My Three Favorite Book Club Recipes


I heard from a reader last week who is planning to discuss Secrets of Hallstead House at her November book group meeting. She was wondering where to find questions that her group might discuss after reading the book. My first thought, no joke, was “I wonder if they have snacks at their book group meetings.”

After I emailed the reader a list of questions, I got thinking about a couple things:

First, I’d love to have book club discussion questions at the end of each of my books. I can’t do that for Secrets of Hallstead House or The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, but I quickly contacted my editor and he thinks he can get some discussion questions into House of Hanging Jade before we get any farther in the production schedule. So thanks, Susan, for the idea!

Second, I started wondering what I would serve at a book club meeting. I am not in a book club, but I’ve been to plenty of book club meetings. There’s always food. I’ve been to meetings with cheesecake samplers, pizza bites, cookies, chips, pretzels (the kind covered with chocolate and dipped in nuts and sprinkles), sandwiches, and other foods too numerous to mention.

I decided to come up with my three favorite appetizer recipes and I’m going to share them with you here. Please note, at least two of these recipes are not for people who are trying to diet!


Jalapeno Popper Dip (I got this from “EveryDay with Rachael Ray”)

3 slices bacon, chopped

1 c. panko

3 cans (4 oz. each) diced jalapenos, drained

2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature

1 c. mayonnaise

1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1 small fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crispy, 6-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain all but 2 T. of the bacon drippings; add the panko and stir to coat. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, mix half the bacon with the canned jalapenos, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and cheddar cheese. Transfer mixture to a 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with the panko, remaining bacon, fresh jalapeno, and Parmesan cheese.

Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25-30 minutes.

Serve with tortilla chips.


Tomato Sort-Of Bruschetta (I adapted this from “Food Network Magazine”)

2 lbs. tomatoes, cut into large chunks

3/4 t. Kosher salt

2 T. olive oil

1 T. red wine vinegar

1/4 c. chopped chives or basil

1 baguette, sliced

Toss tomatoes with the salt and set in a colander placed over a bowl: let drain for 15 minutes. Whisk the olive oil and the vinegar into the tomato juices. Toss tomatoes with chives or basil and serve with bread.


Fruit Dip

2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding

3 c. cold milk

8 oz. container whipped topping

almond extract to taste

cut-up fruit

Mix pudding and milk for about 2 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Add almond extract to taste. Serve with cut-up fruit.


What would you serve at a book club meeting?

Until next week,


P.S. Wine is also a staple at many book club meetings! If you’re interested in my thoughts on wine, please check out the “Wines” section of my blog or go to my website ( and select the “Home” tab then select “Wines.”

8 comments on “My Three Favorite Book Club Recipes

  1. Frances D says:

    Hi Amy.
    Love the recipes.
    Just a suggestion: How about posting some downloadable Q&As for book groups here at your blog, and in a section on your main site. This way people can click to order from Amazon, and download the sheets 🙂 Kudos on having them included in your future books. When you think about it – it makes all the sense in the world.


    • amreade says:

      Hi Frances, thank you for the suggestions. I don’t know why, but I just found this comment this morning- that’s why it took me a full five days to respond- sorry about that.

      Beginning with House of the Hanging Jade, my books have book club questions on the back pages. I still need to get the questions from Secrets of Hallstead House and The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor onto my blog and my website. Now I just need to figure out how to do that. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Frances D says:

        Book clubs everywhere will appreciate it. Raising a glass a wine in your honor this evening. Have to try one of your vino recommends soon 🙂


      • amreade says:

        I’m glad you had a look at the list! My husband and I visited a new vineyard (well, it was new to us) last week and I think I’ll be adding a couple of their wines to the list. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Susan Ganz says:

    Thanks for the recipes Amy. We do snacks, usually not heavy since we meet at 7PM and have just eaten dinner. I don’t know how it works but I often go to readinggroupguides to search for question help. Maybe you can put your future questions there? I’m enjoying your blog…Thanks Susan


    • amreade says:

      Hi Susan, thanks for visiting. Glad you’re enjoying my blog! I will have a look at that site. I’ve also decided to add a page to my website with book club questions for each book. 🙂


  3. sharonag13 says:

    Good Evening Amy,
    LOL, I must have been really busy today. I am reading your blog post after 6 o’clock. I have seen discussion questions at the end of a few books, and I enjoy reading the questions. I may look into a book club when I return to San Antonio this winter. It might be fun!

    Love the recipes, although I cannot do spicy, the bruschetta sounds really good… And anything sweet is always on my radar. A popular appetizer at my football parties is crab dip… I am guessing it would be a hit at a book club meeting as well… And to drink a nice punch is always popular (wine or no wine).

    Love this post!

    As always, “Keep Reading and Writing”.


    • amreade says:

      I know I was busy today, too. Out all morning. That combined with no internet or telephone for much of the afternoon made it impossible for me to promote the blog today. I’m sure you’ll see posts on FB tomorrow about today’s post! I have thought about joining a book club, but I’m afraid I would be a slacker and never get the books read on time. The bruschetta is delicious. My son (12) loves it and asks for it all the time. I love crab dip, too. My late aunt made a crab dip that was fabulous. I’m lucky to have her recipe.

      And as for the sweet dip, um, yes! Bring on the sweet!

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great evening!

      Liked by 1 person

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