Perfect Parties, Janet Kohler

If you are planning a wedding, and wanting to do as much of the work yourself, then this book should be the one you buy! Perfect Parties aims to “empower people with the confidence to entertain in a stress-free manner and to host successful and memorable occasions”. The first step after getting engaged is planning an engagement party. Perfect Parties will help you with themes and tips on special touches. After your engagement party you will have a bridal shower and for this, and a baby shower, Janet tells you to look for inspiration which is all around you. The refreshing party punch (p127) will suit any celebratory event. Next is planning and executing a wedding to remember which begins with how to actually plan a wedding and how to choose the food. Having done every part of our wedding except actually cooking the food, I can tell you that it can be quite stressful if you don’t have a plan of action. In my opinion, the countdown listed is the most important part of the wedding planning. Janet also gives ideas on wedding favours and table seating plans. Even though I am not involved in any wedding planning right now, I will be making the hot chocolate delight (p154).

"Perfect Parties - Janet Kohler"
Perfect Parties – Janet Kohler

The book begins with general guidelines for any type of party which includes a plan of action and countdown. Then various parties are listed, with the first being tea is served. Here you will find various menu options and décor ideas. I already have the angel food cake (p20) on my list of recipes to make this year. The Swedish-inspired spiced apple cake (p24) caught my eye as well. A birthday party includes advice on how to make a novelty cake and ideas for piping. Perfect Parties ends with basic recipes and techniques which includes information on nozzles that shows the actual nozzle and how it pipes. As I still need to work on my piping skills, this is most useful to me.

The Swiss chocolate mousse cake (p72) sounds delectable. In entertaining to impress without stress Janet gives the key tip to keep it simple. She includes the do’s and don’ts of table settings. I so want to make the Karoo lamb drizzled with honey and herbs (p88) as well as the cheesy potato gratin (p92). This chapter is followed on by picnic pleasers and here you can read tips on how to find the perfect picnic spot. Janet also gives you a picnic packing check list which for someone like me who never goes on a picnic, would prove quite useful were we to do so. 

"Scotch Eggs"
Scotch Eggs

Even if we don’t go on a picnic I would make the home-made Scotch eggs (p107) and the crunchy broccoli salad with balsamic glaze (p109). A good Sunday afternoon braai would need the rustic Italian antipasti picnic loaf (p111) without a doubt. And for an afternoon treat, I would bake the crunchy oat and chocolate biscuits (p112). The last party theme is celebrating Christmas and begins with getting your ducks in a row. I will attempt the honey and port-glazed gammon (p168) this year as we are sure to be invited to a big celebration. Janet’s gran’s moist Christmas fruit cake (p171) grabbed my attention as this is something I have never attempted before. I think the melting moments (p175) are also worth a try.

The book has the most stunning photographs and it is no wonder it was in the top 3 in the world in its category at the World Gourmand Awards this year.

First published by Struik Lifestyle in 2014

ISBN number 978-1-43230-316-7

Hard cover – 199 pages (including the index)

Disclosure: I was sent the book to review by Penguin Random House South Africa. I was not required to write a positive review. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

Dave and I have just got back from Scotland. I will be back in my office today and I will start replying to comments as soon as I have caught up. 

What I blogged September 16:

Tandy

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10 thoughts on “Perfect Parties, Janet Kohler

  1. Swedish inspired spiced apple cake for me! I need a book like this. 🙂
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef sharing the blog ♥ Double Onion CheeseburgerMy Profile

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    1. It is fantastic, and worth the cost 🙂

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  2. I do get stressed out when planning a party. This might help me.

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    1. The check lists are great 🙂

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  3. Great review – sounds like a good book!

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    1. It is excellent and well worth having 🙂

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  4. “Perfect Parties” sounds like such an incredible book! I cannot wait to see what you make and post, Tandy!

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    1. Thanks Shashi 🙂

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  5. If and when my daughter gets engaged I will keep this book in mind. I also like the sound of the chapter on picnics 🙂

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    1. Let me know if you ever need a copy Moya 🙂

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