This past weekend was a significant reminder as to why I wanted to start blogging about food, family, and fun.  Saturday, my older brother turned 40, and Sunday, of course, was Easter.  In a strange turn of events, I hosted my family for dinner both nights.  For some, it seems daunting, but I looked at this way, the table was already set, so it was just a matter of changing my mind set when I was planning out my weekend shopping and cooking.

Here is a little organizational pro-tip.  WRITE IT DOWN!  It sounds silly, but it keeps you organized and on task.  Writing a plan also allows you to see where you may have weaknesses and strengths, where you can buy time, and where you can’t.  And just like that you can be hosting two dinners two nights in a row.

Here is a little of mine vs Chef’s.  Keeping in mind, mine covered three days, his is just from one.


Alright.  Moving on.

Does your family have holiday classics?  Maybe you always have ham or lamb on Easter, and prime rib on Christmas, and your Uncle Joe roasts a whole pig for July 4th.  Yes, that’s my family.  And our Easter menu hasn’t changed too much over the years.

Ham, deviled eggs, salad, rolls, sometimes pineapple souffle, coconut cake and Ultimate Potato Salad.  (Disclaimer – this recipes makes A LOT,  I like that because everyone gets  to take some home. This recipe also tastes best the day after it’s made.  But don’t ask my brother Luke, he disagrees.)

As you can likely see from above, I assembled this Saturday, to serve Sunday.

I started out by boiling 5 pounds of red potatoes, evenly chopped.  Once boiled, drain and set to the side to allow to cool.

While the potatoes were coming up to a boil, I oven baked 1 pound of applewood smoked bacon.  And hard boiled 5 eggs.  As the potatoes were cooling, I chopped one bunch of celery, and the bacon.
I put the celery and bacon in the largest bowl I own.  6 quarts to be exact.
In a separate bowl, I combined sour cream, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper for the sauce.
Once the potatoes were cool to the touch, I put them in the bowl with the celery and bacon, plus shredded cheddar cheese, the five eggs, rough chopped, and lastly the sauce.
Then I stood there thinking several things. This bowl is never as big as I imagine.  I really wish I had grabbed some plastic kitchen gloves from the restaurant because mixing by hand would be so much easier.  That I should have made extra for my Uncle Greg.  And lastly, I knew my sister in law Casey would be so happy for some of these leftovers.

I grabbed my biggest mixing spoon and went to town.  Throwing some scallions on top for good measure.
First bite.  Mmmm. Mmmm.  Good.


Here is something unique about taking food pictures.  I take them up close because I want you to see the food, but I also don’t want you to see the Legos, the paper towels, the homework sheets, Darth Vadar gum dispenser, and litany of other things hanging out in my kitchen, however, as I was gathering all my ingredients, I realized you need space for this recipe.  It doesn’t take long to assemble, but you need space, and so I snapped this pre0-assembly, and now you can see what lives on my kitchen counters, and one day, years from now, when I remodel, I will still take food pictures up close, so you don’t see the litany on those counters, either.

Ultimate Potato Salad
Serves many (20), and can easily be halved for 10.
5 lbs red potatoes, chopped, and boiled until fork tender
5 hard cooked eggs, rough chopped
1 lb bacon, chopped
1 celery bunch, chopped
2 cups sour cream
2 cups mayonnaise
salt and pepper
8 oz shredded cheddar, I prefer sharp
1 bunch of scallions, sliced

In a large bowl, combine in the following order to make mixing easier, celery, bacon, potatoes, cheese, and eggs.
In a separate bowl, combine, the sour cream, mayo, and salt and pepper.  Pour into the potatoes.  Mix well. Taste test to see that seasoning is good, add s&p if needed.  Top with scallions.  Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.