Nevertheless, I am still riding high on the fun and excitement that is had when our big group of college friends gets together and acts like we're 21 again. Sadly to say, our livers can't quite keep up the way they used to... but dangit if we don't try at least once a year! The fun started Thursday night when friends started arriving at our house, and didn't stop 'til Sunday afternoon when the last person walked out the door. We spent the actual 4th at my in-laws', playing cornhole and pool basketball and eating until we were all about to explode. There were some fireworks and some drinking games, and a fantastic time was had by all. So much so, in fact, that I only took two pictures the entire day!
Sure signs of an awesome holiday. A big plate full of my favorites, and an intense game of cornhole. Right?
Seeing as how I'm trying to keep the holiday spirit going, I thought I'd share a recipe that I've been meaning to post for ages. My mother-in-law makes the most delicious pasta salad for most family get-togethers, and I always look forward to eating it when we have a party!
I got her to share the recipe with me, and I whipped up a huge batch for the feast on Friday. It is really easy to make - mostly just chopping up ingredients and then mixing them together with the dressing. It is not a creamy pasta salad (which is something I generally don't enjoy), but instead features fresh veggies, salami, and sharp cheddar cheese, tossed together with a homemade Dijon vinaigrette. It is also, in my opinion, a proper proportion of pasta-to-everything-else: it's lots of other ingredients with a little pasta mixed in, so almost every bite features all the good stuff! This pasta salad is always a hit with the crowd, and I hope you'll enjoy it just as much as our family does!
Dijon Antipasto Pasta Salad
- 8 oz uncooked rotini
- 2 cups broccoli, cut into very small pieces
- 4 oz cheddar cheese cubed (1 cup)
- 5 oz salami cut into strips (1 cup)
- 1⁄2 cup drained pepperoncini peppers, cut into small pieces
- 1⁄2 cup ripe olives 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 to 2 tsp sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1⁄4 tsp salt
Cook rotini to desired doneness as directed on package, adding broccoli during last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain; rinse with cold water to cool. In large bowl, combine cooked pasta, broccoli, and all remaining ingredients. In small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients; blend well. Add to salad; toss to coat. Refrigerate before serving - best if made the night before and served cold.