Before you decide what to prepare, search through your kitchen for some ideas. You may have items in your pantry or refrigerator that were forgotten about and can be used to make something delicious. Also, look through your spice rack before buying any herbs or spices because you may be able to substitute instead of buying something you may only use one or two times. There is always a lot of potential in your kitchen with forgotten staple items and you may only need to purchase perishable ingredients like meat, produce, or cheese.
A potluck is the perfect time to try out that recipe you've been saving or cut out of a magazine ages ago. Your guests will love to try something new and exciting instead of the same old same old.
On the other hand, be sure to have a few staple classics that are sure crowd pleasers just in case you have some picky eaters on your hands or the new recipes don't work out as planned. It's always a good idea to have a good variety of meat and vegetarian dishes that you know everyone will enjoy. You don't want any guests going hungry.
Whether you are hosting a potluck or attending one, you don't want there to be multiples of similar items. Try to coordinate with other guests in order to make sure there is a good variety of meat, seafood, vegetarian, cheese, or pasta dishes. Also, make sure there are plenty of appetizers and a few main course and side dishes.
At any dinner party there should be dessert and a potluck is no different, so make sure a few guests bring some cookies, cakes, pies, and fruit. Dessert is one of the best parts of a meal and even though you may think your guests will be full after eating the main meal, most people will enjoy a little sweet treat to top off the evening.
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