Thursday, July 22, 2010

Potato Salad

Thank you so much for coming to our cookout! We have a lot of fun blogging here, and we appreciate all the wonderful friends we've made over the last year. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

I'm honored to be part of this group of talented writers, and love to see what
they've created every day.

As promised, we're giving away prizes every single day this week and we're giving away an ice cream maker as our grand

Today's winner will receive 12 adorable laser cut cupcake wrappers. Whether you bake your own cupcakes or buy them (shh, we won't tell), these wrappers will be the talk of your gathering.

Not planning a party right now? You get to choose the design. Pick Happy Birthday wrappers, Christmas wrappers with reindeer prancing, or this wonderfully spooky Halloween wrapper.

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment! Good luck! Don't forget to check back every day to see if you won.

When we decided to throw this barbecue, I was undecided about what to bring. Frankly, I love potato salad, but wasn't that too expected? So, without mentioning a specific dish, I asked on Facebook what dish people look forward to most at cookouts. There were lots of fascinating responses, but potato salad and baked beans definitely dominated the answers. (And you thought I didn't pay attention to what you say on Facebook!) Sometimes the expected food is the most appreciated. What's Thanksgiving without turkey?

There was another reason I wanted to make potato salad, too. I wanted some! Potato salad is one of those dishes that everyone makes a little bit differently. It seems like the last few times I've eaten potato salad, something was missing and it wasn't quite right -- not to my taste anyway. Either someone didn't like pickles, or vinegar, or eggs, or decided to forgo the mayo! So, today, I'm throwing in all the things that I love in potato salad. Like Julie's pasta salad, there's room to make this your own. Add the things you love and remove the ingredients you hate.

When I told my mom I would be making potato salad, she got excited and asked if I would be making it like her sister did. Yup. My aunt had a secret! It's coming up.

It's hard to go wrong with potato salad. Probably the worst thing that will happen is it will become mushy (but the flavors will still be great!). Two little things can help you avoid that.

First, pick the right potato. Russet potatoes are great for baking, because they become so wonderfully flaky on the inside. But for potato salad, you want a firm potato, like a red-skinned potato.

Second, cut the potatoes when they're cold. They're easier to handle, but they also keep their shape better so there's less chance of the mush factor. The great news is that you can boil the potatoes the day before, or in the morning, and refrigerate them until you're ready to use them.

Cook them with the peel on. Whether or not you peel them is up to you. I like the peel, but not everyone does. While you're at it, go ahead and hard boil the eggs, too, to save time later.

Here's my aunt's clever secret. Take the time to cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. That way, the dressing is spread throughout the potatoes better, and each mouthful has more of the yummy ingredients in it. So simple but what a difference!

Krista's Favorite Potato Salad

5 pounds of red-skinned potatoes
6 hard-boiled eggs
1 Vidalia onion
5-6 large ribs of celery
6 pickles
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup pickle juice
3 tablespoons mustard
salt to taste

Cook the potatoes and cut into small pieces when cold. Peel and cut the eggs. Slice the onion, celery and pickles (I like the pickles in little chunks). Place all in a large bowl. Add the pickle juice (if you're unsure about this, add slowly to taste), mayonnaise, mustard, and salt, and mix well.

Mmmm. This is great with those ribs!


  1. I had to laugh reading your post because I'm in the same boat pretty much that you are! I love my sister's potato salad and my sister made it for my hubby not long after we married. Once my hubby tried it, he now asks 'will you make your sister's potato salad?' So mine is no longer interesting. LOL. But shh, I too prefer my sisters than mine! One thing I don't add is the chopped onions. My sister doesn't like them either but loves the onion flavor so her recipe is different because it uses onion powder instead! (And I do have chopped onions if anyone wants to add them or I make some separate just for me without the chopped onions in them but still add that onion powder! Its great.

    I think we love to have it because when we do, its usually in the summer time, not something most make all year round. I so want some now too! I shall go email my sister for the recipe again so I don't make a mistake making it. Thanks on the tips on the potatoes! I never thought of that, but makes so much sense! I now got this one written down!

  2. I love for a simple dish, there's so many ways to make potato salad and each one is delicious.

  3. love the pickles... and the vidalia onion is so overrated, except in recipes where the onion is eaten raw... Like this.

    Of course everyone has a favorite tater salad recipe. Fortunately, mine is so much better than my mother's, no conflict there. Mine has a bit of Blue Cheese added.

    That photo is perfect for a summer picnic!

  4. I enjoy this dish as there are so many variations. Sometimes we add more mustard for a different taste and some spices and cheese. Thank you Krista for sharing this recipe. You gals are doing such a great job and making us all hungry :)
    The World of Book Reviews

  5. That look sooo delicious. It's 6:30 a.m. and I'm now craving potato salad. I think one key to this is the vadalia onion. And I've never tried it with red potatoes. I will now! Thanks.

  6. Yes, potato salad is key at cookouts and