The kitchen facilities at the host's house are pretty limited.
Check out this contest winner recipe for Your Best Cheap Feast. Read the comments, too for variations. https://food52.com/recipes...... My favorite would be grilled, spiced chicken.
recently i stuffed whipped goat cheese with roasted pine nuts into pitted medjool dates. you can also whip a bit of honey into the goat cheese if you think your fellow party goers are fussy about goat cheese. easy to stack up, wrap and then serve. keep refrigerated on the way over.
This time of year- veggies! How about Ina Garten's Roasted Vegetable Torte. http://www.food.com/recipe...
I'd stay clear of mayo or meat for a 2 hour car ride, personally. If you don't want to worry about the dish jostling and getting ruined, I'd go with a quinoa or lentil salad. If you want to add lettuce or fresh herbs, put them in a plastic baggie to toss in at the last minute so they don't get soggy. You can transport in tupperware and bring along your salad bowl and serving spoons. No fuss and no worries....
This summer farro salad would work well: https://food52.com/recipes...
If you want something warm just prepare as usual. Wrap in foil then in several layers of newspaper. Place the dish in a good ice chest, not a collapsible one, and it will stay warm for several hours just like you took it from oven.
Cherry tomatoes from the garden or green market, cut in half. Throw in some pearl mozzarella balls, or buffalo mozz balls cut up to be about the same size as the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Keep on top of ice until you get to party ( it it won't kill you if you don't). Top with fresh basil torn from into pieces by hand. Toss. Be happy.
We've been having great compliments on a corn and black bean salad.
Black beans (cooked..or the canned and drained). Corn on the cob...cooked (grilled or pressure cooked) and taken off the cob.
Onion, parsley, celery, diced fresh tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes in quarters).
Dress that with a lime, cumin, chili powder, garlic, olive oil dressing.
Overnight. Then add crumbled feta cheese (optional). or more salt.
It travels very well and is better after it sits about a bit.
Avoid the urge to add Cilantro...some people hate cilantro. That can go on the side.
Any sort of grain or pasta salad I'd toss the main part in a pesto or vinaigrette so it can use those 2 hours to assimilate (pack in serving bowl) and pack everything else in separate containers/baggies (including fresh herbs) and put it all together when you he there- all you'll need in a couple of spoons to toss, which you can bring with.. On the same sort of idea you could bring a pound cake (ooh candied ginger) and jar or two full of berries (blAckberries) which are macerating in the car ride in sugar and lime and maybe some sort of booze + some crime fraiche or yogurt packed in ice for the ride
I've taken chickpea based Greek salads to several lunches. The chickpeas taste better if they spend some time in the dressing. I add olives and capers to the chickpeas. Tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, get salted and transported separately. Feta and parsley are also last minute add ins.
How about a grain salad? I admit to loving my farro and beet salad. :)
Cookbookchick's batsaria is great and would handle a ride well! https://food52.com/recipes...
Blondies are always a crowd pleaser. No one says no to a thick, chewy blondie. My personal favorite recipe was adapted from Cook's Illustrated (has chocolate chips, walnuts and white chocolate chips in it. My mouth is watering now just thinking about it!) There is no food that could travel better - put it on a pretty plate with a plastic wrap over it and you're good to go.
Bundt cakes make good travel companions too. I do as my mom taught me - stick a few toothpicks in the top of the cake and lay plastic wrap over that. It won't touch the cake and mess up any toppings you have.
I always make desserts--cake, cookies, brownies, pie, etc.--for these things because I love to make dessert. But you might consider looking at these recipes: