Salads – Cold Pasta Salad

I’m taking this salad (p. 27) as a side dish to our 3rd annual chili contest at Redeemer this weekend. Click to see our previous two winners. It’s fun to have these warm and lively events in the middle of winter, when all most of us want to do is crawl into a sleeping bag and watch movies. But it’s great to get out, and why not all enjoy some terrific chili while doing so?

Last year, Bruce H. thought of the brilliant idea of providing small tasting bowls for our contest. There were several families who very scientifically tasted each and every one of the 13 or 14 chili entries. However, the winner is determined in a very un-scientific way.  Since it’s a fundraiser, all you have to do is bring a wad of $1 bills to stuff your envelope and win. But it’s all in good fun, and in the last two years, the money went to help pay for our church’s brand-spankin’-new boiler.

I liked the look of this recipe because it reminded me of summer–from deep in the throes of the bleak midwinter. I have another pasta salad recipe I love called “1000 Herb Pasta Salad.” When making it, I just keep adding one chopped herb after another. Basil, parsley, marjoram, thyme…you name it, you add it. And all of the herbs work together deliciously to create a garden-fresh salad.

This recipe calls for McCormick’s Salad Supreme seasoning, which I found with the spices. I was looking for it with the other McCormick seasonings (like taco seasoning and sauce mixes). I’ve always liked Kraft’s Zesty Italian Dressing, so I’m sure this will taste great once I throw all of the ingredients together. The nice thing about a pasta salad is it keeps nicely, so I’ll make it a day or two in advance of the big chili fest.

Joan Hoff contributed this recipe. She invited us to her new beautiful home last summer, and I loved seeing all of the personal touches they added to their new home. I especially loved her buffet with vintage details that she commissioned Amish woodworkers to build. She was one of the first people who really helped welcome us to Elmhurst, over four years ago now. She came with me to pick up furniture we picked out at Pier One, and we had lots of fun adding finishing touches to the living room. She’s got a generous heart and is a great cook to boot!

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The thermometer reading -10. We’re ready to warm up at the chili fest!

P.S. Thanks to Marsha Z. for contacting me to purchase a cookbook as she follows along my blog entries. To anyone else who would like a copy of the cookbook, contact me and I’ll be happy to send one along. The proceeds go to fund our youth mission trip next summer, so your purchase goes toward a good cause!

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Dewey, enjoying the morning sunshine, warm inside

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