Chopped Potato Salad For a Party

4th of July Facebook Cover Photo

It’s Fourth of July weekend – party time! I love this crowd-pleasing potato salad for two reasons: 1) it’s delicious and 2) no mayo, so its not as risky for hot weather buffets. In fact, I like this salad at room temp or a little warmer, versus right out of the frig or cooler.

Consider this recipe a guideline — be creative! Pick and choose which ingredients you want to add or remove from the salad, and which flavors of vomFASS extra virgin olive oil and vinegar to use. I used the Spanish Red Wine Vinegar in it this week, but White Balsamic, Herb, Apple, or Sherry Vinegars are great too. Use your favorite, but I like tangier, savory vinegars versus sweet in this recipe. There really aren’t any bad combinations! 🙂

Don’t take too light a hand on the salt and pepper; potatoes soak up a lot of flavor. That said, give the dressing and salad a little time for the flavors to bloom before over doing the seasoning. Add, taste, add, taste. And then taste and add again, if needed, before serving. The longer you let the salad sit after assembling, the more the flavors will develop. Leftovers are AWESOME!

By the way, I used all of the dressing recipe on this salad, but its OK if you want a lighter touch of dressing. Just save the leftovers for a steak salad!  If you want to make this recipe vegan, just replace the bacon with vegan bacon crumbles OR use vomFASS Smoky BBQ Extra Virgin Olive Oil for that yummy smoky flavor.

Ingredients – Salad

1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained
1 ½ pound small potatoes (I prefer red potatoes for salad, but white or multi-colored also work.)
1 C. Cherry or grape tomatoes
1 lb French green beans (haricot verts), fresh
3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
1/2 pound bacon, fried or oven-baked until slightly crisp (or replace with vegan bacon)
1 small onion, chopped

 Ingredients – Spicy Honey Mustard DressingPotato-Salad-For-A-Crowd_vomFASS

¼ C. vomFASS Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ C. vomFASS Red Pepper Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 C. vomFASS Herb Vinegar
1 T. honey
2 T. brown mustard
vomFASS Himalayan Sea Salt
Viola’s Pepper with Herbs / Happy Pepper

Directions

Prep: Wash and remove any bad spots from potatoes. Boil potatoes, skin on, until fork inserts easily, but potatoes are still firm. Cool in ice water or refrigerate until ready to assemble. Wash and then steam French green beans for 3 minutes over boiling water, covered. Chill in ice water and refrigerate until ready to make salad. Cook bacon, then drain and crumble or cut into pieces.

Dice potatoes and cut green beans in half, across. Add all salad ingredients to large bowl, adding the salt and pepper to your taste. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Toss the salad to coat with dressing. Refrigerate until serving. Taste and add more salt, pepper and/or vinegar, as needed, before serving.

4th of July American Whiskey Facebook Cover

Summer + Sangria = Sensational!

Summers in the Midwest are short, and therefore incredibly sweet. We savor every moment of sunlight. We come out of our homes and reconnect with neighbors. We play hard. We party like snow and ice are just around the corner, because they are. Sangria Summer Cocktails vomFASS Mall of America Tam

With the Summer Solstice already in the rear view mirror, it’s time to celebrate summer with your favorite people, patio food and refreshing drinks. Sangria fits the bill to a T.

Sangria philosophy

Sangria is originally a Spanish concept that we have embraced and embellished to basically be a light and enjoyable alcoholic fruit punch that you can make with a wide variety of ingredients. The basic recipe includes some combination of these ingredients, with the proportions tweaked to please your preferences:

1 bottle of wine (red, rosé, white)Sangria
1 Cup of bubbly (sparkling wine, club soda, sparkling water, etc.)
1/4 Cup Liqueur and/or 1/4 Cup Spirit (or 1/2 cup of one)
1/4 Cup Fruit juice
1 – 2 Cups Fruit

Preparation

Combine all ingredients except the bubbly in a pitcher. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, and as long as 24 hours. Add the bubbly right before serving, either by adding all at once to the pitcher or topping off each serving with a splash of bubbly. Adding to individual servings allows you to make the sangria as light in alcohol content as the drinker prefers.

The sangria I made for my daughter’s birthday this week included these ingredients:

Bobbie’s Birthday Sangria

1 bottle of rosé wine (Paul Blisson from vomFASS)
1 Cup of sparkling pink lemonade (Trader Joe’s)
1/2 Cup vomFASS Elderflower Liqueur
1 1/2 Cups (approximate) of fruit, including apples, orange slices, blueberries and watermelon (great way to use whatever you have in the frig!)

Prepare as indicated above, using the sparkling pink lemonade as the bubbly. If you want a lighter sangria, just add more sparkling lemonade.

For more delicious, Sangria Recipes click here.Sangria

Enjoy!

Easy Summer Party Food

It’s summer in Minnesota, and if your calendar looks like mine, it’s clear that we all try to IMG_3005pack in as many gatherings as possible with family and friends during the social season – otherwise known as summer, a.k.a. road construction season. And to me, socializing goes hand in hand with fabulous food and drink!

I’ve noticed that my cooking class recipes have had a certain Summer theme: Food and drinks that are fast and easy (because our summers are SUPER busy!), don’t require much heat to prepare (because it IS occasionally hot in Minnesota!), and include ingredients that can be left out for a couple hours at an outdoor party without spoiling (olive oil, balsamic vinegars and spices are great for that!) Of COURSE these dishes are delicious, because otherwise, what’s the point?! (psst! don’t tell anyone they’re pretty healthy, too!)IMG_3003

So here is the handout from one of my recent cooking classes: Mediterranean Lifestyle Summer Party Recipes. Three quick and easy party food recipes and three yummy sangria recipes to get you started on your summer party menu planning. By the way, there are LOTS more recipes from my classes, so if you need more ideas, just stop by vomFASS at Mall of America or call us at (952) 426-3222. Ask to speak to someone about ideas for putting vomFASS products to work on a SMASH HIT menu for your next social gathering, whether you’re hosting or just bringing a dish to pass!

Happy Summer Socializing, fellow foodies!