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Tim Mulligan

Tim Mulligan

Author of the entertaining Cookbook, "A Perfect 10 Party Edition"

Welcome to another episode of Makers of Minnesota! In today's episode, our host, Stephanie, sits down with the talented Tim Mulligan, author of the book "A Perfect Ten Party Edition." Tim's book is filled with 70 recipes that are perfect for hosting parties and making them a breeze. From delicious drinks and great recipes to fun games, Tim's cookbook is a must-have for anyone who loves entertaining. Join us as Stephanie and Tim discuss his inspiration for writing the book, his love for Palm Springs parties, and some of the most requested recipes from his collection. Prepare for a fun and informative episode that will inspire you to throw unforgettable parties. Let's dive in!


Stephanie [00:00:15]:

Hello, everybody, and welcome to dishing with Stephanie's dish, the podcast where we talk to people in the food space many times Cookbook authors, and today, we have Tim Mulligan with us, and he is the author of a book called A Perfect ten Party edition. There's 70 recipes for making hosting parties a breeze. Tim, you look really fun.

Tim Mulligan [00:00:38]:

Well, thank you. I try try. Thanks.

Stephanie [00:00:42]:

Absolutely. No. You have, like, this whole book full of Fun party ideas, drinks, great recipes, suggestions. You even got some games. I just really thought this cookbook was a gas.

Tim Mulligan [00:00:56]:

Good. I'm glad.

Stephanie [00:00:58]:

Where are you from?

Tim Mulligan [00:01:00]:

I I live in Palm Springs, California. I I I work during the day in LA, so I'm kinda I'm pretty all over much all over Southern California, new bit. My home base is Palm Springs.

Stephanie [00:01:09]:

Okay. That's pretty awesome because Palm Springs has a lot of great parties.

Tim Mulligan [00:01:13]:

I I hope so. I I like to throw I like to throw a lot of them. So yeah.

Stephanie [00:01:17]:

Do you live in one of those cool Palm Spring houses in the movie district?

Tim Mulligan [00:01:21]:

It's close. It's, you know, I I love you know, we all have pools and, you know, live live live the life here. So, yes, definitely.

Stephanie [00:01:29]:

Yeah. All the beautiful houses and in case you don't know, I think my favorite story about Palm Springs and maybe you can confirm or deny is that The reason that so many celebrities lived there was because they were exactly, like, a 120 miles or whatever the distance was outside of Los Angeles, And the newspapers that paid their stipends for their entertaining didn't go as far as Palm Springs. So all the movie stars figured that out, and they could live a life without the pap paparazzi in Palm Springs.

Tim Mulligan [00:02:04]:

Yeah. I heard that. And they I mean, because you mentioned the radius in the distance, it wasn't too far that it was still within their contract. And so it just became like a a a a refuge and hideaway for the for the Hollywood set.

Stephanie [00:02:15]:


Tim Mulligan [00:02:15]:

And it's you know, it still feels like it's timeless. It still still feels like the fifties, sixties here. You know? So it's it's it's understandable why it was so appealing. You know?

Stephanie [00:02:24]:

What was your history in terms of why you wanted to write a book, not only with just recipes, but kinda organized by themes and parties?

Tim Mulligan [00:02:34]:

Yeah. I mean, I've been, I've been cooking for years, not professionally trained. I did start my To my my working world career in hospitality, managing restaurants, bars, waiting tables, and and, And taking many courses and certifications over the years, I've never been a trained chef. I really am a a home cook. But, you know, during I I would say and and I worked during the day. I'm a I'm a lawyer. I'm a human resources officer, and I have been doing that for decades. But during it was COVID, you know, unfortunately, it was such a such a bad I am bit but, you know, if anything good came out of it, for me, it was the the the quarantining process and being, you know, Stuck in this house, I tried to use this as a positive way and say, what have I always wanted to do? You know? And cross off my bucket list.

Tim Mulligan [00:03:19]:

And for me, there's 2 things really. 1 was to write a Play. I love plays. So I spent the 1st year 2020 knocking out a play. I did it. That play got published. It's going to New York in April. That was an amazing thing.

Stephanie [00:03:31]:

That's so excellent.

Tim Mulligan [00:03:32]:

Yeah. Yeah. And then the second thing was I wanted to write a cookbook. You know, I, I really, I I've been I've been cooking forever like I said. I wanted to share with the world My favorite recipes that I've curated over the years. I'm a collector. I'm a curator. Some of these are recipes I've had since I was a kid.

Tim Mulligan [00:03:48]:

Others I've, you know, collected along the way. And these are recipes that I have made, countless numbers of times over the years, over the decades. I've tweaked the recipes. I've made them work for me, And I I really thought it'd be great to share that with the world and also write write a cookbook that was for, people like me who are busy, you know, who are who work maybe work all day or raise a family. I I had 2 kids. And, and and so that was the idea behind the cookbook. So I've I've that was my 1st cookbook. So that came out in 2020, 2 last year, and it was called a perfect ten.

Tim Mulligan [00:04:20]:

And to answer your question, I I'm an organized person. I like top 10 lists. So I decided that, you know, a good way to share my recipes was just to list them. And and so I wanted to write a book that so if you get if you are told You're going to a dinner at someone's house or enter they say you say, what can you bring? And they tell you, bring a, salad or bring a side dish or bring a dessert, a big entree, and then you kinda freak out to get, oh my god. What am I gonna make? I wanted to just provide a a a playbook. You can pull it out, and And so there's 7 meal periods. Everything from breakfast to salads to vegetable sides to entrees to dinners, Desserts that and it's my 10 kind of favorite easy go to recipes that I have, you know, are trying and tested and true in in my world. And that was the idea behind the 1st cookbook.

Tim Mulligan [00:05:07]:

And so that came out last year, and it just the response was really great. And I started a blog. I started blogging every week recipes and cooking, and And next thing you knew, I someone who had never even touched Instagram, now I have 18,000 followers, you know, so I I thought, well, I better write another one, you know, while I Well, I can. So as a follow-up, I I wanted to share another passion of mine, which is organizing, hosting, and throwing amazing parties. I've been doing that as long as I can remember. So I kept I kept the the perfect 10 idea going, and it's and I did instead of 7 milk periods, I did 7 types of parties. So I spent this year throwing these parties and and taking pictures and documenting and creating playbooks for what games could I throw at each party. And then I did a top ten list of everything from drinks to food to desserts, a couple of each for each type of party that you so if you're throwing any sort of party, you can pull this book out.

Tim Mulligan [00:06:01]:

You can make the whole recipe, the whole menu, all 10 of them. You can pick and choose. It's kind of a choose your own adventure for throwing a a party of any size.

Stephanie [00:06:09]:

I really liked the way that you organized it. It felt very, natural. And When you looked at each party, you know, there was kind of drinks for that party, apps for that party, mains for that party, sides for that party, and All of your recipes I think why this book probably did appeal to me right away is it felt like I'm a home cook too, and I also wrote a cookbook. And it felt kinda like the same philosophy of why I did it and why I wanted to do it. I'm a cabin entertainer, so I wrote a book about being at the cabin.

Tim Mulligan [00:06:42]:

Fun. Yeah.

Stephanie [00:06:43]:

And, you know, always being at the cabin's a party, and so it's somewhat similar. I really, appreciated too that your parties were kind of different. So a pool party is something that is probably something that they do a lot in Palm Springs. We don't see as much of that here. I like that you had an award show party because I think those are super fun. What are some of your, like, most requested recipes in this book that people are just loving?

Tim Mulligan [00:07:11]:

Well, a great question. I'd say for me, you know, I I do live in Palm Springs, so I'm pretty lucky with the weather. And so, I really chose and when it came down to what kind of parties to highlight, you know, there's there's, you know, unlimited types of parties. I thought about the parties I like to go to and that I throw. So living in Palm Springs, I think I've, I really kinda perfected the the outdoor brunch, you know, the, the pool party, happy hour. So things where I can kinda grab people outside of the weather, and we would in if we have to. But so I think that, For the recipes that people that people have been responding to, I think, you know, the thing about a party, you you'd appreciate this, I think, of writing a party Cookbook, a party menu is a lot different than a dinner, you know, a sit down meal because you have to have things that you can Eat while standing Yes. Better, you know, grab and go, their handhelds.

Tim Mulligan [00:08:05]:

And so it was pretty kinda challenging to say, okay, what are things that I could, yeah, there's 1 sit down. I did a holiday Traditional sit down dinner as well. The restaurant. Things you can, you know, grab and go from a table and talk and eat. And And so I did a lot of self serve stations. Those are really popular, I think, and those are people really like those. My mac and cheese station.

Stephanie [00:08:23]:

Oh, yeah.

Tim Mulligan [00:08:24]:

I've been doing that for years. I mean, I've been doing that for my staff. I've been doing it for families. I mean, you could throw a mac and make us make your own mac and cheese station, and you're gonna be it's the most Popular, you know, item of of of the night is that mac and cheese station. You know?

Stephanie [00:08:37]:

Yeah. My radio partner talks about having mac and cheese parties for graduation ceremonies. And, You know, there's different kinds of mac and cheeses that you can make from, like, the bechamel in a Dutch oven that's cooked to slow cooker. So you really can have, like, a variety of different toppings, and I thought that was a really fun one. Also, you have the walking taco that I'm familiar with in the Frito bag, but you did it in a bag with pita chips and did, like, the Greek pita fixings, which I thought was really smart.

Tim Mulligan [00:09:07]:

That was different. I like I love Greek food, so I and I and I like, like a Greek, kinda meat mixture. And so this it's a really great walkie talker with to take a bag of Pita chips, make a kinda oregano Greek spice infused turkey or you could just beef. You could you could do plant based, whatever. Throw it in a pita chip bag with some, you know, cucumbers and tzatziki and maybe a hummus sauce or something in it. It's awesome. People love

Stephanie [00:09:31]:

it. Yeah. Looked super great. I also, you did a recipe for a mole inspired tostada.

Tim Mulligan [00:09:43]:

Well, I think, you said so of the of the self serve stations that that I cover in this in this book, I think there's 4 self serve stations. And you can do, you know, little bowls, little jars. You I have mac and cheese. I have build your own tostada. So I think, you know, I I love a crock pot.

Stephanie [00:10:00]:

Yeah. Me too.

Tim Mulligan [00:10:01]:

So you can make a you can easily make a so I think in this cookbook cookbook, I did a mole inspired, you know, shredded Chicken dish. You just put out the little, you know, the smallest tortilla shells you can find and and then a whole bunch of sides and condiments, and that's a really fun party Activity also is making your own tostada. You know, it's really easy, and people always love it.

Stephanie [00:10:23]:

You also have, something that's very Midwestern in here with the, pretzel Jell O cups.

Tim Mulligan [00:10:29]:

I love those so much. I just did them the other day. I mean, you know what's great about the pretzel jello the pretzel salad cups is that, since the since the cookbook came out, I've been asked to do all sorts of kinda wacky things. Like, how would you do a football party? Or how would you do a Halloween bar? This or that party. And the thing about the Pretzel salad Jell O cup is you can do any colors you want. So you could do teams of the football, you know, football match. I mean, I did them in the in the book. I used it for the pool party, So I love we love Aperol Spritz here in

Stephanie [00:10:58]:

Oh, yeah.

Tim Mulligan [00:10:59]:

And so if you use, so I decided to use a peach flavored jello and make it really beautiful and vibrant orange, and it looks it looks awesome on a on an outdoor party table where you're also serving pitchers of, say, Aperol Spritz or something. So the, yeah, the jello the pretzel salad cups are very popular.

Stephanie [00:11:14]:

That's a big that's a big thing at in families' houses at Thanksgiving and Christmas around here. They do a pretzel salad, and we also are known for our snicker salad. We're green apple snickers

Tim Mulligan [00:11:30]:

then, like, what I love I love those kind of Midwest desserts. We don't have those over here. So I kind of was a, you know, a unicorn with my pretzel salad cups here in in California.

Stephanie [00:11:38]:

I love it.

Tim Mulligan [00:11:39]:

The one other thing that we have the one other I mean, I should have answered. The the the the one item that people are loving and And for a self a maker a a self a self serve station, it's my picadillo cups. They're really, really good. And you can also you just make a big, pot of that picadillo, which is and you can use any meat mixture you want in there. I use turkey, but you can also do plant based or you can do beef, But you really spice it up with the golden raisins and the olives and the and all the, tomato sauce and spices, and it's amazing. And you can make it in enchiladas. You can put it in dips. But it's really fun to just make it with the big pot of like a jasmine.

Tim Mulligan [00:12:16]:

I make a coconut rice, you know, cilantro infused, jasmine, and you give little little mason jars or bowls next to it. People to get a scoop of the rice. You can even make your own kind of beautiful trifle with it with rice rice picadillo. It's a handheld. It's delicious. It it it's people are really responding well to that that recipe.

Stephanie [00:12:35]:

Okay. So right now, on your shelf, we saw your Stanley Tucci cookbook. Are there, like, other cookbooks that you find yourself cooking from all the time or people that you just, like, really are inspired by?

Tim Mulligan [00:12:47]:

Yeah. I love Mollie. I love her do cookbook. I'm doing an ad for her, I guess, right now because I love Home is Where the Eggs Are. I have so many cookbooks here. I'm a real I'm a real Foodie, I surround myself with people that love food. We're always sharing cookbooks. That whole bookcase over here is full of cookbooks.

Stephanie [00:13:02]:

Oh, yeah.

Tim Mulligan [00:13:03]:

And these are ones that I've you know, like I said, I I'm a collector. I'm a gatherer. I know exactly what recipe I want out of each book. And I tried to and I I really kept that in mind to write these cookbooks. I think, wouldn't it be great if there was you know, that's why I like the top 10 list because sometimes it does get overwhelming when there's so many great recipes and all these cookbooks. You forget where you found them or where they were.

Stephanie [00:13:22]:


Tim Mulligan [00:13:22]:

I thought I would just do something really simple that you could just go to, and there's 10 salads, 10 desserts, 10 entrees. And then and then, know? And and, hopefully, it'll be that would be your go to for for when you're in a bind and you need something quick and good, let me help you. You know?

Stephanie [00:13:37]:

Yeah. No. I love that. Now when does your next come out. I can't believe you wrote 2 cookbooks already.

Tim Mulligan [00:13:44]:

I know. So I don't know. It's a great question. Right now, I'm, You know, I work by day. I'm a full time, you know, work worker during the day. And then at night, I've just been, you know, again, since, know, if you if you go to 20 early 2020 before, you know, before COVID and the pandemic, I had I had no cookbooks. I had no plays, no creative writing. I ran a leadership book years ago, but, you know, this has really just inspired me.

Tim Mulligan [00:14:07]:

So now since I think since, the pandemic started, I've now published the 2 cookbooks. I have if you go to my website, a perfect ten cook, you can see my blog, and there's tons of recipes there. There every every week, I do new recipes. I mentioned I've written this a few plays now. I have a graphic novel coming out. It's it's just really, kinda lit a fire of creativity that I knew was there, but I just hadn't had time. And I thought I'd kinda pass That stage in life, and and now I hear I am at 56, and it's finally coming out, you know, which is great.

Stephanie [00:14:37]:

It makes me so happy for you. I am also a late bloomer in the food space. You know, had a radio show and have talked about food for forever, but finally decided to put pen to paper and contribute my own items, and it's Let him do a TV show and all these other things that I

Tim Mulligan [00:14:52]:

need I need to get your cookbook. I I just made a note of that.

Stephanie [00:14:56]:

Yeah. I'm actually I'll send you an email get your address and I'll send you a copy. Thank you, Max. And I do travel to Palm Springs on occasion, so I can see looking you up and Maybe having a drink or coming to one of your parties at some point.

Tim Mulligan [00:15:09]:

Yeah. Please.

Stephanie [00:15:10]:

Super fun. Well, it's been great to talk to you. It's a perfect Ten, the party edition, and the other edition, you can keep your eyes peeled for. How do we find your blog? Could you throw out your, website at one more time?

Tim Mulligan [00:15:22]:

Yeah. It's a perfect ten, the number 10 cook.

Stephanie [00:15:25]:


Tim Mulligan [00:15:25]:

And you can and you can find both cookbooks. So the 2 cookbooks, there's one that's just called a perfect ten, And then there's that that's the that's 7 different meal periods, 10 recipes each. The new one is called a perfect 10 party edition, 7 different parties, Ten recipes each, everything from cocktail to dessert and all the food in between. And you can get them both on Amazon, but they're both everything's on my website.

Stephanie [00:15:46]:

I love it. And I like that, Malier is from our part of the country, so we're big fans of hers too. She's been great. Are you watching any good food TV?

Tim Mulligan [00:15:58]:

Yeah. Every day. Like, I I'm a, you know, I love TV. I love pop culture, but for TV I mean, food wise, I mean, I watch all the Food Network shows, obviously. I'm super excited. The Great British Bake Off is back.

Stephanie [00:16:11]:

I look Me too. I I heard they started with a beaver cake. I don't know why, and I haven't watched it yet, but I heard it's hilarious.

Tim Mulligan [00:16:19]:

It's really funny. Yeah. So, yeah, I watch all those shows. I've I've been watching Chopped forever. You know? I I throw Chopped parties, which is really fun where Even if you get a couple of couples or even, you know, couples you partner people pair people up, you bring the weird ingredient items to make the basket, you peer pair let everybody else at the judges sit there and drink while they cook, and they get I mean, I I've done I've had some really fun shop nights doing that.

Stephanie [00:16:40]:

Oh, that sounds really fun. I love that idea.

Tim Mulligan [00:16:42]:

Yeah. It's great.

Stephanie [00:16:43]:

Well, thanks for spending time with us. It was really great, and I love the book. And I wish you tons of success, and I'll drop a copy of mine in the mail for you.

Tim Mulligan [00:16:51]:

Thank you so much. Okay.

Stephanie [00:16:52]:

Thanks, Tim. We'll talk soon. Bye bye.

Stephanie’s Dish Newsletter
Dishing with Stephanie's Dish
I talk with Cookbook authors and Makers obsessed with food