Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Celebrations and a Pasta Salad Recipe

Even though it was over a week ago, I hope you all had a great Fourth of July holiday.  Mr. Forest Manor was home Wednesday through Sunday, and I just couldn't seem to get any blogging done, so I'm sharing some of our celebration pictures a little late.

We went to my in-laws' house on the Fourth for an evening cookout.

While we celebrated our nation's birthday, we also celebrated the birthdays of three family members.  Three generations of birthdays were represented by three sets of candles (on a homemade cake with caramel icing) -- ages 65, 72 and 82.

Even though it was boiling hot, we still had a good time.  We enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs cooked on the grill, baked beans, coleslaw, pasta salad, fresh cantaloupe, and cake and homemade ice cream.

I love this picture of our son; he really enjoyed talking to my mother-in-law's cousin, who just turned 82 years young.

My mother-in law.

My father-in-law and my husband's younger brother.

On Sunday, July 8th, we went to my parents' house for another cookout to celebrate my dad's birthday, which was July 3rd.

 We had more good hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, oriental coleslaw, and baked beans.  For dessert --  peach ice cream and chocolate ice cream, both homemade.  My mom was the chief ice cream maker.  :)

My sister and my cute niece.

Gracie, the yellow lab.

I love my parents' screened porch.  What's that you ask?  Where are all the people?  They're inside where it's cooler.  The temperature reached 100 degrees in our town that day.

I made a pasta salad for the Fourth of July celebration.  I've been making it for years, and it's always a hit when I take it to summer cookouts.  Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it.  It's so easy, and it looks pretty and tastes good.

- 16 oz. box of Mueller's tri-color Rotini (or other tri-color spiral pasta)
- 8 oz. bottle of Kraft Zesty Italian dressing
- Peeled and chopped fresh garden tomato (I used one large German Johnson tomato)
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

After you boil and drain the pasta, you should chill it for a few hours or overnight before adding the dressing; that way the dressing will blend better with the pasta.  Then add tomatoes and cheese and that's it.  This pasta salad is an easy dish to prepare during the hot days of summer and will keep well in your refrigerator for several days.

What are your plans for the coming weekend?  Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for taking time to leave a comment.  I'm joining the folks at Foodie Fridays at Rattlebridge Farm, The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays, and Sunny Simple Sundays, hosted by Elaine.  Hope to see you there!

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