“What are you going to do when you move into an apartment? You never learned to cook!” said Mommy Miribelle. Pshhh. What IS she talking about? I can make a mean omelet and a hell of a batch of “tear off and plop on the cookie sheet” cookies. And if the spirit REALLY moves me, I can make a stir-fry that will blow your mind (secret ingredient: toasted peanuts). What Mamma Bear, what’s that you say?

That’s…not…real…cooking?!?! Fine. You win. I’ve been lying to myself all this time. But at least I’m better off than some of the losers I met in college. Their idea of cooking was putting something in the microwave for 5 minutes. And so, when Christabelle heard about this new cook book, “The Little Black Apron, A Single Girl’s Guide to Cooking with Grace and Style” she ran to Barnes and Noble and practically threw it on my desk (SRP $14.95). Although a tad insulted at first, I decided to give the book a try…and was I impressed! Written specifically for the chic, stylish city gal (moi for sure!), the cookbook provides easy and healthy recipes, cooking techniques and delicious, sexy anecdotes. I can now make a single serving of chicken for my Miribelle-only nights, a double serving of salad for when my friend Nikki comes over, in fear that she will one day turn into a mac and cheese noodle, and dessert for when boyfriend comes over for a late night snack.

And as if I could get even more chic…I always try to pair my Little Black Apron recipes with a bottle of Little Black Dress Wines (SRP $9.99)…especially for those EXTRA special nights (i.e. the Emmys, Thursday nights for Greys, and of course when I want to play master chef and plan a dinner party). Voted the “best new wine brand” in 2007 by Market Watch Magazine, these wines are perfect for any wine-worthy occasion, price and all! The bottles are even reason to keep them displayed on your counter. From black tie events to backyard barbecues, Little Black Dress offers four varietals to accompany any get-together: Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Merlot. Total BONUS: Little Black Dress Wine is a proud supporter of the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation®, which raises money to support various children’s charities – started by Jane Kaczmarek (“Malcolm In The Middle”) and Bradley Whitford (“The West Wing”).

So we’ve got the food, the drinks…but I have to address the most important question! What SHALL we wear?! A dinner party ain’t no dinner party without the perfect little black DRESS. Timeless and classic, if you have the perfect black dress, you’re set for life. I actually recently wore the same black dress I wore to just about everyone’s Sweet 16 to a cocktail party (I was the backup-backup-backup-BACKUP date for a friend and my regular go to L.B.D. was at the cleaners). It may be over a decade old, but satin is satin (in a tasteful way, not in a cheesy 80’s way). And since I’ve been such a health nut lately (thank you to my crazy friend Tina) I actually fit in it. The weight was distributed a BIT differently (helloooo tush) but I still knocked ’em dead. Check out the new Laila Azhar black satin bubble dress on for your answer to that perpetual question… “What am I going to wear?!?!?!” . Top it with Cole Haan satin rhinestone heels (just marked down at – and you are Red Carpet Ready…Joan Rivers get ready!

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