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I'm a Potluck FAILURE

I try so hard. Research recipes, try to please the majority of palates and whatever dish I bring in is usually unpopular!

Now I'm organizing a potluck for Thanksgiving. I want "holiday" type dishes. I know I could buy a pie or something, but we always lack for main / hearty type dishes.

Here are my constraints: No kitchen in the office, no refrigerator. I can use a cooler to keep something cold and I have a crockpot.

OK, give me your best shot!

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  1. Janet, if it's any consolation, I have the same problem. I am anxious to see the replies to your post, especially with holiday/potluck season upon us.

    ~TDQ

    1 Reply
    1. What about making a tart tatin? You can make it the night before and bring it in. It's close enough to apple pie that people should like it, but still 'fancy' enough to impress.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth

        Pecan Tassies, thay are not the main dish sorry, they are like mini pecan pies that are great and are a huge hit at holiday time, I can post my recipe or there are some very good ones on the web
        http://www.pamperedchef.com/our_produ...

        1. re: MMRuth

          Oops - I missed the 'main course' bit - sorry.

        2. You say you need a main dish.... I was thinking of a mixed salad with a variety of veggies and either chicken or shrimp. (These could be plated on the side.) The salad can be made sans dressing at home.....mix up the dressing and store in a jar in the fridge. The chicken can either be rotisserie from the market or grilled chicken breasts the night before at home. Since it will be served cold/room temp you won't need anything but the cooler to lug to the office. A nice loaf of crusty bread could accompany the salad.

          1. My potluck success story was a recipe given to me by a friend who, I think, got it out of Taste of Home magazine. I live in a rural NH town. An elderly church lady phoned me later for the recipe.
            Winter Salad - the dressing is a homemade poppy seed dressing with lemon juice in it. It's key to the success of the salad.
            Salad ingredients are: romaine lettuce, torn,
            a pear, cored and diced (I get the brown ones, Bosc?)
            an apple, cored and diced (I toss these two items in a little lemon juice to prevent browning)
            Shredded Swiss cheese
            unsalted cashews
            dried cranberries.
            I think that's it. It's a great salad for those times when fresh from the garden tomatoes aren't available. Everyone seems to like it.
            Potluck dishes in my area seem to be the same ones that have been going around for 100 years. For a family event, I take meatballs in a sauce made from brown sugar and chili sauce. Does great in a crock pot. But a lot of people bring meatballs in some kind of sauce. Taste of Home would be a good source of popular potluck recipes. Our relatives shy away from anything that looks too different or might be spicy. Good luck!

            2 Replies
            1. re: dfrostnh

              That sounds great!
              Now how do you make the homemade poppy seed dressing?

            2. in the crock pot:
              macaroni and cheese with bacon pieces in it
              sweet potatoes and apples with a brown sugar-orange juice glaze
              sweet and sour meatballs

              or grueyre cheese puffs, which are just fine at room temp