April 22, 2012

Book Review: SIMPLY DIVINE: A GUIDE TO EASY, ELEGANT AND AFFORDABLE ENTERTAINING by Lisa Vanderpump

BOOK DESCRIPTION:  Lisa Vanderpump has become the breakout star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Her unique mix of sparkling glamour and down-to-earth style has appealed to thousands of fans.  On the show, viewers can see her hosting dinner parties and running her popular Beverly Hills restaurant Villa Blanca with what can best be termed "easy elegance."

Now Lisa shares her tips and tricks for creating the perfect gathering; whether you're hosting a cozy winter dinner for six, throwing a poolside BBQ, or just hanging out with your closest friends, Lisa has just the menu and entertaining hints that will make it both simple AND divine.

Lisa offers simple decor ideas and more than 50 recipes in mix-and-match menus for any kind of "Day", including:

*   Cozy Days:  Wintry day, rainy days, snuggle-in days
*   Sexy Days:  Intimate dinner for 2 by the fireside or by candlelight
*   Days to Impress:  Formal dinners fit for friends, heads of state or when the boss comes to dine
*   Holidays:  Celebrations, English Christmas, New Year's, Anniversaries
*   Sunny Days:  Picnics, pool parties, and barbecues
*   Lazy Days:  Informal get-togethers,  lunches, having the girlfriends over
*   Darling Days:  Tea parties, baby showers and kids' parties
*   Frantic Days:  10- minute meals to whip up from pantry staples

My Review

I absolutely loved Simply Divine.  Maybe because I enjoy books in the home/entertainment category, especially those that make it possible to achieve in your own home and with stunning pictures to boot.  Or maybe because I adore Lisa Vanderpump and would like to come back as her in my next lifetime. 

The very stylish Ms. Vanderpump shares her trademark style in everything from home decor to carefully thought out meals to flower decor to manners.  If you watch her on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (guilty!) reading Simply Divine is akin to hearing her voice in your ear as you savor each page.  I loved the tips and hints, told in Lisa's witty and conversational style.  I liked knowing that Lisa considers white the perfect decorating backdrop, a clean and crisp canvas that allows any accent colors to be used. 

The recipes - - more than 75 of them! - - that she's included cover every occasion from a formal sit-down dinner to a casual and yet romantic meal for 2.  They are easy to make and delicious.  Special mention goes to Lisa's Shepherd's Pie (the best I've ever had, hands down), VanderPerfect Roasted Potatoes and Slow Roasted Tomatoes.  Her Mashed Potatoes recipe taught me a new way to keep the potatoes smooth and dry.  Yum.  I can't wait to try her dessert recipes, which sound absolutely delicious. 

I do wish there were more photographs of Lisa's place settings and maybe detailed instruction from Lisa on flower arranging as her arrangements are always so gorgeous (and she does the arrangements for one of her Los Angeles area restaurants). 

I am pleased to have this book as an addition to my home library.  Here is hoping that Ms. Vanderpump will thrill us with a sequel and soon!

Simply Divine: A Guide to Easy, Elegant and Affordable Entertaining is available for purchase now at major booksellers, including Amazon.  I am an Amazon Affiliate.  I will receive a small commissio if you make a purchase through my link. 

Review copy of this book provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  In no way did the provision of this book affect the outcome of my review. 



2 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Sounds fun! I love ideas on cheap entertaining.

Sarah (The Brazen Bookworm) said...

Ooh - sounds excellent! I'm a huge RHOBH fan, and Lisa's my favorite. Plus I've never made Shepherd's Pie but I'd love to find a good recipe.