Tag Archives: mayonnaise

Shell Macaroni Tuna & Pea Salad

The last of our ‘salad bar night’ recipes from the Sharpe’s house this month, this dish, as listed in both our James Family cookbook and my own “Missouri to Maui” collection, comes from a first-cousin of mama’s.  Maude states in the recipe that she “carries this in” to many family and church functions and it is always a hit; I think you will find it most satisfying also if you give it a try!

You must use the best quality albacore tuna you can lay hands on and find the smallest and most tender canned peas available.  I cut the celery in this dish in very thin slices and mince the onion well.  The many textures of this salad are so enticing and you don’t want to have everything in it cut the same size; get creative with your chopping for the prettiest presentation!

Two things make this salad a winner: the taste of ample chopped onion is one so don’t skimp on the onion, and the evaporated milk which is the ‘secret ingredient’ in the dressing.  The dressing is thin but it thickens nicely when you chill the salad well before serving.  Simple macaroni, fresh veggies, and canned tuna in a salad: who knew!?!?  Maude did, and now we do too!  It’s a definite keeper, y’all!

Shell Macaroni Tuna & Pea Salad


For the salad:

1-(8-oz.) pkg. small seashell macaroni
1-(12oz) can albacore tuna drained and flaked
1 small can English peas, drained
2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
1/2 large onion, chopped fine

For the dressing:

1 small can evaporated milk
1/2 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
1/2 T. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Celery seed, to taste, option

Directions Cook macaroni until done. Drain and set in fridge to chill. Mix evaporated milk, mayonnaise, salt and pepper in medium bowl, whisking well to blend. Combine macaroni, tuna, celery, and onion in large bowl, toss to distribute ingredients; add dressing, peas and the celery seed if using and blend thoroughly. Serve well chilled.

Mason Jar 7-Layer Salad

Here’s a fun post for today! With company coming tomorrow, I took time this afternoon to do some prep work for the big supper I’m planning. Mama and I spotted this great idea in a Spring issue of Southern Living Magazine for a traditional 7-layer salad served in a most nontraditional way. I knew it would be a great salad to enjoy around the supper table when guests are in the house. The recipe for this salad has many variations and today I made a few changes of my own so the recipe is the ingredients and method used when I prepared the salad today.  Use pint size Mason jars for this.

The prep work consists of tearing the lettuce into bite-size pieces, trimming the cauliflower into flowerets, allowing the frozen peas to thaw, slicing green onion, grating a hard block of Parmesan cheese, and frying the bacon for the bacon crumbles. I did add sugar to the mayonnaise before topping the salad with that mixture and the freshly grated Parmesan as I like mayonnaise sweetened slightly for dressing purposes. I’m saving the bacon crumbles for serving at the table for individual bowls. Many recipes use Cheddar cheese for this dish but my block of Parmesan seemed more enticing to me than the packaged Cheddar in my fridge so I substituted it.

Serve with a deep bowl for guests to mix their own salad right out of the jar. A fun idea and a flavorful crisp dish! What could be better? Allow the jars to sit in the fridge overnight then place on the table with a bowl for mixing. There are multiple reasons to love this recipe: seven layers, seven good bites, one great salad!

Mason Jar 7-Layer Salad


1 head iceberg lettuce, rinsed, torn into bite-size pieces, dried
1 head cauliflower, trimmed into flowerets
1 bag frozen peas
1 cup green onion, snipped small
1-1/4 cups mayonnaise
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
8 pieces bacon, fried, drained, and crumbled

Directions: Prepare all vegetables and fry and drain the baxon. Assemble the salad in individual jars beginning with the lettuce and then in the order listed. Wipe jar tops and rim of jar carefully, seal tightly, and store in fridge until ready for serving.

Cheddar Ranch Chicken

Don’t you love a recipe that you can put together in 15 minutes and be ready to enjoy in 30?  Cheddar Ranch Chicken is perfectly suited when you want something fast, yet flavorful.  You can prepare a side dish while the chicken bakes and you’ll be sitting down to supper in no time at all.

Prep time for this recipe involves only “dressing” the chicken breasts with the savory topping and you’re all pau!  The mayo makes for moist chicken pieces while the dry ranch dressing provides a savory bite.  Adding Panko flakes consistently results in meat with a crunchy crust so this simple recipe really does have many good points!  I do recommend cutting the breasts into chunks if they are thick for ease in slicing into bite-size pieces.  Today I cut the chicken into chunks also for an even quicker baking time,  just 25 minutes.

I steamed two small heads of broccoli for a side dish, added butter, and was sitting down to the table in under an hour, finding every bite savory and satisfying.  Enjoy!

Cheddar Ranch Chicken


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 T. dry Ranch seasoning mix
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Panko flakes
Cooking spray

Directions Preheat oven to 425. Place chicken in baking dish. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, ranch seasoning and Cheddar cheese. Spread on top of the chicken breasts. Sprinkle the Panko flakes on top and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.  Bake 10 minutes longer if using large breasts.  Chicken is done when its juices run clear.  Serve warm.

Absolute Best Macaroni Salad

different mac

Ahhh, macaroni salad! Who doesn’t love pasta and veggies dressed with a special “sauce”? Because this salad keeps well in the fridge without losing its flavor or texture, it was on my carry-in list to my sister’s house for Christmas again this year. The secret to the salad’s great taste is found in the sweetened condensed milk used in the dressing. Cutting the vegetables for this dish by hand does take longer, an exercise in determined effort more than anything else, but the moisture the veggies release using a food chopper detract from the flavor of this dish and you will have better results taking the time to slice-and-dice them yourself.

The secret to the salad’s great taste is found in the sweetened condensed milk in the dressing. Use just enough mayonnaise to prevent the dressing being runny as this keeps the pasta from being overwhelmed. I already adjusted the mayonnaise amount; you should start with the smaller amount then adjust to your taste. This yields a large bowl of salad so it is a perfect choice for a “next day” menu as well. Do try this and let me know what you think; it is not the typical Hawaiian-style plate lunch mac salad, y’all, but it is a good alternative. Don’t over cook the macaroni and it’s all “duck soup!”


For the salad

1 (16 oz.) pkg. elbow macaroni, cooked, drained well
1 large onion, chopped, small dice
1 large green pepper, seeded, cut into strips, then cut, small dice
2-3 stalks celery, cut into thin strips then diced
3 carrots, shaved into strips then snipped small

For the dressing

1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1-1/2 to 2 cups Hellman’s mayonnaise, to taste
1/4 cup cider vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
Celery seed, to taste

Directions Prepare the vegetables. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain well in a colander. Prepare the dressing by combining the milk, mayonnaise, and vinegar in small mixing bowl, whisking thoroughly to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt, pepper, and celery seed if using. Place well-drained macaroni in large bowl, add the vegetables and the dressing; stir well, folding the dressing in thoroughly to coat the macaroni. Scrape into large covered container and chill completely before serving. Store leftovers in fridge.