Party on


A new cookbook intends to make your next dinner party beautiful, tasty, and season-apporpriate--oh yeah, and fun.

Come One, Come All (Minnesota Historical Society Press) is the first book by Lee Svitak Dean, longtime Star Tribune food editor, and she's gone out of her way to make it a helpful one. While the recipes, most of which ran previously in her paper's Taste section, are useful on their own, here they are cleverly organized into party menus by season: a spring brunch, a fall slow-cooked pork dinner, and a winter holiday cocktail party, to name a few.

Dean, in her friendly, folksy tone, includes extensive notes throughout that cover shortcuts, substitutions, and what can be made ahead of time, and there's an introduction on planning that any first-time dinner-party thrower will appreciate. You won't need a culinary degree to make these dishes, and while even experienced cooks should find something new and interesting to try, this book is kind to the beginner: Dean won't chastise you for buying some prepared items. So invite some friends over and create your own festive occasion; it won't be as difficult as you think.

Dean has several book signings and events coming up, including a cooking class tomorrow at noon at Byerly's in St. Louis Park.