Your Summer Potluck Companion

Like county fairs, backyard barbecues and hot, sunny weather, potluck gatherings are a sure sign that summer’s here. We’re ushering in everyone’s favorite season with great new recipes, limited edition ice creams and pro tips from party expert Alia Cherry of Party Like a Cherry for hosting this timeless summer event.

County Fair Churros Ice Cream

Cold off the press! Our brand new limited edition County Fair Churros ice cream hits all the nostalgia buttons: Sweet cinnamon ice cream with churro pieces and a dulce de leche swirl.

Alia Cherry

3 Pro Tips For a Stress-Free Summer Potluck

Professional party planner and blogger Alia Cherry is here with three expert tips for making your next potluck party a big success—and a lot more fun.

Pick a Theme

Just a regular old summer potluck is always so much fun. But if you really want to bring it to the next level, pick a theme! For my summer potluck I chose to go with a classic picnic theme incorporating lots of baskets and gingham patterns. Other fun theme ideas include: southern, finger foods, state fair, camping, BBQ…the options are endless. Don’t forget to communicate the theme with your guests and assign them a food category (appetizer, main dish, side dish, dessert, drinks).

Keep Food Fresh

The biggest challenge of a potluck can be keeping the cold foods cold, the hot foods hot, and all the bugs and critters out. To keep things cold try freezing an inch or two of water in an aluminum serving tray overnight. Then add a second aluminum serving tray on top of the one filled with ice and you are ready to fill it with pasta salad or anything you want to serve chilled. Since I’m serving ice cream, I added ice to the top tray as well. To help keep the mosquitos away try these DIY mason jar luminaries. To a mason jar add: sliced lemons or limes, a few sprigs of rosemary, fill with water, 10-15 drops of an essential oil, and finish with a floating tea light candle. Not only do they keep the bugs away, they make great centerpieces and smell amazing!

Don’t Forget the Details

Having a few extra items on hand can go a long way in helping things run smoothly. Always have extra serving platters, serving utensils, and paper products — hands down the most forgotten items. Food label cards are a nice touch, especially for those with food sensitivities. Have blank ones ready to go so guests can label their food as they arrive. And having takeout containers available will allow people to take home not just their own leftovers, but some of their favorites that others brought as well!

Alia Cherry is a party planner who believes memorable gatherings don’t demand big budgets. Follow her on Instagram @partylikeacherry for more tips on how to spend more time making memories, and less time and money organizing them.

Boysenberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Back by popular demand, this Americana favorite features creamy cheesecake ice cream with pie crust pieces and a boysenberry swirl.