This weekend, Darby and I set up our badminton net and played a couple of times. I'm improving little by little. I told Darby that maybe by the end of the summer I'll be good enough that we can actually keep score. :)
So far, the summer has been nice and lazy, as summer should be. The weather here is wonderful! The high has been in the 70s most days. We've been able to take a lot of walks. On Saturday morning, we went to the downtown farmer's market. I would love to be able to buy all of our produce there, but it is just sooo much more expensive than the supermarket. (I know it's better quality, but still.) We don't have a lot of produce available here yet, but I did get some strawberries and a couple of tomatoes. Homegrown tomatoes are just so amazing!
During the summer, I don't do as much cooking as I normally do. Even though our house stays much cooler than our apartment in Abilene did, it still gets pretty hot with the oven on. So we've been eating a lot of sandwiches and getting the occasional $5 pizza from Little Caesar's. I had clipped a recipe for pasta salad from Taste of Home a year ago or so, and I finally made it the other night. It is sooo good! I'm not big on mayonnaise or other heavy dressings, so a lot of pasta salads don't appeal to me. This one was wonderful, though. It has a very light but flavorful dressing, and the salami and pepperoni give it even more flavor. Don't be afraid of the red wine vinegar. It smells pretty strong, but there's so little of it compared to the size of the salad that it's not overpowering. Try it out for an easy, oven-free lunch or dinner. (We ate sandwiches with ours, but it could easily be a meal in itself.)
Salami Pasta Salad
From: Taste of Home
2 cups uncooked small pasta shells
3/4 c. chopped green pepper (I omitted this because Darby doesn't like peppers very much.)
3/4 c. chopped fresh tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes, halved.)
1/2 c. chopped pepperoni
1/2 c. cubed hard salami
1/2 c. whole black olives, quartered
2 oz. provolone cheese, cubed (Chunk provolone cheese is pretty expensive, so I just bought slices and tore them into little bits.)
1/3 c. chopped onion (I omitted this, as well)
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. salt (You could probably cut back on this as pepperoni, salami, and olives are all very salty.)
1/2 tsp. pepper
1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Cook pasta. Drain and rinse in cold water. Place in large bowl and add other salad ingredients.
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the dressing ingredients; shake well. (The dressing will be bright pink, but it doesn't tint the pasta. I was a little afraid at first.) Pour over pasta mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate.