Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Extra Fancy Pasta Salad and Another Cover Reveal

The last two weekends have been big family events for our group. Of course, Father's Day was this weekend. And, last week, we came together to celebrate the life of Helen Obenhaus, my mother-in-law. After a long, full life, she passed peacefully in her sleep at the age of 92. 

Naturally, both events called for lots of food. Some graciously brought by friends and other meals cooked up by yours truly as a means of stress relief. There's just something about doing for others that takes our minds off of ourselves and our troubles. 

When the weather's hot--not to mention extraordinarily humid--one of my favorite dishes is pasta salad. Pasta Salad is one of those versatile recipes that you can easily tweak to fit just about any taste.

The one thing you absolutely must have for pasta salad is, well, pasta. You can use whatever shape(s), color or variety you like. One of my favorites is the tri-colored pasta because it's so colorful. But since I wanted to try to keep it Trim Health Mama approved, my best option was the Dreamfield's rotini.
Just cook your pasta per the instructions on the package, drain and then rinse to cool it, which also stops the cooking process.

From here, you can let you imagination take over.
On this occasion, I kept things simple, knowing I had some picky eaters.
Chopped red onions and black olives was about the extent of things for this group. And the Italian dressing is what brings everything together, but we'll get to that later. If I hadn't been surrounded by pickies, I would have also added some chopped broccoli, maybe some colorful bell peppers, grape or cherry tomatoes, cucumbers... You get the idea.

So add whatever you like to your pasta.

Oh, but wait. This is Extra Fancy Pasta Salad. So about now you're probably wondering what makes it so fancy, right?

Tah-dah!
You'd be surprised what imitation crab meat can do for pasta salad. It has a little bit of sweetness that, when paired with the tang of the Italian dressing, turns into this wonderfully harmonious treat. 

Of course, it doesn't look so fancy when it comes out of the package.
You can try to pull each piece apart, or do what I did and just roughly chop it before throwing it into the bowl.
Stir everything together.
Then stir in your Italian dressing to taste.
Note on the Italian dressing: I recommend using the regular as opposed to a light variety. The light dressings have more water in them that absorbs into the pasta, making the end product kind of dry. 

Okay, so it dawned on me when I saw Jan's gorgeous cover yesterday, that I have never shared the cover for my August LI.

So, without further ado...

Once again, the art department did a wonderful job. I just love the hulking mountain in the background. 

Yes, it's available for pre-order and, if I did things correctly, clicking on the image should take you to that link.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

23 comments:

  1. I must try a pasta salad with seafood!!! How have I not done this????

    Mindy, I'm so blessed by your behind the scenes comments about your mother-in-law. What a wonderful legacy they left! And 92 years and pretty darn healthy is amazingly wonderful in my book!!!

    Your cover is gorgeous. I love the simplicity of the church nestled into the hills, with the mountain shadowing all.

    So well done, congratulations on this newest release! Go you!!!

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    1. I don't know, Ruthy. Because you usually think of everything. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Yes, Helen lived a full life. And if her legs and back hadn't been giving out, I have no doubt she would have kept traveling right up until the end.

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  2. I clicked and read... looks good! And gorgeous cover! That mountain is HUGE. I think I've only seen mountains like that twice. Once I Denver and once near the Alps. What majesty.

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    1. Majesty is right, Virginia. One reason I love the mountains so much is because it's all God-made. Man might try to alter them, but only God can move mountains. It truly is God's country. And we all love those mountaintop experiences.

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    2. What a wonderful way of thinking about it, Mindy.

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  3. How wonderful that your family could get together to celebrate your MIL life. She sounds like she lived a full and well-loved life.

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    1. It was a wonderful time of remembering and celebrating. Just like funerals should be.

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  4. I need to make this pasta salad - it looks so good! And yes, I love seafood in the pasta salad, along with onions, broccoli, olives, etc. etc.

    Your cover looks fabulous. I love the church with that steadfast mountain behind it. Looking forward to August!!!

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    1. Like I said, Jan, that ever-so-subtle sweetness of the imitation crab really adds to the flavor. Not to mention some protein. Hope you like it.

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  5. I was already craving pasta salad and now you made it even worse! LOL This looks yummy. I need cheese and salami for the one I make. Maybe after my grocery trip this week. :)

    Love the new cover!

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    1. That's exactly why I posted this, Missy. To torment you. :P

      The nice thing about pasta salad is that you can use what you have on hand. Well, unless it's the end of the week and there's nothing left in the fridge. But other than that... :D

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  6. Hi Mindy, What a yummy salad. I just made one for a potluck a couple weeks ago and added diced white chicken meat. Added a little mayonaise to the Italian dressing too. Like you said. Anything sounds great with this salad.

    And I really like the idea of the seafood.

    Love your book cover. Love the mountain too. Mountains are awesome.

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    1. Ooo...that sounds yummy, Sandra. I'll have to try that. Just adding the mayo would give it another dimension.

      I could use a mountain right about now. These 100+ heat indexes are the pits. :)

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    2. Now that intrigues me, Sandra, because I prefer mayonnaise dressings. Hmmmmm.

      Of course Tina would be slapping us because this doesn't exactly sound Dukan-friendly. HeeHee.

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    3. A bunch of writers are following Sandra's lead and going on the Dukan Diet in advance of RWA. From what I understand, it's a protein heavy diet.

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    4. Forgot to add the Tina connection - she's marshaling the diet contingent on FB.

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  7. Oh Mindy, I forgot to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. 92 years is amazing. And I am so glad that you were able to be together. That is so important.

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    1. You know, Sandra, it was my MIL who introduced me to Ouray, Colorado, where my stories take place. Her parents homesteaded there in the 1920's. It's easy to see where she got her love for adventure.

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    2. That's really interesting. Funny how adventurous some people can be. And it kind of fits their surroundings. I guess in those days you would need to be adventurous to survive int he rugged mountains.

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  8. Mindy, I also really enjoyed your stories about your MIL. What an amazing, inspiring lady. She reminds me of the type of heroine we write.

    Pasta Salad. See, that's what I want to eat. But to find out what I am eating, you'll have to wait until tomorrow's post.

    :)

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