Our new Cookbook Club will follow the same structure as the Craft Club we started a few years back. It will take place once a month and each month one of the girls will host it in their home. In contemplating how we would go about posting on this topic each month, we decided that it would be great to have a different girl post each month. Each girl will provide their own perspective; their hosting tips, how they chose the month’s cookbook, the process by which they made their dish, etc. Also, as many of our very creative friends are bloggers themselves, this will allow us all to show support on each other’s blogs. A way to show how girls from many different career paths can get together and put their cooking skills to work. This first official Cookbook Club meeting was hosted by our friend Paige (a fashion designer and mother of two who also started the club). In this post, she will provide you the details for how this club came to be and the process by which she prepared to get everyone together.

Written by: Paige from The Love Designed Life

I have this awesome group of friends with whom I craft.  We get together about once a month and make things.  We rotate hosting at our homes.  Sometimes there’s a theme, such as a holiday.  Sometimes, it’s just a bring-your-own-project situation where you can have time and space to craft, catch up with friends, and eat some tasty snacks.  I could go on and on about how much I love me some craft club, but I will save it for now.  You will definitely be hearing more from me about our craft club in the future!

So when I came across this brilliant idea for a cookbook club, I knew the first place I would turn to would be my inspiring crafty friends.  The idea is pretty simple.  Just like a regular book club, you choose one book for everyone to read and then plan a meeting where you all get together to talk about the book.  Only being that it’s a cookbook, everyone must cook and bring their recipe to a dinner party.  Food, cooking, friends (and not too much reading) – yes please!

To make it easier for everyone and since I was spearheading this project, I chose the book It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow.  I know Gwyneth is a controversial celebrity – people either love her or hate her – but I, for one, am a fan.  After all, she’s just another mama trying to make it all work in this world, right?  Ok, that’s all I’m going to say on that subject for now.  Since not everyone wanted to commit to purchasing the book, I offered to email recipes to people.  I helped narrow it down by giving a synopsis of what was in the book and made several recipe suggestions.  Then everyone emailed me back what they wanted to make to be sure we didn’t have any duplicates.

I stopped at this lovely little flower shop in Silverlake called Clementine on my way home from work to get something for the table.  I usually prefer to go to the flower market in downtown when I have the time, but Clementine is a super cute, affordable option when time is not on my side.  I told them how much I wanted to spend and what it was for and they whipped me up a little bouquet in a minute!

Since I had to pick up my kids and do dinner and bedtime with them as well as getting ready for our guests, my husband helped me out with the recipe for salt roasted whole branzino.  I love to eat fish but whole ones kinda gross me out to prepare anyway, so thank god for him!  Again, everything was from the book It’s All Good.  If you want to recreate our menu from the night, it included:


fish roasted in salt, thai style, pg 134

roasted cauliflower + chickpeas with mustard + parsley, pg 173

power chopped salad with creamy parsley dressing, pg 61

lentil salad with mustard + tomatoes, pg 196

the brownie recipe that could, pg 252


Once all the food was finally ready, we ate, we drank, we talked about the recipes and about everything else that came up.  All in all, I think we would consider it a success!  I also think we’re going to make this a regular thing.  I’m getting hungry just thinking about doing it again…

After reading this, you surely want to start a Cookbook Club of your own! Come on it’ll be easy! We’ll even tell you what books or publications to use each month! Then we can all talk about the yummy new recipes we tried. Are you so excited? We are! Our brand new comments section will be up and running on our new website later today. Each month, we will be hosting a dialogue on the different recipes (which ones you liked, which ones can be tweaked, how to create a complete meal, etc.), and we will announce the next cookbook for the coming month. This should give you ample time to buy it, get your friends together, and sample tasty foods. We are already looking forward to next month’s meeting where we will be creating dishes from the August issue of Cooking Light. Quick, go get yours and join us!


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