I love Sriracha mayo for my fries, wouldn’t it be equally good as a potato salad? I have been wanting to make this salad for a while, I had never heard of such a thing but I figured it would have to be good. So I started formulating this in my head, and finally brought it to fruition in bright reality and bold flavors. One thing that always used to bother me about potato salad is that it was too much bland potato, big pieces of potato with only a small amount of dressing, it made no sense. Cutting the pieces smaller certainly would not work, they would boil away to nothing; but slightly mashing them, now that would be perfect! That is how I make all my potato salads now, and each time is perfection. (except crack salad, I go traditional cuts for that because my friend Jenn would kill me if I changed her recipe)
Sriracha Potato Salad with Bacon and Scallions
This is GOOD, real good. I tried making it two ways with the bacon, and without the bacon for my vegetarian friends, and it was delicious both ways. When making without the bacon I used an additional scallion. Really, seriously either way, it’s amazing! And since it has bacon in it, that makes it acceptable for breakfast, right? I kind of want to put a fried egg on top, am I crazy?
Seriously, this Potato Salad is good!
Potatoes before and after cooking
This will tantalize your taste buds in a way you never thought potato salad would. It has just the right amount of sriracha so that it won’t burn your mouth off or any other part of your body. Although I wouldn’t recommend it for babies, it would be fine for adventurous teenagers. ;-)
Scallions halved lengthwise, and bacon ready for a paper towel
- 24oz (1lb 9oz) small red potatoes
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt (for the water)
- 1/2 lb bacon
- 8 oz mayo (about 1cup)
- 3oz sour cream (about 1/4 of a cup)
- 1/2 oz sriracha (a tablespoon or two)
- 2 large scallions or 3 if omitting the bacon (If using medium scallions use 3, if small use 4)
- A generous pinch of ground pepper
- Make your bacon ahead of time (350 oven for about 20 minutes or till done, I like mine extra crispy) and drained on a paper towel (save the grease in a cup in the fridge of course)
- Wash the potatoes and leave whole, if some are strikingly bigger than the others, cut those in half so that they cook evenly
- Place in a good size pot, add the 2 tablespoons salt and cover with about 4-5 inches of water
- Cover the pan with a lid, turn on high, set the timer for 25minutes
- The potatoes will come to a boil, let them cook at that covered boil till the timer rings. You may need to adjust the heat to medium/high depending on your stove. Again just let them boil covered, no need to stir. I start the timer from when I turn the burner on, and this always works for me. If you want to test for doneness, pierce a potato with a knife, if should slip off easily.
- Drain the potatoes, place in a good strong bowl, and lightly mash with a potato masher, allow to cool a bit
- In a separate bowl, weigh the mayo, sour cream and sriracha, add the pepper and whisk together
- Half the scallions lengthwise down and finely chop
- Crumble the bacon (maybe eat a piece or two, you know, for quality control)
- Pour the sriracha mix over the potatoes (make sure to scrape the bowl with a good rubber scraper to get every morsel of deliciousness)
- Toss in the scallions and bacon, and mix together using the rubber spatula and a folding motion
- That is it, your done! Stick in a spoon in the amazing sriracha potato salad you just made, and eat up!
Ready to enjoy!
To the women that are mothers already, whether their children have two legs or four. To the women that are waiting for the right time in life to be a mother. To the women that long to be mothers, yet are unable to be. To the women that are mothers to other’s children; adopted, fostered, or just who take them under their wing. To you all, you are thought of and appreciated on this very special day. - Jessica M. Berardi, Burlap and Butter Knives
Backyard Bloom for Mother’s Day
Classic Macaroni Salad
Sunday I had the pleasure of attending a Goddess Girl Event in High Falls, and wow, I am speechless, it was fantastic! Goddess Girl Events are an amazing day of pampering, luxury and bliss all put on by Tamme Stitt Photography; along with Christene Spiezio, LMT, Gina Truhe Make Up, and Hair by Adrienne Nixon, these women wow’d me big time!! I have never felt so beautiful and so pampered! Everyone needs to experience a day like that!
This is me! All done up and heading home
After my morning of amazingness, I went home, aka back to reality. Mister Chris had requested burgers and potatoes for dinner. Honestly I wasn’t in the mood for potatoes; Margaritas on the beach sounded MUCH better. Le sigh, reality always wins. But I still didn’t want potatoes. I scanned the kitchen, “what can I make, what can I make, what can I make…..”, and then it hit me, I haven’t made macaroni salad in FOREVER! It’s quick, easy, and I already had all the ingredients right there in my kitchen, and let’s be honest, nothing beats not having to go back out to the store! I made it just like my Grandma used to make it, no deviations! I wanted to add some pickles but I decided to really keep it classic and use just the juice. Give this a try when you need a quick side or a dish for a BBQ or picnic. It is a sure fire crowd pleaser!
In the making, not exactly picturesque.
- 1/2lb Elbow Macaroni
- 3 Hard Boiled Eggs (see here for how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs with no green ring)
- 3/4 Cup Mayonnaise
- 1/4 Cup Pickle Juice (I use bread and butter pickle juice and it is perfectly fine if some of the spices get in there)
- 2/3 Cup Grated Carrots, packed well (or more or less to your liking)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Make your hard-boiled eggs. If you use my method they will cool perfectly in time for the Macaroni.
- Boil the macaroni according to the instructions on the package, I cook mine for 9 minutes. Make sure to salt the water well! Allow to cool in the colander.
- Put the macaroni in a medium-sized bowl, with plenty of room for mixing
- Add in your mayonnaise, and carrots
- Now cut your eggs DIRECTLY above the bowl, that way you can just open the cutter and the eggs fall in, and you won’t loose a single ounce of eggy goodness! I use the OXO egg slicer, it’s perfect, and I highly recommend it.
- Add a dash of salt and pepper, and mix it all to combine using a large rubber spatula. I find the large rubber spatulas work best. They don’t break up the noodles, but they DO break down the yolks and really get them mixed in well with the mayonnaise, which is exactly what you want to happen.
- Adjust your salt and pepper accordingly and enjoy!
Just like Grandma used to make!
With all the news coverage surrounding the failed gun control law, it begs the question; why can’t Americans be THIS passionate and vocal about things that matter even more? Is what we feed ourselves and our family on a daily basis not as important as gun control? It certainly doesn’t get nearly as much media coverage; the president isn’t shaming it. Why can’t we as Americans stand up and say “It’s a shameful day in Washington”, when the Supreme Court rules in favor of Monsanto as President Obama did in regards gun control just a few moments ago?
“I wish people would be as up in arms about the “control of special interests” and voting practices of our government when it comes to our foods as they are about Gun Control. - Burlap And Butter Knives“
A beanstalk from my garden
That’s all I have to sat about that. I would love to hear your input on the matter.
- Jessica M. Berardi
This is a little different then my usual posts, but I am dead serious when I say this is really important. I’ll try not to go too far off the deep end here, but there is a crisis in our country when it comes to the food in front of us each day. It is a crisis of information (or lack there of), a crisis of deception on behalf of big business, and the almighty dollar.
I know where my milk comes from
Did you know, that recently in Iowa a judge ruled in FAVOR of keeping the ingredients of “Pink Slime” blocked from public knowledge because it would damage Beef Products Inc, the company that is producing it? You read that right, a judge in Iowa decided that WE do not have the right to know what is going into our food because the business behind it would potentially lose money if we knew! This is serious!!! The following is from a Huffington Post article which you really need to read, I can’t stress it enough, read it. Know what you are buying before hand so you can make a different choice at the supermarket!
“A judge has blocked Iowa State University from releasing documents about food safety research conducted for the beef-processing company that makes the product dubbed “pink slime” by critics.
District Judge Dale Ruigh ruled last month that releasing the records would damage Beef Products, Inc. by revealing information about its proprietary food-processing techniques. Releasing them also would eliminate revenue that Iowa State laboratories receive from companies, who would go elsewhere for testing if they feared results were public records, he said.
“I think it’s in the best interest of the companies that do business in Iowa, the general public, and the university,” said attorney John Bickel, who represented BPI.” – Ryan J. Fole, Huffington Post Full text of the article here….
This is where my beef comes from!
What my meat looks like when I buy it.
Unfortunately that isn’t even the only disturbing news in food this week. The New York Times posted a fantastic article in regards to GMOs and how the recent rider protecting them was carefully slipped into the recent funding bill. A funding bill, that HAD to be signed!! So there was no “not signing it”, President Obama basically didn’t have a choice in the matter, because the bill was desperately needed. Amazing how something completely unrelated to funding ended up in there and was anonymously slipped in to boot! Yep, no clue where it came from or who put it there, but it’s there, and GMOs are protected, EVEN if they are found to be harmful! Yep, that’s no joke either!
“The rider essentially prohibits the Department of Agriculture from stopping production of any genetically engineered crop once it’s in the ground, even if there is evidence that it is harmful.” – Mark Bittman, NY Times full text (which you need to read) here
I have toured the facility where my beef is harvested, I have watched it grow, and I know without question what is in it!
What do you think about all this…? How does this make you feel about the food being marketed and fed to you…?
Know where your food comes from, grow your own!
Along with canning, the other most frequently asked about topic is gardening. How to start one, what kind to start, what to grow, how to grow, how to care for, etc. Just as with gardening, I am putting together a post here for you to consult for all your gardening questions! I will also keep a copy in the “notes” section on the Facebook Page for Burlap and Butter Knives for easy reference and I will update both as I find great new info for you! Of course, I also have a pinterest board full of gardening glory.
Gardening isn’t impossible, it doesn’t require acres of land, just find what works for you. YOU can do it! In your yard, in containers, however you want. Just take your time, read ahead and plan it out.
Throwing in the trowel
*My own personal tips* I’m not the end all be all of gardening, but this is what I have learned.
- Start your tomatoes and peppers indoors first, I generally start them the end of march. Once it warms up, I set them outside (covered) curing the day, and bring them in at night.
- Cucumbers, Zucchini, Squash, Beans, Peas, Carrots, Beets, and Lettuce all grow best when planted directly in the ground. (direct sow)
- Soak your beet, bean, and pea seeds for 12 hours, or overnight, to give them a good start!
- Spinach doesn’t like full sun or a lot of heat.
- Research your herbs! Some spread with a vengeance, and it is nearly impossible to contain them.
- Harvest frequently
- I water at 4 am, and at 4pm
- Do not harvest lettuce into a metal bowl in the sun. The bowl will get hot and the lettuce will wilt.
- Chipmunks love tomatoes.
- I hate Chipmunks
- If you are lucky, you will find Cicada skin.
- Watch out for Squash borers, they are terrible bugs. I hate them too.
- If you think a plant has problem, don’t be afraid to call the Cornell Garden Hotline! 845-340-DIRT (3478) for you Hudson Valley Residents
- If you have too much of something, check out pinterest for ways to use it up or save it for winter!
- Plant radishes throughout your garden, they are a great pest deterrent!
- Pictures of my garden in various stages, from it’s very humble beginning to it’s current size
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask, I am always here to help!
Tasty Yellow Tomatoes
My favorite websites
- Golden Harvest Organics, they offer tips for keeping critters out, my all time favorite companion planting guide (it is in my garden binder and consulted frequently), plant disease, gardening tips, insect issues, weed id’s and how to deal with them, as well as great products for gardens!
- The Helpful Gardener, pretty much every topic you can imagine, container, beds, fruits, veggies, forums (great for questions and answers) and so much more
- Organic Gardening, all inclusive website. They do annoyingly try and sell you things, BUT the information is great. Some things require you to give them your email address to gain access, but it is well worth it!
- The Real Dirt On Gardening, a fantastic website run by the incredibly knowledgeable Greg Draiss, the head of all things Garden Center for Adams Fairacre Farms and an amazing gardener!
- A Visual Guide to Lettuce, from Epicurious, this is a fantastic visual for figuring out which lettuce is best for you!
General gardening, planting and seed starting downloads and printables
- Fantastic download from Organic Gardening on Companion Planting
- Two great companion planting charts from Tinkers Garden
- Seed Germination Temperatures, from Tinkers Garden a truly fantastic resource
- Companion Planting, my favorite and must used guide, from Golden Harvest Organics
- Full list of all available downloads from Organic Gardening
- Abundant Harvest, you’re guide to the home vegetable garden. This guide, though lofty with things such as a sprinkler system, has solid and practical advice for gardening. Joe Lamp’l is an excellent source of garden information, google him and you can always find tons of great information.
- Growing a Greener World, the main page for Joe Lamp’l
- Getting Started, a page from Organic Gardening with articles on everything you could possibly want to know about starting a garden from scratch
- Gardening Factsheets fom Cornell Extension (we all know how much I love them!) Ecogardening, vegetables, fruits, plant disease, etc.
- Seed Starting 101, Part 5, Direct Sow. One of my favorite chapters from Hudson Valley Seed Library, it is a great and basic “how to” for direct sowing. When it comes to the post bare bones nitty gritty of what matters, this is it! They also have posts on Seed Starting 101, part one, crafting a seeding schedule , Seed Starting 101, part 2, starting seeds indoors, Seed Starting 101, part 3 sowing practices, Seed Starting 101 part 4, quick and easy cold frame , the entire Hudson Valley Seed Library blog can be accessed here
Lots of tomatoes, just after harvest
Garden Problems and Solutions
Berry Good Care
Looking to grow fruit trees?
My garden in the beginning
What to do with all that food after you’ve grown it!
- Hanging Pantyhose I did this last year, it works, BUT, it really needs to be super cold temperatures, and NO WHERE near a heat source. I did end up loosing a lot of garlic that was on the “warmer side” of the storage closet. In the end I cut it all down and put it in the fridge.
- Blanch and freeze. This works best for corn, green beans, peas, and zucchini I haven’t tried much else
- Jams, Jellies, marmalade
- Crushed Tomatoes
- And again, pinterest!
I will add more great sources as I find them!
Food is wonderful, and I love it. This is something you already know about me full well. I like it far too much according to most US Standards. I am hungry ALL day long, seriously, I’m always hungry. Maybe it is because I wake up at 4am each day, or maybe it is just because I like food. Either way, I always want to eat. When I was in Highschool, if I was hungry I would chew on a stick of gum, Winter-fresh to be exact; now when I’m hungry, I eat. Talk about a change in priorities!
My favorite night time snack.
Here is my dilemma. I snake on things like triscuits and hummus, triscuits and peanut butter, triscuits and cheddar, pretzels, pretzels and cream cheese, or peanut butter. Heavens help me if it’s night time, then I am a Haagen Dazs girl all the way! You see where this is heading. If I snack on an apple, I get half way through and I am bored. I tried plain, roasted, unsalted almonds for a while, but my satisfaction level was “eh.” Maybe I should have dipped them in Hummus, or wrapped them in cheddar?
Please tell me I’m not alone in this shame spiral?! Do you snack throughout the day, or stick strictly to eating during meal times? If you snack, what do you snack on? I would like to alter my snacking habits, but it is just so hard, I am in dire need of some inspiration!