Nana’s Creamy Potato Salad

It seems like those summer days are with us, and that means picnics, and picnics mean potato salad!

There must be thousands of potato salad recipes out there.  My nana used to make a wet, creamy potato salad that I have never seen duplicated. Nana was of German origin, so this potato salad must have had its beginnings there . Problem is, she never used a recipe! The first time I had a rather dry potato salad made with mayonnaise, I was so disappointed.  I have spent years trying to perfect the recipe on my own to no avail. However, after experimenting with different ingredients, the recipe I’m going to share with you today is the closest in taste to the salad I remember.

About 2 – 3 lbs. potatoes, red or white
1/2 c. diced green onions, or 1 whole white onion, minced
1 c. diced celery ribs
1 c. red radishes, sliced & quartered
3 – 4 hard boiled eggs, quartered
1 c. creamed cottage cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 t. prepared mustard, or 1 t. French’s hot mustard powder
Salt & pepper to taste

Boil potatoes with or without skins left on (up to you)
Drain and refrigerate potatoes until they are cold and firm, Slice thinly.
Combine potatoes, onions, celery, radish and eggs in a bowl. Remember to leave some egg quarters for garnish on top.
Blend together cottage cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, and salt and pepper.
Pour over potato mixture and mix gently. Check seasonings, and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Garnish with egg quarters and paprika. This salad tastes better the next day, but if you just can’t wait (like me), dig in and enjoy!

Grab and Go Lunch Salad

We’re using the versatile chickpea in today’s salad. I love chickpeas and they’re high in fibre. This tasty salad can be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Make it the night before and it will be ready for you to take to work.


This Recipe feeds one person generously.

1 c. canned chick peas
6 Grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 Green pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 c. red onion, chopped (or 2 green onions, sliced)
1/4 c. Kraft Golden Italian dressing
Parmesan cheese (real grated or from shaker)
Salt & pepper to taste

Optional: Add black olives, red pepper, kidney beans or lima beans, tuna or salmon
I like to make this salad colourful which I find adds to its taste appeal.

Drain and rinse chick peas; pat dry.
Prepare and cut up vegetables.
Combine all ingredients in a portable plastic container with tight-fitting lid.
Add desired amount of parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
Add Golden Italian dressing and mix well.

Make the night before and it will be ready to “grab and go” in the morning for your lunch. Remember to put it in the fridge at work to keep fresh.

Broccoli Pasta Salad

Today’s recipe is short and sweet! Well, not really sweet…more tangy than sweet. The beauty of this salad is that you can add virtually anything to it, and it will still taste good. This is my own recipe that I cobbled together one summer day when it was too hot to cook.


This Recipe feeds as many or as little as you want.

2 c. rotini pasta (or other pasta of your choice)
Enough water to cover pasta
Broccoli florets, chopped (I use 2-3 stalks)
Kraft Golden Italian dressing
Parmesan cheese (real grated or from shaker)
Salt & pepper to taste

Optional: Add diced carrots, red onion, red pepper, cherry tomatoes cut in half, or fried bacon pieces

Cook pasta according to package instructions (usually 9-10 minutes)

In the meantime, prepare and cut up vegetables.
Pour cooked pasta into a colander; run cold water over it to stop cooking and to make it easier to handle.
Place cut vegetables into a large bowl. Add cooled pasta. Mix well.

Pour a quantity of Golden Italian dressing (I never measure) over the mixture. Add desired amount of parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Mix well. Note: you will be adjusting the seasoning as you go to your own taste.
Serve as a side dish, or main meal with a salad and  crusty bread. Enjoy!

Beef Goulash Soup

Today is very cool with thunder showers…very strange weather for the end of May. So I thought it was the perfect time for another comfort food recipe. Here’s my version of Goulash Soup. It’s very hearty  and almost like a stew (my favourite kind of soup). Be sure to be hungry…you’ll be lining up for seconds.


This Recipe feeds a lot of hungry people!

1 1/2 lbs. stew beef, cubed
3 T. butter
1 garlic clove, minced
2 large onions, chopped
1 T. paprika
1 t. vinegar
1/2 t. caraway seed
1/2 t. marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste
2 T. flour
6 c. beef broth or water
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced

Wash beef and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into bite-size cubes.

Melt butter in Dutch oven. Saute garlic and onions. Fry until translucent and golden.
Stir in paprika and vinegar. Add meat, broth, spices and a couple of dollops of Ketchup to taste. Mix well.
Cover and cook gently 1 – 1/2 hours.

Dilute flour with a little gravy; stir into soup. In the meantime, prepare and add the vegetables. Cover with lid and let ingredients cook for about 1 hour, or until vegetables are done. If needed, add more broth or water to dilute liquid.
Serve with a salad and  crusty bread. Enjoy!

Gypsy Goulash

I love to play with recipes and almost never use the original one I see. Today’s Goulash recipe is a prime example of one I’ve adapted. The beauty is that you can play with it too, changing it up with different vegetables or meat , or serving it with rice or noodles.


This Recipe feeds a lot of people! Halve it for three – four servings

2 lbs. stew veal, cubed (or stew beef if you prefer)
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped
Green or red pepper, seeded & chopped (if desired)
1 c. bacon, diced
Olive oil
1 – 2 T. paprika
1/2 t. caraway seed
1/2 t. marjoram
Sat and pepper to taste
1 1/2 T. vinegar
1 T. tomato paste
1 c. beef broth
2-3 potatoes, cubed (I leave the skins on)
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
Sour cream

Wash veal and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into bite-size cubes and dredge in flour.

Pour some olive oil into frying pan and heat (I use an electric skillet). Saute bacon; add garlic and onions. Fry until translucent and golden. Remove from pan.

Add veal to pan and brown at high heat until a golden crust forms on the meat. Add spices, vinegar, tomato paste and 1/2 c. of the broth.
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the vegetables. Put onions and garlic back in pan; add vegetables. Add more liquid (remaining beef broth) if required. Cover with lid and let ingredients cook for about 1 hour, or until vegetables are done.

Remove the lid to reduce liquid and cook until desired thickness. Add a dollop or two of sour cream about 10 minutes before serving and stir well.
Serve over rice or noodles with a salad and  crusty bread to soak up the gravy. Enjoy!

Cathy’s Lasagne

My husband never tires of my lasagne and continually asks me to make it for him. I think it’s his most favourite of all my recipes. So today, I’m ready to share it with you. Let’s get started!


Serves 4 people

l lb. lean ground hamburger
1 small onion, chopped
Green pepper, seeded & chopped (optional)
2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
2 c. (or more) Spaghetti sauce (I use President’s Choice, available in Canada, or Prego will do)

8 lasagne noodles
Mozzarella cheese (I use lotsa mozza)

Make sauce:
Brown hamburger in large frying pan. There should be enough fat in the pan from the hamburger.  If not, add olive oil.
Add onions & garlic; cook until translucent.
Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Let cool.

Add enough water to cover lasagne & boil. Follow package instructions for how long to boil the noodles (usually 9 minutes).
When noodles are done, pour into colander to drain. Immediately run cold water over the noodles to stop them cooking, & make them cool enough to handle.

While the noodles are cooking, I grate the cheese & add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of a baking dish to get a head start. I also turn on the oven to 375 F.

In the baking dish, over the layer of sauce, make layers of noodles, sauce & cheese. I usually do only two layers, but you can do up to four if you’re up for it. End with a thick layer of cheese.

Place the lasagne dish, covered with foil wrap,  in the oven for 15 minutes. Then take foil wrap off & bake another 15 – 20 minutes.


Breakfast Shake

I feel so virtuous when I have a healthy breakfast. This from a former no-breakfast person! Since I discovered smoothies and shakes, that isn’t the case any more.

This morning’s shake was made from two scoops of Biotrust chocolate protein powder (this stuff is seriously good-tasting) , 8 ounces of 1% milk, a handful of raspberries, 2 tablespoons of Oikos Greek yogurt and two ice cubes.

I whipped it all up in my blender in no time, and enjoyed a delicious shake.