With working hostesses in mind, Holmes and Richards are true to their ""no-time-to-cook"" promise: all the dishes in this menu cookbook can be prepared in relatively little time, and many can be at least partly made ahead. Too often, though, their concept of party food involves tacky gourmet touches: the first menu calls for a lemon-lime chicken with canned or frozen artichoke hearts, an apricot-cashew pilaf, and a peppermint parfait made with chocolate wafers and Creme de Menthe--all preceded, as is almost every menu in the book, by a soup course, the very item most time-pressed, do-it-yourself hostesses prefer to eliminate. Other meals range from a summer brunch of open-faced sandwiches (cream cheese, canned crabmeat, and avocado) and made-ahead omelet (!) to a mixed grill of lamb, pork, and liver with bourbon-flavored canned baked beans--or from a holiday turkey dinner to blue-cheese-and-bacon-stuffed hamburgers billed as ""our all-American, red-white-and-blue bunting, hand concerts in the park, frisbees at the shore, sunburn and sparklers dinner . . . for kissing cousins, sage grandparents, restless teenagers, and weekend guests who aren't returning to the city until Monday."" (This goes on . . . and there's much sort chat throughout.) Most of these recipes would not be out of place in a modern supermarket magazine--but may be picked up by cooks who wouldn't look st Family Circle.