Sunday, May 26, 2013

Serving Up Pasta Salad!!!

After chasing myself seven ways to Sunday yesterday, today took on a much slower pace!

Oh, I still have "the list" of things I wanted to accomplish this 3-day weekend!  And I by no means have all of it done!!!  But, after Eddie headed out to work before 7:00 this morning, the dogs and I crawled back in bed and snoozed.  I can say that we truly "slept in".....and it felt absolutely decadent!

At mid-morning, I headed out to work on some outside projects.  Picked up limbs and sticks that had fallen in this week's storms and high winds; weeded the front flower bed and swept the back porch and patio.

Now, that sweeping project took the longest because all the nasty, fringe-y "stuff" that falls off the mesquite trees every spring.....well, all that "stuff" blew off this week....and got rained on.....and turned into some sort of petrified mush on the concrete.  I had to get a rake to break it all up just so I could sweep it!!!  I was about worn out when I got that done......

After a nice, relaxing shower, I sort of felt like.....relaxing some more.  At first, I felt a bit guilty.  After all, there is that "list" I am supposed to be working on.  But, then I forced that feeling from my mind and the dogs piled up with me for a little quiet time under the afghan.  We were up and back to laundry and packing up sweaters and sweatshirts from the closet so there is room for shorts and tank tops by the time Eddie Dale got home from work.  So, see????  Some things on "the list" still got done, even with a break for a little siesta!!!

We wanted to eat light this evening.  It's hot and we kinda sorta ended up at Sonic this afternoon when my guy got home from the store.  (Have you tried their mocha/caramel java chiller?!?!?)  So, I pulled the ingredients out for one of our favorite standy-by, go-to meals for Summer - Pasta Salad.

Now, there is no set recipe for my pasta salad.  It's mostly what we have on hand.  I do like to use the tri-colored pasta twirls, so I usually have a bag of these in the cupboard.   Other than that, we like to include.....
  • chopped carrots (or matchstick carrots - which are almost always in our crisper)
  • chopped onion ( just a bit, because a little goes a long ways!)
  • chopped tomato ( I had a nice size Roma tonight, but it is good with halved or quartered cherry tomatoes, too)
  • chopped black olives (there is always a small can of these in the cupboard)
  • peas (a bag of these in the freezer lasts forever and I use them in all sorts of salads)
  • bacon (precooked bacon - love it! - again, always in our fridge with the coldcuts)
  • shredded colby jack cheese (or the cheese of your choosing)
  • Grilled chicken breast, cut into chunks (the package is convenient, but it's even better when you have some leftover from grilling the night before

First off, just get the pasta going......

Then start chopping and throwing it all in a big plastic bowl.  I don't measure a thing - just eye-ball it!!!

When the pasta is ready, simply drain, rinse with cold water to cool it down and throw it in the bowl with everything else.  Then stir it all up and season to taste.  I use these three spices to season just about everything - they are my favorites!

Just a note - I add the shredded cheese last so that it doesn't get too gloopy......

Then refrigerate until time to eat.  My favorite dressing is a light creamy buttermilk ranch, so I drizzle on a bit of that, set a few Club crackers on the side, and presto!  Dinner is served!!!

Perfect on a day like this!  And, it makes plenty for the next I get another break from cooking.  Yippee!!!

I hope you are enjoying this 3-day weekend!  What's on your menu?

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