Sunday, May 29, 2016

*** NEW LOCATION!!! ***

Hi there!

Are you looking for The Larissa Monologues? I've moved to a new place:

Head over there, and join me!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

Hi, let's talk potato salad.

It's an important topic, because every single picnic and potluck always somehow ends up with potato salad somewhere on the table. And not every potato salad is created equal. Some are delicious, some are just plain gross.

Here is a quick rundown on the common problems with potato salad:
  • Too much mayonnaise. Stop ruining good potato salad, mayonnaise. I get that you add a nice creamy factor, but you often ruin a dish because you don't know the word "moderation."
  • Undercooked potatoes. I've been guilty of this one. Sometimes the potatoes aren't quite cooked enough, and your potato salad is just a tad too crunchy with a raw potato flavor. Yuck.
  • Pickles or relish. Just no on this. I like pickles just fine on their own. But they have zero business overwhelming my potato salad. 
  • Dill. Dill is one of the most unpleasant tastes. Maybe if it's subtle, fine. If potato salad has too much dill it will be rejected on my paper plate with the overly-vinegared pasta salad. 
So what makes a good potato salad? Simplicity. Potato salad should be tasty enough to eat a spoonful by itself, but also needs to partner up with the main dishes like pulled pork. It needs enough salt & pepper to taste the dish. And yes it needs something creamy. I add plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, which gives a nice light tanginess. Add some celery and onion for crunch, and you've got yourself a winning potato salad. 

Potato Salad

recipe by Larissa Marks
print this recipe

Prep time: 10
Cook time: 15
Total time: 20
Yield: 6-8 servings

  • 3 pounds small white or red potatoes
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain or Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
Cooking Directions

Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mustard, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in quarters or in half, depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten.

Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Cheesy Artichoke Dip

Is cheesy artichoke dip still cool or does it feel too early 2000's? Maybe its day has passed.

I don't really care, because I think it's delicious. Creamy, salty, and cheesy, this dip needs to be served hot (read: melty) with a side of chips or crackers. Prep time is quick, since you're simply mixing ingredients together and popping it into the oven. I recommend having this as an appetizer or afternoon snack.


Cheesy Artichoke Dip

print this recipe

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
salt & pepper to taste
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a small baking dish.

In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, yogurt, parmesan, garlic, basil, garlic salt, salt & pepper. Stir in artichokes.

Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake in oven until melted and lightly browned on top, about 25 minutes. Serve hot with chips or crackers. Makes 8-12 servings.