Monthly Archives: May 2017

Easy Potato Salad

I have a confession to make; this week there was not a lot of cooking or baking go on in my house; at least by me. I have been writing my weekly food blog for 3+ years now and my “norm” is to make something, take pictures of it and if it comes out good I will share it with all of you. If it isn’t blog worthy I either make something else, pull out something else I might have made and not shared yet or will try to share an oldie but a goody from a couple of years ago. I am sharing my easy Potato Salad – but these are actual photos from this morning! I wanted some today!
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To clarify my comment above about no cooking by me my daughter spent her entire Monday making up lunches, snacks and a dinner. The rest of the meals were quick throw together meals and I would think most of you already have your own that you can quickly put together.
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We are currently have a long weekend as it being Memorial Day – I do want to give shout out to all of the Veterans out there Thank You for your service!
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There are going to be a lot of cookouts around here this weekend; probably not on Monday as they usually are because we are going to have another rain out of a day. We are close to having one of the wettest months of May on record Yeah us! We did get the gardens in though; so that is yeah us!
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My go to Potato Salad

red new potatoes
eggs
mayo
celery
Kens Zesty Italian
scallions

Dice the potatoes into the medium/small even pieces. Boil for about 10-15 minutes; depends on the size of the potato.

put your eggs in your pot and cover with water. bring to a boil, cover and turn off the heat, let sit for 13 minutes.  Move to a cold water bath to stop the cooking process. and Peel once you can handle them.

This is what works best for me. I always make more and once peeled the pretty ones I turn into deviled eggs, the other ones I make into egg salad.

Drain your potatoes and rinse a little in cold water just so you can handle them a little. Place the warm potatoes into a plastic bag and add just enough Italian dressing so that they all get a little taste of it. I used around 2-3 tablespoons. Place in the fridge to cool completely.
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once cooled add to a bowl big enough to mix and then you can put the salad in a nice bowl or a travel bowl. add the sliced egg, chopped celery and top with the chopped scallions.
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Sweet Italian Sausage with Roasted Garlic Pesto

If you have never lived in NH let me give you a quick overview of how quickly the weather can change in just a few days.  Last Sunday it poured and was around 60’F. Thursday was 92’F with 100% humidity; which to me means a seriously bad hair and this morning we woke to 40’F. That’s a week in the life of a New Hampshirite.  These are a few short reasons why I wait to plant the gardens.
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When making a new recipe that sounds good to me and in turn I am hoping that it is one I would ke to share with all of you. Sometimes I will take pictures so if the recipe turns out yummy. I can blog about it and have everything I need. In a perfect world that would probably work. Maybe I should have a camera set up in the kitchen at all times and automatically take pictures so I don’t have to “make sure” I do it. That would be a whole lot easier let me tell you.  
IMG_5140This last week I made the recipe I am going to share with you all and we all loved it. We even had it for lunch the next day and I think it was even better. Well I took a few pictures of the very first part; roasting the garlic; and never snapped another one. So last night I went to the store around 7 o’clock to get the 2 things I was missing so I could make it again and take pictures so I could blog about it today. See how dedicated I am to you; you’re welcome wink wink!
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I know the recipe is good when I share my thoughts with my husband and he is totally on board with eating the same dish in the same week. So this one will be on my go-to list as it is pretty quick, delicious and re-heats well. I think my guys ate it cold for lunch the next day and loved it. My kind of dish!
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Sweet Italian Sausage & Pesto Pasta

1 head of garlic – roasted
1 Package of Brocolini
1/3 or so cup of Olive Oil
1/4 cup or handful of Almonds
Pinch or so of red chili flakes
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
3/4 lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1 pound package of medium shells
Kosher salt

slice the garlic in half, width wise, place in a small piece of tin-coil and drizzle the cut side with a little olive oil. loosely wrap the head and place in a 400′ oven for about 30-45 minutes. Once roasted let it cool before making the pesto.

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Using a food processor pulse the almonds until they are just broken up. add the rest of the ingredients minus the oil and pulse to combined. while the blade is running drizzle in enough olive oil to make it a loose paste.
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in a large pot fill with water; where you will be cooking your pasta and the broccolini.
generously salt the water, once it starts bubbling put in your broccolini for about a minute or two. remove to a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process.
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drop your pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than the package indicates; you will be finishing off the cooking in the pan with the other ingredients.
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in a large saute pan add 2 tablespoons of olive oil once hot enough; just about to smoke; , add the sausage and break it down with either a wooden spoon or a potato masher until brown. add about a 1/4 cup of the pasta water to the pan and stir, getting up all the browned bits in the bottom of the pan.
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reserving some of the pasta water, drain your pasta and add it to the sausage pan. Add the pesto; toss to combine. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan.
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Adapted from Mario Batali The Chew Orecchiette with sweet sausage and rapini

Garden Salad

Good morning and Happy Mother’s day!

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Looking forward to seeing this again this year!

My Mother’s day plans were to be spent in the garden but apparently Mother Nature had other plans. Unfortunately we are not supposed to see the sun until Tuesday; insert sad face here.

The gardens were on the agenda since the kids asked what I wanted to do today and I figured why not tick off something from my “to do” list. And the gardens need a lot of love to get ready for planting in a couple of weeks; and manual labor is a precious gift; to me anyway.  Many OK maybe 10ish years ago this was the weekend when I would go buy all my flowers for the porch and veggies for the garden but after losing more plants and money than I care to share I now wait until Memorial Day and then I go out and buy and plant everything I want. That seems to be the safest in this neck of the woods.

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Although yesterday; while it was still pretty nice out my husband got all the beds ready for planting and throwing caution to the wind he ended up planting a few things like potatoes, onions, leeks, carrots, beets and shallots. I think we should be OK since they are in the soil versus a delicate plant above ground; though we will be watching the weather very closely.  I did see that 3 or 4 towns over awoke this morning to snow and power outages instead of rain YIKES!

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In anticipation of the yummy veggies coming out of our and possibly your hard work and dirty hands I want to re-share a quick and easy summer salad  that everyone loved.

 

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Best if you can make this first before you start whatever you are serving it with so it has time to meld and let the veggies soak up the dressing.

Summer Garden Salad

⅓ cup cider vinegar
2 tsp honey
1 small clove of garlic, minced
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup sliced cherry, grape or like tomatoes
½ medium cucumber, halved, seeded and sliced thin
½ medium yellow summer squash, quartered and sliced ¼ inch thick
¼ medium sweet onion sliced thin
Kernels from 1 ear of corn
1 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh basil

Whisk the first 5 ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add the next diced/sliced 5 ingredients; stir well to combine. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Stirring occasionally before serving. Garnish with the basil.

 

Homemade Cinnamon Roll under an hour

With Mother’s Day coming up next week I wanted to give you a breakfast or brunch option that tasted as good as it looked. It also needed to tick off a few of my important boxes; mainly using ingredients that most everyone has on hand; be pretty simple and not take you all morning to make.
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This is only the third homemade cinnamon roll I have ever made. My daughter reminded me that a few years ago while she was living in Japan we made maple bacon cinnamon rolls on Mother’s day. But my go-to; up until now; was my very old, very large white box bread maker. I’m sure some of you can envision the one I am talking about. That was what I used to make the dough for my cinnamon rolls. They always came out excellent but if I wanted to eat them in the morning for breakfast I had to get up around 5am so the machine could work it’s magic; as it took a couple of hours before I could roll out the dough; and then they had to rise for an hour or so. Needless to say I only made them on very special occasions.
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When my daughter came down in the morning and saw the cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven; which is truly the only way to eat them. Her first comment was ‘they look beautiful’ she proceeded to eat two of them. So they definitely passed the test. This recipe is really very easy that I think if you have little ones around they could definitely help you make them.
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IMG_5111Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast – or 1 packet
½ cup water
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Filing
½ stick unsalted butter softened/room temperature
2 tablespoons cinnamon
¼ cup brown sugar

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoon milk

Pre-heat your oven to 200’ and just before you place the rolls in the oven; turn it off.

I used my stand mixer but you can do this by hand

Making the dough: in a large bowl add the flour, sugar, salt and yeast; mix well. In a microwave safe bowl heat the milk, water and butter till the butter melts 30-40 seconds. Once melted stir into the flour mixture and the egg and knead until the the dough is no longer sticky roughly 3-4 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl to rest for 5 or 6 minutes.
IMG_5113Mix together the cinnamon and sugar for the filing. Roll out the dough after it is done resting; into a 15″x 9″ rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top and then sprinkle the sugar cinnamon mixture over the butter. Roll the dough on the 15” side tightly and cut into 9 large even pieces. Place them in a 9″x 9″ slightly greased pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the; turned off oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the plastic wrap and turn the oven up to 375’F. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are lightly browned.
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I lined my pan with parchment paper so I could lift the rolls out after baking

Make the glaze while the rolls are in the oven. Mix the powdered sugar, vanilla and use enough milk to make the glaze light enough for you to drizzle over the hot rolls when they come out of the oven.


Best served right out of the oven. They are OK re-heated but they do lose a little of their deliciousness. But I have never had any re-heated cinnamon roll that I truly loved.
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recipe adapted from: the recipe critic