Picks and Pans Review: Gracious Living with Colin Cowie

UPDATED 03/03/2008 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 03/03/2008 at 01:00 AM EST

In his new book Colin Cowie Chic, the Hollywood party planner (J.Lo! Brooke Shields!) proves he knows more than how to throw a fabulous fete. Our favorite tips:

1 GET REST ON THE ROAD Pack good cotton T-shirts. If the hotel linens are stiff, you can always place a T-shirt over the pillowcase to sleep better.

2 EXPECT GUESTS Keep frozen puff pastry sausage rolls or samosas in the freezer for last-minute cocktails.

3 STOCKPILE PRESENTS My gift closet is filled with wrapped candles and champagne, so I never have to run out the door empty-handed.

4 BANISH HANGOVERS Chop 3/4 cup each of zucchini, celery, green beans and parsley. Steam over hot distilled water, then puree with some of the water. Drink up!

5 USE THE GOOD CHINA In '94 an earthquake broke pieces I had collected—and hardly ever used. Now I use my favorite things every day.

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