Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

May 24th, 2013

I’m going to a Luau this weekend.   I’ve been asked to bring Hawaiian Macaroni Salad.  Say, what? . . . . I had never heard of this before.  But indeed Hawaiians like to serve macaroni salad as a side with sticky rice along with their pork.  And don’t even think about cooking it al dente.  The whole premise behind the dish is to cook the macaroni to death (they call it fat macaroni).  This allows the seemingly large quantity of mayonnaise and milk to absorb into the pasta making it creamy.

It is a very simple recipe with few ingredients; just macaroni, mayonnaise (it has to be Best Buy or Hellman’s), milk, brown sugar, cider vinegar, shredded carrots, celery and scallions.  But the simple ingredients unite to make a creamy, slightly sweet and sour salad with the crunch of carrots and celery.  Deceptively easy and good.  It is perfect with pork.

The luau is being held at fellow blogger Larry’s Almost Heaven South dockside pavilion where several bloggers have joined forces to roast a pig.  At least that was the last word I had.  It may be just parts of the pig for all I know.  But I do know that we bloggers and spouses will have a grand time.  Here are scenes from last year’s event.  Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  This salad would be a great side for anything you cook on the grill.

HAWAIIAN MACARONI SALAD (Epicurious via Cook’s Country)

2 cups whole milk, divided
2 cups mayonnaise (Best Buy or Hellman’s), divided
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Salt and pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 scallions, sliced thin
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 celery rib, chopped fine

Whisk 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 cup mayonnaise, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper in bowl.

Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot.  Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta and cook until very soft, about 15 minutes.  Drain pasta and return to pot.  Add vinegar and toss until absorbed.  This prevents the vinegar from curdling the milk.  Transfer to bowl.  Cool pasta 10 minutes, then stir in dressing until pasta is well coated.  Cool completely.

Add Scallions, carrot, celery, remaining milk, and remaining mayonnaise to bowl with pasta mixture and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to serving bowl and refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour or up ro 2 days.  Serve.

Printable recipe



Lemon-Lime Blueberry Squares

June 1st, 2014

Lemon-Lime Blueberry Squares

When was the last time you actually went on a picnic?  I’m sure many of you still find the time to do it.  But it just occurred to me that it has been years since we have loaded up a picnic basket and headed out for a day in the countryside.  We used to love to take David’s TR 8 convertible for a ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway and stop at overlooks with a view of the mountains.  We would spread a blanket and pull out our picnic fare and just relax for a while.  But now that we live at the lake, it is just as easy to sit on the porch and eat at home.

Lemon-Lime Blueberry Squares 3

After making this dessert with a shortbread crust, a lemony filling and the blueberry topping, it came to mind that it would be perfect picnic fare.  Because it is baked in a foil package it would be easy to transport.  So now I am thinking of going on a picnic.

Lemon-Lime Blueberry Squares 1


This dessert from Gourmet magazine would be the perfect ending to the meal.  It is refreshing and simple.  You can almost pick it up and eat it with your hands except for a few errant blueberries rolling free.  I came up with a picnic menu that I think everyone would enjoy.


Sweet-Ham and Havarti Sandwiches with Orange Pecan Mustard
Broccoli, Apples and Red Onion Salad
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
Lemon-Lime Blueberry Squares

The highlighted recipes can be found by clicking on them.  Here is the dessert recipe.


For Crust:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
6 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For filling:
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 cups blueberries (10 oz.)
3 tablespoons apricot jam, heated and strained

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a buttered 8-inch glass baking dish with 2 (18-by-6-inch) sheets of foil, overlapping them in opposigte directions so that there is overhang on all 4 sides.

Pulse together flour, cornmeal, confectioners sugar, salt and butter in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Press onto bottom of baking dish and 1 inch up sides.  Bake in middle of oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Whisk together eggs, sugar, flour, and zests.  Whisk in juices, milk, and a pinch of salt.  Toss blueberries with jam in another bowl.

Whisk egg mixture and immediately pour into hot crust, then bake until just set, about 17 minutes.  Gently spoon berries evenly over top and bake 2 more minutes more.  Transfer baking dish to a rack and cool.

Chill, covered, overnight (8 hours).  Use foil to lift dessert out of dish, then cut into squares.

Printable recipe



Blogger Luau and Fun with Friends

May 30th, 2013

Our annual blogger Memorial Day party got off to a great start.  This year’s theme was a Hawaiian Luau and the planning group kept it very authentic.  Here is the line-up of some of our capable chefs.  Chris of Nibble me This is working on his Huli huli chicken.  Dave of Inspired by eRecipe cards and My Year on the Grill is putting the finishing touches on his shrimp and pineapple appetizer.  Jackie, Dave’s wife, is upholding the muu muu tradition, and my hubby Dave is just happy to be there.  But he was the breakfast chef the next morning.

Our host, Larry of Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings, made a great pork ribs appetizer along with several smoked pork butts wrapped in banana leaves.  You can go to his site for the recipes.

(Picture courtesy of Dave from Inspired by eRecipe cards.)

And what could be more appropriate for a Luau than a Blue Hawaiian.  We had some serious island libations.

(Picture courtesy of Dave of Inspired by eRecipe cards)

It is obvious that I am ready to dig in.  Here are a few pictures of the amazing food.

Dave, eRecipe cards, made a great appetizer of grilled shrimp and pineapple.  Hopefully he will share the recipe on his blog.

(Picture courtesy of Dave of Inspired by eRecipe cards)

Larry’s rib appetizers were awesome.  You can find the recipe on his blog.

(Picture courtesy of Dave of Inspired by eRecipe cards)

Here is Chris’s huli huli chicken sliders with ponzu slaw next to Larry’s pulled pork.  Both entrees were outstanding.

(Picture courtesy of Dave of Inspired by eRecipe cards)

The sides were rice, my macaroni salad and a vibrant mango salad brought by Sam of My Carolina Kitchen.  Her salad brought a bright kick to the plate.

Here is Sam’s BIL Stuart with the desserts and a beverage.  His wife Sandy made incredible pineapple upside down cakes.

Everyone had a wonderful time but we missed Katherine ( Smoky Mountain Cafe ) and A.J.  They were involved in the planning and have always been a big part of this yearly event.  Other commitments kept them away.  There is more to come in another post.

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.