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Dreamy and creamy, this macaroni salad shows up at dinner tables all year long

Dec. 13, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

Anytime I get busy for an extended period of time, let's say longer than a couple of weeks, I end up craving this awesome macaroni salad. The craving creeps up on me like a fungus -- not bad at first, but in the end, formidable.

It's a simple salad that is one of those great foods that you take one bite and you know you have to have the recipe immediately. I know it looks like just another macaroni salad, but every friend and family member I have owns this recipe, which makes it awesome because, when you least expect it -- like at Thanksgiving -- it appears.

It's a refreshing salad made with cucumber, tomato and green pepper, so when I eat it, my mind immediate transitions to memories of summertime, backyard cookouts.

Fortunately, it has evolved a bit, making it a perfect side dish or meal for any occasion. I was thrilled when I saw it as one of many options this year at our Thanksgiving meal. And for once, I didn't make it -- which led me to believe it's a recipe that I need to share, since it was one of the first side dishes to empty out before I had a chance to go back for seconds. It really is that awesome.

SIMPLE MACARONI SALAD

1 lb. elbow macaroni

2 tomatoes, diced

1 cucumber, cut in small chunks

1 green pepper, cut in small chunks

1/8 cup vinegar

3/4 cup Hellman's mayonaise (don't use Miracle Whip)

red pepper to taste

Boil the macaroni according to the package. Mix all the ingredients. If it isn't creamy and wet, add a little more mayonaise to make it dreamy and creamy.

Janet McCormick is the owner of The Tea Room Cafe in Proctorville, Ohio, and the author of "10-Minute Meals." She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.

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