18 January 2015

Champagne!: Facts, Fizz, Food & Fun by Cathy Burnham Martin

 "Champagne! Facts, Fizz, Food & Fun" delivers timely tips plus more than 130 recipes for sparkling beverages and food dishes to serve with Champagne.
The FACTS come from great Bubbly Basics that remove the mystique of serving Champagne, featuring background data, helpful storage and serving factoids and arguments. You will find tips on portions, using a fountain, flute glass importance, how to pour a perfect glass, and much more, like easy steps to make a novice appear seasoned at opening a bottle of Champagne perfectly, plus suggestions on Champagne tastings, adding bubbly to other drinks, and creating a easy pairing menu, be it for dinner or a standing cocktail party. Setting up a Champagne bar also becomes a breeze with plenty of super simple tidbits and suggestions that help you look like a pro. A bonus comes from a wide array of delightful Champagne party theme ideas, complete with food and decorating suggestions to help you razzle dazzle your guests... or special guest.

The Amazing Bubbly Concoctions segment overflows with FIZZ from more than five dozen sparkling beverage recipes, both with alcohol and family friendly. These original and classically superb recipes are all designed to be Super Simple. They were cleverly designed in the KISS kitchens for those times when you want to present something even jazzier than straight up champagne. Enjoy recipes including: Elderflower Champagne Punch, Gingered Pomegranate Sparkler, True Bellini a la Harry’s Bar, Frozen Bellinis, Sparkling Peach Melba Bellini, Sparkling Maple Madness, Blushing Yager, Sparkling Marilyn Monroe, Cranberry Cooler, Sparkling Scarlet O’Hara, Sparkling Blueberry Sangria, and an Acapulco Sparkler. As a great bonus, you’ll find super simple ideas to create razzle-dazzling fruit garnishes that draw rave reviews.

Then enjoy the Serve with Champagne section with nearly six dozen FOOD recipes, from choice cheese creations, delightful dips, and fabulous fruits, to mouthwatering meats, poultry pairings, various vegetables, and sensational seafood. Also among the recipes created in KISS kitchens are items that are perfect for a Champagne brunch or even super snacks. Among the recipes you will find: Apple Bacon Cheddar Breakfast Pie, Seared Peach Pancakes, Super Simple Eggs Benedict, Mini Sausage Cheese Muffins, 1970’s Cheese Fondue, Super Simple Open-Faced Poppers, Baked Bacon Dip, Warm Lobster Dip, Fried Bananas, Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates, Baby Beef Wellingtons, Mushroom Blue Cheese Sliders, Pepperoni Bread, KISS BLT Bites, Cashewed Chicken Strips, Mini Chicken Caesars, Super Simple Baked Clams, Crab Fritters, KISS Lobster Quesadillas, Enlightened Coconut Shrimp, Super Simple Sugared Walnut Crisps, Artichoke Parmesan Crostini, Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, and Super Simple Onion Crisped Veggies.

The finale is all FUN, with Champagne Quotes, from historical to hysterical rounding out this book, compiled from great Champagne comments and commentaries from books, movies, songs, and life in general. They reflect politics and politicking, stars and former stars, dancers, singers, writers, and winemakers. Quotes respond to passions and pleasures, dining and drinking, negotiating and fighting, lusting and loving, hurting and healing, advising and emoting.
This book is really outside of the norm for books I review, but I thought to myself “Self, this is a book about food and alcohol, it will be impossible to go wrong”. I should listen to myself more often.
This book is a lot of different things.  It has facts about champagne, recipes, pairings and other tips and tricks.  It basically will make you into a sort of amateur champagne sommelier.  In other words, use the knowledge contained within these pages to dazzle your friends, family and work colleagues.
I have to say, I learned quite a lot from this book.  It’s not only a useful book, but entertaining too.  I mean, it has party ideas, a champagne bar idea (genius!) and little fun facts and tidbits about champagne throughout.  This is exactly the kind of book that a person like me, who likes booze and reading but find they rarely go together, can enjoy.
Overall, this was a fun and enlightening book.  The author makes it easy to follow and presents lots of original ideas.  You’ll be the hostess with the champagne mostess for sure after reading this little gem.  In the end, it delivers in everything it promises, so I give it five stars!

Cathy Burnham Martin is an award-winning journalist, corporate communications geek, and dedicated foodie.  A former news anchor, she has written, produced, and hosted dozens of groundbreaking documentaries, TV specials, and news reports, ranging from the Moscow Super Power Summit and the opening of the Berlin Wall to extensive coverage of NH's First-in-the-Nation Presidential Primaries.  A notable home cook and recipe creator, Cathy chronicled numerous food festivals, restaurant openings, and renowned chefs, including launching culinary coverage on commercial television in New Hampshire.    Cathy also managed an award-winning community access TV station.  Writing articles for the acclaimed GoodLiving123.com blog became a natural application of her journalism skills.  Her passion for great tasting, simple cooking led to the celebrated KISS™ Keep It Super Simple original recipe cookbook series.  

A member of Actors Equity and noted business speaker, Cathy has been a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association since 1995.  She attended Stetson University and graduated from Southern NH University.  Enjoying adjunct faculty work teaching persuasive public speaking and communications, Cathy earned a Master of Science degree in Corporate and Organizational Communications at Northeastern University in 2009.  She also actively serves on boards for corporations and non-profits.        She was the 2009 recipient of Easter Seals’ David P. Goodwin Lifetime Commitment Award.

Additional writing credits include 300+ episodes of New Hampshire Minutes, plus being a contributing author in various books, including:

  • The Communication Coach: Business Communication Tips from the Pros   (1998) Jeffrey Tobe, Monroeville, PA
  • The Communication Coach II  (2000) COTL Publishing, PA
  • A Healthier You  (2005)   Insight Publishing, Sevierville, TN

2007 saw the release of Cathy Burnham Martin’s book, Dog Days in the Life of The Miles-Mannered Man, a whimsically philosophical collection of tall tales, wagging tails, and tantalizing treats, from Quiet Thunder Publishing, a division of SpeakEasy Corporate Communications in Manchester, NH. 

This was followed by a number of other releases, also from Quiet Thunder Publishing, including:

  • Fifty Years of Family Favorites  (2007)
  • Sage, Thyme & Other Life Seasonings: Perspectives  (2009)
  • Champagne!  Facts, Fizz, Food & Fun  (2010)
  • Champagne Quotes: Historical to Hysterical (2011)
  • Cranberry Cooking (2012)
  • Of the Same Blood: Your Eurasian Heritage  (2013)
  • Lobacious Lobster (2013)
  • Dockside Dining: Round One  (2014)
  • Dockside Dining: A Second Helping (2014)


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