a taste of summer…and a giveaway!

On Sunday we were invited to a pot luck dinner.  Now, I don’t have a whole lot of experience with pot luck dinners by name, but I do have experience with “bring a side dish to share” barbecues and croquet parties, which in my mind are synonymous with the idea of a pot luck.  The memories of these parties evoke thoughts of white dresses, sunshine and bare feet running across soft grass while chasing after brightly-colored balls, one hand grasping a mallet, the other a cold beer.  In one word…summer.  So when I was laying in bed Sunday morning and asked my hubb what we should prepare to bring to the pot luck that night, and he said “how ’bout your olive potato salad“, it made perfect sense.  Of course, potato salad would be divine at the “pot luck” dinners of my mind.


Unfortunately, the pictures in my head wavered when I opened the blinds that same morning and discovered a light dusting of snow covering the ground.  It didn’t take long for those warm, summer thoughts to be completely shattered when I checked the forecast and read about the 3″-5″ of snow that were expected to fall on us over the next 24 hours.  This was all a big surprise to me, since I ran in shorts in 60* weather just 2 days prior.  Snowball fights and sledding, although enjoyable, were not part of my plan.


After debating other options for a few minutes I decided to forge ahead with my summer-time favorite, regardless of the weather.  This winter has claimed many of my on-the-road runs, most outdoor dining possibilities in Charlottesville and occasionally the feeling in my fingers and toes… I wasn’t about to let it have my premature potato salad too.  Plus, potatoes are in season.  Its not my salad’s fault that I associate it with warm-weather fun and games.  


I found this recipe years ago and have made it many times, for most events where we are asked to bring a dish to share.  This potato salad is not only easy and delicious, it is also a much healthier take on the classic mayonnaise-dripping versions of my childhood.  It will keep, covered and refrigerated, for about 5 days.  My hubb is always happy to pack leftovers in his lunches no matter what time of year it is.  He says it goes best with a turkey + pepper jack sandwich.


Ripe Olive Potato Salad

originally from here


  • 3 lbs red potatoes, scrubbed and diced (I leave the skin on)
  • 1-2/3 cup sliced black olives
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions
  • 1-1/2 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt


  1. Boil potatoes in a large soup pot until tender, but not falling apart.  Drain and allow to cool.
  2. Add olives, celery and scallions to potatoes and gently mix.
  3. Whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt, dill and pepper.  Pour over potatoes and gently mix to coat.
  4. Whisk together yogurt, honey, mustard and garlic salt.  Pour over potato mixture and stir gently but thoroughly.  Chill for 1 hour before serving.


On the job front:  My meeting went really well yesterday!  I am very excited to tell you that I accepted a position with my hubb’s firm and will be starting on Monday. It is a huge relief to know that I will be transitioning out of one job and directly into another without any period of unemployment.  I am amazed that the timing worked out so beautifully and feel extremely fortunate.  Thank you all, again, for your continued support and lovely notes.  Its been a loooooong week but I really think that everything has worked out for the best and am grateful to all parties involved for the graceful handling of the whole situation.  It could have been much scarier had things not been handled so well.

In blog news:  You may have noticed that I’m trying something a little different this week, a few less posts that concentrate on specific recipes rather than my normal food diary format.  There are many reasons for this, time and boredom being a couple of them.  There was a day this week, Sunday I think, when I just could not bear the thought of telling you that I had my standard oats for breakfast and a salad for lunch.  And there are only so many ways for me to photograph a sweet potato with edamame and corn on top.  I just wasn’t enjoying writing my posts as much and didn’t like the pressure I was feeling to get a post out every single day, regardless of whether or not I had anything interesting to say.  Sometimes, my days are boring and so are my eats, and I put ridiculous pressure on myself to try and make them interesting, which is where the time factor comes in.  

So this week has been a test, to see if I like this new format and if it aligns with the direction that I think I want to take the blog.  I’m still working things out, but expect a decision, and a longer-winded post, sometime this weekend.  Until then, thanks for reading.  I appreciate each and every one of you.

GIVEAWAY!  I know you all saw the numerous bottles of Country Bob’s All-Purpose Sauce popping up in blogland a couple of weeks ago.  Unfortunately I received my Country Bob’s in the middle of a big deadline week at work, so didn’t get a chance to really rave about how wonderful this sauce is and how much I enjoyed it on baked chicken and as a dipping sauce for ‘taters and veggies.  Its REALLY good, and I can’t wait to fire up the grill (maybe this weekend?!?) and try it out on some pork tenderloin.

The kind folks over at CB’s have offered to give TWO of my readers TWO bottles of the All-Purpose Sauce.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post for one chance to win.  If you mention the giveaway on your blog and link back to this post you will have a second chance to win.  Do all that by midnight tomorrow (Friday) and I will announce the winners sometime on Saturday.  Good luck!



87 responses to “a taste of summer…and a giveaway!

  1. The potato salad sound delish!

  2. Yay! Another Country Bob’s giveaway! Fingers crossed!

  3. foodsthatfit

    I really like the new format, concentrating on recipes, and your food pictures are gorgeous! I need some photography lessons from you!

  4. I’m so sad that I am out of town and missed the snow in C’ville! Anyhoo, I keep seeing this sauce pop up in blog reading, and I would just love to try it!

  5. CONGRATS on the job!!

    Please don’t enter me in the contest because I already have some – CB is pretty darn good though!

  6. i’m so glad the job situation worked out!!! yay!!!

    i like the new format and the old format – honestly, I just like when you post because you have a great writing style and gorgeous pictures.

    I need some Country Bob’s! I haven’t tried it yet 🙂 Off to add a link to my blog for ya’!

  7. Congrats on your new job!!

    I would love to try Country Bob’s sauce. We can’t find it in here in the southwest!

  8. Pingback: My Thankful Thursday «


    Oh man, I’d LOVE that sauce 😀

  10. That potato salad looks divine and that sauce sounds so interesting and yummy! Would love to try it!

  11. I would love to try this sauce….and that potatoe salad looks delish!

  12. sauce me up!

  13. I’ve been dying to try that sauce!!!

    Mmm fabulous contribution =)

  14. P.S.
    I just added the giveaway news to my latest post =)

  15. Mmm, I want to try that sauce!

    …And I want to try your potato salad. It looks delicious!

  16. ooooh I’ve been wanting to try that sauce! great giveaway!

  17. Ashley Suzanne

    Yummo I would love to try this on some tofu or in a baked bean dish!

  18. love bbq sauce, would like the chance to try it!

  19. ALWAYS have wanted to try this sauce! I totally support your change up in blog entries too!
    Thanks for all of your beautiful posts.

  20. I can’t wait to make this potato salad in the near future! It looks absolutely delicious! I’d love a chance to try Country Bob’s too!1

  21. Potato salad looks wonderful!


  22. Congrats about the job! That is very awesome that you won’t have a period on unemployment. I can’t imagine posting everyday so I can see that you might enjoy the recipe post plus a little about your life format, although I do like reading your blog so keep it a few times a week 😉

    I haven’t tried the sauce yet (wink wink).

  23. OH! And the potato salad looks DELISH.

  24. CONGRATS on the job!!! And you’re so right- potato salad IS summer. I need to try this recipe- potatoes are my love. I also adore sauces, and would be thrilled to bits to try Country Bob’s!

  25. Yum, I’d love to try that sauce.

  26. What a lovely, healthy looking salad. You are a great photographer!

  27. michele (maryland)

    My first time visiting from Tastespotting.com. I LOVE potatoe salad and am going to make yours. It looks delish.

  28. Glad to hear the employment situation is going well!
    On a different note, I’d love to win some Country Bob’s!

  29. I totally understand your blogging changes. I have actually wanted to do the same in the past and have gone back and forth on the subject. My advice? Keep doing what you’re doing cause it’s great. I love your recipes and your photos – and this will all be great for your cookbook someday 🙂 (which I hope you publish!!)

  30. Good luck figuring out your new format! And I don’t usually like potato salad, but I think you may have converted me 🙂

  31. oh my I would love some country bob’s sauce! and I love your process pictures 🙂

  32. I am so glad the your job transition worked out as well as it did! You are so lucky!

    And post your food when you feel like it – we’ll be here! 😀

  33. I am so glad that you seem so happy and relieved about the job situation. It will be an added bonus to have lunch/carpool/share office gossip with your hubb.

    I think you just have to do what makes you happy with the format. I too have been contemplating scrubbing the all day food diary/workout format. I mean, come on, people don’t read my blog to see what I eat, they read it for the cute kid pics and potty humor. Or maybe I’m fooling myself. My little poem yesterday was honestly was one of the easiest posts I’ve ever written because I didn’t have to try to make my food interesting, you know?

    Have a great Friday, Andy Pandy.

  34. I like the new format! I find it too difficult to post and be interesting all the time too.

  35. I understand about putting pressure on yourself to get good things to blog about! That’s one reason why I don’t blog all my food in a day. Anyway, you have enough creativity to make this format work!

    Congrats on the job.

    Also, I don’t need the CBs, so if I win, feel free to pick again. 😀

  36. Recipe looks good, thanks! The fiance is allergic to eggs, so I’m always on the lookout for mayo free recipes.

  37. Yay! I really want to try that stuff!

  38. Mmm BBQ….I have seen this everywhere on the blogs and would love to see if it stands up to my local favorites here in Texas.

  39. Thanks for that recipe. It looks delicious! Also, I was going to suggest you check out smitten kitchen but i see you already read her blog. Great pictures!

  40. oooo yeah I will let my readers know about your contest too!!! Also am going to make that salad this weekend:)

  41. Wow, I’m seeing this sauce EVERYWHERE! I really need to try it!

  42. Oh that potato salad looks awesome! I’ll have to make some this weekend (or maybe next). Thanks for posting – nice pics too!

  43. I’ve been dying to try Country Bob’s! Sign me up!

  44. I’ve wanted to try Bob’s for forever!

  45. Congratulations on your new job! Best of luck!

    I’ve enjoyed your new posts, but I actually really miss your food diary entries. I agree with other commenters that your writing style and photography are beautiful, and I never got sick of oats and sweet potatoes with corn and edamame! I hope you’ll at least do those posts every once in a while!

  46. I like potato salad, and love the idea of a healthier recipe! I’m sure the potluck party-goers will all love it 🙂

    That’s wonderful news about the new job! We have a frightening job market right now, and it is so great that you found another position so quickly.

    In terms of the blog, I’m sure I speak for most of your readers when I say no matter how many times you post a day, we ‘ll continue reading. I’m completely hooked on your yummy recipes and gorgeous photographs. Do whatever makes sense for you!

  47. Eek! I would so love to try Country Bobs sauce. I love your blog too…your pictures are so gorgeous.

  48. Congrats on the new job!

  49. tigertothebear

    HIYA! I love the new format and can tell a difference in your writing style, etc when you have more time. I LIKE IT! HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!


  50. I’m so happy for you! I’ve been thinking of you these past few days and I’m glad things are really starting to get much better!

  51. I’m a devoted follower of yours no matter what. As long as you keep up with the beautiful photography and prose, I’ll keep reading!

  52. I am still trying to win that sauce! =-)
    Good luck at the new gig on Monday!

  53. I love bbq sauce! and have never tried this one. yum!

  54. Congratulations on the new job! Fun giveaway!

  55. I like your new format. No use in feeling pressured and not enjoying it!

    I’ve never had Country Bob’s before. Would love to try it!

  56. That is fantastic about the job!!!

    I have been reading your blog from the beginning, I must admit, your talents are wasted on a bowl of oats!!! I can see where you are going with the new format and love it. I find that I am going more and more to over all food blogs instead of just food diary blogs!

    I find some great ones on tastespotting and I have seen some of yours there too.

    Happy Friday.

  57. The potato salad looks awesome. Wow you are such a gifted photographer. I absolutely love your pictures.

    I think I need a little Bob in my life…

  58. The salad looks great! I like to make potato salad with olives and tomatoes and mayo and herbs 🙂

  59. Congratulations! Although given the caliber of your chocolate chip cookies, I still think you should pursue a new baking business.

  60. Oh lordy, bbq sauce is my absolute favorite condiment! It’s pretty universal in my book & I’ll dip just about anything in it ;).

  61. CONGRATS on your new job! Absolutely wonderful news. Also — I like the new format, more food blog than healthy living blog.

  62. I have been seeing it pop up all over the blog world! I’d love to get some!

    I really enjoy the new format of your blog and more importantly, if you enjoy it more and are less stressed, it’s what’s best! I usually peruse for recipe ideas anyway!

  63. i am enjoying this format of posting! i love the recipes but i still hope you’ll post occasionally if you had something really good for lunch, a new oat combo for breakfast, etc. 🙂

  64. So glad your job situation worked out!
    The potato salad looks awesome!
    I’d love to win the Country Bob’s. 🙂

  65. Love the recipes! I think it’s an amazing idea! You’ve been linked 🙂 I have a couple of giveaways coming up too…stay posted!!!

  66. Pingback: Give Aways… « EatFabInNyc’s Blog

  67. I just wanted to say congrats on the job! i already have some country bobs, so dont enter me in the contest.

  68. Love the blog. You’ve given me some good ideas for new recipes, and that cake looked amazing!

  69. sarahdbelle

    Yum! I’d love to try the sauce ; ) And as always, you’re pics are gorgeous.

  70. I’d love to try that sauce! 😀
    potato salad looks delicious!

  71. How awesome 🙂 I’ll def link back in my post!

  72. I would love to try some Country Bob’s sauce . . .Congratulations on the job!

  73. I love the idea of a healthy potato salad!

  74. I have never tried Country Bob’s…I would love to win some!


  75. I want to try this stuff so bad, it’s been all over blogggerland!


  76. Pingback: Tooti-Fruti « Super Caloric Chalk Dust

  77. i would love to try Bob’s! i keep hearing so much about it but can’t find it where i live. thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  78. Ok wow the salad sounds AMAZING!!!!!!!!!

  79. Congrats on the job! I’m so glad everything worked out, it must be such a load off your mind.

    I’d say sign me up for the contest…but I already have some that I’m enjoying 🙂

  80. id love to win! that potato salad looks reallly good!

  81. Such good job news! And that potato salad looks great!

  82. I don’t need to win the sauce. I just wanted to say thanks for this recipe. I had never thought of putting olives in potato salad. I’ve bookmarked it. Thanks!

  83. Pingback: links for 2009-03-07 « Just Browsing

  84. Oh, my goodness, I feel like you’re my bloggie soul-mate. I found your blog through The Inner Workings of a College Graduate, and I’m shocked that I didn’t come across it earlier since we have so much in common! Especially our goal of feeling comfortable in our own skin – I think that’s the best thing a person can strive for. And I’m 5’4″! And my goal weight is 120! And I love photography! (I’m hyperventilating; can you tell?)

    Anyway. Just wanted to share. I read about twelve of your posts in one sitting and I’m probably going to keep going now. 🙂

  85. I think im too late but i figured i try anyways! =)

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