Monday, September 17, 2012


I spent hours at the social security office this morning, but finally have my application all finished and whatnot.  I've been told I'll find out their decision in 3-6 months, but I'm expecting to hear that I'm super-mega-healthy and that I am capable of going out and getting a job at Wendy's.  Fortunately, it's not like we're financially dying over here, so wait I can.

To start the week off on a tasty note, I'm going to share the awesome sides that I prepared with dinner last night.  Because I'm a slacker (and because I was literally five minutes away from literally dying of hunger*), I neglected to take pictures, but I will make them again this upcoming weekend just to share the photos with you, my adoring readers.  Now that I think about it... sides aren't very photogenic, so I'm probably doing you a favor by sharing the recipes sans image.  Happy to help!

P.S. Updated the Simpsons post with yet more proof.

*srsly.  My last snack was two whole hours prior!


Recipe 1 - Auntie Geraldine's Potato Salad


Yeah, I know, everyone makes potato salad and everyone's recipe is the absolute best EVER.  I do feel like mine is actually a little bit unique--and even those that dislike fruit in savory dishes have said that it's mighty delicious.  My original name for this recipe was "potato salad" (because I don't make it any other way), but everything's tastier with some relative's name attached to it--even if you're like me and don't even know anyone named Geraldine.  

In honor of Bob, this dish can, in fact, be prepared without mustard.

3 lbs red skinned potatoes, cubed and rinsed
3 tbsp crumbled dried rosemary, divided
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp salt
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp lemon juice (or lemon balsamic vinegar)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Dijon (or brown) mustard
3 hard boiled eggs, diced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

Add potatoes to a large pot, then cover with lots of water.**  Add 2 tbsp of the rosemary, plus all of the garlic powder and salt.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain.  (FYI: You can add gently add uncooked shell-on eggs to the potatoes once the water begins boiling.  They tend to come out perfectly hard boiled, plus you don't have to wash another pot!)

In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and remaining 1 tbsp of rosemary.  Add the potatoes, onion, eggs, cranberries, and the optional walnuts, then gently toss with your hands to avoid breaking the potatoes.  Taste, then salt and pepper as needed.  Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least an hour.

**No, I don't know how much.  If you can't boil potatoes, I really can't help you.

Recipe 2 -  Quick Balsamic Green Beans

This is one of those "oh crap, we need a veggie" sides.  It can be thrown together in under 10 minutes--and even those that don't even like green vegetables will enjoy it!  Mr. N actually bemoaned the lack of leftovers for him to have with lunch.  When's the last time your husband or family asked for what essentially amounts to steamed green beans?  Get cookin'!

1 lb green beans, stems removed
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3 tbsp good balsamic vinegar (we used lemon balsamic since it's addictive)
salt and pepper, to taste

Wash and then steam the green beans.***  Shock the beans in ice water to keep them bright green.

In a large pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and oil.  Add the walnuts and toast, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes.  Add steamed green beans and toss with the oil and nuts.  Push the beans off to one side of the pan, then deglaze with the vinegar.  Toss everything together and season with salt and pepper.  

To serve, spoon beans onto plates and top with the awesome walnuts that will inevitably (and infuriatingly) remain in the pan.

***I have these super nifty steamer bags that you fill with fresh veggies and pop into the microwave for about 3 minutes.  The veggies come out crispy and delicious without having to dirty a pot.

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