Park Avenue Potluck CELEBRATIONS: A Virtual Celebration

I am not a Park Avenue hostess, but now I know how to entertain like one with Park Avenue Potluck CELEBRATIONS (Rizzoli). Written by The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and edited by award-winning food writer and New York Times contributing columnist, Florence Fabricant, this book is a compilation of sensational recipes, entertaining ideas, seasonal menus, party-planning tips, and personal anecdotes from New York's most celebrated hostesses. Best of all, proceeds from the sale of each book will provide funding for The Society's patient care, research and education programs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Today it is my pleasure to play the role of "virtual" Park Avenue hostess and celebrate the publication of this book with a Naptime Chef dinner party. Talented food writers and bloggers from around the world have joined me to provide a glimpse into it's pages by cooking and photographing a variety of recipes. I encourage you to visit their sites directly (names below are hyperlinked) to read and comment on their wonderful work in support of this important cause.

While I'm always up for hosting a dinner party, there are two special reasons why I am excited to host this particular event. First, in 2007 I was the Project Manager and recipe contributor to the original best-selling cookbook,
Park Avenue Potluck (CELEBRATIONS is the sequel) and, secondly, cancer has affected family and friends in my life so I believe strongly in supporting any cause aimed at fighting the disease. Available on Amazon today, I encourage you to pick up a copy for yourself and a friend. Heck, buy a whole bunch to give away as holiday gifts! Either way, each purchase will support the fight against cancer, and give you fantastic recipes and entertaining ideas for the holiday season. Now, time for a wonderful glimpse into the world of Park Avenue Potluck CELEBRATIONS!

Pomegranate Mimosas by Melissa Morris of Melissa C. Morris:
"These delightful Pomegranate Mimosas give champagne a fun, fruity kick. I love the cocktail's ruby color; this festive red makes them the perfect drink to serve at a holiday party. The recipe is simple and easy to make and absolutely delicious to drink - cheers!"

Ebba's Swedish Apple Cider (non-alcoholic) by Stacie of ChowMama
"Whether your holiday parties are late-night, debaucherous affairs or kid- and preggy- friendly gatherings, one big batch of Ebba's Swedish Apple Cider Punch can be served with our without alcohol. Either way, this sophisticated, cozy, and tasty drink gives a warm holiday "buzz" that makes you want to CELEBRATE! And, of course, goes beautifully with cocktail party apps. What more can a hostess wants?!"

Ebba's Swedish Apple Cider (spiked!) by Jennifer of Unplanned Cooking
"Swedish Apple Cider Punch: delightfully tangy, rich and thick, Ebba's Swedish Apple Cider Punch warms up you and your home on a cool autumn night."


Bibb & Avocado Salad by Jennifer of Savor The Thyme
"This is a healthy and refreshing salad. I love all the green colors in it as it seems so hopeful and lively: just the way I feel about Cancer Research."

Cornmeal Batter Cakes by Ellise of Cowgirl Chef
"These Cornmeal Batter Cakes are fabulous! They come together in less than 15 minutes, and are so light and elegant - just perfect for a dinner party. They work well with savory toppings, such as my homemade chorizo and chipotle creme fraiche, or as a dessert or breakfast, with a spoonful of strawberry jam and a bit of whipping cream."

Bibb & Avocado Salad by Linda of One Scoop at a Time
"This salad is a perfect side to any meal or to enjoy on its own with a few crackers and a yogurt dipping sauce. Don't be fooled by its simplicity - it's packed with clean and fresh flavors that will liven up your meal."

Cornmeal Batter Cakes by Megan of A Sweet Spoonful
"This is a wonderful versatile recipe. My family is all out of town, so I actually made these as a small side dish for myself last night. With a bowl of homemade tomato soup, they were the perfect light meal. The corn cakes would also be a lovely accompaniment to smoked salmon or could be made as mini-appetizers with a variety of toppings. I liked them so much that I decided to whip up a batch this morning and serve them for breakfast with berries, butter and honey, and local jam."


Smooth Broccoli Soup by Rebecca of Chow and Chatter
"When The Naptime Chef asked me to join the potluck to help cancer patients, I couldn't say no. As a registered dietition who has often worked with patients going through cancer treatments I know the importance of tasty nutritious and calorie/protein dense food to get them through. This soup is rich in nutrients and calories, and easy to make, good for those days when it is hard to have a big meal it is a great thing to keep in the fridge for a quick meal or snack"

Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan & Sage by Jen of My Kitchen Addiction
"This smooth and creamy soup is elegant enough for any dinner party, yet easy enough to whip up on a busy weeknight for dinner. In fact, I plan on adding it to my Thanksgiving menu this year! For a bit of a twist, try garnishing with crispy sage leaves fried in olive oil."

Main Course

Bobby's Crispy Chicken Cutlets by Patricia of PVE Design
"My kids devoured these. I prepared a plate, went to get my camera to take a photo and they were "all gone" when I came back! This is the second plate prepared, we loved the lemon juice squeezed on top - De-lish! You know, I am from Kentucky and we love chicken!!

Filet Mignon a la Creme by Shani of Camille Maurice
"It was the perfect combination of richness and simplicity... one of those recipes where the lack of fussiness makes for smoothness from the pan to the first bite."

Bobby's Crispy Chicken Cutlets by Sarah of Supper Starter
"Preparing Bobby's Crisp Chicken Cutlets reminds me of picnics in the park under sprawling shade trees. While the chicken would be perfect straight from the skillet, this Southern Girl prefers hers cold alongside coleslaw and sweet potato chips. Either way, you can't go wrong with these perfectly crunch yet surprisingly juicy chicken strips!"

Filet Mignon a la Creme by Natasha of 5 Star Foodie

"My contribution to the party is an entree, Filet Mignon a la Creme. I was fortunate to get two gorgeous grass-fed filet mignons that prepare with mushroom cream sauce, were wonderfully savory and delicious. We loved the earthy tones and the touch of spiciness of the sauce."

Side Dishes

Warm Mushroom Rolls by Molly of Tastebud Tart
"I added some cayenne to the original recipe. Like any good Southern Girl, I like a kick with my cocktail. I paired the Warm Mushroom Rolls with a nice, buttery Chardonnay. It went well with the earthy mushrooms, and enhanced the buttery rolls."

Green Beans that Cooked All Night by Kate of Savour Fare
These green beans may not look pretty, but they make your house smell divine, and they taste how green beans SHOULD taste."

Warm Mushroom Rolls by Rachel of La Fuji Mama
"These little bite size rolls have a slightly crispy and toasted outside with a rich mushroom filling on the inside. The delicious flavorful filling will make both vegetarians and omnivores happy. The rolls can be made ahead and then reheated in the oven right before your party, leaving you free to get the house ready instead of stressing about making the appetizers!"

Green Beans that Cooked All Night by Cathy of Show Food Chef
"Green Beans are cooked slowly wit caramelized bacon, onions and a tangy sauce in this amazingly simple recipe. I highly recommend this for a no fuss dish with a lot of flavor."


Mary's House Oatmeal Cookies by Dorie of Dorie Greenspan

"Soft, sweet, chewy and almost caramelish, it's easy to see why Mary chose these to be her 'house' cookies. Make them once and they might become your house cookies, too."

Praline Pumpkin Pie by Phoebe & Cara of Big Girls, Small Kitchen
This is the ultimate fall pie - pumpkin on the bottom, pecan on the top. It satisfies the craving from creaminess and spiciness with the pumpkin and for caramel and nuttiness with the pecan praline topping. From our kitchen, albeit small, to yours, Cara and Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOKS."

Mary's House Oatmeal Cookies by Tiffany of The Cookie Network
"These are, hands down, the best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies I've ever had the pleasure of tasting (And I've tasted a lot of them!)."

Praline Pumpkin Pie by Deeba of Passionate About Baking

"I am deeply honoured to be part of such a meaningful project, a cause that supports cancer research. This way my first ever pumpkin pie, everything from scratch, including the pumpkin puree, and was the best pie we've ever had!"


  1. Now I know why we get along, we were project managers and those skills are of a rare breed, and we both love food!
    Wonderful post and I was honored to be a part of this!

  2. Thank you so much for inviting me to this wonderful party -- I loved being part of it and I certainly loved Mary's House Oatmeal Cookies.

    You did a spectacular job of putting this event together -- brava!

  3. a huge thank you to our gracious hostess!

  4. Hi Kelsey,

    Thanks so much for including me in this fun event! It was a pleasure to contribute to such a worthy cause. (And the cookies were sooooo yummy!) Count me in if you do this again!

    Take care,

  5. Thank you for being such a wonderful hostess Kelsey. This was a great event, and for such a beautiful cause. Love all the contibutions that have come in. It's made the meal so warm & meaningful! Big hug, Deeba

  6. What a great idea! It's so wonderful to learn creative ways to support such worthy causes as fighting cancer. Bravo!

  7. Thank you for inviting me to this Potluck, Kelsey. It was fun with meaning, and you are the perfect and talented hostess.

  8. I'm honored to be part of this event! Everyone's dishes look excellent!

  9. what a delightful assortment well done by each and every participant - now how do I get more than a virtual taste? this is BEYOND teasing!

  10. What a great effort and yet so much fun! Lovely food, lovely people. Best of luck and sweet dreams.

  11. Thanks again for inviting me to the party! I loved my recipe and I look forward to making many more of the recipes from the cookbook. I think my family/friends will enjoy the cookbook, too, and I'm thinking of using them as Christmas gifts this year!

  12. This recipes look spectacular! A job well done to all.

  13. I'm going to need more bookshelves. Just weeded out some cookbooks, here come two new ones! Thanks?!

    PS-The tomato, cheese and basil frittata featured on the Cookie mag food blog was a huge hit around here!!

  14. Look at all that gorgeous food! Even on a good day, I can't put out that much at culinary school.

    And now I want that pumpkin pie (a weakness of mine - thank heavens Thanksgiving is coming soon).