September 7, 2011

Labor Day Dinner

When you're a college student it's nice when a break from school comes so early in the semester. Both Mike and I had the whole day off from school and work for Labor Day so we decided to make something special - and to have one last hoorah before the end of summer. Our menu included grilled steak (the college students' apartment version of BBQ), macaroni salad, and sweet corn on the cob. Neither of us have ever cooked a whole steak before, let alone one on an electric grill, so we were excited to see what would happen. Start with the thing that takes the longest, the macaroni salad.

Macaroni Salad

What You'll Need:
 1 pound of Macaroni salad noodles
6 Boiled eggs
1 bunch of Green onion
1 sm can Chopped olives
3-4 Pickles

Start by boiling your water for the eggs and noodles. Boil your eggs for about 15 minutes and your noodles for about 10. Drain and rinse both to let them cool.

Meanwhile while both are cooling chop up your onions and pickles. I like these chopped extremely small. 

Use a cheese grater to shred your eggs. Don't shred the yolks because you'll end up with a mess. You can just use a fork to mash them up, it's a lot easier. Put the noodles, onion, pickles, and eggs in a big serving bowl. 

Now add a couple heaping spoonfuls of mayo. I LOVE mayo!! I can never have enough on my food, however it's not Mike's favorite thing but he likes it enough to add the amount that we're both happy with. Then when the consistency is the way you want it pour a little of the pickle juice from the pickle jar in the bowl. This gives the salad the perfect tang! 

We usually do a little pickle juice and a little mustard. Together they make the salad really zingy, you can add one or the other, but together = mmmmmm. Then we add half a can of the olives. Mix everything together and taste it.

After tasting add salt and pepper. You're probably going to need a lot because this makes a lot of salad. Add more of other things at this point too if you feel it needs it. When this is done put it in the fridge immediately.

The Steak

What You'll Need:
2 Steaks of you choice
Season All
Garlic powder

We used our electric grill because we can't afford a gas BBQ grill. I know Mike would have loved to use one but I'm not down for using the ones the park provides. We did what we had to do and our steak was still awesome, I'm here to tell you it can be done my foodie friends. 

You all know me and my fear of raw meat and bacteria, trust me I was SUPER careful so I turned on my grill to heat up before I even touched the meat. Take your steak and sprinkle your seasonings on both sides. I didn't buy any special steak seasoning even though I looked, because it's expensive!! I mean three bucks for the seasoning, seriously? I could make-do with what was in my cabinet.

When your grill (of any sort) is heated put the steaks on. Since our was electric we sprayed it with Pam before hand because we had no idea if it would stick or not.

Cook the steaks for about 4 minutes on each side. We didn't close the grill down, we just flipped them after a few minutes so we could control the cooking process a little more. We cooked the meat until it was 160 degrees then took it off. 

 The Corn

What You'll Need:
2 cobs of Corn
2 Tbl of Sugar

The corn is the quickest thing to make. Snap your cobs in half. I did this so they fit on the plates better. Put enough water in a pot to let the corn float without touching the bottom. Let the water reach a light boil and add the sugar. Carefully put in the corn and wait about 8 minutes. You can get this done while you're doing another part of your meal. I just love when eating healthy is super easy. When the corn is done, carefully take it out and put butter on them (not as healthy, I know).

So I know this wasn't the BBQ that most people have on Labor Day weekend. I know that nothing can compare with that BBQ taste you get from an actual BBQ pit but we didn't do half bad with our little electric grill. The steak was juicy (and gave me an excuse to by A1 sauce), the salad was cold and the perfect contrast to everything else that was warm. And to add a little sweetness to all of the different flavors was the corn. It was juicy and sweet. Overall it was the kind of meal where you start eating a part of it and forget that there are other parts and when you start eating those you get hooked on that. It was a really great meal to bring our summer to a close.


  1. This was a great way to celebrate Labor Day! That macaroni salad sounds so yummy!

  2. Red meat...the most patriotic way you can celebrate Labor Day! Everything looks delicious!

  3. Haha I'll take any excuse to buy myself a steak!