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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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The Art Of Hosting A Successful Thanksgiving Day Potluck Dinner

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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