Potluck Pro

Evey now and then there comes a time when a girl needs to celebrate something she thinks she’s good at. For me, today is one of those days, and I have to admit it:

I’m a pro at potlucks.

As a single young professional, I get invited to several potlucks, and I have to say every dish I bring is always completely devoured. I give all credit to my mom who is the original pro atbringing tasty side dishes to social gatherings.

For my most recent creation, I took this:


And made this:


Who can say no to fried wontons?

With that said, here are three of my top tips for potluck success.

1. When a party invite says “potluck,” bring something. Everyone knows that mooch who doesn’t bring anything but loads up his/her plate with giant spoonfuls of what everyone else brought. Don’t be that guy/girl. Even if it’s just a bottle of wine or a package of store bought cookies, remember that caring is sharing. And you should share what you have with others…not just wait for them to share with you. That said, when you can, skip the store bought items (how many veggie rrays do you really need?) and make something.

2. Go with the theme. If the theme is Italian, don’t bust up in there with fried rice. And I can’t say a big pot of chicken noodle soup will necessarily go with a summer BBQ. HOWEVER, I strongly advocate using what you already have in your pantry for your potluck creation. For example, the theme for my most recent potluck was Italian. The host was providing lasagna and asked attendees to bring in side dishes and desserts. I wanted to bring fried ravioli, but I didn’t want to buy pasta, and I am completely clueless at how to make fresh pasta dough. Enter the wonton wrappers! I happened to already have them, so I made a spinach, mushroom and cheese filling and made fried ravioli with an Asian twist.

3. When in doubt, easy to serve foods are best. I know that there are tons of people who make amazing fajitas, but at potlucks, I’ve found that it’s best to bring finger foods or something that can be easily scooped into a bowl as people walk down the buffet line. You don’t want people to have to sit and assemble something that will take up a whole plate to the point where they won’t be able to put anything else on it. (BUT I would suggest hosting the next party so you can showcase your culinary strengths.)

But really, whatever you make, no food can compare to the happiness that comes with good fellowship and even better friends. So eat, drink, celebrate!

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