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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Creamy Potato and Broccoli Soup


creamy potato and broccili soup

This seems like the perfect recipe to share today. Here in Michigan we expected to get hit hard by a winter storm. This soup is hearty and will warm you up no matter what state you live in.
A couple of variations could be: 1. I used a hot pepper cheese, but I think any kind of cheddar or combination of your favorite cheeses would work well.  2. I used a smoked applewood thick cut bacon, but a peppered bacon, or pancetta might be nice. 3. If you have some wonderful chicken stock, that would be perfect. If you are like me than you can use a wonderful product. Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base. I love this stuff!! Also, you could use a vegetable broth. 

For those meat free-ers, just omit that step. Make sure if you don’t have some bacon grease to brown the vegetables, use 2 TBSP. of olive oil.

Stay warm and safe.

Enjoy and Happy cooking,

Vonnie

Ingredients:

 

3 slices Thick Bacon, Cut Into 1/2-inch Pieces

1  whole Medium Onion, Diced

3 whole Carrots, Scrubbed Clean And Diced

3 stalks Celery, Diced

3 whole medium Idaho Potatoes, Peeled And Diced

2 cups of broccoli,  chopped (fresh or frozen)

6 cups  Chicken or Vegetable Broth

3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour

2 cups Milk

1 cup Heavy Cream

2 cups grated cheese of your choice

1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste (optional)

 Pepper To Taste

 

 

Directions:

Add bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off all but 2 TBSP. of grease, and do not clean the pot.

Return the hot to medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes and broccoli. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Whisk together the flour and the milk, then pour into the soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove  1/2 the soup and blend in a blender,food processor, or large bowl that you can use your immersion blender and blend until completely smooth. (Remember if you are using your blender, DO NOT PUT THE LID ON!! Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Stir in grated cheese, cream, and bacon. Stir until everything is combined and melted.
Serves:6

Irish Bacon and Cabbage Soup


This is what I like to make on St. Patrick’s Day.  It is so satisfying and easy to make.  I always serve it with some homemade Irish Soda Bread and a Killians beer, but since I was traveling yesterday I didn’t get a chance to make it.  It doesn’t have to be St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy one of my favorite soups.  The next day works too!

Hope you enjoy and Happy Cooking,

Vonnie

 

 

Ingredients:

1/2 pound Irish bacon, diced

2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 large onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

3 cup chicken stock

salt and black pepper to taste

2 cups thinly sliced dark green savoy cabbage leaves

 

Directions:

Place bacon in a large, deep stockpot or saucepan.  Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown.  Drain off any excess fat.

Stir in potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, and chicken stock to cover.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in cabbage and allow the soup to simmer for a few minutes longer before serving.

Serves: 6

 

 

Zuppa Toscana


In need of a great dinner? Look no farther. This soup is so satisfying and takes no time to prepare! If you are not a fan of Kale or Swiss Chard you can substitute Spinach.  A nice salad and crusty bread makes this a perfect meal!

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,

Vonnie

 Ingredients:                                                                               

1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage

1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

8 cups chicken stock or broth

6  Yukon potato, thinly sliced

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups kale or swiss chard,  chopped

                                                                                                                

    Directions

Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.  Cook the bacon in the same Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the bacon in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour the chicken stock into the Dutch oven with the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat. Add potatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add Kale and simmer another 10 minutes. Check potatoes. They should be fork tender. Add cream and cooked sausage. Heat until warm.

Pierogi Lasagna


This is a recipe I found in a cookbook my mother-in-law and my father-in-law brought back from a trip to Nova Scotia. The title is One Potato, Two Potato. Every one of the 200+ recipes are made with potatoes and this one is by far my favorite!

It is easy to make, works well for a vegetarian main dish and you can serve it with so many sides. I like it with applesauce, kielbasa, or a nice tossed salad.

If you are pressed for time you can use instant mashed potatoes.                         

Hope you enjoy and happy cooking,

Vonnie

 

 

Ingredients:

1 lb lasagna noodles

4 lbs red or white potatoes

1/4 c sour cream (optional)

1/2 c milk

2 c shredded cheddar cheese

1 c butter (2 sticks)

2 onion, sliced in rings

Directions:

Cook the noodles as directed on box. Chop potatoes into cubes, place in pot of cold water (enough to cover), and allow to come to a boil. Continue boil until potatoes are soft enough to yield to a fork stab. Drain, mash, blend with a mixer. Toss in the optional sour cream and milk, mix some more. Add salt to taste. Stir in cheddar.

Melt all the butter over medium-high heat, then sautee onions until the rings are transparent.

Preheat oven to 375. Grease the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with some of the onion-butter. Lay 3 noodles on the bottom of the dish, then spread the potatoes, a dollop at a time, along the length of each noodle. Once done, smooth the potatoes, then spread about a quarter of the onions on top, and drizzle a small amount of butter as well. Repeat this twice (or more if your dish can accommodate), then top with 3 noodles and the remainder of the onions and butter.

Pop in the oven for 20 to 30  minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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.

 

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

Baked Leek and Potato Gratin


Potatoes baked in a creamy cheese sauce make the ultimate comfort dish.  This make a great main dish for meatless meals or would be wonderful as an accompaniment to fish or pork dishes. You could also add 2 cups of leftover diced ham from your Easter dinner and make a one-dish wonder!  Make sure when you are preparing the leeks, you separate the leaves and rinse them thoroughly under cold running water, as soil hides and gets caught between the layers. Pat dry before adding them to the dish.
I like to serve this with some homemade applesauce when I make this as a meal.  A simple salad would be nice as well.
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,

Vonnie                                                                                 

Ingredients :
2 pounds potatoes, thinly sliced
2 large leeks, cleaned, trimmed
7 oz. ripe Brie cheese, sliced
2 cups half and half

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook sliced potatoes in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain. Cut leeks into 1/2 inch lengths and blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain.
Turn 1/2 the potatoes into a shallow dish and spread potatoes around. Top with 2/3 of leeks, then add the remaining potatoes. Tuck the slices of cheese and the remaining leeks in among the top layers of potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and pour the cream over.
Bake for 1 hour, or until tender and golden. Tent with foil if the top starts to over brown before potatoes are tender.
Serves:4 to 6