Monitor Christmas Dinner Potluck

Written By

Fran Motta

Photography By

Illustrations by Leetia Lyons

This year for the holidays, we’ve put together a party menu based on what we’d bring to a team potluck. As a remote team, we don’t often get together. Cooking these recipes in our separate kitchens helps us feel a bit closer to each other, and to you, if you choose to make one as well! Follow the link in our description to find these festive holiday recipes. Happy Holidays from the Monitor team!

Fran —  Homemade Eggnog

A warming blend of bourbon and dark rum gives this classic Christmas cocktail an extra kick.

4 large eggs, separated

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 pint whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/4 fluid ounces bourbon

1 1/4 fluid ounces dark rum

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Yield: 6 Servings


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar until the yolks lighten in color and the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon, rum, and nutmeg and stir to combine. Move mixture to a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Place the egg whites in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running, gradually add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

  3. Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.

Cam — Nuts n Bolts

A Project Managers approach to Nuts n Bolts. This savory snack is addictive AF. Makes a large portion that is impossible to control impulsive eating. 

2 cups of salted butter melted (a literal full brick of butter…)

3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

2-3 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp paprika

8 cups of Crispix or Shreddies

4 cups of Rice Chex

4 cups plain Cheerios

4 cups of pretzel sticks

1 box cheese nibs 

Really just fill a deep baking pan full of your favourite cereals

  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a very large roaster, combine the cereals, nuts, crackers and pretzels. 
  3. In the microwave (or on stove top) melt butter then mix in spices and Worcestershire. Pour over dry ingredients and stir gently to mix thoroughly.
  4. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring gently with a spoon every 25 minutes or so.
  5. The mix will be done when you can see that all of the butter mixture has been absorbed and is dry.

Leetia — Samgyeopsal (Grilled Pork Belly)

One of my favourite Korean comfort food dishes, super simple to make and a fun hands-on meal for groups.

Original recipe from Korean cooking GOAT Maangchi

Yield: 4 Servings


  • 3 pounds of pork belly (fresh or pre-sliced frozen)
  • A few bunches of lettuce to wrap (looseleaf or romaine)

For the sauce:

  • ¼ cup soybean/miso paste
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoon gochujang
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil


  1. Slice pork belly into bite sized pieces. Put it on a large plate and keep it in the refrigerator.
  2. Combine soybean paste, gochujang, sugar, green onion, garlic, sesame seeds, and sesame oil in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Separate lettuce leaves and wash, set aside on a serving plate.
  4. Heat up your pan on medium-high. Put a little sesame oil on the pan for flavour.
  5. Cover the pan with pork belly, only cooking one layer at a time. Grill them and turn them over when the bottoms get a little crispy. Keep cooking and turning them over until both sides are crispy to taste.
  6. As the pieces get ready to eat, take them off the pan and put them on a small side plate. You can cook all of the pork belly at once and then serve, or you can cook and eat as you go.

How to eat:

  1. Put a piece of lettuce on a plate or in your hand. Add a few pieces of cooked pork belly.
  2. Add some sauce on top.
  3. Fold the lettuce leaf over so you have a little wrap.
  4. Enjoy!

Katrina — Cassava Cake

This rich, caramelized treat is one of the easiest Filipino desserts to make. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser that’s perfect for get-togethers.

Yield: 10 servings


For the cake:

  • 1 pack (16 oz) frozen, grated cassava, thawed (you can find this at most Asian grocery stores)
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut (optional)
  • ¾ of a 14 oz can of condensed milk (get the Carnation brand if ya wanna do it like my aunties)
  • ¾ of a 12 oz can of evaporated milk (^)
  • ¾ of a 13.5 oz can of coconut milk (Aroy-D brand, again if ya wanna be authentic)
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 2 egg yolks

For the custard topping:

  • ¼ can of condensed milk
  • ¼ can of evaporated milk
  • ¼ can of coconut milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp flour, dissolved in 2 tbsp milk
  • Grated cheese for topping (Eden brand is the best)


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375º F / 180º C.
  2. Grease a baking dish with butter and set aside.
  3. In a big, deep bowl, combine all the ingredients for the cassava cake and mix well until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. After the cake is baked, combine the ingredients for the custard in a bowl, except for the cheese. Pour the mixture over the pre-baked cassava cake and sprinkle the cheese on top, just enough to cover the surface.
  6. Bake for another 15-25 minutes until the custard is caramelized and golden (dark spots are okay and actually really yummy).

And for Aaron's recipe — buy a gift card

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