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Graduation Party Meal: Build Your Own Gourmet Baked Potato Bar

That comforting aroma of hot baked potatoes right out of the oven will call anyone into the kitchen. Whether they’re doodling in yearbooks, staring at their phones separately-together, or playing a game of bean bag toss in the yard, grads will come running.

Shopping List:

  • Potatoes for baking
  • Cheese galore: Gouda, feta, parmesan
  • Sour cream
  • Greek yogurt
  • Butter
  • Flavored and plain cream cheeses
  • Fresh herbs: chives, cilantro, parsley
  • Avocados
  • Cans of black beans
  • Salsa varieties
  • Hot sauce options
  • BBQ sauce
  • Bacon bits
  • Various vegetables for sautéing
  • Coarse sea salt & peppercorns
  • Note cards/recipe cards

It’s time to use every serving dish and platter you own, so get ready and clear the counters. Grads will be excited about a new twist on the familiar. A wooden cheese board with chalkboard labels is the perfect way to name the gouda, feta and Parmesan. Set out a grater or two beside it. Place sour cream, Greek yogurt, butter and cream cheese near chopped herbs nearby so guests can make their own infusions.

Creamy avocado can be a fun new topping for a baked potato but is also a great alternative to dairy products, so set out a generous bowl. To inspire a southwest combination, place warmed beans and different kinds of salsa and hot sauces nearby. Also offer bacon bits and sautéed vegetables each in their own dishes. Try bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms and asparagus, or cook your grad’s favorites.

To easily identify each ingredient, fold a note card in half for simple tent-style labels. Use glass or ceramic bowls with lids for easy clean-up, or if you can find a dish with divided sections, even better! Being able to transfer from the counter to fridge will save a lot of clean-up time. For added novelty, set out a mortar and pestle. How many people have crushed their own salt and peppercorns?

Include recipe cards and pens so grads can document their creations to make at home, or display a couple ideas for those who prefer to work with inspiration: three-cheese bacon mushroom; cream cheese, veggie & herb; BBQ bacon Parmesan; vegan southwest fajita-style; broccoli, gouda and peppercorn—the combinations are endless!

View Party Plan: It's a Graduation Celebration!

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