Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Greek Tortellini Salad

If you are looking for a dish that will be the hit of the party and is also quick and easy enough for a weeknight dinner, look no further. This Greek Tortellini Salad is a taste sensation. 
Party food, pasta salad, greek pasta salad
The homemade dressing is definitely worth the effort. You can use a mason jar with this lid or a salad dressing shaker, or whisk the ingredients together in a large bowl. If you want to use prepared dressing, choose a vinaigrette made from red wine vinegar.

Greek Tortellini Salad

3 (9-oz.) packages refrigerated cheese tortellini
2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large cucumber, diced
1/2 c. sweet red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 can or jar quartered artichoke hearts in water
1 c. pitted kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
1 1/2 c. cubed feta
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1 c. yellow banana pepper rings, cut in half
3 c. fresh spinach, chopped

2/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
2 T. dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried thyme
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

greek pasta salad, tortellini salad, greek food, feta cheese, yellow banana pepper rings, party food, potluck, meal prep ideas

Make dressing: Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper in a large mason jar. Shake well to combine. 

Cook tortellini according to package instructions. Drain and immediately toss with some of the dressing. This is an important step because it keeps the pasta from sticking together. Set aside.

Combine tomatoes, onion, cucumber, peppers, olives, feta, parsley, banana peppers, and parsley in a very large bowl and stir until combined. Coat generously with dressing, then add cooked tortellini and artichoke hearts and fold together gently. Add more dressing if needed. Place in fridge for at least one hour to allow flavors to combine.

Just before serving, stir in spinach. Place in serving bowl and then top with whole banana peppers and sprinkle with feta and parsley.

This salad holds up really well so you can make a batch on Sunday and separate it into lunch-sized portions for the week. I like to add some rotisserie chicken too for a hearty and protein-packed lunch.

greek pasta salad, tortellini salad, greek food, feta cheese, yellow banana pepper rings, party food, potluck, meal prep ideas, homemade salad dressing, vegetarian meals

Monday, August 26, 2019

All About Buffy - Our Sweet Little Fur Ball

In honor of International Dog Day (August 26) - I thought I'd share a bit about my very favorite little fur ball, Buffy even though we don't consider her a dog and neither does she.
We adopted Buffy when she was 9 years old. We weren't really looking for a dog, but it was destiny. Adding her to our family has been the best decision we have ever made!
We would have loved to be able to change her name since neither of us like the name Buffy, but we decided that she had to be named after Buffy the Vampire Slayer because she is not your average fluffy little dog. She has lots of nicknames: Little B, The Buffster, Bufferooni, Buff Buff, The Princess, and Buffy Roo and more.

She has brought such joy to our lives and definitely has made our house a home.

Some of Buffy's favorite things through the years have been: 

  • barking at dogs walking by from her perch atop the leather chair placed by the window just for her
  • chasing squirrels

  • car rides in her elevated car seat for improved views

  • visiting Auntie Christine at "the annex"

  • going for walks

But her absolute favorite is eating. Her palate is adventurous just like her Mommy's. Some favorites are rotisserie chicken, steak, watermelon, and cheese. She eats her body weight in food and treats every day but thankfully has the metabolism of a super model.
Buffy is always quite the traveler! After starting her life in Indiana, she has moved many times. She has accompanied us to Columbus, Pittsburgh, Niagara Falls, Lake Chautauqua, Put-in-Bay, Kalamazoo, Cincinnati and more. She even completed The Donut Trail!

Buffy has even come to work with me. Such a good helper!
She loves parties!

And presents!

She is officially an old lady now (almost 18!) so she is starting to show her age a bit. Her vision and hearing are terrible, and she can't walk on hard slippery surfaces any more. It's really hard seeing her get old but she will always be our baby. We love you sweet Buffy!!
I'd love to hear about your fluffy family members. Share your stories in the comments.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Thirsty Thursday: Tropical Sangria

I love the hot and sultry days of summer, and I'm enjoying every last drop. You can keep your pumpkin spice anything until the leaves turn. For now, I'm sipping on this fruit-packed and summery Tropical Sangria. Even if it is only in the 70s today!
sangria, wine, cocktails, summer drinks
Photo Credit

Tropical Sangria


1 750ml bottle Prosecco or other sparkling wine
1 750ml bottle Vinho Verde or dry rosé
1 750ml bottle Gewurztraminer 
1 1/2 cups Coconut Water with Pineapple
1/2 cup pear or mango flavored vodka
3 cups fruit: raspberries, pineapple, strawberries, apple, orange, etc.
2 Limes, thinly sliced
2 cans or about 2 c. of sparkling water

Combine two bottles of wine and vodka in large clear pitcher. Add coconut water + fruit and stir gently. Place in fridge for at least one hour to let the flavors mingle. Just before serving, stir in the prosecco and sparkling water, and garnish with mint.