Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Potluck Club Cookbook

The Potluck Club Cookbook
Linda Evans Shepherd
Eva Marie Everson

In the short time I've had this cookbook, it has quickly become my favorite! Linda and Eva have gone out of their way to collect/create a wonderful set of recipes that are sure to be a hit with your family and your friends. These foods are fabulously easy to pull together and convenient to transport for group meals, but they are also perfect for eating at home -- especially for medium to large sized families.

The cookbook covers the gamut of recipes you might want to create -- from appetizers to breads, main dishes to vegetables, breakfast to dessert. There are also crock pot recipes and even a long list of lighter fare for healthier eating.

There are several recipes that had me wondering why in the world I hadn't thought of that, such as cranberry orange salad. And it's a good thing that Linda's Caramel Ritz Bits Crackers come with a warning -- those will never make it out of the kitchen so you'd better make a double batch!

This is potluck cooking for a new generation and I highly recommend it!

Available September 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Try this awesome recipe this week!

Linda’s Chicken Tortilla Casserole

2 ½ Tbsp. chopped onions

¼ cup butter

3 Tbsp. flour

1 ½ cups milk

¾ cup chicken broth

1 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. jalapeno peppers

1 ½ cups chopped canned tomatoes (stewed)

3 cups cubed chicken, cooked

½ cup shredded cheese

12 tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips

Sauté onions in butter, then add flour and cook until mixture is bubbly. Stir in milk and broth gradually. Stir in salt, peppers, and tomatoes.

In casserole dish, layer chicken, cheese, then strips of tortillas. Pour sauce over layers then sprinkle casserole with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot.

Serves 6-8.

Linda: “You can’t go wrong with this tasty dish. It’s a potluck crowd favorite.” (Page 130)


As wallets tighten, friends and family have to get more creative about the way they socialize, seeking to make get-togethers more budget-friendly without sacrificing the fun. That challenge is what has brought about the revival of potlucks to the social scene.

“Eating in is the new eating out,” says Eva Marie Everson, a potluck enthusiast and co-author of The Potluck Club Cookbook. For instance, Everson and her husband used to meet up with another couple each month over dinner at a different restaurant. “But with the recent economy, we started eating in and dining √† la potluck. We get to sit on a screened-in patio and watch the sun set over the lake behind the house. We all agree we should have been doing this all along!”

Potlucks are easy even on strained budgets because no one person carries the full cost of a table-full of food; instead, guests each bring their own favorite dish and together cater the event. This allows guests to sample new dishes and share favorite recipes from their closest friends.

These potlucks that are popping up in even the classiest of circles barely resemble the potlucks of yesterday. Now, they might carry intriguing themes that the dishes are based around. For instance, a book club’s potluck might feature foods mentioned in the pages of their latest read. Or a birthday celebration for a longtime friend might be a wine-and-cheese potluck showcasing favorite edibles that get better with age. For a close girlfriend who is always known for accenting with yellow, a potluck in her honor might include a savory, golden-hued smorgasbord.

Whatever your affair may look like, Eva Marie Everson and Linda Evans Shepherd are the experts when it comes to hosting and attending these shared meals. Veterans of countless potlucks over the years, the duo has gathered their favorite potluck-ready recipes—from salads to slow-cooker delights—plus their experienced insights about pulling off a potluck into one source: The Potluck Club Cookbook. Shepherd and Evans are also the authors of the popular fiction series The Potluck Club and The Potluck Catering Club—so their penchant for potlucks is obvious.

“Potlucks have been a part of my life since childhood,” explains Everson, whose memories are rife with these culinary celebrations—from her days growing up in the South to her newlywed years to the times toting her young children along to the potluck, too. “The potluck meal isn’t just about sharing good, home-cooked food, but also about connecting with your closest friends and family and creating memories that last a lifetime,” Shepherd adds. “Potlucks must be what love tastes like.”

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