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 2 DRINKS
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Active Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Slice you onions last to keep their flavor separate from that of the sweet, juicy watermelon.
For the Roasted Tomato Oil
- 1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Salad
- 8 cups chopped seedless watermelon
- 2 softball-size jicamas, peeled and cut into long, thin matchsticks (about 4 cups)
- 12 sprigs mint, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
- 8 ounces feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1. Make the roasted tomato oil: Preheat the oven to 300°F.
2. In a small bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the salt and spread them out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 1 hour, until very soft and wrinkled. Remove from the oven and let the tomatoes cool slightly, then transfer them to a blender with the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil and puree until thick and emulsified, about 30 seconds.
3. Strain the tomato puree through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing down on the mixture to extract as much oil as possible (you should have about 1/2 cup roasted tomato oil). If you’re not using it immediately, the oil can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
4. Make the salad: In a large bowl, gently toss the watermelon, jicama, mint, pistachios, feta, and red onion to combine, then arrange on a large serving platter.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the roasted tomato oil, the vinegar, and the salt. Drizzle the dressing over the watermelon salad before serving.