Super Easy

Fall Harvest Chili

The pumpkin, butternut squash, and apple in this chili recipe give the perfect amount of fall flavors without too much sweetness.  This is a hearty, thick chili that is perfect for Halloween night and any fall potluck.  However, I’ll definitely be making this recipe through fall and winter.  It’s that good!

Heather shared this recipe a few years ago and it’s a new favorite.  This batch is bigger batch than the original recipe, so  I added a can of tomato sauce so it won’t get too dry.

Ingredients:

3 jars Trader Joe’s Fall Harvest Salsa

2.5 – 3 pounds of ground turkey

2 cups chopped white onion

8 ozs. tomato sauce

2 cans canellini beans, rinsed and drained

Brown the turkey and drain off the excess fat.  Put all of the ingredients in a crockpot on low for two to three hours.  Or you can simmer on the stove on low for 20 – 30 minutes.

Serve with a side of sour cream and corn scoops, tortilla chips, or cornbread.  I’ve tried it with all three!  Now you’re ready for potluck time!

Pizza Potstickers

You can make these Pizza Potstickers with only four ingredients and be done in less than 15 minutes!   This is definitely my newest, favorite potluck recipe.  They’re yummy and they look good, too!

I found this ingenious idea in the back of my latest issue of Food Network Magazine. Love it!!

Ingredients:

2 T. vegetable oil

1 package frozen pork dumplings

1 jar pizza sauce

Grated mozzarella cheese

Chopped basil, optional

Preheat your oven broiler.

Heat the oil in a nonstick pan over medium high heat.  Put all of the potstickers flat side down and cook for three minutes.  Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook for another three to five minutes or until the bottoms are brown and crispy.

Transfer the potstickers to a foil-lined baking sheet.  Top with pizza sauce and mozzarella.  Broil until the cheese is bubbling.

Top with chopped basil (optional), transfer to a serving dish, and you’re ready for potluck time!

 

 

German Chocolate Cupcakes

I always prefer cupcakes to cakes and these German Chocolate Cupcakes are no exception.  There’s a much better ratio of coconut pecan topping to cake.   And you get bonus chocolate frosting on the top!  This recipe is for one batch of 24 cupcakes, but there was enough topping leftover for at least another 12 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

1 batch of chocolate cake mix (I used a box mix!)

1 jar of chocolate frosting

4 egg yolks

12 ozs. evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter

2 cups shredded coconut

1 cup chopped pecans.

Bake the cupcakes in liners, according to the instructions.  Let cool completely.

To make the filling, whisk the egg yolks, milk, and vanilla in a medium sauce pan.  Add the sugar and butter.  Continue whisking over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is thick.  Remove from heat and stir in the coconut and pecans.  Let cool.

Pipe frosting around the outer edge of each cupcake.  Add the coconut filling to the center.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until potluck time!

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

I was feeling like a non-chocolate potluck dessert (a very rare occasion!) and Pineapple Upside Down Cake sounded really good.  I’ve never made it before and I thought cupcakes would be even better.  (I tend to prefer cupcakes over cakes because the ratio of toppings to cake is much more evenly distributed.)  Found this recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes on the Betty Crocker website.  The brown sugar butter glaze caramelizes the tops and the pineapple perfectly to make these cupcakes sweet and luscious!

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker’s Extra Moist Yellow Cake and highly recommend it!)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

20 oz. can of sliced pineapple, drained and reserve the juice

1/3 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

12 maraschino cherries, cut in half

24 baking cups

Spray the baking cups really well with non-stick cooking spray.

Drain the pineapple slices and set the juice aside.  Cut the pineapple rings into four pieces each.  Cut the maraschino cherries in half.

On low speed for 30 seconds, mix the cake mix, oil, eggs, and pineapple juice.  Continue mixing on medium speed for two minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar.  Put 1 1/2 tsp. of butter mixture into each baking cup.  Add a maraschino cherry in the center (round side down) and then add two pineapple slices on top of the cherry.  Lastly, add 1/4 cup of batter on top of everything.

Bake the cupcakes in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Flip the cupcakes upside down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Carefully remove the baking cup liners

Serve warm or at room temperature.  You’re ready for potluck time!

Easter Egg Nest Brownies

Easter Egg Nest Brownies are fun and really easy to make!  You can also make the brownies ahead of time and then let everyone decorate them at the potluck.

The inspiration for these treats came from different Easter cupcake pics that I found online.  I used brownie mix, but chocolate or vanilla cake mix will work great, too.

Ingredients:

1 batch of brownie mix (I used a box to keep things simple.  1 box will yield 12 brownies.)

1 container of pre-made vanilla frosting

2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut

Green food coloring

Assorted Easter candy

Bake the brownie mix according to directions in a greased, regular-sized muffin pan.  Start checking them for doneness about 10 minutes earlier than the instructed time.  Let them cool completely (If you don’t, they fall apart).  Then, carefully remove them from the pan.

Mix the coconut and food coloring (start with 2 or 3 drops and add more, as needed) in a bowl until combined.

Frost the brownies.  Then dip them, face down, in the coconut.  Top with your favorite Easter candy and gently press it into the coconut and frosting.  For extra fun, you can add a Peep to the center.  Apply some frosting to the bottom of the peep and press it down on the cupcake.  It bonds perfectly!

Now, you’re ready for potluck time!

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

guinness-chocolate-cupcakes3

Since I’ve seen so many recipes for Chocolate Stout cupcakes lately, I decided that I must make them for St. Patrick’s Day!  The stout makes them extra soft and fluffy.  I found this recipe on the Betty Crocker website and loved it because they only need a few ingredients and are so simple to make.  I chose to do a vanilla icing, but you can also do an Irish Cream frosting, which is perfect for an all adults potluck.

Ingredients:

1 box deviled foods cake mix

1 1/4 cups Guinness stout beer

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 stick butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

4 T. milk

Using a mixer, combine together the cake mix, Guinness, oil, and eggs in a large bowl on low speed for 30 seconds.  Then, mix on medium high speed for another two minutes.

Line a regular-sized muffin tin with baking cups.  Scoop 1/4 cup batter into each tin.  If using a dark or nonstick pan, bake at 325 degrees (or 350 degrees if using a regular pan) for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Transfer to a rack and let cool.

In a separate bowl, mix the butter and powdered sugar until combined.  Add the vanilla, salt, and milk. Mix on medium speed until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, frost them, and store them in an airtight container until potluck time!  (I made them the day before and they were still wonderful, but I wouldn’t make them any earlier than that.)

Creamed Corn

creamed-corn

I was never a fan of creamed corn until I had Sharon’s Creamed Corn!  She made it for the annual family campout potluck and it was delicious.  This recipe is quick, easy, and inexpensive to make.  It calls for flour in the white sauce.  However, she only had Bisquick and that worked just a well (if not better because it added some extra sweetness!).

Thank you, Sharon, for sharing this recipe!

Ingredients:

2 – 16 oz. bags frozen corn (fresh or canned will work too)

4 T. butter

4 T. flour

2 cups heavy cream

2 T. sugar

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Black pepper, to taste (optional)

Salt, to taste (optional)

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and let it simmer for one minute.  Gradually whisk in the heavy cream.  Add the sugar and cayenne pepper.  Continue whisking until the white sauce is thick.  Turn the heat to low.  Stir in the corn with a wooden spoon until heated through.  If using frozen corn it will take awhile for the corn to thaw and the creamed corn to be warm, but it’ll be worth the wait.

Add optional salt and pepper, to taste.  Reheat right before serving or keep in a crockpot on the warm setting.  You’re ready for potluck time!

Layer Bean Dip

layer-bean-dip

I love this dip because it’s so easy to make, it’s yummy, and I typically have all of the ingredients on hand anyway!  Made it for a potluck last Friday night.  Ran by the store on the way home to grab tortilla chips and whipped it up in five minutes.

Ingredients:

2 cans of refried beans

Taco seasoning or taco sauce

16 ozs. sour cream

Guacamole (optional)

1 jar of salsa

Shredded mexican blend cheese

1 jar of sliced black olives

Four green onions, sliced

Tortilla chips

Heat the beans in a pan and add taco seasoning or taco sauce (I had some leftover Del Taco sauce packets which worked great).  Let cool and spread in a square pan.  Add a layer of sour cream, a layer of guacamole (optional), and a layer of salsa.  Top with cheese, then black olives and green onions.

You can make ahead.  Store in the refrigerator until potluck time.  Serve with tortilla chips!

Watermelon Cilantro Salad

Watermelon Salad with Cilantro

Watermelon, red onion, red bell pepper, and cilantro are combined with a squeeze of lime juice and a drizzle of olive oil to make this the perfect sweet and savory, yet healthy, summertime salad!  It’s a very easy and affordable potluck dish to make.  And did I mention that it’s also gluten-free?!?!

Stacy made it for a beach bonfire recently (she had it at a 4th of July party) and I fell in love it.  Thank you, Stacy, for sharing this recipe!

Ingredients:

1 seedless watermelon, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 small red onion, chopped

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Squeeze of lime

Drizzle of olive oil

Combine all of the above ingredients in a large bowl.  Cover tightly and keep chilled in the fridge until potluck time!

 

Corn Dog Cupcakes

Corn Dog Cupcakes5

 

Corn Dog Cupcakes are ingenious!  So simple to make and a total crowd pleaser.  Only two ingredients plus condiments are needed.

This recipe was shared by Brandy who sent me a photo of the recipe.  It wasn’t until after I made the recipe that I realized it originates from The Healthy Gluten-Free Life cookbook.  Suffice to say, this recipe can easily be made with or without gluten*.  Either way, you’ll be popular at the potluck!

Ingredients:

1 batch of cornbread batter

1 pkg of good, uncured hot dogs (I used Hebrew National)

Ketchup

Mustard

Line a 12-cupcake baking pan with paper baking cups.  Spray them lightly with non-stick spray.  Fill each cup 2/3 of the way with cornbread batter.  Slice the hot dogs into bite-sized pieces.  Press eight to ten hot dog slices into each cupcake.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve warm or at room temperature with sides of mustard and ketchup.

* Note: make sure to double check all ingredients if you’re going to make these gluten-free!