My brother, John, recently started his food blog - The Pantry Panda. He also manages a Facebook Group, Bears in the Kitchen. He helped me put the luncheon together and spread the word among his friends and group members. In fact, a few came out from Milwaukee just to attend...
We had an amazing spread of both sweet and savory. It was so impressive to see how a group of 15 could throw a cohesive and complimentary spread of comforting fall eats. We had a table showcasing our savory dishes, sweet dishes and a beverage cart stocked with an assortment of martinis, soft drinks, and wine. John made his popular bone-in prime rib roast. It was a hefty 9+ pounds and every once of it was delicious!
Everyone started with the savory offerings. I prepared a couple of salads (Ceasar Salad and a Chopped Asian Salad). Dora, the food blogger behind the Budget Cooking section of About.com, prepared a butternut squash & kale casserole. Jeff, of Make It Like a Man, prepared these amazing Cloverleaf Rolls. John, of The Pantry Panda, made his Garlic Prime Rib Roast. Maxwell, who came in from Milwaukee, prepared a hearty chili. To round out the meal, I also prepared a mac & cheese bar. I made two kinds of mac & cheese - a classic white cheddar version and a traditional cheddar version with GF garlic & chive pasta. There were also a few toppings for folks to stir into their mac & cheese including pico de gallo, green onions, crumbled bacon, caramelized mushrooms, pork carnitas and bell peppers & onions.
On our sweets table, we had a great spread too! Diana, of Chicago Foodie Girl, brought in Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. Star, also from Chicago Foodie Girl, brought in Pumpkin Bars. Jeff's friend brought in Apple Cider Bread. John also made a Dutch Apple Pie, and Melissa, of Turning Veganese, made Vegan Fudge.
All in all, it was a delicious day with foodies and I'm looking forward to the next potluck I'll be hosting, which will be in December... a Holiday Cookie Swap! This was such a fun event with new friends and food - what more could anyone want?! A special thanks to those who attended and also to my friends at Smarty Had a Party. They have some great products perfect for parties, gatherings and celebrations of all sorts. I used their green plates, square plastic plates, flatware, napkins, and even a table runner to add some flair. Everyone complimented me on the servingware and were surprised they were all disposable because they looked and felt so sturdy. I'll definitely be planning my next party with Smarty Had a Party in mind. Until then, Happy Eating, friends!...I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.