Cynthia Nims Wins Game-Night Eating With New Book

Gourmet Game Night cookbook has game-friendly recipes

We'll be honest: Initially, the idea of "game night" conjured retro images of our parents playing Pictionary surrounded by bowls filled with Cheez Doodles and bottles of schlock wine.

But the arrival of Cynthia Nims's new Gourmet Game Night cookbook made us reevaluate our game-night mentality.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the cookbook lives up to its title, with recipes that cater to an updated game-centric gathering. The wide range of dishes offer bite-size and mess-free (to keep your fingers and your Cranium clay clean) options that don't sacrifice sophistication.

Within each chapter, Nims shares time-tested tricks–such as repurposing espresso cups as vessels for lentil-carrot soup or using Asian soup spoons to hold one-bite servings of fennel and corn salad–for snacks that are a far cry from the run-of-the-mill pretzels and dip of our biased imaginations.

In one chapter, Nims ditches the serving pieces altogether, using such edible containers as shiso leaves and mushroom caps to hold delicious utensil-less dishes. Endive leaves topped with a Hawaiian-inspired salmon poke (pictured; click here to download the recipe) are good enough to make us believers and throw a game night of our own.