How to Throw the Perfect Potluck Party for Super Bowl Sunday

Kelsey Nixon has five great tips for a Super Bowl potluck or any potluck.

I love any excuse to host a potluck and Super Bowl Sunday is perfect for this! If you're providing a place to watch the game, why not enlist your guests to help out with the food? With just a bit of advance planning, you can have a fuss-free party with fantastic food and great company (assuming they're cheering for your team). Any time I host a potluck I like to keep these tips in mind.

1. Map out a menu early giving your guests plenty of time to shop and prepare. Giving your guests some direction on what to bring rather than leaving it entirely up to them can be really helpful and prevent a spread of multiple seven layer dips.

2. As the host plan to provide something somewhat substantial like chili or shredded BBQ sandwiches so that you won't worry about your guests being hungry incase a few guests show up empty handed.

3. Make a sign up list. Whether it's as simple as an email chain, Google Doc or something more formal like using  punchbowl.com, create a place where your guests can sign up for menu items that they would like to bring. For those that aren't savvy in the kitchen or strapped for time, remember to include things like paper goods and drinks.

4. Pre-plan a designated space for the food spread. This small but simple step is one less thing you have to worry about as your guests arrive so that if you're wrapping up your own cooking you won't feel any extra stress.

5. Have a few easy back up options on hand just in case your party table feels a bit bare. Things like nuts, popcorn, chips and salsa are great for additional snacks and I always like to have a few pints of really good ice cream tucked away in the freezer just in case the sweets are sparse.

Kelsey Nixon shares her passion for the basics on Kelsey’s Essentials, a series showcasing tips, tools, & techniques that no home cook should be without. Kelsey got her start in food media when she created Kelsey’s Kitchen, a college cooking show emphasizing fast, fun and affordable meals. She earned her professional culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu – Hollywood.  In 2008, she was a finalist on The Next Food Network Star. Kelsey lives in New York City with her husband Robby where she spends her days developing recipes and cooking up a storm. She has a cookbook scheduled to come out in 2013. Keep up with Kelsey on her blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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