The Best Potato Salad Recipe- PERIOD!

There are literally hundreds of ways to make Potato Salad. However, none of them should involve raisins (That’s an internet thing, I’ve never actually seen it in person).

This is my great grandmother Tootie’s Potato Salad Recipe, and I think it’s the best. Luckily for me, we’ve gotten all of the veggie ingredients in this week’s Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box.  And because they sell eggs too as an add-on, you can get most everything you need without leaving home.

This recipe is pretty simple.

Tootie’s Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups peeled, cut-up potatoes (bite-size pieces)
  • 3 ribs of green celery, cut into bite-size pieces- I slice each rib in half and into small pieces.
  • 1/4 cup Italian Dressing- I like Wishbone
  • 1/2 cup Full Fat Mayo. I like Best Foods/Hellmans, but Dukes is good too
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chives or parsley to garnish- optional

Directions

  1. Boil potatoes in water until they are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Drain potatoes, do not rinse.
  3. Chill potatoes in the fridge (30 minutes to 1 hour-ish).
  4. In a bowl, combine the salad dressing and mayo, pour over cooled potatoes, and stir. You want to coat the potatoes in the mixture.
  5. Add in the celery and eggs. The egg yolks will break down and combine with the dressing/mayo mixture, turning light to medium yellow.
  6. Chill in the fridge at least overnight. If the salad is too dry, add a few more tablespoons of mayo and dressing (a 2-parts mayo to 1-part dressing mixture).
  7. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Prior to serving top with chives or parsley if desired.

If you like green onions (my mom doesn’t like raw onions so she doesn’t add them), you can add 1-2 sliced green onions to the salad during step 5.  I grew up without it, but they are really good in this salad.

This salad is good in the fridge for up to a week and is perfect for the 4th of July or other summer celebrations.

Dietary options: It’s already vegetarian, but I’m not sure it could be made vegan unless you use veganaise and omit the eggs (in my opinion it needs).

Dream Dinners: 8 Meals in The September Mini Bundle

It’s that time again! La Mesa Dream Dinners mini order is perfect if 12 is too many meals this month. By Friday, September 16th at 9am, you can order this mini bundle for just $189 for 8 medium-size meals. You can cross grocery shopping and meal prep off your to-do list, giving you more time to savor time with your family and friends!

The September Dinner Bundle includes:

  1. Arroz con Pollo
  2. Outlaw Chicken Burgers with Crispy Shoestring Fries
  3. Chateau Chicken with Almond Butter Sauce
  4. Meatball Marinara Stuffed French Bread
  5. Creamy Pesto Tortellini
  6. New Orleans Jambalaya
  7. Central Park Garlic Chicken with Creamy Herbed Peas
  8. Lucky Dragon Pork Tenderloin with Jasmine Rice

This limited-time offer ends on Friday, September 16th at 9am! Call or Text 619-460-6800 or email lamesaca@dreamdinners.com to reserve yours.

9/13/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’m so tired of it being so humid. Last week we were inside a lot between the heat/humidity and the rain from Tropical Storm Kay. We ate a lot of fruit last week, and the CSA box came yesterday, so we’re going to do it again!

I hit up the grocery store on Sunday. Again this week but we’re eating out of the pantry and our  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box, which was delivered yesterday afternoon. With the increased cost of groceries, I’m really leaning on cooking meals from our pantry stables and using fresh produce.

I did a bunch of meal prep yesterday afternoon to cut down on cooking time:

  • Marinated Salad (I’ve been using pre-made vinaigrette dressings instead of making my own)
  • Mixed Veggies to roast (I’ll do that later this week)
  • Sliced watermelon
  • Sliced strawberries

I’ll make a fruit salad later in the week when the stone fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines) ripen.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I picked up 5 new products to try this week at Sprouts last night using my Social Nature coupons!

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. These snacks make up most of the kid’s lunches during the school week. School lunches are still free, but on most days, they prefer to bring their lunches from home.

Dinner: Now that school is in session and our weekday schedule is cemented, I’m using one weekend morning to do some baking/side dish meal prep, and Monday afternoons after school/work to prep the CSA box goodies.  As the price of groceries goes up, I find myself buying less meat, relying more on sale/clearance prices, and repurposing leftovers.

  • Monday: Home-Made Pizza, Fruit

  • Tuesday:  Mac n’ Cheese, Roasted Veggies

  • Wednesday: Loaded Smashed Potatoes (Recipe coming this week), Salad

  • Thursday:   Grilled Cheese or Quesadillas, Soup, & Salad

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Fruit Salad, Funeral Potatoes, Toast

9/5/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis past weekend was hot. And humid. We spent most of the weekend indoors, playing games, watching videos, and eating strawberries.

I hit up the grocery store Friday to pick up a few things, but we’re mostly living off the pantry and our  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box, which was delivered this afternoon.

I did a bunch of meal prep this evening:

  • Green Salad
  • Marinated Salad
  • Mixed Veggies to roast (I’ll do that tomorrow afternoon)
  • Cauliflower to roast
  • Sliced watermelon
  • Sliced strawberries

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I received a few more coupons over the weekend, so I’ll visit Sprouts sometime this week to pick up the new foods. I’m focusing on snacks and treats from Social Nature.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Fruit Salad, Protein Shakes

  • Tuesday:  Chef Salad (Using the green salad I made, plus bacon crumbles, hardboiled eggs, and cheese)

  • Wednesday: Crockpot Chili, cheese toast, fruit

  • Thursday:  Spaghetti with red sauce and hot Italian sausage, roasted veggies

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Tamales, Beans, Rice, Salad

September 2022: New Month, New Coupons!

file000786402730Here is your monthly reminder!  A new month means new printable and electronic coupons!

The printable coupon market is slowly coming to an end. Smartsource no longer offers printable coupons, and you may notice that there are fewer coupon inserts in your Sunday newspaper. This is in favor of more offers available on apps. But if you love printable coupons….

  • Coupons.com (printable coupons, e-coupons, and a cashback app)

One of my favorite websites is the Sunday Coupon Review.  It helps me plot out scenarios in advance and I can email friends to ask for coupons in advance. Remember if clipping coupons isn’t your thing, but saving money is, check out my list of Smartphone apps that can save you the big bucks! New offers are added on the Smartphone Savings Apps all the time!

Here are a few of my favorite printable coupons:

Save $1.00 on ONE (1) Splash Blast™ 16.9 oz. 6-pack, Any Flavor
Save $0.75 ONE (1) Sargento Balanced Breaks CHEESE & CRACKERS
Save $2.00 on ONE (1) Blue Diamond Almond Flour or Baking Mix
Save $3.00 on ONE (1) Sambucol product. Excludes 10ct Gummies and 10ct Immune Drink Powder.

September means Labor Day and Back to school! The traditional Back to School Sales will start. For most schools, classes begin the Tuesday after Labor Day. This is a great time to stock up on snacks that are healthy and shelf-stable.

For a complete list of types of foods and items that will be on sale, check out this post on the cycle of sales.

NEW Rubio’s Rewards

Introducing the NEW Rubio’s Rewards program, where you can earn points with every purchase and redeem them for free food.

  • $5 off your first order
  • 10 points for every $1 spent in the restaurant, in the app or online
  • Earn bonus points throughout the year
  • Special birthday surprises
  • Insider access to new products
  • Fast grab-and-go ordering

Recipe: Lemon Herb Chicken

This recipe has been fine-tuned and constantly evolving for a while.  It originally started as a copycat of the Greek Chicken restaurant near me. This chicken is now a million times better.

Lemon Herb Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken (I use breasts or thighs)
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (I like sweet onions)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil of your choice (I like olive or avocado)
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Prepare the marinade:

  1. Pat chicken dry and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl juice the lemons, set the lemons aside.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and whisk together.
  4. Chop up juiced lemons, add to marinade.
  5. In a large ziploc bag, pour marinade and add chicken.
  6. Allow chicken to marinate for at minimum 2 hours- I usually let it marinate overnight.

Cooking the chicken:

  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 T. oil or spray pan with spray release.
  2. Cook chicken on each side until brown and internal temp is at minimum 165.

This chicken is also great grilled! I love serving this chicken with a crisp cool green salad, hummus, and pita.

 

ZENB for Plant-Fueled Pasta and Sauces- Perfect for Picky Eaters!

I’ve got two picky eaters. The big kid has a lot of food aversions (textures, tastes/flavors), which is pretty common for people on the spectrum. The little kid will try new foods with greater frequency, but she loves noodles with butter.

We’ve tried so many different brands of pasta, trying to find something that tastes great and has good nutrition. a lot of veggie-based pasta gets weird and gummy when cooked, so has a weird flavor, and then there’s the “zero pasta” which is stinky even after you spend twenty minutes rinsing it.

Enter ZenB Pasta! Made from 100% yellow peas, including the skins. It comes in a variety of pasta varieties: Penne, Elbows, Rotini, Spaghetti, and Agile.

It’s an amazing source of protein and fiber. It’s gluten-free and vegan!

Both kids tried ZenB over the weekend and loved it. They both asked for seconds, which is unheard of. I love that it’s a great source of protein- it’s hard to get protein into kiddo sometimes.

If you want to check it out, The ZenB website currently has a free shipping offer, when you shop here.

And if you are looking for some new sauces, ZENB has the hook-up! ZENB Gourmet Pasta Sauce, made from WHOLE vegetables, for a rich depth of flavor.

 

8/29/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThe first week of school was great! The kids are glad to be back on schedule, and seeing their friends has made the beginning of the school year easier.

I went to the grocery store yesterday and got everything for this week plus a few extra things that were on sale for the pantry.

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I received a few more coupons over the weekend, so I’ll visit Sprouts sometime this week to pick up the new foods. I’m focusing on snacks and treats from Social Nature.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Chicken nuggets, Buttered noodles, fruit, cheese & crackers

  • Tuesday:  Marinated Salad, Rice-a-roni, crescent rolls

  • Wednesday: Lemon herbed chicken, salad, pita, hummus

  • Thursday:  Ravioli with pesto sauce, roasted vegetables

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Omelets, sourdough toast, fruit

8/23/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgYesterday was pretty busy, I didn’t get around to posting our meal plan for the week. We went to the beach and had in-home therapy.

I hit the grocery store last night but I forgot bagels, so I’ll be going back this morning.

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Pancakes and fruit

  • Tuesday: Chef Salad (It was popular last week!)

  • Wednesday:  Frittata, toast, fruit

  • Thursday:  Baked pasta, roasted veggies

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Bean, rice, and cheese bowls