February 23, 2011 7:29 PM   Subscribe

Help me feed people delicious and February-themed food!

I've been invited to another potluck dinner! Yay! Since you guys did such an amazing job helping me out for our October Potluck, I thought I'd turn to your inspired selves once again for our February Potluck.

My host was a little less specific with the theme this time around. In fact, his advice was to pick one of these themes and go with it: Valentine's Day, President's Day, Black History Month, Groundhog Day, Chinese New Year, National Drink Wine Day, and the 26th is National Pistachio Day.

To review: The only catch is I'm a horrible cook and have limited resources as far as kitchen equipment goes, so the simpler/easier the better. I feel more confident baking than cooking. Bonus points for something extra creative.

So what do you think, AskMe? What should I try my hand at this time?
posted by citywolf to Food & Drink (11 answers total)
If you make dishes that come in small portions, make every fourth one bigger.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:42 PM on February 23, 2011

Valentine's Day would be easy to do with baked goods or dessert. Ina Garten's Couer a la Creme is very easy, and if you don't have the heart-shaped mold, you can use a strainer.

Or perhaps bake something with rose water and garnish it with candied flower petals, to represent a Valentine's Day bouquet?
posted by xingcat at 7:43 PM on February 23, 2011

I made these five-spice shortbread cookies for a Chinese New Year party I went to. They look and taste really impressive and aren't too tough to put together.

I changed the recipe a little. It only calls for one teaspoon of five-spice, but really it needs closer to two tablespoons if you want them to be really punchy. And instead of rolling the dough out and using a cookie cutter, I formed it into a log, wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap, let it chill in the freezer, then took it out and sliced out my cookie rounds. Much, much easier (and far less messy) that way.

The recipe only makes about 16 cookies, so I recommend doubling it for anything more than a small gathering.
posted by phunniemee at 7:48 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

You should make these white and dark hearted brownies. Although it does involve the purchase of a heart cookie cutter, but it would totally be worth it!
posted by ephemerista at 7:54 PM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

You really can't go wrong with doing "soul food," food of the American African diaspora, for Black History Month. You can make everything from macaroni and cheese to chicken fricassee, cornbread, greens, cobblers and more. I wasn't successful in finding a great site in a quick search, but just Google "soul food" for ideas. The best part is, the ingredients are generally simple and low cost, and the processes are simple (though finesse is everything).
posted by Miko at 8:31 PM on February 23, 2011

Cherry. pie
posted by Ideefixe at 10:33 PM on February 23, 2011

February means groundhog!
posted by spasm at 11:01 PM on February 23, 2011

I'm on the mailing list for Saveur Magazine. They have a nice collection of different recipes they send out ever few days. Its a good place to start research.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 11:23 PM on February 23, 2011

I would push the envelope slightly. March 8 is Mardi Gras, AKA Shrove Tuesday. You could make gumbo or pancakes.
posted by Jode at 5:09 AM on February 24, 2011

Are you familiar with the cookbook Twelve Months of Monastery Salads? The February section has a dozen or so recipes but my favorite is St. Scholastica salad (Google books link). It's super delicious and easy. The components keep very well refrigerated so you can make it ahead and stir in the dressing at dinner time.

The February connection is that Scholastica's saints day is February 10.
posted by CheeseLouise at 7:19 AM on February 24, 2011

Pistachio shortbread? You could also make the five-spice shortbread and thus your contribution would cover two holidays!
posted by dizziest at 10:19 AM on February 24, 2011

« Older My electrons are party poopers.   |   Bring music back into my life! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.