Archive for the Category » potluck «

Wednesday, January 08th, 2014 | Author:

Oatmeal Bar

One of my Bunco group’s favorite theme is Pajama Party Bunco. What’s not to love?  You get to show up in your pajamas, robe and fuzzy slippers and eat breakfast food (when it isn’t actually breakfast time!).

A Mimosa or Bloody Mary (either non-alcoholic or otherwise) would be a lovely way to start out. Breakfast favorites lend themselves perfectly to potluck.  Muffins, croissants, casseroles, waffles, cinnamon rolls, sausage, bacon, the list could go on and on.  I love all of those things!  However, I wanted to shake it up a bit!  Oatmeal in a slow cooker with a toppings bar is so much fun!  Some ideas are dried cranberries, golden raisins, nuts, brown sugar, honey, chopped apples, cinnamon, you get the idea.  This way there is a healthier option that people can customize.  Another idea for a crowd is make your own breakfast burritos. Make some scrambled eggs and keep warm in a slow cooker.  Have some warmed tortillas, cheese, meats, breakfast potatoes, salsa, sour cream, avocado, etc.so that each person can customize a burrito to her liking.  Easy yet delicious and something most people will enjoy.  If you prefer not to serve breakfast food, you could go the traditional route and make it a pizza party.  That is fun too!

Now onto the actual Bunco game.  Some prizes for this theme may include sleep masks, fuzzy socks, fleece throws,a Bunco apron even small packages of cinnamon rolls or muffins.  Everyone can vote on who is the most festive and she could win a prize–fuzzy slippers maybe!  There could be a fun movie such as, Girls Just Want To have Fun (one of my favs!) playing in the background.  We always have a ton of fun with this theme.  Some ladies wear pink rollers in their hair and are decked out from head to toe.  It is a fun way to start the New Year off!

Has your group held a Pajama Party Bunco?  If so, tell me what you did to make it fun on the Bunco Game Shop Facebook page.

Keep Calm and Play Bunco,

Bunco Betty

 

Monday, December 23rd, 2013 | Author:

This is the time of year to whip up some sweet treats for your holiday Bunco game.  My group has many ladies who are not big fans of dessert but the holidays are the time to indulge.  I stumbled upon an awesome recipe by accident. I was excited to make Gingerbread Pops from the latest issue of Food Network magazine.  They were one of Food Network’s 50 No-Bake Treats.  Made from crushed ginger snaps, cookie butter (yes, there is such a thing!), candied ginger, powdered sugar and butter.  Yummy, gingery goodness.  I bought my candied ginger in bulk because it was much cheaper than the bottled variety.  Well, these treats were supposed to be on a stick as is but I decided to take out the stick and dip the gingerbread balls in white or dark chocolate.  I topped them with seasonal sprinkles and packed them up in festive bags with ribbon and a cute gingerbread man button.  They were delicious and looked adorable!

Gingerbread Truffles

14 ginger snaps

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup cookie butter (such as Biscoff or Trader Joe’s)

1/4 cup chopped candied ginger

1/2 stick room temperature butter

12 oz. melting wafers (dark or white) such as Ghiardelli

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor until it comes together.  Chill mixture in refrigerator for 1/2 -1 hour and then form into 1&1/2 inch balls.  Melt wafers in glass bowl in microwave for 30 second increments, stirring after each until fully melted.  Using a fork, dip each ball in chocolate and let excess chocolate drip off.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheet or 13×9 pan and refrigerate for at least an hour.  The truffles can be stored in the fridge or at room temperature.

These truffles would make a great homemade gift for your fellow Bunco Babes.  What is your favorite candy treat to make this time of year?  Let me know on the Bunco Game Shop Facebook page.  Happy Holidays!

Keep Calm & Play Bunco,

Bunco Betty

Friday, November 15th, 2013 | Author:

The holiday season is quickly approaching.  With all the busyness of the holidays, it is fun to take a break  and play Bunco with the girls.

One year in November my Bunco group held a Formal Bunco.  It was so much fun!  We all dressed up.  Some of us were fancier than others but we all wore dresses.  Our potluck was done differently as well.  We had people sign up for food which included a variety of appetizers, salads, bread and dessert.  The hostess provided pasta as the main dish.  For added fun we had a sit down dinner instead of our usual buffet.

For dessert we had a chocolate fountain. People brought decadent dippers for the fountain.  Cheesecake pieces, cookies, pretzels, strawberries, marshmallows and dried fruit all tasted delicious dipped in the chocolate.  For my small fountain, it takes two packages of chocolate chips melted and mixed with 3/4 cup of vegetable oil.  I love a mix of premium bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate, yum!

Typically we use paper plates, plastic utensils and plastic cups at our Bunco games. Formal Bunco is the time to break out the fine China, actual silverware and glasses.  It really was nice for a change.  We spent extra time socializing and enjoying each others company.

Whenever someone rolls a Bunco we pass around a necklace, usually one that pertains to the theme.  At this Bunco we passed around a feather boa for a more formal touch.

The prizes were for pampering the Bunco Babe.  Bubble bath, shower gel, mud masks and nail polish were some of the items that people won that evening. Formal Bunco was a fun time for all.  It was a nice change from the casual approach we usually take and a wonderful indulgence, especially for a busy mom like me.

Have you ever attend a Formal  or even a Black Tie Bunco?  If so, please tell us about it on The Bunco game Shop Facebook Page.

Keep Calm & Play Bunco,

Bunco Betty

Thursday, November 07th, 2013 | Author:

 

The weather is cooling down so that means that food for Bunco games is heating up. There is nothing like hot, delicious food such as  dips to share at Bunco.  I live in the Southwest, so in the summer I try to avoid using the oven. Now that the temps are in the mid 70s here (that is cool for us!) it is time to make some comfort food.
One of my favorite resources for delicious Bunco snacks and appetizers is The Bunko Junkie Appetizer Book.  It is available via free download here.  With 150 delicious appetizers, it is your one stop for finding a yummy food item to take to your next Bunco game.  Below is the recipe for one of my favorite appetizers from the book, Appetizer Surprise.  It is a creamy artichoke dip with lots of Parmesan cheese.  One of my favorite flavor combos!

Appetizer Surprise

Appetizer Surprise

14 ounces Can artichoke hearts

1 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Mayo
nnaise

1/2 cup Sour cream

8 ounces Cream cheese

Garlic salt — to taste

Dill weed — to taste

Paprika

Drain and chop artichoke hearts finely and set aside. Mix remainingingredients until smooth and creamy. Add artichoke hearts and mix well.Place in long shallow dish that has been greased or sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 375 F. for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly and brown.  Serve with Ritz crackers, or dipping cracker of your choice. Keep warm while serving.  A little dipper slow cooker would work perfectly!

Another book called, Dice with Spice would make a great gift or prize for a Bunco Babe.  Each recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.  It is a time saver and the recipes are delicious!  Since the holidays are upon us, check out the video tutorials by The Bunco Game Shop for Winter Wonderland Cocktails and Chocolate Cherry Hot Fudge Cake.

What is your favorite snack or appetizer to make for Bunco games around the holiday season?  Let me know on The Bunco Game Shop Facebook Page.  While you’re there, enter our monthly GIVEAWAY!

Keep Calm and Play Bunco,

Bunco Betty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 | Author:

Photo Originally Published in Family Fun Magazine

I started my Bunco group 3.5 years ago, I didn’t know anyone at that game. Now, quite a few of those players are friends of mine. Our very first game was a Hawaiian theme.  It still comes up in conversation occasionally, it was really fun.  Of course everyone needs to wear a lei, the hostess can provide one at the door or each person can wear their own. A Hawaiian shirt or grass skirt is a nice touch too.  There is always the fun-loving Bunco Gal who will wear a coconut bra!

Food is also key for a successful Hawaiian Bunco.  Think tropical: teriyaki, pineapple, coconut, macadamia nuts (chocolate covered please!), even SPAM.  Drinks are important as well.  The Blue Hawaiian, a frosty alcoholic concoction is festive and delicious.  For those guests that do not drink alcohol, here are some recipes for some mocktail treats such as Pina Coladas, Mai Tais and Sunny Hawaiis.  Don’t forget the mini umbrellas for the drinks!  I made these Sweet Sandal cookies to our Flip Flop Bunco and they were a big hit!

Some fun variations of a sunny tropical Bunco theme include Flip Flop Bunco and Beach Blanket Bingo Bunco.  For Flip Flop Bunco have guests wear their most blinged out Flip Flops, the most bedazzled pair wins a prize!  We had some very creative ladies with mad glue gun skills at our Flip Flop Bunco night!  For Beach Blanket Bingo Bunco we played Bingo along with our Bunco game.  There were prizes for both games.  Of course for any tropical theme Bunco, ladies can wear beach attire (floppy hat, shorts, tank top, etc.).  To make this theme even more fun, you can switch things up and hold a tropical theme Bunco in the winter!  I live in the desert, so winter is the best time of year here. In other parts of the country, ladies may need to wear a jacket over their shorts or wear boots and change into flip flops at the party.  It is a great diversion from winter and a reminder of what’s to come in the future.

Has your Bunco group had a warm weather themed Bunco party?  If so, let me know about it on The Bunco Game Shop’s Facebook Page.

Keep Calm and Play Bunco,

Bunco Betty

 

 

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 | Author:

Fall is officially here.  Pumpkin flavored beverages and desserts are already everywhere.  Even though I live in the desert and the weather is still quite warm, thoughts of fall bring hope of cooler weather and fun get-togethers with family and friends like Halloween and Thanksgiving.

This will be the fourth fall that my Bunco group has been together.  We have played  Harvest Bunco, Halloween Bunco (twice) and had an Apple themed Bunco.  I always coordinate the color of our Bunco sheets according to the monthly theme.  For Halloween Bunco I use orange and green paper, for Apple themed Bunco, red and green and for Harvest Bunco, gold, light brown and green.  This time of year there are cute fall paper products available: plates, cups, napkins, etc. which add to the festive atmosphere.

Another fun thing about fall themes are the endless food and beverage possibilities.  For Harvest Bunco we had mulled wine (check out these cute wine charms), for Apple Bunco we had hot spiced cider and for Halloween Bunco the hostess put dry ice in the punch and it looked like witches brew.  We have potlucks at our games and the ladies are very creative!  One of my favorite recipes for fall is a pumpkin dip I found on Allrecipes.com.  I made it for my Brownie Troop last week and one of the girls asked if she could lick the bowl!  Best of all it is inexpensive and easy to put together.  It tastes great served with apple slices, ginger snaps and/or Nilla Wafers.

Pumpkin Dip

Ingredients:

1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin

1/4 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

In a large bowl, mix together instant vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in the thawed frozen whipped topping. Chill in the refrigerator until serving.

Prizes for Fall Bunco are fun to coordinate with the theme.  Some of my favorite prizes are seasonal dish towels, candles, welcome signs and aprons.  This Halloween Dice Bracelet would be a perfect Bunco prize!

What Fall Bunco Themes (Halloween, Harvest, etc.)have you done with your Bunco group?  What are your favorite prizes and recipes for Fall Bunco themes?

We have been having technical issues with leaving comments on the blog, so please let me know your thoughts on The Bunco Game Shop Facebook Page

Keep Calm and Play Bunco,

Bunco Betty

 

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 | Author:

Brown paper packages tied up in string these are a few of my favorite things!  We all know that beloved song which is an inspiration for my My Favorite Things Bunco theme.  I am planning a My Favorite Things Party for my 40th birthday.  I am finding out how hard it is to know exactly what my favorite things are.  There are so many times when I compromise because I am sharing food with someone or because I am a mom and I put others needs before my own.  Well, this party is for ME and I am having fun planning it!  Of course we are going to be eating my favorite appetizers, main dishes and deserts.  We usually have Bunco potlucks but I will be providing the food since it is based around things that  I like.  Also, my mom will be visiting and she will be making some of my favorites for the party (baked ziti and cabbage rolls, yum!).

A My Favorite Things Party is more than just having the guest of honor’s favorite foods, colors, etc.  When you invite your friend’s to your Bunco party, you will ask them to each bring a wrapped item that is one of their favorite things.  You can set a price limit ($5, $10, $15) which works best for your guests.  Before you play Bunco, write each guests name on a slip of paper, fold it over and put into a bowl. These pens would be perfect to use for your Bunco game! After you are done playing Bunco, or whatever time works for you, gather your fellow Bunco players and start the gift exchange.  The way it works is that each person will choose a name from the bowl.  Whichever name the person chooses is the gift she gets to take home.  It is so fun to see what everyone’s favorite things are!  You can have each guests bring more than one gift if you like.  You would just add each person’s name according to the amount of gifts that were brought.  If each person brought three gifts, their names would be put into the drawing three times and everyone would leave with three items, fun!

At my party, I will be sending everyone home with one of my favorite things.  M&M Cookie Mix in a Jar.  One of my favorite childhood sweets was the sugar butter cookie with M&M’s.  You know, the giant one’s sold at the mall. I used to go to the mall a lot as a tween!  Here is an awesome recipe to make your own cookie mix in a jar from the blog Organized Christmas.  My favorite colors are green, pink and orange, so I incorporated them into the jar packaging.

Have you ever been to a my Favorite Thing Party Bunco?  If so, tell me about it in the comments.  If not, what would you bring if you were invited to a My Favorite Things Bunco Party?

Keep Calm and Play Bunco,

Bunco Betty

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 | Author:

The Bunco group that I belong to is one where we have a potluck meal before we play.  We basically have it down to a science: we eat for 45 minutes and then play two rounds of Bunco. Next, we eat dessert for ten minutes, play one round of Bunco, pass out the prizes and then play LCR (which is optional).  Whew!  We have ladies who love to chat and some who just want to get the show on the road. After three years of playing with mostly the same people we have figured out what works best for us as a group.

We are a large group and typically play with 18 to 24 people.  One time we had ten people bring dessert.  I was hosting and was left with way too many cakes and pies for a family of four to eat!  Now we limit it to four people bringing desserts, this way we don’t have an overabundance.  I have heard of groups who take turns being the hostess and she provides the food for her assigned Bunco game.  This sounds like fun and a great way to host for smaller groups.

Our potlucks do not include main dishes.  Our games are usually held at 2pm on Sunday afternoons so we prefer appetizers and snack foods. We have some really good cooks who play with us!  One of my favorite snacks to bring (I get requests for them!) are Cinnamon Candied Cashews.  They are easy to make and delicious.

Cinnamon Candied Cashews
INGREDIENTS:
2 cups raw cashews
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat.  Put the nuts, sugar, water, and salt into a large skillet over high heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, and cook until the water is nearly evaporated and the liquid becomes syrupy, about 10 minutes.    After 10 minutes, sprinkle the cinnamon over the nuts and stir well.  Continue stirring constantly while the water evaporates completely, about 5 minutes.  When there is no longer any sugar syrup left in the bottom of the pan, turn off the heat and stir the nuts vigorously but carefully in the pan until the sugar seizes up and the nuts are evenly coated with crystallized sugar.  Turn the nuts out onto the silicon mat and spread evenly.  Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

If you put treats on the Bunco tables these nuts would be a great addition to your routine snacks.  They would look so cute on these Dice Plates. We used to have a lot of chocolate and hard candies on the Bunco tables.  The ladies in my Bunco group do not have much willpower when it comes to snacks being at their fingertips, so we have done away with anything too sweet on the tables.  Now we  have nuts or dried fruit to munch on and occasionally the candied nuts above for a treat.

Does your Bunco group have potlucks or rotate hostesses who provide a meal?  Do you have snacks on the Bunco tables?  Let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

Keep Calm and Play Bunco,

Bunco Betty