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the sign of a good vacation

Recipe: german roasted potato salad

With the exception of our dysfunctional ghetto neighbors to the east, the rest of our neighbors are truly wonderful people. One day as I was walking Kaweah past Marcus’ house, I asked him how their vacation was. He replied from their deck, “It was great! But it’s also nice to be home. I think that’s what a good vacation is: feels good to get away, feels great to come back home.” I would have to agree with Marcus 100%.

familiar fountains at denver international welcome us back

And it *is* good to be home because a cold spell has barreled through our region and it was down right chilly last night – near freezing. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me, to think of crisp fall days and then… TELE SEASON! But I am getting ahead of myself here. It was chilly enough that we used warm water to wash Kaweah after picking her up from Camp Crazy (doggy camp). Yes, this dog who dives paws first into freezing ice cold alpine lakes slinks away from us when we use warm water for her bath.

not everyone was thrilled to get home

The final days of our trip were spent with my grandma in the bay area. We ate fantastic Chinese food and enjoyed QT with a spry 87-year old who puts the rest of us to shame. Her spunk, her mental acuity, her positive attitude and independence are a true inspiration.

awesome lobster e-mien

You can peruse photos from the trip on my photo blog. There are just too many to post here. Oh, and the Perseids were not a failure per se, but I wouldn’t call them a success. I managed to capture 4 shooting stars out of 150 exposures and they are small ones, not the gorgeous streakers I happened to witness in quadrants that my camera wasn’t pointed at.

the huntington gardens
todd and diane (white on rice couple), the kielys
piute pass (first backpack)
mono lake
thousand island lake (second backpack)
reno, tahoe, bay area

After we washed the dog and all of our incredibly stinky backpacking clothes, after unpacking, after getting ourselves situated back into “normal” mode, we crashed – exhausted. Vacation isn’t vacation for me unless I’m totally spent. Jeremy sweetly asked me if I had a good vacation. Before I could answer he rephrased the question, “Did you meet all of your intended goals?” Yes. No snafus, no serious issues – it was mostly good.

and the oscar goes to…
I want to thank everyone for writing in to share your idea of the perfect vacation. I was totally entertained reading what different people enjoy doing. I have to say my favorite was Peabody‘s cage diving among Great White sharks because it was so original and because it suits her snarky personality! So Sunday night, Jeremy generated three random numbers in Python from 1 to 139 (sorry Liz, you didn’t quite make it in time): 40 (Manggy), 35 (Mrs. Ergul), and 73 (Cindy in Canada). Then Monday morning…

three dog treats to choose from

Each number was assigned a dog biscuit color: Manggy was red (pink), Mrs. Ergul was green, and Cindy was brown. Then we let the pup decide.

a beeline for green!

Congratulations Mrs. Ergul! You have won a photo! Send me an email with your choice of photo and color of mat along with your mailing address. I will ship it out to you this week! Thanks to all of you for participating. More than anything, it was wonderful to get to know some of you through your candid replies. I hope you all get to experience your ideal vacation over and over again.

funny, as in ha ha?
Curiously enough, my dad informed me that he has begun to read this blog. While some people’s parents are an intimate part of their lives, much of what I do passes under my dad’s radar. It’s nothing personal, he is busy doing his own thing and I really don’t need someone following my every move as if they don’t have a life of their own. I like that my parents have their own lives. I like that they don’t dote on me or else I might become some self-obsessed, delusional ninny in constant need of reassurance and praise. If there is one thing I am grateful for that my dad has given me, it is learning to suck it up and deal with whatever life throws at you. He is one tough SOB and so am I. Okay, but here is the funny thing. He told me not to use the “f-word” in my writing. I laughed. I *like* the f-word, but I don’t use it excessively, do I? Well, I’m still going to use it when I feel I need that extra special emphasis.

It looks as if that wonderous cold spell is leaving us. So perhaps another month of barbecue and salads before I can sink my hands into soups, stews, crock pot dishes, braises, and enjoy the beauty of slow-cooking a cheap cut of meat on a cold day – transforming it into the most tender of dishes. Right. I still have salads in my archives and on the brain! Nothing beats the fresh produce of summer.

main ingredients: yukon gold potatoes, bacon, parsley, and shallots

A while ago I had to alter a barbecue menu because one of my guests was allergic to soy, dairy, and chicken. I searched around and came upon a recipe for German Potato Salad. I tend to prefer vinegary salads over creamy salads, so I decided to give it a try.

mix potatoes and shallots with oil, pepper, and salt before roasting

Instead of boiling the potatoes, I decided to roast them. One of the best salads I ever had was a roasted potato salad that my pal, Carrie, had brought over to our place many years ago. That was before I understood what the heck roasting was.

mmmm, bacon and parsley

Of course, you can’t go wrong with bacon. It makes a dish. It makes up for any flaws that may exist because of other ingredients. Bacon is like duct tape. Bacon is all powerful.

mix with roasted potatoes

The salad went over well, although I probably could have roasted it longer (when juggling 6 dishes to serve together for dinner, I sometimes forget to check the doneness of things in the oven). It is best served warm.

mayonnaiseless goodness

German Roasted Potato Salad
[print recipe]
based on Authentic German Potato Salad

3 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, washed and cut into medium chunks
6 shallots, peeled and sliced
3 tbsps olive oil
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 tbsps chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tbsps water
3 tbsps white sugar
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss the potatoes with shallots, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour the potatoes into a baking pan and roast the potatoes for 40 minutes (turn the potatoes every 12 minutes or so). Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, sugar, water, salt, and pepper in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the potatoes. Add the bacon and parsley. Mix together and serve warm.

36 nibbles at “the sign of a good vacation”

  1. Cate says:

    Two observations:
    your dog is INSANELY cute!
    and also, that potato salad recipe has me drooling.

  2. Rosa says:

    Welcome back!

    Those dog pictures are awesome! Such a cutie .pie!

    A very appetizing salad! Tasty and comforting!



  3. White On Rice Couple says:

    Congrats to Mrs. Ergul!! How fun to have Kaweah pick like that. What a fantastic prize too. Can’t wait for the next contest!!

    Hey Manggy! Sorry about the loss, Mr. Pink/Red. Heeee,heeee! Maybe it’s an omen that anything in Rouge might not best suit you! ;) Yeah, I’m being bratty. :P Maybe if ya make it to the final three next time, have Jen assign you some “cool” tones. :)

    So glad to see that you had an awesome, safe trip. Welcome back home. Make room for us….soon! BTW- Sierra has been a very bad girl. We’ll have to tell ya about it later.

  4. Manggy says:

    Aw man! Well, I’m glad; that’s the luckiest I’ve ever been in a random drawing! I think the next time is definitely it! (Aw, don’t look at me like that, I did WELL in math! Ha ha ha!) Congratulations, Pei Yin! I was considering begging and groveling for a pic but that just wouldn’t be fair :P (Plus, it’s more likely to irritate you than convince you…)

    I’d rather my parents didn’t know my blog. I have a feeling my mom reads it but she’s cool enough not to talk about it with me. I’d rather they just ate!

    I still think the best vacation is one which makes home feel suckier, lol. I’m kidding, I’m sure you’re looking very much forward to tele delights! How many more months will it take?

    It’s been an age since I’ve had a vinegar-based potato salad but I do prefer it to mayo-based ones too! It’s kind of like a cross between a potato salad and a pickle– perfect for the side of my grilled sausage!

  5. Mollie says:

    Bacon is like Duct Tape. awesome. That is the quote of the day for sure! Love Miss K as the game show host. Perfect.

    I’m glad you had fun/got exhausted – sounds like a great time. Love the recipe too… yummmmmm. I can’t wait to see your fall foods. I’m so ready for fall…

  6. Margie says:

    Well darn-it, I SO wanted to win, but more importantly, I want to be a good sport: KUDOS to you, Mrs. Ergul! (please feel free to foward your prize to ME so that I can ‘judge’ it…it shouldn’t take me too long). ;)

    Jen & Jeremy, welcome home! Yes, it is fun to leave, but rewarding to set foot back upon ones own landing. I am savorying the pics. I told myself I will come later and enjoy, without interrruption, feasting my eyeballs on your wonderful jaunts. You packed a whole lot of WHAM factor into your miles. What a way to go!

    Potato salad sounds good for breakfast, especially the German-style. I tell myself it is fewer calories, than the mayo type, but I’m not so sure after the quantity is eaten. I consume massive amounts. Bacon and vinegar have a thing for me.

    Enjoy that puppy doggie a bit for me too. My yellow lab sends hugs. :)

  7. Rachel (S[d]OC) says:

    That potato salad looks great. I’m someone who isn’t all that fond of potatoes, but lately the blogs have been making me crave them with all of the good recipes I’ve been seeing. Bacon makes everything better, doesn’t it?

    You are returning to CO and I just left it this past weekend after going to Denver for a business trip for the first time. I never saw that fountain at the airport. I feel deprived!

  8. Kitty says:

    German potato salad was a staple in my house when I was growing up (my mom is German). I love the stuff and make it now that I am an adult. I’ve never roasted the potatoes, but that sounds delicious! I will give it a try.

  9. Patricia Scarpin says:

    This is the cutest way of choosing something! :)
    I’m glad to hear you had fun. This salad looks delicious and is very similar to one I had growing up at my grandmother’s (she was German).

  10. bettina says:

    awwww i absolutely LOVE your dog. i have a yellow lab and a lab husky mix. labs are soooo adorable! hehe doggy camp :D

  11. Madeline says:

    Haha, your dog looks exactly like mine when it’s bath time, oh the horror! ;) Your potato salad looks great. I love Yukon Golds. I’m going to try it this weekend.

  12. Amanda says:

    I’m nicking this recipe to try it with some steak and asparagus this weekend for a romantic date night!

  13. victoria says:

    Yes, roasting is the way to go. I even roast veggies that I turn into soup. Just develops the flavors in a way that steaming/boiling just can’t. Great salad.

  14. Mrs Ergül says:

    While life has not been sailing too smoothly for the past month, this came as a very pleasant surprise! I thank you, Jeremy and last but not least Kaweah for this! I have never had the luck in lucky draws kinda thing. I’m blessed to receive a brilliant photo from you for my first successful attempt at being lucky! I will be emailing you now ;)

    The roasted salad looks fab! And I totally agree with “feels good to get away, feels great to come back home” and that’s not because I got lucky! xxoo

    Thanks all for their congratulations! I will post it up as soon as I get my hands on it :D

  15. giz says:

    Absolutely fabulous photos – love them
    Please visit our blog for a surprise.

  16. Tartelette says:

    I have Bailey on my lap and his head went up when he saw Kaweah…I think he is crushing :)
    So happy you had a great vacation, it was about time to do the things you wanted to do and not the one you had to!

  17. peabody says:

    I would like to thank the academy….umm, wait, wrong award. Me snarky, never. ;P
    We are having a cold spell as well, and I am loving it…come to me oh Fall weather. My oven is calling you.
    Yummy looking potato salad, but then again, I love anything with bacon.

  18. Tim says:

    That looks great! I’m not crazy about most potato salads (you know, the ones with a seemingly equal weight of potato and store-bought mayonnaise), but this is right up my alley. I tried something similar once with a bit of grain mustard, which worked well.

  19. cindy says:

    We had a chilly night here as well, and I thought the same thing: Ski season coming up! I remember when I used to be so sad at the end of the summer; now I tap my toe waiting for it to be over. Let’s face it: I look much better in ski duds than a swimsuit. I’m off to a ski sale this weekend–whoohoo!

    Love those Yukon golds. I’ve experimented all over the place with other fancy types and always come back to Yukons. Bacon the duct tape? Surely, but isn’t it hard to stop eating the bacon so there’s some left for the recipe?

  20. Lori says:

    Congrats All (love that adjective, snarky). Welcome back- looking forward to weeing yummies on your site again. Me- I am so sad that I will not have those flowers in my bathroom upstairs. I was imagining how the peach would look against the pale blue…. so sad. How much do they sell for?

  21. Victoria says:

    Looks SO good, and I really appreciate a mayo-less recipe, I HATE mayo and BBQ sides are always difficult.

  22. Elizabeth says:

    Welcome Home!
    The vacation was great. I just love camping when I can do it from my computer! Too bad the Perseids photos did not turn out but maybe you will try again next year. It was great fun to read about your visit with White On Rice on your blog and theirs. The food blogging world just got a little bit smaller. (in a good way)

    As I read that your father had become a reader of your blog I thought…”I wonder what he thinks of curse words?” I have been known to let one or two curse words slip, (Okay, I can curse like a sailor) but if my children were the source of a foul word or my father might overhear me suddenly my standards are different. go figure.

    Again, Welcome home.

  23. Colleen says:

    WOW!! Fantastic vacatio, dog, food and photos. Well done, enjoy settling in and starting life after vacation ;) Lovely blog you have.

  24. mochachocolatarita says:

    mmm bacon!

  25. Anita says:

    What a great vacation you had! Thanks for sharing – and the dog is just too cute!:) Yes, next time you come out west you’ll have to stop by:) Btw, I’ll have to make that gorgeous potato salad for Mike – oddly enough, for a Midwestern boy he hates mayo so none of that gross greasy mayo-ey potato salad for me!

  26. mimi says:

    that’s funny cuz i just returned from vaca myself, and although we had an absolutely amazing time, i was so happy to be back on the plane to JFK. and i was so confused on how i could have both feelings at the same time. and of course, the potato salad looks awesome, i love german style.

  27. jenyu says:

    Cate – she is both insane and cute :) Thanks!

    Rosa – thank you, dear.

    WoRC – ha ha, you are too funny, teasing Mark like that! oh noooo, what did Sierra do? She’s so cute, how could she possibly be bad? (Wait a sec, I can answer that with one word: Kaweah).

    Mark – you were *this* close. When I figured out that you were in the final three, I told Jeremy that you were going to be sad. It will be a couple of months before tele season starts. I am hoping for good snow this year, but you never know!

    Mollie – I’m ready for fall too. I love summer, but I’m glad it is brief up here where we live :)

    Margie – oooh, how sweet. We love yellow labs!! We love all labs! :) thanks xxoo

    Rachel – bacon is teh bomb :) Ha ha, I think that fountain is on the arrival side. I don’t think I ever see it when I leave, but it’s a familiar sight when we come home.

    Kitty – lucky you! I rarely ate potato salad as a kid. Hmmm, considering how much I love it, perhaps that is a good thing? ;)

    Patricia – so many people with German grandmas and moms. I’d be jealous except I rather like my own Chinese mom and grandma :)

    Bettina – if you were here, the dog would certainly love you right back!

    Madeline – how is it that they go diving in freezing cold water, but hate to have a bath? Are there any dogs that like baths?

    Amanda – mmmm, sounds great!

    Victoria – I hear ya!

    Mrs. E – oh, I’m so glad that this could brighten up a crappy month for you, dear. big hugs and congrats!!

    Giz – thanks for the award! I hope you’ll forgive me if I promptly forget to post it. I’ve been really bad about that :( Brain not right and life too busy!

    Tartelette – oooh, I am crushing on BAILEY. I *love* him. When is your vacation to Colorado planned? hmmm?? :)

    Peabody – snarky, you? Yes! That’s why I loves ya.

    Tim – I am so with ya on the mayo thing. Mayo is so nasty sometimes.

    Cindy – I hope you score on that ski sale. LOVE the sales otherwise I’d be too poor to eat with the cost of gear these days. I agree that yukon golds are IT. I love them! Best flavor, most vertsatile, yum.

    Lori – oh, my dear. Send me an email and we can work out a discount for ya. I sent those dahlias to my mom for her bday last year and she was all, “squeeeeeeeeee!” :)

    Victoria – fo’ shiz, hon!

    Elizabeth – thank you! I will hit the other meteor showers this year, but it will get colder and colder (not that I mind). Hard to do with such a huge radiant. WoRC is great fun. They are such awesome folks :) Yeah, not sure my dad will remain interested in reading for long… we’ll see!

    Colleen – thanks!

    Mochachocolatarita – wow, it is quite the exercise to type your name!

    Anita – Jeremy is also anti-mayo. So funny how many folks dislike it :)

    Mimi – yes, it is possible to love vacay and home at the same time! Probably a good thing, no?

  28. Patricia Scarpin says:

    I have my little Chinese nephew and nieces, did you know that? They are the cutest little things. :)

  29. maybelles mom (feeding maybelle) says:

    Delicious potato salad. I love it without mayonnaise.

  30. jenyu says:

    Patricia – oh! how sweet :) I didn’t know!!

    Maybelle’s Mom – I hear ya!!

  31. bookaholic_au says:

    I’ve never seen yukon gold potatoes (and the market stall I buy them from has a fantastic variety). You’ve used them a couple of times in potato salads, so are they a waxy variety similar to the kepler? Having recently discovered the joys of a good potato, I enjoy matching them to the best cooking process.

  32. jenyu says:

    BA – they are not waxy, but not as starchy as a russet. I find they have the best flavor.

  33. Brent says:

    Great Blog… came across it looking for a roasted potato salad. Beautiful photos.

  34. jenyu says:

    Brent – thank you :)

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