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Holiday Potluck Lunch At Work


Gastro888
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In 2 weeks, we're going to have our oh-so-lovely potluck holiday celebration at work. Our fair company is generous enough to let us bring in our own food as well as our own gifts to celebrate the holiday. Needless to say, I'm thrilled to bits. :hmmm:

Having never done a workplace potluck before, what can one bring as an appetizer to a kitchenless office? All we have is a microwave to reheat items in. Does anyone have any suggestions? My previous potluck experiences at friends' homes involves cooking ethnic foods and that won't go over well here at all.

Thanks in advance!

Edited by Gastro888 (log)
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Fist off let me say "I'm sorry". The last potluck lunch that I was invloved in was an engineering company and I was working at the plant at that time. Imagine trying to feed a bunch of mechanics "ethnic" foods. It wasn't pretty. We also didn't have a kitchen.

I did a very simple wild rice and bean sald with peppers, carrots, tomatoes, things they would recognize and I lightly dressed it with Balsamic and olive oil. It actually went over quite well, which surprised me. I pretty much just made it for me, so I would have something to chow down on. Good luck!!

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If you have a conference room to hold this in, I imagine that store bought sternos and warming trays might be a better way to go than swathes of microwaved food.

-mjr

�As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans.� - Ernest Hemingway, in �A Moveable Feast�

Brooklyn, NY, USA

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I would make an onion tart- you can make it the night before, serve it at room temp and slice as thin or as thick depending on the # of people. Or you could make mini onion tarts and even use the premade shells if you need to.

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Crock pot dishes are always good as long as you have an outlet near your desk to keep it plugged in until the potluck.

Or if a staff refrigerator is available, cold salads (pasta or otherwise) can be good. As long as you can make sure the salad is sealed tightly so it doesn't absorb the odd smell one usually finds in a staff refrigerator. :hmmm:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Wow, thanks for the suggestions everyone! Y'all are so helpful! peppyre, thanks for the sympathy. Yes, we are holding it in a conference room so I could definitely use Toliver's crock pot idea. As for the sterno and warming pans, honestly, if I was working with cool people who were true foodies, I'd be more than happy to throw it down!

However, I work with people who make rude comments at the smell of black bean sauce...

(Screw it, I'll bring in some durian. :biggrin:)

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Can I also express my deepest sympathy and just add that I am so happy to learn you haven't reached the "oh I'll bring rolls or chips and pop" people...yet :hmmm:

Crock-pot aside - and yes I do quite love them...

The flat flour tortilla in various colours with either cheese/veggie spreads or the smoked salmon, leaf lettuce mayo mustard combo is quite popular! Bring them rolled and slice at the office eh voila!

My last piece of advice is coordinate the next party at the local pub! :laugh:

Life! what's life!? Just natures way of keeping meat fresh - Dr. who

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I'd say screw it and make up a big pot of something ethnic, odd, and spicey.

Who knows, some of them might surprise you, and if they balk at it, you have more to take home ;).

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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I'd have to say bring the cheese course. That way when you want to go home you bring out the cheese and unwrap it. From the sound of it one smell and partys over. :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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My condolences as well. When someone at my workplace suggests a potluck people show up with store-bought stuff, and I don't mean Dean and Delucca's. Sheet cakes, "veggie tray", chips and salsa and industrial cookies. The sad thing is that they don't expect anything else!

My devilled eggs go over big, as do my mac and cheese and sausage biscuits.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Nah, I haven't reached the chip, dip and pop stage. Yet. As for ethnic things, I'm already bringing something ethnic to the gift exchange - we'll see how well that goes over! :biggrin:

The roll ups sound like a great idea! Seems easy peasy and I like that! Unfortunately, I don't know how to make deviled eggs and I'm afraid I'd give the office food poisioning if I did. (Hmm...workman's comp?)

Industrial food has its time and place and unfortunately it's here in my office. Don't get me started on the cheap a** sheet cake they got me for my birthday. Nasty "choco" flavor with unidentifiable "buttercream" icing. :huh:

Thanks, everyone! :biggrin:

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Arrrgh. My blood pressure is rising just reading this thread. We have an impending Christmas Potluck as well and I'm not looking forward to it. We did a Thanksgiving potluck and I brought sweet potato gnocchi and I got alot of "Well that's interesting . . . maybe I'll get it on the next pass." The problem is now my hand's been shown as a cook and so the expectation is I have to cook something rather than bring pre-packaged stuff, regardless of the fact no one will eat it.

Nothing really to add in the way of suggestions here though, just venting.

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I'm in the same situation right now, in fact the "sign-up" sheet has been on my desk for two days! Our pot luck is next week. I usually try to bring something that people recognize and can relate to, familiar fare. But then we often end up with 5 versions of green bean or hash brown casseroles! I'm leaning toward desserts, like a pecan pie or sweet potato pie or maybe individual tarts. People always appreciate dessert! :raz:

Bob R in OKC

Home Brewer, Beer & Food Lover!

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mushroom turnovers!

i used to love making these when i was a kid and they are great for a appetizers. the original recipe i used came from good housekeeping i think, and i don't think i wrote it down. but it might be in my mom's big book o'recipes.

here's a similar recipe:

http://www.runnerduck.com/11-08-02.htm

i don't remember using buillion cubes - i could have sworn ours had thyme in it. but the cream cheese and sour cream are on target.

if not that then maybe puff pastry turnovers with a filling of your choice?

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Thanks for the suggestions, tryska! I love mushrooms and this might be "safe" enough for people to eat! Cool beans, rock on!

Kevin72-Mmm, sweet potato gnnochi. Man, they didn't know what they were missing.

Speaking of dessert, that was the first course that everyone signed up for! That'll learn me for next time.

Ok, would it be horribly wrong of me if I pulled a Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade receipe on their butts?! :biggrin:

Edited by Gastro888 (log)
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For Thanksgiving I made an appetizer that involves puff pastry, mini-muffin tins, cranberry sauce, and brie cheese. They're good warm from the oven, and perfectly tolerable room temp. Basically. . .cut puff pastry in 2-inch squares, push it down in the mini-muffin thingies; drop a dollop of cranberry sauce and a piece of brie into it. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until the edges are golden.

If you make a cranberry sauce to serve alongside it, that'd be nice, too. . most people like cranberry sauce, right? I like cranberry sauce.

Diana

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Speaking of dessert, that was the first course that everyone signed up for!  That'll learn me for next time. 

That's unfortunately the problem that sometimes pops up with potlucks here. If no one specifies that certain depts/teams should bring certain categories of dishes, 80% of what turns up will be dessert. Now, I suppose 1 or 2 desserts is fine, but it is always dissapointing to see pie after pie and no real food.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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For Thanksgiving I made an appetizer that involves puff pastry, mini-muffin tins, cranberry sauce, and brie cheese.  They're good warm from the oven, and perfectly tolerable room temp.  Basically. . .cut puff pastry in 2-inch squares, push it down in the mini-muffin thingies; drop a dollop of cranberry sauce and a piece of brie into it.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until the edges are golden.

If you make a cranberry sauce to serve alongside it, that'd be nice, too. . most people like cranberry sauce, right?  I like cranberry sauce.

Diana

that's totally what i was thinking off, when i thought of puff pastry thingies. cranberries and brie.

love it.

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For Thanksgiving I made an appetizer that involves puff pastry, mini-muffin tins, cranberry sauce, and brie cheese.  They're good warm from the oven, and perfectly tolerable room temp.  Basically. . .cut puff pastry in 2-inch squares, push it down in the mini-muffin thingies; drop a dollop of cranberry sauce and a piece of brie into it.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until the edges are golden.

If you make a cranberry sauce to serve alongside it, that'd be nice, too. . most people like cranberry sauce, right?  I like cranberry sauce.

Diana

that's totally what i was thinking off, when i thought of puff pastry thingies. cranberries and brie.

love it.

I've made this before! it's Emeril's (or that's where I saw it) and it is good!!

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Cool, thanks for the puff pastry and brie hint! Sounds good. Yeah, tryska, these would be the people who would appreciate Sandra Lee. Caught her show last night as I was working out and she made this cresent rolls ring thing. I wonder if I could fudge the brie and puff pastry receipe with the cresent rolls.

Yes, these people would not appreciate puff pastry. I'm pretty sure of it.

(OK, I must fess up...I have a full, unopened jar of Trader Joe's Mayo that I'd like to use for this potluck. Suggestions? Oh yes, I love my company, oh yes, yes I do!)

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However, I work with people who make rude comments at the smell of black bean sauce...

(Screw it, I'll bring in some durian. :biggrin:)

love it!! though you do need to hang out with a higher class of food person - like librarians :biggrin:

john is an engineer and they are the worst when it comes to this kind of thing. one of his bosses one year brought a loaf of wonder bread for the sandwiches - the giant economy size no less.

over the years i have sent in:

deviled eggs

german potato salad

hot dogs in the grape jelly & chili sauce(these lasted about 1/2 hour and at least three guys asked for the recipe to give to their wives)

swedish meatballs

sweet and sour meatballs

pigs in a blanket

stuffed mushrooms

spinach salad with a honey mustard vinaigrette

good luck!!

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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