It’s a fact: most women join a book club for the camaraderie and the wine. While that’s all a big part of it, when it’s your turn to host your book club members, you can’t leave them feeling hungry. You don’t want to make anything too fussy either that keeps you in the kitchen instead of sipping wine and being a good hostess either.
When planning a menu for serving to your book club, you should consider the theme of the book. For example, if the story is set in southern times, it would be nice to plan a set of easy-to-serve southern-themed dishes. But if there’s no good tie-in with the book your club has been reading or you just want to keep things simple, there’s nothing wrong with creating some simple dishes that your guests can help themselves to whenever they need more food to anchor down all that wine.
Here’s an easy menu that is sure to delight your book club when you host them, no matter what the theme of the book is.
Super Simple Spinach Dip
Every good get together needs a dip. This one is so easy you won’t feel like you’ve done any work at all!
1 1o-ounce box frozen spinach, thawed
1 ½ cups store bought hummus
Squeeze excess water from spinach. Puree spinach and hummus in food processor. Spoon into serving dish and serve with pita chips or fresh cut vegetables like carrots and celery.
White Wine Chicken
This main dish comes together in no time and still tastes good even if it’s gotten cold while everyone is gabbing.
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, salt, paprika and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture. Using a cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook chicken on 2 minutes each side to brown. Add broth and wine and allow to boil. Remove from heat. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.
Chopped Iceberg Salad
When salad tastes this good, everyone will love it!
½ cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
6 strips smoked bacon, cooked
1 head iceberg lettuce
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 thinly-sliced scallions
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
Whisk mayonnaise, horseradish, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and salt (to your taste) in a small bowl until smooth. Chop lettuce, then toss with some of the dressing in your serving bowl. Add the tomatoes and scallions. Chop bacon and toss with blue cheese onto salad. Add parsley and season with pepper. Serve the remainder of the dressing on the side so your guests can add more if they desire.
Don’t forget the wine! Chardonnay will do nicely with this meal. Make sure you chill it long before your guests arrive.