Easy Pasta Salad

Today I have for you an excellent summer side dish: Easy Pasta Salad. This Easy Pasta Salad is just as described: EASY! It couldn’t get easier than this. Only a few ingredients, minimal cooking and prep, and delicious taste. Easy Pasta Salad is a great side dish for any BBQ or party and anyone can make it!

Easy Pasta SaladHello! How are you?! I have been SUPER busy the last couple of weeks so I have been MIA on here. Sorry! :) I was on vacation at the beach on lovely Long Beach Island, NJ, then my wonderful parents came for a visit, and then I had to get back to work and sort through dozens of emails and my LONG to-do list.

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The beach was just what I needed! It started off overcast and rainy but then turned to clear, sunny days. I enjoyed a swim in the Atlantic Ocean, where I drank more ocean water than I realized was possible. I then spent the rest of my time on the sand, under an umbrella :)

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We enjoyed delicious meals, including grilled pork tenderloin with my fresh Peach Cherry Salsa,

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mini golf, yummy seafood restaurants,

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card and board games (I’m the reigning ‘Sorry” champ – won three times in a row!),

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old-school arcade games and shopping!

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I’m want to buy a beach house just so I can decorate it with all the cute beach-themed decor I saw! :P

A day after I got back from the beach, my parents came to visit and we checked out a Phillies game and went on a marathon shopping trip for my new apartment that I’ll be moving into in a few short weeks. Big shout out to my Dad for allowing us to drag him up and down every aisle in Target, Marshall’s, Pier 1, and Ikea… and then for fixing all the damage done to my current apartment so that I can stand a change of getting my security deposit back.

(A word of advise to you renters out there: when you buy those hooks and velcro picture hanger thingies for your wall, make sure you get the Command brand ones that have the little pully thing on the sticky so that they easily come off and you don’t rip paint and parts of the sheet rock when you later remove them.) This is what I’m talking about. Please excuse all of my technical talk :)

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Anywho, I hope everyone else is enjoying their summer. I can’t believe there are only a few weeks left! Hurry up and make this Easy Pasta Salad for your end of summer BBQs and Labor Day get togethers! It’s the perfect side dish. Or just make it at home for yourself or your family, like I did!

Ingredients:

Tri-Color Rotini Pasta (or any pasta of your choice)

Pepperoni Stick

8 oz Cheddar Cheese block

Bell Pepper (I prefer red, yellow, or orange)

Wishbone Italian Dressing

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Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. Once it is cooked and the water drained, allow pasta to cool. You can leave it out to cool or put it in the fridge. I let mine cool in the strainer for about 15 minutes and then put it in the fridge.

While the pasta is cooking and cooling, prepare your other ingredients. Simply shop one 8 oz brick of cheddar cheese, a stick of pepperoni (you can also use sliced pepperoni but I think chopping up the stick makes the salad look nicer and they are easier to stab with your fork!), and a bell pepper.

Once pasta is cool, add in most of the cheese, pepperoni and bell pepper. Mix it all up and decide if you want to add more of the ingredients. Add Italian dressing. You will notice I did not specify an amount. Add enough to lightly coat the pasta and ingredients, mix it up, and taste it! You can adjust the amount to your liking.

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Enjoy!

Bacon Chili Mac & Cheese

Last night I made the most yummy mac and cheese: Bacon Chili Mac & Cheese! Bacon Chili Mac & Cheese combines crispy bacon, gooey cheese and a little bit of spice with salsa verde. It was rich and delicious. A great way to spice up a classic comfort food!

Bacon Chili Mac and Cheese

I am the proud new owner of my very own cherry pitter! Heck yeah! I am making this recipe next week for 11 people so I figured it was time to splurge. I got my cherry pitter from a great store in Philly called Kitchenette (at 12th and Sansom). What a great store! I could’ve spent all afternoon looking around and stocking up my kitchen but I was headed to an appointment so I had to control myself and stick to just purchasing what I went there for. I will definitely go back!

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Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Buffalo Chicken Pizza is one of my favorite options at my local neighborhood pizza shop. My boyfriend and I would order the hot, cheesy, delicious pizza at least once a week… sometimes more (I know), until this past spring when our go-to friendly and speedy local pizzeria messed up our order. Normally I’m willing to let these things slide, but long story short, the issue was big, the service made the issue worse, and it took over two hours to finally get our pizza. I was beyond hangry. My boyfriend even knew better than to try to stop me from mentioning to him every minute that passed that we were pizza-less. He’s patient.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

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Classic Mashed Potatoes

I LOVE mashed potatoes. Seriously, mashed potatoes might be one of my favorite foods. Actually, potatoes in general are my jam. Mashed potatoes, french fries, baked potatoes, tater tots :) basically any sort of potato!

Here is my easy recipe for simple mashed potatoes:

mashed potatoes

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Balsamic Herb Marinade

I eat chicken just about every other night for dinner. It’s my easy go-to meal. Of course, this can start to get boring after a while and I’m always looking for ways to mix it up. Here is a simple marinade recipe to spice up what would be an otherwise “boring” chicken dinner. Balsamic Herb Marinade for chicken!

balsamic herb marinade

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Chicken with Peach Cherry Salsa

Happy Monday! I have a delicious summer recipe to share today that uses summer staples: cherries, peaches and basil. Mix those in with mozzarella and chicken and you have a wonderful and seasonal meal!

Chicken with Peach Cherry Salsa

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How to Pit Cherries (Without a Cherry Pitter!)

It’s finally cherry season! Who else is excited?! I couldn’t be more pleased that plump delicious sweet cherries are now available in abundance and for an affordable price. This time of year is my absolute favorite for produce. Peaches! Cherries! Zucchini! Tomatoes! And the list goes on and on…

How to Pit CherriesThere is only one minor setback when it comes to cherries: the pits. Sigh. Why does some food have to be so inconvenient?! Now I’ve been meaning to buy a cherry pitter for over a year now. I just always forget until I see those beautiful and delicious cherries at the grocery store and I need them immediately. There’s no time to go out and buy a cherry pitter! (Note to self: buy cherry pitter ASAP).

For those of you that are in the same sad situation as I am, here is a simple solution until you finally make the glorious purchase that is a cherry pitter:

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