From as far back as I can remember there have been special church occasions when dinner on the church grounds was the order for the day. Far too many times I watched as person after person walked in with store purchased fried chicken. Whether the reason for this was lack of time, lack of planning, or lack of ideas I was never quite certain. I was certain however, that this was not isolated to my church alone.
It may seem odd but I have traveled all over the country and lived in many different areas of the culture. One thing that seems constant no matter where I live is that someone inevitably brings fried chicken from a local restaurant or deli as his or her potluck offering. There is nothing wrong with this of course, but there are so many great recipes available for Sunday dinner cooking that it seems odd that so many would resort to this tired old tradition rather than spicing things up with a spicy taco casserole or sweetening the deal with some delightfully delicious and simple to make dessert.
Sunday dinners obviously aren't the only time when cooking a casserole or making a dessert is a good decision for the day. They are, however, the most common from my childhood, which is why I often refer to them. There are also 'pitch ins' at work that require a contribution and these are an excellent opportunity to make coworkers envy your culinary talents. Even for those who are health conscious however, there are many wonderful types of salads that can be prepared for occasions such as this that will provide you with a guilt free entrée at the event for which you are preparing your offering.
You do not have to choose calorie or fat filled dishes for your Sunday dinner cooking. In fact, when you are doing the cooking you should cook the things you enjoy eating. Most of us are much more likely to put our best efforts into preparing the foods we enjoy rather than those that feel as though they are a chore for us to make. The same holds true when cooking for potlucks and such. Just be careful that you do not prepare the exact same dish every time or people will think that it is the only dish you can prepare.
I recommend checking out casserole recipes online and in your favorite magazines. Even magazines that offer healthier eating options often have a casserole, large salad, or even a healthy dessert you can prepare for these events. My personal solution has always been to collect recipes over time that I would like to try out and use the potluck audience as my recipe guinea pigs. This way if my family or I do not like it, we won't be stuck with leftovers for a week and if we do like it, we can put it into our rotation of recipes for use at home.
Sunday dinner cooking doesn't have to be nearly as stressful as many of us make it out to be. Many wonderful crock-pot recipes can actually be prepared while you sleep. Just load your slow cooker with the proper ingredients and turn it on before turning in. You should awaken to the wonderful aroma of whatever delightful dish you have prepared and still manage to get ready for church in record time. This tried and true technique is a great way to make Sunday dinner cooking quick and easy.
Even if you are one of the many who have very limited culinary talents it is quite possible to wow your friends, relatives, and fellow church members with the correct 'simple to make' recipe. Desserts are by far the best way to go in this effort and can also be made the night before (in many cases) and stored in the refrigerator. Desserts are almost always a good bet and very few people ever complain about them regardless. The Kraft foods website offers some fabulously easy to make and delicious desserts if you are in need. The next time it is your turn to join in on the potluck preparation don't resort to fried chicken. Dish up something that will truly turn heads instead.