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.

 

Deviled egg fillings ready to pipe into the eggs.

When I was growing up, I could take or leave deviled eggs. They were usually made with a little too much mayonnaise, just a whisper of paprika, and not enough salt. Then I tried chef April Bloomfield’s version at her New York City restaurant, The Spotted Pig, where the eggs are luscious and punchy at the same time, and I became a convert.

In my forthcoming book, Modern Potluck, I devote a section to deviled eggs along with four recipes for different fillings, including my favorite, the Bloody Mary Deviled Egg (see the filling on the left).

Transporting deviled eggs seems tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Here, some tips:

  1. For the minimalist cook: Set the assembled eggs in the cups of a muffin tin or in ice cube trays and cover them loosely with plastic. This option is best if you’re not concerned about perfection, you’re not going far, and you plan to eat the eggs as soon as you get to the party.
  2. For the deviled egg obsessive: If you’re the one who always bring the eggs, it might be worth spending the $10 to $20 for a deviled egg carrier, which you can repurpose to hold kitchen odds and ends when it’s not in use.
  3. For the perfectionist foodie: Bring the egg whites in an airtight container (you can stack them) and the filling in a resealable plastic bag or a piping bag (see above). At the party, arrange the eggs whites on a platter, snip off one of the bag corners, and use that bag to pipe the filling into the egg cavities. Or you can do like I did last year after the book photo shoot and bring the four fillings in bags, set out the whites separately and let people pipe in the filling themselves (or even mix and match!).