Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Sunday Salon and Keeping Cool with Macaroni Salad and a Book

Welcome to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post! It's that day of the week bloggers from all over the internet get together virtually in a large gathering place called The Sunday Salon and talk books!  And at The Sunday Post, which is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, in which more bloggers share their bookish news!

The heatwave in Connecticut is still raging and I can't get enough of the word "cool"! The glass above was filled with Sweet Tea made by hubby, who is a true Southerner and knows how to make it perfectly. Last night all I wanted was something cool to eat, so I thought about macaroni salad. Cool, yummy and I had no idea how to actually make it, but I found out! There are a few tried and true cooks (and sources) I trust when I look up a recipe... Alton Brown, The Barefoot Contessa, and Cooks Illustrated (though not a cook, but loads of great recipes!) to name a few. When I googled "macaroni salad" pages and pages came up. That's when I saw a recipe from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. I love cookbooks (It's a book, right!?!) and I have one of Ree's cookbooks on my cookbook shelf, so I thought I'd see how she made it. 3 things she said about her recipe that made me forget the other recipes...

  Here’s what I do like: Macaroni salad that’s creamy but still light.
         Here’s what I don’t like: Macaroni salad that’s overly vinegary.
    Here’s what I do like: Macaroni salad with a sweet/tangy/spicy kick.

So, along with some Southern fried chicken (not cold), we had The Pioneer Woman's "Macaroni Salad" and we both loved it! Here's the recipe, courtesy of Ree's website,

The Best Macaroni Salad Ever

Prep: 10 Minutes Level: Easy

Cook: 15 Minutes Serves: 12


4 cups Elbow Macaroni
3 whole Roasted Red Peppers, Chopped (more To Taste, Can Also Use Pimentos)
1/2 cup Black Olives, Chopped Fine
6 whole Sweet/spicy Pickle Slices, Diced (about 1/2 Cup Diced)
3 whole Green Onions, Sliced (white And Dark Green Parts)
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Or Distilled Vinegar
3 teaspoons Sugar, More Or Less To Taste
1/4 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
 Plenty Of Black Pepper
1/4 cup Milk (more If Needed)
 Splash Of Pickle Juice (spicy Sweet Pickles)
 Extra Pickle Juice To Taste


Cook the macaroni in lightly salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Set aside.

Mix together mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Splash in enough milk to make it pourable. Splash in pickle juice for extra flavor. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside. 

Place cooled macaroni in a large bowl and pour 3/4 of the dressing. Toss and add more dressing if you'd like. (Dressing will seem a little thin, but it will thicken up as salad chills.)

Stir in olives, roasted red peppers (or pimentos), pickles, and green onions. Add more of any ingredient if you'd like more stuff going on! At the end, splash in a little more pickle juice and stir. 

Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Sprinkle with sliced green onion to serve!

What's Your Favorite HOT Weather Recipe?

*Molly, from My Cozy Book Nook, told me about her family's favorite Pasta Salad recipe that she shared on her blog this week! Here's the LINK! Thanks Molly for sharing! It looks delicious and I love the story behind it too!

What other "cool food" cookbooks are there out there? Here are a few I discovered recently...

The Peace, Love & Potato Salad Cookbook by Zack Brown... What happens when you appeal to Kickstarter to fund your first attempt at making a bowl of potato salad? Well, if you’re Zack Brown, you end up raising $55,492, a story that goes viral, a charity-minded “PotatoStock” Festival, and, eventually, a potato salad cookbook for the masses. The Peace, Love & Potato Salad Cookbook is the result of one man’s attempt at making potato with the help of the world. Featuring 24 delicious and wide-ranging potato salad recipes, this fun and engaging cookbook is the result of the generous support of the backers who elevated Zack Brown’s crowdfunding appeal from a simple, good-humored joke to philanthropic levels covered by Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, and the Huffington Post. In an effort to do “the most good that he can,” with the Kickstarter funds and his new found fame, Zack’s new cookbook will continue to spread the word about “peace, love, & potato salad.” Best of all, this tasty collection of potato salad recipes represents the positive change we can accomplish – even from the smallest ideas -- when we all work together.

Potato salad is another one of those summer staples. Although, I guess I'm picky about my potato salad too, because I don't like all potato salads either. This cookbook, which is the real result of a Kickstarter joke, is for real. Zack is a professed "VERY average"cook, but Teresa Blackburn, whose name is in little print below Zack's is the real woman behind the cookbook, or so it would seem, as well as some other "collaborators". Teresa is a food stylist and she and Zack were brought together when Zack was approached about creating a real cookbook about potato salad. Gorgeous photography and what looks to be some interesting recipes too! Here's a link to Classic Potato Salad that Teresa Blackburn developed for the book, and is posted on her blog, food on fifth. On my wishlist now! 

POPS! Icy Treats for Everyone by Krystina Castella...

  Cool + Sweet + Refreshing = Pops!

This innovative book gives the ice pop a flavor makeover, providing more than 100 recipes and variations for irresistible concoctions you’ve never tasted before. You’ll also learn fancy

techniques for making whimsical pops that look as fun as they taste. Kids will enjoy the juicy pops and flip over the soda fountain and pudding pops. Grown-up kids will dig the energy-boosting coffee, tea, and healthy energy pops and delight in the sophisticated cocktail pops. And for the do-it-yourselfers, this book provides instructions for making your own pop molds from recycled housewares and even silicone. When it comes to pops, the possibilities are endless—and so much fun!

Ever make your own ice pops? This book will show you how from healthy to "adult beverage".  No special equipement needed except something to put the mixture in and a "stick" to hold it when it's done. I haven't tried any of these recipes yet, but it is on my cookbook shelf.

 How are you keeping cool during the hot summer months? 

Reading any Cool books? On my nightstand, breakfast table and tote is Homegoing my Yaa Gyasi. I can't put it down. A sweeping novel about two half sisters born in Ghana in the 18th century and the two very different lives they have. Not only about the two young girls, but the generations that follow. I can't believe how fully developed the stories of each generation are. But besides that the writing is truly breathtaking. I am almost done and even though I took this out of the library, I'll be buying a copy to put on the shelf so I can revisit these characters again and again. 

                Weekly Wrap-up...
  *Memoir Monday with I'm Suppose To Protect You From All This by Nadja Spiegelan
  *Tuesday a Book Review of A Guise of Another by Allen Eskens
  *Wednesday a Review of a Book of Poetry, Saris and a Single Malt by Sweta Srivastava Vikram
  *Thursday a Guest Post by Sweta Srivastava Vikram, My Mother's Voice

Hope you've found something here to keep you cool! I'd love to hear what you've been reading these hot summer night too! Share it in the comments!

Happy reading... Suzanne

*P.S. Check out the Giveaways on my sidebar! They are courtesy of Shelf Reader and are 3 great books! Just click on the photo and enter!!


Molly said...

The macaroni salad sounds delicious!

I posted our family's favorite Pasta Salad recipe this week, but I'm willing to try this one as a change of pace.

I hope cooler temperatures are coming your way soon.

Harvee said...

I need some sweet pickles or relish and some black olives to make this nice summer dish!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Molly!
Thanks for letting me know about your family's favorite Pasta Salad! It looks and sounds delicious! AND I'm including a link so everyone else can enjoy it too!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Harvee!

I actually did not have the pickles, but added some hot sauce instead and have to say it was wonderful! I always add the black olives to my pasta salad, but have never had macaroni salad with them, but liked the addition! I hope you try it and enjoy it!

Greg said...

It is nice t find just the right thing on a hot night. Some foods just go better in the summer! I haven't been reading much with the Olympics on, but I've been drinking lots of lemonade to cool off!

Have a great week!

Suzanne Yester said...

Yum! I love lemonade! And I love the summer Olympics too! Enjoy the Games!

Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

I haven't even thought of Macaroni Salad for a long time. In fact i am not sure I'e ever made it. I think I will try your recipe.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Anne!
When I got to thinking about having some and making some, I realized I had never made it myself either! This turned out good though. We added some hot sauce to kick it up just a little. Enjoy!

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