There’s a party, and you’re invited. But your mama taught you better than to just show up empty-handed—bringing nothing but your charming personality.
So, what dish are you bringing?
Step 1: Purchase ingredients from Whole Foods for my favorite Moroccan Chicken Tagine recipe.
Step 2: Make recipe, like I have hundreds of times before.
Step 3: Somehow, fuck it up. Like, royally. Because this is what I do.
Step 4: Freak out. Like, royally. Because I hate disappointing people.
Step 5: Choose a casserole dish.
Step 6: Drive back to Whole Foods and purchase four pounds of hot bar macaroni and cheese for $50.
Step 7: Move food from hot bar container to the casserole dish while at a stoplight.
Step 8: Arrive 10 minutes after I wanted to, sweating with anxiety, fully prepared to lie about the provenance of said food.
Step 9: Realize, standing at the door, there was a Google Spreadsheet with what everyone planned to bring, so I can’t lie.
Step 10: Make a huge deal of over-apologizing for ruining the potluck, even though no one besides me gives one little shit.
For as long as I can remember, my dad and my Aunt Sue (mainly) have been making Chex party mix during football season. According to my dad, my Grandma Marge made it when he was a kid, sometimes adding in Cheerios. It’s a recipe we have altered slightly from the side of Chex cereal, and tripled to make in bulk. It’s the perfect gameday/tailgate snack, definitely counts as breakfast since the main ingredient is cereal, works as a potluck item since everyone likes a side/crunchy nibble, and is scientifically addictive. This is one of the best foods the Vail family makes.
Because one of our hosts is a hyper-athlete and in deference to my Southwestern upbringing, I’ll bake up some blue corn buffalo meat enchiladas, smothered in red chiles. Not only is this dish gluten-free, low fat, high protein and high fiber, the spicy chiles can also spark an endorphin response. All three of the main ingredients were pioneered by indigenous people, though wild bison are rare these days. Cheese and sour cream are optional for people depending on their dietary cycles.
After stressing out about trying to make an appetizer that is some impossible combination of appropriately-priced, delicious, healthy, novel, and 1-2 hours of discernible effort, I inevitably give up and realize that no one cares. They just want an ice cream cake. Two layers of ice cream, with flavors curated by someone who DNGAF about your dairy or peanut butter allergies, with layers of fudge, Oreos, and sprinkles. Add a snarky fudgie message on top, and you’ll be crowned pasha of the potluck.
I can whip up a dip like nobody’s business, but the one dip that the people clamor for is the one that is so easy to make it’s stupid. Take your cannellini beans, yogurt, olive oil, grated garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest, toss it in the blender, and BOOM! You’ve got the lemony-est, garlicy-est, smoothest dip. No fuss, no muss. Guaranteed to keep you coming back for more. I cannot over state enough the importance of lemon zest.
Hey guys, unfortunately I can’t make it to your little gathering, so consider this advance notice to maybe assign the sangria to someone else. Remember last party when I sent it early and you wolverines demolished the ENTIRE cooler before I even arrived? And then had the AUDACITY to CALL and ASK if I would PICK UP another BOX OF WINE on my way? Who do I look like, DIO-fucking-NYSUS?
Anyway, super sad I can’t make it. Have the best time!
Is it really a party without a veggie platter? Trust me, I’d love to be the kind of person who makes fancy Pinterest-level offerings, but who am I kidding, I definitely don’t have the time.
Also, everyone must be able to have the drink of their choice! So I’ll throw in some bottles of wine, courtesy of Trader Joe’s, and we can all see how much Three Buck Chuck we can consume in a night.
I’ll be bringing a batch of chocolate chip cookies—and not just the ones from the grocery store or the kind you throw on a tray and stick in the oven. No, no, no these will be handmade with love of course, but more importantly, my mom’s secret recipe. Around our family and friends, the cookies are well-known for having a 100 percent satisfaction rate, offering up an unparalleled combination chocolatey goodness and comfort. With such deliciousness, how could I dream of adding anything else to the potluck?
I’ll be bringing my family’s favorite appetizers: weiner wraps (mini hot dogs and crescent rolls) and blue cheese biscuit balls (biscuits with melted blue cheese and butter). Are my favorite appetizers named after male genitalia? Yes. Have I said at previous family gatherings, “I got a mouth full of balls and weiners?” Yes. Do I think that is why my mom refuses to make them? No, she’s incredibly comfortable with how I speak at the dinner table.
You’re all getting Wegman’s pizza. As we all munched upon its acceptable-but-far-from-