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The Side Dish

A Recipe For Success – Office Potluck Edition

Katie Martinez / 11.6.2018

Whether it’s a Thanksgiving celebration, the monthly BIG YAM Book Club discussion or just a random Tuesday in May, BIG Yammers love a good potluck. But if you’re like me (i.e., NOT a Betty Crocker) planning your office potluck recipes can take some serious coordination. Your dish-to-pass can lose its pizazz after hours in the fridge, and prepping in a microwave (or toaster oven if you’re fancy) can really limit your culinary expression.

Youtube Cooking GIF by Rosanna Pansino - Find & Share on GIPHY
Me in the kitchen, a dramatization. 

With that in mind, I follow three guidelines for my potluck dishes: 1) must be easy to whip together (five ingredients or less), 2) can be made ahead of time and 3) easy to clean up. So, next time the potluck signup form hits the bulletin board, have no fear – here are three of my fave, go-to office potluck recipes.

TACO DIP

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz softened cream cheese (seriously do not forget to soften)
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • Toppings – chef’s choice (think items like tomatoes, olives, cheese, etc.)
  • Tortilla chips

Instructions:

  1. Hit the cream cheese with a hand mixer until fluffy.
  2. Add in the sour cream and taco seasoning. Boom – you’ve got your base.
  3. Spread your base into a dish. I like to use a pretty pie dish or something similar that is shallow for optimal dipping.
  4. Cover with your favorite taco toppings. For a potluck, I try to keep it simple to help please the masses. Diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce and scallions are my jam.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips and start dipping.

I’m now hungry for taco dip. Check out a similar recipe with mouth-watering photos at The Fox Valley Foodie.

SNICKERS SALAD (Yes, that says Snickers)

This is 100 percent not a salad unless you are in the great state of Wisconsin. But it’s just not a Christmas/Easter/Birthday/fry out unless there is at least one bowl of Snickers Salad on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small box vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
  • 3-4 Granny Smith apples; cut into small slices
  • 6 Snickers bars (yes, SIX Snickers bars….in a salad), cut into small slices

Instructions:

  1. Mix pudding mix and milk until smooth.
  2. Fold in Cool Whip.
  3. Add apples and Snickers bars and mix it all together.
  4. Pro tip: Get fancy and garnish the top with a couple of pieces of Snickers.
Next time the potluck signup form hits the bulletin board, have no fear –these brownies are my go-to office potluck recipe.

CARAMEL BROWNIES

These brownies are the perfect dessert for a potluck because they are the BEST when made ahead of time since they need time to chill and set in the fridge. I have to text my mom for the recipe from the grocery store every 👏🏼 single 👏🏼 time 👏🏼, but here is a how-to video from The Recipe Girl for my most favorite brownie in the world.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix. Pro tip: These bad boys can be uber-chocolatey. Use a German Chocolate Cake mix for better balance.
  • 1-12 oz bag milk chocolate chips
  • 1-14 oz bag individually wrapped caramels
  • 10 oz evaporated milk
  • ¾ cup melted butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease up a 9 x 13 pan.
  2. Unwrap the entire bag of caramels (it will feel like roughly a million) into a glass bowl. Add 1/3 cup of evaporated milk and nuke until melted.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix, 1/3 cup of evaporated milk and butter.
  4. Spread half of your brownie batter into the pan making sure you cover the entire bottom. Pop it in the oven for six minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the batter. Then pour the caramel concoction over the chips.
  6. Top with the other half of the brownie batter. This step is a little tricky because the batter is super sticky and you can’t really pour it. My trick is I take smaller chunks, make a pancake in my hand and then lay that over the top. You aren’t going to cover it entirely, it’s more of a mosaic. But you can’t mess it up – only happy accidents here!
  7. Pan goes back into the oven for 15-18 minutes. Set out to cool.
  8. Restrain yourself and do not eat the entire pan.

Don’t miss out on BIG YAM shenanigans — and potlucks. Head over Instagram and Facebook to follow along and share your favorite dishes and treats.

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