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.

Pittsburgh Steak Salad


Pittsburgh Steak Salad
In honor of today being the first day of Summer I wanted to post my favorite summertime salad. Growing up very close to Pittsburgh this salad was on most restaurant menus. Every time we would head east to Pittsburgh we would eat at Primanti Bros. Restaurant and I would order this salad! I love to serve this with Poppy Seed or Sweet and Sour dressing, but you can use our favorite.

Ingredients:
5 rib eye steaks

1 large bag of steak fries deep-fried or baked

½ lb. mild cheddar shredded

1 head lettuce rough chop

1 large stalk celery diced small

2 carrot peeled and julienned

3 large tomatoes wedged

½ large seedless cucumber sliced thin

1 red pepper, julienned

bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

1 Bottle favorite dressing (I use Poppy Seed or Sweet and Sour)

In a large bowl mix together lettuce, carrots, red pepper and celery. Then in 5 separate salad bowls add you salad mixture. Then arrange your tomatoes and cucumbers around the salad and put them in the refrigerator until ready for use. Season steaks and grill. While steaks are cooking deep fry you French fries.  Add French fries and bacon to top of salads.  Cut steaks into 1 inch strips place on top of fries. Top the hot steak with cheddar cheese. Serve with favorite dressing.
Yield: serves 5

A Walk Down Memory Lane


Original post: July 16,2010

When I found the grocery list this morning at my local market I thought it would be fun to share with all of you since that was my intention when I started Chellengeu2cook. I read the list and my mind went back in time probably 14 years. I had been invited to my very first Pampered Chef party and the consultant made this dinnertime salad. Needless to say, I had to buy the Busy Mom’s cookbook. I used to make this for summer lunches when we lived in Ohio, but haven’t made it once in the 9 years we have lived in Michigan. Funny how the mind works isn’t it?  Anyhow, I hope you enjoy! Mark and I had it for lunch today and it was delightful. Just as I remembered!  From the list I used sausage, potatoes, onions, Dijon mustard, sour cream and good beer. Not Bad!!
Hope you enjoy and Happy cooking,
Vonnie                                                                                                                      

PS…Share your recipes you came up with for the latest grocery list!

From The Pampered Chef Busy Mom’s Cookbook, 1996.
Opening page:
This book is for all the mothers, fathers and caregivers who make careful, loving meal preparation part of their busy lives… and for the thousands of Pampered Chef Kitchen Consultants who help make the lives of everyday cooks a little easier and a lot more fun. Doris Christopher, Founder and President.

Meat”n” Potato Salad
1 pound smoked sausage cut into 1/2 inch thick slices ( I used a pre-cooked Italian sausage)
1 pound small red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I used white potatoes)
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
2 TBSP. cider vinegar
2 TBSP. mayonnaise (I used Miracle Whip)
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup red onion chopped

Place sausage, potatoes and chicken broth in a large frying pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.   Meanwhile combine sour cream,vinegar,mayonnaise,mustard,sugar, and salt in a 2 qt bowl. Set aside.
When sausage and potatoes are finished cooking, drain and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Add sausage, potatoes, bell pepper, and onion to sour cream mixture. Toss to coat. Serve warm or cold.
Yield: 4 servings

Summer Time Strawberry and Nut Salad with a Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette


This morning I woke up realizing “Today is the first day of my summer break! I am home… Well, that isn’t going to stop me.”  I got my chores done early, I made myself a glass of sweet tea, I suited up in my beach attire, and grabbed my sandchair….”WAIT…. no beach or ocean?….No worries”. I grabbed my Ipad, set up my sandchair in the middle of my patio, sweet tea in hand, chicklit beach book in the other and I was off to the “beach”!

 

 

“Except I don’t smell fresh ocean air. I smell the remnants of my dogs morning feeding that didn’t get picked up(if you know what I mean), and I don’t hear seagulls or waves crashing….WAIT!….I have Ambiance on my Ipad!… I hear waves and seagulls!! I have a sweet tea, a sandchair and a smutty book… Still no sand, but the bricks are hot and it’s a sunny day with a breeze…..EXCEPT… The neighbor kids are riding their bikes and ringing their bike bells yelling, “Shut up, I’m telling!”…NO!!…I am at the “beach”! I hear the waves and seagulls, I smell my suntan lotion, and I feel the heat of the sun…BEEP, BEEP, BEEP… What is that? Is that a delivery truck? ….DING, DING, DING….SHUT UP!!….I’M TELLING!!…MOM!!!……. What’s that odor? Oh yea….Stupid Dogs! …. OMG!!!…. Was that a frog that just hoped by my feet?…. MOM… I’M TELLING…. DING, DING, DING!!!

AWWWWWW……

OK….

I am not at the beach….I am on my patio, hearing sounds and smelling odors that do not resonate from the beach….BUT I am thinking of summer time recipes and most importantly recipes that are easy to put together, but really pack a punch of different flavors and “challenge” me to try different ingredients together!” 

This salad is your canvas. Add your own colors and make it your own!  It’s the delectable match. If you want, add some grilled chicken, steak or a fresh crab cake. It’s perfect!

PS….this dressing is to die for!!

Enjoy and Happy cooking,

Vonnie

Salad:

5-6 cups Mixed Greens of your liking

1 Pound strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced

1/2 cup nuts( almonds or macadamia nut work best) chopped  

1 handful of white chocolate shavings

Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette:

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. unsalted butter

2 1/2 oz. brown sugar

2 oz. honey

1 vanilla bean

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/2 oz. olive oil

Directions:

In a large serving bowl, place washed and spin-dried greens. Toss in sliced strawberries and chopped nuts. Meanwhile in a saucepan melt butter over medium-low heat and stir in brown sugar and honey. Split vanilla bean in half and core (use the pulp only). Transfer butter mixture and vanilla pulp to a blender. Add vanilla extract and pulse for 2 minutes. Slowly add olive oil, pulsing to incorporate. Return to saucepan and keep over low heat until ready to use.

  Dress salad with vinaigrette and top with white chocolate shavings and choice of meat if desired. 

Ambrosia


Are you looking for a side dish that is easy to make and your family or guests will love?  Look no further! Ambrosia is a great salad you can serve with just about any main dish.

When I was growing up in Northeast Ohio,  Sunday dinner was always Roast Beef with carrots, and potatoes, salad and dessert. My mother would make this salad occasionally and it was always a big hit! Tonight I am making my Slower Cooker Chicken Stew for dinner and thought I would make this as my salad. It seemed like the perfect side/salad to round out my dinner and since it is spring here in Michigan I thought it would be a better choice than the baked apples. You can find the Slower cooker Chicken stew recipe on my blog too!

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                                         

Vonnie

 

1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice

1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix

1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

2 large bananas, sliced

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1 (15.25 ounce) can fruit cocktail, drained

1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained

 

 

Dump instant pudding into a large mixing bowl. Add pineapple, and mix well. Mix in non-dairy whipped topping. Stir in bananas, marshmallows, fruit cocktail, and mandarin oranges. Cover, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Photo: Taken by Kraft foods

Valentine’s Day menu


Enjoy spending time with the one’s you love.

 

This is one of my favorite Valentine’s menus.  I made it for Mark Valentine’s Day 1994 ( sometimes it pays writing notes in my cookbooks!)  I was very pregnant with Maddie, Chris was 4, and Taylor was 2.  The boys and I cut out 100 hearts and wrote all the things we loved about Mark on them.  We taped the hearts to the door so when Mark got home from work he would see them. Then we sat down and enjoyed this wonderful dinner and laughed and told Mark all of our adventures of the day!!

I hope your Valentine’s Day is full of love and laughter.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                                                      

Vonnie

 

 

Menu:

Deep Fried Ravioli with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Tossed Salad with Grandma’s Italian Dreesing

Garlic Green Beans

Chicken Amore

Raspberry Cobbler

 

Deep Fried Ravioli with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Ingredients:                                                                                           

1 pkg. raviolis, found in the refrigerator section

1 cup of roasted red peppers, rinsed and chopped

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup mayonnaise

Directions:

In a food processor combine peppers, vinegar, mustard, oil and salt until finely chopped. Pour into a mixing bowl and sitr in mayonnaise. Serve as a dipping sauce for raviolis.

Fry raviolis in oil until crspy.

Tossed Salad with Grandma’s Italian Dressing

Ingredients:                                                                                                            

Romaine lettuce, Chopped

Tomatoes, sliced

Cucumber, peeled and sliced

Add all salad ingredients in a bowl and toss.

Dressing:

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1/4 tsp. seasoned salt

1/2 tsp. sugar

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients together set aside. In a large mixing bowl add vinegar. Whisk oil in slowly and well. Add dry ingredients and whisk well. Before serving over tossed salad whisk dressing.

Garlic Green Beans                                                                             

Ingredients:

4 cloves garlic

1 lb. green beans

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. butter

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook green beans by steaming until crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Crush and mince garlic. In a large skillet heat oil and butter over meduim heat. Add garlic and saute. Add green beans, salt and pepper. Toss in pan until beans are thoroughly coated and evenly heated.

Chicken Amore

Ingredients:                                                                        

1 cup flour

salt and pepper to taste

4 chicken breast halves

1/2 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning

dash hot sauce

1 1/2 cup white wine

3/4 cup sliced black olives

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1-7 oz. jar pimentos

Directions:

Mix flour, salt and pepper together in a large zip bag. Add chicken and shake well. Make sure chicken is coated well. Heat oil in a large skillet over meduim heat. Add chicken and brown 3-5 min. turn and brown another 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, parsley,seasoning, hot sauce and wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add olives, mushrooms, and pimentos. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes.

Raspberry Cobbler

 Ingredients:                                                                                    

1 pkg. frozen raspberries

2 cups Bisquick

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup melted butter

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Thaw berries and spread evenly on the bottom of a 9×9 baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, combine bisquick, milk, butter, and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Mix well until moist. Set aside. In sauce pan combine water, 3/4 cup sugar, and cornstarch. Bring to a boil. Stir until mixture is thick and clear. Pour over berries. Drop Bisquick mixture by spoonful over berries. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Panzanella Bread Salad


Oh the joys of summer! On the top of the list is fresh, ripe tomatoes, garden cucumbers, and basil that the more you cut, the more it grows. And the tomatoes… Beefsteak, early girls, heirlooms,roma, plum, not to mention the all the varieties of cherry and grape!  Finally the heat is upon us and the garden has finally started to be promising.  This classic Tuscan bread salad is a perfect thing to make with the bounty.  Panzanella at its core is really a way to use up crusty bread that has gotten hard and to celebrate perfect summer tomatoes. It is a cooling summertime salad that relies on the bread as the “filler” to soak up the juices of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, as well as the olive oil you pour over everything.

Once a poor man’s dish, it has become rather trendy. Once you make it, you’ll see why. It’s a great way to show off wonderful, fresh, summer produce and with so few ingredients you will be amazed at how good it is.  I am serving my with my leftover Herb and Dijon Mustard Glazed Turkey Breasts I had for dinner last night! You can serve the salad with any of your favorite grilled meats or it will stand alone for a great Meatless Meal. 
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,

Vonnie                                                                                                                                                              

Ingredients:
4 cups tomatoes, cut into large chunks
4 cups day old (somewhat dry and hard) crusty bread (Italian or French loaf), cut into chunks the same size as the tomatoes*
1 cucumber, skinned and seeded, cut into large chunks
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 bunch fresh basil, torn into little pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup good olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
* If you don’t have hard old bread sitting around, you can take fresh crusty bread, cut it into big cubes, lay the cubes out on a baking sheet, and put in a 300°F oven for 5-10 minutes, until the outer edges have dried out a bit (not toasted, just dried). If you use fresh bread without doing this, the bread may disintegrate into mush in the salad.

Directions:
Mix everything together and let marinate, covered, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, up to 12 hours. Do not refrigerate or you will destroy the texture of the tomatoes.

Serve at room temperature.

Serves 6-8.

Strawberry Turkey Salad


The summer night is like a perfection of thought. ~Wallace Stevens            

This salad will be the perfect accompaniment to your summer evening.
It’s light, but very satisfying.  If you don’t have turkey, use chicken or pork.  It will be equally as tasty!!
Add nice glass of sun tea or your favorite white wine and I guarantee a dinner that will be the highlight of your day.  Enjoy this while you watch the sunset!

PS… Last summer I entered this into a local recipe contest and WON!  I got a great chop-chop board as my prize.  Trust me when I say if you serve your family and friends this for dinner you will be a winner too!
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,
Vonnie                                                                                                                  

Ingredients:


6 TBSP Mango chutney
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 pkg. Romaine Lettuce, chopped
…8 oz. turkey breast, chopped
2 pt. strawberries, sliced
1 cup  red grapes
3/4 cup  celery, sliced
1/2 cup  red onion, chopped
fresh mint leaves (optional)                                                                                                                                   

Directions:

1. For dressing, in a bowl whisk together chutney, yogurt, and lime juice.
2. In a large bowl combine, lettuce, grapes, celery, and red onions.  Fill 4 plates with lettuce mixture.
3. Top lettuce mixture with turkey and strawberries. Drizzle with dressing. Top with fresh mint if desired.

Mini Cheeseburger Salad with Yellow Mustard Vinaigrette


It came to my attention today that I did not have this recipe posted. First let me say, I am sorry for not sharing this sooner and second, be prepared to keep this recipe at the front of your recipe file. You will be making this one OFTEN!!  I like to serve it with warm garlic bread and some fresh sliced melon.  Kudos to Rachael Ray!
This is one of her fabulous recipes.
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                                                                         
Vonnie
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 small red onion, grated and chopped, divided
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon grill seasoning
3/4 pound brick sharp cheddar cheese, or American cheese, sliced
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 large hearts of romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
1 cup sliced pickles, drained and chopped – choose from sweet, half-sour or dill varieties
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
Preparation Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 TBSP of olive oil. (You can also pre-heat a grill pan or a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat or pre-heat an outdoor grill instead of the skillet).While the pan is heating up, combine the meat with about 3 tablespoons of the grated red onion, the Worcestershire sauce and the grill and poultry seasonings (you may substitute salt and pepper for the grill and poultry seasonings). Form two-inch meatballs, then flatten them into patties.Cook the mini burgers for 3 minutes on each side, then top with cheese. Tent the mini cheeseburgers loosely with foil to help the cheese melt.

While the burgers are cooking, whisk together the mustard and cider vinegar in a large salad bowl. Continue whisking and stream in the remaining 2 TBSP olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Finely chop up the remaining red onion and add it to the bowl along with the romaine, pickles and tomatoes. Toss the salad to evenly coat everything in dressing.

To serve, arrange the salad on a large platter and slide the mini burgers on top.

NOTE: You can use ground chicken or turkey instead of beef

Baked Potato Salad


This is my Mother-in-Law Mary Jeffers recipe.  She is a wonderful cook and I have always loved when she shares one of her favorite recipes with me.  I have made it for more than 20 years and I always look forward to making in the warm months here in Michigan.  It goes perfectly with all your summer dinners.  It is especially nice because you can serve it warm or at room temperature.

 Enjoy and Happy cooking,                                                                                          

 

 

 

 

2-2 pound bags frozen diced potatoes, thawed
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 onion, chopped
1 pound bacon, cooked and diced
1 cup sliced green olives
4 TBSP. sweet pickle relish
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl mix all ingredients well. Turn into a large grease baking dish and bake for 40 minutes or until golden and bubbly.