Category Archives: Veggie & Side Dishes

Don’t Miss This: The Perfect Summer Potato Salad!

Potato Salad is a favorite in my house and family.  And with grilling season at hand, it’s the perfect time for it!

Potato Salad: The Perfect Summer Recipe

We’ve come to many friendly family debates as to which type of potato salad is the best.  My sister (and her German heritage) swears that German Potato Salad is best.  Don’t get me wrong, I do love it but I’m not sure that it’s my favorite.

My husband creates his own, which is amazing.  I would like to tell you about it, or share with you, but he refuses to share or measure out his recipes.  It’s a point of contention.

I like a few different Potato Salad recipes, and I’m sharing with you my favorite, which is a combination of a few different recipes with my own spin.  As for my family, they can share on their own websites.  Bahaha.

If you are looking for another recipe that is perfect for fresh summer veggies, check out this Light Summer Corn Salad and this awesome Mock Sonic Strawberry Limeade!

 

 

Regardless how you like your potato salad, I think we can all agree on at least two things:

  1. Potato Salad is the perfect summer accompaniment to just about anything.
  2. Potato salad is always better on the second day when the flavors have set into each and every bite!

Of course, sharing this recipe makes me want to make it again.  I just fixed it last week but….

Perfect Summer Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs New Potatoes (the small ones with multiple colors)
  • 6 Slices Cooked Bacon, crumbled
  • 6 Eggs, hard boiled
  • 1/2 c chopped red onion
  • 1/3 c  chopped celery
  • 3 Tbsp Zuchinni Relish
  • 1 c mayo
  • 1/4 c mustard
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Boil potatoes until soft, rinse with cold water and let cool, then quarter them and place in large bowl.
  2. Crumble hard boiled eggs (or chop them) and add to potatoes along with bacon, onion, celery, and relish.
  3.  Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine mayo, mustard and parsley.  Mix.
  5. Add sauce to potato mixture, stir well.
  6. Adjust sauce to taste and add whatever you feel is missing or adjust if you feel one flavor is dominating too much.  😀  I pour in juice from the zucchini relish for extra moisture!

Perfect Summer Potato Salad

I’d love to hear your additions/changes and what kind of potato salad is your favorite?

Twice-Baked Potatoes A Recipe by Mike Hartner

The benefit to making twice-baked potatoes is that you also get mashed potatoes from the recipe and potato skins, depending on your taste.

My son and I like the skins, and everyone likes the twice-baked potatoes. 

The recipe is fairly easy.

Potatoes (I use about 12 – 15 at a time).  But I’m feeding five, so judge your numbers and interest.  Each potato makes two twice-baked potato.

potato11. Bake the potatoes. (1 hr +/- 375)

potato32. Scoop out the potato, being careful not to destroy the skin. (A small amount of potato on the side does not hurt) And place into a mixing bowl.

3. Add about 1/3 cup butter and let it melt into the hot potato flesh in your mixing bowl.

4.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I add paprika, and cayenne… experiment.

potato45. Don’t use MILK… use CREAM.  It’s much heavier, and tastes better.  Pour a little at a time into your potatoes until you’ve reached a thickness you like. 

6. Taste, and then add more slat and pepper according to your palate.

7. Fill potato skins 3/4 with mashed potatoes from the mixing bowl.

potato58. Add crumbled bacon, and green onions.potato 6

9. Add shredded cheddar or other cheese.

10. Put back in oven until cheese melts.

11. Serve warm.

About the AuthorMike Hartner

Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.

book.cover

I, Walter is the first in a series of books in a saga which will span continents and time to arrive in present day North America. 

Each in the series will be connected, though that connection may not be obvious for several more books.  

It’s almost like looking at a menorah (sic). Many lines, seemingly individual, connect to center at different points. 

Walter Crofter was born into Elizabethan England.

In a country and a time where favor and politics were both deadly, can an honest boy stay true to himself?

Especially given his family background?

KateTiltonsBookBloggers

 

 

 

We’d love to hear your thoughts or comments about the recipe or the book series!!!

Leave a comment and share!

 

Originally posted 2014-03-08 06:46:47.

Coriander Carrots: Sweet, Healthy & Delicious!

Carrots were not always my friend, as a child I was convinced they were evil. Haha.  It is so great that nowadays kids aren’t as intimidated by healthier foods!  These Coriander Carrots are everything a carrot should be: healthy, sweet, and delicious!  While they’ll go with any or even no diet, I love that they are paleo friendly.  They bring a sweet flavor without anything that could be considered unhealthy !  IMO that is a perfect combination!

Sweet & Healthy Coriander Carrots

I’ve doubled the recipe, as my tendency is to want to have them to snack on the next day.  They only increase in their yumminess overnight!  Of course, I always wish I’d doubled my double. haha.  Can you tell I’m crazy about Coriander Carrots?  Of course, I’m also crazy about any recipe that is super easy and not too in depth!

Coriander Carrots

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp crushed coriander seeds *see note below*
  • 2 lbs baby carrots, sliced into 4 strips or chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 tbsp bacon grease (or butter)

Directions:

  1. Heat large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add coriander and cook 30 seconds or until toasted.
  3. Add carrots, water and grease (or butter).
  4. Coriander CarrotsCover pan and cook covered, untouched, for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove lid and cook an additional 3 minutes (or until liquid is gone), stirring when necessary.

 

While these go great with almost any meal, I love pairing them with my Herb Roasted Chicken or this amazing Spiced Tenderloin.

Please come back and let me know what you paired them with or any changes that worked for you!

***Note, I’ve found that the easiest way to grind the coriander seeds is to utilize an old pepper corn grinder.  Bonus: the container won’t waste away in a  landfill!  (Shout out to the amazing marketing people of the 90’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!)

Pickled Onions

I don’t know about you, but I’d never had pickled onions before.  But, Chief Zoo Keeper suggested we have pickled onions on some sandwiches and I jumped on it.  Why not!?!  Something a little different.  Well, they are really great!  The flavors worked great on our sandwiches.  We also had some on chili dogs.  Yum!!!

Ingredients:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Jar
Onions (we used red)

Slice onions into rounds.
Stuff into jar.
Fill with apple cider vinegar.
Refrigerate.  
Let sit.  The longer, the better!  At least 4 hours, overnight is preferred.

Originally posted 2012-06-30 05:00:00.

Country Pasta Toss

Hey guys!  I just tried this recipe out and it is fabulous, so I thought I’d share!
Country Pasta Toss
3 c rotini pasta
1 lb new potatoes, cut into wedges
1 lb baby carrots
2 c broccoli flowerets
(peas or snow peas if desired)
olive oil
2 1/2 tbsp parsley (dried or fresh)
2 tsp dill week
1/2 tsp salt
4-8 oz chopped ham
1.  Boil pasta
2.  Steam potatoes and baby carrots for 5 minutes.
3.  Add in broccoli, steam for 2 more minutes.  (this is where you add peas)
4.  Drain pasta.  Pour in olive oil, mix.  Add veggies and seasoning, stir.
5.  Serve and enjoy!  Very little guilt, this is super healthy!

Originally posted 2012-05-27 22:28:00.

Smoked Paleo Deviled Eggs

Smoked Paleo Deviled Eggs!  I’m so excited!  Going paleo hasn’t been easy for me.  I’m a bit of a foodie and it’s almost like torture (probably because I’m a spoiled brat, but I SO did not ask for judgement lol).  One good and fun thing has been coming up with ways to make my favorite recipes become paleo!  Although some of them have been impossible, like cheese and milk anything haha, some have been do able.  Deviled eggs are now on the success list!  I’m so thankful I don’t have to give them up!  Sometimes I think if I could go back in time, I’d help ancient man find more stuff so when I came back to present day, my diet would include more.  haha.

There are two versions, the original, then the Paleo version at the bottom.  Be sure and get the correct version!

Paleo Deviled EggsIngredients

12 hard boiled eggs

1/3 c low-calorie mayonnaise

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp Spanish smoked paprika

Directions

  1. Set up smoker. or set up outdoor grill with foil packets
  2. place eggs in smoker until bronzed, about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Cut thin slice off bottom of each half. Pop out yolks and placed in bowl with egg-white trimmings; mash with fork.
  4. Add mayonnaise, mustard, sriracha, and Worcestershire to yolk mixture; mash well. Spoon mixture back into egg-white halves. Sprinkle chives and paprika over eggs. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Paleo?  No problem!  Paleo Version

Instead of mayo, use half an avocado and add 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar.  Mix well.  Add a little more vinegar at a time until you reach the desired flavor.  While it isn’t the exact same, it’s fabulous and you get to have deviled eggs!  I missed them when we started paleo!

Know any good tricks for making non-Paleo recipes become Paleo?

Crunchy Green Beans

Ahh, summertime!!! Gotta love all of the fresh veggies available!!! I used 1 jar of canned green beans because that’s what we had! Turned out really great even though we didn’t have the almonds!

BTW, I’m super sorry I didn’t get a pic, we were starving and dug in without thinking!!!  LOL.  

4 cups fresh or frozen green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 1/3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup beef or chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup slivered almonds (opt.)

Directions

Place the beans in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, saute celery and mushrooms in oil until tender. Combine cornstarch, cold water and soy sauce until smooth; stir into celery mixture. Stir in bouillon. bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Drain beans and add to the celery mixture. Stir in almonds.

Originally posted 2011-08-05 14:16:00.

Garlic Roasted Summer Squash



<--  This is my Chief Zoo Keeper, amazed that I grew something!!!  


On that note, here we go! Typically I am the death of all things that grow out of the ground, but this year God has blessed me with the ability to not kill everything!  Actually, I don’t think that is true at all.  I think it is the fact that they are planted outside so God can take care of them when I don’t!  LOL.  Anyway, we managed to pull two lovely fat squash out of my little garden and I am so pleased!!!  I wanted to cook them, but wanted something different as we have a lot of saute’d squash, so I found this recipe here.  I had to modify it as I didn’t have the seasoning it called for but it turned out great!  SO, here is my modified version!!!

Ingredients

  • 2 summer squash
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp thyme 
  • 1/2 tsp oregano 
  • 1/2 tsp parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Trim the ends from the squash, and cut each squash in half lengthwise. Cut the halves in half again crosswise, to make 4 pieces; cut those pieces in half twice more the long way, to make 16 short spears from each squash.  (cut them like pickles, then cut the ‘pickle’ shape in half again!) Toss the squash with olive oil and garlic in a bowl; place into a shallow baking dish or on a cookie sheet.
  3. Roast the squash until the spears and garlic start to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Check the squash after 5 minutes, and add time in 2- to 3-minute intervals to avoid burning.  Mine took about 15 minutes, I suggest turning them about half way through so they will brown a bit on both sides!!!

Originally posted 2011-08-01 02:47:00.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

I made this delicious dish to go with some Pita’s I was making. It was amazing, I ate the leftovers for days all by themselves and had to force myself not to make more.  I’m planning on making this many more times, especially this summer for BBQ’s!  I think it’s a wonderful addition to any picnic type menu!  It can be made days in advance and could easily be kept on ice and still remain great!

I will post the Pita recipe next week, trust me, you’ll want to come back for it!  They are an amazing pair AND you could make it in advance for a quick weeknight dinner!

  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp dried basil, more to taste
  • 1 box (16 ounces) orzo pasta
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped in small pieces
  • 1 can (2¼ ounces) sliced, ripe olives drained
  • 1 packet (1 ounce) Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

 

  1. Cook orzo, rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together seasoning mix, sugar, vinegar and olive oil.  Set aside.
  3. In a larger bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT basil.  Mix well.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  The longer it is refrigerated (a couple of days perhaps) the more the flavors will meld.  Just be sure and mix again before serving.
  5. Garnish with basil.

*Great for picnics and cookouts!

**Can be made up to 2 days ahead of time!

Light Summer Corn Salad

Looking for a fabulous salad with minimum calories? Check out this wonderful Garden Fresh Corn Salad!

Are you growing a garden this year?  Or maybe checking out the local Farmer’s Market?  I don’t think there is any flavor in the world like that which comes from garden fresh veggies.  Even if you don’t have them fresh though, this recipe is super yummy and great for picnics, brunches and pot lucks!  I’m definitely going to be making it for next year’s July 4th bash!

Ingredients:

4 Ears of Corn, cooked with kernals removed

-or- 3 cups corn kernals

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

1 medium tomato, chopped

1/3 c of your favorite mayo

2 Tbsp lime juice

3 Tbsp finely chopped Basil leaves

-or- 6 Tbsp dried basil

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir.  You can serve immediately or make it a day or two in advance.  As is typical, the flavors meld wonderfully after it’s been sitting a while.  Just remember to keep it cool if you use an egg based mayo.

What is your favorite way to prepare fresh summer veggies?