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Oh What a Dilly…

I have encountered some of the most amazing potatoes. They are small. They are called Melissa’s Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes.

Dilly Potato Salad with Roasted Hen, Asparagus in light butter, and fresh, local grown tomatoes

I just tried them out one day because I thought they were cute (yeah, I know…what’s the connection). I made potato salad with them. The dish was my own creation–just a play on the traditional potato salad. I left out the relish and added parsley. I boiled the potatoes until they were beginning to get soft. I added mayo, salt, pepper, mustard and stirred them vigorously to cause some to mash a bit. The final result was really almost perfection for me. The potatoes were so buttery in consistency. I got LOTS of compliments on the dish.

When I try a dish and it isn’t what I would totally want it to be, it will bug me until I get it right. I mentioned this to my America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School instructor (Cali Rich), and she responded back to me with the name Dilly Potato Salad because my next attempt would be to omit the parsley and add dill (the herb). I did just that, and wow! I was completely happy with it. My husband kept making comments on how good it was over and over. I was very pleased! Posted is the picture of our meal with the Dilly Potato Salad.

Say CHEESE!

It seems that I am on a “food” run lately. Maybe it’s because I have been organizing my kitchen, or maybe I’m organizing my kitchen because I have found that I love to cook. Ok, so that question will not be answered today. I am a little behind in writing, so I am going to try to be a bit brief to get all of my posts in.

Cheesy Burger Bake – my own creation

I love mac-n-cheese, and I love ground beef freshly browned. Add them together with some tomato sauce and basil, and you get Cheesy Burger Melt. This isn’t really mac-n-cheese. It’s macaroni elbows layered with browned ground beef, tomato sauce, dried basil, cheese (3 layers). I baked it for approximately 30 minutes or until the cheese was the desired brownness.

The verdict? It looked good. Smelled good. Should have sat longer to cut into a wedge for serving (but we were eating late). In my opinion, the plain tomato sauce (store brand) lacked the flavor of others I have used. There was nothing really spectacular about it. I think it would have been better if I had used ground Italian sausage. My husband says it was better after being refrigerated a couple of days. Another suggestion might be to have continued on with the hamburger them and added bacon for added flavor and perhaps a shot of mustard for a little kick. I’ll have to try that out one day and update this post.

Kitchen Explosion

Now I have your attention! Yes, my kitchen has experienced an explosion of my interest. When I was in the workplace full-time, I was out of the kitchen full-time. If you read my last article, you know that I am home full-time now (read the article for details on why). To my husband’s delight, I have a new found love for my kitchen. Yes, it’s a bit too small, but as long as I’m the only one in it, it’s just fine for me. Get in my way though, and I lose interest because of bumping into each other at every turn.

So what has gotten my attention and brought such love into my kitchen, great food and being home full-time with my son ! Of course there are several things that brought me around to that realization…the discussion of DIY items with my friend (which made me think of making my own bread, butter, jelly and more), the successful attempt at making a pound cake from scratch

My cake–from scratch! 🙂

(Taste of Home, Million Dollar Pound Cake), the purchase of a couple of All-Clad pans at a bargain price, and being introduced to Cook’s Illustrated magazine and America’s Test Kitchen videos on YouTube. Yes, that’s a lot I know, but one led to another. In a matter of days, this had all happened. It all started from that one conversation with my friend. It’s amazing what contemplation will do.

I have since baked another pound cake (same type) for a church function, and made indoor pulled pork by following a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. Can you say, AWESOME. I realized if I continue on this path, there will be a weight gain issue in our home. I was fortunate to find that Cook’s has a healthy recipes cookbook. They take many of the same recipes and work through them to make recipes that result in the same taste but with fewer calories and fat. That is a win, win in my opinion!! I was excited to learn that I can still love cooking without having to give up truly good food, using tried and true recipes, and participating in the fun of cooking led by America’s Test Kitchen. I’m so excited!!

So what’s exploding at your house?

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