Stop by and enjoy the last weeks of summer, despite the start of the school year at the Fisher’s Club.
For the past month or so I’ve been craving pasta salad. You may remember when I made macaroni coleslaw, in hopes that would meet my craving. It was good, but it didn’t quite match my expectations. Between barbecues, great recipes online, picnic-themed magazine spreads, and other suggestions, I’ve been seeking a good pasta salad.
When it came time to travel east earlier this month for Simon’s baptism, I kept asking all week if there was something else I could bring. Pops and I were driving out together and it was a good opportunity to bring something different than what was readily available. Sister and BIL are blessed to have a really supportive community and folks bringing meals every other day for the entire first month of the nephew’s life.
Their stomachs and freezer were both filling up fast. But, with the addition of Pops and myself, he decided to bring some pork sandwich meat that was in the freezer. I decided this was my chance to bring a great pasta salad and fill my craving, while also contributing to the meal. There are some great Bacon Ranch Pasta Salads out there, but I was nervous to bring something mayo-based. Instead, I decided to make an Italian Pasta Salad, another favorite of mine. I scoured the web and concocted the following:
Italian Pasta Salad
1 box tri-color rotini pasta
1 c cherry tomatoes
1 sm can sliced black olives
1 green pepper, diced
½ bottle Newman’s Own Rustic Italian dressing
1 block muenster, provolone or swiss cheese
Cook pasta according to directions. Let cool, add other ingredients except cheese. Refrigerate at least 4 hours to allow flavors to meld. Add cheese within 30 minutes of serving. Have additional dressing available to add if needed at serving.
Next time I would add more peppers and ½ a red onion to enhance the flavor and taste.
When my sister and her husband got married last summer, we had a grand time. It was truly special for so many different reasons. Not only was she the first of my siblings to get married, but my other sister and I were co-maids-of-honor. There were many parts of the ceremony, reception, and weekend which spoke so distinctly of my sister and her husband. They met through an organization called St. Paul’s Outreach which does Catholic evangelical work on college campuses. Sister and BIL spent their holidays with our family in Minnesota leading up to the wedding, but mostly planned the wedding from afar. There were so many members of the SPO community who came together to make the weekend amazing. I loved the photos from their wedding. By the way — If you are in Michigan (or the Midwest area) and want a great photographer, check out Melanie Reyes Photography! Sister and BIL were able to have folks show the ways they care about them throughout the weekend.
Beyond serving as one of the Maids of Honor, Sister also blessed me and asked me to be part of their ceremony in making the wedding favors. She asked me to make sugar cookies for the wedding. It was my first sugar cookie commissioning. Truth be told, despite the hours of work sugar cookies are, I love making them. Like quilting, I love the process of it. And, I was so fortunate to have my mom help me out. She baked each of the 300+ sugar cookies we made after we’d done a test batch one weekend and determined our shapes. Anyhoo, when the Weebe arrived, I volunteered to make desserts for the baptism. One of the things I knew I wanted to make (without first notifying Sister and BIL) was sugar cookies. And so, I spent a Saturday morning a few weeks ago cutting out crosses and onesies and then icing them with white. I’m not much for using pink and blue, and since the baby’s nursery is green and brown and brown isn’t so appealing on cookies, I went with white, to symbolize the baptism. I think they turned out pretty cute. I will note that when I make sugar cookies for this type of event (both the wedding, baptism, and others), I roll them relatively thick, so they can withstand travel!