1. Prize-Winning Chocolate Mint Brownies.
These mouth watering morsels are prize-winning because they have just been declared this week’s winner in the Best Church Potlucks Ever photo contest! Shared and prepared by Grace Whitlock Vega from Columbia Mennonite Fellowship in Columbia, Missouri, Grace was also kind enough to share the recipe with us. Enjoy (if you dare!). Photo from Columbia Mennonite.
Chocolate Mint Brownies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9” x 13” pan.
½ cup butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Cream butter and sugar in electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one by one and add vanilla. On medium speed add in flour, cocoa, and salt, mixing until combined. Fold in chips. Spread batter in greased/floured pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before adding mint layer.
½ cup unsalted butter (softened)
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup crème de menthe (could substitute mint extract plus green food coloring)
½ teaspoon vanilla
When brownies are cool, beat butter and powdered sugar, scraping sides until combined. Add in crème de menthe and vanilla and mix until smooth. Spread on brownie layer, then refrigerate until set, about 1-2 hours.
Chocolate Fudge Layer
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Melt chocolate and butter together in 30 second increments in microwave, stirring until smooth, then pour over top of mint layer. Refrigerate until set 1-2 hours.
2. Beautiful Fruit Kabobs. Karen Sauder prepared these healthy and appealing fruit kabobs for the women’s annual salad luncheon at St. Jacobs Mennonite Church, which is a favorite traditional event for women of the church. Does your church have an annual luncheon or supper focusing just on salads? We’d love to hear about it in the comment section on on our Facebook page! Such a variety of dishes fit the “salad” motif. Photos by Marcia Bauman Shantz
3. Scalloped Potatoes.
Perhaps plain old potatoes are never quite as attractive as colorful fruits and salads, but this filling comfort dish often finds a place at the table of St. Jacob’s Mennonite Church (SJMC) in Ontario. Everyone has their favorite recipe for scalloped potatoes, and cookbooks abound with variations; here’s one recipe with a step-by-step tutorial, if you don’t have your own favorite recipe! Photo from Marcia Bauman Shantz.
4. Greek Tomato Salad.Got tomatoes? Got cucumbers? This salad from (yes, St. Jacob’s Mennonite) is a sure winner for late July and August! A great recipe for Greek Tomato Salad or Tomato Cucumber Feta is in the 2015 edition of Simply in Season, filled with beautiful dishes and recipe photography. Photo by Marcia Bauman Shantz.
Here’s how to make it:
8 medium tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
1 cucumber, chopped (optional)
Combine in a dish
2 tablespoons fresh basil, mint, or parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
Mix and pour over the vegetables; toss lightly. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with ½ cup freshly shredded mozzarella or crumbled feta cheese, Kalamata olives, or sprigs of fresh herbs.
Serves 6. Recipe from Simply in Season, Herald Press.
5. Banana Cream Pudding.
The staff of MennoMedia/Herald Press at the main U.S. office in Harrisonburg, Va., have a potluck lunch once a month. Recently we featured recipes from Mennonite Community Cookbook, and Dorothy Hartman, editorial assistant and permissions manager, prepared this beautiful and traditional banana pudding. Score the recipe here! Photo by Melodie M. Davis.
Banana Cream Pudding
2 boxes vanilla pudding (not instant)
4 cups milk
1 cup whipping cream
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
14 graham crackers
Combine pudding and milk and stir until smooth.
Cook until thickened, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and cool.
Whip the cream and add sugar and vanilla.
To the cold custard add 2/3 of the whipped cream, 3 diced bananas and 10 graham crackers rolled very fine.
Combine ingredients well and our into serving dish.
Spread the remaining cream on top of mixture.
Garnish with remaining crumbs and sliced bananas.
Makes 6-8 servings. Original recipe in Mennonite Community Cookbook from Dorothy Shank, Harrisonburg, Va.
6. Apple/Pineapple Swan, made by Ann Weber of SJMC; photo by Marcia Bauman Shantz. There’s not much recipe to this, but if you study the photo and watch this video, you should be able to figure it out, or we can put you in touch with its creator for more complete directions!
7. Mennonite Cinnamon Rolls, baked by Heather Weber of SJMC; photo by Marcia Bauman Shantz.
Rebecca Thatcher Murcia is a professional translator, mega-soccer mom, coach, and player. Several years ago she shared a fantastic church cinnamon roll story on the Mennonite radio program Shaping Families. It seems that one Sunday she ran out of time to make her rolls at home and dragged all the ingredients to church with her, and … (see cinnamon roll story here and adapted recipe here).
What’s your favorite church potluck food? Does your women’s group have “salad luncheons” or other women only events? How about men’s food events?
We have one more post in this series related to church potlucks. Next up: A cautionary note about potlucks from a thoughtful reader!