Marfreless and Mike Riccetti Make Entertaining Easy

Yes, you read that right: Marfreless, the legendary sign-less make-out bar in River Oaks, is partly behind a book from two Houston locals on how to make your next party the talk of the town. Or at least the subdivision.

Mike Riccetti, a longtime Houston food fixture who writes for the Examiner and is the author of Houston Dining on the Cheap, authored the book along with Marfreless's general manager and veteran industry man Michael Wells. It's called The Guide to Ridiculously Easy Entertaining: Tips from Marfreless, and it's now available electronically and updated for 2011.

Previously, The Guide to Ridiculously Easy Entertaining had only been available in paperback for a $17.95 price tag. But the new e-book version is only $9.99, and it's compatible with every reader from Nooks to Kindles, and from iPads to Androids.

The guide covers every aspect of party planning for the non-professional, starting with hiring help and sending invitations to setting up and playing the role of the consummate host. There are also subsections on hosting "specialty" partys like wine tastings or full-blown dinner parties.

It also contains reference sections for things like food and drink vocabulary, how to mix drinks, how to tap a keg (very important, that one) and even music suggestions. And no guide to entertaining would be complete without failsafe recipes, so Riccetti and Wells (not to be confused with Rizzoli and Isles, which I recommend you never watch) included those too.

What the book is certain not to help with, however, are the kind of blow-out parties you see on shows like My Super Sweet 16 and I Want My Daughter to Grow Up Selfish, Spoiled and Stupid So I'm Throwing Her a Million-Dollar Birthday Party. As it says in the book: "If you can afford to entertain on the grand scale, you can find a party planner for these types of events." And you can afford to tip the help too, FYI.

But for everything else, there's The Guide to Ridiculously Easy Entertaining.

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Katharine Shilcutt