Join the Sobeys #PotluckChallenge and Support Food Revolution Day #FRD2014

Despite the fact that my mother and father were both lawyers and often worked long hours with minimal free time, neither one of them ever really embraced the concept of “convenience food.” I think it was partly a result of my mom being born in Europe and raised with a more European upbringing and partly the result of my parents both genuinely enjoying food and cooking, but whatever the reason for their preferences, I was almost exclusively raised on meals made from scratch with real ingredients.

Today, as the world has become busier and convenience options have become even more widely available and affordable, there are many people that don’t even know how to start making the switch from processed convenience options to meals made with real, wholesome ingredients and that, in turn, has created a generation of children that don’t really understand the importance of real food. Empowering children to be “food smart” was what inspired chef Jamie Oliver to start Food Revolution Day, and this year Sobeys has partnered with Jamie Oliver to help spread the message of Food Revolution Day on May 16, 2014 by hosting Canada’s biggest potluck party!

mexican toss pasta salad

This delicious and easy Mexican Toss Pasta Salad is a great choice for a potluck because it’s quick to prepare and the flavour only gets better over time!

So how can you take part? Just pledge to take the Potluck Challenge by registering at www.BetterFoodForAll.com and pledging to host your own potluck on or before May 16, 2014. You can get tips on hosting the perfect potluck and use the online Potluck Planner to organize all the details. Then share photos and posts about your potluck on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtags #FRD2014 and #PotluckChallenge! For every hashtag mention, Sobeys will donate $1 to the Children’s Aid Foundation’s Cooking Toward Independence project, up to a maximum of $25,000! Wondering how to get started? Here are my top five tips for hosting a successful potluck:

1) Have a Signature Dish

Whether you’re the host or the attendee, having a good signature dish that everyone loves can take the pressure off when looking for that perfect dish to bring. When I was a child, my mother’s potluck favourite was Marinated Mushrooms. Not only was it a unique and unexpected choice compared to most traditional potluck fare, it was a recipe that everybody always raved about. If there’s a salad or casserole that your family especially enjoys, consider making that recipe your own signature potluck specialty!

2) Choose Something That’s Tasty at Room Temperature

A dish that needs to be served immediately to be at its best is never the best choice for a potluck. For salads, either serve dressing on the side so that greens stay fresh or choose a heartier choice such as a pasta or potato salad that will stay fresh and tasty even with dressing added. Most casseroles are also a good choice as they’re still tasty as they cool. And of course, cookies and cakes always make welcome desserts!

3) Consider a Theme

A theme for your potluck gives those that are new to the concept a little more guidance about what to make and can be as exotic as choosing a certain style of cuisine or as simple as a brunch or barbeque potluck. One of our local community’s favourite styles of potluck involves the host supplying hamburgers, hotdogs and fixings while the guests each bring a salad or dessert!

4) Find Out What Guests are Planning to Bring

Telling a guest exactly what to bring to a potluck takes away from the fun and spontaneity of the event, but ensuring beforehand that not everyone is planning on bringing a pasta salad can be a wise move. In my experience, the larger the group, the less need there is to ensure that there will be a variety of foods. If your gathering is a smaller one of twelve people or less, assigning a dish in a broad category (salad, dessert, casserole) to each attendee can help ensure that there is a good variety of food.

5) Opt for Disposable Dinnerware

With a large group of people, using sturdy paper plates and disposable cutlery will make cleanup a whole lot easier. And with many eco-friendly options now available including compostable plates and plant starch cutlery, there’s no need to feel guilty about choosing disposable options. Make sure to buy extras as many people may use a separate plate for their main dishes and their desserts…children especially!

For those that are feeling especially ambitious, consider asking everyone to bring a copy of their recipe to the potluck. After the party, the recipes can be printed and bound into a simple recipe book fairly easily and will make a welcome and memorable keepsake for the party’s attendees! Personally, I’m planning a fairly simple family get-together on May 16 for my potluck and since Saskatchewan has had way more cold weather than usual this spring, a barbeque potluck seems like a great way to finally welcome the warm weather!

chocolate chip cookies

For a crowd-pleasing dessert at any potluck, you can’t go wrong with a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies!

I’m so excited about organizing my own Food Revolution Day Potluck and of course, since part of the purpose of Food Revolution Day is to help children appreciate the importance of good meals made with real food, I’m going to be getting my boys involved in the kitchen too! Best of all, just by sharing the fun of my potluck party, I’ll be helping to support an initiative that improves the lives of young people leaving the child welfare system across Canada by funding cooking skills workshops that teach them how to prepare nutritious, affordable meals. What a perfect way to embrace the spirit of Food Revolution Day! Join me by pledging to take part, sharing posts and photos of your experience and following along with the #FRD2014 and #Potluck Challenge hashtags. And keep an eye out for another post coming soon about how my potluck went!

mommy kat and kids rp2

Comments

  1. Loralie Baker says:

    Great tips!

  2. sharon arsenault says:

    Great tip’s…thank’s

  3. shiffa says:

    Nice ideas!

  4. Monique Shuell says:

    Sounds like a nice idea.

  5. Erika B says:

    omg that Mexican Toss Pasta salad looks so yummy!!!!!!

  6. Stacy Lynn Scott says:

    These’s are some Really Great Tips/Advice. This has been saved in my favorites, Thank you so much again =)

  7. Laurie P says:

    My Pot luck dish is usually breaded zucchini. Easy to make, and tastes great at room temp. Never any leftovers :)

  8. victoriag1 says:

    Mexican toss salad is very colourful

  9. kristen visser says:

    amazing tips! thank you so much! bookmarking :)

  10. Chandra Christine O'Connor says:

    Great ideas, yummy looking pictures

  11. angela m says:

    Thanks for the great tips. This dish looks delicious

  12. michelle tremblett says:

    great tips, this looks so delicious !!

  13. Darlene W says:

    A good go to recipe is what you need, something that you have in the fridge and add something to it yum. Cooking from scratch is often done in my home, but my husband loves to cook as much as I do so we get in each others way

  14. sarah sar says:

    Excellent tips! I never really thought about room temperature foods. Will be sure to consider that for my next potluck.

  15. Heidi C. says:

    Thanks for spreading awareness about this important topic!

  16. That Mexican Toss Pasta Salad looks so good! I like making my mom’s Hawaiian Meatballs. Thanks for the great tips!

  17. Brandee H says:

    Great idea to bring the recipe!!

  18. natasha severson says:

    my girls say your cookies look yummy!!

  19. Awesome ideas! Those cookies look yum!

  20. kathy downey says:

    Mexican toss salad looks so good

  21. Bobbie Smith says:

    I love all your tips, especially the one about setting a theme. I’m really not great with ideas for parties, but I do think that adding a theme would be so great, and everybody would enjoy it

  22. Soozle says:

    Great ideas :) Who doesn’t love a potluck? It’s always so much fun to see what everyone brings!

  23. Lynda Cook says:

    I love potlucks, you get to try a variety of different foods and yes that is a great idea to have the recipe with the dish, there is always someone who is asking for the recipe

  24. Great tips!!! I am a huge fan of the disposable dinnerware! We don’t use it often, but when we do it is so nice to have no cleanup!

  25. Sweta Sonulkar says:

    yummy and delicious

  26. JaimeeM says:

    That pasta salad looks good, but i like the cookies better. Cant wait for the summer potluck my family has

  27. Viv Sluys says:

    I love doing true potlucks where everyone just brings something without telling anyone what they are bringing! I also love the idea of a themed potluck. My family gets together for potlucks fairly often so I think I’ll suggest a theme for the next one!

  28. Nena Sinclair says:

    This is a great idea! I certainly agree, too, that many of us have become much too reliant on fast and convenience foods!

  29. Debbie W says:

    I participate in so many potlucks. Fresh ideas are good. Thank you.

  30. wow wonderful tips and great ideas Pot lucks are great

  31. Great tips! I love potlucks with themes. :)

  32. laura feist says:

    ilike this site

  33. Michelle says:

    Amazing ideas!

  34. Teresa Claire says:

    Wonderful tips and ideas!

  35. nikki robak says:

    some great tips for a potluck thanx

  36. Great ideas….pictures look delicious

  37. Kaila D says:

    Nice tips!

  38. Julie F says:

    That salad looks delicious. Food cooked from scratch tastes so much better than store bought and is so much better for you!

  39. awesome ideas

  40. Sarah Meyer says:

    Thanks!

  41. BRANDIWE says:

    LOVE THE TIPS THAT PEOPLE HAVE.

  42. Claudette Lariviere says:

    thank you so much…. love tips and pot luck dinners!

  43. Judy C (Judy Cowan) says:

    Love potlucks!! A bunch of us get together once a month from May- September when we are camping to have them. Great tips!

  44. lisa rennie says:

    Grate tips

  45. Angela L. says:

    That casserole looks delicious!

  46. Leigh-Ann Murphy says:

    Great ideas! Love the awareness Jamie Oliver is bringing to Canada

  47. Shannon Gnocato says:

    We just did a big potluck at work – it was awesome – so many great foods.

  48. Jamie Robinson says:

    Wow im a professional chef and i love thease tips and recipes

  49. such a cool idea. we love potlucks with our friends

  50. Michelle says:

    Thanks for the great tips:)

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