Spring into entertaining If the weekend is the final frontier of free-time, then the sun-lit days and soft evenings of spring and summer are ideal for taking some of that time and turning it into fun-filled, food-filled opportunities to be with friends and family. The editors of Bon Appetit magazine well understand that a meal, elaborate or simple, planned in advance or decided on at the spur of the moment, can be the magnet that draws us together and provides the festive focal point and the fabulous food. To make sure that you'll have the requisite recipes and marvelous menus to produce that fabulous food, they've given us Bon Appetit Weekend Entertaining. This very attractive, beautifully illustrated book is divided into three sections, each with ten full menus, alternative menu options, strategy suggestions, and do-ahead tips that allow for hassle-free hosting. Occasions, from a Celebration Dinner for eight to a Gala Buffet for 50, takes care of the grander events. Instant Entertaining offers ten menus (and ideas) for spontaneous parties that can come together in minutes, combining store-bought items, such as flour tortillas, ice cream, olives, and cheese, with quickly-prepared sauces, dips, and grilled fillings. The secret here is a well-stocked pantry, freezer, and fridge; the lists to make that happen are, of course, supplied. Last are casual Get Togethers, meals that don't take too much more than minimal planning and that can be the most fun. If you follow Bon Appetit's time-saving tricks accept all offers of help, make a list and live by it a Friday night supper with co-workers, a Saturday breakfast with the family, a Sunday brunch with friends, cocktails with more than munchies, even an elegant dinner party are do-able and rewarding. So, now, whatever the occasion or non-occasion, you can whoop it up on weekends without worrying, scurrying, or undo hurrying. Sybil Pratt is an avid cook.

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