German Potato Salad {vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free recipe}

I wrote this post as part of a series for Tasteful Selections Potatoes, which is sponsoring Katie’s Krops through January 2016 (details below). Thanks, Tasteful Selections, for sponsoring this post and for growing the adorable baby potatoes I used in this German Potato Salad recipe.

In my family, potato salad is a big freaking deal.  My Grandma June has been making her family-famous potato salad since before I was born–it’s been at every family dinner or cookout I can remember, just a bowling-ball-sized mountain of potatoes, green pepper, celery seed, and Hellmann’s mayonnaise.  Last Thanksgiving, I asked Grandma June where she originally found the recipe, but she couldn’t remember—she said she made it once back in the seventies, and it tasted good, so she just kept on making it.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how legends are born.  One time, my stepmom made Grandma’s recipe using Miracle Whip instead of Hellman’s, and the family was absolutely horrified.  NO ONE ate it, and she never attempted Grandma’s potato salad again.  Then, a few years ago, Grandma June passed the torch and transitioned potato salad making duty to my sister, Jenny.  Lucky girl.

German Potato Salad

While I still love Grandma’s potato salad, especially on a hot summer day, my tastes have grown up a bit over the years (how do you say that without sounding snotty?).  It’s true though–kids love mayonnaise.  Last week, I watched my two-year-old nephew, Silas, lick the mayonnaise straight off a ham and cheese sandwich, leaving all the “good stuff” in his slobbery wake.  These days, I find myself craving tangy vinegar-based salads instead of mayo, which is how this healthy, vegetarian version of German potato salad came to be. This recipe is simple to make, requiring little hands on time. It’s no fuss, especially when made with these cute Tasteful Selections baby potatoes (no washing or peeling needed), and can be served warm, room temperature, or cold.

Bonus:  through January 2016, Tasteful Selections is sponsoring Katie’s Krops, a non-profit organization that donates crops from youth-run gardens to help feed people in need by donating a portion of the profits from specially marked bags of Tasteful Selections’ Ruby Sensation and Honey Gold Potatoes.  If that’s not reason enough to pick up a sack of potatoes and try this German Potato Salad recipe, I don’t know what is!
 German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad (serves 6-8)


  • 24 ounces potatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill with water until the potatoes are covered by several inches. Salt water generously and bring to a boil. Continue to simmer until the potatoes are just fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and set aside.

Meanwhile, while the potatoes are simmering, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, stir in the onion.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the dill and cook one minute more. Remove the skillet from the heat, then add the green onion and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the potatoes, generously season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine, mashing potatoes slightly as you stir.

This German Potato Salad is delightful served warm, room temperature, or cold.

German Potato Salad

Taxes for Food Bloggers: Business or Hobby?

Eater, writer, bean counter.  Per my business cards, this is who I am, yet I’ve never touched the topics of accounting or taxes on this here blog.  I mean, taxes…  Blegh.  Am I right?  But after attending the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle last week, I got to thinking.  Did these foodies know food blogger conference expenses are tax deductible?

Business or Hobby?

You dedicate all of your free time to your blog.  It’s like, a second job or something.  Right?  That’s how most serious food bloggers feel about their blogs, but the IRS may see it differently, and that could majorly impact the Federal tax due on your blog earnings.  Whomp. Whomp.



So, is your blog a business?

For purposes of this analysis, lets assume you have not set up a separate legal entity (LLC, S Corporation, etc.), and that you are running this “business” as a sole proprietorship.  This is the bucket most food bloggers fall into. (more…)

Phyrefly: the new way to save money dining out in Charlotte

1436994445743I first heard about Phyrefly through social media stalking, and then again on Charlotte Agenda.  Then I bumped into Phyrefly founders Kaitlin and Josh Krogh at a Piedmont Culinary Guild event, and then AGAIN at #weloveclt last month, which I took as a sign I needed to try out Phyrefly already.

So, what is Phyrefly?  It’s the self-dubbed Hotwire for restaurants.  Meaning you log into the site, check out the various deals available, and select one based on location and price range.  The specific restaurant is not revealed to you until after the offer is selected, just as Hotwire doesn’t reveal the specific hotel until you’ve committed to the deal.  You can browse Phyrefly deals by neighborhood, price point, food type, user rating, and ambiance.  Bonus:  these are all local restaurants.  No chains.

Double bonus:  unlike Hotwire, Phyrefly currently doesn’t charge you upfront—which means there is no fee if you decide to pass on the Phyrefly offer once the restaurant is revealed.  (Though this will likely change in the future, once the beta stage is complete.)

This concept is exciting for three reasons.  1.) it gets diners to step outside their usual routines, 2.) it helps restaurants fill tables during off-peak hours, and 3.) it saves you money.  Boom. (more…)

Where to eat at Charlotte Douglas Airport

Sure, everyone complains about the parking and the construction, but after spending too much time in some straight up nasty airports the last couple of years (I’m looking at you, LaGuardia), I’ve really come to appreciate and enjoy Charlotte Douglas.  After my return flight home from visiting family in Ohio last week, I stopped into the new 1897 Market and was blown away by all that they’re doing.  I mean, local sourcing at an airport restaurant?  Come on!  That’s when it hit me.  Charlotte Douglas is actually pretty awesome.

This is my third post for the #DesignCharlotte campaign, a cool program (details below) encouraging Charlotteans to share their favorite things in the Queen City.  Not surprisingly, my first two posts were completely about food.  Interested?  Check out my Foodie Guide to Charlotte and Foodie Guide to Charlotte Restaurant Week. (more…)

1897 Market–the Charlotte Douglas Airport Game Changer

The typical airport meal is frantically grabbed from a cooler on the way to a connecting flight or begrudgingly eaten to pass hours waiting out a delay.  Which raises the question, does anyone actually like eating at the airport?  When I asked my boyfriend what came to mind when he thought of “airport food” he responded:  bags of nuts and bottled water.  This is sad.

Take a moment to ponder.  What comes to your mind when you think of airport food?  Is it chef-driven menus and hormone-free meats?  How about handcrafted cocktails and locally sourced produce?  Scratch-made pizza and local beer?  Not so much, huh?  This is precisely why 1897 Market at Charlotte Douglas Airport is a game changer. 

1897 Market Charlotte Douglas Airport

1897 Market is the newest concept launched by HMSHost, the world’s largest provider of food and beverage service for travelers.  1897 Market (named for the year HMSHost was founded) is a one-stop urban gourmet shop, with full-service dining room, raw bar, exhibition kitchen, grab-and-go, and retail marketplace wrapped into one.

Located in the Charlotte Douglas Airport Main Atrium, near Concourses A and B, this is HMSHost’s flagship store.  Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit-down dinner, cocktails or last-minute souvenir, the Market is the answer to all of your gastronomic traveling needs.2015-08-04 08.10.43 (more…)

3 Bangin Brat Relish Recipes {as seen on WBTV}

It’s cookout season–and any excuse to celebrate gets my vote!  Brats are the perfect backyard barbecue food; they’re easy to cook and super simple to customize, just by switching up your relish and toppings.


I spent the morning hanging out with WBTV talking Bratsgiving!  Check out the video below!

Without further ado, here are three brat relish recipes inspired by some of my favorite foods:  banh mi, bruschetta, and guacamole!



BRATS banh miBanh Mi Brat Relish

Do Chua (Pickled Carrots & Daikon)
1/2 pound large carrots
1/2 pound daikon radish
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1.5 cups distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

Chipotle Mayo:  1/2 cup mayonnaise + chipotles in adobo sauce + 1 squirt of lime

Garnish:  1 jalapeno, finely chopped + chopped cilantro

Do Chua:  cut the carrots and daikon radish into thin matchsticks, then place in a large bowl.  Add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar.  Using your fingers, massage the salt and sugar into the vegetables for 3 minutes.  Rinse and drain.  Place vegetables in a 1-quart glass jar, add vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, and water to fill the remaining space in the jar.  Cover the jar and shake vigorously to dissolve the sugar.  Let sit in the fridge for several hours or overnight.

Chipotle Mayonnaise:  in a food processor, puree the mayonnaise, 1 chipotle pepper, 2 tbsp adobo sauce, and 1 squirt of lime juice until smooth.  (Remaining chipotle peppers and adobo sauce can be frozen for later use.)

To serve:  slather chipotle mayonnaise on the bun, add a brat, then top with Do Chua, fresh cilantro, and chopped jalapeno.


BRATS - bruschettaBruschetta Relish

1.5 cups Roma tomatoes, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Combine all ingredients, except cheese, in a bowl.  To serve, place brat on bun, top with bruschetta and freshly grated Parmesan, if desired.


BRATS - avocado relishAvocado Relish

2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/3 cup red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup pickled jalapenos, chopped
1 lime
1 large ripe avocado, cubed

Combine cilantro, red onion, garlic, salt, pickled jalapenos, and juice of half a lime in a bowl.  Add avocado, and stir gently, taking care not to mash the avocado.   To serve, place brat on bun, top with avocado relish and additional lime and cilantro, if desired.


Queen’s Feast – Charlotte Restaurant Week Guide

Ahhhh it’s that time of year again.  Restaurant week.  Twice a year here in Charlotte, over 120 restaurants offer prix fixe dinner menus to the masses.  Queen’s Feast, as we call it, actually runs TEN DAYS, and it can be an awesome but overwhelming experience.  Don’t ye fret!  I’ve got some tips for planning your best Queen’s Feast yet!

This post (and my Best Charlotte Restaurants Post) were written in collaboration with the #DesignCharlotte campaign, a cool program (details below) encouraging Charlotteans to share their favorite things in the Queen City.  Of course my favorite thing is FOOD.  Set let’s get to those Charlotte Restaurant Week tips!

foodie guide - pasta 80 percent


First things first, we need to set some goals.  What is it you’re hoping to get out of restaurant week?  An incredible deal?  An incredible meal?  Those two don’t always go hand in hand.  So, dig down deep inside and ask yourself the tough questions.  Are we pinching pennies or living large this time around? (more…)

2 Easy Grilled Vegetarian Sides {recipe}

If you caught my last recipe post, you already know I’ve been tricking myself to eat fish by throwing it in a taco and adding excessive toppings, like a parent hiding veggies in their kid’s mac and cheese.  It’s sad but true.  Of course, grilling fish makes it a little more palatable, plus nothing beats grilling in the summer (even if it is fish…).  Fresh.  Fast.  Flavorful.  And so darn pretty.

grilled corn

Best Charlotte Restaurants — A Foodie Guide

Best Charlotte Restaurants -- A foodie guide to Charlotte

Charlotte is one part small town, one part big city.  The people here are friendly and the pace of life is slow, but don’t let us fool you.  Charlotte is booming.  Everywhere you look, new things are being built.  Apartments, hotels, breweries, parks, restaurants.  YES, lots and lots of restaurants.

Several times a week, an email from a stranger will pop up in my inbox asking for a list of the best Charlotte restaurants.  I’ve been here over four years now, and have dined at MANY of the restaurants in the city, so these types of emails usually result in a list of two dozen recommendations I’m hoping the stranger can cram into a two-day stay, accompanied by instructions to pack their eatin’ pants.

As part of the #DesignCharlotte campaign (details below!), and for the fun of list making, I went back through those old emails and compiled a list of the restaurants and dishes that I recommend time and time again.  A foodie’s guide to Charlotte, if you will.  I anticipate this list will continue to grow and expand with time.  Did I miss your favorite?  Leave a comment below!



Where:  “Uptown” is Charlotte’s downtown area.  It’s the hub of the city and the point of reference for all other neighborhoods.  Uptown is divided into four wards, the center of which is the intersection of Trade Street and Tryon Street.

What:  Lots of banks and bankers, plus the Epicentre, all the sports (Charlotte Panthers, Charlotte Knights, Charlotte Hornets), theaters, and Romare Bearden Park.

Things to Eat:

  • Burgers:  Cowbell.  “Artisanal burgers with a side of rock & roll.”  My picks:  Big Will’s Breakfast Burger with praline smoked bacon and over-easy egg; Umami Burger with roasted shitakes, caramelized onions, and chipotle spiced ketchup; The Jett black bean burger with goat cheese and roasted garlic aioli; TATER TOTS.
  • Dinner on a Rooftop:  Fahrenheit.  Fantastic view.  Great for date night.  My picks:  Scallops with cauliflower puree, caramelized cauliflower, pomegranate molasses (best scallops I’ve had in Charlotte, no joke); Chorizo-stuffed dates; Charlotte Potato Chip Nachos.
  • Crudo & Steak:  Evoke.  “Chic, new-age steakhouse.” Gnocchi with jumbo lump crab and smoked pancetta; Escolar Crudo; Peruvian Ceviche; Diver Scallop Crudo; beef tenderloin Bucatini; 21-day Dry-aged NY Strip.
  • Lots O’ Options:  7th St Public Market.  The market’s focus is on local and regional farmers, food artisans, and entrepreneurs.  Local Loaf (Chicken and the Egg, Ham and Brie); Pure Pizza (Slap Yo Mama Lasagna, Chorizo); Hazelnuts (ALL THE CREPES); Not Just Coffee; The Sorting Table (wine); Greeneman Farms (produce); Orrman’s CheeseTanks’s Tap (beer).
  • Small Plates:  Dandelion Market.  One of my favorite uptown spots to grab dinner with friends. My picks:  Buttered scallops with toasted macadamia; cherry-glazed lamb lollipops; sausage stuffed poblano pepper; market mac and cheese.
  • Modern Southern:  Mimosa Grill.  “Global cuisine with a unique southern twist.”  Consistently good food.  Pecan crusted chicken salad with sweet mustard dressing; Iron Skillet Roasted Salmon.
  • Southern-inspired:  Roosters.  “Relevant without being trendy.”  Awesome open kitchen.  Wood-fired grill.  My picks:  scallop salad with buttermilk lime dressing; mac and cheese; Vietnamese pork sandwich.
  • Italian:  Aria.  3-course express lunch; cheese plate; all the pasta.
  • Gyros:  Little Village Grill.  Hands down, best gyros.  They even put a couple of fries inside.
  • Swankiest night out:  Dinner at 5Church followed by drinks at the Punch Room.  


What:  One of my favorite areas to hang out on a weekend night.  Super walkable.  Funky, gritty charm.

Where:  2 miles east of Uptown, north of Elizabeth.

Things to Eat:

  • For all of the things:  Common Market.  Lovably grungy.  Delicious breakfast sandwiches, large wine & beer selection, random quirky snacks and chotchkies, happening patio, drink there or take it to-go.
  • BBQ:  Midwood Smokehouse.  Mac and cheese with big, curly corkscrew noodles; PULLED PORK CUBAN; BBQ tacos; Back Porch Tea.
  • Vegetarian food with flair:  Fern.  OM Burger with crispy fingerling potatoes; cauliflower appetizer (flavors change often, all are awesome).
  • International Cuisine:  Bistro La Bon.   Great atmosphere; interesting multi-ethnic dinner menu; SWEDISH MEATBALLS; all-you-can-eat brunch buffet. COCONUT MACAROONS.
  • Breakfast:  Zada Janes.  BUNNY RANCHEROS.  You won’t be sorry.
  • Rooftop bars:  Peculiar Rabbit and Whisky Warehouse.   Grab an order of fries, and enjoy the view.
  • Health-focused grocery:  Healthy Home Market.  “Locally grown, locally owned.”   Juice bar, hot bar, bulk bins.  Plantain chips!
  • Serbian/Italian:  Intermezzo.  My picks:  all the pizzas; house-made ravioli; steak & goat cheese sandwich on incredible house-made bread.
  • Swanky small plates:  Soul Gastrolounge.   “Innovative sushi, global tapas, and handcrafted cocktails.” Asian-glazed pork belly tacos; all the sushi; braised veal cheek ramen in a garlic cream sauce.
  • Comfort food:  Dish and The Diamond.
  • Tacos:  Krazy Fish.  “Seafood Fusion.”  CRAZY tacos; crazy décor; Szechuan salmon tacos are legit.
  • Coffee:  Central Coffee


Blackened Fish Tacos with Carolina Peach Salsa

I’ve been trying to learn to like fish ever since my dad brought home walleye cheeks that first time, fresh from Lake Erie, and my sisters oohed and aahed over how delicious they were.  I wanted in.  I desperately wanted to like fish.  Every bite though… just left something lacking.  It’s the texture that gets me, I think.  And the fishy taste.  So basically, I dislike every aspect of fish.  Except, of course, for the fact that it’s good for you.  So, in an effort to trick myself into liking fish, I’ve been making fish tacos all the time.  They’re super simple to throw together, and if you add enough toppings, you can’t even taste the fish.  I’ll consider that a WIN.

Blackened Fish Tacos with Peach Salsa