Our last library book includes 10 tips on what NOT to serve at a dinner party. I think these are good tips -- and yet I've ignored every one at least once. The book is "Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics" by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter, 2008, $35).
1. Appetizers that take two hands
2. Beets or red wine (at least when guests are congregating in the living room)
2. Three rich courses
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4. Nuts (because of allergies)
5. Garlic and raw onions
6. Spinach and poppy seeds (because they tend to get stuck in teeth)
7. Corn on the cob
8. Two fish courses
10. Raw beef or raw eggs