I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, a Happy New Year and is surviving the abysmal return to work. I’m hanging on by the skin of my teeth. I need to be independently wealthy so that every week is like Christmas! ;) Ah…to dream.
Anyway, I digress.
So, believe it or not, I actually cooked stuff this Christmas. I know. SHOCKING!
I made my mom’s famous mac salad (even people who don’t usually like mac salad like this!) and cheesy taters. Yum!
While the cheesy taters are, health-wise, just this side of a heart attack, the macaroni salad isn’t so bad. Especially if you use the Kraft Olive Oil mayo. Way less calories and fat than regular mayo and I can’t tell the difference. Also, I use less than one cup of mayo (mom uses way more), so my suggestion is to start with less and work your way up if you want it creamier. I think too much mayo is pukey, but you do what makes you happy. :)
Anyway, I thought I’d share the mac salad recipe for those of you who want to eat something as fresh and delicious as watermelon on a hot summer day. Especially since it’s cold as a witch’s tit out there and we could all use a little bit of summer right now. Except me. I live in AZ and had my air conditioning on the other day. Yes. I’m a wretched bitch. :)
Here’s the recipe straight from the cookbook. Enjoy!
Mom’s Macaroni Salad
I think maybe twice in my life I’ve had good macaroni salad at a restaurant or deli. It’s either got too much mayonnaise (yuck!) or some weird spice or a gross tang that makes me want to retch. I keep trying, but I rarely find one that is palatable. What is my solution to this problem? Make my own.
To be quite frank, that solution almost never occurs to me. It does not occur to a furry little blind mole to buy reading glasses. Why would it occur to ME to cook something voluntarily? It usually doesn’t. But this is super easy and is incredibly light tasting and refreshing. It has very few ingredients (whew…) and is almost impossible to make wrong. To me, that is the perfect recipe.
Stuff you’ll need:
- 1 one-pound box of elbow macaroni
- 1 green pepper
- 4 good-sized tomatoes
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 medium-sized, sweet onion (don’t use a yellow or red, they are way too potent—look on the label of the onion for the word “sweet”)
- 1 cup of mayonnaise* (maybe more)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
*I use Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil™ as I can’t tell the difference between it and regular mayo, but it has way fewer calories and less fat than the regular kind.
Putting it all together:
- Cook the macaroni according to the directions on the box.
- Once it’s cooked (don’t overcook it) dump it into a colander and thoroughly rinse it with cool water.
- Empty the macaroni into a large bowl.
- Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl.
- Peel the cucumber and cut into bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl.
- Cut the green pepper into large pieces (I do this because I don’t want to bite down on a piece of green pepper, but it does add a nice flavor to the salad—you can cut it any way you want) and add to the bowl.
- Dice the onion into small pieces (you don’t want any big bites of onion either, but you do actually want onion in your mouth) and add to the bowl.
- Add about 1/2 the mayonnaise and stir. Continue to add the mayo until it’s got enough for you. Some people like tons of it, some people don’t.
- Add salt and pepper. Taste it. Add more salt and pepper as necessary.
- Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours so everything has time to chill. If you can, refrigerate it overnight. It is at its absolute best on the second day.
- Before serving, make sure to stir and taste-test it one more time to make sure it has enough salt. It will be bland if it doesn’t have enough salt.
One of my favorite things about this salad is that it doesn’t have a bunch of weird junk in it. I think sometimes people get so obsessed with making food all fancy and complicated that they lose sight of what makes it taste so good—simplicity. This salad has a clean, crisp, summer taste to it. It is one of my all-time favorite things to eat while sitting in the backyard and watching the chickens play as the sun goes down.
PS: Go easy with the onion at first and add more a little bit at a time. I love tons of onion, but just in case you don’t you can always leave it out or just use a little. :)