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Fast Track to Fine Dining a fool-proof guide for first-class dining in your own home
January 7, 2009


Linda Mutschler was a Wall Street analyst. She was busy. She was tired. But she wanted a home where her friends wanted to come for great food, inspiring conversation, and lots of laughter and entertainment. But she didn’t know how to cook.

Years later, Mutschler is releasing Fast Track to Fine Dining: A step-by-step guide to planning a dinner party, for everyone who wants to entertain in their own home but doesn’t know where to start.

This book is wonderfully organized and succinct so that a rather complex process becomes a step-by-step to-do list that one merely has to carry out. Mutschler has put together a total of sixteen menus: four for each season. Each menu consists of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, starters, salad, a palate cleanser, the main course, dessert, and then coffee and tea.

Each menu has a detailed grocery list that outlines what pantry items, produce, dairy, alcohol and drinks to buy one week before, two days before, and then the day of the party. Mutschler explains how each recipe on the menu might be made ahead of time, as well as when and how to make it the day of the party.

So all the host or hostess has to do is select a menu, make sure the shopping is done, outline the approach according to Mutschler’s recommendations, and throw the party. Of course, Mutschler even offers checklists for everything from “Creating the Ambience,” which details table settings and music, to when and how you should clean and prepare your home.

Each menu is full of amazing selections, but the springtime Veal with Sage and Wine is exceptional, featuring Apricot and Orange Champagne, Cucumber Rounds with Smoked Salmon, Eggplant, Mozzarella and Tomato Stacks, Arugula with Parmesan, Grapefruit Sorbet, Veal with Sage and Wine, Risotto with Spring Vegetables, Tiramisu, and Orange Chocolate Cookies.

Fast Track to Fine Dining: A step-by-step guide to planning a dinner party (ISBN 978-0-9815867-0-0; $38.95) is available through the major book trade and online at

Fast Track to Fine Dining was designed, edited, and manufactured by Favorite Recipes Press, an imprint of FRP Books, Inc.

Since 1961, Favorite Recipes Press has helped community groups, non-profits, and independent publishers create, design, edit, manufacture, distribute, and market award-winning cookbooks. Learn more at

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