Traditional Potato Salad


potato salad

When summertime is almost upon us I always think back to the dinners my mom would put on the table when I was a child.  We ate out of the garden almost every night .  Sliced tomatoes or green fried, stuffed peppers, zucchini, squash, green onions, corn-on-the cob, cucumber-onion salad and my mom’s wonderful potato salad. There were always boiled potatoes cooling on the counter and along side were a couple of hard boiled eggs.  My mom didn’t have a recipe for her potato salad. She would make a mixture of the yokes, yellow mustard, mayonnaise, salt, pepper and a touch of sugar. She would stir in her diced potatoes, chopped onion and celery. Whola!! Potato Salad.  I came up with this recipe in hopes it would be similar. I think it’s a close second!  
This salad is a favorite with my families-on-the-go. Fried chicken, potato salad, cucumber onion salad and brownies for dessert! 

Serve this at you next picnic, gathering or better yet, just a regular weekday dinner! It does have mayonnaise, so be sure to keep it cool. I think it always tastes better the next day. 
Hope you enjoy and Happy cooking,
Vonnie

 

IINGREDIENTS:

 

2 pounds potatoes (I use redskin potatoes)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 TBSP. yellow mustard
1/2-1 tsp. salt (I like a little more salt so I use closer to 1 tsp.)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup sweet pickles, finely chopped plus about 1 TBSP. of the pickle juice ( Use Famous Dave’s Signature Spicy Pickle Chips if you can find them) or 1/2 cup sweet or dill pickle relish
1-2 hard boiled eggs, yokes set aside and whites finely chopped ( I only use 1 hard boiled egg but my mom always used 2)

DIRECTIONS:
In a medium pan place the potatoes, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 2 large eggs. Add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer and cover loosely with pan lid for 20- 25 minutes or until potaotes are fork tender. Remove eggs first and then drain potatoes. (You can run a little cool water on the potatoes and eggs if you want. Set eggs and potatoes on countertop and let cool.(Just like Nancy!) When everything is cool and you are ready to assemble the salad, use a large bowl and combine, egg yoke/s, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in celery, onion, pickle, pickle juice, and egg white/s. Add diced potatoes and toss gently. Cover and chill for at least a few hours before serving.

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Opening Day Chili Dogs


chili-cheese-dog

It’s Opening Day here in Detroit!!  GO TIGERS!!

Growing up in NE Ohio, I was raised an Indians fan.  I used to love going to Muncipal Stadium with my Daddy.  No matter where we were or what we where doing my Dad would say’ “Listen, we can stay here or we can go watch the Indians play.”  I always chose baseball.  I remember being about 12 or 13 years old and our family was spending the day at Geauga Amusement Park. It was my dad’s annual company party.  We got up at the crack of dawn loaded up the stationwagon with baskets of food for the Potluck lunch and we were off.   Mid-day we we all gathered in the picnic area to have lunch and my dad said, ” Listen we can stay here until 7:00 this evening or we can get our stuff and go watch the Indians play.”  It was a great day for baseball!  Like I said, I always chose baseball.  Mark and I have carried that tration on with our children. They always choose baseball too!

Opening day is a day of hot dogs, peanuts and a soda. No recipe needed for that, but if you want to make a great chili dog today look no further. 

I hope you enjoy your day no matter what is going on Choose baseball.

GO TIGERS!!

Enjoy and Happy cooking,

Vonnie

 

Ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped

2 pounds ground beef

16 ounce can of tomato sauce

1 cup beef broth

2 Tbsp molasses or honey

2 Tbsp sweet paprika

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1-2 Tbsp chili powder

Salt

Hot Dogs

Buns

Chopped onion, for garnish

Shredded cheddar for garnish

 

DIrections;

. Add chopped onions to a large skillet and fry over high heat, stirring often, until they begin to brown. Add in the ground beef and stir in well. Cook this, still over high heat and stirring occasionally, until the beef is browned.  Once the beef is well browned, add the tomato sauce, molasses and beef broth. Add all the spices and stir well. Bring to a simmer and taste. Add salt if it needs it.  Let the chili cook on a gentle simmer for at least 30 minutes before you start grilling the hot dogs. You can cook it several hours if you want to, adding a little more beef broth if the chili begins to get too dry.  Prepare hot dogs any way you prefer.  Top hot dogs with chili sauce.  Adding chopped onion and shredded cheese if desired.

 

 

Bacon Hearts


bacon hearts

I am in charge of our Staff breakfast this coming Friday, Feburary 14th and I want to do a light breakfast.

My thought was if I did a light breakfast of some yogurt, fresh fruit, scones, and homemade English muffins, I could make a big pot of hearty soup and homemade bread for lunch. 

My co-worker Lyn pinned this recipe on my Pinterest board and it seemed perfect for our Valentine breakfast and so easy to make.

Thanks Lyn for the great recipe!                                         

Happy cooking and Enjoy,

Vonnie  (A cook in her kitchen)

 

Brown Sugar Bacon Hearts
 
 
Ingredients:
  • 12-15 slices of bacon
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
 

 

Instruction:
  1. Cut the bacon in half. Fold over two halves to create a heart shape.
  2. Lay these on a cooling rack on a foil lined baking sheet.
  3. Combine the brown sugar and mustard and spread over the bacon hearts.
  4. Cook at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Beer Braised Beef with Fall Vegetables


When the air turns a little crisp here in Michigan I grab my box labeled Fall Recipes. This is my most requested meal this time of year.  I love to braise beef.  It is a wonderful way to turn an inexpensive piece of meat into a moist and tender dinner with a huge outcome of flavors and praise!  I also like to use our local brew-pubs in-season beers.  My favorite is Liberty StreetBrewing Companies Pumpkin Pie Ale.  If you don’t have a brewery close by Guinness is a great choice.  Also, I have used Blue Moon Belgian-Style Wheat Ale.

As with most stews, this is great the first day, but even better the next.  I love to serve this with a nice salad and thick bread. My friend Sue Ford’s Oatmeal Bread is perfect. (Recipe is in the archives)

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,

Vonnie                                                                                                     

Ingredients:

3  tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2  tablespoons canola oil

1  (2 pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed

1  teaspoon salt, divided

1/2  teaspoon black pepper

1  cup  fat-free, less-sodium beef broth

4  garlic cloves, crushed

1  (12-ounce) bottle dark beer

1  bay leaf

3  carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices

3 parsnips, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices

3 small turnips, peeled and cut into wedges *

1  medium onion, peeled and cut into wedges

1/4  cup  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300°.

Place flour in a shallow dish. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef evenly on all sides with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; dredge in flour. Add beef to pan; cook 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add broth and next 3 ingredients (through bay leaf), scraping pan to remove browned bits; bring to a boil. Cover and bake at 300° for 1 1/2 hours. Add carrots; cover and cook 25 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, turnips, parsnips and onion; cover and cook an additional 1 hour and 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and beef is fork-tender.

Remove beef and vegetables from pan; discard bay leaf. Cover beef mixture; keep warm. Let cooking liquid stand 10 minutes. Skim fat off of broth or try this great tip. (Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour cooking liquid into bag; let stand 10 minutes fat will rise to the top. Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain cooking liquid into a medium bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat). Serve cooking liquid with beef and vegetables. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon parsley.

* Note……If you have never tried turnips, try them. They are wonderful, especially in this recipe but if you just aren’t a fan you can substitute  3 Yukon potatoes peeled and cut into wedges.

.

Lasagna Soup


Do you like Lasagna?

Well, if so, you’re going to LOVE this recipe for Lasagna Soup!  The great thing about it is, it comes together so quickly and tastes so rich that your family and guests will think you worked long and hard to make them a wonderful dinner.  I like to serve this with some good Italian bread and a simple salad.

Enjoy and Happy cooking~                                                                                               

Vonnie

1 lb lean  ground beef

1 medium onion, diced

2 large green, red or orange bell peppers, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups water

2 cans (14.5 oz each)  diced tomatoes with Italian herbs,

undrained

2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 bay leaf

¼ tsp. black pepper

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, optional

1 can (6 oz)  tomato paste

2 cups uncooked mini lasagna noodles (4 oz)

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

1 ½ cup seasoned croutons

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

In Dutch oven, cook beef, onion, bell peppers, garlic and bay leaf over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown and onion is tender; drain.

Stir in water, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir in pasta, Italian seasoning, black pepper, red pepper                 flakes, and brown sugar.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender. Remove Bay leaf.

Set oven control to broil. Pour hot soup into 6 oven proof soup bowls or casseroles. Top each with 1/4 cup croutons. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil soup with tops 3 to 4 inches from heat 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew and Baked Apples


I always look forward to the Fall season.  There are so many dishes I love to make, but it just seems of the four seasons, Fall goes by so quickly and I never get to make all the wonderful dinners I have in my repertoire.

These are a couple of recipes that get rave reviews. I faithfully make for all of my families. These are perfect recipes for when your day is overly busy. The stew is great because you can put it in the slow cooker and all the work is done for you. The baked apples are a perfect accompaniment.  Don’t be fooled by simplicity of these dishes. The flavors meld together nicely and no one will ever know it took you no time at all to create a wonderful dinner.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking~                                      

Vonnie                                                               

 

 

Chicken Stew Ingredients:

1 1/4 pound of chicken breasts or thighs or a combination, cut into bite sie pieces.

1 dried bay leaf

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

4 red skin potatoes, quartered 

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1/4 cup white wine

1 (18oz) jar chicken gravy

1/2 cup each, frozen corn, green beans, and peas

 Directions:

Place chicken in 3 1/2 to 4 qt. slow cooker. Top with bay leaf, pepper, onion, carrots, and celery. Pour white wine and gravy over vegetables and chicken.

Cover and cook on low setting 8 to 10 hours.

After cooking 8 to 10 hours increase setting to high and gently stir in frozen vegetables. Cook for 15 minutes.

 

 

 Baked Apples with Granola Ingredients:                                                

 2 large crisp apples(fuji,braeburn, gala)

2 Tbsp. raisins

2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar

4 tsp. butter

4 crunchy granola, crushed

 

Directions: 

Cut apples in half lengthwise. Using a spoon scoop out core and make a 1 inch indentation in each half. In a microwave pie plate arrange apple halves cut side up. Fill each apple with raisins and brown sugar; dot with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and fold back one edge 1/4 inch to vent steam.

Microwave on high 5 to 6 minutes or until apples are tender. Top each apple with granola.

 

Breaded Shrimp with Garlicky Beans


This recipe is for a meal that is perfect on those days when you are short on time but in need of a delicious and healthy dinner.
You can substitute your favorite green for the arugula or use fresh thyme or sage if you don’t have any fresh rosemary.
If you haven’t tried arugula I highly reccomend it. It has a rich, peppery taste that compliments the garlicky beans.
As always enjoy and happy cooking~
Vonnie

Crispy Breaded Shrimp with Garlicky Beans                                             

Ingredients
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
 salt and pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 19-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 bunches arugula, trimmed
Preparation
Heat oven to 400° F.

Mix the bread crumbs, rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Transfer shrimp and any excess crumbs to a baking sheet. Bake until the shrimp are cooked through and the bread crumbs are crispy, 10 to 12 minutes.

Heat the remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the beans, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add the arugula, and toss to combine.

Black Eyed Pea and Ham Stew (via Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide)


After reading this post I knew I had to make this wonderful concoction. Only problem, I don’t have any more leftover ham. Solution: going to the market today and getting another ham just so I can make this recipe and savor the goodness! I think this soup, some delicious brown bread and a cold beer sounds like the perfect dinner here in Michigan. Have a good day everyone.

Black Eyed Pea and Ham Stew Here is another great way to use up some of that leftover ham. Much like chili, many different ingredients can be thrown into the pot for a delicious combination. Below are the basic flavor components, after that whatever happens to be in the refrigerator and sounds good can be included. The fresh spices can also be tweaked de … Read More

via Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide

Chicken and Dumpling Soup


This is a soup I make regularly for my Families-on-the-Go.  Everyone of all ages just loves it. It comes together in less than 30 minutes from start to finish so it’s a great meal you can whip up if you are short on time.  The leftovers only get better, so don’t be afraid to make a whole recipe if it’s just one or two you are cooking for or a double batch if you have a large family!

Enjoy and Happy cooking,

                                                                                          

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1  large potato, peeled and diced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 rib celery, diced

1 bay leaf  fresh or dried

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

2 tablespoons flour,

2 quart chicken broth

1 small box biscuit mix prepared following directions on the box

Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 cup frozen green peas

Directions:

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and set aside.  Place a large pot on stove over medium high heat. Add oil, butter, vegetables and bay leaf and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Season mixture with salt, pepper and Old Bay Seasoning.  Add flour to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Stir broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Add chicken to the broth and stir. Place biscuit mix in a bowl and mix according to directions on box. Drop tablespoonfuls of prepared mix into the pot, spacing dumplings evenly. Cover pot tightly and reduce heat to medium low. Steam dumplings 8 to 10 minutes.  Stir in chopped parsley and peas.   Serves 4 to 6