Posts tagged ‘Party Food’

February 1, 2014

Super Bowl Party!

Here in Colorado, people have gone Super Bowl crazy! We have some die-hard fans in our state and they have been decked out in their orange and blue for weeks now. From the TV news anchors to my office, everyone has Bronco fever. If you are planning your own Super Celebration, here are some of our best ideas to impress your guests!

First, get the grill warmed up and get a smokey twist on Chicken Wings to start things off! While you have that grill all ready, fancy up some Burgers starting with homemade buns. The perfect side for burgers is potato salad, in our family we do it German Style. For an easy main dish that will keep all day, just throw some Chili
together and let guests eat at their leisure. What is a Super Bowl party without Guacamole? Try it Traditional or with a Sweet Twist! Try BBQ in wontons for something different. If you are looking to lighten things up a bit make a colorful Veggie Display or some Baked Chicken Fingers with tons of flavor sure to be a hit. Or bring stadium food home with Soft Pretzels.



July 7, 2013

Patriotic Fruit Salad

Fruit salad is a great addition to any party and always adds a healthy element! This is a simple one with a patriotic twist. Take some red fruits (I used watermelon and strawberries) and sprinkle in some blueberries and a touch of finely chopped fresh mint. Combine and add a bit of festivity to your buffet!!


March 3, 2013

Graduation Party Family Style Recipes

Continuing on our earlier post, Graduation Party Family Style, we bring you the recipes. It is amazing how you find favorites that are always there and reinvent them for a new theme. We do that often in our cooking. Things do always seem to evolve and are rarely exactly the same twice. In addition, we are never afraid to try something new for a party. If it doesn’t come out, we improvise…that is half of the fun! As long as you can find a way to enjoy the party, you have succeeded. Let us know how you like these!

The “No Fork” Menu


Challah Bread

Homemade Rolls – just like the buns we made before only smaller!


Homemade BBQ Sauce: This one deserves its own post, so look out for this to come!

Lemon Aioli: Sans basil; so easy!

Cranberry Chipotle Sauce:

Start with cranberry sauce (ours was saved from Thanksgiving and canned), take one chipotle pepper and 1 tablespoon of the canning sauce and blend all ingredients together. Use as a spread for your sandwich (or on everything, it is so good!) If you wanted to get really creative, you could make it into butter or mayo to make a creamy spread. YUM.

Parmesan Croutons:

Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut stale bread into cubes as desired. Place in a bowl and toss with a sprinkle of olive oil, salt, crushed red peppers, and crushed fresh garlic cloves. Melt about a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium high heat add the bread to lightly toast the croutons. Stir to brown on all sides. Toss with shredded parmesan cheese. Place the skillet in the oven for about 10-20 minutes until mostly dried out. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

Goat Cheese and Pear Appetizer:

Kelly found this recipe for Goat Cheese and Pear appetizer on Pinterest. Just slice the pears (we dipped in some lemon water to reduce browning), then spread goat cheese, and sprinkle with chopped pistachios and dried cranberries. If I was going to do this again, I would make them right before. I don’t think it saved very well, so perhaps best for a smaller group. Also, the original recipe left a bit of space for picking up, which is a great idea. That said, this was a keeper!

Relishes in Jars

Mary found this idea for the relishes on Pinterest, again! Just find some different jars or vases and fill with vegetables. It creates a great color blocked look.

Caesar Salad Spears with Green Goddess Dressing.

The idea for this salad dish was that guests could pick up the individual spears which were already dressed with Green Goddess and Croutons.

For the Green Goddess, we used about 1 cup of our lemon aioli (leave out the basil), ½ bunch of scallions, ½ cup of chopped Italian parsley, anchovy paste to taste (about 1 tsp), 2 cloves garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

For the salad, place spears on a platter and dress in layers. Top with croutons and enjoy!


Elvis Style Cole Slaw

Remember this one? All we did was leave out the basil in the aioli and voila it becomes Elvis Style!

Cupcake Mania

We made homemade Sprinkles Chocolate Frosting. I will not even try to take credit for this frosting. It is AWESOME. Every single time it is great. It is rich and light at the same time. If you have been looking for a great frosting, here it is! We just used a chocolate cake recipe that we had on hand, but we are still in search of the perfect cupcake recipe…let us know if you have one!!

We thought this was a hugely successful party, but wish we had hired some help to better serve the 65 people who came. We would have had a better chance to visit with people. Parties like this are always easier in the summer because you can spread out more and make more targeted areas for food, drinks, etc. Overall, we thought this was one of our best parties. We had a great crowd and a great team effort to pull it off! One of the biggest successes of any party has to do with the people you invite and we had a great crowd! Thanks to everyone who shared this day with us.

& Kelly



February 9, 2013

Graduation Party Family Style

I am thrilled that we have a fantastic guest post courtesy of my Aunts. Mary’s sisters, Diane and Sue, were kind enough to share their take on Ali’s graduation party which they help make happen! Thank you both for all your help and for sharing with Zest!! Keep an eye out for the recipes in a post to come.


We always enjoy cooking together as a family. So, as the out-of-town aunties, (Mary’s sisters), we were so happy come to town and join Mary and Kelly in the planning, shopping, cooking and entertaining for Ali’s graduation celebration in December. And since we got the chance to pitch in, we have the honor of being the guests on ZESTblog to recap this fun party.

Friday was planning and prep day, and Saturday we got to cook all day together! We had so much fun laughing, sharing ideas and trying out new recipes, but mostly being together in the kitchen.

As hostess and chief chef for the party, Mary’s vision for the dinner was a “no fork buffet” to make it fun, interactive and to cut down on utensils. So with this in mind, the menu we came up with for the Saturday night party was all “no fork” dishes:

By the time we got started with the prep on Friday, Mary already had lots of grocery lists and to do lists written up!

We had fun posting a small, hand-written sign in front of each food item, since we had a couple of meat choices and to designate the different and delicious sauces.  Mary’s favorite sign was the “Elvis – Style Slaw for Sliders” because the guests actually followed the instructions and put the coleslaw on their sandwich. (no forks!)

So the menu was set, the each course created and the food stations decided. Every pretty platter in the house was set out with the dishes accented by sauces and signage. Mary seemed pleased at how everything came out.


We were so impressed that there were so many homemade dishes. Most of the sauces and breads were homemade, using either one of Mary’s or Kelly’s tried and true recipes, like the Green Goddess dressing, and some were created that day with last minute ingenuity, like the sauces for the smoked meats. (Also note, the signature drink, in Ali’s school colors.) But all were amazing and delicious:

Challah Bread/ Homemade Rolls

BBQ Sauce

Lemon Aioli

Cranberry Chipotle Sauce

Green Goddess Dressing

Parmesan Croutons

Cupcake Frosting

(Recipes To Come!)


Steve’s Smokin’ Smoked Meats

The entrée was home smoked pork shoulder and beef roast, which we turned into sliders. The meat was prepared by Steve, a very generous family friend and great cook on his home smoker, and Mary asked him to do the honor of opening the buffet. (This is a tradition that our Mom, Del, used to do – pick someone special to “open the buffet”). The meats were served with a variety of homemade rolls and Mary’s beautiful Challah bread, with the various homemade sauces. We added BBQ sauce to half of the pork to make BBQ pulled pork, and we sliced the other half of the pork along with the smoked beef roast for sliders. So tender and tasty, a variety of sliders!

Goat Cheese and Pear Appetizer:

Kelly found this recipe for Goat Cheese and Pear appetizer on Pinterest. Just slice the pears (we dipped in some lemon water to reduce browning), then spread goat cheese, and sprinkle with chopped pistachios and dried cranberries. J

Relishes in Jars

Mary found this idea for the relishes on Pinterest, again! Just find some different jars or vases and fill with vegetables. It creates a great color blocked look.

Caesar Salad Spears with Green Goddess Dressing.

The idea for this salad dish was that guests could pick up the individual spears which were already dressed with Green Goddess and Croutons. (no forks!)


Elvis Style Cole Slaw

Remember this one? All we did was leave out the basil in the aioli and voila it becomes Elvis Style!

Cupcake Mania

We made homemade Sprinkles Chocolate Frosting and had fun decorating regular size and mini cupcakes with Christmas theme sprinkles on top. Specialty theme was Hostess Cupcake swirls on a plain chocolate cupcake, which Ali had requested.

Diane and





March 24, 2012

Last Minute Dinner Party

After getting back from a week away, a friend we hadn’t seen in a long time came into town. That developed into a small dinner party for six. I had to work all day, so here’s how it evolved. Dad went to the store and got some chicken and lettuce. When I got home from work, I took a look at it and sighed. Then got in gear. Took a look in the cupboard. Orzo. That doesn’t take too long.

We had some leftover Jerk sauce and some herbs, so half the chicken went jerk and half went in garlic, olive oil, herb puree to marinade. Set some of the herb mixture aside for the orzo.

Put our guest to work chopping salad (with a glass of wine of course). Kelly made some dressing.

Dessert? Chopped some strawberries, and while we were eating, Kelly put in some of our famous frozen cookie dough. There you have it.

Except for the cookies this all took about 40 minutes to prepare. It went well and I think our guests felt taken care of…anyway we tried.


March 12, 2012

Wing Madness!

What does March Madness mean to you? If you are me, (thanks to my dad and my tenure at an ACC school) it means all basketball all the time! It also means an opportunity to make sports food to keep all of our snacking needs in check. This is something I actually first made for the Super Bowl this year and they were a huge hit! When I was buying wings, I picked up one bag and thought maybe two was a better plan, boy was that the right choice! They were gone in a hurry and I was pretty impressed with this especially for a first try. Like anyone, I love wings, but I don’t love the fried calories that comes with them. These are lightly smoked and then grilled and have so much flavor that I guarantee you won’t miss all the extra fat. For the smoking portion, I used Jack Daniels Wood Smoking Chips. Since I was a little short on time, this was a great option because they provided layers of flavor in one shot and were super easy even on our gas grill. I only smoked them for 25 min and then threw them back over the direct heat. I may try to smoke them a little longer next time, but they were great as is. We used Frank’s Red Hot BBQ Sauce this time because we had it on hand. Though I love the regular wing sauce, I think the BBQ is a little boring, so I threw a few extras in it (think a splash of Jack Daniels to go along with the wood chips and some Tabasco.) You really can use whatever sauce you like but this ended up not too spicy but lots of flavor. Grab some wings, wood chips and your bracket and get ready for the madness!


Smokey Grilled Chicken Wings

3 Dozen Frozen Chicken Wings

1 Bag Jack Daniels Wood Smoking Chips

Aluminum Foil

Frank’s Red Hot Wing/BBQ Sauce

2 T Butter

Salt & Pepper

Wrap dry chips in foil, forming a cylinder shape leaving ends partially open. Place foil wrapped chips on heated lava rocks and turn on the burners leaving the other burners off. Allow the wood chips to heat in the closed grill until you can see smoke.

Place the frozen wings on the cool part of the grill away from the direct burners. Allow to cook for about 25 minutes and cooked through.

Prepare the sauce in a large bowl adding the butter. Remove the wings from the grill and season with salt and pepper then toss with the sauce in the bowl adjusting the amount of sauce as you like.

Turn on the rest of the burners on the grill to medium high. Place the wings back on the grill and cook for 3-5 min on each side until golden and charred.

Serve with blue cheese dressing and celery and carrot sticks. Enjoy!!

March 3, 2012

Mediterranean Party Recipes

As promised, here are some of the recipes from the Mediterranean Party from last weekend. Here is a quick overview:

I am not a huge fan of sangria in general, because I like wine and prefer other sweet drinks. This one however is so fun! How can you go wrong with champagne? I will absolutely use this again, especially on a hot summer day…or for a bridal shower perhaps? I have to say, the favorite had to be the dates. They are rich and sweet and salty and a little spicy and just perfect. The gazpacho tastes like a garden in a glass. Such a great way to add a healthy element and would also be a wonderful first course, especially in the summer. Paella is something you can find a basic recipe for and add your own flare. Use the seafood and veggies you like and it will be lovely. The one thing I do recommend is to use something as your focal point if you are looking to impress. We used a fan of asparagus and scallops in ours, but muscles or lobster on top create a lovely effect as well. The ice cream is like nothing else you have had. It has a wonderful texture and the nuts give it a toasty richness. With the ginger cookies (my staple), a few berries, and a sprinkling of toasted nuts, it was a lovely finish. I can’t wait to hear what you think!



Citrus Champagne Sangria

Combine grapefruit juice, ginger ale, simple syrup (if you like sweetness) with thinly sliced blood oranges, tangerines, and apples overnight. Add half a glass of champagne or white wine to fancy glassware and top with the citrus mixture for fabulous presentation. Make sure some of the fruit makes it to the glass. J

Gazpacho Shooters – Adapted from
Marge Cirinelli’s Twisted Gazpacho

2 cans (11.5 ounces each) tomato juice

Juice from 1 lemon

1 cup fennel, fine dice

1 cup cucumber (1 medium), seeded and peeled, fine dice

2 large carrots, fine dice

1/2 cup red onion (1 small), fine dice

1/2 cup celery (2 stalks), fine dice

1/2 orange bell pepper, fine dice

1 pint sweet 100 or other small cherry tomatoes, stemmed and quartered

2 tablespoons italian parsley, fine chop

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

2-3 tablespoons jalapeño pepper, seeded, fine mince

1/2 cup dry white wine

salt and pepper to taste

splash of tequila

In a bowl, combine tomato juice, lemon juice, fennel, cucumber, red onion, celery, tomatoes, parsley, basil and sherry vinegar. Add olive oil to a small sauté pan along with minced garlic over medium heat, stirring until lightly browned. Add minced jalapeño and cook, stirring for 15 seconds. Add wine and cook until reduced by half. Stir mixture into the gazpacho and chill for 1-2 hours or overnight. Add a splash of tequila. Spoon mixture into shot glasses or small martini glasses.

Note: If you are serving them as shooters, you can use a hand held blender to smooth out the texture a bit, but if you use a fine enough dice, it will work anyway.


Chorizo-Filled Dates

Yield: Makes 12 dates

4 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo, coarsely crumbled

Salt and Pepper

1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley

12 large Medjool dates

6 slices applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise in half

Cook chorizo in heavy small skillet over medium heat until browned and cooked through, stirring frequently and breaking up lumps with spoon, about 5 minutes. Drain off fat; transfer sausage to small bowl. Add parsley; stir to combine. Cool.

Working with one date at a time, cut slit along top of date. Gently pry open date and remove pit, leaving pocket. Stuff pocket with 1 scant tablespoon chorizo mixture. Wrap 1 bacon piece around each date, overlapping ends slightly; fasten ends with toothpick. Place wrapped dates on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 375° oven. Bake the dates for about 20 minutes or until bacon is brown. Remove toothpicks. Serve warm.

Note: I have also made these stuffed with a chunk of parmesan cheese in place of the chorizo and they were also amazing. A combination of the two might be gracing my next party.


Dulce de Leche Ice CreamGourmet, May 2007

Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 pound dulce de leche (about 1 2/3 cups; preferably La Salamandra brand)

1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (2 1/2 to 3 oz), toasted


Bring milk and cream just to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then remove from heat and whisk in dulce de leche until dissolved. Whisk in vanilla and transfer to a metal bowl. Quick-chill by putting bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stirring occasionally until cold, 15 to 20 minutes. Freeze mixture in ice cream maker until almost firm, then fold in pecans. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 1 hour.

Note: We found that it works best if all the ingredients are cold when you add them, so freeze the nuts for a while before adding them.


Ginger Cookies

Courtesy of ‘The SONO Baking Company Cookbook’ by John Barricelli

**Makes about 60 cookies


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 t. baking soda

¼ t. coarse salt

1 t. ground cinnamon

1 t. ground cloves

1 t. ground ginger

1 cup sugar, plus ¾ cup for rolling

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large egg, at room temperature

¼ cup unsulfured molasses


In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. Beat in the egg and molasses until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture beating until combined. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled, about an hour (and up to 24 hours).

Arrange the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick silicone baking mats; set aside. Place the extra sugar for rolling on a plate; set aside. Use a 1 ½-inch ice cream scoop to scoop out the dough, and roll balls in the sugar to coat, and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time, rotating the sheet two-thirds of the way through the baking time, until the cookies are deep golden brown and the centers are firm, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack and let cool completely. Continue to roll and bake the remaining cookies in the same way.

Note: I like to keep these in the freezer. To do so, scoop into balls and roll in sugar then place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap and freeze for several hours. Once the dough is frozen, place the dough in a freezer bag. Bake as usual using the frozen dough, no need to defrost. These will keep for several months in the freezer and are a great thing to have on hand for unexpected guests or late night cravings! Also, if you want to get really fancy make them into ice cream sandwiches…yum!

July 5, 2011

Americana Steak

How did you spend America’s birthday? We spent the weekend entertaining our wonderful family who came to town. Our tour included lots of Colorado highlights and classic American activities including golf, baseball, and BBQ. We kicked off the weekend with this fabulous steak that has quickly become a favorite to make for guests. This mustard marinade makes the steak tender and gives it a fabulous flavor while the accompaniments round out the dish. Bonus, you can make the marinade and sauces ahead and leave the steak to soak in the fridge all day. I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but most are pantry items that you will have around. Trust me, this never fails to impress!

We hope you had a HAPPY 4th!


Mustard Steak with Watercress Sauce

Courtesy of the ‘Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook

3 ½ pounds steak (ie- hanger or New York strip)


5 cloves garlic, minced

2 t peeled and minced fresh ginger

¼ c soy sauce

1 T yellow, black, or brown mustard seeds, lightly toasted

2 T Dijon mustard

2 T coarse-grain mustard

¼ c extra virgin olive oil

¼ c sherry vinegar

1 t freshly ground black pepper

½ t salt

Watercress Sauce:

½ c mayonnaise

¼ c sour cream

1 t chopped shallots

2 cloves garlic

½ bunch watercress, coarse stems removed

1 ½ t Dijon mustard

1 t freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pinch of salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Trim any surface fat, and tenderize your steak. Cut into equal size steaks. To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Place the steaks in a nonreactive dish, pour the marinade over them, cover, and marinade in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours maximum. If you marinate the longer than 12 hours, the marinade macerates (slightly cooks) the meat enough that it will no longer cook up rare.

To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a food processer or blender and whirl until bright green and pureed to a desired consistency. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Grill the steaks over medium-hot fire for 3-5 minutes, rotating them a quarter turn to make nice crosshatch grill marks when the meat moves freely and no longer sticks to the grill. Flip the steaks and cook for another 3-5 minutes, again rotating the steaks to make nice grill marks. Let steaks rest for five minutes before serving.

You can either serve whole steaks, or do as we do and slice the steak. Serve with the sauce and our trusty onion jam.

We also served succotash…look out for that later this week!

June 2, 2011

Burgers and Buns

In preparation for the holiday weekend, Friday at lunch I pulled together some hamburger bun dough. I know this seems insane, since I work full time. If I didn’t have a KitchenAid, I wouldn’t do it. It only took about 15 minutes to do.

Instead of letting it rise, punching down, etc. I put the dough in the fridge to be dealt with later.

The buns are from Peter Reinhart’s book “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread.” I chose version 2 only because I didn’t have any whole milk in the house but I had some buttermilk. I think I would like to try the recipe with whole milk because I thought these came out a little crumbly, but I live at altitude. But, it’s totally worth making these even if it is the only bread you make.


Homemade Hamburger Buns

4 ¼ c. unbleached bread flour

1 ½ tsp. salt

3T sugar

2 tsp. instant yeast

1 large egg, slightly beaten at room temperature

¼ c Butter, margarine or shortening at room temp.

1 ½ buttermilk or whole milk at room temperature

1 egg wisked with 1tsp water until frothy, for egg wash

Sesame or poppy seeds for garnish

  1. Mix together flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the electric mixer. Pour in the egg, butter and 1 ½ cups plus 1T water. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment till all flour is absorbed and the dough forms a ball. If the dough seems very stiff and dry, trickle in more water until the dough is soft and supple.

  2. Mix on med. Speed with the dough hook adding more flour if necessary to create a dough that is soft, supple and tacky but not sticky. Continue mixing for 6-8 minutes. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl, but stick slightly to the bottom. Dough should pass the windowpane test and register 80°F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  3. Ferment at room temperature for 1 ½ or 2 hours or until double in bulk (the length of time will depend on the room temperature).

  4. Remove the fermented dough, turn onto a floured board and divide into 12-3 oz. pieces. Shape pieces into tight rounds. Mist the dough lightly with spray oil and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Allow to rest about 20 minutes.

  5. Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment or a Silpat. Gently press down on the rolls to form desired shape. Transfer to the sheet pans.

  6. Mist tops of the dough with spray oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Proof the dough at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until it nearly doubles in size.
  7. Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush the buns with the egg wash and garnish with poppy or sesame seeds if desired.

  8. Bake the buns for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden brown and register just above 180°F in the center.

  9. Buns should cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

Gourmet Burgers

Burgers are one of those things that you can make into whatever you want. There are endless combinations and ideas for what you can make them out of, stuff them with, or top them with. Take these as options as suggestions, but make them your own. Be as creative as you can!

Serves 6

2 ¼ Lb. Ground Beef

Salt & Pepper



Shredded Parmesan Cheese for Frico

Blue Cheese

Onion Jam



Homemade BBQ Sauce (Stay Tuned…)

Divide the meat into 6 oz. portions. Shape into balls then press into hamburgers gently trying not to compact the meat too tightly. Make a slight indentation with your thumb in the middle of each patty (one side only). If possible, let rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Season the patties with coarse salt and pepper. Grill over high heat for 4-5 minutes, flip and cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes. Remove from grill and let sit covered for 5 minutes before serving. Top with any combination of ingredients that suits your fancy! Some suggestions: BBQ with Blue Cheese or Onion Jam with Frico. What are your favorites?

To make Frico, heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add ¼ c. of cheese to the center of the pan. Let cook until the cheese firms up enough to flip it over. Take a spatula and gently flip the frico, let crisp on the other side. Remove from pan and let cool on a Silpat or parchment. The frico will be pliable when warm and you can place it over a bowl or cup to shape it for other uses. For burgers, just let cool into a disc to be placed on top.

Burger with frico and onion jam…yum!

Do your life to spice up your burger or do you prefer something more traditional? Tell me about your favorites!!


June 1, 2011

Great-Grandma’s German Potato Salad

This recipe is a long time family favorite from my great-grandma. She emigrated from Hungary in the early 1900’s with her mother and 8 siblings. With another family with 9 kids, they made the tough journey through Ellis Island to St. Louis to join the fathers who had already come to America to work. It really is quite the story with the 18 children all miraculously being well enough to make it through Ellis Island at the same time. Then on the train trip, the mothers got off the train to get some food for the children and the train left without them. None of them spoke English, but as always told in the family, “panicked mother is a universal language” and they were somehow reunited, and here we are four generations later. Anywho…back to the recipe!

According to my aunt, Great-Grandma always said if you are making this for children; add a little extra sugar to cut the tartness of the vinegar. I never liked traditional potato salad since I am not a huge fan of mayonnaise, but this was something I always looked forward to. I love the crunch the celery and onion added to the soft potatoes. Not to mention, bacon makes everything better! The sweet and sour dressing is a childhood memory that always brings back memories. I remember making it with my grandma and lots of us helping. Always such fun! It is a little time consuming, but worth the effort as it makes a large amount and keeps well. Let us know what you think!


“Grandma always used to make this for picnics with fried chicken. I remember when I was too little to like the potato salad, Grandma would leave a few boiled potatoes out for me, and sprinkle them with salt.”


German Potato Salad

10 Small Potatoes

1 Onion

2 Celery Sticks

2 t. Salt

5 Slices Bacon

½ c. Water

½ c. White Vinegar

4 T. Sugar

2 T. Flour

2 T. Parsley (finely chopped)

Boil potatoes for 45 min. Drain and allow to stand covered for 30 minutes. Chop the bacon, fry until crisp, then drain on paper towels. Pour off half the grease. Add to it water, vinegar and sugar. Thicken sauce with a slurry of the flour and a couple tablespoons of water. Finely chop the celery and onion. Slice the cooled potatoes and combine with vegetables and bacon in a LARGE bowl (trust me on this one). Pour the dressing over the potato mixture and mix gently, trying not to break up the potatoes too much. Add the chopped parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings. Can be served immediately while warm or made ahead and refrigerated.

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