Since 2002, thoughts of catering float in and out of my brain. Instead of continuing to imagine what it would be like to cater an event, I decided it’s time to actually do it. Wishing something is great but nothing really happens until you take some action, so I had an opportunity to get my chops wet and cater pal @halfacat’s book club meeting for 9 people at his house. Seven people showed, so it was a nice turnout.
The opportunity to cater this event is also made possible by Viva Paper Towels who is sponsoring this post. The folks at the book club thought it was cool that their meeting was sponsored by a major corporation. This is one of the beauties of being friends with a food blogger. For some fun, fork-free recipes including videos and snappy entertaining ideas, check out the VIVA® Diva Café.
The menu theme
I based the menu around the theme of the book which was Bonk by Mary Roach. It’s a fascinating book about the Science of Sex. I enjoyed how Roach took not only a matter-of-fact take but she added a whole lot of humor and ease. To me, the tone was very much like if Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love were to write the book.
For the attendees of the book club, I also had to consider vegan and food allergies to dairy and eggs. I also made mostly finger foods to add some sensual flair. The menu contained 4 appetizer type dishes and one dessert:
Turkey and shiitake mushroom meatballs with panko, sautéed garlic and onion in an organic marinara sauce. I used no egg or dairy in the meatballs.
Mushroom caps stuffed with eggplant sautéed with garlic, onion, olive oil, Dave’s Honey Habanero mustard, and a secret ingredient. Here's the recipe. On half the mushrooms, I topped with parmesan cheese, and the other half I left the cheese out to make it vegan.
Edamame and Sweet Pepperdew hummus with sesame pita chips.
A bread plate with Rosemary garlic bread, St. Andre’s cheese, prosciutto, fig spread, red grapes, ground pistachios, and some Dave’s Honey Habanero mustard. I love to top cheese with fig spread, and ground pistachios.
Scharffen Berger dark chocolate dipped organic raspberries and blackberries. I thought it would be decadent to eat fruit dipped chocolate with the fingers couple with the red wine.
I will follow up this post with the recipes for the meatballs, mushroom caps, and hummus. All the noshy food by the way was pretty simple to make.
Everyone brought some wine, and Roger had this very sexy decanter which is believe it or not $10 at IKEA. Yes, cool holiday gift idea, I’m thinking.
The book club was so much fun! We drank red wine, noshed on tasty sexy food, and discussed the book along with everything from Cougars to Roger’s how-to tips to communicate to a guy about what you want in bed, very enlightening to get the male point of view. Plus, Roger is such a sweet and modern guy, so I find his take very refreshing.
The best part of book club
Everyone enjoyed the food which was a huge relief for me. Now that I catered my first event, I can say that I really enjoyed coming up with the menu, that by far was the best part for me as I got to really use my creativity. I didn’t enjoy so much all the shopping, prep, and clean up. The jury is still out on whether I will get into catering or not. Perhaps, I will do it just for small parties because I do like the 10 and under number.
Overall, the best part of the book club was all the new friends I made. Being a Phoenix resident now for 2 months, I have to say that I’ve met so many wonderful and friendly people. Moving here was one of the best things I have ever done.
For next month, the book we’re reading is Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. Now, that book will be a fun read for us noshers!