Babe Scott

Babe Scott

The Lazy Hostess reveals the true purpose of entertaining — to amuse the hostess. It's all about making your enjoyment the priority. My book shows would-be social sirens how to throw a sizzling soirée without taking on any more stress than the average makeup blotter could cope with. It includes everything from easy, inexpensive party food recipes, to tips on sprucing up your abode, to guidance on primping and preening the same way any leading lady would before her turn on the red carpet. I believe the hostess should be the hottest thing to come out of the kitchen. No one wants to be upstaged by her hors d'oeuvres.


What is your favourite recipe from the book?


My favourite recipe is probably the martini. I love all the finger food recipes, but it's not a cocktail party without a signature cocktail. And the martini is a legend in a glass. It's glamour incarnate, and every hostess worthy of her cocktail shaker should know how to make one. The martini is not just a drink, it's an occasion. You have to serve this sublime concoction in a martini glass—no other glass will do—and you have to dress up like a siren to drink it. It's the ultimate accessory for every cocktail party queen.


What are your top tips for getting rid of lingering guests?


Over the years I've developed some strategies to send the stragglers home without resorting to a sandblaster. The first trick is to stop serving drinks. If anyone asks for coffee, make sure it's decaffeinated so they don't get a second wind. The second tip is to turn up the lights. This will make your guests about as happy as vampires on a paper run. Then start recruiting people to clean up post-party debris. The last resort, which never fails, is to put on my Sayonara Sweeties playlist (you’ll find it on my website, This party-killing playlist will have them making a mass exodus sooner than you can belt out the chorus to Kumbaya.


Why is there so much pressure on women to be a good hostess?


I think there are a lot of myths about entertaining that I'm seeking to dispel—namely, that you have to know how to cook, own crystal glassware, and fork out for expensive foodstuffs to have a good time. Many how-to hostess books are so "aspirin-ational" that by the end of the first recipe, you are lying on the couch suffering from ingredient fatigue and reaching for a cocktail the size of South Beach. The only thing you really need to be a successful hostess is the will to have fun with friends. The Lazy Hostess shows you how to entertain effortlessly and, most importantly, how to have a royal good time while you’re at it!


You have written for many publications so what has been your most memorable writing experience?


I've had many memorable writing experiences. The thing I love about writing is it has given me an excuse to explore and experience things that I maybe would not have in the ordinary course of life. For instance, I've been on a blind date in a pitch-dark restaurant. I've gone to a nude dinner. I've eaten sautéed silkworms, and I've had lunch with the Naked Cowboy. I've hosted a "Brian dinner party", where all my girlfriends had to invite an eligible single guy named Brian. I've gone as a voyeur to an up-market sex party.... I've done so many weird and wonderful things that I will have plenty of stories to tell and to make people blush when I'm in the nursing home.


What are the key things you need in your kitchen to be a good hostess?


You will need a friend to help you cook, preferably one who knows how to navigate her way around a hotplate. There's nothing lonelier than being in the kitchen by yourself, particularly if you don't know your left elbow from an artichoke. I'd also make sure you have some good tunes to get you in the mood. I've got a Get Cooking Good Looking playlist on my website, which will make you feel like a kitchen vixen. You also need a glass or two of your favorite tipple. To paraphrase W.C. Fields: "I love to cook with wine and some of it goes in the food." It’s all about making the experience as easy and fun as possible. That’s why The Lazy Hostess includes recipes so simple a child could make them, as well as all the ammunition you need to throw a sizzling soirée.


What is normal meal time like in your house when you are not entertaining?


Well, six o'clock is always "cocktail o'clock." I often count down the seconds till this happy hour when it's time to pour myself a medicinal beverage. I think a cocktail is like a rainbow in a glass—it brightens up the drabbest day. Once I've had a little rocket fuel, I normally make dinner for myself and whomever is in the house (my daughter, assorted friends and riffraff). I'm forever test-driving recipes, so often this will be from a new menu. For instance, when I was putting together my Seduction by Bacon menu, we ate a lot of bacon-inspired dishes, and when I was creating an Audrey Hepburn menu, we had a lot of dishes that were pepped up with a little sparkling wine, like Champagne Chicken. Sometimes I make old favorites like bolognaise, and I always put a salad on the table. I love dinner—it's my favorite event of the day.


What made you want to put all of your hosting wisdom down in this book?


I love entertaining and I wanted to show other women how easy it really is. A little detail like being clueless about cooking shouldn't stop you from being a cocktail party queen. I'm living proof! Entertaining also brings so much joy. The priceless moments that happen when you entertain at home would never happen in a bar or a restaurant. I used to be a culinary biohazard but that never stopped me from throwing legendary soirées. I've since learned how to feed the hungry hordes easily and inexpensively and wanted to show the sisterhood so they too can conquer the world without leaving home.


What is next for you?


 I'm currently working on a book called Man Candy Cupcakes , which will “bring brawn to baking." This book combines my other key passions, apart from entertaining, which are cupcakes and cute guys. It will feature four fantasy bakers alongside flirtatious cupcake recipes. I'm up to my elbows in baby oil and baking supplies trying to bring this abtastic tome to life. It's no easy task being a kitchen vixen.




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