Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My Mama's Potato Salad

I know there are many different versions of potato salad. Some are sweet, some are savory, some are just plain yucky.  It's no secret that my moms tater salad is by far the best. In fact, when we have family/friend gatherings, and potato salad is one of the side dishes, the first question always, "is this moms potato salad?" It has the perfect balance of flavors. Rich and creamy with a little tang from the mustard.

The two most important steps in making good potato salad is leaving the skins on while boiling and putting the salad together while still warm. But truth is, if it's not my moms, it just isn't quite right. :)

Mom's Potato Salad:

4 large baking potatoes, washed with skins on
4 eggs
1 cup quality REAL mayo
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/2 cup chopped dill pickles
1/2 tsp dried dill
salt & pepper


In a large pot of cold, salted water, boil potatoes until tender but still slightly firm in center. Drain potatoes and let cool just until you can handle them. In a smaller pot of cold salted water, boil eggs for 2 minutes, remove from heat, and let stand with lid on for 10 minutes. Drain and fill with cold water.

While your potatoes are cooling, peel eggs and chop fine in medium size bowl. They will still be slightly warm. Add mayo, mustard, chives, pickles, and dill. Mix well. You want the mixture to be a little runny, because potatoes will soak up the liquid. Add more mayo, mustard, or even a little pickle juice to thin it out if need be.

Chop potatoes in small cubes and add to egg mixture. Season with salt and pepper and fold all ingredients together. Put in fridge immediately.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Recipe ~Oh my goodness gracious......

were the only words that came out of my mouth during the first five minutes of dinner. 

I'm going to skip the logistics on why I haven't posted in a couple weeks. Or maybe it's been more like four months. Two weeks, four months, same thing. No need to catch you up. I know all you care about is my amazing recipes anyway. I'm really very humbled.

Don't ask about my absence. 

Just picture this mouth watering pasta at your dinner table.

I should have been Italian. 

This tomato base sauce was by far the best sauce I have ever made. It was rich, creamy, spicy, fresh and just plain AMAZING!

You can surely add meat or shrimp to this dish but I liked it just the way it was.

Creamy Linguine Ala Spicy


3/4 lb Linguine Pasta
1 cup fine, chopped sweet onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or to your own spicy level)
2/3 cup tomato sauce
2 Tb cream cheese
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped and divided in half
4 Tb extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper


Cook pasta according to directions on back of box.(reserve 1 cup of cooking water) Meanwhile heat large skillet over medium heat with olive oil and saute onions until softened; about 3 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute 1 minute. Add fresh tomatoes, dried oregano, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste; cook 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and cook down for 5 minutes. Add cream cheese and 1/2 of the parsley. You want the sauce to be pretty thick. Turn heat down to low and melt cream cheese. 

Transfer the pasta directly from the water to the sauce and toss well. Add the rest of the fresh parsley and a little of the pasta water to thin out sauce just a bit. Toss and serve immediately. 

I had to pry myself away from eating straight out of the skillet and sit at the dinner table with the rest of the family. It was that good!


Monday, November 14, 2011

It feels good to be home....

I can't tell you how many times I've tried to sit down in this very spot at my computer and try to compose the last six months living with my mom while we waited for our house to complete. At this moment my dog has his paw on my lap eye balling me for attention. He probably wants food, maybe a little love, but most likely he has to go potty. It won't be long before I'll give in to his begging tendencies and find myself working on this tomorrow. 

A shocking tomorrow. 

Tonight I have a plan. My sweet little Ave and her daddy are snuggled up watching ET. The dog has been fed, cleaned, loved, and bathed. The dishes are done. The laundry is folded. Okay, maybe there's still a pile on my bed. The dog has been fed. Wait! I already said that. I have less than an hour to pull this off. 

Ready, set, go!

What a ride this last summer. Talk about fly by the seat of your pants. I don't think I've ever had a summer go by as quickly as this one. I anticipated most of my summer days spent at moms. Mom and I had much intent to cook together every night, take walks in the early mornings, and garden with our fancy gardening hats. All the while drink ice tea and watch Ave play gymnastics on her manicured lawn. I'm happy to say we did all these things, except the gardening hats, but it was few and far between. The work at the house kept us busy enough, and the traveling back and forth became the norm. 

My mama was gracious and hospitable and extremely patient with our coming and going. She was selfless and giving and a blessing to us during our transition. She even rolled up her sleeves and helped us on the weekends when she could with clean up and lunch runs. I love you mama.

Don't be mad mom. It's the only picture I could find. 

Building a house is really stressful, but I won't spend the last half hour I have dishing out the logistics. It was stressful. It's now over. And I'm still married. Shew!

Some big things happened over the summer with my little munchkin, Ave. She now rides a bike without training wheels. She accomplished the front crawl stroke in her swimming lessons, and she grew like a foot, maybe more, maybe I'm exaggerating, but she's tall. 

She lost her first tooth.

She's about to lose her second. And she got a "big girl haircut". Why do they call a shorter cut a big girl haircut? I still have long hair; does that mean I haven't grown up yet? Don't answer that. 

The biggest change I've seen in her over the summer is she's lost her baby face. "Don't call me baby anymore mommy" she said, "except when we're at home and you tuck me in". We threw out the sippy cups, ditched the desitin, and got rid of the blankie. Over Aves dead body! The blankie stays for life. Baby spoons, baby books, baby boomers, gone! Sniff, sniff.  Einstein movies, and much more....gone!

She's now my little helper, and does everything herself. She gets her own breakfast, picks out her own clothes (which by the way never match) and takes her own showers (which by the way her nails are still dirty). Why does this chapter in life go by so fast? Sniff, sniff. She asked me if I could drop her off at the door to Kindergarten. I don't think so sister. I'm not ready for that one.

Let's see. There is so much to share and I simply can't share it all. My husband was amazing during our building. He managed his faith, his family, his work, and the house. He has a perma scowl from it all, but I see it smoothing out every day. The project took its toll. Some days more than others, but I'm so thankful I have such a detailed oriented man to lead us. I'm also thankful that without our faith we wouldn't see the true blessing in it all. Love you babe.

Oh and he turned 35 over the summer and it seemed appropriate that I get what any 35 year old would want...

If you can't tell what that is, it's the amazing Shake Weight. Yes it's real, and no he hasn't used it. 

Copper's still the same old mutt.

He digs my new wood floors. And by digs, I mean he digs his nails in them while he burns out to see who's at the front door. Any takers? 


Summer was lovely with beach trips, camping trips, and nights out on the town. 

We stayed at Diamond Lake and visited Crater.


After all the hustle and bustle of the last six months, nothing came close to the excitement we felt the night we moved into our home. All the hard work did pay off. Except for the mortgage, we still have that to pay off. 

And we owe a big thanks to everyone who was even the slightest bit involved in supporting us and helping us during our journey. We love you all sooooo much.

PS... Aaron, I appreciate all you did to help out with Copper. He can visit you anytime you want. Anytime meaning, he can come live with you forever. If you want.

I think my time is up. For what it's worth I hope I was able to catch you up a little. I hope I made you laugh. And I hope It doesn't take me two months to post again.

Awww, home again. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Misfortunes and Perfect Timing.....

I'm disappointed to say that my computer is down once again and the only source for blogging, face booking, and whatever else I seem to use my computer for (everything) is my moms. The unfortunate thing about hers is I'm not able to upload any pictures of recipes, hospital visits , or wacky photos of my feet in the kiddy pool . I knew you'd be disappointed. Plus, half the time it's not even available because it's typically glued to her side with work projects, face booking, and whatever she uses her computer for. Everything!

My absence here on L.G.E.W couldn't have come at a better time since we only have about 6 weeks before move-in date. . Most of my time will be last minute organizing, hopefully the garage sell, and the start-up of my Ave's first weeks in kindergarten. Not to mention the finishing touches on our new home will need every bit of my attention. I wont be far though as I will still maintain my face book page (Life given, eat well) and will have an occasional appearance on The farm wives face book.

I hope to be back in a few weeks with updates, recipes, and new beginnings. Until then, I hope you all enjoy the last bit of summer!

Luvs, Ang

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Recipe~ Keep it buckled "Blueberry Buckle"

I made a blueberry buckle recipe a couple years ago that was so delicious, even the non blueberry eaters in our family loved it. It was moist and fluffy and the bit of crunch on top was to die for. It was also full of butter and sugar, then more butter and sugar. I had heart palpitations when i ate it! 

To avoid cardiac arrest this year I decided to play with the recipe a bit and replace some of the ingredients with healthful ones, and cut back on the fat and sugar. I was pleasantly surprised! It was moist. It was fluffy. And the top had those little bubbles of brown sugar goodness. The best part! I didn't loosen my buckle for this buckle.

Not So Guilty Blueberry Buckle


1 1/4 cups white wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick quality butter at room temp
1/4 cup quality light sour cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 large quality eggs
3/4 cup nonfat or 1% milk
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups fresh blueberries (thaw if frozen)

Note: White wheat flour has all the nutritional advantages of whole wheat flour, but with lighter color and milder tastes.  It's a great alternative when transitioning to whole wheat flour.

1/4 cup white wheat flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
pinch of salt
3 Tb cold butter, cut in small cubes


Heat oven to 350. Coat an 8 by 8-inch pan with cooking spray

For the topping: In small bowl mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Using pastry cutter or hands, mix in butter until mixture resembles pea size. Set aside.

For the cake: In small bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt.

In stand mixer (or hand mixer) mix butter and sugar until creamy and light in color; About 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time until well mixed. Then sour cream, milk and vanilla. Slowly add flour mixture until well incorporated, but do not over mix. Fold in Blueberry's. Pour in prepared pan and sprinkle with topping. Bake 45-50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Just another day at the hospital.......

It's not much of a surprise when I get a call from Justin after he's played in the dunes for two days on his dirt bike and he reports of a broken collar bone, torn ACL, or a split open eye brow. I'm always concerned of course, but kind of roll my eyes in a "here we go again" kind of roll. I get off the phone and make all the necessary calls. I pray a baggilion times, and then make a check list of all the things I need to grab and take to the hospital. 

1. My make-up.

2. My book.

3. My computer. Cause it's all about me.

I line up a sitter for Ave (usually my mom) and make sure the dog is set up for potty breaks, and night time feedings. And then grab anything I think Justin might need for comfort or boredom and load up the car for the long 2 or 3 day journey to recovery. 

The drive time is filled with all sorts of thoughts "how bad could this be, will this be the last time he rides, and dang, I forgot my snacks".  I approach the hospital and drive in circles to find the closest spot since I know when we leave I'll have forgotten where I parked. I load up my arms like my waitressing days at Denny's and head straight for the emergency room, and it's then that I find ol' gimpy as calm as a cucumber. We exchange smiles, we hug, we kiss and he tells me all about this wild jump that went south mid air, how he landed, or rather didn't, and how the rush before the pain distracted him. I frown with concern and we smile again. 

It's not too long after that they move us to a more permanent room. I make home in my 3 by 1 couch space, he gets comfy in his new bed and we wait for the next step in the process. 

As crazy as this sounds, I actually look forward to my time in the hospital. I look forward to coming and going as I please, putting life on hold and most responsibilities for another day. I enjoy browsing the cafeteria without the helping hands of a five year old. I enjoy stocking my overnight bag with corn nuts and dried fruit, and drinking lots of heart burn induced coffee.

What I find most enjoyable though is the time Justin and I get to have together. We talk about things we never have time to discuss. We giggle and laugh about things we never have time to find funny. We talk about our dreams. We talk about our aspirations. We talk about all  we desire for our little Ave. And then we realize how big the hospital bills will be after the visit. And then we laugh some more. Maybe it's the pain pills. Maybe it's the dress attire. Or lack of. It's a time to succumb to the circumstance and regard it for what it is. A time to be lazy.

A couple days ago with the exception of a few changes, the situation wasn't much different in order. But this time it didn't include the dirt bike and this time I was woke up at 1 am with Justin's lower abdomen in it's most painful state. I did everything as usual to prepare for our trip to the hospital where we later found out he had an appendicitis. Not an uncommon thing, but none the less it was scary, it was unexpected, and worst of all, we missed our camping trip!

Justin was a trooper and the surgery was successful with little to prove it. Aside from our wait time (18 hours plus) we managed to keep our hospital routine up to par. We had time for uninterrupted visits. We had time to laugh at peek a boo hospital gowns. 

He charmed the nurses with humor and wittiness, and he milked it for all it was worth. I have three chocolate puddings to prove it.

At the end of his visit when home was just around the corner, there was only one request he had.

To see his little bunchkin.

She was dressed to her best and toted goodies for daddy.

She charmed the nurses with humor and wittiness.

She milked it for all it was worth.

Therefore you are the fruit of your parents, and as the saying goes "the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree. Let's just hope my hospital visits don't increase. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Recipe~ Grilled Chili Cumin Steak Fries.....Plus! Burger Reci"pea"

You might be a redneck if you snip green beans while soaking your feet in a kiddy pool. 

And snip the beans with your teeth.

I'm getting these ready for the best Spicy dilly beans EVER!

Ave had other plans as she said "be-tend we were back like the bible people and all we ate were beans" I said "The bible people must have had a tootalicious time" As we did too.

We're outside every chance we get. Ave likes to carry the hose on full blast watering herself, the dog, and the plants serveral times over. She makes mud couches out of water and dirt so the bees have a place to rest. She pickes my herbs and lays them out over the deck so the bugs have something to eat. I love summer! 

Which is why I spend most of my cooking time over the outdoor grill. The food tastes better. It smells better. And it's better for you. 

Like these Grilled Steak Fries

Grilled Chili Cumin Steak Fries.....Ooooh Ya! With Lime Cilantro Sour Cream

These taters were so good I ate them just like they are, but for those of you that fancy dipping, the cilantro lime cream sauce cooled these hot spuds off perfectly. Or some good ol' ketchup works too.


5 russet potatoes 
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
1/2 lime juiced
4 Tb olive oil
salt pepper

Sour cream sauce

Combine in small bowl
1/2 cup quality sour cream
1/2 lime zested
1/2 lime juiced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 Tb chopped cilantro
salt pepper (to taste)


Scrub the outside of each potato and prick with a fork on both sides. Place in microwave for 4 minutes, turning once halfway through. Note: You want the potatoes to still be firm. Cut in wedges and place in Ziploc bag. Add all the ingredients, season with salt and pepper, zip it up and gently toss the fries. Place in fridge for 20 minutes.

With grill on medium heat coat grill plates with cooking spray. Spread potatoes out evenly and cook until obvious grill marks and charred a bit. Remove and serve immediately with lime cilantro sour cream. Or your favorite dipping sauce. 

The second reci"pea" I'm sharing will now be a family favorite. If you haven't noticed I don't eat beef, but I love a good burger. This has all the right flavor, texture, nutrition, and substance. It's AMAZING!

I wish I could take credit for this "not your average" burger recipe, aka, "black bean burgers". Straight from mama's kitchen! Mama pea's kitchen that is. No doubt the best black bean burger I've EVER had. And bonus! If you make enough, you get to have them for lunch the next day! Now that's what I call a tootalicious time.

You can find it here in the book.

Or here on the peas blog. 

Whatever you decide to do with the last bit of your summer, make sure you take time to enjoy it, be with family and friends, and grill something!