July 4th Recap and Potato Salad


Last weekend was July 4th.  I grilled at my apartment.  It was going to be very small gathering, but friends invited friends and somehow I managed to cram 12 people into the living room of my 800sq ft apartment.  J grilled, I made the potato salad, and the guests brought dessert and beer.  Everyone had a good time and left fat and happy.  (Isn’t that what the 4th is about-eating too much all weekend and blowing stuff up?)  The best part was there wasn’t much to cleanup and I even had time to bike to the local park to see fireworks.

On the menu:

  • Steak
  • Turkey dogs
  • Potato salad
  • Green salad
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberry shortcake (my friend Mariana made it.  I’ve had it twice now and it is amazing.  I found out last time that she uses Twinkies in the crust and adds condensed milk to the whipped cream.  Weird choice, but so good.)
  • Sorbet

…and lots of beer…

Now onto the potato salad which was my main contribution to the festivities.

I love potatoes, but the idea of potato salad is a bit repulsive.  I reserve mayonnaise for deviled eggs and artichoke dipping sauce, and would never dream of ruining perfectly good potatoes by smothering them in it.  (J is reading over my shoulder as I type and is muttering that mayo is a way to improve potatoes and it “makes mouths happy “and that I need to “cook potato salad every week woman.”)  As per J’s request, I broke down and made some for our party.  He reassured me that his mother’s recipe tasted more like mustard potatoes, so I called her.  All she could give me was an ingredient list (like most cooks, she never measures anything).

Potato Salad

serves ~6-8 as a side


  • 1 1/2 lb yellow or red potatoes (cut into small chunks)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • dill pickles (~3-4 spears)
  • 5 eggs (hard boiled)
  • chopped olives (i prefer green stuffed with garlic or pepper…but i forgot em  *tear*)
  • mayo (~5 tbsp)
  • mustard (~3 tbsp)
  • salt ‘n pepper
  • a dash of cayenne and paprika

In a large pot, bring water to a boil over medium heat.  Cook potatoes until tender, but not slimy.  do not overcook. (You can cook the potatoes whole, but it is easier to cube them beforehand.  They also cook faster.  The down side is there is a small window between al dente and slimy.)

Drain potatoes and chill.


Meanwhile, chop olives and eggs.  Thinly slice red onion and finely chop garlic.  Cut pickle spears in half and slice into small, bite size pieces.

Combine chilled potatoes, eggs, olives, onion, and garlic in a large bowl.


Mix in mayo and mustard.  Adjust the ratio depending on whether you like more mayo or mustard.  Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika to taste.


My little grill.  My dad gave it to me.  Aww.   He’d probably be disappointed if he knew I was cooking red meat on it…IMG_1520


About cookingcampus

I'm a graduate student trying to stay happy and busy and pursue the things I love.
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