Happy Anniversary Week to my blog-sisters and to all of you who have made this blog so much fun! Thank you for making us feel so welcome. I can't believe its already been a year. Time does indeed fly when you're having a wonderful time!
As promised, we're giving away prizes every single day this week and we're giving away an ice cream maker as our grand prize! Doesn't it look cool? (pun intended) I'm so excited. Wish I could win!
Today I'm giving away a $10 bookstore gift certificate to one lucky commenter. I'll announce that winner's name late tonight, and as soon as you contact me, I'll get your prize out to you!
But now... the food!
My contribution to our meal is pasta salad. I often make a double recipe for parties because this side dish disappears very quickly in our house. It's easy and versatile (we like those attributes on this blog) and can be made in a jiffy.
2 packages spiral pasta. I like to use the tri-colored spirals because they make the pasta look so much cheerier and festive
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 purple onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
Prepared Italian salad dressing. I like Wishbone.
Salt, pepper, to taste
(Optional: 1 cucumber, chopped; half pound of mushrooms, chopped, shredded mozzarella)
Prepare pasta according to package directions. After draining, rinse and allow to cool just a little. Add enough of the salad dressing to *very* lightly coat the pasta so it doesn't stick while you wait for it to completely cool.
In the meantime, chop your vegetables. I always include the onion, peppers, and celery, but the other items are your choice. Mushrooms brown after a day in the fridge, so we don't always include those. My kids prefer this without the cheese. I kind of like the added texture, but I don't particularly care for cucumbers in this dish, so I skip them even though everyone else likes them (hey, the cook has to have some perks, right?) That's where this recipe is so versatile. You can make it the way *you* like it best.
Add the chopped vegetables to the cooled pasta, to taste. You may not want to use the entire pepper, or you may want to add more onion. Completely up to you. In the photo below, I made this salad for company - and one of my friend really, really hates peppers. Green, red, any kind. So I skipped them this time.
When all the items are combined to your satisfaction, add a liberal amount of Italian salad dressing until all pasta is well coated, but not swimming in the stuff. Salt and pepper to taste, then... here's the most important part... allow the pasta salad to sit in the fridge for at least an hour. This gives it a nice chill and allows the vegetables to flavor the pasta.
Yum!! Grab a bowlful right away. This will disappear quickly!
Don't forget to check back tonight to see if you've won the bookstore gift certificate!
Thanks for being a part of our lives this past year!
GRACE UNDER PRESSURE, first in the Manor House Mystery series.