My “book club” just celebrated our ten year anniversary. I use the term “book club” very loosely because, technically speaking, we did stop reading books around nine years ago. We never stopped loving each other, though, so The Page Turners still meet up once a month or so to drink wine, snack, and discuss the books we would like to read when our children are older and our evenings don’t consist of Math Bowl, swim practice, Tae Kwon Do Belt testing and homework club.
My book club consists of 5 women with 14 kids between us. All of us work. Some part-time, some full time, some from home, but all working moms. Every mom knows that time is a precious commodity, and when my hosting month came around, I knew I wouldn’t have a ton of time to spend slicing, dicing, chopping, and sautéing the perfect meal. Also, to be perfectly candid, I barely know what those words mean. Spoiler alert: I once set fire to kitchen while making peanut butter and jelly. My husband likes to joke that the only thing I know how to make is reservations. So this month, I decided to do all of us a favor and I had Panera Bread help me create a delicious book club meal.
While I was busy at home preparing for book club (read: watching Netflix and painting my toenails), I used the Panera online order option to custom order an array of tasty and delicious snacks. I even arranged for Rapid Pick-Up and had my husband pick it up on his way home from work so I could do some light cleaning and organizing (read: I watched HGTV and took a nap). Bonus: one of our members is vegan, and Panera offers a HUGE variety of plant-based options. There is even have an easy-to-access list of vegan options that are updated seasonally. And in case you don’t yet know this little nugget of goodness… Panera offers delivery to certain areas of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. What a time to be alive, y’all!
Panera Makes Party Planning Easy
Using the basic Panera menu items I ordered, I created several unique, book-themed dishes and appetizers. After spending several moments admiring my spread, I decided it looked like I spent hours creating these culinary delights. In reality, it took about 15 minutes.
Here is our carte du jour:
Julius Caesar Salad – Nothing beats Panera’s Caesar Salad, but I added some leftover marinated shrimp skewers I had picked up for our fish fry the night before.
The Catcher in the Rye Bagel Bites – After quartering the bagel slices, I topped with crunchy peanut butter, sliced apple, and a drizzle of dark chocolate. A heavenly indulgence even our dieting members couldn’t resist.
Grapes of Wrath Fruit Salad – I ordered Panera’s assortment of fresh, seasonal fruits, and tossed them in a bowl along with 8 ounces of yogurt, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and a small amount of lemon and lime juices. Delicious and nutritious with an added bonus: vegan and gluten free.
Robert Frost-ed Brownie Sundaes – I had some ice cream leftover from a kid’s birthday party in the freezer, so I threw it in a bowl with some Panera Brownies, topped with whipped cream and a cherry and voila, easiest dessert ever.
The Taming of the Shrewdriver – The backbone of every good book club party is a good cocktail. I ordered a tote of fresh premium orange juice and added Vodka and an orange wedge for garnish. Not to pat my own back, but this was so good, three of my book club members actually had to Uber home. #bestbookclubever We also ordered some seltzer water for our member who is currently
a buzzkill pregnant.
Culinary Convenience Close to Home
Within a few minutes of sitting down to our delicious meal, the Page Turners book club had unanimously voted to make Panera a permanent fixture at our meetings. We all downloaded the Panera app to our phones and immediately began perusing the Panera Catering Menus as we planned our next feast. With such a variety of palates and dietary restrictions, it is rare to find a meal we all agree on. So if you have a party, girls night, or a book club meet-up in your future, “book it” to Panera for a feast you won’t be sorry about. Bon Appetit!