What do they have in common? They all center on fabulous meals that remind you of home.You probably smiled or felt a little rush of nostalgia when you read that list. Because it made you think of what really matters. As our lives get busier and full of distractions, we crave the opportunity to slow down and connect with the people we love.
The best way to enjoy the company of family and friends is over a good meal. Comfort food never goes out of style. So it’s fantastic to see the current grassroots revival of the old-fashioned potluck dinner – with a new twist. From a church basement in Ohio, to a club meeting in Oregon, to a neighborhood get-together in Florida – people throughout the country are reworking beloved family recipes and cooking them in … are you ready for this? CUPCAKE PANS!
The trend of cooking mini meals has been quietly simmering in small towns, suburbs and urban lofts all across the United States. Now I’m introducing everyone I meet to this convenient way of cooking that adds a bit of panache to classic casseroles and entrees. It’s potluck redux. Or as I like to call it - Potluxe!
It’s convenient because you use the recipes you’ve always loved, and existing food in your refrigerator, freezer or pantry. And of course you also get to pull out that cupcake pan wedged between the cookie sheets and cooling rack in your lower cabinet. This means you can start enjoying a new style of cooking today without spending a dime on new pans or gadgets.
I’m absolutely smitten with this new use for my old friend the cupcake pan. So I started adapting my own recipes and then hit the road as a Potluxe evangelist. My goal is to introduce as many people as possible to the concept so they are inspired to get back in the kitchen and gather the ones they love around a home-cooked meal.
As a bonus, I’m sharing food for thought about the huge servings we often consume when comfort food is on the table. The downside of all those yummy traditional dishes is that they have no beginning or end. When you’re in front of a Pyrex casserole dish filled with the melty awesomeness of your grandmother’s beef and mushroom cottage pie – you don’t know when to stop. But when that same cottage pie is available as a single serving out of a cupcake pan – you find it much easier to control your portions.
It’s exciting to see a community forming as Potluxe fans begin to exchange recipes and ideas. Now I can’t wait to hear about the mini meals you are cooking.