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?

Nikki’s Recipe Book: Tiny Apple Tarts

Nikki’s Tiny Apple Tarts
Nikki Benton loves to offer a sweet with the coffee and tea available in the lobby of The Palace Hotel in
the afternoons. In honor of Valentine’s Day when love and sweet treats are everywhere, she adapted
her mother’s apple pie recipe into a tiny apple tart. Making the filling a day ahead means it’s a quick
trick to offer a freshly baked sweet that fills the lobby with the scents of apple and cinnamon.

Pie crust (refrigerated or homemade) enough for a top and bottom of 9” pie
4 red apples washed, cored, sliced thickly and each slice cut into thirds
1 lemon, cut in half and seeds removed
¼ cup butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. brown sugar
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp. brandy (apple juice can be substituted)

Day before or early in the day:
Place apples in a bowl, squeeze lemon juice onto apples
Mix cinnamon, brown sugar and nutmeg in a small bowl.
Add mixture to apples and gently toss.
Drizzle brandy over apple mixture and cover.
Melt butter over low heat.
Add apple mixture, stirring frequently until apples are soft but not mushy.
Return cooked apple mixture to bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight or several hours.

Next day or later in the day
Heat oven to 350 degrees, line cookie sheet with parchment paper
Roll out pie crust and cut into circles using glass or bowl
Place well-rounded tsp. of filling (for 3 ½ “ circles) in center
Brush water along edge, fold circle, seal with fork tines dipped in water
pressed along edges
Place on parchment paper, poke holes on tops with sharp knife
Bake 10 – 15 min. until light brown, slide onto cooling racks
When cool, store in covered container. May be frozen.
Pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee, find a cozy spot and enjoy a little apple, delish!