Monday, July 14, 2008

Kylie's 14th Birthday Party: R C's Potato Salad and RR's Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad

I can’t believe our little Kylie is 14 years old! She will start high school next year…where did the time go? Her birthday party took place at our house on Saturday. She chose a Luau/Club theme. Around 20 teenagers attended along with Uncle Mark, Aunt Stacy and little Jake. The first part of the party took place outside by the pool. Although the invitation specified that it was a “pool” party, very few kids swam. After getting crazy (and slightly annoying) with water balloons outside, we moved everyone inside for a Guitar Hero tournament. This went over quite well and we also had Wii Sports being played on the top TV.

Elizabeth and I collaborated and put out quite a spread for our guests. Terry grilled up some cheeseburgers and turkey dogs, as sides I made Rosanne Cash’s Potato Salad and Rachel Ray’s Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad. We also had fruit, veggies, sweets, and just about any chip and dip combo you can think of. Elizabeth made a very impressive cake that all of the kids enjoyed. After dinner we turned on the black lights and the kids ran around, danced and enjoyed the night. They had glowing bracelets and necklaces, it was quite a sight to see! Several different kids approached Terry to tell him that they had a lot of fun at the party, and at the end of the night it was little Noah who proclaimed, “This is the coolest party I have ever been to!!” The night was a success and Kylie went home a happy girl.

Rosanna Cash’s Potato Salad

Adapted from Bon Appetite, June 2004

Makes 8 servings.

3 pounds medium red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed
8 dill pickle spears or a handful of cornichon, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 small red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, chopped
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain; cool. Cut potatoes into 1-inch pieces and transfer to large bowl. Stir in pickles, celery, onion, eggs, mayonnaise, mustard vinegar and dill. Season potato salad to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.)

Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad Recipe

Rachael Ray

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
8 fresh white button mushrooms, sliced
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 stick pepperoni, casing removed and cut into a small dice
1 pound ball fresh mozzarella or fresh smoked mozzarella, diced
20 leaves fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced
1 pound wagon wheel pasta, cooked to al dente and cooled under cold water, then drained
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves or Italian dried seasoning
1 rounded tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, eyeball it
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni, mozzarella, basil and pasta in a big bowl. Whisk garlic salt, oregano or Italian seasoning, tomato paste and vinegar together. Stream in extra-virgin olive oil while continuing to whisk dressing. When oil is incorporated, pour dressing over pasta salad, add a few grinds of black pepper to the bowl, then toss salad to coat evenly. Adjust your seasonings and serve salad. Leftovers make a great lunch or snack the next day!

Both of these salads are amazing, Rosanna Cash’s Potato Salad can be made a day ahead of time and doing this actually enhances its flavor. This is now my go-to mayonnaise based potato salad recipe. I was a little nervous to serve a pasta salad that I had not made before, but Rachel Ray’s Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad came highly recommended by the members of the Cooking Light Bulletin Board. This was excellent and very kid-friendly. I left out the mushrooms and used turkey pepperoni but otherwise followed the recipe as written. I would definitely recommend either of these salads for your next BBQ.


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