If You're the Guest
If you've been invited to a potluck party, get ready for a fun time! Dig out your best recipe for the food you're asked to bring, or practice the recipe the host gives you. Always bring something else to the potluck too: a good mood and a willingness to have a good time.
What to Bring
Whether the host asks you to bring a specific dish or one that falls into a general broad category, stick with what you know. Unless you're an experienced cook, make something you know turns out well and that you can make. This is not the time to experiment with a fancy new dish, especially if you're preparing it just before the party.
Tried-and-true recipes are your best choice. And bring what you like! If your family loves one of your dishes, chances are others will too. Everyone enjoys food prepared with love and care.
If you're asked to bring a dish in a general category, pick your best recipe and serve it with pride. And be sure to bring the recipe, written out on several cards. Someone will be sure to ask for it. If the recipe is unusual or a family heirloom, be sure to make a note of that on the card.
Be Open to Suggestions
If you're the guest at a potluck party, it's important that you cooperate as much as possible. Throwing a party, even a potluck party, still takes a lot of effort and energy. Offer to help beyond just bringing a dish. Always offer to help clean up, and ask if you can bring anything like serving utensils, beverages, or cooking equipment.
Ask if you can bring serving dishes, utensils, even a grill if it's a cookout party. And do agree to the dish you're asked to bring, unless you have a moral or physical objection to it. In fact, if you're a good cook or have the time, ask if you can bring more than one dish.