Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Change of mind

I've never thought potato salad was anything special. This was my first time even caring to make it. I'm glad I did, though, because I really liked this recipe. As I was eating it, I thought, "This is probably the best potato salad I've ever had." A moment later, my husband piped up with, "This is probably the best potato salad I've ever had."

I adapted the recipe slightly from one at My Kitchen Cafe, whose blogger says this is the best potato salad she has ever had, too. She says it tastes great with the dressing poured over still-warm potatoes.


2 1/2 lbs. red potatoes, washed and cut up*
1/2 c. sliced black olives
5 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

1 c. Miracle Whip
1/3 c. buttermilk**
3/4 tsp. dried parsley or thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. minced dried onion
3/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. mustard (I used spicy brown for half)

Mix dressing ingredients thoroughly and refrigerate so flavors can mesh. Boil potatoes until tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Mix potatoes with olives and eggs, then coat with dressing.

*Leave the skins on! They add health value and taste great.

**Or mix 1 teaspoon lemon juice with 1/3 cup milk and let stand for five minutes to make your own sour milk.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A toast to breakfast

Here's a fun and easy twist on the traditional: peanut butter waffle toast. Now let me explain. It's bread that has been dipped in batter -- similar to what you would do with French toast -- then cooked in a waffle iron. And it's yummy.

My sister-in-law Amy introduced it to us while we were visiting her family in Texas last month. And then my husband requested it for his birthday breakfast this week. The recipe calls for Bisquick, which makes it easy, but it would be fun to turn it into a made-from-scratch thing. I just couldn't bring myself to put forth the effort.


1 1/4 c. milk
1 c. Bisquick mix
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
8 slices bread

Heat waffle iron. In medium bowl, stir top six ingredients until well blended. Dip bread into batter, coating both sides. Cook in waffle iron until toast is golden, about 2 minutes. Optional toppings: syrup, powdered sugar, maybe even a sprinkle of miniature chocolate chips.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ain't no mountain high enough

I love salads with lots of ingredients. This mountain salad has all kinds of great stuff in it. I got the recipe a couple of years ago from my friend Carolyn, who is an excellent cook. We love this salad! Note that this salad requires refrigeration before serving.


1 head green leaf lettuce (or a mix of green leaf and spinach), washed and chopped
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
10 oz. frozen peas, thawed
1/2 c. sliced green onion
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese


1/2 c. each mayonnaise, Miracle Whip and milk


Start with half of lettuce. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar. Then layer with half of each remaining ingredient: bacon, egg, onion, peas and cheese. Top with half of dressing, then start over with seasoned lettuce, bacon, egg.....etc. This time, though, reverse the cheese and dressing so you end with cheese on top. Refrigerate for about six hours before serving.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Creamy and dreamy

One of the side dishes for our St. Patrick's Day dinner was this creamy Jello. It is far better than plain Jello, of which I am not usually a fan. The recipe comes from my aunt Susan, who usually makes it for Thanksgiving, using orange Jello instead of lime. She tops it with mandarin oranges. I like it best with orange, but the lime was really yummy, and orange just wouldn't have had quite the same effect for St. Patrick's Day. So, if you're on the fence about Jello, make it creamy and you will be pleasantly surprised.


1 package Jello (a flavor that goes with lemon)
1 package cook-and-serve lemon pudding

In saucepan, make lemon pudding according to package directions. While it cools, make gelatin according to package directions. Whisk the two together until frothy and well-mixed. Pour into 9x13 pan, cover and refrigerate all day or overnight.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hidden veggies

Here's a name you've probably never heard -- sweet potato enchiladas. I adapted the recipe from one at It is a meatless dish, which I'm always happy about. We're trying to be a little healthier around here. The filling is surprisingly good -- creamy and flavorful. My husband and 2-year-old really liked this meal. I'm still interested in tweaking it. I'm not a huge fan of canned red enchilada sauce, so I've got to come up with an alternative. In the comments on the original recipe, some people mentioned substituting green sauce. We'll see! I actually think this filling might be good in the baked taquitos we love. Let me know if you try it, and if you have any successful tweaks.


2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
10 corn tortillas
1 10-ounce can red enchilada sauce
1/4 c. reduced-fat sour cream
Shredded cheese

Boil sweet potatoes until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, then mash them with cream cheese, onions and seasonings. Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease 9x13 pan. Heat three tortillas at a time between two damp paper towels in microwave for about 45 seconds. (This way, they won't crack when you roll them.) Place about 1/3 cup of filling in each tortilla, then roll and place seam-side down in baking dish. Whisk together enchilada sauce and sour cream, then pour over enchiladas. Cover with shredded cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until cheese is beginning to brown.