Simply Perfect Add-in to any Cookout

Asparagus Pasta with Pan Fried Garlic & Lemon Cold Tomato Zucchini Pasta Salad with Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette

I created this pasta salad for my brother Steve’s Independence Day barbecue. I needed to bring a side dish that could sit out safely in the hot sun for several hours, and also fit in well with an American style cookout. An additional benefit is it gave guests a vegan option, and me an excuse to eat lots of cold pasta salad.

The vinegar base in this recipe would pair well with homemade buttermilk fried chicken, or even a store bought rotisserie chicken.

Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1/4 cup Sherry Vinegar 1 Shallot, chopped 1/ 2 clove Garlic, chopped 1/2 teaspoon Salt Lots of fresh ground black pepper to taste

Puree the ingredients together in a small processor or blender. Set aside.

Tomato Zucchini Pasta 1 pound riccioli shaped pasta, or any favorite shape 2 medium sized zucchini, or 1 large thinly sliced into half moons 1 cup chopped scallions 3-4 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped 1 tablespoon dried parsley 1 recipe Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette Salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil the pasta according to the package directions in heavily salted water. Drain and rinse in cold water.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette.

3. Toss the pasta together in a large bowl with the dressing and the rest of the ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator until chilled.

Notes: Next time I might throw in some dried or fresh parmesan, and a handful of sliced olives to add another element of flavor. Shredded asiago cheese might also work well.

Posted from my Android ~ Ami

New Planning in the New Year of 2013

Oh, …. ! I am so excited!! As you know, the hubbs and I have been “moving day in and day out”, because the hubbs has a funky schedule, he can’t do it for just a few days straight. So when we do get an entire day to move, we borrow my dad, his truck & trailer, and get as many loads as humanly possible, that day allows for.
  Well, this Wednesday, we are renting a 26′ box truck, and getting the rest of our belongings OUT! I am sick and tired of moving all of this stuff!! We are selling our micro suede couch, because we just don’t have room for it. Its a 3 piece sectional, sage green, with lots of options. I kinda hate to get rid of the thing, but what else can we do? I would hate to see it seriously squished in storage, (if, that is, we could squeeze it in, somewhere…?) We both would rather see it get used, by someone who really needs it. (I have a special someone, who wants it… >.   Ahem…. I have decided, I want a Garden, and an Inground Fire Pit! I have been thinking on both topics, for a few days, now. Trying to decide locations for both, what I want to plant in the gardens, what size and how many functionalitys I want with the fire pit. So, this Thursday, my mom is coming over, to our new house, to talk garden. {Both my dad & My hubbs are going to want to kill me, but that is the fun of it! Right?}

   When my grandmother was alive, she was THE green thumb around here. My grandfather was the cattle herder, and horse breeder. Over the years, because of all of the livestock, and steady gardening, de-weeding, pruning, and everything else that they did here, at their home, {Our new home} has not only seriously helped keep the grounds here in exceptional shape, but it has also helped give me multiple ideas of how to keep the grounds up to par, where to put what, and will help me keep the grounds looking similar to the way my grandmother would have had it. She is with me,in my mind and in my actions, every single day. I miss her so much, I guess gardening here, is a way for me to “keep her alive”.  When it is all said & done, I don’t have a doubt in my mind, that my grandmother will be smiling down from heaven. {I will have to post pics of my progress!!}

  I know I want a veggie garden, or better said, a very extensive veggie garden. However, I will have to add to it as I go, because we don’t have a lot of $ right now. I am planning on asking my father to till the garden with his tractor, when I decide where exactly I want it. 

I have also been thinking, I want a Lavender garden, and that got me thinking, “Why not just have the Lavender up my the end of the house, with the already existing White Lilly’s and Daffodills are, and put a beautiful, hearty flower garden, in the field, where the Miscanthsus is, and {Around the corner from where I want to put the veggie garden.} I have always wanted a Rock Garden, too. I don’t know if this has something to do with my love for succulent plants, or what, but I have an entire kitchen window full of them, and it is about time they have their own garden. These are some of the 40+ $1 – $3 clearance items, that I found at Lowes, a few weeks back. I managed to get some exceptional plants, from that buy. This particular succulent mix, in my kitchen window, has been multiplying so fast, that I can’t get them all rooted in time! I can happily say, that  when I do get a Rock & Succulent Garden going, I won’t have a problem with dying plants!! ^.^