7 Helpful Tips to Be the Ultimate Guest at Your First Adult Holiday Potluck
Now that we’ve successfully managed to adult our way through autumn (AKA we learned how to actually decorate for fall and elevate last year’s wardrobe with some cheeky autumnal DIYs), we’re ready to take on our next big seasonal event: the annual holiday potluck, Friendsgiving or other. While trying everything from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook is always an option, we’re going to go ahead and say that we might need to start with something a *tad* easier. To help us avoid any potluck guest blunders, we’re sharing seven expert dos and don’ts for adulting newbies. Enjoy!
1. Bring everything (we mean EVERYTHING) you’ll need. Sure, bringing the actual dish is a must… but so is serving ware, a dish towel and extra napkins. “Bring everything you’ll need to serve your dish,” says Danielle Walsh from Bon Appetit. And yes, that includes an extra trivet.
2. Avoid needing to use the host’s oven. While your host knows that some dishes will need to be warmed up, the best way to prevent an oven bottleneck is to skip it altogether. Potluck enthusiast and culinary guru Jamie Oliver suggests bringing slow-cooked joints of meat as an easy option. “Cook a marinated shoulder of lamb on low heat for four to five minutes, wrap it tightly in a double layer of foil and make it airtight with cling film, allowing it to rest while you transport it,” he advises. Done and done.
3. Try something interactive. If you want to ensure your dish is a hit, try making it interactive. “People love wrapping, dipping and eating with their fingers,” says Jamie Oliver. Get creative with your presentation and watch your dish fly off of the buffet table.
4. Stay away from theTriple-S: Stinky, spicy and strange. According to Danielle Walsh from Bon Appetit, simple spices are definitely a winner when it comes to communal potlucks (AKA cool it with the garlic and curry — at least for this gathering).
5. Don’t forget about food safety. We’ve all licked and dipped a cooking spoon when making a dish for one, but it’s probably not the best idea when preparing a dish for your holiday potluck. “Headlines about people getting sick at church potlucks are enough to make anyone nervous,” says Kristin Donnelly at Serious Eats. Try to procure quality ingredients, ensure your counter space is clean and keep your pets (and children) far, far away.
6. No matter how good it looks, don’t take the last bite. Even if you’ve been waiting all year for your coworker’s famous mac ‘n’ cheese, nothing warrants taking a whole plate full. As manners expert Diane Gottsman says, “As good as the turkey may be, avoid that second trip through the line until everyone else has gone through once.”
7. Don’t lunge for a doggy bag. Although most of the time hosts will want you to take your extras home, don’t start packing up until you are asked. It’s common courtesy to let the host keep the leftovers if they’d like, advises Siobhan Adcock at Epicurious.
What’s your biggest potluck pet peeve? Tweet us by mentioning @BritandCo!
(Featured photo via Getty)
Your relationship with your finances is one of the most important relationships you'll ever have, and you can't avoid it. That said, for many of us, the pandemic only added to our financial stress. If you find yourself feeling frazzled, just remember that financial insecurity isn't a net-worth issue — it's a mindset issue. And, we happen to have plenty of advice on how to turn your money mindset around so you can take charge of your funds once and for all.
To start, feeling secure begins with a strong foundation, and there's no better time than now to get started stacking the bricks. It's easy to get swept up in the January "new year, new me" mentality, but really? Any time is the right time to get yourself in order. You don't need to wait for a new year, a new moon, the right moment, or a sign from above. You don't even have to start on the first day of the month — you just need to start.
Introducing NerdWallet: A Safe and Reliable Money App
To help with that, we've put together a list of the just-right-for-you ways that NerdWallet can help you monitor your financial outlook. Haven't heard of them yet? NerdWallet is a personal finance company that helps consumers make smarter financial decisions. Their website and app let you compare different financial products, find articles and tools to make financial decisions with confidence, and keep tabs on your finances (hey there, credit score, I see you!) all in one place. Plus, NerdWallet has over 75,000 glowing reviews in the App Store (and a 4.8 star rating) if you want to read up on any more testimonials.
Tim Chen, NerdWallet's CEO and co-founder, started this financial journey in 2009 after his sister needed help finding a credit card. Even with an economics degree and a Wall Street background, it took awhile for Tim to find the right recommendation (so don't feel too bad when it takes you a while, too). Their mission is to bring clarity to all of life's financial decisions.
So it's safe to say that NerdWallet is a pretty good sherpa for your journey, too.
Get the most from your money
Did you know that the money you park in a savings account can lose value? Harsh, but true. If your money isn't earning interest that's on pace with inflation it will actually be worth less to you in the future. And if the bank charges fees? Forget about it. Make sure you're earning the interest you deserve and come out on top. NerdWallet has researched dozens of financial institutions to help consumers find the best options. The hard work has already been done for you, so you can just select the account that works best for you and your nest egg.
Keep an eye on everything, securely
Once everything is set up, tracking and managing your finances is what will keep the money machine running smoothly. You can create an account either through the site or the app and link your bank accounts, then keep tabs on all your finances in one place. Get a clear picture of your saving and spending, get insights into how to master your money, and even build your credit score all in one place.
Get extra credit points
Do you have the best credit card for your lifestyle? Some cards give cash back on every purchase, ones with travel perks, and ones that charge way less interest than you're paying now. NerdWallet takes the guesswork out of choosing the right credit card with simple side-by-side comparisons of different credit cards so that you feel confident choosing the right one. Whatever you want to do, NerdWallet can help you find the best credit card to get it done.
Know your options for settling down
Mortgage rates are pretty low and it looks like they're going to stay that way for awhile, so buying a home might be the move sooner than you think. But there's so much more to a mortgage than just the interest rate! To help you choose a mortgage lender, NerdWallet has in-depth reviews on multiple lenders in a mixture of categories so you get the home loan with the mortgage rate, term, and fees that's right for you.
Settle an old score
NerdWallet helps you monitor your credit score for free and helps you see how little things (like raising the limit on your credit card or paying your bills on time) can increase your score. NerdWallet partners with TransUnion® to provide your VantageScore® 3.0, based on information in your TransUnion® credit report. Your score and credit report information are updated weekly. But that's not even close to all:
- They provide you with tips from experts on how you could build or optimize your credit score
- You'll get a detailed look at your credit score and all the factors that go into it—your payment history, credit utilization, the age and type of accounts, balances, and any recent inquiries
- The credit simulator tool gives you an idea of how your credit score would change if you applied for a new credit card, closed your oldest credit card, or got a new auto loan
- You also get free, unlimited access to your credit report
When it comes to managing your money, safe and reliable is where it's at. Establishing a healthy relationship with your finances begins when you take control and practice habits that build wealth. Signing up just takes a few minutes. Set your intentions to build a solid financial foundation, it will only strengthen your relationship with your finances. And don't be afraid to get a little nerdy while you're at it.