I've been making cold pasta salads about once a week since it got hot, but I wanted to do something besides ham or tuna. At first I thought of a BLT pasta salad and looked that up and it does exist, but once I started thinking about bacon, I remembered something: Before Ruby Tuesday's closed, I was addicted to a broccoli salad that was always on their salad bar. One day as I was oohing and aahing over it, the bartender said, "You can make that at home. It's only four ingredients. It's broccoli, bacon, cheddar and cole slaw dressing." I added twirly pasta to make it a whole meal. I discovered that Hidden Valley Ranch makes a very good cole slaw dressing:
If you're a natural foods person you can make your own cole slaw dressing. And if you are a vegetarian, you'll need something salty to replace the bacon. Maybe a smoked stronger cheese instead of cheddar? And the broccoli is raw fresh broccoli. It was delicious and I didn't add anything else, not even salt or pepper.
I've also got some drumsticks marinading in Allende Hickory Smoke marinade to which I blended in a little olive oil. Marinade, in my mind, is supposed to have some oil in it and this did not. I'm going to grill (or barbecue as some people call "cooking out") those on Tuesday night (tonight if you're reading this during the daytime) and serve that with roasted zucchini. I have never made roasted zucchini, but it seemed like a good idea. I'm going to toss the sliced or chunked zucchini (I haven't decided that part yet) in melted butter and sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbes de Provence. I'll let you know how that turns out. I also have some parmegian reggiano in the freezer which I should probably grate over that.
And now for something completely different: After changing my mind two thousand times, I think I am going to go to my high school reunion. It just happens to fall during the time that my daughter had taken off to visit Mom in the mountains. When they bought the house by the beach in April, they decided to give up the mountain place when the lease expires in November, so this would be my one chance to visit them there and probably my last trip ever to the N.C. mountains.
The tentative plan is to fly into Raleigh/Durham on that Thursday (Aug. 6th) spend two nights with Lo, go to the reunion on Saturday with Kate as my "date," drive to the mountains on Sunday (about 4 hours), and stay until Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, then drive back to the airport. But I haven't done anything yet. We'll see.