If you’ve ever put Cheetos in a bowl next to a game of Life, you know that sticky orange stuff gets everywhere, plus players have to interrupt the game to grab napkins or even lick their fingers—immediately before grabbing the communal spinner. Gourmet Game Night has the solution: instead of carcinogen-packed cheese curl, you’ve got imaginative yet convenient options; instead of sticky neon goo, you’ve got mess-free, bite-sized snacks. Food writer and culinary blogger Cynthia Nims has come up with inventive tools that make hands-clean dining easy, such as edible wrappers around sticky centers, edible spears for easy grabbing between moves, and party-friendly drinks served by the pitcher.
According to CNN, board game sales climbed 23.5% in 2008 to over $800 million. There are several reasons for this sudden increase in the popularity of games. Dwindling disposable income has made “staycations” and at-home family activities more popular. A recent Vanity Fair article touted the Return of the Dinner Party, “starting with drinks and dinner—and then straight to the dominos.” And there is the growing cachet of hobby games like Blokus and Settlers of Catan among the prized twentysomething demographic.
Of course, there are plenty of grab-and-go foods that can be eaten while playing games: chips, pretzels, sandwiches. But there is so much more to offer your friends beyond the run-of-the-mill menu of most game-night fare. In Gourmet Game Night, there are familiar favorites with a twist, such as Oven Baked Potato Chips with Onion Dip (page 22), Lamb Burgers with Feta (page 83), and Homemade Pretzel Sticks with Three Mustards (page 27). Popular treats such as pizza, banana bread, BLTs, and even Caesar salad are given the game-night treatment as well. And plenty of fresh ideas await, including Wasabi Pea-Crusted Tuna (page 41), Petits Croque Monsieurs (page 76), and Nutella and Banana Galettes (page 106).
Packed with menu-planning guides, information on food-themed games, and a listing of some independent game stores, Gourmet Game Night is a creative and contemporary collection of recipes that make eating well a neat and tidy prospect. Guests can flip dominoes, handle their Monopoly riches, shuffle cards, and sculpt a masterpiece out of brilliantly purple Cranium clay while eating just as well as they would at any fancy dinner party.
About the Author
Cynthia Nims studied at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine and assisted owner Anne Willan with various cookbook projects. She has authored or co-authored twelve cookbooks, including Memorable Recipes, Rover’s, and the Northwest Homegrown Cookbook series. Cynthia has been editor of Simply Seafood magazine and food editor for Seattle Magazine. She contributes to Cooking Light, Coastal Living, and Sunset. Cynthia and her husband live in a house with a game-lover’s basement in Seattle, Washington. Visit www.gourmetgamenight.com and Cynthia’s blog, Mon Appétit.
Gourmet Game Night: Bite-Sized, Mess-Free Eating for Board-Game Parties, Bridge Clubs, Poker Nights, Book Groups, and More
by Cynthia Nims
$17.99 paperback • 160 pages • full-color photographs • 7 7/16 x 9 inches
ISBN: 978-1-58008-088-0 • Publication Date: March 2, 2010