Photo by Yossy Arefi

Photo by Yossy Arefi

Technically, we have about three weeks of the season left, but Labor Day always seems to put a nail in the summer coffin, doesn’t it? If you’re looking to make something for an upcoming party or picnic, might I suggest something from (ahem) Modern Potluck?  Some of my favorite writers and photographers have been sharing recipes from the book all around the Internets. Here, find links to many of the recipes below. Hope you find something tasty!

First up, a homemade drink totally counts as a potluck dish in my book. (And in my actual book. Ha!) Food 52 declared this watermelon agua fresca “genius” thanks to the addition of one secrete ingredient. (You gotta click to find out what it is!)

Anna Watson Carl found this recipe for Whipped Ricotta with Tomatoes to be an easy way to celebrate the season, even with a baby in tow. For a vegan take on the Caprese salad, try serving tomatoes with white beans instead of cheese, like Lindsey Love from Dolly and Oatmeal did.

If you want tomatoes in all of their tangy glory, you can marinate them in a little vinegar and olive oil with za’atar, the puckery, herby Middle Eastern blend. (Jessica Murnane loves this one. I can’t wait to check out her podcast.)

Megan Gordon included a not-too-sweet chocolate cookie recipe in Modern Potluck. On her blog, however, she wrote about my salad version of elote, the mayo-slathered, cheese-dusted Mexican street corn. I made this recipe for a party last week and it was tastier than I remembered!

Laura Wright at The First Mess shares my potluck philosophy: “Make it pretty, make it familiar, but also a lil’ fresh and new again = guaranteed potluck success.” Perhaps it’s why she loved these Miso and Molasses Baked Beans, which are deeply savory and vegan.

Need a main dish? Ashley Rodriguez thought this cheesy, meatless Late Summer Vegetable Enchilada Pie was great for a potluck or for serving a family.

For sweets, might I suggest a peach-blueberry slab pie (Nik Sharma flavored the filling with rosemary) or this stunner of a lemon-berry bundt cake, which Yossy dressed in a royal purple glaze.

 

 

 

Modern Potluck launch party at Powerhouse Arena

It’s been a whirlwind two weeks. Modern Potluck launched July 26 with an actual potluck and a brief talk held at Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn (above). Soon after, I did signings in Philadelphia and Stockton, NJ, and led a cooking class about potluck dishes at The Farm Cooking School.

This week, I’m in Seattle for a mix of work and fun. On Wednesday, I’m giving an author talk at the beloved cookbook shop, Book Larder. If you live locally, I would love to see you there!

These past few weeks have brought some incredible press for the book.

InStyle.com picked up the cheesecake bars, which are made with a buckwheat-almond crust.

Photo by Yossy Arefi

Photo by Yossy Arefi

Katie McGinty at Design Sponge loves the carrot hummus.

Photo by Yossy Arefi.

Photo by Yossy Arefi.

Parents.com posted some tips from the book about upping your potluck game.

Lindsey Love at Dolly and Oatmeal shared (and gorgeously photographed) the vegan caprese.

Photo by Lindsey Love of Dolly and Oatmeal

Photo by Lindsey Love of Dolly and Oatmeal

Melissa Coleman of The Faux Martha created a vegan take on the Chinese Chicken Salad.

ModernPotluckChineseCashewSalad

Photo by Melissa Coleman

On Serious Eats, I shared my tips for upgrading a potluck along with four exclusive recipes, like these Apricot Jam Bars.

Photo by Serious Eats

Photo by Serious Eats

I curated Food 52’s shop for a potluck, and decided that I want this casserole tote pronto.

I also wrote a piece wondering whether potlucks could save the world. I’d love to think they could!

Modern Potluck Cover

In six days, Modern Potluck will be out in the world. It’s hard to believe this journey started more than two years ago, when my daughter was not yet two years old, and I could (technically) say I was in my early 30s.

Things have been quiet around the blog lately, but behind the scenes, I’ve been aligning pieces to make sure as many people know about my book as possible. My hope is that you’ll hear about it in one place, read about it in another, and be so sick to death of it that you go and buy the book. Then you’ll love it so much that you’ll tell your friends and write reviews and host more potlucks and post about them on Instagram, and feel a little bad that you were annoyed in the first place. 😉

For an introvert like me, the promotion process has been a little intimidating. It’s also been a ton of work. I’m glad I set aside time almost every day for the past few months to devote to it. After the excitement dies down and the dust settles, I will share more details about what I did to get ready for the launch.

In the meantime, you can read some early press about the book in Epicurious; Edible Philly; Dr. Oz THE GOOD LIFE; and O Magazine. You can also find a feature I wrote about fruit salad inspired by the book for Every Day with Rachael Ray. 

I will be doing several book events and signings over the next few weeks. You can keep up with the latest here.

The first will be on pub day, July 26, at Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO, Brooklyn. (In their new space, no less!) Some friends and I will be making dishes from the book (it’s a potluck!) and my friend, writer and podcaster Julia Bainbridge, will interview me before I sign books. If you’re in New York, I’d love to see you there!

 

The easiest ever cocktail to serve a crowd.

Photo by Yossy Arefi.

In my forthcoming book, Modern Potluck, some of the recipes involve a bit of effort. My theory is, if you’re going to only make one dish, it should be a good one, and sometimes, good things take time. There are a few gems for the laziest or busiest of times, and this drink is one of them. Many of the cocktails in the book require citrus squeezing or making an infusion. This one merely requires you to slice some limes and cucumbers and mix a few things together. For the simple syrup, you can make a big batch to refrigerate for potluck emergencies, or simply substitute agave nectar.

The result is the type of cocktail that’s the perfect blend of sweet and tart. It’s also immensely refreshing and dangerously easy to drink. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Riesling Punch with Gin, Cucumber and Lime
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This pitcher drink is immensely refreshing and easy to make, with no citrus squeezing required. For a crowd, you can easily double or triple the quantities and serve it in a punch bowl or one of those multi-gallon drink canisters. Recipe from Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016).
Author:
Serves: 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 1 (750-ML) bottle dry Riesling
  • ¼ cup gin
  • ¼ cup simple syrup (see Note)
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced
  • 1 small cucumber (2 to 3 ounces), thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. In a large pitcher, combine the wine, gin, simple syrup, and sliced lime and cucumber. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour. Add 1 cup of ice cubes and serve in ice-filled glasses.
  2. NOTE. To make simple syrup, combine ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup water in a pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for 1 month.
  3. POTLUCK PREP. The Riesling, gin, and simple syrup can be combined and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Add the lime and cucumber within 4 hours of serving.