Sunday, May 6, 2018

Maya Angelou's Cold Potato Salad

I tried a lot of potato salad recipes before this one, but zero after this one. KnowwhatI'msayin'?! You'll need the Costco mayo jar for this :).

6 c. peeled, diced, cooked potatoes

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 c. finely diced celery

1 c. chopped dill pickles

1 c. sweet relish

8 large hard-boiled eggs, 4 chopped, 4 whole

2 c. mayonnaise

Fresh parsley, chopped

First! A perfect hard boiled egg: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Gently place each egg into the boiling water (I use a spoon). Continue to boil for 12 minutes. Drain water quickly and fill the pot with cold water and as many ice cubes as you can fit. If you have time, refrigerate the eggs for a while until you're ready to use them. About 90% of the eggs peel easily and perfectly.

Back to potato salad. Combine potatoes, onion, celery, pickles, and chopped eggs. Whisk mayo and sweet relish together. Pour a third of the sauce over the rest of the ingredients and stir, then pour the next third and stir, then the final third and stir. Slice the remaining four eggs and arrange on top of the salad in the bowl. Dust with parsley. Refrigerate for a few hours, or for as long as you can before serving.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Salmon with Cucumber Dill Sauce

Salmon is my favorite. I was craving it while I was at the grocery store yesterday and the guy at the fish counter (I was at Harmon's, btw) bore his testimony of Verlasso Salmon when I asked for salmon. They're raised in ocean water! Not so fishy taste! Vitamins! Whatever - wrap it up. But! It's the best salmon I've ever tasted. We used Allyn's recipe from the second Sisters' Cookbook, but I cut the sauce recipe in half as I always do and that's how I've listed it here. (It's still a lot of sauce.)


4-5 lbs. fresh salmon filets

Olive Oil

Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Fresh Chopped Dill or substitute dry dill

Prepare a large cookie sheet by getting a big enough piece of tin foil to cover the bottom of it, then crumpling it up a little and spreading it out flat on the cookie sheet. Spread a little olive oil around with a paper towel on the tin foil.

Place the salmon filets skin side down on the foil-covered cookie sheet. Pour a little olive oil on each filet and rub it in with your fingers. Sprinkle each filet with lemon pepper and then dill. Sometimes I bake the fish in a 425 degree oven for about 17 minutes, which is fine. This time I did 10 minutes in a 425 degree oven, then I moved the fish to the second-to-the-top rack (about six inches from the top of the oven) and broiled it for four more minutes. That made the top a little crisp and it was perfectly cooked throughout without being dry. I recommend the broiled method if you can trust your oven. (Set a timer for 3 minutes on the broiler so you can keep a close eye on it.)

Cucumber Dill Sauce

1 c. peeled, seeded, and diced cucumbers

1 1/2 c. mayonnaise

3/4 c. sour cream

3 T. lemon juice

2 T. fresh or dried dill

3 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning

Whisk together mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, dill and lemon pepper seasoning before adding the cucumber. Refrigerate for a few minutes before serving.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Pear Almond Cranberry Dutch Oven Pie

I did a story for the newspaper about a Dutch oven convention a few weeks ago and met a woman named Carol Hokanson. She is a champion, you guys! She brought this pie, which she made in her home oven instead of coals that morning, and it tasted like heaven. I'm excited about the filling, but I'm obsessed with the crust. Carol lifted the pie out of that dutch oven and it looked EXACTLY THE SAME. It didn't crack or sag and it tasted amazing. 

6-7 pears, peeled and diced
1 ½ cups dried cranberries, reconstituted
1 cup sugar
½ cup ultra gel
1 tsp almond extract
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 ¼ tsp cinnamon
¾ cup slivered almonds, toasted

3 cups flour
1 ¼ cups Crisco shortening
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 T. white vinegar
2/3 cup cold water

Egg Wash:
1 egg
1 T. water

Filling Directions:
In a small bowl mix sugar, ultra gel, nutmeg, ground ginger, salt and cinnamon together until well blended. In a separate, large bowl, blend together pears, cranberries, almonds and almond extract. Combine the two mixtures and gently toss until mixed. Set aside.

Pastry Directions:
In a large bowl, blend flour, salt, and shortening together with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg, water, and white vinegar. Add the liquid mixture to the crumbly mixture and gently stir with a fork until it forms a ball. Gather the dough into your hands (DO NOT KNEAD) and divide it into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Refrigerate the small one until you’re ready to roll it out.

Roll the larger dough ball out on a cloth-covered board to about 14-inches in diameter. Spray a 10-inch Dutch Oven with Bakers Joy. Place strips of parchment in the Dutch Oven to make removing the pie easier. Place the rolled-out pastry in the Dutch Oven, making sure the edges come over the sides of the Dutch Oven. Pour the pie filling into the Dutch Oven.

Roll out the smaller ball of dough into an 11-inch circle and cut into ½ - ¾ inch strips for the lattice top, then arrange the lattice top over the pie filling in the Dutch Oven.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg and water together for the egg wash. Brush the egg wash onto the lattice top of the pie. Garnish with sugar crystals if you desire.

Bake at 425 degrees using 12 coals on the bottom and 15 on the top of Dutch Oven with a windshield around the bottom, for about 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and pulling away from the sides of the Dutch Oven. Cool and then lift the pie out using the parchment strips.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Crab Salad

This is a recipe from Brian's side of the family. He remembers his Aunt Sandy (Denise's younger sister) bringing it to parties, but Denise says she's the one who brought it. It's got all the things kids love; fish, olives, celery. :) Ha! It's for the grown-ups. And Nate.


3 c. macaroni (before it's cooked)

1 lb. imitation crab meat

3 c. celery, chopped

1 medium sized can black olives, sliced (the one in between 4 oz and 15 oz)


1 c. mayonnaise

1 c. sour cream

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. season salt

1/2 to 3/4 of a Ranch dressing powder envelope

1/4 to 1/2 c. milk (whisk the first six ingredients, then add milk slowly until you have the consistency you want)

Cook the macaroni to the al dente directions, drain and rinse with cold water. Put macaroni in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients on top. Pour half of dressing over the whole mixture and stir. Pour the remaining half of dressing over the salad and stir again. Chill and serve.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Waffles and Raspberry Syrup

I got a waffle iron for Christmas! I knew Mom had a great recipe for waffles because we ate them at her house earlier this year. She said she got it from Studio 5 and they called them "Christmas Waffles" because they don't know this can be Any Day of the Week Waffles. The raspberry syrup is to die for.


2 c. flour

2 T. sugar

2 T. baking powder (yes, TABLESPOONS)

3/4 tsp. salt

2 c. milk

2 eggs

1/4 c. vegetable oil

Mix dry ingredients together; mix wet ingredients together, then combine. Pour into hot waffle iron and cook. (Every waffle iron is different. Ours took about 4 minutes to look like the picture.)

Raspberry Syrup

2 c. frozen raspberries (I used fresh because that's what I had - it turned out great)

1 1/2 c. sugar

2 c. water

3 T. cornstarch in 1/2 c. cold water

1 T. lemon juice

Cook raspberries, sugar and water together in a saucepan on medium heat until raspberries are thawed. Bring to a boil. Dissolve cornstarch in cold water, then add a little of the raspberry mixture and combine. Add cornstarch mixture to saucepan. Add lemon juice. Simmer on low heat until ready to serve, stirring often. (Syrup can be cooled and strained, then reheated.)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Yes, I stole this picture. These are amazing! I ate a dozen for dinner tonight (and then took a dozen Tums). That was a bad idea. But if you can manage to just eat 1 or 2, you'll be fine. 

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 + 1/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For Rolling:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Set aside. 
2. In another mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars until combined. Mix in egg yolk, then mix in pumpkin and vanilla extract. With the mixer, gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Keep covered in the fridge for at least 45 minutes. 
3. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Scoop dough into about a 2 Tbsp sized ball, forming a ball with your hands, of course. Toss ball of dough in the cinnamon and sugar mixture until covered. Then place on a baking sheet, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart. 
4. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Do not under bake. They're still gross hours later. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hamburger Soup

A classic from the Woods Cross cookbook. That thing was published in 1988! Aaron and Lori weren't even born! I went into panic mode today when I realized it's not in any of the cookbooks we've made together and it's not on this website (well, now it is). Just in case your copy of the Woods Cross cookbook is disintegrating or you don't even have one to begin with, here you go. This soup reminds me of home and the old days. :)

1 lb. hamburger

2 c. diced carrots

2 c. diced potatoes

1 c. diced celery

2 T. parsley, chopped fine

1 medium onion, chopped

1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt (I used 2 cloves fresh garlic)

1 tsp. sugar

2 1/2 c. tomato juice

1/2 c. beef broth

1 T. tomato paste

1 large bay leaf

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

5 c. water

3 1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 c. pearl barley

Brown the hamburger until almost all the pink is gone, drain. Add onions and garlic to the hamburger and cook until onions are translucent. Transfer meat mixture to a large soup pot. Add the rest of the ingredients to the soup pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for at least one hour. Stir occasionally. Before serving, remove bay leaf. (I made a few changes out of necessity, but it ended up making the soup taste even better so I included my changes. Also, I never have pearl barley.)