Our Gatherings

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Deborah Madison

Virtual Gathering

September 13, 2020

Hosted by: Zoom


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Food with Soul

Virtual Gathering

August 9, 2020

This month, we chose five cookbooks written by African-American chefs and food writers. Our exploration of two centuries of traditional dishes, many updated for today's tastes, was informative and quite satisfying.

Hosted by: Zoom

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Jacques Pepin

Virtual Gathering

July 12, 2020

We had originally planned to feature Jacques Pepin's cookbooks last March; but we cancelled our in-person gatherings due to the Covid-19 quarantine.  Our plans became a "virtual" reality as we shared our experiences with these delicious recipes online, with Zoom.


Jamie Oliver

Virtual Gathering

June 7, 2020

June brought our first "official" virtual gathering with recipes from the prolific British chef Jamie Oliver. Although we didn't get to sample others' recipes, we enjoyed our time catching up with each other and discussing our chosen recipes.

Hosted by: Google Meet

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Dining In

& Nothing Fancy

February 16, 2020

This month we tasted our way through two cookbooks (and a couple of online recipes) by Los Angeles-born, Brooklyn-based cook and Millennial icon, writer and cookbook author Alison Roman. Her use of tangy, salty and spicy flavors and diverse texture combinations made for an exciting gathering. We loved it all!

Hosted by: Adele Griffin


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January 25, 2020

Our annual post-holiday mixer is a popular event! Members and our guests enjoyed party food from thekitchn.com, beverages and sparkling conversation. Thanks to our fabulous hosts, Sandy and Steve!

Hosted by: Sandy Mackie

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Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

January 12, 2020

Starting out Year Five with a classic by Marcella Hazan. Her meticulous instructions resulted in wonderful dishes - from two-ingredient dishes (chicken+lemons; pork+milk) to the more complex and challenging recipes, all were winners!

Hosted by: MaryLou Battista

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Ad Hoc at Home

    & Bouchon

December 15, 2019

Our largest gathering ever! 19 members gathered to share their Thomas Keller dishes and desserts - topped off by an outrageous gift exchange. Happy Holidays one and all!

Hosted by: Gayla Pierce & Jan Merutka


Two Davids

November 3, 2019

Famed chefs and cookbook authors David Tanis and David Lebovitz were the inspiration for our latest gathering. We chose our savory selections from Tanis' books and NY Times City Kitchen column; Ready for Dessert by Mr. Lebovitz provided some sweet options to wrap up the festivities. 

Hosted by: MaryLou Battista


Deep Run Roots

October 6, 2019

Our intrepid cooks trekked to the American South by cooking Vivian Howard's unique and tasty recipes. The cookbook is organized by ingredient, featuring those native to her home region of coastal Carolina. From Turnip Root and Green Gratin to Peanut Ice Cream (and everything in between), we agreed that the recipes are winners.

Hosted by: Shelley Anderson

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Piret's Cookbook

September 8, 2019

What a grand time we had digging into a blast from San Diego's past: Piret's restaurant, with its cooking school, the Perfect Pan, served up a blend of California Cuisine and French bistro fare, reaching its peak in the 1980s.. Many say they were ahead of their time, and were responsible for a culinary renaissance in our area. Though sadly long gone, the memories and recipes remain through their cookbook. 

Hosted by: Dianne Collins

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August 11, 2019

This month's culinary excursion takes us to Cuba, where we explore the flavors of this fascinating island. Although the cuisine is mostly meat-centric, we sampled a variety of delicious seafood and vegetarian dishes from three different cookbooks as well. Our host's lovely deck gave us a breezy, sunny location to enjoy the afternoon's delights.

Hosted by: Anna Hamilton

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Breakfast + Brunch

July 7, 2019

Many of our members identify Brunch as their favorite meal, so we thought it would be fun to showcase this theme. We chose recipes from three books, ranging from Vegetarian (Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café), Restaurant-Chef (Big Bad Breakfast by John Currance), to Instructional (Culinary Institute of America's Breakfasts & Brunches). We enjoyed great food with sparkling conversation (and mimosas!).

Hosted by: Linda Dunn

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Nigella Lawson

June 2, 2019

"Most cookbooks and food shows are about control, precision, and fear of doing something incorrectly, In NIgellaworld, the kitchen is not a science lab with rigid rules and formulas to follow, it's a place to play, sometimes with your friends..." (Joe Dolce, Gourmet

And play we did! A most lovely and tasty afternoon ~

Hosted by: Patty Tsung

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Cinco de Mayo

with Diana Kennedy

May 5, 2019

A fiesta muy delicioso as we explored the recipes of Diana Kennedy, an authority on Mexican cuisine. Her recipes are meticulously researched and documented ~ and as she has said, "laborious" ~ but well worth the work!

Hosted by: Gayla Pierce

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Café Paradiso Seasons

April 7, 2019

A tasty sampling of dishes created by Irish chef Denis Cotter, who runs the Café Paradiso in Cork - an award-winning vegetarian restaurant, made for a delightful spring afternoon.

Hosted by: Adèle Griffin

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Mollie Katzen

March 10, 2019

Throwback to the 70s and 80s as we dug deep into Mollie Katzen's classic cookbooks as well as her newer works. Vegetarian dishes have changed quite a bit since then, and so have Mollie's recipes.

Hosted by: Michele Gross

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Bottom of the Pot

by Naz Deravian

February 17, 2019

An utterly delicious exploration of Persian recipes from Naz Deravian's new cookbook.  The title refers to the Persian word "Tahdig" -  which literally translates to "bottom of the pot" and is the crunchy layer of buttery, saffron-perfumed basmati rice, a Persian specialty. Our version matched the book cover!

Hosted by: Jackie Mensinger

Happy Hour –

Martha Style

January 26, 2019

Our annual post-holiday mixer was a salute to the "Queen of Entertaining" - Martha Stewart! Members and our spouses/partners enjoyed party food, beverages and spectacular views on the deck at Anna's lovely home. 

Hosted by: Anna Hamilton

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Essential New York Times Cookbook

January 13, 2019

Members new and not-so-new got our fourth year rolling by enjoying a wide variety of dishes from the New York Times (recipes dating from the 1870s through the 2000s). We resolve to cook more from Amanda Hesser's fantastic resource!

Hosted by: MaryLou Battista

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Year 3 Celebration!

December 9, 2018

All previous themes were on the table for our recipe choices as we reviewed our first three years. After a fabulous meal and six incredible desserts, merriment ensued with a holiday gift exchange!

Hosted by: Jackie Mensinger


Dinner + Baking

November 11, 2018

We enjoyed delving into two great cookbooks: Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark for our savory dishes; and Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan for our desserts. A fine afternoon!

Hosted by: Mary Maine

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Crescent Dragonwagon

October 14, 2018

A fun afternoon enjoying dishes from several of Crescent Dragonwagon's cookbooks, including the James Beard Award winning Passionate Vegetarian.

Her recipes prove that vegetarian food can be satisfying, varied and truly delicious.

Hosted by: Gayla Pierce

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Greek Recipes from

Diane Kochilas

September 16, 2018

We enjoyed our exploration of Greek cuisine with recipes from Diane Kochilas, author of numerous Greek cookbooks and host of the PBS Series My Greek Table. Opa!

Hosted by: Dianne Collins

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A Taste of Hawaii

August 12, 2018

A fun gathering featuring traditional Hawaiian foods, with a few modern twists... in a lush tropical setting. Almost as good as a trip to Maui!

Hosted by: Shelley Anderson


Half Baked Harvest

July 15, 2018

Instagram sensation Tieghan Gerard has a beautiful blog with lots of recipes (with unusually long titles!) and gorgeous food photos. But do her recipes work? We tested lots of them, and had some fun trying to make our dishes Instagram-worthy... did we nail it?

Hosted by: MaryLou Battista

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June 10, 2018

Sweet and savory delights from the talented staff of San Francisco's popular bakery, Tartine.

Hosted by: Linda Dunn

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Cocina de la Familia

May 6, 2018

A Cinco de Mayo celebration featuring authentic recipes from Mexican-American home kitchens... we even had a salsa bar!

Hosted by: Jackie Mensinger

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Ottolenghi [revisited]

April 15, 2018

Now that we're well into our third year, we thought it would be nice to return to the theme of our very first gathering - recipes by Yotam Ottolenghi. And what a great idea that turned out to be!

Our host: Michele Gross

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Six Seasons/BraveTart

March 4, 2018

For March, we cooked from two highly acclaimed cookbooks published this past year - Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden highlights mostly savory dishes, so we also chose a dessert cookbook, Stella Parks’ BraveTart by as a complement. ​

Hosted by: Patty Tsung


Julia Child

February 11, 2018

We endeavored to master the art of French cooking with our exploration of Julia Child's cookbooks; and the results were tres magnifique!

Our host: Dianne Collins


Happy Hour

January 20, 2018

Starting 2018 with a post-holiday mixer at Shelley's -- we enjoyed a fun evening with finger foods and our favorite beverages. Our spouses/partners were welcomed (and promised to be on their best behavior so they would be invited again)... great times, great friends (new and old), and we'll plan to do this again for sure!

Hosted by Shelley Anderson

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Small Victories

January 7, 2018

Celebrating our third year with a book that proves if you can cook just five things, you can cook 200! ​We explored some tasty, yet not overly complicated recipes and discussed the takeaway, or "small victory" related to each dish. A  great book for newbies and seasoned cooks - and everyone in between.

Hosted by MaryLou Battista​


Holiday Cookie Swap

December 10, 2017

Ringing in the holiday season with a cookie swap and gift exchange. Much merriment ensued...

Our hosts: Jackie Mensinger & Sue Gathman


Everything But the Bird

November 5, 2017

Our theme this month was Thanksgiving ~ we took it as an opportunity to test out some recipes for our Thanksgiving tables. We enjoyed quite a variety of side dishes and desserts - literally from soup to nuts -- but not a drumstick or apple pie in sight. A fabulous feast!

Our host: Mary Maine

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Italian Food
with Giada

October 15, 2017

With a name almost as recognizable as Cher, this celebrity chef has made her fame and fortune with the food of her homeland. Her recipes, almost all online as well as in her best-selling cookbooks, bring the flavors of Italy to American home cooks. We delved into her recipes (and dived into the food head-first!). A fun and delicious afternoon...

Our host: Sandy Mackie


Near & Far

September 10, 2017

Exploring the latest cookbook by Heidi Swanson of the popular blog 101 Cookbooks... we enjoyed a lovely vegetarian feast, exploring flavors from home and away, including recipes inspired by California, and travels to Morocco, France, Japan, Italy and India.

Hosted by: Jackie Mensinger

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Silver Palate Cookbooks

August 13, 2017

A nostalgic trip back to the 1980s at a fun gathering featuring recipes from the classic Silver Palate cookbooks.

Hosted by: MaryLou Battista

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Creole & Cajun Dishes

July 9, 2017

We let the good times roll at this gathering featuring the decadently delicious dishes from Louisiana. As one member commented - "very spicy and hot and not just the weather" ... but those desserts!

Our host: Shelley Anderson

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June 4, 2017

Exploring the "little bites" of Spain with a Tapas party! Lots (and lots!) of little bites were enjoyed, along with a mini flamenco lesson from our host.

Hosted by Michele Gross


Mexican w/Rick Bayless

May 7, 2017

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a Mexican feast featuring recipes by chef Rick Bayless

Hosted by: Patty Tsung

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The Food of Morocco

April 2, 2017

A beautiful feast featuring the rich flavors of Morocco, as interpreted by Paula Wolfert, an expert in all things Mediterranean.

Hosted by: Sandy Mackie


My Paris Kitchen

March 12, 2017

Exploring French cuisine from one of our favorite Americans in Paris, the fabulous chef and blogger, David Lebovitz

Hosted by: Jackie Mensinger

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Dorie Greenspan

February 26, 2017

Featuring sweet and savory recipes from the prolific cookbook author, Dorie Greenspan

Hosted by: Glenda Jaffe



January 22, 2017

Starting​ the New Year on a healthy note with lightened-up classics by Gina Homolka, author of two cookbooks and the Skinnytaste blog.

Hosted by: MaryLou Battista

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Festive Appetizers

December 10, 2016

Celebrating our first year of Cookbook Club, we rang in the holidays with our favorite appetizers and desserts

Hosted by: Sandy Mackie

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Minimalist Baker

November 13, 2016

Challenging ourselves with some vegan recipes by the Minimalist Baker. Surprisingly delicious!

Our host: Michele Gross

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October 30, 2016

Our recipes featured the Halloween favorite, along with other tasty winter squashes. A seasonal celebration; much beta carotene was consumed (and enjoyed immensely!)

Hosted by Jackie Mensinger

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Food52 Genius Recipes

September 18, 2016

What makes a recipe a "genius" recipe? We found some great ones and attempted to answer that question...

Our host:  MaryLou Battista


Finnish Food

August 21, 2016

Exploring recipes from Finland, a cuisine most of us had not experienced. Deliciousness ensued...

Our host:  Shelley Anderson

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Madhur Jaffrey

July 17, 2016

Featuring the spices of India with one of its leading cookbook authors, Madhur Jaffrey. 

Hosted by Becky Williams

Red Rice & Beet Cakes with Honey Mustard

Tori Avey

June 26, 2016

A tasty feast featuring recipes by the Shiksa in the Kitchen

Our host: Michele Gross

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Thai Food

May 22, 2016

Exploring the tastes of Thailand

Hosted by Mary Maine

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Barefoot Contessa

April 17, 2016

We all wish we could live Ina Garten's life - and we did for an afternoon.

Hosted by Sandy Mackie

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King Arthur

March 20, 2016

Getting our bake on with the recipes from kingarthurflour.com

Our host: Jackie Mensinger

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February 21, 2016

Recipes featuring anything stuffed!

Hosted by MaryLou Battista



January 16, 2016

Our first gathering! Featuring the recipes of Yotam Ottolenghi

Our host: MaryLou Battista

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