A bonfire potluck can be a great way to get together and enjoy the evening outdoors. It is not necessary to make a huge amount of food, but try to make enough so that each person can have a taste. Stick with foods that you can eat easily while walking around and conversing in low lighting, and that you can prepare in advance and don't need to keep very hot or cold.
Make a batch of fruit skewers for a colorful, healthy contribution to the party food. Start by selecting your favorite in-season fruits; head to your local farmers market or grocery store to select the freshest options, aiming to include a variety of colors for presentation. After you've washed the fruit, cut the whole pieces into ready-to-eat chunks, remembering to remove skin, seeds, leaves and stems. Assemble your fruit chunks and berries on wooden or plastic skewers, arranging them in colorful patterns that will be visually appealing to party guests. For more decadent, dessert-inspired skewers, offer sides of dipping sauces such as melted dark chocolate or caramel.
Kebabs make for delicious, savory treats that are easily portable and require no utensils to eat. Select a variety of fresh produce such as mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes and onions. For a vegetarian kebab, stick with just vegetables, or add some tofu to the mix. Otherwise, select proteins such as shrimp, salmon, chicken or steak to place alongside the vegetables on the kebab.
Cut up your ingredients into bite-size chunks, and then assemble them on skewers; you may certainly use metal grilling skewers, but going with a wooden disposable variety might be a better idea for a potluck. Grill your kebabs until they are cooked through, and then serve them on a platter for the party.
Finger sandwiches make for tasty, easy-to-eat morsels that are easy to customize. While you could easily go with the standby of ham and cheese sandwiches, it might be more fun to try out some more exotic combinations. For instance, go with a sophisticated fig jam, fontina and prosciutto finger sandwich. Or whip up a batch of cute sliders; you could make miniature burgers, or add a bit of international flare by creating mini Latin American chorizo sandwiches called "choripanes," or tiny Vietnamese banh mi sliders. Another slight variation would be to grill some quesadillas and then cut them into bite-size wedges, or to make some mini tacos with a variety of fillings.
Crostini makes for a perfect party snack because it can be eaten in a single bite, is super simple to whip up and most importantly, it tastes fantastic. You can make your own crostini by baking or grilling up some bite-size pieces of bread like a thinly sliced French baguette, or you can purchase prepackaged mini bread toasts from your local supermarket. The possibilities for toppings are virtually endless, so be creative in your flavor combinations. Some examples could include salami and fennel, blue cheese and figs, artichokes and olives, or brie and fruit jam.
Megan Burns is a graduate from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in political science and Spanish. She has been writing professionally since May 2009 with a Washington, D.C. entertainment blog called Brightest Young Things. Her areas of expertise include music, film and travel.