Foodies rejoice! Your book club has arrived

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Franzes Katz, Marilyn Doheny and Jimmi Buell show off their vegetarian dishes at the March Cookbook Club meeting.

Frances Katz, Marilyn Doheny and Jimmi Buell show off their vegetarian dishes at the March Cookbook Club meeting.

Cooking may not be my specialty, but it is one of my favorite hobbies. I’ve experimented with recipes throughout my adult life and discovered some favorites, particularly over the last few years with the rise of a delightful website and app called Pinterest. But as all Pinterest addicts know, it’s easy to pin a million recipes and have lofty goals, but it can be difficult to actually get around to making something!

Need an excuse to try out that chocolate raspberry cheesecake you pinned six months ago? Dying to dust off your trusty collection of classic cookbooks? Join the Cookbook Club at Polk County Public Library! Every month, we meet for a potluck lunch. There’s a different theme for each meeting and members bring a dish along with copies of the recipe to share. And let me tell you, there are some really talented cooks and bakers in our group! Highlights from the past few months include cauliflower fried rice made by Randi Wetzel for our Chinese New Year festivities in February, Emily Finsel’s oat cakes for our healthy feast in January, and Jackie Weedon’s coconut cranberry chews when we celebrated December holidays.

Hungry yet? Mark your calendar for April 11 and plan on being at the Columbus Library at noon with an appetizer or dessert in tow! To get some ideas flowing, here are a few librarian-approved recipes I’d love to test at our next meeting …

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Key lime pie is my absolute favorite dessert. Icebox Cakes by Jean Sagendorph and Jessie Sheehan has a recipe for key lime wafers with lime-coconut whipped cream that sounds to die for. If you prefer rich to tangy, might I suggest bringing the seven-layer bar brownie cupcakes from Bake it in a Cupcake by Megan Seling? A seven-layer cupcake… Color me intrigued! As soon as I saw the photo of cardamom palmiers in Cookie Swap by Lauren Chattman, it took me back to eating the delicious treats at Old Europe Pastries in Asheville during my college days.

Hors d’oeuvres more up your alley? The spicy avocado and goat cheese dip in Fast Appetizers by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison combines two of my favorite foods into one delicious dish. If you’re short on time, a simple option is the mozzarella and tomato crostini from the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library’s (uncreatively titled) Hors d’Oeuvres & Appetizers. The World in Bite Size, by Paul Gayler, offers options from various continents. Their filled Indian nans recipe sounds scrumptious.

All of these cookbooks and many more are available at the library. The Cookbook Club is a partnership between the Polk County Extension Office and Polk County Public Library. New members are always welcome and we would be delighted to see you at the next meeting!

Jen Pace Dickenson is the Youth Services Librarian at Polk County Public Library. For information about the library’s resources, programs, and other services, visit or call (828) 894-8721.