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The Art Of Hosting A Successful Thanksgiving Day Potluck Dinner

The Art Of Hosting A Successful Thanksgiving Day Potluck Dinner

The Uniqueness of a Potluck Dinner

For a long time, you and your peers have harbored the thought of throwing a thanksgiving potluck dinner, but you have no idea where to begin or end. Potluck dinners, unlike other parties, thrive on John Dickinson, the American founding father’s maxim in The Liberty Song: “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall!” And so potlucks are a combination of dishes brought together by event guests.

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Challenges of Hosting a Potluck dinner

A potluck dinner also tagged as “bring and share” is theoretically a noble idea. But it is not as simple as your aunt’s green bean casserole, your dad’s Turkey Day’s spread or your mother’s pecan pie — so be forewarned — it’s huge!  In practice, it can be an insurmountable affair to you in regard to orchestration and attendance.

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Potluck Dinner Kitchen Tips

  1. If there are pitfalls to avoid, then it is in the kitchen during potluck dinners. As the host of the dinner, you must know the number of guests coming vis-à-vis your oven space, serving utensils and equipment. From this point, it will be easier to adjust your guests’ dishes or ask them to bring from their abodes what could be required. Wisdom demands that as a guest, you come fully equipped with your three-legged metal stand, dish towels, cups, napkins and plates to serve your meal and make cleaning easier.
  2. An oven will be vital during dinner where your pasta or kimchi rice will need to be warmed. But remember there could be seven others wanting to use the oven too. To beat this gridlock, prepare a dish that can keep warm or make prior arrangements with your host.
  3. Avoid bowls since mashed potatoes, lasagna and baked chicken wings are meals that you can eat from a plate. Avoid bringing stew or soup to reduce the post-potluck workload.

Tips for a Successful Potluck Dinner

  1. Allocate the budget to the guests and be sure it is within your cooking abilities and your peers’.
  2. It is not a rule of the thumb but make it a theme party since diversity is the spice of life. It is also worth following a tried regimen like one with Crock pot dishes, casseroles (hot meals), dessert bars and jello salads.

You could also get recipes from a cookbook which will help you avoid a comedy of potluck errors where everyone brings a mashup of kimchi fried rice with lasagna pasta and vegetable salads. Let it be a multi-course meal by being professional. You can email your peers with a sign-up sheet where you allocate the main dish to four peers, drinks to four other people and the last four may handle desserts and salads.

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  1. It is paramount that you abstain from the spicy and strange foods. People will give your dish a wide berth if it is excessively spicy and hyper-garlicky. And since it is not a cookery contest but a time to bond and sample different dishes, let your dish look modest and sumptuous.
  2. During a potluck dinner, the common and acceptable trend is for the attendees to arrive with portable and crowd-appealing chicken casserole, heavy dishes like baked pasta and meat sauced with chili pepper. Can you guess what is lacking? Yes, give your dinner the luminance and the crackle that it deserves by adding raw vegetable or a cereal salad. And before you know it; all the guests will be licking their fingers after tasting your dish. You are therefore welcome to engage in the beauty and diversity of a potluck dinner. But that is not the end of the right side of the potluck dinner for it is not only a cost-cutting engagement but also a time to bond. You can now proceed and make real your eagerly awaited Thanksgiving Day potluck dinner!

Featured photo credit: The Perfect Potluck Party by Miriam of the Event Planner blog. via Http

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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