These easy snacks will make you look like a hostess extraordinaire and no one will ever know about that time you burned water.
Today’s post is by author Carla Laureano.
So you’ve decided to start a book club—or maybe you already belong to one, but it’s your turn to host. What happens when your biggest culinary skill is calling for takeout? Never fear, these easy snacks will make you look like a hostess extraordinaire and no one will ever know about that time you burned water.
I recommend this every single time I talk about book club snacks because it’s filling and easy to put together. Just try to pick mild, medium, and bold selections in every category. When in doubt, ask your deli manager for ideas!
- Cured meats like mortadella, a good Genoa salami, and prosciutto (3+)
- Cheeses like fresh mozzarella balls, goat cheese, Stilton, or Gorgonzola (3+)
- Sweet options such as fruit chutney and fresh whole honeycomb (1-2)
- Tart condiments like whole grain mustard (1-2)
- Savory add-ons like smoked or roasted almonds and cured green olives (1-2)
- Fresh fruit such as grapes, sliced apples, blueberries, or segmented mandarin oranges (1-2)
- Something to eat the condiments on like toast points, baguette rounds, water crackers, or seeded crackers—don’t forget the gluten-free options! (3-4)
Arrange it on a pretty marble cheese board or wooden cutting board, add a couple of cheese knives and spoons, and you’ve got an impressive spread that looks far more difficult than it actually is.
Bigger grocery and natural foods stores provide an amazing bounty of petite sweets, and they tend to be good quality as well! Try five or six varieties of pastries like bite-size brownies, two-bite scones, mini cinnamon rolls, mini sugar cookies, tiny Danishes, rugelach, small éclairs, and cream puffs. Display on pretty plates and serve with coffee and a variety of teas and you’ve got an instant book club/tea party.
Coffee and Chocolate Pairing
What two flavors go together better than chocolate and coffee? Make your book club meeting into an impromptu tasting by selecting a variety of different chocolates and coffees. One idea would be to choose by region: chocolates from Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana along with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and Kenya AA. Another would be to select coffees and chocolate from mild to bold: white, milk, dark, and extra dark chocolates along with blonde, medium, and dark roast coffee. If you need a little variety, you can also add in a selection of nuts and dried fruit.
When in doubt, think variety over time in the kitchen. After all, the point of a book club is to enjoy fellowship and discuss literature; the food just makes the time together all that much sweeter.
Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night. You can also visit Carla’s website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for more information!
Check out her book Brunch at Bittersweet Café out now!