Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Piggy

When we see a show with my parents, we always go to dinner at Meat & Potatoes. SP & I have liked the restaurant for years and my parents like it a lot, too, although they only dine there when they're with us. It was, as usual, delicious, and we tried a new-to-us dish. 
The Smoked Brisket Mac & Cheese (coffee BBQ, maytag blue cheese, horseradish, BBQ potato chips). This was so darn tasty. Even SP liked it and he dislikes blue cheese.   
 As usual: Fried Brussels (parmesan / lemon aioli).
 Another usual: Fried Pickles (spicy ranch). Still my favorite fried pickles.  
My usual, my favorite sandwich: Three Little Pigs (pork milanese, ham, bacon, swiss, fried egg)
It's enormous and I could only eat a bit over one third but it makes me so happy, all that piggy goodness.
Dad had Pot Roast (braised chuck roast, baby carrots, turnips, cipollini onions, parsnips, horseradish, gremolata) but I didn't take a photo. Mom had Lamb Neck Cassoulet (Jamison Farms lamb, lamb bacon streusel, lamb sausage, five beans, mint yogurt, watercress) but the photos turned out blurry. SP had Salmon (black rice, kim chi, cucumber, chinese sausage, korean hot sauce, fried egg, ginger scallion relish). His salmon looks like a black blob in the above photo, oh well. 
 As usual, we ordered one of each dessert & shared. There was a vanilla custard.
 There was a chocolate pot de creme.
And there was a blueberry-key lime one. This one was too tart for me, mom, & dad, so SP got to enjoy all of it.
Then we waddled out and went home where I tried to relax with tea and water but I was so darn full. I suppose the Sgt. Pepper’s Old Fashioneds (bulleit bourbon, bpt syrup, whiskey barrel bitters, lemon) didn't help things. I was a piggy who ate a lot of piggy but it was worth it.

Still one of our favorite restaurants.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Chicken with Herb Roasted Tomatoes & Pan Sauce

It's getting warmer. And busier. We always seem extra busy in summer and have less time to devote to time-consuming dishes. Even if it's something hands-off that simmers or braises for a few hours, we often don't even have a few afternoon hours for that. So we usually turn to chicken breasts, baked or grilled or sauteed. But they can be boring, they need a sauce, a topping, and after a while, even our ususal toppings/sauces become boring.
I was adding more ripped out recipes to my binders when I saw this one: Chicken with Herb Roasted Tomatoes & Pan Sauce. Lots of tomatoes. Roasted. With herbs de provence, of which we have a large canister since my mom decided she wasn't going to use it.
Small tomatoes roast quickly. I love roasted tomatoes, especially if the tomatoes aren't at their best. We usually buy the grape/cherry tomatoes from Costco and they are usually pretty good.
Lots of juice, a splash of vinegar, some Worcestershire, some shallot.
And the sliced, cooked chicken breasts.
We followed the advice of many reviewers and used only 1 tbsp, not 2 tbsp, of herbs de provence, and it was plenty. Our fresh parsley & fresh tarragon weren't big enough to use so we used dried. There are lots of tasty herbs in this dish.
This was a huge hit. It definitely needs a bread or rice alongside to absorb/soak up all the tomato juice/acidity. We chose rice. We made some zoodles for the vegetable. This dish reheats nicely (15-20 minutes at 350 in our toaster oven). The tomatoes and their juices help to keep it juicy.
Definitely a make again dinner. We are, sadly, almost out of herbs de provence. I never thought it was something I'd want to keep in the spice/herb drawer but we seem to use it a lot. It's great to liven up plain roasted chicken or turkey. We use it on chicken breasts that we slice and eat atop salad. We use it on the turkey breast we roast for my lunch. And now we'll be using it on roasted tomatoes with chicken.

Recipe here.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

This has been a busy week.

Monday was very exciting. First, deck guy came to finish sealing the deck. It looks prettier and hopefully will be better able to handle the elements. Second, not long after deck guy arrived, yard guy(s) arrived. Finally, fresh, new mulch. The purple catmint was tamed. Weeds were pulled. It looks pretty (for now!).

Tuesday I was in charge of meeting with the guy who came to give us an estimate on doing some work. It's a lot of work that does not need to be immediately done - well, some of it does need to be immediately done - but we'll need to do all of it sometime in the next 2-5 years. It's also the kind of work that costs $XX,XXX. Yipes.

Wednesday was exciting, too. The windows were cleaned! It hadn't been done in... uhh... I'm ashamed to admit. Last winter, there were several days when I looked out at the setting sun and saw the haze/dust/dirt on the windows. It was gross. But the windows were beautifully clear, at least until the overnight rain storm.

Last weekend we went to see Chicago. I've always wanted to see that show so I was very excited when I saw it was coming. My mom wanted to see it, too, so she & my dad went with us. After, we went to dinner at Meat & Potatoes. Everyone ate way too much food but it was so yummy.

Last Sunday's Game of Thrones was one of the best episodes, maybe the best, although I knew (or hoped) what would happen. Really, could it have been any different? If it had been different, I think fans would have revolted.

We've been watching Brain Dead on CBS but aren't sure how we feel about it. I started watching Animal Kingdom on TNT but am not sure I like it enough to keep watching. Person of Interest ended and I think I am satisfied with the series finale. I was ready for it to end.

I read Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss and enjoyed the novel. It was kind of sad. My library  book pile is at 3 books. The magazine pile is currently at 0, unless you count the National Geographic from 2013 that I've never read but is the perfect size on my C-Table for water & tea instead of using a coaster.




Monday, June 20, 2016

Asparagus-Ham-Gruyere Frittata

Some time ago, Googer gifted me with a copy of The Science of Good Cooking from America's Test Kitchen. We love this cookbook and have made several recipes from it. All have been excellent.

A few weeks ago, we decided to make frittata for dinner. You would think by now we wouldn't need a recipe for a frittata, but sometimes when we just do it, it's just not as good as following a recipe from a trusted source. Our ingredients don't mesh as nicely, our egg filling is missing a little something.
So we followed TSOGC recipe for Asparagus-Ham-Gruyere Frittata. However, we halved it. A 12 egg frittata was a bit much for the two of us.
We bought some ham steak in a package. I trimmed it and cut it into small cubes. I also chopped the asparagus into small pieces while SP grated the gruyere and whisked up the egg mixture.
Some time on the stovetop, a little time under the broiler, and dinner is served. It doesn't take long to make (especially if you chop/grate everything ahead of time), it's easy, it's filling, and it's yummy. I like this ham-asparagus-gruyere combination. Definitely a frittata combination we'll make again.

Recipe here.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Bird Intimidation

It's like the wild kingdom in our yard. Otis the Groundhog and his buddies routinely venture up from the woods to munch on our grass and flowers. Barry Bunny and his friends like to eat the dandelions and pea shoots. The deer like to walk through and munch on stuff. Randy Raccoon likes to try to tear our trash can apart and once upon a time left us some raccoon poop on the deck. That was lovely. The squirrels like the walnut trees and scampering around on the deck and through the herb pots. I know there are mice and hawks. There is a never-ending "supply" of wolf spiders, ants, small spiders, daddy long legs, stink bugs, and those terrifying house centipedes. There have been too many wasp and bee nests to keep count. I already wrote about Sammy Snake. He scares me the most. Stray cats wander around the yard and sometimes meow and screech. Ugh I hate cats. But even more than the cats, I think I hate the birds. Birds disgust me.

They poop on the deck, frequently within moments of it being freshly washed & sealed. They poop on the driveway and walkway. The poop on the windows, and not just any window but the hardest to clean windows, the ones that require a ladder carefully anchored on a slope to clean the exterior of them. They hurl themselves into the windows, leaving bird goop behind and often killing themselves, leaving bird bodies under the windows for nocturnal critters to enjoy. They fly around in large groups and land on the roof, all flapping their wings at the same time, making a horrible, scary movie, Alfred Hitchcock kind of vibe.

And then there are the nests. They love to build nests under the deck. Then they FREAK if you go under the deck to mow or weed or destroy a wasp nest. I tried to be nice. After all, nests are for eggs and eggs mean helpless baby birds. It's not like I want more birds, but I don't really want to kill them.

Well, I didn't. Not until Sammy Snake started lurking and slithering around the top and underside of the deck. I'm pretty sure he was hoping to snag a bird egg. Therefore, the way I see it, the birds I already despise are attracting a critter that completely freaks me out. I can't let that stand.

So I asked SP to get rid of the bird nests. He wasn't too happy but he saw my point. When he came back inside one morning after being on a destroy wasp and bird nest mission, I asked him how it had gone. He was happy to report that the wasps were handled. The bird nests? Well, Bird Who Tweets Like A Maniac Whenever You Go Under the Deck was apparently looking right at him, giving him the eye, intimidating him, and he couldn't do it. He couldn't bring himself to knock out the nest.

I was not happy. I get it, I do, but... snake. And also, I personally feel the bird population is a little to populous here at Casa Yum Yum. Has he seen the amount of bird poo around the house, yard, deck, patio - even smeared on tree leaves?!

So wife evil eye and chirping trumped bird evil eye & chirping and SP went back out and knocked out the nest. He looked miserable about it. I felt bad.

I felt even worse when an hour later the deck guy called to say he'd be stopping by to power wash the deck. No way the nest would survive that, so if we'd just waited a couple hours, we both would have "won." SP would not have felt like a baby bird killer and I would have gotten the bird nests removed.

We aren't the only ones attacking birds, though. SP found this pile in the back yard. Guess one of the stray cats had a successful day.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

1. The Pens won the Stanley Cup last Sunday night. We watched the last 5 minutes of the 1st period because we were doing the usual Sunday night chores. Then we watched Game of Thrones during the 2nd period. Aside from loving GoT, we were just too on the edge of our seats to calmly watch the game. So we saved the "stress" for the 3rd period. My Iceburgh can come out of hiding now (he jinxed them when he moved from the office to living room) and celebrate.

We didn't go to the parade but I did watch some of it on TV. So many people!

2. This week we're having grilled flank steak quesadillas with roasted red pepper, grilled mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, and cheddar. We marinated the steak on our favorite steak marinade, the Coffee Marinade. For dessert this week we made Coffee Ice CreamOur other meal is the Grilled Zucchini & Red Pepper Fattoush.

3. Breakfast is finally NOT bananas. It's strawberries from the farmers market and cherries. So happy.

4. Super excited for Game of Thrones this Sunday. The Big Battle! Jon Snow & Ramsey.

5. We have watched episodes 1-3 of Preacher and while SP is a fan, I am not. I find myself super bored and super annoyed with the show. I think this is going to be a show I quit and SP keeps watching, like Fringe.

6. We're falling a little behind on TV catching up. We still haven't watched the last 6 episodes of The Walking Dead. We haven't watched any of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 2. OITNB Season 4 starts tomorrow.

7. SP finished reading City of Mirrors and we got to talk about it. We both enjoyed it a lot and are glad we read Cronin's trilogy.

8. It's a gloomy, dark, rainy day, but this weekend is supposed to be sunny-ish & less humid. Maybe I'll brave the deck. The deck guy power washed it earlier this week, which means the only thing on the deck is the table, so there's nowhere for Sammy to lurk/hide. Plus, the birds and their nests/eggs are gone, so there's no tasty food under the deck for Sammy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Snake & the Broom

Last Sunday was a beautiful day. Blue skies. Not too warm. Not cold. A breeze. An excellent day for yard work, for grilling, and for hanging out on the deck. In the afternoon, I decided I wanted to check on our herbs and enjoy some sunshine. I need SP's help to get on the deck because there's a big "hump" to get from the sunroom, through the sliding doors, and onto the deck. The wheelchair can't get over it unless someone lifts it over.

Since backwards (big wheels) first is the best way to tackle bumps, I positioned myself at the sliding door with my back to it. Then SP said,"Um, I don't think you want to come out here right now."

I knew. I knew before I turned around. I knew before I saw it. I KNEW.

I turned around and started frantically scanning the deck. My heart rate was rising. I didn't see it. So I started scanning the pots of tomatoes and herbs. And then I saw it. I saw its head poking up from the tomato pot, resting on the edge of the basil pot next to it.

Sammy was back. Sammy the snake. Or, in this case, the new one or another one. We didn't see Original Sammy's skin shed on the front patio this year. Judging from his length, OS was pretty old.

This was Sammy Jr. Sunning himself IN MY TOMATO POT. ON MY DECK. How the eff did it get up there. Yes. OK. It climbed.

SP was fairly nonchalant. After all, he once owned a pet snake (that thankfully went to snake heaven 2 weeks before we moved in together).

My response? "GET IT OFF." SP went to get a broom. As soon as he returned, Sammy Jr. started slithering out of the tomato pot, along the deck, under the wood bench, and then slithered down under the deck, disappearing through a space between the deck wood planks.

"Do you think it's gone? Gone for good?"
"I can't swear it, but yeah, probably. Nothing for it to eat up here."
"What about me?! My toes?! I'm exposed! Wearing flip flops!"

Yes. I know how ridiculous that sounds. So we waited. No sign of Sammy Jr. So I decided it was safe enough to brave the deck to see my herbs. While checking them out, we decided they needed some water. So SP was going to leave me on the deck to get and fill the watering can. Leave me. Alone. Unprotected. Unable to get over the hump into the sunroom or down the steps to the driveway. No escape.

"Don't worry. It's more scared of you than you are of him."

I doubt that. But just in case, he left me holding the broom for self defense.

So I sat there, enjoying the sunshine, the breeze, admiring my herbs, being sad that they haven't gotten very big yet, and then IT WAS BACK.

Sammy Jr. slithered up between deck boards, coming up under a lounge chair. I didn't even see him until he was completely on the deck. Are they that fast? That silent and sneaky and deadly? I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. What was I supposed to do? Could I really battle the snake with the broom? Could I yell for SP? Would it hear me yell and come investigate the source of the sound? I swear it turned its head and looked at me.

"SP. SP! SSSSSSSSSPPPPPPP!!!!!!!"

I heard SP's footsteps as he pounded across the kitchen, across the dining room, across the sunroom.

"Where?"
"There - under the chaise lounge."
"Give me the broom."
"No! Get me in the house! Now! Hurry!"

From the safety of the sunroom I watched SP battle Sammy Jr. He went over to it and stomped around. No reaction. He nudged it with the broom. It flipped out, doing that frantic ess wiggle thing and trying to wrap itself around the leg of the lounge chair. He shoved harder. It freaked more. The third time, he shoved it so hard with the broom that Sammy Jr. went flying off the deck, through the air, and landed, presumably, somewhere in the yard.

As this was happening, I'm inside squealing a bit, like a lame girl. I was scared it'd attack SP. When I saw it go flying I had two simultaneous thoughts:

1. Ha ha ha you stupid snake get off my deck, yeah SP show that snake who's in charge!
2. Aww poor snakey, shoved into the air and plummeting 8 feet, SP is so mean.

So now I am terrified of the deck. I am refusing to allow the sunroom door to be open even if the screen door is in place. I am scared of SP leaving the garage door open when he does yard work.

I AM SCARED TO BE ALONE IN MY HOUSE.

If only Sammy Jr. hadn't dared to venture on my deck.

If only SP hadn't told me that the neighbor told him she found 2 snake skins in her attic when she moved in.

If only my long ago physical therapist hadn't told me the story about picking up her kids' toys, including rubber snakes, and discovering that a rubber snake wasn't rubber but real.

If only as a teen I hadn't been working at Hills at the Village Square Mall when a snake escaped the pet store and then showed up under the ice machine in the snack bar area where I was working.

If only after that snack bar snake incident the jerk co-workers hadn't continued to terrorize me and my snack bar co-worker by randomly hiding rubber snakes from the toy department around the snack bar.

If only I hadn't seen a photo last year of Original Sammy sunning himself on the grass near the deck when he was 6-7 feet long (not exaggerating).

If only I hadn't ever seen the snake skins against the exterior brick by the concrete patio.

If only SP & my dad hadn't told my mother and I to stay inside while they chased OS off the front patio one day when we all were trying to leave for dinner.

Snakes. Way too close for comfort.

So. SP fought the snake with a broom and won. But I think the snake beat me because I am scared to go on the deck, scared to be alone on the deck, scared to open any windows or doors, and terrified of one somehow getting inside.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Bistro 19 (Strawberry Tasting)

Bistro 19 is another one of those restaurants that is one our favorites and yet we do not get there nearly often enough. Sometime in May, we received an email about their summer tasting menus. First up, June's Strawberry Tasting Menu. We decided to check it out.
We didn't opt for the wine pairing. It was a work night, so we ordered iced teas. Up first, Amuse Bouche: strawberry & brie on datenut bread with strawberry gastrique. Ripe, juicy strawberry, creamy brie, strawberry sauce, and tender datenut bread.
The 1st Course: basil gnocchi with strawberry pesto, basil, and fried carrots. The gnocchi were so light & melted in my mouth. Lots of basil & strawberry flavor. Thin, crispy, fried slivers of carrot. This was my favorite course of the evening.
The 2nd Course: seared scallop with strawberry & Prosecco glaze, strawberry pickled pear, & goat cheese polenta. The scallop was nicely cooked and the glaze delicious, but I couldn't get enough of the delicious, creamy goat cheese polenta.
The 3rd Course: grilled lamb T-bone with strawberry mint vinaigrette, strawberries, arugula, black pepper almond. We both love lamb, so this was a hit. I forgot to ask for mine to be a bit more well done, so I let SP eat the more rare portions of my lamb. The mint was refreshing and I really liked the mini salad with the lamb.
Dessert Course: strawberry sugar cookie trifle - strawberries, whipped cream, sugar cookie, strawberry jam. So good! Light, lots of ripe, juicy strawberries. I was getting full so SP happily finished mine.
We both really enjoyed our Strawberry Tasting meal. Service is always terrific when we dine at Bistro 19 and we've always had delicious meals. My parents frequently dine at Bistro 19 and really like it, too. My mom says it's her favorite place because, like me, she loves the Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Black Tiger Shrimp.

We're looking forward to possibly going to the Tomato Tasting in July and the Peach Tasting in early August. There's also a Corn Tasting in late August.

Bistro 19 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, June 13, 2016

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

A few weeks ago we decided to bake. We haven't been doing much baking. But I've been wanting to use the caramel baking bits we bought, so we decided to make Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies. We saw Valerie Bertinelli make these on her Food Network show and they sounded yummy. 
Instead of semisweet chocolate chips we used the Ghiradelli dark chocolate baking bits we had. I really liked these cookies with the dark chocolate bits.
The caramel bits melt a bit when the cookies are baked, so definitely use a silpat or parchment paper. The melted caramel parts of the cookies even stuck to the wire cooling racks. 
Happily, the caramel bits are not too chewy and it doesn't feel like they're trying to yank out your teeth. I like these cookies a lot because they come out thick and chewy, not thin and crisp. This is how I like my chocolate chip cookies:
We'll definitely make these again. They're really tasty. Like I ate 5-6 in a day tasty. I know. That's a lot of cookies in a day. I atoned the following week by not having dessert.
Recipe here.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

June 4
1. Two weeks ago, everything was nicely trimmed, looked neat, nothing was growing into its neighbor. Now look at it! This photo is from last Saturday. The catmint is taking over the walkway, but the bees are happy because they LOVE the catmint. The roses are blooming. The daylilies have buds. But somehow, even though it's early June, it all looks over-grown and out of control already. SP did some trimming yesterday. At least now the walkway isn't in danger of disappearing under the catmint. Until next week.
June 8
2. I finished reading City of Mirrors and thought it was a great third book in Cronin's trilogy. I thought it nicely wrapped the stories of the characters and answered questions about the future. SP is reading it now and I can't wait until he's done so we can talk about it.

3. My mom made lasagna last weekend and brought us some. We're having it for dinner tonight. Mmmmmm mom's lasagna.

4. Hockey! Monday's game was exciting and I am excited for tonight. Just one more win!

5. Last weekend we watched The Danish Girl. We both enjoyed the movie and thought the acting was terrific.

6. We've had our a/c on for days, maybe even weeks, but yesterday morning & this morning it was cold and I wanted to turn on the heat!
Kale never looks appetizing in photos
7. This week we've been eating a lot of arugula from the garden. It's a little too peppery for me. We also made kale chips from a lot of kale.
It's not the super curly kale. Kale chips are pretty much the only preparation of kale I like.

8. SP handled the wasp nest under the deck but there are 2-3 bird nests and when he walks under the deck, he is loudly chirped at. The plan is to leave them for now because there might be eggs/young birds but eventually, those nests are going down the hill. I don't like birds and the prospect of an increased bird population does not please me since they already poop way too much on the deck and driveway and fly into our windows, often killing themselves.

9. The bug/critter war has begun. The ant traps are out. The spray is being sprayed. Last week I had a girlie freak out over the many legged, super fast creepy crawly in the kitchen and made SP kill it. The next night I backed away from the kitchen table, saw his eyes tracking something as I saw it out of the corner of my eye: a wasp. Inside. Flitting around near my bare feet. Killed that guy, too. I've never been stung by anything and do not wish to ever be stung.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp & Feta

We finally used the spiralizer to make zoodles! We both enjoy using the spiralizer because it's fun to watch the veggie turn into spiral strings.
There's not much waste. Plus, the core and ends can be used in compost (if you compost) or saved and later used to make a vegetable stock.
Our skillet full of zucchini noodles:
It doesn't take long to saute the zoodles. We saute a bit of chopped onion in olive oil before adding the zoodles and then when they seem softened, we squeeze in fresh lemon juice. Then we top the zoodles with crumbled feta & grilled shrimp.
This is really tasty and not a super heavy meal. It's a nice change for us because usually we slice and grill zucchini. That gets a little boring after a while. It's also nice because the spiralizer is quick and the zoodles cook quickly. No need to prepare in advance or get home early, it can be done after work, even if you get home at 7 pm. It's a good warm weather meal because it's so quick and it's not heavy. It would also be good with chicken.

How we do it:

Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp & Feta

zucchini
as much/little chopped onion/shallot as you like
feta, crumbled
lemon
grilled shrimp

We grilled our shrimp in advance, skewering them, brushing them with olive oil, and grilling until done on a Sunday afternoon. Then we stored them in a container in the refrigerator until we made and ate the zoodles. We had about 10 shrimp for each zoodle meal (5-6 for SP and 4-5 for me).

Saute the onion/shallot in olive oil in a pan. Meanwhile, spiralize the zucchini. Our spiralizer has 2 noodle sizes, we prefer the smaller (skinnier) noodles. How much zucchini you need depends on the size of the zucchini and your appetite. When we had small zucchini, we used 2 for one meal and had no problems eating all of it. A medium size zucchini made enough noodles for us for one meal and gave us a little more than the 2 small ones. A large zucchini would probably leave us with a small amount of leftovers.

Once the onion/shallot is softened, add the zoodles and saute until your desired softness. Squeeze fresh lemon juice all over the zoodles and toss. You could grate in some lemon zest, too, for more lemon flavor. Place the zoodles on a plate and top with as much/little feta as you like and as many/few shrimp as you like.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Macaroni Salad

I don't know what came over me, but the week before Memorial Day I started craving macaroni salad. It was nuts because while I like it, it's one of those mayo dressed salads that started bothering my stomach when I was in my 30's.
I mentioned to SP that I was craving macaroni salad and he started laughing because he'd been thinking about it, too. So we decided to make macaroni salad for the Memorial Day cookout. We had not yet made macaroni salad together so we had to figure out what we wanted in our version.
There are a lot of versions of macaroni salad. My grandma and mom always made it with chopped celery, chopped hard boiled egg, tiny bits of American cheese, sliced green olives, and the dressing was simply Hellmann's. SP thought that version sounded unappetizing.
So I consulted the internet. Where I was quickly overwhelmed. Possible ingredients included relish/chopped pickle, peas, bacon, avocado, egg, cheese, celery, onion, red pepper, roasted red pepper, green olives, black olives, green onions, carrots, shrimp, ham.

Dressing ingredients were various combinations of some/all of the following: mayo, sour cream, Dijon mustard, dry mustard, pickle juice, cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, sugar, milk, yogurt, and I can't even remember what else.

So. Many. Options.
Our version, which we are quite happy with and which was a hit at the cookout, was celery, cheese, and pimiento with a mayo-sour cream-mustard-vinegar dressing. My mom and grandma always made macaroni salad and potato salad dressed with Hellmann's and only Hellmann's. It seems like dressing where the mayo is combined with other ingredients don't set my stomach off the way mayo-only versions do. This version did not bother me, not even on day #5 of eating it.

We'll definitely make this again, maybe even adding some chopped egg next time. And some day I'll convince him that sliced green olives are delicious in macaroni salad.

Macaroni Salad

1 lb elbow macaroni, cooked and cooled
2-3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 4 oz jar pimiento, drained and roughly chopped
8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes

Dressing:
1.5 c. mayonnaise (Hellmann's)
2 Tbsp mustard
1/4 c. sour cream
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
salt & pepper to taste

Whisk together dressing ingredients. Add dressing to bowl with macaroni, celery, pimiento, and cheese. Mix together. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Dressing source.