Nikki’s Recipe Book: Palace Potato Salad

Palace Potato Salad

Nikki Benton, from Sweet Dreams at The Palace Hotel is always looking for fun ways to put together dinner for her growing family while running her business. One meal her family loves is spare ribs from the slow cooker and potato salad. Add a basic green salad and dinner is on the table without turning on the oven or standing over the stove. What makes this Potato Salad unique is the minimal amount of mayo. Having the reduction of the creamy white condiment changes not only the color, but lifts the focus of the dish to be the potato. Yum!


5 white or gold potatoes – washed
3 eggs – hard cooked and peeled
3 stalks of celery – cut into thin slices or small chunks
3 green onions – sliced including green tops
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. yellow mustard
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp celery salt
Pinch of celery seed (optional)
6 baby sweet pickles, cut into small pieces

1. Cover potatoes with water in saucepan, sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil and cook until fork tender, skins may begin to split. (about 20 minutes, depends upon size of potatoes)
2. Drain potatoes.
3. While potatoes cool slightly, combine onion, celery, and pickles in large bowl. Peel and chop eggs and lightly toss with celery mixture.
4. Blend pepper, celery salt, mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl.
5. When potatoes are cool enough to touch, peel and chop into chunks. Gently stir into celery mixture.
6. Add Mayo/mustard mixture to bowl and stir to just coat.
7. Sprinkle with celery seed.

Store covered in refrigerator. May be served immediately slightly warm or later thoroughly cooled. Nikki usually makes the potato salad the night before, pops the spare ribs in the slow cooker in the morning and her teenagers manage assembling a green salad and getting dinner on the table. Dinner is family time for Nikki, a chance to relax around the table and catch up on the day.
Like Nikki, potato salad always sparks my memories of summer and the time I spent in the kitchen with mom and grandma putting together potato salad and slicing fresh tomatoes. What food(s) trigger your summer memories?

Stella’s Scottsdale Brunch Spots

I admit to a weakness for weekend brunch. Growing up my least favorite meal was breakfast, probably because I would have preferred sleeping in to getting up –breakfast signaled the start of the day Weekend brunch is another matter entirely! Usually it’s hours after my usual wake-up time – sneaking up on lunch.  Here’s five local spots for spending brunch eating dinking and chatting with friends and family.

Olive and Ivy – Excellent patio with a view of Scottsdale waterfront. Even if you miss out on the patio – it’s always busy when the weather’s good – get a booth that faces the patio though floor to ceiling windows. Excellent mimosas and breakfast specialties. It’s one of those places my family has deemed worthy of a special occasion for years. My daughter is fond of the chicken and flatbread and always takes out of town guests here and even hosted one of her birthday dinners as well.                                           Their website promises to whisk you away.


Postino Wine Café – Another awesome patio. Best thing about brunch at Postino is the small plates – my brunch partner and I order one of each and share ending up with five little plates and a taste of everything plus a mimosa, of course. When the weather is nice we sit outside and take advantage of their green filled patio. Each location is a little bit different, but the quality of food and drink is always top notch. Throughout the year that have specials like a free board of bruschetta on a birthday or $5 glasses of wine before 5pm.

Hash Kitchen – Super busy and open only for breakfast and lunch. Variety in the food and the best part – a mimosa fight where the four flavors change seasonally. Brain child of the Maggiore Group, on the weekends HASH adds a DJ for a music filled brunch. My favorite items on the menu are the savory scrambles, where my daughter enjoys the coconut crusted French toast.  Although I enjoy mimosas, Hash is known as having the world’s largest Bloody Mary bar. Its insane the combinations people make for a drink which can include meatballs, fried raviollis, baby corn, mozerella cheese and bacon .

Arcadia Farms Café – Lovely garden patio, inside of the café worth the visit. They kept the original frame work of the house and guest house and converted it into a restaurant making it perfect for ladies who lunch. Its common to see a girls birthday party or bridal shower taking place here. My daughter and I are suckers for any place that serves complimentary scones with flavored butter. Plus brunch on weekends including breakfast tarts, omelets, pastries, coffee, tea and wine. So many choices! For a quick and more casual brunch they do offer a walk up counter right next store and across the street is the bakery where the make some of the best baked goods in town.

The Breakfast Club – This place is PACKED. During Scottsdale’s touring season, people wait in line for upwards of an hour for a seat. My husband and I are big fans of the golden waffle. He is also impressed with the generous side of ham. My daughter is loyal to their breakfast burrito and appreciates the variety of potato offerings. They serve up southwest staples, omelets, quick starts, burros and benedicts. Its one of those rare places where its “cool” to be seen there, but the food is incredibly good and the vibe is inclusive. Inside and outside dining, breakfast every day – that’s what they do – and I will say it again, absolutely the best waffle ever!