“Girls Night In” Book Club contest

Girls Night In Book Club ContestIn my new book, A Lot Like Love, there are a lot of things to admire about the heroine, Jordan. For starters, she’s wine and business savvy, has excellent fashion sense, and she hosts a monthly “Girl’s Night In” with her best friends. They bring takeout dinner and dessert, and Jordan provides the wine. Who wouldn’t like an evening of excellent food, good wine, and the best of friends?

My question to you is this, if you had a “Girls Night In” book club, what would you serve? What are some of your favorite pairings of inexpensive and friendly wines or other beverages with either takeout cuisine or a fun and easy recipe of your own? (And yes—dessert counts!) As a little incentive to get even the shyest readers to share, let’s do a contest. The grand prize will be an awesome “Girl’s Night In” Book Club Bash that includes a 24pc. box of Godiva Bakery Dessert Truffles, a $50 Visa Gift card (to help cover the cost of refreshments) and twelve signed copies of A Lot Like Love, plenty for you and your own close circle of book-loving friends.

But even if you aren’t the lucky winner, everyone will get something: I’ll put together some of your best recommendations for a special PDF of “Girls Night In” Book Club Menus, featuring your recipes, wine pairings, and takeout recommendations. It’ll be posted here as a free download for everyone to enjoy on Tuesday, March 15.

So to get things started, I’ll go first. . . one of my favorite food/wine pairings is a full-bodied cabernet sauvignon with gnocchi alla vodka. Want a specific suggestion? Check out the Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa. This cab is definitely full-bodied, but I like my wine the way I like my heroes: bold. Consistently named a Wine Enthusiast “Best Buy,” the Excelsior has flavors of blackcurrant, blackberry, dark chocolate and spice, is perfect for parties and for everyday drinking (it even works with pizza) and is a steal at $9 a bottle. Like a really good book, this is a wine I love to tell everyone about.

Now it’s your turn. Enter the contest here, or post a comment below, and share one or more of your favorite pairings and you and your friends could win the grand prize package for your own “Girls Night In” Book Club gathering. And don’t worry—you don’t have to post a specific wine to enter the contest, although that’s certainly encouraged. The point is for all of us to have fun and learn about some fun menu pairings!

The contest will remain open until 10pm CST on March 11th. The winner, and the “Girls Night In” Book Club Menus, will be posted on March 14th.

Good luck to all!

46 thoughts on ““Girls Night In” Book Club contest

  1. Shannon mARINO says:

    Oh my what a great idea. I have two bookclubs and we always have wine and a few appetizers and a dessert. We alternate homes and hostesses and everyone takes a turn to bring something…we sometimes have a theme especially if the book has a food or wine theme in it but otherwise it is really just whatever the individuals decide to prepare. Our best spread was an italian pasta salad from the barefoot contessa cookbook and beautiful crusty bread and carrot cake and Ghiradelli fudge brownie cookies…and at least 4 bottles of wine were consumed by the girls!!! It was lovely!! Would love to get some ideas for specific menus so this will be fun. Oh…I also remember having some crabmeat stuffed mushrooms at one gathering that paired with my favorite Rosemount Pinot Noir was really good!! Happy Reading and I have just read your first book and loved it!! So I will be reading more!!! Thanks!

  2. Lisa Richards says:

    When I have a girls night out we always end up at B&N, for coffee, dessert and book talk so this is especially a good contest for me. We tend to go with the frozen girly drinks, Orangatangs, and a white wine. While we always end with dessert, we like a good bean dip with chips and hot beer winnies first.

  3. Renee Motheral Clugston says:

    I’m originally from Oregon, and one of my favorite meals to serve small groups is a simple baked salmon with olive oil drizzled over tri-color bell pepper and capers on top, cold orzo pasta tossed with fresh chopped herbs, olive oil and sea salt, and a fresh green salad. Serve this with a fabulous Oregon pinot noir…a lower cost favorite comes from Patricia Green Cellars, a small winery in the Willamette Valley with a very talented vintner, called “Dollar Bills Only”. Finish with some special chocolate truffles or if that’s too fancy just a grab bowl full of M&M’s!

  4. Tiffany M. says:

    For a Girls Night In in a suburban part of So-Cal my friends and I usually enjoy pizza with some kind of wine or drink, followed by a trip to the ice cream parlor. Sometimes we make dessert like brownies from the box or scratch and stay-in to watch movies. An old favorite from high school was Heartbreakers.
    Now I liked to mix it up a bit. My sister is newly gluten-free discovering that she has celiac disease, so gluten-free fried tacos are pretty easy to make followed with something sweet like dove milk chocolate pieces. Enjoyed by my friends, too. 🙂
    Snacks can include seven-layered dip (also easy), guacamole, salsa, and chips.

    (I love the bowl of M&Ms. A fav!)

  5. Paige says:

    Our girls nights are usually to celebrate one’s birthday. All of us have husbands and children of our own and our group tends to try to drag out the night if possible. We usually start dinner at a nice restaurant in town called Town Bistro. We are white wine drinkers and usually start with a Pinot Grigio. They have a wonderful mixed greens salad with toasted almonds, dried cherries, and their house balsalmic vinegarette. My favorite entree is the panko crusted scallops. Some of the girls get the lamb. We usually end the night with their signature dessert, creme brulee. Seriously, it is to die for! They also have a flourless chocolate tort that isn’t half bad either. 🙂 Hungry Yet?
    We don’t usually discuss any book in particular but we do exchange our new favorites.
    As always, this is a great giveaway. Thanks so much!!!

  6. Tori says:

    Okay, I know this sounds wierd but one of my favorite appetizers for pairing with wine is buttermilk blue cheese, drizzled with honey and served with wheat crackers and port wine. Heavenly!
    For girls night in I typically make white sangrias using Rhine wine, peach schnapps, honey, and chunks of orange, lemon, and granny smith apples and mix it with a little ginger ale to give it a fizz and our snack of choice is spicy red pepper hummus and pretzel chips.

  7. Rose says:

    I would serve “Accra” (from Haiti, recipe can be googled) with whatever wine (If I must serve it) I find on google after I do a research (I’m not a wine person). Other drink that I always serve is [1 cup of mix fruits (frozen mango, peach, pinneaple and cherry) with 1/4 cup frozen (100% apple and dark cherry juice) and 2 cup of champagne (or other alcohol of choice). Mix all in a magic bullet or blender and it’s the best drink you’ll ever have.] Desert of course will be cheesecake.

  8. Jackie says:

    On of my favorites and my guest’s favorites is feta artichoke dip!! We all eat it until it’s GONE!! A must have at any gathering!

  9. Dina Milliken says:

    When we get together I have to make my cheesecake. I’m famous for my cookies & cream cheesecake! With an oreo crust, it’s almost better than sex. Put it with a fruity Merlot or a nice Chardonnay and a fabulous book, and it’s a perfect Girls’ Night In.

  10. Miranda says:

    When my friends and I get together for a Girls Night In we usually all bring our favorite wines my is cheap but oh so delicious Bully Hill Sweet Walter Red and by Bestie usually brings Arbor Mist Pear Pinot Grigio or White Zinfindel. We always make Pizza Snacks for an appetizer which is 1lb of burger and 1lb of sausage cooked together after it gets done add half a box of velveeta 1/4 tsp garlic and oregano mix well. Then spread on Party Rye bake at 350 for 10 min. The meal is always different we choose someones favorite every month but for dessert we do white chocolate brownie bites and cherry cheese pie. Wow now I’m hungry 🙂

  11. Gale says:

    When we actually get together, tough with schedules, we mix a batch of coconut margaritas and order pizza. Easy on the schedules and no one has to spend a lot of time cooking. Of course, just the fact that the “girls” can spend time yakking, uh I mean, discussing the book, is the best part of all!

  12. Johanna Jochum says:

    Me and my buddies have simple tastes and we don’t drink a lot of wine and we don’t know much about wine either! I like the box kind! LOL! We prefer having Margaritas, mudslides or mojito nights! Sometimes we have a taco buffet with all the fixings. Homemade salsa’s and guacomole is a must! Some nights its fresh vegetables and crackers or crusty french bread with with flavored oils and dips. My favorite is my sisters chessy artichoke dip! We always have lots of garlic hummus, pita strips, and marinated olives too! Yummy! We always have cheesecakes or brownies too! Us girls need our chocolate! Oh, I’m making myself hungry!

  13. Courtney says:

    When I have my girls over, we usually eat girly things that I can whip up in advance, like quiche or a nice strata. Occasionally, I’ll mix it up with a nice bolognese over some pasta-either spaghetti or rigatoni, depending on what I’ve got on hand. If it’s a fancy occasion, I’ll splurge for a bottle of champagne, such as Moet and Chandon. Otherwise, we drink a lot of light beer (Amstel Light) or whatever wine is on sale at Trader Joe’s!

  14. michele Benard says:

    I serve one of two things because they are always requested one is Candy Apple Salad and the other is an Ice cream Cake the whoe outer layer is Ice cream Sandwhiches It is made in a springform pan then there is a cookie crust layered with Ice cream and topped with whip topping you can get greated with the ice cream flavors

  15. Leanna Hiner says:

    For Girl’s Night In, I like a couple of bottles of wine (red and white), martini’s, cheese and crackers, cheesecake, dessert bars, maybe some cookies.

  16. Kirsten C. says:

    When us girls get together, it a wino kinda night! There is wine, wine and more wine…appetizers-great dips, something healthy-veggie or fruit and plenty of the fattening kind of munchies and finally yummy desserts-can we say chocolate um hello! LOL #1 rule…can’t think about how much fat is in anything for the whole night! Not to worry after the first few bottles of wine, nobody really thinks about it anyway! :0)

  17. Chelsea B. says:

    When we girls get together, we are al about the sweet tea. I know it’s a southern thing, y’all, but still. Tea is the best 🙂 Pair that with anything covered in and/or made of chocolate, and we are happy people 🙂

  18. Cristal says:

    We have this awesome homemade wine “Hinnants” made out of Pine level NC. We’d have the classic muscadine wine, pomegranate{ which is my favorite) and the blueberry. The lady friends and I, sure wouldn’t be eating meat and potatoes. We would dive into something that kids and men would never touch =) and LOTS of Chocolate, and a rustic apple tart !

  19. Shannon Patel says:

    When the girls get together, we often time have to make a double batch of pomegranate martini mojitos and a crockpot full of spinach and artichoke dip. So good!!!!

  20. Estelle C. says:

    I’m on the dessert wines kick at the moment so my suggestions are all dessert wines or port. My last visit to the Napa Valley, I discovered V. Sattui winery and their Madeira port…yummy:) as well as their Muscat and Angelica dessert wines. Another winery with a good port was Prager winery and port also in St. Helena, their Sweet Claire riesling also yummy.

  21. Emmanuelle says:

    Great idea. What would I serve to a girls-night inn ? It probably depends on which “girls” I’m inviting. My best friend is all about wine. So I’d probably serve a nice chilled Lambrusco (red preferably). This wine allows so many pairing from stuffed mushroom to chocolate desserts. And you can drink more than one glass withough getting tipsy (which is always good). A few other of my friends are tea-addicts so I’d propose different tea blends with the custumary cookies and cupcakes. Both are really appealing to me… Think of it, I should probably plan one of those girls night in soon.
    By the way I loved your book ! It was late in the night when I read it and I had to fight the urge to get up and serve myself a nice glass of wine… (but around midnight when the house is sleeping…mmm not really ;-).

  22. Joder says:

    Me and the girls already have a monthly get together where we have Chinese food, sushi, a lot of apple martinis, and a local wine that’s on the sweet side. I love our times together, the night just flies, and there’s a lot of laughing to be heard.

  23. Vanessa says:

    Favorite appetizers include homemade hot artichoke dip and sausage bites. The bites are made with just two ingredients. Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry and sausage. Super easy to make and and very delicious!

  24. Noel Varner says:

    My very favorite ‘girls night in’ drink and foods are: Wine, of course, trays of fresh veggies with dips, cheeses, hard salami, fresh fruits, assorted crackers and chips. Also, I make a killer Texas Nacho Dip that is usually eaten up first. YUMMY!!!!

  25. Shahenda says:

    I would love to host a girl’s night in! I’m getting ready to go to a girl’s afternoon out in a bit 🙂 However, if I hosted one I think Sangria with fresh fruit would be the perfect beginning! I would also have a chocolate fondu with several dipping items with fruit, brownies, and rice krispy treats!!!! Yummy!

  26. Liza says:

    My friends and I get together once a month for dinner. Usual appetizers are guacamole and chips and artichoke dip. Depending on who host our gathering depends on the food for the night. The favorite desserts for our group would be cheesecake or rum cake.

    There are a few local vineyards in the Nashville area. Arrington is my favorite. They have a great white wine called Stag’s White. My favorite red by them is called Red Fox Red. They also have amazing dessert wines in either Raspberry or Blackberry flavors.

  27. Shahenda says:

    Btw I saw your book at Borders yesterday on the new paperback release table. I thought I wood wait to see if I won a copy first 😉

  28. Ameliad says:

    My book club meets in the cafe of the bookstore. We order our food individually. However, if were we to meet at a home I think on the menu would be artichoke dip with crispy French bread slices, brie en croute, chocolate fondue, cheesecake, bellinis.

  29. Lisa B says:

    I am not much of a wine person. I have tried several but nothing i’d want to repeat again so i’d have to rely on someone else for a good recommendation. Might have to try your recommendation Julie. I’m more of a mixed drink/frozen blender drink person. I’d like to serve mimosa’s i think. These are always fun as easy with a group. Simple take out food to go with this.

    Lisa B

  30. Christi Snow says:

    One of the best accompaniments with red wines is dark chocolate so it would be fun to make up a mix of dark chocolate truffles to complement those red wines. Dark chocolate is esp good with port too. I bet someone could come up with a fantastic cheese/dark chocolate truffle that would work really well with wine tastings….

  31. Dina says:

    I don’t drink wine, drinks or beer, so when I go out with my girlfriend(s), I usually pick something I hope I’ll like esp if restaurant I don’t usually go too, but a chicken dish and coca-cola is my kind of meal.

    One time when we went to New Orleans and I ordered a poorboy sandwich and liked it very much.

  32. Cynthia says:

    I would make a pasta bar with different sauces and addins so everyone could make their own plus a second serving to take home for lunch the next day

  33. Elizabeth I says:

    I would make a chocolate trifle with chocolate cake, I would drizzle the chocolate cake with Frangelico, then a layer of chocolate pudding, then fresh raspberries, repeat. Cover the trifle with fresh whipped cream (no sugar) than top with granulated sugar.

    Serve coffee with the Frangelico!

  34. Diana says:

    I love sushi and sparkling beverages, so I’d pair a sparkling fruity cider with one of my favorites–the Lizzy roll, which features fresh salmon and avocado, topped with lemon. Yum!

  35. Jasja says:

    Aaaaahhh, I feel like having a girls night in now. Food drinks wise I would go for either a tapas & sangria evening (marinated and / or battered mushrooms, garlic/rosemary potatoes, olives, chorizo, garlic prawns, bread with aioli / olive oil / homemade tapenade)…

    …or cheesefondue (also with bread, olives, mushrooms and chorizo).

    And for dessert I would either make what’s knowns as “THE dessert” in my family (it’s ‘kwark’ -don’t know the name in English-, bananas, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream mixed together and it is absolutely delicious). Of course I could also change my mind here and go for chocolate fondue with fresh fruit & marshmallows and winewise I would get out the gewurztraminer (a white wine from the Alsace in France) and a bottle of strawberrywine that we buy from a small farm in France.

  36. Kara Thorpe says:

    I love to buy local or Texas products, so I try to only buy Texas wines. My favorite for our Girls Night is the Llano Estacado Sweet Red. At less than $7 for a bottle at the grocery store, I can buy four or five bottles without killing my budget. It’s sweet enough to please those who like the sweet, desserty-wines but rich enough for the girls who like reds. I call it the compromise wines. Since we usually meet for dessert, we do a dessert bar type thing. What goes best with the Sweet Red wine is sour cream angel food cake topped with a strawberry rhubarb fruit spread and tons of whipped cream. We also serve spongecake shells filled with fresh berries (if available) and topped with a chocolate drizzle.

    My favorite recipe: slice a store-bought sour cream angel food cake in half with a big, serrated knife. Liberally brush both halves with Irish Cream or a fruity cordial (depending on your taste). Spread whipped cream (like Reddi Whip, not Cool Whip) on the bottom half, put the top half back on. Brush your liquer on the top of the cake. Coat with strawberry rhubarb (or fruit of your choice) fruit spread. Frost with whipped cream. Serve with fresh berries. It’s light and fruity, but very delicious.

    I think a sweeter wine goes great with light cakes and sweet, ripe berries (and, of course, chocolate and whipped cream).

  37. Mariee says:

    I’m not a big wine drinker, so the beverage of choice would probably be either sparkling cider or iced tea. And then a dessert bar filled with lots of yummy things like truffles, cupcakes and cookies.

  38. Jerriann Graff says:

    I am not a wine person so it would be a mixed drink of some kind. Maybe an orange creamsicle. A salsa dip and chips, potato skins and sour cream. Thanks for having the contest.

  39. Karen White says:

    A belated thank you to Julie for the books, chocolates and gift card. I was FINALLY able to get together with the girlfriends to enjoy them – and everything was yummy. I actually read A LOT LIKE LOVE cover to cover on an airplane. Loved the characters and the FBI plotting. Can’t wait to read another!

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