Looking for a new twist on the book club scene? Have a group of friends that love to cook more than reading, or equally love both? Want to host dinner but not create and cook the entire thing?


Book graphic from bn.com

Begin the Cook Book Club, a creative and fun way to read about various regions, incorporate new cuisine in your life, sample fresh flavors and bond with your friends over an excellent meal.

The Cook Book Club stems from wanting to read something other than a novel, plus cooking at the same time.

Gather a group of friends who loves to read and cook, then decide on a cookbook to try. A perfect choice is one that is themed to the season, or perhaps a cuisine everyone wants to try such as recipes with maple syrup in Maple, or learning about a new culture in a cookbook such as Preserving the Japanese Way- Traditions of Salting, Fermenting, and Pickling for the Modern Kitchen. How about a gluten-free cookbook night?


Curried Carrot Soup (photo by C Tarlecki)

Then, each month meet up, and everyone must bring a dish from the cookbook you selected. Hosting a full meal yet only having to create one dish is festive and easier on the hostess. Plus, trying something new lends an air of excitement since others will share the hard work of creating a new dish, plus there’s the anticipation and enjoyment of the unfamiliar.

Start with something easy, such a crock pot cookbook with short ribs or a dump cake cookbook with a cherry berry cake. We started with a fondue night, based off the Melting Pot Cookbook. A night of cheesy, savory, then sweet dips was fabulous!

Educating yourself on a new culture is exhilarating, and creating cuisine you never thought possible with the help of your friends is so exciting. I love Thai food, but ordering it out a lot takes time, money and possibly an expanding waistline. Learning to cook Thai with my friends in my kitchen with various dishes has been a truly wonderful experience, like lettuce wraps and curried carrot soup.  Next we are trying German food!


Maple, from Quirkbooks.com

As the holidays gear up then end, starting a new cook book club for 2016 is a perfect way to unwind, bring your friends together and educate yourself on a new cuisine and culture!