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Entertaining with the Sopranos    by Allen Rucker Amazon.com order for
Entertaining with the Sopranos
by Allen Rucker
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Remember The Sopranos? Doesn't everyone remember that very popular TV series about the Soprano family? Okay, bear with me. By extension, remember that great cookbook The Sopranos Family Cookbook? Prepare to rejoice. A second Soprano offering has hit the bookstores. Entertaining with the Sopranos offers fine dining suggestions, a host of selected wines, as well as wonderful recipes, and tips for producing the kind of parties that will linger in your guests' minds.

Need hints for a confirmation party? Neapolitan recipes are offered as well as a copy of an invitation, suggestions for locale, music, best drinks and decorations. Makes it a cinch, doesn't it? I do believe every type of celebration is covered right down to the after-dinner drinks for funerals. Along with all the good tips are 'dozens of never-seen illustrations and insightful commentaries from Soprano relatives and intimates.'

Meadow Soprano's term paper on 'Why My Grandmother Can't Cook' is insightful and forgiving. Therapist Dr. Jennifer Melfi gives advice on how to cope with party anxiety. Paulie Walnuts makes suggestions on how to throw a surprise party. Wine tips come from Artie Bucco, proprietor of the Nuovo Vesuvio restaurant in Newark, New Jersey, including 'With 'big meat', you need a 'big wine'.'

What are you giving the top man on your totem pole for his birthday? Carmela has some great plans. Weddings and funerals are not forgotten, and Uncle Junior reveals what to him would be the perfect funeral. 'What's closer to a celebration of life than a celebration? Look for them, jump into them, charger plates and all, and have a ball' is Carmella's advice. Then there's the food!! Ah, the wonderful food. Sophisticated, exquisite, elegant, appropriate to the occasion, and full of good tastes.

Little Chicken Meatballs for a graduation party (they look scrumptious.) Cheese Puffs for a wedding reception. For a dinner for twelve, that wonderful mix of flavors of Melon and Prosciutto. Spaghetti with Red Clam Sauce for Christmas Eve. An event for women only might call for Chicken Paillards with Tomato-Olive Salad. Turn about's fair play - for the men Sausage, Pepper and Onion Heroes. An adult birthday party Peppered Pork Tenderloin. After graveside services, Pasta E Ceci.

Whatever the occasion, Entertaining with the Sopranos has the right stuff to cover the event, and it's an entertaining book.

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