February 2012 Book Club

Our February Book Club was a true eating event!  Adrienne brought so many appetizers, and we were satiated with all kinds of different flavors. We had a hot artichoke dip with capers, brie and Australian cheddar cheese with French bread and crackers and two alternative kinds of dips!  Definitely offered something for everyone in the group.  I particularly liked Adrienne’s choice in bakers.  I am a Le Crueset fan and the orange is so festive and one of my favorite colors besides the indigo!  To purchase a similar product check out these Le Crueset stoneware pieces.

In these great Juliska ramekins and tray, Adrienne served an oriental dip and hummus with carrots and celery.  I should have wiped the dishes before taking a picture, but there were many hands trying to get a taste!

Wendy made Chicken Adobo, a slow-cooker recipe from Williams-Sonoma, with a big salad and bread.  It was delicious and so easy to throw together in the morning and then go about your day.

For dessert Wendy made Betty Crocker’s Cookie Brownies.  I think we have had brownies for the last six book clubs! They seem to be a traditional dessert for us and always accompanied by ice cream.  You cannot go wrong with this simple chocolate dessert!  They looked so good in the Juliska rectangle baker dish, I had to take a picture.

I also had to get a picture of the cookie box so I would not forget the brand, they were that good!

For February we read The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great by Eva Stachniak.  It is the epic story of Catherine the Great’s rise to power as told by Barbara, or Varvara in Russian, her faithful servant and spy.  The story unfolds through Varvara’s life in Empress Elizabeth’s court.
 the winter palace
Varvara arrives at Empress Elizabeth’s court after the death of her father, a book binder.  She learns to find the hidden secrets in the court’s rooms and corridors, hear the whispers and see the slightest nod, smile, or eye movement that reveals the courtesans’ thoughts and feelings.  When the Prussian Princess Sophie comes to St. Petersburg to marry Peter the Great, Empress Elizabeth’s nephew and heir to the throne,  Vavara becomes Sophie’s servant.  Vavara’s role is to report back all of Sophie’s correspondence, thoughts, meetings, and actions to the Empress. Through Vavara’s daily life, we see an interesting view of the Russian Court life.  It is a long book, 464 pages, that grabs your interest immediately, but starts to get a bit slow as the years go by.  We all agreed we would have liked a family tree and timeline to refer to as we read the book. The peoples names are confusing and hard to remember in their native versions. My review is:
book club check list Notfav1
To see a synopsis and reviews visit: Barnes & Noble

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  1. I have read and loooved all of Phillipa Gregory’s novels and I suspect by the cover that this one has the same vibe. May be just the read to pack in my Mexico bound carry on! XXOO

  2. All of this looks so delicious…the book 🙂 I’m a huge fan of Le Crueset as well. LOVE the colors.

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