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Creating the Perfect Potluck Gathering

Planning a Fall Fete or just interested in doing more entertaining at home? A potluck gathering might just be the answer for you. Learn why I recommend hosting one and all my advice on my latest article for Inspired Home.

Here are a few images to inspire you …

Potluck Dinner Staub_ LeCreuset_ HamptonForge_ LodgeCastIron_ Architec_ 1 1000

KF - IHA Potluck Dinner Staub_ LeCreuset_ HamptonForge_ LodgeCastIron_ Architec_ 3 1000

I love to entertain at home. It is one of my true pleasures in life. I am energized by the planning, the inviting, menu creation, deciding what plates and napkins to use, picking out the perfect flowers to place on the table and what music should be playing in the background – I love all of it. But so often I hear friends tell me how the very idea of hosting a gathering at their home sends a wave of panic straight through them stopping the gathering before it even gets started. Trying to do it all can be overwhelming. My best advice – host a potluck gathering. Getting your guests involved in the preparation and cooking of the meal can help alleviate some of the pressure you may feel and allow you to have more time for aspects you actually find fun about entertaining at home.

KF - IHA Potluck Dinner Staub_ LeCreuset_ HamptonForge_ LodgeCastIron_ Architec_ 4 1000

Other words of advice to ensure a smooth potluck party: set the table with neutrals. Most likely you will not be able to control what color your friends platters and serveware will be, so don’t try to! By starting with a neutral base of plates, napkins and flowers, you create a welcoming neutral palette for any color or patterned plate that may arrive.

KF - IHA Potluck Dinner Staub_ LeCreuset_ HamptonForge_ LodgeCastIron_ Architec_ 7 1000

KF - IHA Potluck Dinner Staub_ LeCreuset_ HamptonForge_ LodgeCastIron_ Architec_ 8 1000

KF - IHA Potluck Dinner Staub_ LeCreuset_ HamptonForge_ LodgeCastIron_ Architec_ 9 1000

Once you have your table planned out, I always recommend the host make a main dish. It doesn’t need to be too elaborate or take too much prep work, however, Buttermilk Chicken {recipe coming soon} is a great dish that can be cooked the night before and is sure to be a crowd pleaser both aesthetically and to the taste buds. I also like to provide a bread or muffin type starch along with the main dish and this year I have been obsessed with Cast Iron Cornbread + Poblano Corn Sticks.


Disclosure: I have been selected by the International Housewares Association to be a contributor for Inspired Home. While I have been compensated for my time, my opinions, recipes, photography, reviews and ideas are my own.


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And, if you are looking for even more ways to celebrate everyday check out An Appealing Plan the book.

Call it a trend or a return to the past, but I believe we are bringing back entertaining at home, lingering over a table after a lovingly prepared meal with friends. It has been a way of life and passion of mine my entire adult life, and I am thrilled to be able to invite you on this journey with me through a year of celebrating every day. Filled with recipes, tablescapes, floral inspiration and seasonal entertaining ideas An Appealing Plan :: A Year of Everyday Celebrations, is a dream come true for me a true honor to be able to share it with you. To learn more about An Appealing Plan :: A Year of Everyday Celebrations here. And of course, share how you are celebrating everyday.

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20 Responses to Creating the Perfect Potluck Gathering

  1. Anita September 18, 2015 at 2:11 AM #

    I grew up going to family potlucks all the time and it’s still one of my favorite types of party – so much more relaxed and fun!
    Anita recently posted…{Cookbook Review}: Sugar and Spice and a Pistachio and Chocolate CakeMy Profile

  2. Erin @ Texanerin Baking September 17, 2015 at 2:42 PM #

    Those are some fantastic tips! And that poblano corn bread looks so, so good. I can’t wait to see the recipe!
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking recently posted…No-bake Maple Almond Butter Cookies (vegan, gluten-free, whole grain, dairy-free)My Profile

    • Krayl Funch September 22, 2015 at 4:05 PM #

      SOOOOO tasty Erin! thanks for stopping in !

  3. Lana | Never Enough Thyme September 16, 2015 at 5:08 PM #

    I love to entertain, too, but haven’t done it in some time now. My husband and I used to have a big Christmas open house for all his co-workers and a huge family July 4 party every year with smaller celebrations sprinkled throughout the other months. I particularly like your idea of keeping the linens and tableware neutral for a potluck. Very smart!
    Lana | Never Enough Thyme recently posted…Peach-Pecan PancakesMy Profile

    • Krayl Funch September 22, 2015 at 4:06 PM #

      Thank you Lana! I think 2016 is the year you bring back entertaining! Love a Christmas open house too.

  4. Lorena September 16, 2015 at 3:09 PM #

    Beautiful photography! Love your post and yes, you are right, making potlucks is a brilliant idea to lift off the stress of an invitation.
    Lorena recently posted…Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash SoupMy Profile

    • Krayl Funch September 22, 2015 at 4:07 PM #

      Thank you Lorena! I love entertaining and I think it comes through in my work!

  5. Kirsten September 16, 2015 at 3:04 PM #

    I’m one of those panic-y types. But I’m powering through! After hearing about all the salsas I’ve been putting up this summer, my friend suggested I host a salsa party.

    I LOVE this idea! I’ll supply a few and a starter pitcher of Cheater Margaritas, and ask others to bring snacks/drinks. I’ve set the date–now all I have to do is check out your tips and clean the house!

    Kirsten recently posted…How to Make Dill Butter When You’ve Got a Lot of HerbsMy Profile

    • Krayl Funch September 22, 2015 at 4:08 PM #

      Kirsten I am proud of you! I hope you share all your pictures to encourage others!

  6. Brenda@SugarfreeMom September 16, 2015 at 2:58 PM #

    Potlucks are perfect for a group and make life easier for the hostess for sure! Love that corn pan and everything really looks pretty.
    Brenda@SugarfreeMom recently posted…Low Carb Pumpkin Pie CupcakesMy Profile

    • Krayl Funch September 22, 2015 at 4:08 PM #

      Thank you Brenda! The corn pan is a dream – such fun!

  7. Cookin Canuck September 16, 2015 at 11:23 AM #

    Potlucks are a great way to host a party, while taking some of the pressure off of the host. It’s been a long time since I’ve hosted a potluck, but autumn seems like the perfect time to do it.

    • Krayl Funch September 22, 2015 at 4:09 PM #

      You are so right! A potluck is perfect for an Autumn gathering inside by the fire or outside on the patio!

  8. Lora @cakeduchess September 16, 2015 at 10:01 AM #

    Such great tips, Krayl! I also love to host gatherings and you’re right, it can all be overwhelming. It’s a fun way to get others to help out when you make it a potluck. That’s usually how my big Italian parties are!:)
    Lora @cakeduchess recently posted…Zucchini Poppy Seed BreadMy Profile

    • Krayl Funch September 22, 2015 at 4:10 PM #

      Lora – I KNOW you are an amazing host! Can’t wait to try that Zucchini bread!

  9. Angie September 16, 2015 at 9:05 AM #

    These are some great tips for party planning. I love potlucks too!

  10. Heather | girlichef September 16, 2015 at 8:33 AM #

    I love the cool greens and greys – this is just beautiful!
    Heather | girlichef recently posted…Conchas, a #BreadBakingBabes Challenge!My Profile

    • Krayl Funch September 22, 2015 at 4:11 PM #

      Thank you Heather -it means alot coming from a pro!

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