Funeral Potatoes

 

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Yes, that is really what we call them in this part of the country because they are often served at funerals. Yes, they were served at Kelly’s funeral luncheon along with baked ham, rolls, and salad.  Yes, we make them for occasions other than funerals.  The beauty of this dish is that it tastes so good —especially with ham.  The other thing about funeral potatoes is that in addition to going by more mundane names, like cheesy potatoes or potato casserole, there are multiple variations of this recipe. This is a great way to use left-over baked potatoes, too. But the most important thing is that it’s hard to mess up this dish, and did I mention, they taste so good!

This is my adaptation of my mother’s and sister-in-law’s recipes.

Funeral Potatoes

Ingredients

8 potatoes cooked (baked or boiled) with skins on

Peel skin away and grate potatoes — or skip this part and use frozen potatoes, but personally, I think it tastes better if you use fresh potatoes, Idaho grown of course.

1 can cream soup (chicken, mushroom, celery)

1 16 oz container sour cream

salt & pepper to taste

1 bunch green onions minced

Mix together and turn into oven safe baking pan or casserole dish.

Topping:

1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (reserve 1/2 c.)

crushed corn flakes or potato chips, or seasoned bread crumbs – for topping

1/4 c. butter melted

Top with reserved cheese, cover with crushed cornflakes (or other topping), drizzle melted butter over the top. Bake in 350 degree oven about 30 – 45 minutes until heated through. (If you used frozen hashbrowns you may need to extend the time.)

 

 

 

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Sushi Anyone? (Blueberry Sushi)

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I am sure my children who love sushi will be pleased to know that I have, finally, found a sushi roll that I think I might actually like. I’m not sure how it ended up that half of my kids love sushi, as it’s certainly not something they were exposed to growing up.  Menus at my house were more the Idaho native meat and potatoes sort of thing, and fish except for occasional dinners featuring trout, and maybe salmon or shrimp, were rare occurrences.

So they must have picked up the love of sushi, elsewhere, once they were outside the realm of my dietary influence. I am not saying that is a bad thing. Through the years, I have broadened my palate, but sushi?  To be fair, I have tried sushi, multiple times, different varieties even. I freely admit, I try some every now and then to appease my children who still seek to convert me to the joys of eating sushi, but mostly I try it again, simply to confirm that I do not care for it. I do know I DO NOT like the texture or taste of the seaweed used in sushi rolls, and that is unlikely to change.

But today I ran across I sushi recipe that I will try willingly. I think that I would even enjoy eating it. I haven’t tried it yet. But I think I will. I LIKE all of the ingredients, so it may just past the taste test, and I DO like eating with chopsticks after all.

Blueberry Fruit “Sushi”*

Ingredients

3/4 c. short grain rice

1 1/4 c. water

2 tbsp. sugar

pinch salt

1/2 c. coconut milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 c. blueberries

1/2 avocado, cut into 2-inch batons

1 small peach, apple, or plum cut into small cubes

Dipping Sauce Ingredients

1 c. frozen blueberries

1/3 c. vanilla yogurt

1 tbsp. honey

Directions

  1. For the rice: In a medium pot over medium-low heat, combine rice, water, sugar  and salt.
  2. Cook about 15 minutes until rice has absorbed the water and is cooked through but still firm.
  3. Stir in coconut milk and vanilla.  Mixture should be thick.  Let cool.
  4. On a piece of parchment paper with wet hands pat half of the rice into a 7 x 5 inch rectangle.
  5. Lay half of the blueberries along the long end of the rectangle.  Add half of the avocado and apple slices.
  6. Roll up in the parchment  to enclose the fruit and form a long tight roll or log .
  7. Unroll the parchment; cut the rice roll crosswise into 1 inch pieces to make “sushi rolls”.
  8. Repeat with remaining rice mixture and fruit.
Dipping Sauce Instructions

  1. Combine blueberries, yogurt and honey in a blender.  Puree until smooth.

Number of servings (yield): 14 rolls

*Recipe from the U.S. Blueberry Council 

 

 

 

 

Huckleberry Tart

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Summertime is around the corner now, and one of the things I am looking forward to is spending some time in Idaho. This year I want to plan a trip that coincides with huckleberry season.  I have a few left in my freezer, but it’s time to pick more! I love the flavor, and I enjoy going huckle-berrying.  I must admit that I miss Idaho summers, perhaps because my summers were filled with lots of reading, swimming in the local canals, rambling walks, riding the horses, playing softball, Sunday afternoon drives, and of course, anytime we could talk Mom and Dad into it, trips to the Pine Tree Place, with perhaps a side trip to pick chokecherries or huckleberries.    Continue reading

Tomato/Avocado/Cucumber Salad – In the Good Old Summertime

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I have a confession to make, cooking isn’t my favorite thing.  I know, I know, this is a recipe blog, all about cooking. My kids say I am a good cook — when I cook. But somewhere along the way, cooking three meals a day for eight people, for twenty-plus years, kind of took the joy out of it.  And after Kelly died and the kids were grown and gone, it was much easier to eat a sandwich over the kitchen sink (fewer dishes that way) than cook a meal. But, lately, I have been rediscovering why I used to love to cook and try new recipes. The biggest problem is I don’t know how to cook for fewer than eight people, but I’m working on that.  (Until I master cooking for one, come on over for dinner, the next time I am in the mood to cook, there will be plenty of food.)  I do cook a nice Sunday dinner at least once a month, and invite my kids to come over to eat.  Last time I did a baked ham and garlic mashed potatoes, with a side of string beans, and rolls, with brownies for dessert.  But, this post is about summertime foods.  So switching gears . . .

I am not even sure where I got this recipe, but I love the simplicity of it, and the taste and texture combination — so fresh, so vibrant, and it combines some of my favorite foods together, too.

In the summertime, I cook even less. Who wants to be in the kitchen when you can be outside, sitting in a swing, reading a book?  I am not even sure where I got this recipe, but I love the simplicity of it, (more time to read, right?) and the taste and texture combination — so fresh, so vibrant, and it combines some of my favorite foods together, too.

Tomato/Avocado/Cucumber Salad

1 avocado cut into small chunks

1 cucumber peeled and cut into chunks

1 basket cherry tomatoes, rinsed

1 bunch of green onions minced

Mix together and let chill. Just before serving, add a garnish of chopped cilantro and 4-8 oz of a hard cheese, cubed. 

Serve with a side of tortilla chips, croissants, or flatbread for a light lunch.