7 Things You Can Take to a Potluck If You Can't Cook
Four-or-fewer-ingredient party-food recipes to make you rethink the "I'll-just-bring-a-bag-of-chips" approach.
The Greek-Salad Spread
This dip takes the best elements of a classic dish and turns them into a crowd-pleasing appetizer. You start with plain Greek yogurt, then stir in a handful of crumbled feta and some chopped scallions and season with salt and pepper. Slice up a few cucumbers to use as dippers, and you've got a cool and refreshing snack.
A Refined, Asian-Influenced Canapé
While sushi might be best left to the professionals, these one-bite shrimp appetizers are something anyone can make. All you need are boiled shrimp (you can buy them already cooked at many grocery stores), sesame or seaweed rice crackers, wasabi mayonnaise and some thinly sliced scallion greens. They come together in minutes and manage to taste both light and substantial.
Get the recipe: Shrimp with Wasabi Mayonnaise
The Dip That Never Lets You Down
Few foods convey "party" like guacamole does, and fewer still are as ridiculously easy to make. As long as you buy your avocados at least four days before the event (so they have plenty of time to ripen), you really can't screw this up. Combine two ripe avocados (mashed) with the juice of one lime, half of a white onion (chopped) and salt to taste.
The Loveable Skewer with an Unexpected Pop of Flavor
"Bring something on a toothpick, and please go all out with the ingredients," said no one, ever. Go with a classic, such as cubes of melon wrapped in prosciutto, and you're sure to please a crowd. Finish it off with a fresh mint leaf on each skewer to add color and fresh flavor. For a small cantaloupe, you will need six to eight thin slices of prosciutto and a handful of mint.
Pasta Salad with 2 Powerhouse Ingredients
Store-bought pesto is a lifesaver for weeknight dinners, but it's also a potluck guest's secret weapon for turning any pasta into a delicious hot, cold or room-temperature dish. If you have five extra minutes, drain a jar of sundried tomatoes and julienne (a.k.a., slice) them to give the dish an additional texture. Mix a pound of cooked pasta with about 3/4 cup pesto and a 3-ounce jar of drained and cut sundried tomatoes.
A One-Bite Nibble That's All in the Presentation
If you can line up dominoes, you can make this pumpkin-walnut appetizer, which simply consists of a goat cheese-pumpkin mixture spread onto a walnut half and topped with a dried cranberry. Line the appetizers up or arrange them in a zig zag fashion for the most aesthetic bang for your buck. The full recipe is here
, but don't feel you need to adhere too closely to the quantities; use more or less pumpkin or cheese to suit your taste.
Photos: Getty and Thinkstock
An Ice Cream Dessert That Has No Business Being This Easy
We're in love with this inventive technique that we've seen everywhere from Lauren Conrad's blog
to the Ben & Jerry's website
, since it results in the most perfect ice cream sandwiches ever (and it's also a lot of fun to make). Place a pint of ice cream on its side on a cutting board and, using a very sharp knife, carefully slice through the container to make perfectly round discs. Place between cookies and peel off the "wrapper." Roll in sprinkles or mini chocolate chips.