Sunday, June 29, 2014

Best Ever Potato Salad

I've been making this potato salad for over 25 years.  The recipe comes from a small Pennsylvania Dutch Cookbook that I bought in Lancaster, PA so many years ago that it is tattered and torn.  Funny thing is, it's the only recipe I've ever made from this cookbook, and it is a crowd pleaser.
I thought maybe you might enjoy trying it too for a 4th of July picnic or family gathering.
Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Salad
8 - 12 medium sized potatoes
1 - 2 stalks celery, diced
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
1 onion, minced
4 slices bacon
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon minced parsley
Cook potatoes in their skins. 
 When tender and cool, peel and dice.  Add the celery, hard-cooked eggs, 
and onion; toss lightly.
Fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp and brown.
(I used 5 slices because they were very thin slices.)
 Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.
Beat eggs in a small bowl and add sugar, salt, pepper, mustard, and a mixture of vinegar and water; mix well.  Pour egg mixture into the hot bacon fat and stir until mixture thickens (about 10 minutes).
  Pour over the potato mixture and toss lightly to mix thoroughly. 
 Garnish with parsley and serve.

The recipe says to chill several hours before serving, but I love this potato salad served immediately still warm or at room temperature.  In fact, I don't even care for it that much if it is chilled.  
My family requests this potato salad every time there is a summer gathering and I rarely have any leftovers to bring home.  That's how much they love it and I guarantee your family and guests will too! 
Have a happy 4th of July!!! 
Linking with
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Cedar Hill Farmhouse for The Scoop

Friday, June 27, 2014

Seaside Style

If you're anything like me, you love spending time at the beach in the summertime.  When I lived in Maryland, it was only a 3 hour trip to the ocean, but now that I live in Ohio, it's a much longer trip.  
If you can't get to the sea, then invite the sea and sun into your home with accessories that bring the waves right up to your toes.
My office (our smallest bedroom) is where I escape to the sea . . . and accessories are everything.  From sea-colored pillows with nautical stripes and sailboats . . .
 to a beautiful blue chenille bedspread that I use as a throw on the sofa.
Beach decor can come in many colors, but I chose to keep my palette to blues and white because they are such crisp colors and yet calming.
One of my favorite items in my office is the lifeguard chair lamp that is near the sofa.
Seashells are another necessity and I use them in varied ways all over the room . . .
and blue glass . . . 
This lovely item is a candlestick I found on clearance that looks like it came from the sea with a large piece of coral that I glued onto the top of it.  It's textures are exquisite.
On top of the armoir is a collection of odds and ends that speak 
to me of the wind and waves.
Even the lovely blue and white sheers speak 
of  ocean breezes when they blow in the wind . . .
When I'm in this room . . . I am free to dream.
No matter how far you live from the shore . . . you can always dream of the sea.
Linking with
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Cedar Hill Farmhouse for The Scoop

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pass the Peas Please

I found this cute kitchen towel at Target and after I got it home,
 I realized it matched two sets of my dishes and would make really cute dinner napkins.  So I went back and bought three more.
Changing a kitchen towel into a dinner napkin is really simple.  
This towel did not have mitered corners, 
so it was only a matter of cutting, folding, and sewing one side.
I folded the towel over diagonally to get a perfect square,
 then added 3/4 of an inch allowance for the new hem, 
marked it, and cut.
Then I made a new hem side by ironing the cut edge over twice 
and sewing it down.  So simple and fast.
They are so cheerful and perfect for a summer table.
These happy pea napkins matched my dishes so perfectly and completed 
the look for my pea salad in a jar (recipe at end of post).
Faux vegetables made the perfect center piece for this table.
Love this pea salad.  Perfect for a summer evening or picnic.
Pea Salad
12-oz package frozen peas
  1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese with additional cubed cheese
2 - 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
2 stalks chopped celery
2 Tbs. chopped onion
4 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
1/3 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. Tabasco Sauce
Place bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat, and cook until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
Bring water to a boil in a pot. Boil the peas 1 minute, until just tender, and drain. Cool peas under cold running water.
In a bowl, toss together bacon, peas, onion, celery, chopped eggs, and Cheddar cheese.
Mix mayonnaise with salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce, and pour over pea mixture.
Refrigerate 30 minutes or until chilled before serving. 
Serve and enjoy!  
Linking with
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Domestically Speaking for Inspire Me Monday 
Cedar Hill Farmhouse for The Scoop
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home   

Friday, June 20, 2014

Coming Home

At long last my daughter, Kate, is coming home on Sunday. 
At the beginning of January, she left on her big adventure, traveling to Cusco, Peru.  She wanted to do something for others less fortunate than herself, so she found an agency in Cusco where she could volunteer, booked a flight, and applied for a visa, all before I knew what to say. 
To be honest, I wasn't originally very happy about it, but she picked Peru because her father, that she barely knows, is from Peru, and she wanted to experience the other part of her heritage.
Here she is with a local young lady who is dressed up for a festival.
Cusco is surrounded by mountains, and although it was summer when she arrived there, because of the elevation, it was still 
somewhat cool and often rainy.
Kate was quite taken with all the dogs that roamed the streets and captured a few of them in photos.
Her first placement work was at a home for teenage sexually abused girls.  Her job was to teach them English, but that's not especially easy to do when you don't know much Spanish.  Regardless of the language barrier, she bonded and fell in love with these girls.
Here she is with her roommate, Genevieve, who arrived at the same time as Kate and just left for home last week.  Genevieve is from Boston, but volunteers came from numerous countries, and friends were made from all over the world.

There was a lot of sight seeing on weekends with a trip to Sacred Valley . . . 
. . . a jungle trek to Machu Picchu 
. . . a trip to Bolivia to see Lake Titicaca
. . . the world's largest salt flat - Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia
. . . and a trip to the jungle.
Fun times.
The second part of her time there she worked at a daycare center and had tons of fun with the kids.
Last, but not least, was a trip to Lima to meet aunts, uncles, and cousins.  This may have been the high light of her trip to meet the family she never knew and see beautiful Lima on the Pacific Ocean.
Welcome home Kate, my daughter and best friend!  So glad to have you back.  Lots of yard sales and flea markets waiting for us to explore.
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