Good Food

Last-Minute, Store-Bought, Low-Cost, Pot Luck Fare

last-minute low-cost store-bought pot-luck fare

I signed up to bring a snack to our Sunday morning Bible Fellowship Group over a month ago. I had a month to plan and prepare, but it slipped my radar and Saturday evening I was scrambling. Been there?

I ended up buying a couple of bags of Little Debbie Mini Frosted Donuts and a box of Entenmanns’ Glazed Bites. Presentation would have to make up for preparation. And it can!

I lined a pie basket with two blue-checkered napkins, poured the donuts around the edge and the glazed bites in the middle. Done. And, by the way, there wasn’t a crumb left after our group meeting.

I’d like to think I’ll never have to scramble again, but I’m planning for it just in case. You can, too. Here are my ideas for minimal-prep (no cooking,) low-cost snacks ($10 or less) for 20-30 people.

  1. 2 Pepperidge Farm cakes – one classic coconut, one chocolate fudge. Cut each into 2″ bites and build layers in a checkerboard pattern on pretty serving plate.
  2. Family Size container of Roasted Red Pepper or Garlic hummus and 1 bunch of celery, cut into sticks. Pipe hummus florets on sticks.
  3. 4 pkgs of 8 count, generic gelatin cups (32 total) and 1 can Reddi-Whip.  Each package of gelatin cups contains a variety of colors. Open packages and garnish with Reddi-Whip at event.
  4. 1 ball (16 oz) fresh mozzarella, 1 pkg generic wheat saltines, 1 14oz container mango/peach salsa. Arrange saltines on outer rim of plate, layer 1″ thin slices of mozzarella inside saltine ring, place clear glass bowl of salsa in the middle.
  5. 2 pkgs Oreo Mega Stuff cookies and 1 bottle multi-colored nonpareil. Put nonpareil in a shallow bowl and roll edges of cookies in them. Stack on pretty dinner plate. I just made these for my grands (using only 1 pkg) so I have a picture.double-stuff Oreos rolled in non parcels
  6. 1 bag fresh clementines, 1 carton (8oz) Dolci Frutta hard chocolate shell. Peel clementines and separate sections. Dip into microwave melted chocolate and arrange on pretty plate.
  7. 2 pkgs (12 count) individual ice cream cups (2 different flavors for variety) and 1 pkg store brand plastic spoons (since cups no longer come with the wooden “spoons”.) Arrange cups on hostess’ table and place spoons in pretty container.
  8. 2 pkgs plain Lender’s Bagels, 1 container (7.5oz) smoked salmon flavor Philadelphia Cream Cheese, 1 sm jar nonpareil capers. Cut bagels into bite-sized pieces, place a neat smear of cream cheese on each piece, top with a few capers, and arrange on platter.
  9. 2 containers (32oz) vanilla yogurt, 1 pkg fresh blueberries (or other on-sale fruit), 1 pkg of generic granola. Layer each ingredient, in order, in clear serving bowl. Garnish top with a few pieces of fruit.
  10. 3 pkgs Little Debbie Donuts, 1 pkg Entenmanns’ Glazed Bites. Arrange in cloth napkin-lined basket as pictured in post title.

Remember, when you have to resort to store-bought, pay extra attention to presentation and you’re pot-luck offering will be a hit!