Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad

Vinegar, sugar, salt, and onions add a smooth, versatile flavor to this quick and easy cucumber salad recipe. It only takes a few extra minutes of marinating time to soften the flavor of the onion and help the tangy spice infuse every bite of the cucumber. Pair the salad with grilled hot dogs or pork chops in the summer, or create a cool contrast with grilled chicken or poached salmon in the colder months. Feel free to make it a day ahead and keep it in the fridge – the salad only gets spicier and tastier once it sits.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a medium bowl, toss the cucumber slices with the sugar and salt and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and onion and refrigerate for 10 minutes, then serve.

 

 

 

Awesome Pasta Salad

Awesome Pasta Salad

This is the best pasta salad I’ve ever had and people often ask for it. This is a very easy, light side dish for a picnic or dinner.

Cook: 10 mins      Total: 40 mins       Prep: 30 mins       Servings: 16        Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients

1 (16 ounce) package fusilli (spiral) pasta
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
½ pound provolone cheese, cubed
½ pound salami, cubed
¼ pound sliced pepperoni, cut in half
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 (10 ounce) can black olives, drained
1 (4 ounce) jar pimentos, drained
1 (8 ounce) bottle Italian salad dressing

Directions

Step 1
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, and rinse with cold water.

Step 2
In a large bowl, combine pasta with tomatoes, cheese, salami, pepperoni, green pepper, olives, and pimentos. Pour in salad dressing, and toss to coat.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 310 calories; protein 12.9g; carbohydrates 25.9g; fat 17.7g; cholesterol 31.4mg; sodium 913.2mg.

 

No-Bake Cheesecake Flag Cake

No-Bake Cheesecake Flag Cake

Additional: 3 hrs        Total: 3 hrs 30 mins       Prep: 30 mins        Servings: 12      Yield: 1 9×11-inch pan

 

The fact that you can make this lovely, sweet treat without turning on the oven might be enough to make you think about it. In addition to the flavor and light mousse texture, I think your guests will love the signature stars and stripes design of fresh blueberries and strawberries.

Ingredients

Crust:
1 ½ cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup white sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:
1 cup cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup mascarpone cheese at room temperature
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup white sugar
1 ¼ cups cold heavy whipping cream
20 large fresh strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise, or as needed
24 large fresh blueberries, or as needed

Directions

Step 1
Combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and melted butter in a bowl until mixture is thoroughly combined and crumbly.

Step 2
Transfer crust mixture to a 9×11-inch baking dish. Press crust into bottom of dish until smooth and even. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.

Step 3
Mix cream cheese and mascarpone cheese in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract into mixture.

Step 4
Whisk 1/3 cup sugar into whipping cream in a separate metal or glass bowl until the cream is fluffy and forms soft peaks. Add whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and gently whisk until filling is soft, fluffy, and well combined.

Step 5
Spoon filling on top of the graham cracker crust, spreading and smoothing the top. Tap the pan gently on a work surface several times to settle the crust and filling. Cover pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 3 hours.

Step 6
Starting at the bottom long edge of the cake, arrange strawberry halves in a horizontal line with the pointed bottoms of the strawberry halves pointing to the right. Start a second stripe of strawberry halves at the top right of the cake, arranging strawberries with the bottoms pointing right in a line stretching about 2/3 of the length of the cake.

Step 7
Continue to make strawberry stripes, starting about 3/4 inch up from the bottom stripe and laying down 3 more stripes stretching the full length of the cake. Make 1 more line of strawberries beneath the short stripe to leave a square space for the blue field of stars.

Step 8
Lay a line of blueberries with the blossom ends pointing up in the upper left square space. Continue to lay down blueberries in lines, berries touching the previous line, until the square is filled with blueberries. Cut cake into squares to serve.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 381 calories; protein 4.5g; carbohydrates 22.4g; fat 31.6g; cholesterol 93.8mg; sodium 181.6mg.

 

 

 

 

 

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

Quick and easy potato salad recipe with lots of old fashioned potato salad flavors. This will be the recipe for a summer side dish. Best done the day before.

 

Cook: 10 mins     Additional: 6 hrs     Total: 6 hrs 30 mins     Prep: 20 mins     Servings: 20     Yield: 20 servings

Ingredients

5 pounds red potatoes, chopped
3 cups mayonnaise
2 cups finely chopped pickles
5 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
½ cup chopped red onion
½ cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

 

Directions

Step 1
Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Return potatoes to empty pot to dry while you mix the dressing. Sprinkle with salt.

Step 2
Stir mayonnaise, pickles, hard-cooked eggs, red onion, celery, mustard, cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Fold potatoes into the mayonnaise mixture. Allow to chill at least six hours, or overnight, before serving.

 

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 339 calories; protein 4.1g; carbohydrates 20.4g; fat 27.6g; cholesterol 53.5mg; sodium 538.1mg.

Classic Potato Salad

Classic Potato Salad

Potato salad is the ultimate summer salad recipe. It’s simultaneously creamy, crunchy and fresh (which is why we always go back for seconds).

This easy, classic potato salad recipe is just like my mom used to make. In fact it’s her recipe, that I’ve lovingly adopted and have been making for more than 20 years. Believe me when I say, it’s the BEST potato salad recipe you’ll ever taste!

There’s nothing like potato salad to conjure up happy childhood memories of sunny summer days. It’s the quintessential recipe for outdoor parties, potlucks and barbecues and perfect to serve alongside heartier mains like my Barbecue Ribs with Spiced Rum Pineapple Sauce, Beef Brisket and Honey Mustard Chicken.

Many people have a family favorite recipe that’s been passed down generation after generation and that’s wonderful. But let me tell you why I think my mom’s recipe is the best.

First, it’s not mushy. Many potato salad recipes actually resemble mashed potatoes. But that’s a little too soft for my liking. I think potato salad should have texture, crunch and a chunky consistency.

Second, it’s not watery. It’s creamy without being soupy. And that’s because there’s the right amount of dressing for the right type of potatoes.

Lastly, it’s not a bowl of monochromatic beige and yellow. This potato salad recipe is a delicious combination of red potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, celery, radishes, spring onions, dill and mayonnaise. Loads of color and tons of fabulous flavor.

HOW TO MAKE POTATO SALAD (STEP-BY-STEP)

Now that you know why I think this is the best potato salad recipe, let me tell how easy it is to make:

  1. Boil the potatoes. After boiling the potatoes for 20 minutes, puncture with a fork to make sure they’re done. If you over cook the potatoes, they will make your salad mushy.
  2. Boil the eggs. To ensure the eggs are hard-boiled through, you’ll cook them for 12-14 minutes. Read my post on how to cook perfect hard boiled eggs. Place them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. When they are cool enough to touch, peel off the shells.
  3. Place the potatoes in the fridge. See my tip below on why you need to cool your potatoes completely before making the salad.
  4. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. In a large bowl combine the celery, spring onions, radishes, mayonnaise and dill.
  5. Mix in potatoes and eggs. Once the potatoes and eggs have cooled, add them to your mayonnaise mixture and combine until fully coated.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste!

PRO TIP: Make sure your potatoes and hard-boiled eggs are fully cooled before making potato salad. It’s important to place your potatoes in the refrigerator after you have cooked and drained them from the water. This will help stop the cooking process. Also, the hot potatoes will melt the mayonnaise if you mix them together too quickly. And nobody wants hot melted potato salad!

How to make potato salad with ingredients in a bowl.

WHICH POTATOES TO USE

This potato salad calls for red or white new potatoes. But you could also use Yukon Gold potatoes. I used red potatoes because I just love the color that comes through in the mixture. These types of potatoes are creamy, lower in starch and hold together well after cooking. And the skin is so soft that you don’t have to peel them.

Do not use russet potatoes, as they are more starchy and will fall apart in your salad. Save those russet potatoes for my Carne Asada Fries.

SHOULD YOU CUT POTATOES BEFORE OR AFTER BOILING?

I prefer to boil my potatoes whole, then chill in the fridge and cut them after they’ve cooled. It’s easy to slice through the potatoes and I feel they’re slightly less waterlogged this way.

If you prefer to slice and cube your potatoes first, just remember to reduce the boil time to about 12-15 minutes.

Potato salad in a white bowl with a spoon.

 

CAN YOU MAKE POTATO SALAD THE DAY BEFORE?

Yes! It’s an excellent idea to make potato salad the day before. Or what I do, at a minimum, is prepare the potatoes and hard-boiled eggs the day before, that way everything is ready to be mixed the day of a party. Saves time too!

HOW MANY DAYS DOES POTATO SALAD LAST?

As long as your potato salad wasn’t sitting out during a party or BBQ for hours then it should last 3-4 days in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS

  • 7 red or white new potatoes, Yukon Gold also works
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 6 radishes, grated
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Fill a large pot with water. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Salt the water, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until a fork inserts easily with a little resistance.

2. Fill another pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low (so that there’s no bubbles breaking the surface) and use a skimmer to gently and slowly add the eggs. Cook the eggs for 12 – 14 minutes, then place in an ice water bath to immediately stop their cooking. For more tips, read my post on how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs.
Once the potatoes have finished cooking, drain the water. Fill the pot with cold water to cool the potatoes down, then drain again.

3. Place both the eggs and potatoes in the refrigerator to cool completely.
While your potatoes and eggs are cooling, prepare the celery, radishes, green onion and dill. Add the ingredients to a large bowl along with the mayonnaise.
Once your potatoes and eggs are fully cooled, peel the eggs and cube both the potatoes and eggs into 1-inch sized pieces. Add to your mixing bowl with the mayonnaise and vegetables. Stir gently until well combined.

4. Serve the potato salad immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

 

LISA’S TIPS

To make this salad even healthier, I use my homemade mayonnaise recipe (as I can control the quality of oil and make sure there’s no unnecessary ingredients).
This is my favorite skimmer for making hard boiled eggs as it’s large and wide.

 

NUTRITION

CALORIES: 241kcal, CARBOHYDRATES: 15g, PROTEIN: 6g, FAT: 17g, SATURATED FAT: 2g, CHOLESTEROL: 108mg, SODIUM: 211mg, POTASSIUM: 550mg, FIBER: 3g, VITAMIN A: 210iu, VITAMIN C: 15mg, CALCIUM: 56mg, IRON: 4.4mg

Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

Giada’s quick pasta is easy to make on weekdays, but impressively, some fans even serve it as a holiday dinner.

 

Level: Easy        Total: 15 min        Prep: 5 min        Cook: 10 min        Yield: 4 to 6 servings

 

Ingredients

 

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

2. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the asparagus, season with the salt and pepper, and cook for 3 minutes until slightly soft. Add the cherry tomatoes and peas. Cook for 2 minutes. Pour the chicken stock into the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes start to burst and the stock is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

3. Transfer the asparagus mixture to a large serving bowl. Add the cooked pasta and 1/2 of the Parmesan. Toss well, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Garnish with the remaining Parmesan and chopped basil.