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Gourmet Game Night: Bite-Sized, Mess-Free Eating for Board-Game Parties, Bridge Clubs, Poker Nights, Book Groups, and More [Kindle Edition]

Cynthia Nims
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.99
Kindle Price: $13.99
You Save: $4.00 (22%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Have you ever accompanied an evening of game-playing with a bowl of salty chips or slabs of pizza? If so, you know that greasy fingers can be a distraction, with players interrupting the game to grab napkins or even lick their fingers—immediately before grabbing the communal spinner. Gourmet Game Night has the solution: instead of relying on conventional convenience snacks and standbys, you’ve got imaginative, homemade options; instead of greasy hands and game pieces, you’ve got mess-free, bite-sized snacks.
Cookbook writer, magazine contributor, and culinary blogger Cynthia Nims offers inventive alternatives that make hands-clean dining easy, including:
• Edible wrappers around savory centers (Shrimp Cakes in Shiso Leaves, page 66)
• Bite-sized versions of unwieldy classics for easy grabbing between moves (Caesar Dip with Big Croutons and Romaine, page 18)
• Edible bases to support tender ingredients (Tuna Tartare on Daikon Slices, page 58)
• Innovative mini containers such as shot glasses for liquid fare (Chilled Avocado Soup with Roasted Poblano Cream, page 112)
• Neat sweet treats paired with gooey dippers (Brown Butter Pound Cake with Caramel Dip, page 34)
• And of course, party-friendly drinks poured by the pitcherful (Pomegranate-Mint Fizz, page 138)
Cynthia Nims’s creative and contemporary recipes will liven up any event where free hands are of the essence, whether you’re gathering friends for a poker night, rolling those dice for a board-game party, spicing up your bridge club, planning a family Scrabble tournament, or impressing your book club or knitting group! Indeed, Gourmet Game Night proves that you don’t need a fancy night on the town to have fun; instead, gather your friends for satisfying small bites—and hopefully a winning streak—at home.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

While many types of entertainment have suffered during the recession, the popularity of board games is on the rise. And with more game nights at home, there of course is the need for more hors d'oeuvres. Nims (Memorable Suppers) comes to the rescue and applies several different snack strategies in an effort to eliminate such social dilemmas as sticky playing cards, greasy dice, and stained Monopoly money. Skewers make for a perfect hands-off approach to treats like lamb and olive kebabs and herb-marinated shrimp. Sandwiches are a time-honored way to stay dainty. Among the 10 offered are chicken salad with orange and walnuts and petits croque monsieurs with Gruyere and plum tomatoes. And if it is a food that cannot be stabbed or placed between slices of bread, it can probably be miniaturized and self-contained. Witness the baby baja tacos, where seafood, cilantro, and sour cream are wrapped tight in a six-inch tortilla, or the stuffed large pasta shells with kale-ricotta filling. Nims also includes tiny desserts, such as mocha cheesecake bars, and large drinks, like lava lounge punch, with rum and Chambord, to help placate sore losers. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Gourmet Game Night is a creative and contemporary collection of recipes that make eating well a neat and tidy prospect."
--Amy's Table, 4/5/10

"Without question, Gourmet Game Night achieves what it sets out to do. I recommend the book for anyone who hosts game nights or is looking to start.
Final verdict: nine of out of ten cherry tomatoes."
--The Puzzler, Chicago Tribune Red Eye blog, 4/5/10

"The arrival of Cynthia Nims's new Gourmet Game Night cookbook made us reevaluate our game-night mentality. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the cookbook lives up to its title, with recipes that cater to an updated game-centric gathering. The wide range of dishes offer bite-size and mess-free (to keep your fingers and your Cranium clay clean) options that don't sacrifice sophistication." National Edition, 3/11/10

"We’re all for the resurgence of old fashioned game nights—but we could do without the Doritos-dust coating our Yahtzee dice. In her brand new cookbook, Gourmet Game Night, food writer Cynthia Nims shares recipes to help game night hosts conquer the perils of sticky snacks. . . . Sounds like everybody wins."
--Seattle Magazine, March 2010

"Cookbook reviews are not something that we do a lot around here, but “Gourmet Game Night” was something we made an exception for. . . . Aside from a great variety of food, Gourmet Game Night is great book to lure your mom’s bridge night into Ticket to Ride night."
--Guilt Free Games, 3/2/10

“Oh my Yahtzee! Anything that brings friends and family together sharing delicious bites of food tickles my fancy. I’m going for an Orange Negroni and a Crostini with Wild Mushroom Tapenade. My domino train is open for dinner!”
--TOM DOUGLAS, James Beard Award­–winning chef and author of Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen
“The recipes...

Product Details

  • File Size: 1638 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 1 edition (May 18, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,326,565 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delivers on its promise April 5, 2010
Gourmet Game Night hits dead-center at the cross-section of two of my very favorite things: game-playing and entertaining. My wife and I do a lot of both.

We cooked eight recipes out of the book, and they were all, without exception, delicious. Some certainly ranked higher than others, but I think more important is that none were duds. Our least favorite -- the artichoke-stuffed mushrooms -- were still tasty, and we all would have been happy to eat them had nothing else been available. But they held nothing to some of the more outstanding dishes that all had us going back for seconds, thirds, and fourths. Our favorites all offered interesting contrasts in flavors:

- A citrusy salmon poke, served in a bitter endive leaf
- A sweet/sour cherry chutney & cheddar bruschetta
- Grape tomatoes stuffed with a sesame-flavored edamame paste

None of the recipes are difficult, but they're also not quick. Many of the dishes involve roasting, or marination, or multiple parts. This is a good thing -- you're serving your guests quality goods. You should expect to spend some time in the apron here. (Though Nims makes special mention at the beginning of the dozen or so recipes that can be made on the quick.)


Nims adds a few subtle touches that go a long way toward helping your average cook. Two examples: 1) each recipe has a special instruction for how to double or halve, which is often not as simple as multiplying the ingredients, and 2) she tells you which parts can be made ahead of time without compromising the recipe. This last point is an important one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great ideas, easily adaptable! November 16, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has some incredibly tasty recipes. If you're looking for easy 10 minute recipes, try your local grocery store deli or restaurant take out. This food is really good, and good food sometimes takes more than 10 minutes. Many recipes only take a few minutes preparation, and a while to cook in the oven while you can do other things.

Cynthia shows you how to make good food, bite sized or hand held so it isn't very messy. Although the premise for this book is food for game night, knitting group, book club, etc., these recipes are wonderful appetizers. I'm always at a loss when I'm asked to bring an appetizer, there are so many wonderful ideas in this book.

Many of the recipes could easily be adapted to normal size food instead of bite size. After tasting some of these recipes, this book is definitely a keeper for people who love good food. You can make one dish, or, spend more time and make many dishes. They taste great, and the ideas are very creative AND practical. I'm buying copies for the "foodies" on my holiday shopping list, along with a board game!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Skewer snacks are perfect June 27, 2012
My favorite recipes in this book are the skewers. We have friends over for board games quite often and this is always the first book I pull out when looking for something interesting and delicious for between-turn munchies. The skewers are mess-free, delicious, and easily adjusted to fit all tastes (I've bumped the spiciness up or down, and subbed tofu or veggies for the meat, all with great results). I also simplify and substitute less exotic elements for my more casual crowd, but this book provides some great inspiration. My only wish was that it was spiral bound for easier counter-top viewing. My copy is stained and warped as I tend to lay just about anything across it to keep it open as I cook. I do recommend this book to anyone who regularly entertains.
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More About the Author

A lifelong Northwesterner, Cynthia Nims holds the Grand Diplome d'Etudes Culinaires from La Varenne cooking school in France, where she worked on numerous cookbooks with owner Anne Willan. Previously editor of Simply Seafood magazine and food editor of Seattle Magazine, Cynthia is now a contributor to Cooking Light, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Sunset, and other magazines. She is the author of twelve cookbooks and contributed content on Northwest cuisine to Williams-Sonoma's Savoring America and to Culinaria: The United States. Her most recent print cookbooks are Salty Snacks (Ten Speed Press, 2012) and Gourmet Game Night (Ten Speed Press, 2010). And Cynthia has recently produced a series of ecookbooks, The Northwest Cookbooks, featuring 7 titles that showcase Dungeness crab, salmon and wild mushrooms in Northwest style. She is an active member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (having recently served as president of their board of directors) and Les Dames d'Escoffier. Her blog, Mon Appetit, can be found at


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