappointed. The earthiness of the rhubarb, the spiciness of the ginger, and the delicious topping . . . they all complement each other so well
FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/3 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
- Kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
FOR THE MUFFINS
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups diced rhubarb (2 to 3 stalks)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
2. Make the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, brown sugar, ginger, and a pinch of salt. Add the butter and use your fingers to work it into the flour mixture until a crumbly, streusel-like texture forms. Set aside.
3. Make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and orange zest on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Mix until incorporated (the mixture will look broken or curdled, and that’s okay).
5. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add half the flour mixture, then the buttermilk and vanilla, followed by the rest of the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Turn off the mixer and fold in the rhubarb with a spatula.
6. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups (use about 1/3 cup batter for each muffin). Top with a heaping tablespoon of the crumb topping, pressing it lightly to ensure the mixture adheres. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving. They can be stored in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature or 10 days refrigerated.