Welcome to my BlogSpot. I have created this blog in hopes of inspiring everyone to cook. I have found my inspiration from living in both Southern and Northern California. My influences in flavors have come from family recipes and meals with emphasis on healthy foods, marrying into an Italian family and the ethnic flavors throughout California. There are so many wonderful memories connected to our family dishes as well as new memories in the dishes that have been recently created. My husband, Randy who is recently retired, has been my biggest supporter and inspiration in our kitchen. He is my taster, my sous chef, and has created some really great dishes himself, which will be added to this blog. It is my hope that you too will be inspired to cook and create your own dishes for your loved ones and enjoy the craft of cooking.

One thing I ask of you is if you print out, email and pass out my recipes, please include my name and link.

Be sure to check out my Sweaty Equities blog about the ups and downs of crafty projects and our DIY remodels.
You can find it at http://sweatyequities.blogspot.com/

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Palette Pleasing Pasta Salad

OK, so I like giving my recipes a catchy name and so I named this Pasta Salad, “Party in my Mouth Pasta Salad”, because of all the big flavors in this salad. –Sounds nice to me. My husband, Randy walked by and read the title and told me that I shouldn’t because it has a sexual connotation to it. Seriously? How does he know this and I don’t? I’m glad I have such a wise man to keep me from making such a mistake.

Palette Pleasing Pasta Salad

Dressing for Pasta, see below.
1 Pound Rotini Pasta Noodles, cooked
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
½ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1 Onion, diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into 2 inch long thin slices
Salt and Pepper
3 Stalks Celery, thinly sliced
1-14 Oz jar marinated artichokes, drained and sliced
1 -5 Oz jar Julienne Slice Sun Dried Tomatoes, drained
1 -15 Oz Can Black Olives
Handful Dried Cranberries
1 Cup Feta Cheese

First prepare the dressing, see below. Prepare the Pasta according to directions and rinse with cold water. Drain well and place in a large bowl. While the pasta is cooking, sauté the onions in olive oil and crushed red pepper until the onions caramelize. Halfway through the cooking process, add the bell pepper slices and salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked onions and peppers to the pasta. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pasta bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss.

½ Cup Vinegar of your choice
½ Cup Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Honey (or Agave Nectar)
½ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Pepper
Combine these ingredients and whisk vigorously to incorporate the flavors. Set aside for 30 minutes and whisk once more before pouring over the pasta.

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