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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delivers on its promise, April 5, 2010
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This review is from: Gourmet Game Night: Bite-Sized, Mess-Free Eating for Board-Game Parties, Bridge Clubs, Poker Nights, Book Groups, and More (Paperback)
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.)

THE COOKBOOK

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. My one complaint about the book is that if you're making a lot of dishes at once -- which you will be, since each dish is small and going to serve less than a full meal's worth of food -- you'll be flipping back and forth a lot between pages. There's no easy way around this, short of binding the pages in a ringed binder. Thus, the tips about pre-cooking some ingredients should be heeded as much as possible.

THE EFFECTIVENESS

This is the crux of the issue. Quality cookbooks abound these days -- does Nims fulfill her mission of food that can be eaten tableside? By and large, the dishes we chose to cook suited gameplay very well, as soon as we found room at the table to put the platter (we have a fondness for playing component-heavy games). The shrimp cakes and salmon bites sat in finger-friendly leaves of lettuce. The bruschetta were easy to pick up and eat in one or two bites. One warning: Nims occasionally builds a dish around a particular piece of a party-friendly hardware, like single serving spoons, or shooter glasses for soup. It's often easy to work around these, just be aware. Or, if you're a frequent entertainer, invest in some; there is a list of retailers on the book's website.

BOTTOM LINE

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.
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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
By 
K. Donovan (Federal Way, WA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gourmet Game Night: Bite-Sized, Mess-Free Eating for Board-Game Parties, Bridge Clubs, Poker Nights, Book Groups, and More (Paperback)
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
This review is from: Gourmet Game Night: Bite-Sized, Mess-Free Eating for Board-Game Parties, Bridge Clubs, Poker Nights, Book Groups, and More (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Goin' to the Wrong Parties, September 6, 2012
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This review is from: Gourmet Game Night: Bite-Sized, Mess-Free Eating for Board-Game Parties, Bridge Clubs, Poker Nights, Book Groups, and More (Paperback)
I really admire both Nims's food and her warm, personal writings about making time in her life for games with friends and family. But honestly, with dishes like this coming out of the kitchen, who wouldn't want to take their chances on a night of Scrabble, Yahtzee or billiards in the basement? This book delivers not only good recipes, but the evocative feeling of game nights that I remember from my childhood, and wish I made time for more often.
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5.0 out of 5 stars cookbook, September 6, 2011
By 
Ronnda (Seattle, WA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gourmet Game Night: Bite-Sized, Mess-Free Eating for Board-Game Parties, Bridge Clubs, Poker Nights, Book Groups, and More (Paperback)
This is a great cookbook for game night. The recipes were delicious and easy to make(I thought). Excellent gift idea too! Great serving ideas also.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delicious, but Unhealthy, November 24, 2010
By 
Nicholas A Ciotola (Darien, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gourmet Game Night: Bite-Sized, Mess-Free Eating for Board-Game Parties, Bridge Clubs, Poker Nights, Book Groups, and More (Paperback)
I am very satisfied with this book, and have no regrets buying it. I cannot add anything positive that the other reviewers have not said already, so I'll cut to what I need to add.

Many of the recipes call for some very unhealthy ingredients. The first chapter is on dips, most of which are just glorified mayonnaise. You can substitute low-fat mayo, and the dips are still very good, but dang...reading this book makes me want to schedule a liposuction surgery in advance. The author really loves mayo, butter, sour cream, and sugar. Take note of the servings and reduce the ingredients to reduce your calories.
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