South Island Living Magazine features


Photos by Steve Leimberg, Unseen

Written by Kathy Miller

This month’s featured resident cook is Jo-Ann Leimberg.  Jo-Ann and Steve’s home is perfect for cooking, eating and entertaining!  The kitchen is spacious yet so well designed for cooking.  

Jo-Ann planned her featured recipe to be served outside as a picnic.  As with all the best laid plans the weather did not cooperate and she moved the picnic inside…to her dining room.  

The table was beautifully set…a true “tablescape” ready to be painted!

Each place setting included a philodendron placemat, white plate, silverware and napkin rolled with a yellow flower and sprig of parsley tucked in the tie.  Jo-Ann placed fresh parsley, basil, rosemary and yellow daises in small square glass vases, such a clever idea for a cook.

Jo-Ann’s Haecker family potato salad is a German style potato salad which usually means using vinegar and oil instead of mayonnaise and eggs as a base (perfect for picnics and tailgates when one might worry about letting mayo sit out in the sun).Recipe below.

Jo-Ann's Potato Salad photo by Steve Leimberg

Jo-Ann shared how she came by the recipe…an invitation to visit her aunt, known as the best maker of this potato salad, who “showed” her the “how to”. As with many a great natural cook, the aunt used a bit of this, a splash of that, with Jo-Ann trying to write down appropriate proportions.  Many years later at this aunt’s memorial service, Jo-Ann shared the story of learning to make the potato salad with her family and friends as a fond memory of her aunt.  Her cousin filled her in on another interesting tidbit important when making this salad.  Her aunt  would always place the chopped onions in the mixing bowl first, then peel and slice the hot potatoes, layering over the onions which allowed the heat of the potato to soften and tone down the flavor of the onion.  Such an interesting concept!  I think of how onion can overpower a recipe especially when raw.  Another interesting how-to in this recipe…Boil the potatoes in their jackets (skins) and reserve a bit of the liquid used while boiling which adds starch to help bind the mixture.

Jo-Ann's Family Potatl Salad photo by Steve Leimberg


  • 3 cups of cooked sliced potatoes Idaho gold or small red waxy potatoes (these hold their shape and don't crumble when sliced)
  • 1/4 cup water in which the potatoes were cooked still warm
  • 2/3 cup Safflower oil or other mild tasting oil
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped celery (optional)
  • Parsley or chives to taste
  • Salt, pepper and dried mustard to taste
  • 8 bacon slices, cooked very crisp and crumbled, optional.


  1. Chop or dice onion and place in bottom of mixing bowl.
  2. Cook potatoes in salted boiling water in their skins in a covered saucepan.  30-40 minutes.
  3. Peel and slice over the onions while hot.  This allow the heat of the potato to soften the onion.
  4. Once potatoes are sliced over the onion, sprinkle with either 1/2 cup heated white wine or 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar.
  5. Add 1/4 cup of the liquid the potatoes were cooked in (adds starch to bind).
  6. Allow to sit at room temperature for an hour.
  7. Mix dressing and pour over potatoes.  Use as much as needed.  Retain remaining as you may need more later.
  8. Best made the morning of or the night before the day you are planning to serve to allow dressing to absorb.  Hold at room temperature if that day, refrigerate if overnight.
  9. Taste before serving.  Will probably need more salt and more dressing.

By Jo-Ann Leimberg via KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from

When entertaining, Jo-Ann and Steve prefer small groups, 4-6 people.  She loves to pass the food around the table as a family would do.  Could this be called family-style? Not the family style restaurant quantities so she came up with comfort style.  I like this!

A typical menu for Jo-Ann includes her Soy Ginger Salmon, (the recipe generously shared by Jennifer Harrison), 2 vegetables, or a vegetable and a salad and a starch (when “company” comes).  


  • 1 side fresh salmon, boned but skin on
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • chopped chives
  • 1 inch minced ginger root
  • a little brown sugar, if desired


  1. Mix soy sauce, olive oil, chives and ginger root in bowl.  
  2. Pour over salmon and marinade for several hours.
  3. Just before roasting sprinkle a little brown sugar on top of salmon.
  4. Roast in a 350-375 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes.

Jo-Ann Liemberg, shared from Jennifer Harrison... By KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from

Jo-Ann’s favorite cookbook?  Any one of Ina Garten’s cookbooks.  Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, is a talent in the kitchen, and is known for her approachable, realistic recipes and entertaining ideas.  Another favorite cookbook  and Jo-Ann’s  old standby…is  Joy Of Cooking.  How many of us have cut our teeth on this cookbook?  Jo-Ann pointed out a Potato Salad Niçoise in this cookbook as having some similar components at least in the early prep.

Thank you Jo-Ann and Steve and you, our readers, for joining us In The Kitchen!  Please let us know what you think and who we should feature.  Do you know someone who loves to cook?  Tell us. And just because we are talking In The Kitchen doesn’t mean you have to have a newly remodeled kitchen. You might like to tell us about your dining spots…or a family story about how you learned to cook.  Or share a few favorite recipes…AND  a shoutout to all our men cooks…we know you are out there. Let us hear from you.  We’d love to know your specialty!

All photos courtesy of Steve Leimberg, Unseen Images.  One of my great photography partners!

Contact…visit for more recipes and art of living.

Jo-Ann Leimberg photo by Steve Leimberg Unseen Images

Come Celebrate with me!  I’ll save you a seat at the table…or In The Kitchen!


  • Jo-Ann Leimberg says:

    Thank you, Kathy, for writing the article up so well! And thank you, Steve, for all the wonderful photography!

    • Kathy Miller says:

      This was such a fun collaboration! Love your style, good taste and good cooking! Steve is the best!

  • Marcia says:

    Such a delicious meal. Presented effortlessly by such a wonderful couple!

    • Kathy Miller says:

      This potato salad recipe is wonderful! Also I have enjoyed the salmon at the Leimberg table. A great evening with the nicest couple.
      Thanks for your comment!

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