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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Savory Vegetable Bread Pudding


Looking for a hearty vegetarian main course entree? You’ve come to the right place! This dish will wake up your taste buds and will be so satisfying your family will want seconds and your guests will ask for the recipe.
Most of you know I cook for families on-the-go. I tend to make home style, stick to your ribs dinners. All dinners include a meat entree, vegetable, salad, homemade bread and dessert. Well, all dinners except for my families that request vegetarian. Therefore, I am always searching and trying different meatless entrees.
While reading a recipe for sweet and delectable bread pudding (that recipe will be a different posting!) I thought what if I made a savory bread pudding that used fresh farm market vegetables and herbs. Well, needless to say it was a great thought!
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,
Vonnie

Vegetable bread pudding

Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced in 1/2″ chunks
2 medium carrots, cleaned and sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 bag baby spinach
1-2 TBSP. Olive oil
6 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 cups cubed Italian bread (about 1 inch cubes)
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 TBSP. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
4 basil leaves, rolled and sliced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs, milk and Dijon mustard in a large bowl. Stir in bread cubes, half the cheese and the Montreal Steak Seasoning.
Saute Onions and the next 5 ingredients in hot olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in spinach, parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Fold vegetable mixture into egg mixture. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until center is set. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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

Diane Seed’s Asparagus Risotto


Diane Seed is known to those who have been fortunate enough to attend her occasional classes, as a teacher who weaves a spell, while she infuses Italian history and a story with each dish she creates with you.  I had the pleasure of spending an evening with her and it was truly the highlight of my cooking journey.  She is fascinating, and so pleasant. She glides in the kitchen with an ease that is contagious. I found myself be very child-like and wanting to mimic her every move.

One of the dishes we made while I was graced with her presence was Asparagus Risotto. She taught me most people feel the need to make their risotto with Arborio Rice, but she compared it to Minute Rice and she said Carnaroli Rice is the only rice for GOOD risotto. When I came back home I couldn’t find it though.  I found some on Amazon.com to order.  I also found it in the North Beach or Little Italy while I was in San Francisco.  So you might have to search for it in your hometown.

I hope you take the time to make this dish. It is truly an indulgence well worth it.  This is taken from my notes.  Enjoy her comments about some of the ingredients!

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                                                                  

Vonnie

Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh green asparagus

salt

1 3/4 oz butter (

1 medium onion, finely chopped

10 ounces Carnaroli rice (the only rice to use Anything else used will taste like Minute)

8 ounces good dry white wine ( cook with what you would drink, not cheap)

a little light stock,  (asparagus water about 3 cups or more)

1 3/4 ounce freshly grated parmesan cheese (buy a good quality and grate it yourself)

black pepper, Freshly ground                                                    

Directions:

Cut off the extreme tips(1 to 1 1/4 inch) of the asparagus and reserve.  Cut the remaining stalks into pieces (1 3/4 inches) and cook quickly in a little salted water.  When they are tender,  puree and sieve to eliminate any tough fibers.  Stir this pulp into cooking liquid to make an asparagus stock. (this is the salted water the asparagus cooked in).

Melt 1 1/2 ounce of the butter in a large pan, add the onion and let it begin to soften before adding the asparagus tips. With a wooden spoon ( must be a wooden spoon) stir in the rice and let it absorb in the flavor of the butter and pour in the wine.  Turn up the heat so the wine evaporates quickly then ladle on a little of the boiling asparagus stock.  When the rice has absorbed the liquid add another ladle of stock and continue in this way until the rice is cooked. You may need to use a different stock if the asparagus stock is finished before the rice is tender.  It is important to add only boiling stock a little at a time to the rice.  This process usually takes about 20 minutes and needs constant care. ( just like a baby or a man!!)

When the rice is cooked check for seasoning and stir in the remaining butter and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Add your black pepper to your taste.

Deutsch: Abgesackter Carnaroli Reis; Risottoqu...

Image via Wikipedia

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.

Chipotle-Lime Mixed Nuts


With December just around the corner and the celebration of the holiday season my mind is racing with recipes to make and share this year. Like every morning I was reading a bunch of recipes when I came across this one from Simply Recipes! I was thinking these spiced nuts would make a great holiday gift. Packaged in festive containers with the recipe attached will be a very good thing!!

Enjoy and Happy cooking~

Vonnie                                                                                         

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, etc.)
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • Grated zest of 2 limes
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle powder
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice

 

 

Directions:

1 Preheat oven to 350°F.

2 “Muddle” the grated lime zest with the salt in a large bowl by mashing it around with the back of a wooden spoon. The salt and zest should intermingle into a paste. Add the brown sugar and chipotle powder and mix well.

3 Whisk in the egg whites. Add the nuts and mix to combine, until all of the nuts are well coated.

4 Place the nuts in a layer on a cookie sheet that has been lined with either parchment paper or Silpat. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle lime juice over all the nuts and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.

4 cups

Scalloped Pineapple


This scalloped pineapple casserole is a wonderful accompaniment to your Holiday dinner. I serve this every Thanksgiving.

Your guests will love this side dish and they will beg you for the recipe!!

Enjoy and Happy cooking~                                                            

Vonnie
Ingredients:

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

4 cups white bread cubes

1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple

Directions:

Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs. Stir in remaining ingredients and blend well. Place in a buttered  baking dish; bake at 375° for 15 minutes, then at 350° for about 50 to 60 minutes.

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.

 

Virginia Apple Pudding


Apples baked in a wonderful batter and served warm as a side to a wonderful fall dinner or with ice cold cream or favorite vanilla ice cream.  Does it get any better? I think not!!  Since it is Fall I thought this recipe was worth re-posting. Perfect Apple recipe! 

 Enjoy and Happy cooking,                                                                              

                                                                                           

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup milk
2 cup apples, peeled and sliced
Heavy cream, or 1/2 and 1/2, or Vanilla ice cream

Melt butter in a casserole dish. Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and milk to make a batter. Pour into butter. DO NOT STIR. Pile apples in the middle of batter. bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

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.