How to Host a Pot-Luck

The hubs and I are big on get-togethers at our home. In fact, if you read the blog often, you know that we host monthly movie nights for family and friends. Since we have been traveling like crazy we decided to have a really casual Pot-Luck get together tonight and I am pretty stoked for everyone to get here. Sometimes I have trouble deciding what to make for pot-lucks but since we were hosting I decided to go with one signature dish, one dessert, and one beverage…adult beverage. I figured we could all use it in this rainy weather! Here is a quick rundown of my prep for tonight’s pot-luck.

First, I started on a store-bought mix for inside out cupcakes. Id much prefer to make everything from scratch but we had a lot going on today and these looked totally adorable. I started with a simple mix and cupcake trays.

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Next, I simply followed the box directions as with any other cake mix. Pretty simple right? I even brought the hubs in for some stirring reinforcements.

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Then came the fun part of this desert… filling in the cupcakes with fudge. YUM! The icing is supposed to bake up in the middle for a “ho ho” or “twinkie” like effect.

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After filling the cups with more cake batter and getting these guys into the oven I focused my attention on tonight’s beverage. Again, I took some help from the store and started with a really basic Sangria.

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I dont love a “really basic” anything most of the time so I decided to sass up tonight’s sangria a bit. I poured a little over 1/2 into a pitcher and added 3 cups of 7–Up (or Sprite, Sprite 0, whatever), tons of frozen berries, 1/2 cup sugar and some rum…ok a lot of rum.

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At this point it was time to slide this winning concoction into my very crowded fridge and watch an episode of Jersey Shore (standard dinner party prep I tell you!)

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After getting my fill of those crazy kids from jersey the cupcakes were cooled and ready to be plated. The sangria was also chilled and ready to sample!

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The pups decided to watch the storm while I cooked..not that I can blame them. It looked really neat outside.

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Finally, it was time to make my way into the kitchen and prep for the main dish. I gathered all my ingredients.

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I made this last Thanksgiving and you can find my step by step HERE. Tonight’s prep was pretty much the same. I started by browning 1/2 lb of center cut bacon.

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Next, I caramelized some onions and jazzed it up with a shot of wine.

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While the onions were softening I made a very basic cheese sauce (butter, flour, milk and chicken stock) After the sauce was thick enough I added a shredded block of (sooo yummy) Gruyere cheese.

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A touch of nutmeg and a tablespoon of Dijon mustard finished off the sauce.

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I combined everything with some whole grain pasta and am now patiently waiting for some people to get here and try it!!

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Now Im sitting back and relaxing, waiting for the party to begin!! Do you have a favorite “pot-luck” dish??

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