Friends gathering to discuss the latest book often enjoy themed sustenance to fuel the discussion. For book club meetings with children in attendance, serve finger foods that will appeal to both kids and adults. Choose the appetizers that fit your setting -- if you're meeting in a library, avoid messy snacks. Keep the seasonings simple and the presentation casual to make some easy appetizers for a book club meeting.
Cold appetizers are your friend because you can assemble them ahead and then serve them easily. Make up a batch of deviled eggs for a popular appetizer. Season the eggs with either the traditional mustard, pepper and paprika, or opt for a more kid-friendly ranch-flavored seasoning. Slice cucumbers into thick slices and scoop out the seeds with a melon baller. Mound a generous dollop of ranch dip in each cucumber slice and arrange them on a platter.
Meatballs can appeal to almost everyone when you make them with a basic recipe. Use simple flavors -- such as honey and garlic, or ranch seasoning -- rather than crazy spices. Slide a toothpick into each meatball for easy serving. Bruschetta is another warm appetizer that takes little effort but goes over big. Cut French bread into finger-sized slices and brush the tops lightly with olive oil. After broiling for a moment or two, top the bread with a variety of different ingredients -- tapenade, Parmesan cheese or smoked salmon. Make quesadillas on whole-wheat tortillas, sprinkling shredded cheese and mild chilies over the tortillas and warming them up under the broiler for a minute or two. For condiments, provide both salsa, guacamole and creamy dressing to make these delicious quesadillas appealing to everyone.
Make up a simple cracker and cheese tray, featuring several kinds of savory crackers and assorted cheeses. Kids often enjoy serving themselves appetizers speared with toothpicks. If you don't want to serve cubed cheese, opt for a cheese spread for a tasty alternative. Make a cream cheese spread with ranch seasoning mix or with herbs such as tarragon or thyme. Add a little salt and white pepper and serve it with chunks of crusty bread.
Platters holding different sandwiches can be a big hit with people of all ages. Make sure you use crustless bread and use very thin bread slices. Try ham and cheese, egg salad, roast beef, cucumber, lettuce and tomato. Spread a thin layer of creamy dressing on these simple sandwiches to give them more flavor and make them more appealing to kids. Take a few moments and make a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the little ones, too.
Whip up a few appetizers that fit the book you're discussing. For example, if you're discussing "The Secret Life of Bees," serve honey cake topped with whipped cream to the moms and kids. Serve an appetizer or snack that fits the geographic setting -- serve tea and mini muffins to discuss a book set in England, for example.
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