Tasty Tuesday, Refrigerator Pickles and Macaroni Salad

It’s another Tasty Tuesday and summer is in full swing! I went to a ladies get together this evening and the entire event was outdoors and it was so relaxing! We love to have weather nice enough to be outdoors, so we need to take advantage of it as much as we can! It’s like free therapy!

Well, just in time for 4th of July barbecues, this week we have two fun recipes for you, both lovely for the summer! First off we have “Refrigerator Pickles”, and then we have a delicious macaroni salad. I’ve been making this salad since I was a newlywed. Its just a solid tasty side dish for burgers, hot dogs, or even submarine sandwiches. And my husband is usually the one who makes pickles in our house.

Thanks to both my husband Troy and my son Jake for their help in this post. They very often are a family project as we all love food, we all love to cook and its just fun to share a great recipe!

So let’s begin with the Refrigerator Pickles. I included this one because we are plowing through them at our house. The other day, my son text me while I was at the store to get more pickling cucumbers. His dad had made a jar on Friday of last week, and they were wiped out in about 3 days. So I thought, “That is perfect for the blog!”  They are so easy and you can make them to taste. So we will start with that recipe, Refrigerator Pickles.

Ingredients for Refrigerator Pickles

  • 3-4 pickling cucumbers (will fill a one quart jar)
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1/8 tsp celery seed
  • Small handful of fresh dill
  • 1 qt mason jar with lid

Begin by making the “brine”. Add your 2 cups of water and 2 cups of white vinegar to a medium saucepan. **Note** If you like more “Zip” to your pickles, do 3 cups of vinegar and 1 cup of water- we like them a little zippier.

Add in the salt and sugar, place on stove and heat to boiling, stirring until you see the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Wash the pickling cucumbers. Pickling cucumbers can be found at most grocery stores and farmers markets. They are smaller and a little dryer than regular cucumbers which makes them a great candidate to soak in all that yummy flavor in the brine.

Slice your cucumbers about 1/4″ thick (you could also cut them in spears if you like)

Remove the long stems from the dill, and mince your garlic.

Place the dill (to your taste) in the jar you will be storing the pickles in. Add the garlic, peppercorns, and celery seed.

Now add your sliced cucumbers.

And now carefully pour in your brine.

Put the lid on, using a sharpie write the date you made the pickles and put in refrigerator.

The pickles should be refrigerated for about 2-3 days before you eat them for the flavor to fully soak into them. They must be stored in the refrigerator, and should last about 4-6 weeks (If you don’t eat them first).

These are such a nice snack on a hot day. And they are really simple and taste delicious!

Ok, on to the macaroni salad.

Ingredients for Macaroni Salad:

  • 8 oz elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp prepared mustard
  • dash pepper
  • 6 hard cooked eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup sliced radishes
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • Paprika (a few shakes for garnish/color at end)

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, mustard, celery seed and pepper.

Mix it up and place in refrigerator and chill a few hours. This is your dressing for your macaroni salad. This is so tasty!

Cook your elbow macaroni according to package directions.

Drain the noodles, and put in large bowl.

Slice the celery, radishes and chop the onion and 4 of the hard cooked eggs, and place on top of the noodles.

Gently stir the salad.

Add the dressing on top of the salad.

Stir with spoon so all of the salad is coated with the dressing.

Transfer to a serving bowl, and garnish the top with remaining sliced eggs, and paprika.

Chill until ready to serve.

There is nothing like a barbecue in the summer and all the side fixings.

So in honor of this blog post, of course we made a plate full of cheeseburgers!

They go perfect with the macaroni salad!

Some chips, homemade dip, and fresh watermelon…

Oh yeah!

This plate is for you!

The burgers are going fast!

I have to tell you tonight when Troy came home from work and he saw all this good food on the table, I think it took his breath away!

Doesn’t this salad look pretty? Troy and Jake were gobbling it up. It goes down so easy, and a hungry tummy is practically applauding this tasty treat!

You have fresh pickles to go with as well!

This is just what the doctor ordered!

You know, if you are the one who prepares the meals in your house, you are a bit of a first aid worker for when your family comes home tired after a long day. The kids may have had all kinds of things happen that day, some good, some hard to understand. And their bodies are simply tired and weak with hunger. The same for the other weary souls who walk in your door.

And you lay out a delicious feast before them. It may be the only nice thing that has happened that day. And you are treating them not only with more respect than anyone else, but you are lavishing them in such a way that any doubts they had about their self worth are washed away in the drenching of your kindness and hospitality. And with each tasty morsel, they begin to feel their strength start to rise. And so too, their confidence, and their hope and belief that they are not defined by the incidents of the day.

No, they are a precious human being with someone that believes in them and loves them enough to nurture their bodies and their souls. What a gift we can give them! What a privilege to put on that uniform, for that is what you call a person of extreme influence. You have given something much greater than just a full tummy. You have restored their hope in themselves. And you see the smiles come and the laughter and sharing of stories, and you have once again blessed them and given them the courage to go back out there again tomorrow. There are little miracles that happen all over the place if we just open our eyes, and sometimes we get to be a part of them!

I hope you have a fantastic week, my friend!

I’ll be back Friday for another Fashion Friday!

Love Always,

Amy

The little unremembered acts of kindness and love are the best parts of a person’s life.   ~William Wordsworth

 

 

 

 

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