For the past several years, I’ve been a part of an awesome book club. The girls are smart as hell, the books are interesting and the wine is plentiful. Each month, a different girl selects a book and a menu for the night; typically the menu relates in some way to the theme of the book, and everyone contributes a dish. Fun! (if you’re a book and food nerd, which most cool people are, you dig?)
This month’s book was Garlic and Sapphires: A Memoir by Ruth Reichl. Reichl is the editor-in-chief of now defunct Gourmet magazine and a previous food critic for the New York Times. Not too shabby. Our books don’t always relate to a food theme; but this month it did, which is perfect for Book Club’s YKOS debut!
Our gorgeous host, Jess, had been cooking up a feast for the night, with her darling husband Rob as official taste-tester. The menu theme was “Appetizers and Desserts” – I ain’t mad at that.
Our lovely hostess, the wine glass in her hand is totally coincidental.
I’ll let you drink in the spread while I drink in some wine wait patiently:
Jess is adorable and made individual menu signs; so smart! Those turkey bacon wrapped dates? REALLY smart.
From left: Farmer’s Market Cheese & Apricot Jam Spread, Sundried Tomato Tarts (from lovely clubber, Lisa), Cheese and Pepperoni Tray, Mocktails of Seltzer and Juices, and the key item WINE, contributed by devoted YKOS reader, Nandrea).
Clubber Lauren made this INSANE Spinach dip and I’m a sucker for those butterfly crackers 🙂
Jess’ homemade Feta & Onion Tarts
Clubber Becca made this gorgeous Caprese Salad
Jess’ homemade paninis: Steak & Pesto on left, Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella on right
The spread: there were several more beautiful dishes that Jess made:
- Medditeran Pinwheals (on right)
- Chicken Sausage with Spicy mustard for dipping (on left)
Goat cheese and Sundried Tomato Bread Bites
Jess even had individual ketchup and mustard jars – I mean, the commitment to this event was outstanding. Well played, Jess, well played.
Now that you all want to join my book club, I’ll share the dessert spread.
We had much to celebrate this month; fellow clubber Lisa and my birthdays and Jess’ graduation from graduate school. Naturally we needed to celebrate with three cakes. Naturally.
- Coffee Crunch Cake
- Coconut Cake (That would be a Pepperidge Farm Coconut Cake, and its hands down my favorite grocery store cake. Its kind of amazing).
- Homemade Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
Done dealin’. Delicious.
Because that really wasn’t enough dessert, we also had these gems:
Club Founder Angie made these gorgeous Vanilla Cream Stuffed Strawberries
Jess’ homemade Chocolate & Coconut Macaroons and Chocolate Fruit & Nut Jumbles. Did I mention that we like to go all out??
And finally, I brought the following dessert:
Summer Sundaes: Coconut Pineapple Haagen Dazs ice-cream topped with fresh berries and shaved Lindt White Coconut Chocolate. For real, its delicious. Its so fresh and summery.
Needless to say, Jess and Rob were wonderful hosts (and are now swimming in leftovers) ; and book club was fantastic as usual. We *even* managed to discuss the book. Imagine that.