House For Six


Classic Potato Salad

Deme Crinion4 Comments

I hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend!  We grilled...we hung out with good friends....we joined our community for an awesome parade and huge festival....and we provided an open buffet for the mosquitoes.  Good, good times.

I absolutely love summer cooking (although when fall rolls around I will be vowing my undying love to all things soups and stews).  It's the season of the salad!  Which makes the perfect side dish for a cookout and a perfect meal for lunch. 

My grandmother (my Yiayia) made the BEST potato salad.  It was a classic dish that I've tried to replicate several times.  To get the "tang" I always used relish, but it never quite tasted right.  Finally I asked my mom and she pointed me to her mom's secret ingredient:  Sandwich spread!

The first time I used it I did mostly spread and hardly any mayo - flavor overload.  My mom laughed, steered me to the right ratios (because all my Yiayia's dishes fail to embrace any sort of specific measurements...."a little of this....a pinch of that..."), and I think I finally got it right.  The best part is it can easily be adjusted to suit your individual tastes. 

So, if you're looking for a classic potato salad with that mustard/mayo combo and a hint of tang, I've got you covered!

Here's what you'll need:

4 large russet potatoes or 6-8 red potatoes

1 cup mayo

3 Tablespoons sandwich spread

2 Tablespoons yellow mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoons onion powder

Optional:  3 hard boiled eggs (chopped) 

Optional: finely chopped celery or pinch of celery seed

First peel and cut your potatoes into 1-inch pieces.  Bring a pot of water a boil.  Add potatoes and a pinch of salt and boil for 10-15 minutes.  You want the potatoes to be fork tender but still firm, not breaking apart.  

Drain and set aside in a large bowl.

Mix the remaining ingredients for dressing in a small bowl.

Add to the potatoes and toss until well mixed.  

*I didn't grab a pic of this, but after the dressing is mixed with the potatoes, I grab my masher and do a rough mash.  I like my potato salad with a few chunks but not totally smooth. 

Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  If you like your salad with a little crunch you can add some chopped celery, or if you like the celery flavor without the crunch, a little celery seed will do the trick.  I also like my salad with chopped hard boiled eggs, so I toss them in here too.

Chill the salad for at least an hour before serving, then gobble it up!

 You can download a printable PDF of the recipe



What's your favorite summer side dish?  Anyone else have a treasure trove of family recipes with no measurements??

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!

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Easy Tomato & Cucumber Salad

Deme Crinion2 Comments

Oh friends.  I got hit with some sort of stomach somethin' this week and have pretty much remained curled up on the couch since Monday.  Which means instead of progress on the

home project list

, we've slid into utter chaos and survival tactics.  James has been getting up with the kids in the morning so I can rest, but sensing my new level of despair, he woke up early and made the kids banana chocolate chip bread for breakfast.  From scratch.  #spoiled  

So, while we try to pull this household back together, I'll share a recipe that I was saving for next week. It's one of our favorite summer salads that's super tasty and super easy to prepare.

 It's just three basic ingredients: tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion...with an awesome vinaigrette.

I just use half an onion so that it doesn't overpower the dish, but if you want even less of that onion punch, a white onion has a milder flavor and works just as well.

Simply cut all your veggies into bite size pieces and toss into a large bowl. 

Tomato Tip #1

:   Whenever slicing, dicing, and otherwise cutting up a tomato, use a knife with a serrated edge.  It cuts much easier, gives you more control, and helps to avoid squishing the tomato as you cut.  Not that I've ever done that before.

 I always cut the tomato first for this salad, so that it has time for this next tip....

Tomato Tip #2

:  Whenever adding diced tomato to a dish, set them in a strainer right after dicing them.  Give the strainer a gentle shake to drain those extra juices, then add the tomatoes to the dish.  It will keep everything from getting too soggy. 

The best part of this salad is the light vinaigrette that finishes it off.  It's not too sweet or too tangy and can easily be adjusted to suite your tastes.


1/8 cup olive oil

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

(I just fill up the bottle cap and dump it in)

1 single serve packet of Stevia

(like for your coffee.  The original recipe from our aunt calls for sugar, so you really can use any sweetener of choice.  Start with a teaspoon and adjust from there).

Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl.  Taste.  Adjust if necessary.  Pour over the salad and gently toss to coat

(I use a spatula).

  Chill then serve.

This recipe is a perfect side dish for our family of five and we usually have a little bit leftover for the next day.  But our kids are young and their servings are somewhat small.  And they don't eat the onions.  We just double this whenever we have guests.

It's light and fresh and tastes just like summer!

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!

Lemon Roasted White Sweet Potatoes

Deme Crinion2 Comments

I accidentally stumbled onto these when I picked up "sweet potatoes" from Target a couple weeks ago.  They looked like sweet potatoes, but the skin was lighter with a smoother texture.

I thought they looked a little different, and sure enough when I started peeling it wasn't orange staring back at me.  

By the way, that's my method for peeling potatoes....put a paper towel over the drain in the sink to keep rogue peels from going down, then just wrap up the peels in the paper and toss in the trash when done.

We already came up with a super delicious, super easy recipe for these, and our 

Honey Mashed White Sweet Potatoes

have been on frequent repeat around here.  So, I decided to give these new found veggies a different spin.

They remind me of my Yiayia's lemon roasted potatoes growing up.  I already devoured the leftovers with breakfast.  So, here we go!  Another way to use white sweet potatoes...


-4 White sweet potatoes

(I used 2 jumbo sized that were enough for our fam of 5)

-Olive oil

(1-2 Tablespoons)

-Melted butter

(about 1/2 Tablespoon per potato)

-Salt & Pepper to taste

-Juice of half a lemon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Peel potatoes and cut into 1 inch pieces.  Coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with olive oil (or oil of choice).   Season potatoes with salt and pepper.  Pour melted butter over the top and turn potatoes with a spatula until they are well coated.  Place in oven and cook for 35 min (stirring every 10-15 min) or until fork tender.  Remove pan and squeeze half a lemon over the potatoes.  Toss to coat and serve hot. 

This recipe could easily be used on any of your standard potatoes, and it happens to be Paleo/Perfect Health Diet friendly.  So enjoy!  

Does anyone else cook with this potato?  How have you prepared them?  Even time I go into Target and see they are still there I stock up.  I think I might break down and cry in the middle of the produce aisle the day they are gone. 

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!

Mashed White Sweet Potatoes: A Happy Accident

Deme Crinion2 Comments

I heart sweet potatoes.  I could eat them baked, roasted, mashed...any way you want slice em', dice em' and cook em' up, I'm all for it.  I've just never had one any color other than orange.  We stumbled on a these white sweet potatoes last week and ended up with my new favorite side dish.  Which also happens to be Perfect Health Diet friendly - cha ching!

Now that our Target has a fresh market (and gives me a reason to make completely unnecessary stops), I picked up some sweet taters from there the other day.  I went to peel them, and to my surprise, found a flash of white not orange starting back at me.

I wasn't sure what to do with them, but Google told me that there are indeed white sweet potatoes.  They have a milder taste but can be prepared just the same as their orange counterparts.  So, on we pushed with our mashed sweet potatoes and holy moly, were they delish!

Here's how it went down...

James peeled and sliced them.

It's funny how differently we think.  I would have cut them into chunks.  He sliced them.  No biggie, just cut them up so they cook faster in a pot of boiling water.

We boiled them for about 18min, until they were fork tender.

We weren't sure how to season these bad boys, so we decided to keep it basic.  My genius husband came up with the honey.  I'll be honest...I totally doubted him. But that turned out to be the best decision EVER.

While the cooked potatoes were draining, we tossed a little butter into the still warm pot.  We had 4 very large potatoes and used 2-3 tablespoons of butter.

Once the potatoes had drained, we tossed them back into the pot with the butter and got to mashing. If you like yours really smooth and chunk-free try using a hand mixer.

I don't mind a little chunk :)

Then we added salt and pepper to taste and about 1 1/2 Tbs of honey.

We mashed it until it was well mixed, and served it up with some grilled sausage.

These potatoes have a mild sweet flavor to them and using a few simple ingredients brought them to life.  It's a much more subtle alternative to a sugar laden sweet potato dish smothered in brown sugar and still get the sweet without it smacking you in the face.  This is quickly becoming a regular item on our menu and just might end up on our Thanksgiving menu this year too!

If you follow the Perfect Health Diet or Paleo this dish can easily fit into your diet.  Just stick with grass-fed butter or swap it for almond milk, and use local, pure, raw honey. :)

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!