So, Friday, I bought asparagus and didn’t use it. Saturday was the 4th of July, and asparagus just didn’t seem to want to go with Nesco ribs, potato salad, and beans. They are much too delicate and cultured a vegetable for that, although, if I were able to grill in Glendale, they would do nicely there as well.
This is a very easy dish to throw together, and makes a nice Sunday meal. It’s quite filling, and goes nicely with a light salad.
What!!!!! What did you say? Hellman’s Mayonnaise in California? Well, actually, no it was Hellman’s Sandwich Spread in Glendale, California.
Spane and I were at the 99 Cents Only store on our way to visit Alexandria’s Archives’s President, and stopped at the store to get a Danish or something, and I spied these jars of Hellman’s. I was amazed, and then found a jar of Bestfoods next to it. I couldn’t help take a picture, considering that I will probably never see the two brands together in the same place, unless I take it upon myself to start rock climbing or something. Don’t get your hopes up, folks, this was a jar of Hellman’s that will expire in August, 2014, just a few weeks after this post. So, no, we won’t be buying that.
I have to say I was flabbergasted when I found Hellman’s in Glendale. I told Spane that the jar was very, very far from home. Hellman’s is typically not sold west of the Rocky Mountains, where Best Foods is sold. The ingredients on both are the same, while some people prefer Best Foods because it is perceived to have a more tangy flavor, more vinegar. Wikipedia has an interesting article about the history of the popular condiment.
Mayonnaise is a great starter for sauces, including my Summer Bean Salad with Lemon Mayonnaise. It also has a host of other uses, but we will talk about those another day.
When Spane and I went to the store and I picked out our 4th of July dinner, I got to thinking that I really missed German Potato Salad. When my family was stationed in Kaiserslautern in Germany, it was something that we had quite often. I’ve had it since coming back to the United States, but it never seemed as good. I thought maybe I could improve on it.
But, why would I want to have German Potato Salad on a holiday that celebrates Independence from British rule? Well, because there were plenty of Germans involved in the Revolutionary War, among them Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. There were also French involved in helping us win, hence the inclusion of Blue Cheese
Today it was clean out the refrigerator day. You know how it is, no matter how careful you are, there is always something that hides in the very back and becomes a science experiment. Yuk! You might want to check out my Organizing the Refrigerator tips on how to avoid finding science experiments.
Then there are the little containers of pickled jalapeño peppers that come with a pizza. I think they jump in the hot pack all by themselves, because I know I never order them. That isn’t to say that I don’t like them, but I do, but I don’t like them on pizza. Still, unbidden, they find their way into my kitchen. They make their way to the refrigerator, to be included in something or eaten out of hand later, and like all small things, seem to happily find their way to the back of the fridge, right next to that awful science experiment. Since they are in brine, they don’t go bad and can stay in the refrigerator indefinitely.
So, when I was cleaning out the refrigerator today, I found day old plain cooked rice, 2 nice red bell peppers, and the small container of jalapeños. Jalapeño Stuffed Peppers it is!
I have been making these Cheesy Potatoes for the holidays for quite a long time, and even made it for Ascencia when I was Guest Chef at Mother’s Day. I have pictures of it, but not of its preparation. So, I am putting it in again, and it’s changed just a little bit, for the better, of course.
I don’t usually use canned soup, but this is the exception. The original recipe calls for Cream of Mushroom soup, but Cream of Potato soup is much better. The original recipe also calls for hashed brown potatoes, but, I think the Southern cut frozen potatoes are better as well.
This is a very simple dish to make, and I always get raves when I make it. It makes a lot, and can easily be doubled or even tripled if you have a lot of people to feed.
Every year, Glendale, California closes off its main street, the Brand Boulevard of Cars. Beautifully kept antique cars park up and down the street, some with their hoods up, so everyone can enjoy them. Spane and I have been going to Cruise Night since before he was born – I say that because I even went when I was pregnant with him. As usual I like to cook something special for Cruise Night dinner, mainly because even though there are hamburgers and hot dogs available, I would rather have my own fresh food, and save money for a treat for Spane.
I love beets, I mean I really, really love beets. So does Spane. We like them plain, pickled, cold, hot, red beets, orange beets, any beets! Beets are very good for you, and studies have shown it can prevent liver, heart and muscle diseases. This is not the same thing as a Sugar Beet, which although is in the same family, almost all sugar beets are genetically modified, and used to make sugar.
"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients." ~ Julia Child
"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." ~ James Beard
"Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger, eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite." ~ Auguste Escoffier
"Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one's life." ~ Anthony Bordain
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