Creamy Ham and Potato Soup

It was feeling a little like fall last week – crisp mornings, a cool breeze and a chance to turn off the air conditioning. I took advantage of it to make a creamy ham and potato soup only to have summer temps and humidity come back with a vengeance. While I love summer, I’m looking forward to fall.

Back to the soup, it was delicious and even my daughter who “HATES” soup, enjoyed it. I love that it is creamy but doesn’t use dairy … so I can eat it without feeling not so great. I loved the addition of the ham – just a bit of salt and the kale really added another flavor level. It was filling too and the leftovers are great for lunch!


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Slow Cooker Au Gratin Potatoes

My husband is always asking me to make au gratin potatoes and last time I made them, they didn’t turn out so well. I knew it was time again and I came across a recipe that uses a slow cooker. I was a little hesitant to try it out, but they came out perfect. Even better as leftovers! The potatoes were cooked through and the cheese sauce was perfect. It was a big hit at our Easter dinner!

Slow Cooker Au Gratin Potatoes | Join Us, Pull up a Chair
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Pesto Roasted Potato Salad

I’m always on the hunt for new side dishes to make for picnics and this one was a unique twist on a traditional salad. I’m not a fan of potato salad, so I rarely make it, but when I saw this recipe, it was one that I knew I would like. It’s different and wasn’t a big hit at my son’s birthday party, but breaking traditions with family doesn’t always go as planned.

Roasting the potatoes made a big difference and I loved that the recipe was made without mayo. Plus you can’t go wrong with using pesto and avocado! When I made this, I skipped the step of boiling the potatoes and will do that the next time I make this salad. Our potatoes were a little more crunchy then soft and there were a few complaints. Oh well. Regardless, definitely give this recipe a try for your next summer picnic!
Pesto Roasted Potato Salad | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

3 cups Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 small red onion, diced
Handful of fresh chives, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 avocado
½ cup fresh basil
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 – 4 splashes of hot sauce
Salt & fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Boil the cubed potatoes in salted water for 5 to 8 minutes until they are partially cooked. They should be able to be pricked with a fork, but not fully cooked. Drain and transfer to a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium pan, toast the walnuts. Transfer ½ cup of the toasted walnuts into a food processor. Add in the garlic, avocado, basil, lemon juice and hot sauce. Process until the pesto is smooth and creamy.

In a large bowl, toss together the roasted potatoes, diced red onion, chives and remaining ½ cup of walnuts. Add about ¾ of the pesto to the potatoes and stir to coat. Add more pesto if you want the salad to be wetter. The remaining pesto is great to top with pasta or as condiment on a sandwich.

Source: Ceara’s Kitchen