Warm Bacon Dressing and Spinach Salad

I have never liked spinach until this recipe. Of course everything is great with Bacon.

I made this after Joe and I were first married, loved it, lost it and found it again 20 yrs later. I still love it.

8 ounces young spinach
4 large white mushrooms, sliced
3 ounces red onion (1 small), very thinly sliced
2 large eggs – Hard Boiled
6 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
1/2 C Bean Sprouts *Optional

3 T Bacon Grease
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remove the stems from the spinach and wash, drain and pat dry thoroughly. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Boil eggs, cool, remove and peel off the shell. Slice each egg into 8 pieces and set aside.

While the eggs are cooking, fry the bacon and remove to a paper towel to drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the rendered fat. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Transfer the fat to a small saucepan set over low heat and whisk in the red wine vinegar, sugar and Dijon mustard. Season with a small pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper.

Add the mushrooms and the sliced onion to the spinach and toss. Add the dressing and bacon and toss to combine. Season with pepper, as desired. (add Bean Sprouts*.) Serve immediately.

Waldorf Salad

This salad is an old fashion favorite, sweet crunchy and a whole lot of country. For a lower calorie version you can substitute yogurt for the mayo, but live a little the mayo rocks.
2 Lrg Apples (Red delicious for the flavor and color)
2 rib Celery
1/2 C Nuts – Walnuts or pecans
1/2 Mayo (can substitute Yogurt
1 T Milk
1 tsp Sugar
** Optional
1/2 Seeded Grapes – split in half, add to apples

Wash, quarter and core apples, dice into bite size pieces. Dice celery, chop nuts and add to apples.
Mix dressing of mayo, milk and sugar, blend well. Pour dressing on apple mixture, mix well and chill before serving.

Serve in lettuce boats

Twice Baked Garden Potatoes

These are so good with Bourbon Pork Chops.

4 lrg Baking Potatoes
1/4 C Onions – chopped
1/4 C Celery – Chopped
1/4 C Broccoli – separated
2 T Carrot – shredded
4 T Butter
2 T Milk
1/4 C Cheese – grated (can be omitted)
1/2 Tsp Chives – chopped
Bacon Bits – garnish

Heat oven 350º Bake potatoes, when cool enough to handle, cut in half and empty into bowl retaining skins in half shells. In small saucepan cook vegetables in butter until onions begin to soften. Bake potatoes, when cool enough to handle, cut in half and empty into bowl retaining skins in half shells. Whip potatoes, milk, salt and pepper (to taste) until a few small lumps remain add in vegetables and mix well.
Fill each potato skin shell with whipped veggie mix, top with cheese and bake at 350º for 10 minutes. Garnish with Chives and Bacon Bits
(These can also be made ahead of time and add 10 more minutes to last baking)

Stuffed Mushrooms

1/2 lb large white Mushrooms
4 slices favorite smoked bacon
3 Green Onions – chopped tiny use greens
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Butter

Brown Bacon (don’t overcook, it will continue to cook in broiler) and chop small add onions, butter and sauce. Mix and place a drop into the cap of each mushroom.

Broil mushrooms until bubbly and bacon is fully cooked. Sprinkle with parm cheese.

Garden Vegetable Soup

This is a fall put away for the year project. It must be pressure canned (make sure all your canning equipment is in good order, check all canner seals and valves) This soup is hardy and super versatile, use as is, mix with a favorite meat or poultry, make a pot pie, use as a veggie base in a winter soup. Makes 52 pints (26 qrts)

1 lrg stalk celery
5 lrg green Bell Peppers
5 lrg Onions
1 lrg head Cabbage
10 lbs white Potatoes
6 lbs Carrots
4 14 oz cans Whole Corn
5 14 oz cans Tomato Juice
1 C garlic
1/2 box Barley
12 C water
Clean and chop all vegetables – exclude water) and mix in a super big bin. (A large plastic storage bin works great)
I process in two batches. Half the vegetable mixture into a large stock pot add 6 C water per batch and bring to a soft boil.

Hot pack – clean jars, remove air bubbles, clean rims, adjust lids and rings.

Arrange in your pressure canner as manufacturers instructions. Process using 13-15 pounds of pressure for 60 minutes.

Grilled Potato Salad

For those who do not like mayo this is a great alternative to traditional potato salads. This can be adjusted for a no cheese version.

16 small New Red Potatoes (do not peel)
Olive Oil, for brushing potato slices
Kosher Salt
freshly ground Black Pepper
6 oz Watercress, coarsely chopped
2 Scallions, thinly sliced for the vinaigrette:
1/4 C Red Wine Vinegar
2 tsp Honey
1 small Shallot, finely chopped
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 C Olive Oil
1/2 C crumbled Blue Cheese

In a large pot of salted water, boil the potatoes until just cooked through. Do not let them get too soft and overcooked. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Test for doneness by piercing a potato with a thin skewer or fork. If it meets some resistance, but can slide all the way through, they’re done. Drain the potatoes immediately. Let cool. This step can be done a few hours in advance. Just set them on the counter. Do not refrigerate.

Now make the blue cheese vinaigrette. Whisk the vinegar, honey, shallot, mustard, olive oil, and blue cheese together. The vinaigrette can be made a few hours in advance. Cover and keep refrigerated. **For those who DO NOT like blue cheese now is the time to just omit it. It is just as yummy.

Heat your grill to medium-high. Liberally oil the grill grates.

Cut the potatoes into 1/4″-thick slices. This next part gets a bit tedious. Here’s how I prefer to do it. Lay the slices out on a large baking sheet or jelly roll pan. Brush both sides with oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. It’s really not that bad. Just keep reminding yourself of the end result you get to indulge in.

Lay all those potato slices out on your grill grate. Grill until lightly charred on both sides, about 5 minutes total. They’re beautiful!

Arrange the watercress on a platter. Top with the potatoes. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top, while your potatoes are still warm so they will absorb the vinaigrette better. Sprinkle with the scallions. Serve immediately.

Mushrooms Berkley

1 lb mushrooms – rinsed and sliced
1 lrg white Onion – sliced
1 lrg green Bell Pepper – seeded and sliced
1/2 C butter

2 T Mustard (can substitute 1 tsp dry yellow mustard)
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 C Brown Sugar – packed
3/4 C Red Wine

Saute mushrooms, onions and bell pepper in butter until onions are clear. Mushrooms will reduce to about 1/2 or

Mix sauce and add to tender vegetables. Simmer until sauce is slightly reduced.

Serve over a baked potato or accompany with your favorite meat.