sum sum summer time

While I wait for the rain to pass why not write a blog-post… because they are slowing down with lack of inspiration and not needing to cook.  Once our summer travels are done I know I’ll want to get back in the kitchen but when my husband was gone for a week I wasn’t going to cook a gourmet meal for one. Now it’s my turn to travel and then in a few weeks it’s his again.

Since I haven’t been cooking a whole lot I’m going to share a pasta recipe I entered into a contest:

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“Salad”:
1 box of Dreamfields rotini pasta (cooked and cooled)
1 pound of cubed ham
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
5 oz. crumbled blue cheese
“Dressing”:
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 shallots DICED
8 tbsp EVOO
S/P to taste

Boil the pasta (lightly salt the water; the dressing & blue cheese will add plenty of flavor) when it is fully cooked, drain the pasta & set aside to cool.
While the pasta is cooling, mix the “dressing” ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk (use a really large bowl so you can serve the salad in it). Combine the cubed ham & dried cranberries. Mix together with a spatula evenly coating everything. Once the pasta is cooled add it to the large bowl of dressing/ham/dried cranberries. With the spatula, fold everything slowly to evenly coat the pasta. Be gentle so you don’t tear or rip the pasta.
Chill in the fridge 4 hours (or overnight; cover with plastic wrap); when ready to serve, fold the salad again & sprinkle the crumbled blue cheese on top.

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I did cook one real meal this week, it’s an easy one but really flavorful…enjoy!
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Sauteed onions with just 2 scoops of butter 😉 … pork loin steaks – so good!  We love pork but it was nice to eat a different cut of the meat.

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Cheated on veggies but the ‘silver can’ peas are so yummy. Yellow potatoes (use a large bowl to mix: cut into wedges, sprinkle salt & pepper, 2 grated garlic cloves, and 1 diced shallot… drizzle on EVOO and fold with a spatula) – bake at 400 for 45 min.

So that’s that… it was salsa chicken last night and tonight is spaghetti.  Of course there are plenty of leftovers so my husband doesn’t starve while I’m gone.

As for my trip, I’m really looking forward to eating Czech & Polish food – pierogis and sauerkraut here I come… getting back to my roots! And some Italian sausages (not my roots but certainly a ‘must have’ while in Chicago) … I’m so ready for something other than BBQ and Mexican food. Texas, I love you but I need a break.

 

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Eat to Live!

I was determined to have a vegetarian night this week.  Back in the day (ha) I was able to plan an entire week of meatless dishes, I’ve lost my inspiration.  However Tuesday’s dinner was yummy and so easy to make – no meat!  Monday, total meat dinner … salsa meatloaf. Don’t be grossed out by using salsa – try it first.

Ok, meatloaf Monday + bacon wrapped asparagus + peas. Josh worked a late shift so I wanted to make something that would be tasty reheated (aka doesn’t turn into shoe leather after nuking it).  I put his bacon wrapped asparagus in the oven when I got the “on my way!” text message. I obviously got the peas (asparagus = aspara-gross); sorry, I don’t care for it all that much. I do like most other veggies, even lima beans!! Yeah so this salsa ingredient… it does indeed make the meatloaf soggy so you must add a good mound of breadcrumbs or panko; don’t forget eggs, you still need something to act as a glue.

I follow my mom’s cooking instructions- 350 for 1 1/2 hrs. PERFECTION! Low and slow baby, low and slow.

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I add extra red onion because we love the flavor – feel free to try a sweet or white onion.

 

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Use a potato masher to mix the meatloaf! DUH! Once things are sort of combined switch to mixing with your hands.

 

 

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And those are our yummy veggies 🙂

On to vegetarian Tuesday – delish veggie melts courtesy of Martha Stewart. Slice the mushroom caps, 1 small head of broccoli, 1 green pepper, and 1 red pepper – for 2 people it made 8 melts (or open face sandwiches).

I actually purchased a jar of mayo … OMG it’s been a minute since I’ve done that! I needed a bit more than a Chick-Fil-A packet so I caved in, got the smallest jar I could find.  Adding the garlic was crucial, it was so good! And then topping the veggies with shredded Gouda cheese – oh stop me now!

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I’m sure you recognize that side dish … opted for the yummy mushroom/orzo dish I made at Christmas.  A huge whoopsies: I forgot to buy chicken stock! Seriously … I didn’t write it down therefore it never had a chance.  Luckily I had an unopened bottle of wine so I used that in place of the stock. Holy moly was it just as good.

There you go, 2 days down and we’re at hump day. I’m so over this cold weather and no I won’t be the one complaining when it’s “too hot”. It’s never too hot in my opinion. I like the pool and I like the sun. Don’t get me wrong, sweating after a short walk to the mailbox certainly does suck but at least I’m not shivering and unable to feel my fingers. CAN’T STAND COLD WEATHER!

Cheeseburger Pie tonight; ham and pineapple pizza tomorrow; Italian sausage and peppers on Friday.  Then we celebrate Valentine’s Day on Saturday 🙂 ❤ Yes it’s early but that’s what fits our schedules.