I’ve taken leave.
Of my senses (nothing new there) … And of my home (new).
I’ve been away this week. But you haven’t missed me, have you? Because I’ve been here, with you. Normally, I’m in one place. Now, I’m in another.
But it’s all the same to you, right? Here, there. Whatev.
Except it isn’t all the same, really. In this foreign kitchen. With its history of gluten, its creepy spices and its questionable utensils.
Did I mention that I have no baking powder? Any yeast? Nope. None of that. Vanilla? Negative. Nary a second, spare lemon in my kitchen.
And I won’t even tell you about how I’m caught without a food processor or my beloved Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I don’t want to frighten you, my pet.
On the plus side, I do have some darling little potatoes, a pot (my own – no foreign pots, ’cause ew), some condiments, some herbs, an onion or two, some cole slaw mix. And a dream.
It’s like this, you see. We got a sweetheart of a deal on a house rental on Cape Cod, and we jumped on it. It’s super special and pretty here, & we’ve had a great week of weather. The mini earthquake has given me just the excuse I needed to run an endless loop of I Feel the Earth Move in my little head. The beach is beautiful, and there’s tons of gluten-free restaurants. A bazillion. An embarrassment of gluten-free riches, most of them relatively inexpensive.
It’s been lovely, really.
Since I’m not really used to going out to restaurants (for dinner or any other reason), I’ve had to work on my out-of-the-house etiquette a bit. You know how it goes. No blogging at dinner. No clearing the table myself. That sort of thing. But I’m managing. Throw in some lamaze breathing to get me past paying someone else to cook for me (a serious conflict with my natural cheap-ness), and I’m right as rain.
This week, I’m responsible for breakfast [‘course, I brought a popover pan and some Better Batter?] and lunch [sandwiches on Quick Sandwich Bread that I made ahead and froze, since it freezes beautifully, plus some sides].
Dinner is out in the mad, mad, mad, mad world.
Being mostly out of the kitchen is starting to back up on me, though [remind me of that, would you, when I’m back at home, chained to the stove?]. I can tend to live in my head. Baking pulls me out of it. Out of the box. Out of my head, but not out of my mind [clearly, there’s room for disagreement on that one].
I was able to MacGyver some pretty tasty, down-home side dishes. And then I was thinking of you, and how you might like them, too.
They’re simple food, but they hit the spot. With barely any effort, the potatoes are boiled until they’re juuuuust fork tender. Then they’re tossed with a creamy and bright mix of sour cream and freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon will do, which is good since that’s all I have), and sprinkled with chopped dill. The cole slaw is the good restaurant kind. It’s not too tart, not too sweet. It’s impressive the first day, a home run the second.
I can’t figure out how to do two printable recipes, so the potato salad will be printable. The cole slaw will be a DIY deal for printing.
What are your favorite summer side dishes? What dishes can’t you live without, even when you’re away from home?
|Sour Cream & Dill Potato Salad|
- 2 1/2 to 3 pounds red skin potatoes
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup sour cream (low-fat is fine, nonfat is not)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons dried)
- Wash the potatoes and place them whole in a large pot of water. Cover, and bring the water to a boil over high heat, and then remove the pot from the heat. With the pot still covered, allow the potatoes to sit in the hot water in the pot for 30 minutes (no peeking). After 30 minutes, quickly check to see if the potatoes are just fork tender (the tines of the fork should go in smoothly, and with just a bit of resistance). If they are not ready, allow to sit for another 10 minutes, and check again. Drain and allow to cool.
- While the potatoes are cooling, in a large bowl, place the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice salt, pepper and dill, and mix until well combined.
- Once the potatoes are cool, chop into 1/2 to 3/4 inch chunks, with the skin on. Place the potatoes into the large bowl of dressing, and toss gently until well combined.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
Not for nothing, but my kids l-o-v-e this cole slaw. No, they’re not 80 years old and retired to Florida. They just know a good thing when they see it (except when they don’t, but for now, they do).
Restaurant-Style Cole Slaw
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (white wine vinegar is a great substitute)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/3 cup sugar (or less, if you like)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 small red onion, chopped
1 16 ounce bag cole slaw mix (works equally well with broccoli slaw mix)
1. In a large bowl, place the mayonnaise, vinegar, oil, sugar and salt, and mix until well combined.
2. Add the onion and cole slaw mix on top of the dressing, and toss to coat well. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving. It’s even better chilled until the next day.
Enjoy the weekend. Fingers crossed for a downgrade of the hurricane up the east coast to a tropical storm. Be safe.
Nikki (Nicole if you’re nasty)