Thursday, July 8, 2010

She's Alive!

So, I haven't been posting as often as I'd like. But, I haven't been cooking a lot either. As most of you know, I live in MN. It's cold 97% of the year. Ok, so maybe that is an exaggeration, but it's cold a lot. Well, it's summer here, which means I have about 4 weeks total of lovely, warm days. I spend those few fleeting weeks on lakes and in my garden. No time for bloggin!

My garden is doing quite nicely this year. We've already had some delightful spinach and mixed salad green salads. The kale is just about ready to be harvested as well. The peppers and tomatoes are growing stronger each and every day. I have high hopes that I will get some good yields again this year.

Fishing has been tops this summer. I have a new "honey hole" as some call it. Whenever I need a quick fix I boogie out to the lake and do some pan and bass fishing. I have yet to be skunked this year :) And of course, whenever I get the chance I go boating with my friend, Kate. She, like me, lives for the water and the tranquility of freshwater lakes. We truly are a great team.

As for cooking, when I am home I don't want to heat up the house so I make a lot of quick fixes, sandwiches (rustic french bread, thin sliced meat, cheese, piled high with fresh veggies, and usually a smear of homemade pesto to top things off), home made spring rolls, grilled meat (usually pork chops at Jon's request), and other easy, cold meals.

Jon has a pasta salad he likes to eat, particularly in the summer. I just don't have the patience to make it a lot. It is super easy and only has like 4 ingredients, but that seems like a lot of work most days... :) I am usually asked to make a double batch when I do take the time because Jon will eat this salad for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I will post both the original salad and the quick salad recipes. Super great for summer picnics since there is no mayo in either version. Enjoy!

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friend. Cheers!

Jon's Favorite Pasta Salad
Serves a bunch ;)

1 box rainbow macaroni noodles
1 small bottle zesty Italian dressing
cooked, crumbled bacon to taste
1/2 cup diced carrots

In a small bowl mix carrots and a small amount of the dressing. Set aside.

Boil pasta until tender, but do not over cook. Rinse well with cold water until cool. Drain well.

Mix in marinaded carrots, bacon, and dressing. Stir well. Refrigerate, covered. Stir every half hour for the first 2 hours. Serve well chilled.

* You may want to add diced tomatoes, cheese, bell peppers etc.

Becca's Quick Pasta Salad

1 Suddenly Salad Classic mix
2 medium diced tomatoes
diced, fresh mozzarella
chopped turkey pepperoni

Prepare the salad according to the package (Boil pasta for 8-10 minutes until tender. Blend seasoning packet with 3 TBS water and 2 TBS oil. Rinse pasta with cold water. Drain well. Add seasoning.)

Add tomatoes, cheese, and pepperoni.

Easy Peasy.

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