spicy pasta salad!

with the cool breeze in the atlanta air these days, the mood struck me suddenly and i was craving pasta salad.  sure, i could hop into disco kroger and pick up a pint of the premade stuff, but with plenty of time on my hands, i decided to bust out a tried and true spicy pasta salad recipe.  now, when i pulled up the ingredients and directions from my cookbook, my handwriting gave no clue as to where the recipe originated.  after a quick search, though, i found out it was another classic from ree drummond.

the good news?  now i don’t have to type out every measurement and step.  the better news?  i still feel compelled to post all the pictures of me making this dish!  for your viewing pleasure, here is me at work in my little kitchen.  🙂

cook up some pasta.

next, measure out half a cup of mayo.  throw it in a mixing bowl.

pour one fourth cup of whole milk and then add it to the mayo.

get yourself four tablespoons of white vinegar and marry it up with the mayo and milk.

to the mix add the salt and some peppa and adobo sauce!

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whisk it all up.

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next?  chop up some tomatoes.  the grocer didn’t have red grape tomatoes, so i went with cherry tomatoes and just chopped ’em a little finer.  also, it was a very happy coincidence because these hokee tomatoes come from right down the street in forest park, georgia.  cool!

next you’re going to cube up some gouda.  i won’t judge if you consume any awkwardly shaped or sized pieces on the spot.  i’d be lying if i said i didn’t do that exact thing myself.

now, we’re almost done, i promise!  in your bowl, toss together the gouda, tomatoes, cooled pasta, and dressing.  then, use all your self control not to take a bite – it’s not ready quite yet!

okay, the final step is to grab a whole bunch of basil and chiffonade it.  “chiffonade” is technically a noun, but as a verb, it means to stack all your basil leaves…

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…roll them up…

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…and then use your knife to thinly slice it all.  just like that you’re a chiffonade pro!

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take all that lovely basil and incorporate it in with the pasta mix.  this salad will be sure to please at home, at a picnic, at a bbq, just about anywhere that pasta salad is welcome.  the dressing isn’t overwhelming and has a nice kick from the adobo that provides great flavor.  as with all pasta salads and potato salads of this sort, letting it sit overnight makes for a greatly refreshing snack the next day.

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roasted tomato bisque – fancy!

despite the fact that it feels like the best of spring right now in georgia, i wanted a meal that was comfy and cozy for this december night.  i was fully prepared to just make breakfast for dinner (because late twentysomethings are allowed to do that still), but i reasoned with myself that something a little more substantial would probably satisfy my appetite a bit better.  i looked far and wide through my cookbook and online and finally came across this roasted tomato bisque recipe by chef jeff mauro of the food network.  his focus is typically sandwiches, but a good sandwich can always be accompanied by a good soup.  the more the merrier!

this recipe is very straightforward, and after following the instructions, i can testify that they are accurate and true.  the roasted vegetables in the oven will bring wonderful smells to your kitchen as will the soup as it simmers on the stove top.

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i paired my steaming bowl of bisque with a rich and savory white cheddar grilled cheese.  but wait.  what would this lovely dinner be without the perfect glass of wine?  incomplete, that’s what!  i couldn’t go wrong with a bottle of green fin white table wine direct from the local trader joe’s just down the road.

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the soup has the slightest kick to it because of the crushed red pepper, but it is divine.  by some miracle, i managed to not oversalt it, which is always the key with a good soup.  as i took bite after bite, i was prepared to eat the entire pot until i remembered i’d probably have a stomach ache afterwards.  there is such thing as too much of a good thing!  this recipe is an absolute must if you are a soup lover, so go get that immersion blender and sherry and get to work!  Živjeli, moji prijatelji!

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