Potato Salad

Ingredients: 6-8 red potatoes, cubed
4 slices bacon
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Put potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover and add a teaspoon salt. Cook on medium until fork tender.  Drain and run under cold water to cool.  

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until crisp, turning bacon to ensure both sides are crispy.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and let cool.  Crumble with fingers or roughly chop.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Add the potatoes, bacon and cilantro and toss.  Serves 6-8.

Grilled Chicken and Corn Salad
with Avocado and Parmesan

I tried this one the other night and the original recipe calls for fresh lemon juice and all I had were limes.  It turned out even better with the lime!


1/4 cup fresh lime juice (or lemon)
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 6-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 ears fresh corn, shucked
5 oz fresh spinach, about 5 cups
1 avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 oz Parmesan, shaved

Heat grill to medium-high.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the lime juice, rosemary, garlic, 3 tbsp of the olive oil and season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Transfer half the dressing to a small bowl and set aside.  Add the chicken to the remaining dressing and turn to coat.
Rub the corn with the remaining tbsp of olive oil and season with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.  Grill the chicken and corn, covered, turning occasionally,until the corn is tender and lightly charred, about 4-6 minutes and the chicken is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.  Cut the kernels off the cobs and slice the chicken.

In a large bowl, toss the chicken, corn spinach and avocado with the reserved dressing.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Tip:  If you prefer a less garlicky salad, add garlic to only half of the dressing used to marinate the chicken. 

Serves 4

Serve with loaf of French bread or croutons.

Source: Real Simple Spring/Summer 2012

Slow Cooker Beef Brisket

This recipe is one I found in a Taste Of Home magazine (can't remember the issue), but I finally found one I love!  I would attach a picture, but it's already cooking.  Will do next time though!


1 fresh beef brisket 3-4 lbs
1/2 cup fresh sliced mushrooms (I like the baby Bella)
2 bay leaves
2 cups diced or crushed tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water


Cut brisket in half and place in bottom of slow cooker.  Add mushrooms and bay leaves.  In a separate bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, brown sugar, vinegar and ketchup.  Pour over brisket and cook on low for 6-7 hours. 

When beef is done, remove and keep warm.  Discard bay leaves.  In large saucepan, combine cornstarch and water until smooth.  Gradually stir in cooking liquid. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Slice the meat across the grain and serve with gravy. 

Yummy!  Can't go wrong with homemade mashed potatoes and asparagus or a green salad.


Ham and Potato Soup

This was so delicious even my kids loved it and gave it two thumbs up!  Also an easy way to use leftover ham.

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes                                 
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots                                         
1/3 cup finely chopped onion  
1 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp ground black pepper
5 Tbsp butter
5 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk


1. Combine the potatoes, carrots, onion, ham and water in stockpot.  Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.

2.  In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute.  Slowly add milk while stirring to prevent lumps forming.  Continue stirring ove medium-low heat until thick, about 4-5 minutes

3.  Add the milk mixture to pot and cook until heated through.  Serve immediately.

Note: you can add celery or more or less ham.  Easy to customize.

* I paired this with sliced French bread and salad*

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