Whenever we have a family get together planned, I always check the sale ad before I commit to what I'm bringing. This week, veggies were on sale at Aldi, so I committed to bringing a pasta salad to my father in law and daughter's birthday celebration. I always use the same method for pasta salad and people always act like it is the best pasta salad they have ever tasted. Last night, I sent my leftovers home with family, and now my people are mad at me because they wanted to snack on this! So, here is how I do it,
1 lb of pasta, cooked as directed
4 or 5 different veggies (diced) (I've used bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumber and red onion)
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 bottle of ZESTY (very important) Italian dressing
Salt and Pepper to taste
While your pasta is cooking, dice the vegetables and place in a large bowl. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Once your pasta is cooked, drain and rinse until it is nice and cold. Place the noodles in the bowl with the veggies and top with half a bottle of dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. (I use a ton of black pepper and a little salt.) Once everything is mixed together, you can cover with saran and store in the fridge until you are ready to serve it. Before serving, top with the remaining half a bottle of dressing. Serve cold!
See! I told you it was super easy!!! We actually have this as our main dish for dinner a lot in the summer too! It's just so refreshing and healthy!
Whoa! I'm back! After endless seemingly endless complications and half a million boxes, we're finally almost 100% settled in to our new house!
Now, if we could just find my husband's wedding ring, we'd be golden!
Our new house is easily twice the size of our old house, and we are just
so happy with the space! My kids have a huge finished basement to go
nuts in, and they have just been thrilled. My six year old's first
request was for a trapeze down there, which was good for a laugh!
Regardless, I haven't heard a peep about the trapeze since the first day
we moved in, their totally happy with their sea of toys and room to do
Of course, I'm really happy to be back to
cooking! I even have empty cabinets in my new kitchen! The new
kitchen is not without it's quirks, but I'll get used to it. (I'm really
missing my island!) We'll make some changes over time too. And, you'll
notice that my pictures have a new setting! We have a really sunny eat
in kitchen nook that I think will be very picture taking friendly! I
ALSO have a super old and ugly table (see above) that isn't the hottest
back drop. Someone gave us this table ten years ago when my husband
moved in to our first apartment. It's been in the basement of our old
house since 2006, but we had to break it back out since we have both a
formal and informal eating space now! We'd planned on replacing it
before we moved in, but I haven't found an alternative that I like
either. I'd rather stick with something free that I hate than pay for
something new that I hate.
Sunday is my husband's new work day. I was happy to try out a new recipe
in the crockpot while the kids and I hit the pool this afternoon. My
oldest daughter really loved it! She had three huge bowls! Here is my
4 boneless chicken breast halves
3 cups of marinara sauce
1 handful of grape tomatoes
1/2 cupItalian salad dressing
1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 orange bell pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
1 box of rigatoni(I use rigatoni because it's so much easier for little people to manage.)
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Place chicken in a 4-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl,
combine the marinara sauce, tomato, Italian salad dressing, Italian
seasoning, garlic and bell pepper; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-5
hours or until chicken is tender. Melt in 2 tablespoons of butter when the chicken is cooked.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Serve chicken and sauce with pasta; sprinkle with cheese.
I'm a hard-working, fun loving mom! I work full-time outside the house AND a double "mom shift" at home too. Life is pretty busy with a 7 year old, a 4.5 year old and a 2 year old and a newborn, but we make it work and have fun! I'm committed to the effort of balancing time, expense and health when feeding my family. Most frequently, you'll read about my $50/week grocery project, which I've been doing for over a year now! Over the course of the last 2 years, you can also follow our journey as we tackle a devastating job layoff, a major salary reduction and a big move! Please join me in this crazy experiment called life!