Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Essentially I'm talkin' food here...

Note: I've linked this post I wrote last week to the summer recipe exchange over at Fringe Girl...visit there for more summer to the end of this post for two yummy summertime salads. Enjoy!

Is it finally Wednesday? My husband travels a lot but this trip has felt especially long. He'll be home from Shanghai this evening and I just finished making a pot of spaghetti sauce and meatballs because he loves them. He has asked that I not prepare any river eel in 'special' sauce or any squirrel fish either, at least not for a while. For the record I've never prepared eel of any sort and I've never heard of squirrel fish which he said was pretty good. It's always fun to travel and try new things but always nice to come home to comfy and familiar too.

I headed down to my moms last Thursday afternoon to spend a few days there because fyi, a husband traveling on a holiday weekend just feels wrong. My mom and I like to go out to breakfast, do a little shopping and play many games of rummikub. Friday afternoon she took me out to lunch and we went to a new restaurant called 52 Seasons. Do you have this where you live because I think its a chain? I loved it...the menu changes every week, hence the name. Everything is seasonally fresh plus nothing on the menu is over 475 calories which is just a little added bonus.

Yesterday was my nephew's birthday...he turned the big 0-4. This is the first birthday he has celebrated that I've been in town for and it was fun to be a part of his big day. My sister and her husband had a cookout with family and neighbors at their house last night and the rain held off so we could sit out in their back garden.

Boys are so funny. They are such boys. He loves snakes and superheros and dragons and anything with a motor. Oh, and chocolate cake. He likes that too. We're definitely related.

Here he is with some of his buds...they have a little table built into an area underneath the swing set and that's where the kiddos like to sit and eat.

My sister asked if I would bring my pasta salad to the's so simple and is always a crowd pleaser. I mentioned it once before on my blog and had a few requests for the recipe so I've posted it below. And because I'm killing time here until hubs gets home I've also included another summer salad recipe which is our family's favorite...enjoy!

Pasta Salad Supreme

1 1lb. box rotini, cooked al dente
1 -8 0z. bottle Zesty Italian salad dressing (or your favorite Italian)
1/2 jar McCormicks Salad Supreme spice mix (found in the spice section of supermarkets that carry McCormick brand spices)

1 cucumber, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved if they are on the large size
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 jar large black olives, pitted and halved
1 carrot, chopped

Cook pasta and then stir in the vegetables (I usually add other peppers if I have them on hand, sometimes green onion, really whatever you like). Stir in the dressing and seasoning and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. You can adjust the amount of vegetables to taste. We like a lot of vegetables in ours.

Cucumber-Tomato-Onion Salad

2-3 cucumbers, sliced very thinly
3-4 tomatoes quartered
3-4 green onions diced

1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TBLSP mayonnaise
1 TBLSP milk
salt and pepper

Put the cukes, tomatoes, and onions into a serving bowl. In another small bowl whisk together sugar and mayonnaise. Slowly stir in vinegar. Add the milk and stir to combine. Pour over vegetables and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving. It will be soupy. If you prefer it thicker you can increase the mayo. It's yummy!


  1. Ah, summer food! Yum.

    Enjoy your hubby's homecoming!


  2. What fun!
    I am going to have to make both of those salads when I get home.
    I miss cooking so much!

    Hope you're doing well!!!!!

  3. Thanks for the recipes! That's a different spin on the cucumber salad.
    We just got an Olive Garden, so I'd say it's about 20 years down the road until we get a 52 Seasons! Sounds like a good "girly" kind of place to eat!

  4. Enjoy your time with your husband the cucumber salad looked great.

    Dorothy from grammology

  5. The pasta salad sounds really good. We won´t get those seasonings here, but I like that there are so many veggies added. Will try it, with what I have here.
    I´m glad you took time for your mom while your hubby was away. I bet she was really happy about that. The spaghetti and meatballs is another recipe you could post. :)
    Can you tell I´m hungry?

  6. Thank you for the recipes, they sound wonderful. I've never heard of that resturant but it sounds different and exciting. Glad you kept yourself busy while dh was gone!

  7. Yum! Glad your husband is coming home. What does he do?

  8. I love summer salads. One of my favorites is a broccoli, bacon and raison salad. We made it over the weekend and it never made it to the table because we ate it straight out of the bowl while it was sitting on the counter. I am going to try the tomato and onion salad this week. That sounds really good. So does the pasta salad, but I am trying to stay away from pasta/carbs as much as possible. :(

    We love rummikub too. Barrett (#3) is a whiz at it and usually ends up beating us all. My aunt from Texas is coming to visit in a few weeks and she also loves playing. Barrett cannot wait for her to get here so that somebody will play with her.

  9. I love that pasta salad recipe. Mine is the same, except it uses linguine pasta. I like yours better, because it will be easier to eat. The cucumber/tomato/onion salad sounds delicious too. I always love new recipes! I know you are glad for Tim to be home for a bit. And a little bird told that Monday was Shannon's birthday. Love her new headboard. Glad you had a fun time with your Mom. Love & blessings from NC!

  10. Thanks for the recipes! Love a good cucumber salad and yours looks great!

    Enjoy hubby being home:)

  11. I love pasta salad and am definitely going to try this recipe.
    My husband's garden should be producing cucumbers and tomatoes soon. It's nice to find new recipes. We always have cucumbers running out our ears. (not complaining....I LOVE the veggies!)

    I'm glad you were able to visit your mom while your husband was gone.
    How fun that you were able to be at your nephews birthday party. I love the 0-4 part. Cute!

  12. Great recipes I love pasta salad....summer is the best time for cold food...too hot to turn on oven.

  13. I love rummikub, but haven't played it in a while. I need a refresher course.

    Anyway, these look and sound like very refreshing summer salads. Thanks so much for linking up and joining the fun!!

  14. I would love to try the cucumber salad minus the onions, not really big on raw onions.

  15. Yummy. I gave a recipe for a similar pasta salad, but I used spaghetti and I forgot about some of the veggies you used. I haven't made it for awhile. Thanks for the reminder of what I forgot. Can't wait to have some of that. Maybe this weekend at my daughter's graduation party.

  16. Those recipes look so fresh and summery! I can´t wait to try the cucumber one! I love cucumbers in Vinigar!

    Dani Joy