Monday, August 18, 2008

my favorite summer salad

Tonight I made one of my all time favorite salads. It's only ever truly good during the summer months when the herbs and vegetables are fresh and at their best. I made it when I went home in June and I've been craving it ever since.

I found the recipe in an old Cooking Light magazine. I love that cooking magazine; the recipes
from it always turn out well. This salad is easy to make and perfect to double or triple for big groups.

Summer Garden Lentil and Pasta Salad

2 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup chicken broth
½ cup dried petite green lentils
1 bay leaf
2 cups uncooked orecchiette pasta
1 cup diced zucchini
3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
½ cup diced red bell pepper
½ cup yellow bell pepper
½ cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh or ½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To prepare vinaigrette, combine first 7 ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until well blended. To prepare salad, combine broth, lentils, and bay leaf in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Discard bay leaf. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Combine lentils, pasta, zucchini, and remaining ingredients. Drizzle with vinaigrette; toss well. store in an airtight container. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

Lynnea’s note: When I'm in a hurry I just use 1 regular sized can of lentils rather than cooking them up. I always rinse and drain them very well before using. I also use dried basil and parsley if I don’t have fresh and the salad turns out edible. And I have never used the le puy lentils, instead the regular brown ones work nicely.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

visit home in June

I just found all these photos of our visit home in June. They are kind of fun.

We pulled out the drums for a fun and loud afternoon.

My mother's sweet and rascally little dog, Toby.

We visited Grandpa's grave. It was a lovely day.

Pat's flower garden and lawn.

Little button

During a recent hot spell we purchased a darling little fan to keep us cool.

After our crappy box fan pooped out on us two summers ago(never mind the fact that we've faithfully kept it stored in our closet just in case we ever had the inclination to figure out how to fix the burned out motor) we resigned ourselves to sitting grumpily in our upstairs apt. sweating from about May through October.

The hardware store really had too many fan options to choose from and very little customer service to help us narrow down our choice, so we decided to go with the most adorable, and most expensive option, the Turbo-aire. We've dubbed him the button simply because he's cuter than a button and he's round like one too.

On top of being super cute, this fan works very well and hardly makes any noise, even at the highest setting. We're now rather fond of him.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I"m jumping up and down...

in excitement, over the fact that Matthew and I just got to meet this great fellow who writes mmm-yoso. His blog is one of my favorites and I check it every day. He was really nice and seemed pleased to meet me, which was perfect because I was so worried about interrupting him. When I realized who he was, I was afraid to introduce myself but Matthew encouraged me to say hello and I am glad I did. It was so cool to meet him as I've wanted to ever since I started reading his blog 2 1/2 years ago.

Anyway, this was a wonderful evening.