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Gourmet Game Night: Bite-Sized, Mess-Free Eating for Board-Game Parties, Bridge Clubs, Poker Nights, Book Groups, and More Paperback – March 2, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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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."
--TastingTable.com 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 in this book, your favorite game, and some good friends: the ingredients for a great evening!”
--CORI SNYDER SCHUMAN, creator of Celebrity Chef! The Game

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 1 edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158008088X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580080880
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Sandor Weisz on April 5, 2010
Format: 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.)


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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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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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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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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