Potlucks and Party Foods


The Busy Ladies discuss what different kinds of food you can take to a super bowl party, family gathering, or a work potluck. Do you go to the store and buy something?  Are you a good cook and love to take your creations to share with others?  We share some ideas that we hope you find helpful.  Don’t let a potluck party intimidate you; be brave you can do this!!

So you’re invited to a party and you’re asked to bring something.  The panic sets in.  Your hands start to sweat.  Then, the questions come: how many people do I have to make food for?  Should I buy something or make something?  Will they like what I bring?  Should I try something crazy, creative, and different? Why did I agree to bring something????

First, know your audience.  What kind of party will this be?  Who will be there?  Is it kid friendly?  Fancy?  Is it for a bunch of dudes who probably won’t even use plates? Will it be a plethora of finger foods or is it a five course dinner?  Knowing what you’re walking into is half of the planning.  The theme and audience will determine the style of dish, the complexity, and the effort.

Second,  you have to consider how much time you have to plan and prep.  If you know you’re going somewhere a few days in advance, it’s easier to plan a more detailed dish. Do your research, make a list and plan ahead.  If you find out you’re going somewhere that day with late notice, then you can pick a place that has a few of your favorite grab and go’s.  The worst thing you can do is plan a detailed, long recipe and not give yourself enough time.  It just creates stress.

Third, don’t judge.  Don’t judge yourself and don’t think others will judge you.  Don’t go in with a negative attitude that people aren’t going to like what you bring or that people will say something if you buy instead of cook.  When people come together and there is food involved, nothing else matters.  Know your limits.  If you’re not an experienced or confident cook, make something simple or bring your favorite dish from your favorite store/restaurant.  You’d be surprised to see that others share your favorites.

Where can I get ideas if I choose to make something?

  • Pnterest-fun, creative, different levels of difficulty, plenty of pictures, LOTS of ideas.
  • Asking friends for their favorite recipes
  • Ask the host what other foods they are planning to make so you can coordinate
  • Stores have great semi-homemade food items that are easy

What if I decide to go out and buy something?

  • Local restaurants have awesome party trays
  • Choose a beautiful dessert from a dessert case
  • Get simple things like chips/dips, veggies/fruit and put it together in a creative display on your own dishware (they’ll never know it’s not fancy)

I interviewed a girlfriend of mine who is an AMAZING cook.  I feel like she creates impossible dishes that I could never come up with.  She convinced me that it is easier than it looks.

  • Tacos-there are a million ways to make them, you can put anything inside them
  • Skewers-fruit, veggies, meat, salad, bacon and pancakes
  • For large groups- DIP!  She said it may sound boring but there are a lot of amazing dips out there
  • When you’re in a hurry, crock pot your dish!