Holiday Pot-Luck Assignments
More than 20 years ago, I hosted an annual holiday party. It was one of my most popular themes. For whatever reason (kids, overwhelmed moms, holiday craziness, etc.) it fell by the wayside.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, I was out with my longtime friends, Laura and Mary, who happen to be sisters. We were reminiscing about how fun that party always was and I decided it was time to resurrect the Holiday Potluck Appetizer Party.
Here is how it works: I find a bunch of great appetizer recipes. I pick the party date and time and email the invite and recipes. I tell the invitees to “Reply All” and let everyone know which recipe they will be making. Everyone makes their dish, brings it to the party, and we all celebrate the season while enjoying a great variety of yummy food, a signature cocktail or two and a full bar. A fun and festive night is had by all – with minimal effort.
The competition for which recipe to make is fierce. Within 10 minutes, three of the invitees had responded with their choices. An hour or two later, all recipes were accounted for. This is one of the best ways I’ve ever found to get people to RSVP lickety split. Try it, and you’ll be tempted to organize all your entertaining this way!
Only one little problem – since I’ve been away from blogging for an extended period, I’ve gotten out of the habit of taking photos of all food ever served in my home. Which is a real shame, because the spread looked beautiful! The couples went all out in their execution and presentation. At least I have the photos from the original recipe links to share with you. The only two food photos I took are of the onion dip and the Greek dip. And those weren’t taken until the day after, since I took the leftovers to a family party the following night.
Time will fix that little glitch and I’ll be back in the swing of it soon enough. I hope you enjoy these eight great appetizers and maybe they’ll inspire you to throw an impromptu party of your own.
P.S. Find my signature cocktail below the recipe links.
Amy made Meatball Subs On-a-Stick. She said that it took longer than the recipe says for them to bake and brown.
Creamy Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms courtesy of Lisa. By the way, button mushroom is the old-school name for your everyday white mushroom.
Anne made Herb Cheese Monkey Bread – even though she was under the weather and didn’t make it to the party. Annie, we missed you and your pretty face! xoox
Tram chose the Caramelized Onion Dip to bring, even though, with 21-month-old twins, she didn’t have time to make it. Her awesome cook husband, Steve, took the reigns on this one.
He sent me a photo-text message asking if he needed to double the recipe. The answer is “no” – the recipe already make enough to feed a huge crowd! And feed two crowds, it did; eighteen people at the appetizer party and at least 40 more people at our family holiday party the next night. This is a true crowd pleaser!! In case you don’t know what those pink things are on Steve’s face – they’re the onion goggles that I gave Tram back in our Valley Dish days.
One of the original party guests from years past, Mary, made Parmesan Crusted Crab Cake Bites.
Peggy decided on Sweet Corn Cake Chorizo Poppers and they were one of the first appetizers to disappear! Sweet, spicy, and pretty to look at – just like the cook herself.
Kim made the 5 Layer Greek Dip with fresh pita bread wedges. This recipe also makes enough for a crowd and was a hit the second night too.
Lastly, Ronnie brought the Avocado Feta Cheese Orzo Salad. For an appetizer soirée, I suggest leaving out the romaine and filling Belgian endive spears or radicchio cups with the orzo salad mixture.
The cocktail was inspired by one that Tram and I tasted on our recent trip to Chicago to visit my friends and former neighbors, Lori & Jonathan. I ordered it at the lovely La Sardine. It is a take on a French Gimlet, although a gimlet uses more St. Germain that I did.
* 2 ounces gin
* 1/2 ounce St-Germain
* 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and shake until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.