How to Plan a Potluck Party

I hope I’m not shocking the whole world when I declare that college dinner parties beat any Thursday night fraternity party. Nothing can compete with the combination of food, good company, music, and cocktails you get at a well-planned dinner party.

My friends and I had many potluck brunches and dinners together in college, and they oftentimes had themes, such as “berries” and “pumpkin.” At the “berries” brunch, attendees had to bring dishes made from berries such as strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries. I made orange zested french toast with blackberry sauce, someone else macerated strawberries and served them with fresh whipped cream, and another made berry smoothies. At the pumpkin potluck, we had Thai pumpkin pork curry, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin ice cream! Having themes makes everybody get involved and be creative, and it’s great fun seeing what people come up with.

For any potluck gathering, either for brunch or dinner, consider serving simple handheld appetizers that can be eaten at room temperature. Pita chips with homemade hummus, salsas, and crackers and cheese are always loved.

Consider throwing a “Do-It-Yourself” dinner party, too, where everybody brings an ingredient to make their own meal. For example, a taco party is simple: assign an ingredient(such as tortillas, salsa, cilantro, rice, beans, chicken, beef) to one or a few people, and the party will be full of chaotic deliciousness.

For cocktails, you can have a mojito bar in the kitchen with limes and mint sprigs waiting to be muddled by whomever craves a cocktail.

How about a Korean BBQ style dinner? Grab an electric grill and set it up in the middle of the dining table with the marinated meats and vegetables waiting to be cooked by party attendees. What about a fondue party? The possibilities are endless!

Don’t forget that the best parties have alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available for everybody. Always have red solo cups on hand, and lots of crushed ice. Ask attendees to bring some drinks to the shindig, and the party will be a winner. Consider making white and red sangrias, loaded with plenty of fresh fruits and fizzy soda. Great conversations always start around the punch bowl…

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