The holiday season is here, and there is no better way to share a great meal with family and friends than by having a potluck dinner! This casual style of dining is wonderful because everyone contributes and comes together to share. It also takes pressure off of the host, so you aren’t preparing an entire holiday feast on your own. Best of all, you get a taste of everyone’s special holiday dishes! All you need is a kitchen island with plenty of countertop space (or a large table), and a little know-how. Below are six tips for hosting an incredible holiday potluck with ease!
Make sure you have enough supplies for all your guests. Keep your kitchen stocked with the necessities like plates, bowls, cups, napkins, and utensils. Don’t be afraid to go with festive paper plates and plastic forks. If you have a large party, clean up will be much easier with disposables. Also keep extra basic essentials on hand like condiments and serving ware in case the need arises. In the holiday shuffle, it’s easy to forget the small details.
2.Think Of A Theme
Themes are helpful when planning the menu. You want the various dishes to complement each other, so choose a theme that everyone agrees upon. For example, an Italian theme would probably include lasagna, sausages and peppers, and tiramisu, while a traditional American potluck might have macaroni and cheese, ham, and apple pie. Pick by popular cuisine, or choose by ingredients like seafood or local vegetables. Also consider the time of day (breakfast, lunch, or dinner).
3.Decide On Dishes
Start a list of who is brining what to avoid duplicate or similar dishes. This way you can cover all the major courses and party favorites. There should be appetizers, soups or salads, entrees, sides, desserts, and beverages. Keep track in case of any last minute changes or cancellations. The host should be responsible for the main course. Also allow enough time for guests to research and prepare their recipes.
4.Plot Portion Sizes
You don’t need to be exact, but it’s better to prepare too much than too little, especially if your dish is the hit of the night. People usually don’t eat full portions, so they can try almost everything on the table. Encourage guests to bring containers for leftovers to take home after the party.
Guests will prepare dishes anywhere from the night before to a few hours before serving, but some dishes may need a little last minute prep at the party. Coordinate to see who will need to use the oven or stove, and ask them to prepare as much as they possibly can at home.
Kitchen island ideas for potlucks have no boundaries. The key is to display all the dishes in an organized and beautiful arrangement (buffet-style) so that it’s easy for your guests to navigate and get their food as quickly as possible. Use nice serving platters, bowls, and dessert stands for a pretty presentation, with serving spoons/forks when needed. Group like items together, in logical order, with beverages and desserts at a secondary location.
Have your kitchen flowing and glowing this holiday season when hosting a harmonious holiday potluck. These six tips and tricks will have you feeling like a potluck pro, so your party will be a stress free success. Everyone will appreciate the attention to detail, preparation, and organization you’ve put into the potluck — not to mention the fabulous food!
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