This Girl Can Cook….& Inspire You to Throw a Party Which Reminds You that You Are a Grown-up

I recently had the pleasure of hearing Linnea Johansson, Author of Perfect Parties-Tips & Advice from a NY Party Planner, speak to a group of NYC mom bloggers about food and bar trends for the fall and quickly approaching holiday season.

I admit that it’s hard not to want to hate Linnea since she looks like a Southern belle who is pretty, friendly, fashionable, smart and on top of everything she’s got going for her, the girl can cook and has also planned parties for Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake and many other celebrities. This Swedish born NYC event planner and chef received her culinary degree from Johnson & Wales University and studied design at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). The foreword of Linnea’s book is written by Marcus Samuelsson, the youngest chef to receive a three-star restaurant review from The New York Times and author of Aquavit: And the New Scandinavian Cuisine.

If you are planning a glitzy New Year’s Eve bash, a memorable birthday party, a girls-only brunch or an intimate dinner party, look no further than the colorful, advice-packed pages of Perfect Parties-Tips & Advice from a NY Party Planner (153 pages). From mimosas to martinis, French fries to foie gras, Linnea’s innovative menus offer suggestions for all skill levels. In addition, the detailed book covers possible party themes, budgets, guest lists, décor, table settings, floral arrangements, and napkin folding. Linnea can help make your party chic, original, memorable…. and even remind you that you are a grown-up and there is much more to meals than chicken nuggets, sippy cups and plastic plates.

As an added-bonus, below are some of the great tips Linnea shared for throwing an unforgettable party this fall and winter:

Fill Your Mugs with Hot Toddies (Hot chocolates, mochas and ciders)

When life hands you lemons, get rid of them…and replace them with vinegar (in your drinks/cocktails and other recipes)

Invest in a punch bowl (A must-have staple providing the absolute best way to entertain. Guests gather around the punch bowl and they even get to serve themselves. What could be better?)

Donuts are replacing cupcakes For you non-expectant/non-breastfeeding mom, Linnea demonstrated how to baste with your favorite liqueurs (including pear brandy or hard apple cider) to create “Boozy Donuts.” She also heated up the blow torch and crème brulee the sugar coated donut tops. Mmmmmm!

Make Your Own Condiments (Who could resist homemade butters, ketchup and mustard? And they become great conversation starters)

Hay is not just for Horses (Apparently hay smoked mozzarella cheese has a special unique flavor)

Truffle & Parmesan Popcorn are the new Gourmet Bar Snacks

Expect to see Quiches & Pies Making a Comeback (Chanterelle mushrooms, prosciutto and fruit fillings)

Linnea ended her mouth-watering discussion with the following tidbit:

Pretzel & Spetzle (German/Alsace food will be all the rage) You’ve probably already noticed pretzel bread at Whole Foods or similar stores. Located close to France, German cuisine is very varied and is much more than the sausages and bratwurst that typically come to mind)
You can learn more about Linnea HERE.

I recommend buying her book Perfect Parties-Tips & Advice from a NY Party Planner ($19.95), especially if you are in the mood to throw some fabulously delicious and fun parties in the coming months. Remember throwing a great party is really just a matter of demonstrating a little about who you are through the food, drinks, decoration and music you select. It’s important that you keep it fun and not stress.

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Lainie Gutterman - Before giving birth to her son in 2009 and becoming a stay-at-home mom, Lainie was a founding partner of a Public Relations firm. Lainie describes herself as "a natural born publicist who is constantly spreading the word about new products, activities and events." When Lainie is not chasing after her son or they are not watching Nick Jr or reading together, she scrapbooks and writes posts for her blog, "Me, Myself & Baby I" at Lainie and her family live in New York City, where she sacrifices living space (but not style) to be in the center of it all in "the city that never sleeps." (Fortunately, her toddler is a sound sleeper who doesn't rise until after 9am, on most days.)

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