Crowd Pleasing Pasta Salad

You know how there is always one salad that someone is always asked to bring to a BBQ?  for my mom, it is her potato salad.  People have tried to reproduce it, and cannot get it exactly the same.

For me, it is my pasta salad.  It is creamy decliciousness in a bowl (or plate) and so easy to make.

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Here is how I make it, and I promise, it is so easy to do, and you will get so many compliments.

Prepare your pasta according to package directions.  I like to use a curly pasta like rotini or scoobi doo, the dressing seems to stick better to it.

While the pasta is boiling cut up your veggies.  You can add whatever you have on hand.  The ones I always use are carrots, celery, cucumber, radish.  If I happen to have cherry tomatoes I will toss those in too.

Next comes cheese.  In our house it means lots and lots of cheese.  We like cheese!

All veggies shoulf be cut in bite size pieces, and I cut the cheese in to little cubes.
And now for the secret sauce: it is peppercorn ranch dressing!  Add in as much or as little as you like.  I tend to go a little saucier as my family likes it better that way.

 

See, easy peasy.  Make one of these for your next gathering and get prepared for lots of compliments!

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Spring, Finally!

I am still here!  Spring has finally sprung in my little corner of the world. I wasn’t sure it was going to ever happen, but it has.

I have been keeping really busy with yard and garden work, and some garden work for friends, and nursing a wicked head cold right now.

Some flowers have started coming out which I am so happy for, the ice is off the lake, and the sun is shining (on the days it isn’t raining).

Pretty soon it will be full blown gardening time, and barefoot in the grass time!

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What is your favourite thing about Spring?

A Month of Elf on the Shelf

Elf on The Shelf was a new tradition that I brought in this year, and I had so much fun doing it!  The boys loved waking up every morning to see what “Bob” had done the night before, and even  the daycare kids ran right in to look for Bob as soon as they got here.

For those of you who do not know what the heck I am talking about, take a look here
Basically, the elf is sent by Santa to a family to help Santa with his naughty and nice list.  The elf watches through the day, and once everyone is asleep he returns to the North Pole to report to Santa.  The parents move Bob to a different spot each night for the kids to find in the morning, and he stays there for the day.

When you purchase your elf, he/she will come with a hardcover book that tells the story, and this year there was even a tv special.  The book says that when your elf comes you need to give him a name.  You are not allowed to touch the elf as he/she will lose his magic and will not be able to return to the North Pole.  You can talk to your elf and tell him your wishes, and he will tell them to Santa.

“Bob” was the name that O and B gave our Elf.  B was a lot more in to the whole experience than O.  B would talk to Bob all the time.  O just looked for him every morning.

Our elf was a mischevious elf, not just hanging out in different spots.  I think that made it more fun for the boys.  Near the end it was getting harder to think of ideas, but Pinterest was a great help with that.

And now for the pictures!  This will be picture heavy, there is a month of mischief to record!  Some are my own ideas, and some are ideas I found on Pinterest.

New Year, Resolutions, and Rambling

Hi all, I am back!

The Christmas holidays got the best of me and I did not have much time to get on and post.  My New Years Resolution is to be a better, more consistent blogger.  I hope to post at minimum twice a week.

Christmas was a busy time.  Between working, doing daycare, baking, shopping, having five (!) different Christmases, and shovelling lots and lots of snow, I was glad when New Years came and everything wound down.

My favourite present this year was my Kitchenaid stand mixer.  I broke it in on Christmas morning by beating my eggs in it!  Isn’t she pretty?

With Christmas money that I got from the husbands parents I also bought myself a brand new set of good quality pots and pans.

 I pretty much had a kitchen Christmas, but I am absolutely okay with that.

I will be doing a post on a new tradition that we brought in this year, Elf on the Shelf.  It was so much fun, and the kids loved it!  I am forewarning you that that will be a picture heavy post.

My mixer has been getting a lot of use.  I am happy to say that I conquered my fear of yeast, and have made bread, and cinnamon buns, and currently have dough for crusty buns rising.  I always had this fear of doing something wrong and the dough not rising, and the amount of work that seemed to go in to bread making.

These are my first attempts at bread, I think they turned out great, and it is almost gone already, so I know it tastes good!

The recipe I used was very easy to follow.  If you are a first time bread maker with a stand mixer I highly recommend this recipe.  You can find it here.

I think that is about all for now.  How was your holiday season?

A to Z

We had a great Saturday today, after the crazy storms of yesterday.  B has gone for a sleepover with his best friend and cousin, and we had the hubby’s brother, sister in law and nephews over for an impromptu visit and dinner.  they were up at our cottage, and the power was knocked out, and is scheduled to be out for another day or so!
Tomorrow we are going  here just the hubby and I.  It is our 12 year anniversary (!) and we are going for some pampering.

A good friend of mine posted this on her blog, and tagged me, so now I have to do it!  But I also thought it would be a fun foray in to a post other than recipes.  So here goes!

A to Z

A. Attached or single?
Attached, tomorrow is our 12 year wedding anniversary!

 B. Best friend?
I have two, L and D.  They are both very similar people which is funny.  L I have known since grade 9 (which is too many years to count) and D is someone whom I have known for a very long time and was friendly with, but did not become friends until we started to work together.

C. Cake or Pie?
Well, I am not much of a sweets or dessert person, even though I make them, but give me a slice of cherry pie and I will gobble it up.

D. Day of Choice?

This is a hard one.  Since deciding to stay home with the boys, I don’t really worry about the beginning or end of the week.  I would have to say Saturday, that is the day when S is home and I get tow atch him unwind and play with the boys.  There is not usually any hurry to the day and we can do whatever we want whenever we want.

E. Essential item
Oh man, this is a hard one.  I like lots of stuff and like having it, but something I can’t live without?  That is a hard thing to choose just one.  But since I have too, here it is

Yep, chapstick.  I am a chapstick fiend, and I would be in serious withdrawal if I didn’t have any to put on.

F. Favourite Colour?
This is a toss up between green which makes my eyes pop, or a nice mustard yellow.

G. Gummy bears or worms?
Bears, definitely bears.  I have a problem with eating worms, even if they are fake.

H. Hometown?
Well, if we are talking my place of birth, that would be Port Alberni, BC (lived there until grade 3).  After that we lived in or around Barrie, ON.

I. Favourite Indulgence?
Chips, any kind of chips.  I have a severe salty tooth.

J. January or July?
July, definitely July.  I dislike being cold and I dislike the snow.  I know, I live in the snow belt of Ontario, but what can you do?  Give me the heat and humidity over frostbite and snow drifts any day!

K. Kids?
I have two boys, O and B, and 7 angel babies.

L. Life isn’t complete without?
Laughter, understanding and forgiveness.

M. Marriage date?
July 21, 2001

N.  Number of brothers/sisters?
Two brothers, both younger.

O. Oranges or apples?
Depends, if they are Christmas oranges (mandarin or clementine) then oranges, any other time of year apples.

P. Phobias?
Spiders.  Ugh I can barely type it.

Q. Quotes?
Well, this is one of my favourites, and it really strikes a chord with my trying to add to our family after multiple losses.

R. Reasons to smile?
My husband, my family, my boys whose hijinks never fail to make me laugh.  Friends, and a good tv show!

S. Season of choice?
Summer.  While I love the holidays in other seasons (xmas, thanksgiving, easter) I love the heat of summer, and a lot of the festivals we have around here make it a great time of year!

T. Tag five people
I don’t know if this will work or not, but Jess, Shelly, Jenn (I know you orginally tagged me, but, well, I have a small following right now!), Jenn (a different one!), krysten

U. Unknown fact about me?
Ummmmm, I am pretty double jointed, and I am very sarcastic, which is hidden under a good girl image.  I am the queen of one liners and inuendos though, trust!

V. Vegetable?
Hmmm, toss up between brussells sprouts or beans fresh from the garden (dinner tonight!)

W. Worst habit?
Picking my nose?  Ha, totally kidding! I guess it would have to be biting my fingers.  I do not bite my nails, but sometimes I will bite the sides of my nails where the skin is thick.  Weird, I know.

X.  Xray or ultrasound?
Well, I have never had an xray, but I have had many ultrasounds, so I will go with ultrasound.

Y. Your favourite food?
Toss up, tacos

or spaghetti and meatballs

 Z. Zodiac sign?
Saggitarius

and now it is your turn!  Do the survey and tag me, and all your friends who blog, get to know them better!