Nellie’s potato salad, black bean enchilada bake & carrot cake muffins

once or twice a year I make potato salad… salads in general can take a long time to make and potato salad is up there for wrecking most of your afternoon…

this summer though I discovered THE best way to cook potatoes from the garden… 12 minutes on manual in the Instant Pot with about a cup of water…

I like to imagine (seeings how I’m not a scientist) that this is the best way to preserve all the goodness of the potato and guarantee all the goodness is getting into your belly…

like a marriage made in heaven for potato salad lovers, the Instant Pot is also THE best way to hard boil eggs…  5 minutes on manual with 1/2 cup water or so and they are perfectly done and the shell peels off like Clark Kent changing into Superman…

(I’m attempting to get better at sayings… the farmer says I’m terrible… until he reads that)

another summer experiment with bacon that I have to share… THE best way to cook bacon… if you don’t have an open fire and a pitch fork…

cut the bacon into chunks, toss in a pot and cook!  I strain it once and then again at the end and place on paper towel…  perfect bacon…

the nice thing is you can use this strainer for the bacon and potatoes and then throw it in the dishwasher…

I realize I’m making a lot of bold claims as far as best ways to cook things… but get ready for another claim…

THE best potato salad dressing recipe… the farmer has always considered himself to be the best judge of two things… potato salad and chowder…

and he insists that the best recipe for potato salad dressing is Nellie’s…  (don’t tell him but I tweaked it…  and he has no idea)

the way I like to stack up the potato salad is in layers… with each ingredient and dressing and repeat… then into the fridge with it (preferably 6-8 hours or overnight… poor planning only allowed mine to be in a few hours before I had to dish it up)

THE best potato salad

  • Servings: you decide
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  • red potatoes, preferably fresh from the garden
  • hard boiled eggs
  • green onions
  • red onion
  • dill pickles
  • radishes
  • cooked bacon


  • 2 cups good mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard (not dijon… just the good old yellow stuff)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 white vinegar
  • 1 tsp tarragon


  • cook similar sized potatoes (or cut them to similar size) in Instant Pot on manual for 12 minutes with a cup of water
  • cut the potatoes into chewable chunks (carefully so you don’t mush them… mushy potatoes in a potato salad is wrong)
  • cook eggs in Instant Pot with 1/2 cup water on manual for 5 minutes
  • in layers, place ingredients and dressing
  • allow to cool in refrigerator 6-8 hours or overnight

I had leftover cream cheese frosting so the obvious solution was to make carrot cake… the farmer’s solution was to keep taking spoonfuls of icing during his sleepwalking/eating episodes in the night…

we are having a pretty dry spell this summer and my carrots are not getting any larger than this I believe…

exhausted from making potato salad I opted for making these into cupcakes instead of cake…  easier for me and easier for the farmers…

***notice I used orange muffin cups to match the carrots???  cooking for farmers is all in the details***

carrot cake muffins


  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 cups loosely packed, grated carrot
  • 3/4 cup walnut pieces


  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • line muffin tins and spray with cooking oil spray
  • whisk oil, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla
  • in a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices
  • add carrots to the dry mixture
  • add to the egg/sugar mixture and fold
  • using a large ice cream scoop, scoop batter into muffin tins
  • bake for around 20-25 minutes or until firm in the middle
  • remove and allow to cool on wire rack completely
  • when cool, ice with cream cheese frosting

I sliced up some garlic bread from Costco to go with probably my favourite casserole I have ever made.. black bean enchilada bake…

yes… I promised the farmer meat but I bet he didn’t notice I forgot this meal…

scooping this up for 14 farmers tonight I was thankful my kids are gone right now with their grandparents to Kelowna…  no leftovers around here!

this time of year in harvest it gets a little scary to run on the gravel roads as semi’s and tractors and sprayers go ripping by, covering you in dust if they don’t hit you first…

so it’s a great time to get out in the coulee’s with the dogs… harvest sunsets are the best

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