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Potluck Dishes To Please Crowds And Cooks Alike

Potluck dinners, as anyone who's been to one knows, can be anything but lucky. It doesn't have to be that way — just ask Chris Kimball, host of PBS' America's Test Kitchen. For his new book, Kimball and his editors collected their favorite recipes for sharable treats.

Kimball brought NPR's Renee Montagne a sampling of dishes from the new book, Cook's Country Best Potluck Recipes.

In the potluck spirit, we reached out to Morning Edition listeners via Facebook and asked them to share their favorite potluck stories online. The responses included one from Sara, who works at the University of Florida — where she encourages foreign students to share a dish from their home country.

"We've had some good, some bad — and some just plain weird," she says. "The chicken feet stick out the most with me."

Kimball says that if you'd rather use a different part of the chicken — perhaps just an egg — nothing says "potluck" like deviled eggs.

The name for the spiced eggs goes back to the 18th century, Kimball says.

"But the funny part is that in a church, they wouldn't call them deviled eggs — they called them 'dressed eggs,'" he says. "Because they did not want to use the word 'devil.'"

Kimball's recipe for deviled eggs includes sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, spicy brown mustard — and a tip for hard-boiling the eggs.

"We found that if you put the raw eggs in cold water; bring it up to a boil; put the top on and let it sit 10 minutes; take it out and put it in ice water immediately," he says, "you don't get that greenish tinge."

Here's a sampling of recipes from Cook's Country Best Potluck Recipes: Foolproof Deviled Eggs, Lazy Daisy Cake, Lexington Pulled Pork, Texas Sheet Cake, 24-hour Picnic Salad, Cowboy Caviar, Drunken Beans and Maple Sausage & Waffle Casserole.

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