Monday, August 31, 2009

Bench Talk: Our Favourite Potluck Recipes

When you are invited to a potluck, what is the one no-fail recipe you reach for.....

Very timely subject Cathy. Hey readers do you think this is just a coincidence that we are scheduled to go to Cathy's for our second annual Labour Day Weekend BBQ. So we blog about what is our no-fail recipe and guess what, that will be just what she wants us to bring!

So with that said I think my no-fail potluck recipe has ingredients such as Brussel Sprouts, and Banana's! (I know Cathy doesn't like these two things, so I don't have to bring anything now)

Wow Cathy who would of wrote such a thing? Ha! Ha! Ha!

So my potluck recipes are .... You know what readers I really don't have any. I just bring what ever I am told. I do have some things I look for when picking a recipe for a potluck. I look for a dish that is easy to transport, is easy to assemble. Your hostess is busy so if you are bringing the hamburgers, DO NOT give the hostess a pound of ground beef as she has no time to make the burgers you were supposed to bring. You laugh and think to yourself who would do that, trust me it has happened! Bringing a dish should mean that the hostess is not required to do anything with it besides maybe shoving it in the oven to warm up. Also if you are bringing a dish that does require some work get off your butt and make it. It is easier if you have all the ingredients all ready measured and put in containers or baggies for easy assembly. Another important rule with potlucks is make way more then you would normally. If I was going to a potluck for say 18, I would make a dish that would feed 25. Always better to have more then not enough. I have been to potlucks, I kid you not, where there is 50 people and a person responsible for the beverages has come bringing one 2 liter of pop. Wow Carolin you seem very passionate about this.

One idea when going or organizing a potluck for a large crowd is breaking up the dishes, salad, potato/rice, veg, etc by the first letter of a persons last name. If your last name starts with the letter from A - F you would bring the Salad, G - L would bring the potato/rice etc. When we have gone to potlucks run this way they have been pretty good and you don't run the risk of everyone bringing salad and no dessert. This is new to me I have never heard anything like that before. What happens if it is all the same family and the last names are identical. With Mr. Sunshine's side of the family they are pretty much all boy so we all have the same last name. I guess that we would have a lot of dessert of absolutely no main dishes. I think the last name idea works for LARGE groups. But I would think it is a great potluck if everyone brought dessert!

Look at potlucks as a opportunity to make a dish that is a little more special. Even a bag of corn can be made into something a little more festive. Now I am really intrigued, what do you do to your corn to make it more festive?

So what should I bring to Cathy's, I am a lazy person so I don't want anything that would require too much work when I get there. If I bring a dessert it has to be a simple thing cause by the time we get to dessert who knows how many cocktails Cathy's husband will have made for me. Which is my favourite part besides the friends of course. Oh how sweet! I like your desserts because they are always homemade and very delicious.

Cathy here, so how do I follow that? Carolin, rest assured that Hubby is already working out 'muddle' recipes for cocktails so get ready! I was just going to type up my favourite casserole for pot luck. Thankfully, the girls have had it and liked it so I should not get too much grief! :) I fully agree with Carolin about dividing up the menu so it is a complete meal and not all salad or dessert. Have you ever gone to a potluck where someone brings something fantastic and your dish is leftover??? Uh, No cant say that has ever happened to me! I tell you that Carolin has a great big chip on her shoulder or she is a really good cook. I have had her food, she is a really good cook. By dividing up the meal, all dishes are consumed equally, ( I hope ). Just looked and I'm good there is know chips on my shoulders, maybe a little dandruf but thats all.

Well, here is my recipe for a hash brown potato, ham and cheese casserole:
I love this casserole dish.


1 bag frozen hash browns, thawed
2-3 1 inch slices of ham, cubed
1 small bunch washed and chopped green onions
1 bag of shredded Mexican cheese, ie: contains a mixture of monterray jack, cheddar, mozzarella, and jalapenos ( the shredded taco cheese works, too )
3/4 cup milk
6 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper, or to taste

-preheat oven to 350 F
- place thawed hash browns in a lasagna sized pan
-sprinkle chopped ham and chopped green onions on top
-next sprinkle most of the cheese over potatoes, ham and onions, ( keep some back for the top )
- mix together milk, eggs, salt and pepper and pour over potatoes, ham, green onions and cheese
- bake for 30 minutes, sprinkle with remaining cheese and continue baking for about 10 minutes more or until eggs are set.

Enjoy! I did but that was way back when the little one was born (over 9 years ago). But I am not sure if I can remember just what it tasted like, so you might have to make it for us again. Mind you I can't/wont be doing what I did nine years ago so it has to be just cause you love me or something. I believe that Cathy made that same dish at Louise's house at the end of June for our potluck dinner. I was so tasty. TMI Sunshine. Why don't I remember this?

I really don't think to much about what to bring. If the hostess does not really have a preference then I will make according to what I know people usually like. Sometimes its a tough decision because the kids don't always eat what the adults do. I sometimes bring my ground beef rice dish but kids don't always like the mushrooms.

What I bring depends on who is going and what they like and sometimes I just bring something that I have not made in a long time and we all really love, especially me.

I hope that this is inspiring you all to have a pot luck lunch or dinner or breakfast or brunch with all of your friends before summer vacation is over.

Cathy what do you want me to bring on the weekend? See I told you this was a way for Cathy to get us cooking for her BBQ.


  1. Do you ladies like bbq'd sausages with all the trimmings. Hubby is making a potato salad, too.
    The boys are all primed for Risk!! lol!

  2. And what are you making Cathy dear? Also if hubby is making salad and sauages when will he have time to plan, shop and make my Cocktails!!!!

  3. 'I' will do the shopping and take care of all the fixin's for the sausages. 'I' will also clean the house....oh wait...the boys will vacumn..o.k. .. I will clean bathrooms and dust!!! ;)

    Hubby has the cocktails all under control!

    p.s. I will even have ice!!! lol!