IMAG5382

My tried and true, amazing classic Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes (about 8 Medium) Red Potatoes and Russets work as well, but Yukons are my favorite in this dish!
  • 4 whole Hard Boiled Eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup Real Mayonnaise (NOT Miracle Whip)
  • 1/4 cup Prepared Yellow  Mustard
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 8 whole Small Dill Pickles
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (more To Taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped thinly (or 1 teaspoon dried chives)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (optional, but I love the crunch it adds!)

    Preparation Instructions

    1-Boil your eggs (you can find really great and easy to follow instructions here) and let them completely cool. (I like to do this a day or 2 before if possible so there’s 1 less step.)

    2-While your eggs are boiling and cooling, wash the potatoes really well (no need to peel unless using russets.)

    3-Cut the potatoes into bite size chunks (the size you like in your potato salad), then boill until fork tender. Drain. And let them cool in large bowl in the fridge. (If you’re in a hurry you can run cold water over them, even adding ice, just be sure to drain them well and then put them in the fridge.)

    4-While the potatoes are boiling and cooling, wash and cut up your green onions and chives (kitchen shears work great for this!) If you’re using a yellow or golden onion make sure you dice it into really small pieces, unless you like bigger pieces of onion in your salad.

    4-Cut up your dill pickles and cold boiled eggs ans add them to the large bowl with the potatoes.

    5–In another smaller bowl, mix together the  mayonnaise, mustard, green onions, salt, pepper, and spices, saving a little of the chives and paprika to sprinkle over the top of the salad at the end.

    5-Pour this mixture over the potatoes, pickles and boiled eggs. Gently mix everything with out smashing the potatoes or eggs too much. Make sure all the potatoes are well covered in everything, being sure to check the potatoes at the bottom of the bowl.

    6-If you like you can transfer the salad to a pretty bowl now or keep it in the same bowl and sprinkle the salad with the rest of the chives and paprika.

    7-Cover the bowl with a tight lid or aluminum foil or plastic wrap and put in the fridge. (Potato Salad is great after it’s aged a day so if possible, make it a day a head of time and let it chill in the fridge.)

    8-Make sure your potato salad stays cool when you’re serving it and store any leftovers (not likely!) in the fridge for up to 5 days or so.  A good way to keep it cool at a picnic is to put your bowl of salad in a larger bowl that is filled with ice. You can also buy a variety of bowls that stay cold for hours, here are some examples on Amazon.

IMAG5382

BLT (or BLTA) Sandwiches

 IMG_3641
10 strips of Bacon, about 1lb (2 per person)
10 slices of bread per person (2 per person)
1 head of Lettuce (I like Romaine)
2 Tomatoes, sliced
1 Avocado (optional)
Mayo, mustard and anything else you like on your sandwich

 

My favorite way to cook bacon is to bake it in the oven.  So much easier, turns out perfect and easy to clean up. (from http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/breakfastcookery/ht/bacon.htm)

 

1-Line a baking sheet with foil. This will make cleanup easier later.
2-Arrange the bacon slices on the foil and place the baking sheet on the center rack of a cold oven. (Try not to stretch the slices out. Just gently drape the bacon across the pan.) Close the oven door. Turn the oven on to 400°F. Walk away.
IMG_20140715_092556
3- Come back 17 to 20 minutes later. As soon as the bacon is golden brown, but not excessively crisp, it’s done. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon slices, and also on how quickly your oven reaches the target temperature.
IMG_3632
4- Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the bacon to another sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb any excess fat.
IMG_3636
Have everyone build their sandwich however they like it.  I serve this with salad.
IMG_3638
IMG_20140512_184657

Hawaiian Haystacks or “Stack ’ems” 2 ways (crock pot and stove top)

IMG_20140512_184657
Hawaiian Haystacks with brown sticky rice, chicken sauce, peas, cheddar cheese and fresh pineapple-yum! Plantomakeitsimple.com
Crock Pot version
Ingredients for homemade cream of chicken soup:
(I make my own cream of chicken soup with the next 5 ingredients but you can replace it with 2 cans (10 3/4 oz. each) cream of chicken soup)
-2 cup milk
-2 Tbs. butter
-¼ cup. cornstarch
-2 tsp “Better than Bouillon” chicken
-1/4 tsp. ground pepper

-2 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
-1 t paprika (optional)
-1 cup of milk (maybe a little more or less)
-½ c sour cream (or cream cheese)

-And any toppings you want from this list: cheddar cheese, pineapple tidbits, sliced olives, diced green onion, chopped celery, shredded coconut, slice almonds, diced fresh mushrooms, Chow mien noodles, diced tomatoes, peas or mandarin oranges
-Hot cooked Rice
 
Instructions
1-Put all 5 ingredients for the “homemade cream of chicken soup” into a medium sauce pan, turn the heat to medium and whisk constantly until there are no lumps and the soup thickens. (This will take several minutes of constant whisking.)  
2- Take the soup of the burner and set aside.
3-Place chicken breasts in crock pot and cover with soup & paprika. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
4-Shred or dice the chicken in the crock pot with kitchen shears.
5-Add sour cream and enough milk and stir to make the consistency of gravy.
6-Serve the sauce over individual plates of cooked rice.
7-Let everyone top their “haystack” with any of the toppings you choose.
 
Quick Stove Top Version
Ingredients for homemade cream of chicken soup: (I make my own cream of chicken soup with the next 5 ingredients but you can replace it with 2 cans (10 3/4 oz. each) cream of chicken soup)

-2 cups milk
-2 Tbs. butter
-¼ cup. cornstarch
-2 tsp “Better than Bouillon” chicken
-1/4 tsp. ground pepper

-Cooked chicken (canned chicken, rotisserie chicken or this chicken work really well for this)
-1 t paprika (optional)
-1 cup of milk (maybe a little more or less)
-½ c sour cream (or cream cheese)
-Any toppings you want from this list:
cheddar cheese, pineapple tidbits, sliced olives, diced green onion, chopped celery, shredded coconut, slice almonds, diced fresh mushrooms, Chow mien noodles, diced tomatoes, peas or mandarin oranges
-Hot, cooked rice
 
1-Put all 5 ingredients for the “homemade cream of chicken soup” into a medium sauce pan, turn the heat to medium and whisk constantly until there are no lumps and the soup thickens. (This will take several minutes of constant whisking.)  
2-Add cooked chicken shredded or cubed ( to the soup.
3-Take the soup of the burner and set aside.
4-Add sour cream and enough milk and stir to make the consistency of gravy.
5-Serve the sauce over individual plates of cooked rice.
6-Let everyone top their “haystack” with any of the toppings.
 
 
Note: I found it quite funny that when these were served at a party while I was living in Hawaii, most of the Hawaiians had never heard of this dish and the one who had called them “Stack ’ems” so this recipe is dedicated to you, Bro. Ho!
 
IMAG5382

Chef’s Salad

Just mix up a salad of anything you like.  We put everything out on the table & let everyone build their own and my girls love that!
 
Here are some ideas:
Organic Spring Mix from Costco (or Romaine lettuce & spinach)
tomatoes (I like the “grape” tomatoes from costco. You don’t have to cut them!)
Any kind of cheese (We love the Feta from Costco)
Carrots
Cucumbers
Olives
Canned, drained beets
Avocados
Boiled eggs
sliced almonds
Ham, turkey, chicken or bacon
Homemade Ranch or any good dressing you like
IMAG5382

Baked Salmon with Lemon

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 salmon fillets fresh or frozen
1 Tablespoon butter, melted or olive oil
4 thin slices of fresh lemon


1- Heat oven to 375 degrees. 
2- Line a 11″ x 7 1/2″ x 2″ or 9″ x13″ baking dish with foil.  
3- Lightly grease with oil or butter and arrange fillets in dish, (skin side downif it has skin.)
4- Drizzle with butter or oil and squeeze lemon juice on each one, salt & pepper and then place a lemon slice on each fillet. 
5- Bake uncovered until fish flakes easily with fork, 35 to 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer reaches 140ºF/60ºC. *It will take longer for frozen fillets. 
6- Serve with extra fresh lemon slices to squeeze over cooked salmon and rice and vegetables.