Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Summer on the Side

Happy MeatlessMondayTuesday!

How was your weekend? Any fun shenanigans to share?!

We had a fun-filled weekend packed with family and much needed reunions!.... Insert, seeing/huggin' my sista for the first time in more than 2 years!... She's back from the Peace Corps and while my brother-in-law couldn't make it, this was one crazily long-awaited reunion! While I'm an easy crier, I really thought I'd hold it together until I saw and hugged this beauty and we were both in tears!

First comes the tears, then (naturalllllllly), our picture-crazy momma insists asks for a photo op!

In the moment:
Me: I missed you so much!
L: I missed you too!
... More tears ...
... More hugging ...
Mom: Awww, OK! Smile for the camera!
Me & L: .....HOLD ON NOW!! 
Commence wipin' away tears and tryin' not to keep cryin'

This family reunion was SO fun, full of tons o' love, sadly some peeps who weren't feelin' too great, but ultimately got to even see cousins I haven't seen in 6+ years! Very exciting, eh?!

All the cousins/family, except 2!
BONUS: My grandparents WERE there!!!!!!!!! How can you not love these beautiful people?!

... I mean, for reals, seeing my sister for the first time + getting to visit with my grandparents, how much more could I have ever asked for ANY weekend?!

Plus a FULL female sibling reunion in 3+ years... and a chance for them and my lovely husband to remind me of my ghostly pale skin.... which is either either white as sheets or burnt to a Solo (red) cup color.  I think that'd clash with red hair these days...

 Obviously Saturday = lots o' laughs, playin' Euchre (a fam' tradition), happy tears, and oh-yeah...... 


After all, it was a late summer family BBQ! 

Now, my mom family prefers a traditional potato salad for our reunion shin-digs... my mom makes a mean potato salad I tell ya'! SLURP-SLURP! But once August hit and realized summer is comin' to a close, BAHHHH! I realized I needed to make up a summer classic before it was too late.... and what else are ya' gonna do with when you have enough cucumbers to feed a family of 50!

Pasta Salad Dressing
Serves 3-4
Slightly adapted from AllRecipes

In the line up!

- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
- Salt and pepper

Coach's Orders!

1. Whisk together the extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.  

2. Whisk in the basil, oregano and ground mustard to season the dressin' on up! 


3. Last, whisk in the minced garlic and let cool and marinate to get the flavas' combined!

Pasta Salad!
- 8 ounces (1/2 lb) short pasta
- 1/4 cup cucumber, diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup mozzarella, cubed
- 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 of the pasta salad dressing above

Coach's Orders!

1. Cook your desire pasta in boiling and salted water until al dente (light crunch), drain and let cool.  I recommend refrigerating overnight to let the pasta cool and the dressing flavas' combine!

 2. Add in the diced mozzarella, cucumber and red onion and toss up with some tongs!

 4. Slather with your desires amount of the dressin' and toss up to your likin'! :)

5. Add in some grated Parmesan cheese for some extra flavor and then some finely chopped fresh parsley to really bring this dish home!

Mix er' on up and you got yourself a light, healthy and #veggie dish to bring a potluck for meat-lovers, meat-haters and anyone in-between to enjoy! FTW!

This is perfectly garlic-flavored (I wouldn't recommend goin' on a first date after this one though, but I love me my garlic!)

Light crunch from the onion and cucumber, protein from the cheese and a terrific fresh flava from the parsley... SLURP, SLURP!

Make sure to get as much of everythin' on your plate as ya' can to get the full taste blow-out!

Good to the last refreshingly, cool and fresh bite! Woo to the hoo!!!!!

So if you have any remaining BBQ's to attend this summer, bring this winner along! You.... and they... won't be disappointed!

ENJOY my friends!
..... and soak up the rest of this summer sun in honor of my pale as all get out skin! ;)


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