Easy Potluck Party

It's 8:15pm on a Saturday and I'm sitting in my PJs watching college football, nicely snuggled in for the night.  My house is clean and my daughter's sleeping.  But just an hour ago my house was full with families dining, mingling and celebrating fall.  This is bliss for a lady who likes to entertain.

Easy Potluck Party

My Mom's Group wanted to have a fall party to get our families together so I offered to host a potluck.  We settled on 4:00pm to start since that's after the kids nap times and gets everyone home in time for bedtime.  As the hosts my husband and I provided the main course, a smoked brisket, and a dessert, pumpkin cupcakes (recipe below).  Everyone else brought a side, dessert or drink.  This is the easiest kind of party and the variety of dishes easily provides conversation topics.  Since our kids are too young for organized crafts or games, we simply blew up some balloons and put them on the floor. They were a big hit with the wee ones.  

Since our house was already decorated for fall and Halloween, we didn't do much to get ready for the party.  I just sat out plates, cups and flatware and cleared counter space for everyone's yummy dishes.  Then we relaxed and enjoyed visiting with our friends. 

When all the guests were gone we just had to put away leftovers and take out the trash.  It's like getting two Saturday nights in one -- we hosted a party and had the rest of the evening to relax at home.  I love easy potluck parties!

I love this caddy.  It's perfect for displaying cups, straws, napkins, or cutlery.
Keep a couple sharpies in a caddy so you always have a way to mark cups.

Little signs throughout directed guests to the playroom or the powder rooms.

For additional outside seating provide a basket of picnic blankets.

Bells on the door are fun and let me know when a new guest has arrived.

Yum! Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel
When hosting a party for large groups I'm all about keeping it simple.  Baking or cooking anything too complicated would only stress me out.  These cupcakes are very easy and only partly homemade.

Start with Martha Stewart's Pumpkin Cupcakes (makes 24).  After the cupcakes have completely cooled pipe cream cheese frosting on to cakes and drizzle with caramel sauce. 

Pumpkin Cupcakes by Martha Stewart

2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon all spice
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can pumpkin puree

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for a lovely evening at your house for our Fall Potluck Party! It truly was a nice way to relax with the moms, dads & babies!