In our first Cookbook Club post, we introduced the concept for this new monthly “treat” that we get to take part in. Each month, one of the girls will host a dinner party in their home and each of us will bring one recipe from the pre-selected cookbook or cooking magazine of their choice. We have also decided that we will give the hostess the opportunity to write about their cookbook selecting process, what they did to prepare for their guests, or whatever else is on their mind. This will allow for a different perspective each month. We will also make a point to announce the cookbook choice for the upcoming month in each of these posts so that you all can take part as well if you so choose! So without further ado, we introduce Katie, our hostess for the month of August!


Written by: Katie

Paige hosted our first Cookbook Club last month at her place. When the night was coming to an end, Paige asked where we should have the next one. Having recently moved into a new apartment, I jumped at the opportunity. We decided on the August issue of Cooking Light.

The week leading up to our dinner, I decided that I wanted to do a picnic theme since we are nearing the end of the summer and everyone would be bringing a dish, potluck style. Keeping in mind that I am on a budget, I decided that some fresh flowers, a table runner, and some cute paper goods would do the trick and get the theme across. Not to mention the easy clean up ;).

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To make the table runner, I just purchased a couple yards of red and white plaid fabric and a package of fabric tape. I cut the fabric to make it about 16 inches wide and folded the sides of the fabric, keeping it secure with the fabric tape. This hid the fringe and took a lot less time than if I were to sew it. With limited space, I had to make a couple changes to the table set up to accommodate everyone- 10 ladies in total. Thankfully, a couple of the girls had some chairs and a folding table for me to borrow. I moved the table and set it up the night prior to having company- I would definitely recommend this! It gave me more time to focus on last minute setup.

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Morning of, I headed over to the Downtown Flower Market to get some flowers to dress up the table and pull the whole picnic theme together. With so much to choose from, it was hard to decide! I finally settled on a couple different types of flowers to make up a summery bouquet- only two of which I actually hadn’t seen before!

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After work, I did a couple last minute adjustments to the table, put the bouquets together and prepared my dishes- Crispy Fish Sticks and Peach and Prosciutto Canapés. I definitely should have started my dishes a bit earlier, but I had some friends willing to help me out. I can honestly say that I would recommend each and every one of the dishes! Below are the links to each of the dishes that were made.


Crispy Fish Sticks with Pineapple Ketchup

Peach and Prosciutto Canapés

Crab and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Asparagus, Ricotta, and Egg Pizza

Summer Bread Salad

Toasted Millet with Cilantro Vinaigrette

Bourbon-Peach Limeade

Quinoa-Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes with Romesco


Really, how can you go wrong with food, friends, and wine? After reading this you surely are interested in starting a Cookbook Club of your own! Come on, it’ll be easy! We’ll even tell you what cookbook or publication to use each month! Then we can all talk about the yummy recipes we tried. Are you excited? We are! If you already started your own Cookbook Club, let’s start the dialogue now … feel free to comment below and get it going; Which Cooking Light recipes did you like? Which ones can be tweaked? We made the crab and heirloom tomato salad along with the asparagus, ricotta, and egg pizza. Tami found the salad easy to make and very tasty. Great choice for just having moved into her new kitchen. Lauren however, made her recipe twice. It turned out great and was delicious … the second time around with a little help from her husband. Eek!

We are already looking forward to next month’s meeting (Lauren will be hosting!) where we will be creating dishes from the September issue of Bon Appetit magazine, and this month we have made it even easier for you. Don’t get up! Just click on this link and you can purchase the magazine right from home! Gather your friends and get cooking!



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