Reviewed by Amanda Schafer

Sandra Lee is known for her semi-homemade creations, where she takes a prepackaged item and alters it slightly to make it her own and create a fabulous new recipe. She is also known for her beautiful table-scapes and festive beverages to pair with each meal.

When I got Easy Entertaining at Home, I was truly excited to see the creative ways that Sandra would help me entertain at home with pretty tables and easy recipes. I thought it would be a wonderful addition to my cookbook shelf and make my life less stressful when having friends over for dinner. I was horribly disappointed!! This book is full of alcoholic beverages and even some alcoholic food recipes. While I realize that the alcohol evaporates when you cook with it, it was still quite irritating to see that out of over 150 recipes in the book, only 33 of them were for non-alcoholic food items. In case you’re counting, that’s only about 20%.

One could argue that when making a beverage that calls for alcohol, a person could just omit the alcohol and make it a virgin drink. However, there are several cocktails that are basically just fruit juices without the alcohol. I know that many people are completely fine with drinking alcoholic beverages and I even have a few cookbooks with random cocktails in it. But a cookbook like this tends to exclude those who prefer not to serve cocktails at their parties. It seems almost offensive to have a book that is touted as “entertainment made easy” while completely excluding an entire group of people.

When I opened Easy Entertaining at Home, I was also expecting some “creative ideas” for celebrations as the cover stated. There were no instructions on table decorations, or any theme ideas. There were a couple of pages that included a checklist for planning when to buy what and when to prepare certain aspects of a party, but nothing like what I imagined from the title.

Based on Sandra’s dedication page, I thought that this would be a book for an “every day get together with family and friends”. What it really consists of is a way to throw a party where the primary thing you want people to do is drink. It was a huge disappointment and I am now even questioning my dedication to Sandra Lee’s TV show.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband, two sons, and one daughter. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Hyperion. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.