Do you guys ever get in cooking ruts?
I do. All the time. I’ll go to the farmers market and buy the same vegetables as always, and then make the same boring stir fry (ok, it’s not boring, it’s actually really good – but isn’t there a saying that “variety is the spice of life”?) three times in a week. There are tons of new foods to try at the farmers markets, and tons of recipes at my finger tips on Pinterest, but yet I don’t take advantage of them because I feel too busy or overwhelmed to plan to try a new recipe.
But recently I’ve found a solution: a starting a supper club with my friend Tracey (who just so happens to have recently started a blog – check it out!).
She loves cooking and trying out new recipes as much as I do, so it’s the perfect set up. We’ve done our supper club twice so far (check out our first dinner here) and I think we’re aiming to do it monthly because there are so many perks, like:
- Splitting the effort of cooking labour intensive recipes
- Sharing ingredients so that you don’t have to spend as much
- Lots of leftovers to ease the burden of cooking for the rest of the week
- Getting to enjoy a delicious meal with friend(s)!
Last week we got together for our second supper club:
We started with a cabbage hemp salad from Kris Carr’s cookbook Crazy Sexy Kitchen. It had avocado, cilantro, and lime in it, which is always a great flavour combination.
For our main course we made these lentil beanball subs with sauteed kale marinara from Veggies Don’t Bite. They were pretty time consuming since we had to make both the beanballs and the marinara (thank goodness we precooked the lentils, or else it would have taken us even longer!), but the effort turned out to be well worth it because they were really good!
We finished off with Oh She Glows‘ summer stone fruit crisp, which we both really enjoyed but felt could have used a pinch more salt in the topping to bring out the flavour of the coconut. That would just be a small improvement on an already delicious dessert though!
Are you interested in starting your own supper club? Here are my tips based on my experience so far:
1. Before starting a supper club: Choose a person or group of people who are on the same page as you. Are you an adventurous eater? Make sure they are too. Do you want to try lots of ethnic dishes? Make sure that’s what they want to do too. Do you want to make budget dishes that won’t break the bank? Make sure they’re on board with that too. It’s also a good idea to make sure all dietary preferences and allergies are known.
2. Create a Pinterest board for your supper club: This is a great way to share recipe ideas for menu planning. And also a great excuse to waste way too much time browsing Pinterest.
3. Make a shareable grocery list: Write up a grocery list with all the ingredients and amounts needed, then send it to all members of the supper club (or share it on Google Docs) so that everyone can fill in what ingredients they already have at home or volunteer to buy ingredients that need to be bought. This also acts as a good resource in case someone forgets one of the cookbooks you need to cook from, which I totally didn’t do (except, I did – luckily this list allowed us to make the recipe without it though!).
4. Read the recipes first: To make sure that the recipes are doable within a few hours and to find out what cooking equipment and appliances are needed. We write all the cooking equipment and appliances that will be needed directly on the grocery list so that the host can make sure that he/she has them in their kitchen. Because grating carrots is pretty hard without a grater! This happened to me once at a friend’s house… let’s just say we ended up with a very crunchy carrot cake.
5. Cook a double or triple batch of the recipes: If you’ve got the capacity to do this, it’s definitely worth it so that everyone can have some leftovers for the week!
Have you ever done a supper club with friends? Any other tips?