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    Pea/Cheddar Salad

    Summer will soon be upon us and you know what that means, barbeques and picnics. Here is a quick salad that I’m sure you and your friends will enjoy all season long.

    You will need:

    Baby Sweet Peas — 1 LB – frozen is good make sure they are baby which are smaller in size but also tend to be sweeter.
    Sweet Onion — Half of a medium size (about ½ cup) use Walla Walla, Vidalia or other sweet variety – fine dice.
    Celery — two or three ribs (about &#189 cup) fine dice.
    Cheddar Cheese — finely grated to equal the volume of the peas, approximately 1 cup
    Sour Cream — ½ cup
    Mayonaise — ½ cup
    Apple Cider Vinegar — two TBSP – you can add more or use less depending one your taste for the rich tart flavor of a good apple cider vinegar.
    Sea Salt/Pepper — to taste.
    Bacon — thick cut, cooked then finely diced, can be left out if you want a vegetarian version.

    In a bowl large enough to hold ingredients mix mayonaise, sour cream, vinegar, salt and pepper whisk to combine, taste and adjust as needed. The final product should be loose enough to pour over the peas if it is too thick just add a little water to adjust. In another bowl large enough to hold all of the ingredients combine peas, celery and onion stir to combine. Pour the sour cream/mayo/vinegar mixture over the peas combination and stir to combine. Taste once more and adjust salt/pepper if needed then add bacon bits and stir once more. Enjoy!

    German Style Potato Salad

    Every once in a while I dig into my past with thoughts of things I haven’t made in some time. Today was one of those days. I had some leftover cooked potatoes which I decided to use for a breakfast plate which reminded me of one of my favorite potato salads. As I have been known to remake old favorites I think this effort is well worth a try.

    There are two things that made sense to change, one is the type of potato the other how they are cooked. Back in the day I used good ole red potatoes which I boiled for use in the salad, this time I chose to steam some Yukon Gold for this recipe. Steaming provides a great texture and retains some of the moisture normally lost when they are boiled.

    You will need:

    Potatoes — one pound small to medium sized Yukon Gold
    Bacon — quarter pound, thick cut, diced. Try to get bacon that has a lot of fat since you will need the rendering for the sauce.
    Vinegar — two or three TBSP
    Sugar — two or three TBSP, white. You might need more to adjust the taste.
    Pepper — fresh ground, to taste.

    Whether you use a steam basket or colander over a pot really doesn’t matter just be sure that you steam the potatoes in a single layer if there isn’t enough room you can steam them in batches. You can tell that they are done when a sharp knife goes into the flesh easily.

    While the potatoes steam put the bacon into a sauce pot large enough to hold it and the vinegar with room to spare. Cook the bacon until crisp, remove it from the fat with a slotted spoon, reserve. Add one TBSP of sugar to the hot fat stirring to combine, carefully add one TBSP of vinegar then repeat with the remaining sugar and vinegar tasting as you go along to get the sweet/sour combination you desire. Keep the sauce warm while you carefully remove the skin from the cooked potatoes, dice them into about 1/2″ cubes. Place them into a bowl with the cooked bacon and then dress with the bacon/vinegar/sugar mixture. Serve warm. Enjoy!

    Maple Bacon Oatmeal

    The other day while contemplating breakfast I was torn between a bowl of old fashioned oatmeal and a dish of bacon and eggs, I went with the bacon and eggs. I noticed that when I went to the package of bacon there was a little too much to eat but not enough to leave for another breakfast meal. So not wanting to waste anything I decided to cook up the bacon and save the small portion for use in another recipe.

    A day or two passed and another breakfast came along this time thinking I really wanted a bowl of oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar. As I opened the refrigerator door my eyes glanced at the bacon I had left over and nest to it an almost empty bottle of pure maple syrup my mind raced, “What if?”

    The what if turned into an experiment, I prepared my favorite brand of oatmeal, Quaker Oats Old Fashioned, added the raisins then just before it began to thicken dropped in half of the bacon which I had diced then I added some maple syrup and topped it all off with the remaining cooked bacon.

    The resulting dish proved to be a great marriage of sweet and salty, smooth and crispy.

    You will need:

    1 cup Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
    1 3/4 cup milk
    Dash of Salt
    1 oz. Raisins
    1 TBSP Pure Maple Syrup
    2 slices pre-cooked crisp bacon, diced, more if you desire.

    Place milk and salt in a sauce pot and bring to a slow boil, add oats and stir until the combination begins to thicken.  Add raisins and stir to combine cooking for a minute or two to allow raisins to soften.  Pull sauce pot off burner and add half of the bacon stirring to combine, pour into individual serving bowl and sprinkle remaining bacon on top.  Serves two.

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