At our party last night, we provided pulled pork (and buns), chicken and peppers, and salad. Since many people want to bring something, we suggested sides and desserts. And for those who wanted to accept the mission, I gave them my "no" list; I didn't expect too many "safe" dishes.
There were things I couldn't eat: a standard veggie tray with ranch dip (and another ranch dip, which seemed kinda random), a pot of canned baked beans, chocolate cake, something like an upside down cake, some chocolate bundt cakes, and cookies--both homemade and store bought.
And my friends came through in a big way! They took the V-safe challenge. There was a bean salad, baked beans (family recipe), beet orange fennel salad (I had leftovers today with goat cheese and candied walnuts), dill cucumber salad (this was very popular), corn salad (from Whole Foods), and vinegar coleslaw (the closest I've ever had to KFC slaw).
But the hit of the night was the "jello" shots my friend made. Go ahead, be jealous.
Judging from the rate they were consumed, the popularity was: dark chocolate mocha (Patron cafe dark cocoa), coconut (Malibu), ginger coconut (Malibu), peppermint mocha (peppermint mocha Kahlua, Patron cafe dark cocoa), hibiscus blackberry (vodka), and blood orange margarita (Grand Marnier, rum). Both the mocha shots were like pudding and the coconut was like flan. REALLY--everyone was asking for another "flan." It looks like she did an amazing amount of work. They were made with half alcohol and half other liquid and some agar. I hope that wasn't a secret now that I've told my huge readership!
I bought some cheap forks for parties and lose one or two almost every party. I have about half of them in my kitchen drawer. But when we ran out, I forgot that was only half of them. I put out the rest of our "real" forks, some plastic forks. And then I remembered I have a whole stash of party supplies. It's not that I forget; I just take a long time to remember!