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Monday, June 6, 2011

anti-recipe #33 the family pasta salad

It is hot out. REALLY hot. I kinda like it though. Makes me think of happy days by the pool or the little lake by the house, sweet tea (which I can drink by the GALLONS in summer) and drippy popcicles.

photo from recent family gathering...
 One problem though...I really hate cooking in heat. I just dont know what to make. I open the fridge. I stare inside. I shut the fridge. I walk down to the pantry. I turn on the light. I stand there, trying not to gag on the smell of rotten onions. I turn off the light. I walk back upstairs. I open the fridge...etc etc.

You can see where I am going with this.

Finally, the inevitable. I call dada. At 5:15. Umm. Honey? Anything in mind for dinner tonight? Uh, sure Sara. I will be home in 15 minutes. Phew. Dodged the dinner bullet again.

Truly pathetic.

I am SO not June.

So. To remedy this dilemma I have decided to come up with a list of back up meals for hot weather, when I dont like to cook. And always have the ingredients on hand.

Here is what I have so far:

Fajitas. Minimal cooking required. No ovens involved. Lots of nice veggies.

Pasta salad.

That is it so far. Help? Please? I need ideas.

Here is the pasta salad I grew up eating. We still make it at nearly every family summer time get together. The possibilties are endless, depending on what you have on hand, making it a great "anti-recipe". In truth, it is nothing remarkable, just pasta salad, but on a hot day, it's perfect. And make sure you make enough leftovers for the next day for lunch. Hmmm. With sweet tea. HMMMMM.

Boil 2 cups tri-colored "curly noodles" (I think the are called rotini in real life, right?) or, those cheese stuffed curled up ones. Geez. What are those called? Or a combination. Or plain colored noodles. Or penne. (Rocket ship noodles, we call em.)

Cut up salami (I know, ewww, some might say, but me? I like salami every now and then) and cheddar cheese cubes and some carrot pieces, maybe some celery or green peppers. Toss in a can of peas (or fresh). Or not. Then some olives (I prefer whole, black, pitted of course.) Sun dried tomatoes are really nice, or you can chop up some fresh. Sprinkle in some fresh grated parmesean. Next some fresh herbs - basil, or cilantro, or fresh parsley. Fresh is key. Dried are pointless here.

Now dress with Italian dressing (EYE-talian, my family says. HA. Midwesterners to the core. Like, from EYE-taly you mean??) Or mix your own (we usually do this) olive oil, a little balsamic maybe, pepper and salt to taste. I dont know. Dada makes the dressings in our house. Something like this. Google it I guess.

Eat promptly, if you are impatient. Or, after cooling for an hour in the fridge.

Okay. I am soooooooo hungry right now.

So, what are your hot weather favorites? Dada would be appreciative if you would share. (HA)

PS. They are called tortellini, those curled up cheese-stuffed noodles. Good grief Sara.


  1. I wish I had meal idea inspiration for you, but I'm in the same boat as you.

  2. Umm... I say EYE-talian and Caleb and the rest of the state of California makes fun of me for it. Haha. We eat a lot of salads when it's hot. With alfalfa sprouts, olives and a can of tuna on top (I know you hate tuna so maybe you could use canned chicken?). Also, hard boiled eggs. Yum.
    Cute pictures. I miss you and your babies! Yay for August!!

  3. Swiss Cheese (the real one) and cooked Potatos with a Dip and carrots to dip in :)! Well something I don`t know if you actually know it in the states! But to make sure ... I am running out of meals anyway! :)

  4. Ah... I just thought of one: Egg Salad.

  5. ok. this is so dumb. why dont my posts sign on as ME??
    this is sara....

    bekah- yea, tuna dumped on a salad, not gonna happen, but i could get more creative with salads. hmmm maybe a can of garbanzo beans?
    allison - glad i am not the only one :)
    moni - sounds yummy. what is the dip?
    and yes, grills are a good idea, but that is dada territory. i suppose i could learn how to do it and then open up a WHOLE NEW WORLD of summer cooking. hmm. i probably should.

  6. The "Barefoot Contessa" Ina Garten just had a show today that answered your questions - she asked the same question about easy summertime meals. She did several different noodle dishes/salads and I'm inspired! If you can find the episode online from today about pasta you'll find some easy recipes that sounds and look very intriguing.


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