Super Side Pins: Greek Tortellini Salad

It’s hot and school vacation has begun. Who wants to cook dinner? Not me! Unfortunately my wallet does not match my love of dining out. Gigantic sigh!  What I needed was something easy to make that would last quite a few days, so I could keep cooking to a minimum.

I spent the morning looking through my recipes and came across quite a few pins of pasta salads. What is better than a yummy, hearty pasta salad to beat the summer heat and aid my laziness?!? Nothing, that’s what!

Several salads jumped out at me, but the Greek Tortellini Salad from Two Peas and Their Pod had all the makings of a real winner.

Greek Tortellini Salad

In addition to sweets, I am a huge cheese fan, so this recipe drew me in with the cheese tortellini and feta.  Toss in the kalamata olives and I was done for.

 

Okay.  Enough of my yammering.  Here is the recipe for your summer eating pleasure!


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Greek Tortellini Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 (20 oz) pkg. of refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 large cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, pit removed and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook tortellini in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the package directions.  Drain the tortellini and rinse with cold water.
  2. Place the tortellini in a large bowl.  Toss in tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red onion, and feta cheese.DSC_0239
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well coated.

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This salad is a meal in itself!  We had it with grilled marinated chicken from our local grocery store and it was super tasty!  This would absolutely make a wonderful addition to any picnic or barbecue you attend this summer.  Only if you feel like sharing of course!

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Nine Reads for the Nine Weeks of School Vacation

 

Today is the first day of my summer vacation.  Finally!  Love my teaching job, but love my nine weeks of summer even more!  Nine glorious weeks to re-energize, relax and reorganize my life.  My favorite summer thing to do is read books from all the must-read lists I find on Pinterest.  I try and pick light, silly books, with an occasional serious one thrown in to keep it real.

Sweet Reads poster

Drum roll, please!  Here are my top 9 reads for 9 weeks of summer vacation.  Oh and I linked them to GoodReads so you can add them to your summer reading list.  You’re welcome!  Feel free to return the favor by adding your favorite summer reads in the comments section.

  1. Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes – this is one of those books I stopped life for.  I mean, who needs sleep or food when you’re into a book this good.

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2. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – loved the characters and the suspense!

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3. The House of Tradd Street by Karen White – the whole series is great! Totally makes me want to move to Charleston and own a haunted house!

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4. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson  – a hilarious account of his life growing up in the 1950’s.

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5. Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich – love the mix of the paranormal, craziness with a touch of romance.  Oh, and I may have just a little crush on Diesel.

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6. Mr. Churchill’s Secretary (Maggie Hope Mysteries #1) by Susan Elia MacNeal – I’ve enjoyed this whole historical, fiction, mystery series set during World War II.

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7. The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant – another one I had a hard time putting down.  A great story about a girl growing up in Boston at the early part of the 20th century.

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8.  The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani – a wonderful historical romance that left me wanting the story to continue.

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9. Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik – this is a book I read many years ago and I still remember how much it made me laugh and even cry.  Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 5.04.24 PM

Sweet Pins: Rhubarb Dream Bars

Rhubarb.  You either love it or hate it.  I happen to LOVE it!

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My brother-in-law sent a huge bundle of rhubarb home with my husband after a recent trip north.  Now when I say I love rhubarb, I love it in moderation.  The amount I have currently in my fridge is nuts!

Luckily, I’ve done some pinning and came across a few recipes that looked totally yumskis.  Some were savory and of course most were sweet.

This dreamy, creamy rhubarb recipe from Noshing with the Nolands completely caught my eye.  Especially the word…EASY.  Gotta love easy!


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Rhubarb Dream Bars

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter

Filling

  • 4 lg. eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups diced rhubarb

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line the bottom of a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.  Make sure the parchment goes up on the sides to make it easy to remove the squares later.  Put crust ingredients into a food processor.  Process until butter in incorporated and press crumbly mixture into the pan.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Crust will be pale in color.
  2. In the meantime, mix together eggs, sugar, flour and salt.  Fold in rhubarb.  Pour on the hot crust and continue to bake for 40-45 minutes.
  3. Let the bars cool and remove using the parchment paper.  Cut into squares.

 


 

These bars are creamy with a smidge of that wonderful, rhubarb tartness.  Delish!

What’s your favorite way to eat rhubarb?

Rhubarb Dream Bars

DIY Pins: Preserving Memories with Wall Decor

I’ll admit it, I get bored easily.  Over the years, I’ve come to embrace my distractedness and celebrate what it brings to my life.  Change!  I crave moving furniture, changing decor, and for awhile even changing professions.  Unfortunately when it comes to home decor and changing things up, my wallet does always meet my dreams. I’m always on the lookout for cheap and quick (remember my attention span) ways to give my home new life.

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A while ago, I came across a blog called Beauty and Bedlam and a post about DIY Cheap Wall Decor.  In it, the blogger highlights different ways to frame fabric.  LOVE it!  The one image I was struck by came from a design by Linda Woodrum for the HGTV Dream Home.  Her simple framed fabric made such an impact in a bathroom of all places.

Stunning, isn’t it?!?

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As I said, this pin has been sitting in my Favorite Places and Spaces board for some time now, and recently I came up with a way to incorporate those ideas into my home and preserve memories as well.

Enter my mother-in-law’s crazy wallpaper.

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My mother-in-law passed a couple of years ago and while visiting the progress done to her home, I notice a bag of wallpaper in the trash pile on the porch.  Now I admit I wasn’t crazy about her choice in wallpaper, mostly because it was EVERYWHERE, but seeing it about to be tossed, broke my heart.  I grabbed it, thinking of some way to preserve it without papering my own home in all it’s late 60’s early 70’s glory.  I did toy with papering one wall in the bathroom, but my husband put the kibosh on that really quick. Sigh.

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That’s when I remembered that pin from long ago.  I made a quick run to Michael’s, picked up a couple of cheap frames, and got to work.  Voila!   A project even I could finish!

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