Weekend Special – Time for a Potluck

fruit_nuts_herbs_01Are you overdue for a festive dinner with friends. Have you been putting it off because you just can’t find the time to cook dinner for a mob of people. Don’t worry about it. Organize a potluck. Or talk your friend into doing it, the one who’s such a good organizer.

Make it easy. Pick a theme, something easy. No need to show off. Don’t choose something obscure like Thai-Latvian fusion or with hard to find (at least in New Hampshire) ingredients from Ethiopia Uzbekistan. You can wax lyrical and invite everyone to an evening in the Italian countryside or a feast of French Farmhouse cuisine. These themes are vague enough to allow creativity and specific enough to avoid Asian-Tex-Mex-Mediterranean Fusion. Send out an email, pick up the phone or send an evite. (Evite can be particularly handy – your guests can rsvp and share what they’ll be bringing all at the same time.)

And now suggestions …

To start: For a small bite with a bit of Italian flair, try Gorgonzola & Walnut Shortbread with Savory Fig Jam or Savory Parmesan Shortbread with Tomato Jam. A bowl of Spicy Olives will certainly be welcome.

If flirting with French cuisine make more sense, then how about Roasted Shrimp with Tarragon Aioli, some lovely Pâté or Tapenade? Either way, a small bowl of warm Rosemary Cashews will always be welcome.

Moving on … Everyone likes chicken. Perhaps you’ll try Lemon Roasted Chicken Thighs or Chicken Niçoise. Serve the chicken with Roasted Cauliflower or Broccoli Puree and Lemon Roasted Potatoes or Israeli Couscous. Or all of the above.

Unless you’re doing the Italian thing. Then go for a delicious and hearty Butternut Squash Lasagna or or Chicken Parm with Spaghetti Marinara.

A salad, maybe two, is always a good idea. For a nod to Italy, try Roasted Cauliflower, Radicchio & Arugula Salad or Mixed Greens Salad with Gorgonzola & Walnuts. You’ll taste a hint of France in Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese Salad
or Mixed Greens with Roasted Grapes, Olives & Feta.

To top it all off … hmmm?  For a potluck with a French accent, bake a Rustic Apple Croustade or whip up some smooth and creamy Chocolate Mousse. Or go with Maple Mousse, it is in season!

Again, if you want to bring some Italian flair to the party, try my Chocolate Panna Cotta or Panna Cotta with Strawberries. And while it may not be Italian, my Chocolate-Orange Tart is delicious.

Have a great party and bon appétit!

What are your plans for the weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

© Susan W. Nye, 2015


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