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?
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!