A party menu differs, of course, according to the party-one would hardly serve the same food at a bridal shower as at a Super Bowl gathering. But this volume, part of the "All About" series, adapted from the Joy of Cooking cookbooks, provides drinks and snacks for just about any occasion. The choices span the map, encompassing Vietnamese Summer Rolls, Buffalo Chicken Wings and Lamb Brochettes with North African Spices.
What remains consistent throughout are the lovely photography, the clear, competent directions and the useful sidebars. Becker, the grandson of the founder of the Joy of Cooking enterprise, includes instructive notes along with most recipes, explaining that harissa, for example, is a North African spice paste, and that cheese should always be served at room temperature. Becker concludes the book with a chapter on party drinks, giving the home bartender instructions on everything from a cold-weather eggnog to a fruity, and correct, Sangria.