Monday, February 14, 2011

Picnic Salads

Sunday, we thought it would be fun to make corn dogs and have picnic salads. We put off the corn dogs til later in the week and opted for chili dogs. That works for me because corn dogs are work and I really want to share with you the whole technique (secret is in a corn dog maker which is wonderful but that's for next time. Picnic salads, to me, are potato salad, macaroni salad - anything you'll make for a picnic or barbeque. Sunday's weather was unseasonably warm and sunny which made us want to spend time outside. Even though it was warmer, it wasn't warm enough for a picnic.
My son requested potato salad for dinner and my husband wanted macaroni salad. Both salads are best when they sit for awhile but we couldn't wait.

Macaroni Salad
This can easily be made gluten free by subing gf pasta. To be dairy free omit the cheese.
1 pound macaroni (I actually made 2 12 oz boxes of spiral pasta because it was on sale)
onion powder (or finely chopped onion - I don't like raw onion so I sub)
3-5 hard boiled eggs (depends on the amount of pasta, for 24 ozs I used 5 eggs)
3-5 TB sweet relish (I just use a big spoonful)
1/2 cups shredded cheese
3 celery stalks, sliced thin
Miracle Whip salad dressing

Boil noodles until firm tender. Drain and rinse with cold water until the noodles are all cold to the touch.
In a large bowl, mix celery, onion powder and relish. Add noodles and mix thoroughly. Add Miracle Whip by the spoonful until all the pasta is thinly coated. Stir in cheese and give the salad a good stirring to catch anything that might be sitting at the bottom. Chill for 1-2 hours before serving for a good flavor, overnight for a better flavor (can be eaten right away but may be a little bland).

Potato Salad (gf,df)
6 medium potatoes
4 eggs
seasoning salt
finely chopped onion, if desired (I often leave out the onion)
Boil potatoes until they are tender but not soft (too soft and they won't cube) in a large pot. In a small pot (with lid) bring eggs to a boil. Turn off burner and let sit until potatoes are ready. If you have time, let potatoes and eggs cool. Peel eggs and potatoes. Chop into bite sized peices. Add mayo until all ingredients are lightly covered (not dry but not soupy). Add 1-2 TBs mustard, to taste. Season with seasoning salt.

Super easy salads for any time of the year. Best served with hot dogs, hamburgers or fried chicken but really anything is good.
I prefer to heat my potato salad just a little before eating so it has the best flavor.

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