WSVN — We all want to be the hostess with the mostess during the holidays, but this season, there's a new trend in entertaining. Say the word loud people: "Potluck."

Michelle Payer: "This year, potlucks are making a glamorous comeback."

Throughout November and December the executive chef at the Ritz-Carlton in Coconut Grove is offering cooking classes where you'll learn a signature potluck dish.

Michelle Payer: "We are creating different dishes that you can take to someone's home including a dessert, an entree and even a couple of appetizers. You can buy all the ingredients at Whole foods for less than $10 a person."

Carolina Urrego: "It'd be great to learn one dish and know how to make it well and run with it."

During the classes, you'll suit up in an apron and chef's hat, sip a glass of wine then watch and learn how to make dishes like an organic chicken and potato gnocchi pot pie, gourmet meatloaf or a beautiful trifle tiramisu and berries romanoff.

Samantha Nordin: "I think it's an excellent time for a class like this. I think with economy being what it is, it will be a popular thing to do to get together with neighbors and friends and kind of combine the meal."

If you want to be a dessert diva this holiday, treat your friends to truffles.

Heather Jordan, Ghirardelli: "Truffles are so simple to make, and they make the best impression, whether you're serving them at your own home or bringing them to a party."

The chocolate experts over at Ghirardelli on Lincoln Road revealed their easy recipe for making these sinful truffles.

Heather Jordan: "The first step is to make the ganache, which is the foundation of the truffle, and you do that over a double-boiler."

All you need are three ingredients: mix together 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream, six tablespoons of butter and two cups of chocolate chips, then start stirring.

Heather Jordan: "So it takes about five minutes to create a very smooth, decadent consistency."

Then you simply pour your ganache into a casserole dish.

Heather Jordan: "It goes in like a decadent smooth chocolate."

Refrigerate it for two hours. Then, start scooping your truffle balls. Then it's all about the toppings.

Heather Jordan: "So we're at the most fun part of the truffle making, which is topping the ganache and this where you can get creative with colors and flavors or anything you want."

"Heather Jordan: We have the candy cane crush here, and then I used pistachios to show red and green. The coconut almost looks like snow."

The best part, you can make a pan of 30 truffles for less than $10.

Heather: "Here's our beautiful finished product, our truffles topped in all different colors to present to your friends. They'll think you spent a lot of time on them, but we know you spent about 30 minutes or less."

Saving time and money never looked so good.


Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove3300 SW 27th Ave. For information and to reserve a seat, call 305-644-4680. Nov. 14, Dec. 12 and 19, from 4 to 6 p.m.


NOVEMBER 7 Appetizer:Toasted Orzo Mediterranean Salad with Grill Garlic shrimp

NOVEMBER 14 Entrée:Gourmet meatloaf made with lean veal and beef folded with Pecorino Parmesan cheese, garden fresh oregano, black trumpet mushrooms and Panettone bread.

DECEMBER 12 Entrée:Organic Chicken and potato Gnocchi "Pot Pie"

DECEMBER 19 DessertTrifle Tiramisu and Berries Romanoff

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