Saturday, May 23, 2015

New Twist on an Old Favorite - BLT Macaroni Salad! (And bonus recipe too!)

A meal in itself!
It's finally Memorial Day weekend and I'm sure there is at least one day that will include a BBQ! With that in mind, I discovered a new twist on macaroni salad that became a huge hit at two gatherings. Easy to make (and you know I'm all about that!).

 In fact, you probably have most of the ingredients on hand now! So, this weekend, when you are attending a feast to celebrate the annual kick off to summer, surprise those that think they are dipping into that old boring bowl of macaroni salad. I did!

BLT Macaroni Salad
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked, drained and diced (thick slices work best)
  • 2 tbls of chopped green onions
  • 3 cups of chopped romaine lettuce
  • 3/4 cups of chopped tomatoes (make sure to seed the tomato first)
  • 3 tbls of sweet chili sauce
  • 3/4 cups of mayo (or a little more if you like your salad moist)
  • 2 tlbs of fresh lemon juice
  • 16 oz box of elbow,small shells or twist style of macaroni

While cooking the macaroni, mix together the wet ingredients for the dressing (mayo, chili sauce, lemon juice).
Cook pasta in salted water, then drain and let it cool slightly
Then add the chopped tomato, green onions and bacon
Pour dressing over the top and set in refrigerator
Important Note: Do not add the lettuce until you are ready to serve. This way it will stand up to the other ingredients (which is also why it is important to use a hearty romaine lettuce instead of iceberg)

That's it! Serve and enjoy the compliments!

Okay, while monitoring my blog hits, I noticed a huge increase on my old standard "Ice Box Cake", so if you are planning to add this great, easy, no bake dessert to your summer gatherings, here it is again (2,970 people have downloading this recipe. We can't all be wrong!)

Ice Box Cake
  • Half gallon of whole milk (low fat milk will not allow the pudding to set right)
  •  2 small boxes of “cooked” vanilla pudding (instant won’t work)
  •  2 small boxes of “cooked” chocolate pudding
  •  Box of plain graham crackers

Ironically, the hardest part of making this cake is finding the “cooked” version of pudding in the store these days. Instant doesn’t work because it won’t soften the layers of graham crackers into a cake-like texture the way hot pudding does. So when I find it, I buy several boxes. The other requirement is coordination. You have to cook both pudding flavors at the same time (which require almost constant stirring.) Spread a layer of the whole graham crackers in 13” x 9” dish, pour a layer of hot vanilla pudding over it, layer the top with more crackers, and then repeat the procedure using the chocolate pudding. Crush up the last of the crackers and sprinkle over top layer. Refrigerate till cold. There. How easy is that? 

Enjoy the weekend! But please, take a moment to remember why we are celebrating and those who gave their lives so we could live freely in this great country! It's still the best there is!

Photos by Jo Ann Phelps and GoggleImages

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