Saturday, April 26, 2014

Book Club Entertaining

Once a month I get together with some really great girls at wine book club.This month I chose to host because I felt like our house is really starting to come together and it would be fun to share it with this group.

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And just in the nick of time, my new couches came that day too!! More on these lovelies later...

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Oh and triple bonus, we chose to read Jen Lancaster's novel Twisted Sisters as our April book and she'll be in Richmond this Wednesday for the Junior League of Richmond's Book and Author Event. Jen is one of my absolute all-time favorite authors so I was excited to read this one after reading Tao of Martha for book club previously.

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I always like to pre-plan how my spread will be set up a day or two in advance. Here's how this one looked before (with Chex Mix, crackers and mints already out). It helps for week night events where I know I'll be rushing in between getting off work and everyone arriving.

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Here's the after with all the goodies out and ready for the takin'!

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I went right to my go-to party favorites, but substituted my mini chicken and waffles (see them here) for a healthier option of chicken salad apple bites! I found the idea on Pinterest naturally.

First, you slice some apples so that they're nice and sturdy but still get the most out of your apple and feel like you had a hearty snack.

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Aren't the stars in the middle of these apples gorge! I was sad to cut them out right before adding the chicken salad.

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I grabbed my favorite chicken salad from Libbie Market down the road and scooped it on top of the apples and garnished them with a pecan. Easy peasy!

I refrigerated them until a few minutes before so they stayed cool and firm.

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Next I baked one of Ryan's favorites, a Pecan Bourbon Bacon Chex Mix. I was out of bacon this go-round though so I broiled some Pepperonis to crisp them up and put them in the mix instead. This is always an awesome snack to have in a couple places around the house for people to munch on as they mingle, you can also make it well in advance!


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Always a favorite, I had to do my Bacon Cheese Ranch Sourdough Pull.

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Ok, so I admit my baked Brie was not the best (or prettiest) ever, but its a favorite ever since Allie introduced me to her version for the Bachelor viewing parties.

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Veggies with Ranch for a healthy and easy grab. I love those crispy little peppers!

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I finished it all off with this rich and sweet Red Velvet Cheese Ball and Nila wafers for dipping.

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As for beverages, I always like to have a fruit or veggie infused water out along with red and white wine and a selection of beers and sodas.

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These plates and napkins are from the always reliable Target!

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Shout out to my Mama for the chalkboard art! Thanks Mom (see her blog here)!

Overall, it was a successful night, can you tell we were too busy having fun and didn't take any pictures!

Here's some of our other reads from past months:

The Tao Of Martha, Jen Lancaster - as I mentioned before, a favorite read, if you're looking for a light and funny summer read, this is perfect
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The Husband's Secret, Liane Moriarty - honestly, haven't finished this one yet, but I'm loving this twisting tale set in Australia
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The Book Thief, Markus Zusak - I'm dying to see the movie, I would say this one has the most substance and truly heart-felt story of the books I've read so far with this club

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Reconstructing Amelia, Kimberly McCreight - this one was surprisingly a favorite, I'm not usually a fan of murder/mystery novels like this one of a woman trying to figure out the murderer of her teenage daughter, but it rocked!
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The Revenge Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger - a good read, but as most follow-up movies or novels go, I still go back to the OG (original gangsta, that is - aka The Devil Wears Prada) as a favorite

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Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? (And Other Concerns), Mindy Kaling - very funny, easy to read, but I had to take it in small doses, its good if you want something light-hearted to read in small intervals before bed for example

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So what else are you guys reading?! I'm always on the lookout for great book suggestions.
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