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Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’

An International Delight

Many years ago when our children were all still living here at home we decided to eat supper at a local Mexican Restaurant one evening. It happened to be St. Patrick's Day and it so happened that it was also the evening the restaurant had booked a Mariachi band. One of the ladies who worked at the restaurant in those days loved to decorate for every holiday so the restaurant was decked out with all kinds of green and white streamers and shamrocks.

As luck would have it the Mariachi band cancelled and there was a replacement band performing in their place. It was quite a memorable evening for us; we sat there eating Mexican food, surrounded by Irish decor, being serenaded by a German Oompah band, complete with Dirndls and Lederhosen. We have had many good laughs as we recall that meal.

This year we celebrated St. Patrick's Day here at home with Reuben sandwiches. I got the idea from Megan who made them for her family last year. I made a loaf of rye bread using a recipe from The Iowa Housewife site.


To add another dimension to the meal I served it with German Potato Salad using a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens which we have enjoyed for many years:


German Potato Salad

4-5 slices of bacon
1/2 cup chopped onion (I used red this time)
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. celery seed
dash pepper
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
6 cups sliced, cooked potatoes (can boil and slice ahead)
fresh parsley for garnish

Cook bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble. Reserve about 2 Tbsps. of bacon fat in the skillet. Cook onion in the bacon fat until tender. Blend in flour, sugar, salt, celery seed, and pepper. Add vinegar and water. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add potatoes and heat thoroughly. Garnish with crumbled bacon and parsley.

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A new recipe and an update from the convalescent ward


For quite some time now I have been trying to find a good potato recipe that could be prepared in the slow cooker, especially for Sundays when I serve a ham. I tried this recipe for Hash Brown Casserole from the Eat at Home blog last week and we thought it was very good.

The only changes I made to the recipe were to cut the butter down to 1/4 cup (or 1/2 of a stick) and then to sprinkle some paprika on top of the casserole to make it a bit more colorful. I used a 24 oz. bag of frozen hash brown potatoes and I did thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. I cooked the potatoes for four hours on high in my slow cooker. I liked her tip about cooking some meat on top of the casserole too and might try that sometime.

Rob and I are still recovering from this cold or virus that we have had all week. Our symptoms have included headache, sore throat, facial pain, aches (especially back aches), runny nose, watery eyes, and upset stomach. Fortunately not all symptoms have occurred at once. 🙂 The symptoms seem to vary from day to day or even from hour to hour.

Our typical schedule looks like:
have a small burst of energy and do a bit of work
eat a little something
rest or nap

We sit across the table at mealtimes rather zombie-like while eating with intermittent breaks for nose-blowing and hand-washing. Our current centerpiece is a box of Puffs with Lotion. The meals served this week have looked like something an elementary school boy would have chosen from a cafeteria--items on the menu are not chosen because they complement each other nutritionally or aesthetically, but because they are convenient and easy to prepare and serve.

We are thankful for a warm cozy home, for the availability of nutritious foods which are easy to prepare, for friends and family who love, care, and pray for us, and for the knowledge that these are just temporary afflictions. This time of illness has reminded me to be more faithful in praying for those with chronic illnesses who must face similar limitations all the time.


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Happy Valentine’s Day!

picture of Valentine Table

We've had a very busy week here--lots of stuff going on at school and work and home. I've had a sinus infection which has slowed me down a bit and made it harder to keep up with all that's going on.

Rob was out of town all day on Saturday at a foreign language teacher's convention--he had to leave the house at 5 AM! Nora and I spent the morning and early afternoon at her bridal shower. It was lovely and her friends truly showered her with their love and many beautiful and thoughtful gifts. I will try to post a few pictures later if I can get some from her friends. I was so busy talking that I ended up taking only a couple. 🙁

The wedding invitations have been mailed, three of the four bridesmaid's dresses are ready for their final fitting, the wedding gown is being altered, the honeymoon has been booked, and of course there are still lots of other tasks to be checked off of our lists.

So, with all that's going on we are having a very low-key Valentine's Day at our house. We had Mark and Katie over for lunch today. We are all eagerly awaiting the birth of their little boy in just a few weeks. He's actually due the same week as Nora and Topher are getting married! Here was today's menu:

picture of Moms Potatoes

Ham Loaf
Deviled Eggs
Mom's Potatoes
Frozen Cranberry Banana Salad
Valentine Cupcakes

I have posted all these recipes in the past except for the potatoes. I don't know the real name for potatoes cooked this way. There really isn't a "recipe" for them, so I'll just tell you how my mother used to make them. They are one of Rob's favorites and I really should make them more often.

Mom's Potatoes
small red potatoes, 1-2 per person
cooking oil
salt and pepper

Scrub the potatoes and then boil until tender. Let cool and then peel the potatoes. At this point you can refrigerate them until about 20-30 mins. before the meal. Heat a skillet until hot and then add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. Add the potatoes and cook until the potatoes are browned and warmed through. They should develop a nice crust on the part on the bottom of the skillet before you turn them to another side. Keep turning until they are warm and browned well. Salt and pepper to taste. We like these with ham but they would be good with just about any meat and they are quick and easy when you have some boiled potatoes on hand.

picture of Valentine Cupcakes

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!


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A quick, easy meal

I have been fighting some kind of infection in my lungs for nearly a month now that has left me with a terrible cough and very little energy. I have taken some time off work and have been trying to get extra rest, drink plenty of fluids, etc. I finally went to the doctor this week and am now on antibiotics and have an inhaler. I'm feeling slightly better after a few doses of the antibiotic and hope to soon be feeling back to normal.

When one is not feeling well or having a busy day it's good to have an easy meal idea. One that I like is these little individual meat loaves and oven baked potatoes. Since it's just the two of us when I mix up a meat loaf mixture I divide it into individual loaves which I freeze on a tray and then slip into a freezer bag. This particular batch of meat loaves I made using a recipe from Kraft Food and Family magazine. It contains dried stuffing mix and barbecue sauce, but any meatloaf recipe will do. These small loaves easily thaw overnight or during the day in the refrigerator. To bake you just put them in a baking pan and top with catsup and bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins. Here they are ready to pop into the oven:

picture of raw meat loaves

A really good side dish for the little meat loaves are these oven baked potatoes. To make these you melt some margarine in the bottom of a baking pan (I use about 1 Tbsp. per potato). Sprinkle the melted margarine with paprika (you can also add garlic powder, chili powder, or other seasonings of your choice) and then place the potatoes which have been cut in half lengthwise, cut side down in the melted margarine. These also bake for 30 mins. Here are the potatoes ready for the oven:

picture of unbaked potatoes

While the meatloaves and potatoes are baking you can cook a vegetable or make a salad and set the table. This makes a nice, satisfying meal with very little effort. Keep this meal in mind when you are having a busy day or feeling a bit under the weather.

picture of meat and potatoes


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