Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad

I needed a side dish for lunches last week. This old fashioned macaroni salad was just what I was looking for. This brought back memories of the macaroni salad people would take to pitch-ins. It is deliciously creamy and has some crunch from the carrots and celery. It has a hint of sweetness from the sugar which is tamed by the apple cider vinegar. Elbow is my preferred pasta for this salad, but you could use whatever you have on hand.

Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad

I like that it isn’t runny like a lot of recipes or the kind that you buy in the deli at the grocery store. I used Blue Plate mayonnaise (my favorite) that I order from Amazon since the grocery stores near me don’t carry it. The next time I make this old fashioned macaroni salad, I will add peas to it. You could also add cheese, ham or bacon to make it your own.

Also try our creamy pasta salad.

Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad

The next time I make this old fashioned macaroni salad, I will add peas to it. You could also add cheese, ham or bacon to make it your own.
Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
2 hours
Servings 8
Calories 674kcal

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup milk plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups carrots peeled, shredded
  • 3 green onions sliced thin, separated into white and light green parts, and dark green parts
  • 2 stalks celery finely chopped
  • 1/2 small yellow onion grated
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil.
  • Add the macaroni and cook per package instructions, but add 2 extra minutes to the cooking time.
  • Drain well and place in a large mixing bowl.
  • Gently stir in the apple cider vinegar and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  • Add the carrots, the white and light green parts of the green onions, celery and yellow onion. to the pasta.
  • Sprinkle the top of the pasta with 1 teaspoon of pepper.
  • In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, milk and sugar and gently fold the mixture into the pasta.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Before serving, stir the salad. If too thick add a bit of milk (about 1 tablespoon at a time) and stir. Also add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Serve garnished with the green onion slices.

Nutrition

Calories: 674kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 29g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 438mg | Potassium: 300mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 5489IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Pickled Brussels Sprouts

I was wandering around the produce section of our local grocery store when I came across the Brussels sprouts. There they sat, on sale, beckoning me. Normally I’d roast them or sous vide them or grill them, but this time I decided to try something new: pickling. It took no time at all to make a few jars of the sprouts. Unfortunately, because I have no patience, they then have to sit in the fridge for four or so days to get ‘happy;.

Pickled Brussels Sprouts

Pickled Brussels sprouts are delicious. They remind me a bit of cucumber pickles but with a much different texture. The insides are like tender cabbage. I find it hard to stop eating them. They’re great as a side snack or even chopped onto a pulled pork sandwich.

I like a little kick to my pickled vegetables, so I did add a bit more red pepper flake than the recipe calls for. If you prefer yours even hotter, I recommend the four pepper blend from the Flatiron Pepper Company.

You can use this recipe for pickled Brussels sprouts for other vegetables, too.

Pickled Brussels Sprouts

Pickled Brussels sprouts are delicious. They remind me a bit of cucumber pickles but with a much different texture.
Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 days
Servings 6
Calories 17kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 10 Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 clove clove sliced
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1 fresh bay leaf

Instructions

  • Cook 10 trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts in a large stockpot of boiling water until bright green, about 5 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse under cold running water.
  • Bring 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup white vinegar, and 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt to a simmer in stockpot over medium; simmer until salt dissolves.
  • Combine 10 black peppercorns, 1/4 tsp. yellow mustard seeds, 1 sliced garlic clove, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and 1 fresh bay leaf in a sterilized pint jar.
  • Place Brussels sprouts in jar; add hot vinegar mixture. (You may have some leftover liquid.)
  • Cool to room temperature. Cover with lid, and chill 4 days or up to 2 weeks before serving.
  • Store covered in refrigerator up to 1 month.

Nutrition

Calories: 17kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 398mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 241IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Cedar Planked Hasselback Potatoes

I’m a big fan of Hasselback potatoes. They’re like a cross between scalloped potatoes and baked potatoes. They look cool and are actually pretty easy to make. This time I took my classic favorite Hasselback potato recipe and threw in a twist: I baked the potatoes on my grill on a cedar plank. The plank added a wonderful aroma and flavor to the potatoes. Not too much, but just enough to make me say “Wow, that’s great and different!”.

Cedar Planked Hasselback Potatoes

Cutting a potato Hasselback-style is actually pretty easy. You can just put a wooden spoon along the potato and slice them manually. The spoon will stop you from going all the way through the potato. Or you can ‘cheat’ like I do and get a Hasselback potato slicer (see below). It holds the potato in place. It also makes sure that each cut is the same thickness. And of course, it prevents you from cutting the potato too far. Hey, who doesn’t need another kitchen gadget!

Also try my cedar planked potato skins, twice baked planked potatoes, twice baked jalapeno popper potatoes and garlic-roasted potatoes.

Cedar Planked Hasselback Potatoes

I’m a big fan of Hasselback potatoes. They’re like a cross between scalloped potatoes and baked potatoes. They look cool and are actually pretty easy to make. 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 168kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 4 Russet potatoes scrubbed clean
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Soak cedar planks in water for at least 1 hour.
  • Cut the potatoes in Hasselback fashion. I use a tool to do this (link above). You can also lay wooden spoons alongside the potato. As you cut the potato into slices, the spoons will prevent you from cutting all the way through.
  • Gently and carefully lightly spread the potato segments apart.
  • Brush the tops of the potatoes with the oil. Try to get some down inside the segments, but don't over-oil them. You want just a light coating.
  • Generously salt and pepper the potatoes.
  • Fire up your grill for direct cooking. Remove the plank from the water and place over the fire. Char on both sides then remove the plank to indirect cooking. You want a cook temperature of around 400 F.
  • Transfer the potatoes to the plank and cook for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick (I use a thin skewer) inserts easily into the potato. I find it's easier to poke it from the side, into the ends.
  • If you wish to serve with cheese melted over the top, just sprinkle the potatoes with the cheese and cook another 5 minutes.
  • Remove and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 888mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Parmesan Garlic Potatoes

When I am making baby or fingerling potatoes, I almost always keep them whole. I know, cutting them in half gives you more surface area for seasonings, but I really, really love the ‘pop’ of biting into a baby potato. It’s probably just me but that’s why I kept these Parmesan garlic potatoes whole. Hey, they’re not that big and boy do they cook up creamy good. Smothered in tons of garlic and cheese, I absolutely loved them.
Parmesan Garlic PotatoesI mentioned fingerling potatoes. This dish would also be great using fingerling potatoes. Ditto with baby yellow potatoes.

Since I’m somewhat of a butter-aholic I added a few pats of butter before serving up these Parmesan garlic potatoes.

Parmesan Garlic Potatoes

I really, really love the ‘pop’ of biting into a baby potato. It’s probably just me but that’s why I kept these Parmesan garlic potatoes whole. Hey, they’re not that big and boy do they cook up creamy good. Smothered in tons of garlic and cheese, I absolutely loved them.
Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 118kcal
Author Inspired by a recipe from The Recipe Critic

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds baby potatoes rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated, plus more for garnish
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • parsley chopped, for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F or fire up a grill for indirect cooking.
  • Combine all ingredients except for the water in a baking dish (oven) or disposable aluminum pan (grill). Toss to coat. Pour in the water.
  • Cover with foil and bake or grill 20-30 minutes or until tender.
  • Serve garnish with chopped parsley and more freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 118kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 211mg | Potassium: 497mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 70IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Cajun Cheesy Waffle Fries

Yeah, I coulda just turned on the oven, tossed in a few waffle fries, and had a side for my burgers in less than 30 minutes. And I would’ve been fairly happy with that. But why not spend any extra minute or two and turn those fries into something special? These Cajun cheesy waffle fries prove just how easy it is to turn a simple side into something fantastic. Smoky bacon, sharp onion and creamy cheese, all on top of waffle fries seasoned well with Cajun seasoning. Just a bit of heat, just a bit of spiciness. Perfect.

Cajun Cheesy Waffle Fries

Mix it up a bit. I’ve made these Cajun cheesy waffle fries with smoked cheddar, leaving out the bacon, for a wonderful twist. Don’t have green onion? Red onion, minced, works great too! Instead of Cajun seasoning, use your favorite. I like blackened seasoning. Or smoked paprika. You can’t really mess these up. Oh, and sure, if you don’t have waffle fries, good ole French fries work great too!

Also try my Texas fries.

Cajun Cheesy Waffle Fries

These Cajun cheesy waffle fries prove just how easy it is to turn a simple side into something fantastic. 
Course Side or Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 297kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 22 ounce waffle fries Ore-Ida Golden Waffle Fries
  • 4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning divided
  • 6 ounces cheese finely shredded . I used a mix of 3 ounces cheddar and 3 ounces Monterrey Jack
  • 4 sliced bacon cooked, crumbled
  • 2 green onions sliced, for topping
  • Ranch dressing for serving, if desired

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 450 F. Line a large baking sheet with foil or use a silpat.
  • Add the fries and arrange them into one layer. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the fries with half of the Cajun seasoning and flip. Return to the oven and bake another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown with crispy edges.
  • Sprinkle tops of fries with the cheese, remaining Cajun seasoning, and the bacon. Return to the oven and bake another 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
  • Sprinkle with green onion and serve with Ranch dressing.

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 516mg | Potassium: 387mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 735IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 165mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Arkansas Slaw

Anita and I are always on the lookout for a great, easy recipe for a dish she can take with her to work for her lunches. This Arkansas slaw has quickly become a favorite. It’s one she makes often and never tires of, and that’s a major plus.

On the surface, this Arkansas slaw is pretty much your standard slaw. But, it’s the addition of apple and celery that really make it different. Super crunchy, with a great dressing, it holds up for days, making it perfect for those workweek lunches, a picnic, or a family get-together.

Arkansas Slaw

I use pre-packaged slaw mix almost every time I make a slaw at home. Yeah, I could grab some cabbage, some carrots and whatever else and chop it myself, but those little bags are usually cheap, priced nicely, and always look good in the grocery case.

I lived in Arkansas for a number of years and for the life of me I don’t know what makes this ‘Arkansas Slaw’. Maybe it’s just called that because it’s amazing… like Arkansas! There! I figured it out!

Also try my BBQ Shack slaw.

Arkansas Slaw

On the surface, this Arkansas slaw is pretty much your standard slaw. But, it's the addition of apple and celery that really make it different.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 188kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

For the slaw

  • 1 12 ounce coleslaw
  • 1 small sweet onion sliced thin or chopped
  • 1 red delicious apple peeled, cored, diced
  • 2 ribs celery chopped

Instructions

  • Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Add the slaw ingredients and stir gently to combine.

Nutrition

Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 522mg | Potassium: 147mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 91IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.