What an enjoyable Monday!  I could get used to this whole having-the-day-off thing every Monday, right? 😉

Well I hope all of you enjoyed your holiday weekend as much as we did.

It was a lay-low kind of weekend full of sunny pool days, delicious eats and yummy beverages.  Sometimes those kinda weekends are just necessary, especially after being on-the-go with trips here and there and everywhere! 🙂

Speaking of yummy beverages – have you guys seen this dandy on IowaGirlEats yet?! —> Shaken Nectarine Vodka Chiller

I couldn’t wait to try this out and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

I used peaches in lieu of nectarines, just blended them up with the immersion blender (2 for 3 drinks) and then layered on a shot of vodka, club soda and some cold ice cubes for each beverage.  Instead of shaking, I stirred.  Soooo good.

This is going to be the 2011 Summer Beach Vacation Drink we decided 😉

I also whipped up the 4,328th pasta salad of the summer.  What’s new. 

This one was loosely based on this recipe that I came across in a Cooking Light cookbook that Fanatic Dad got me for Christmas.  I added in a few things, mixed stuff up, and came up with something barely resembling the original recipe – oh you know how it is…

Sweet n’ Spicy Spinach & Lemon Pasta Salad

Serves about 6

  • 3 cups uncooked pasta
  • 8 oz. spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 ears of corn, cooked & kernels removed
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes


  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 2 tblp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • sea salt & black pepper

Okay here was the deal.  I had a couple 3/4 empty boxes of leftover pasta left, like the few servings sitting at the bottom of the box that you can never use up.  You know you’ve been there too lol 😛 So guess  what happened?

Yep.  1 cup orzo plus 2 cups fusilli.  Mixed ’em! 

And cooked according to directions. I added the diced onion when there was one minute left of cooking, I like to do this to take the edge of the strong raw onion flavor.


Drained and into the bowl the mixed up pasta goes. 

Then the spinach, which I made sure to add while the pasta was still scorchin’ hot.  This way it wilted down a bit and stirred right in.  Otherwise it was goin’ to be outta control haha 😛

Some drained and rinsed garbanzo beans were up next…

Then fresh corn off the cob. I simply boiled the corn on the cob for about 7 minutes, let cool, and removed the kernels with a sharp knife.

Nexttttttt. Raisins. Surprise!  What a fun sweet mix-in?

A few sprinkles of red pepper flakes and a stir up of the easy lemony dressing, a drizzle and a few tosses, and voila!

Sweet n’ spicy.

Sweet corn and raisins.  Spicy red pepper flakes.  Tangy lemon vinaigrette.

This pasta salad had it all!  Plus a healthy dose of veggies too.  Can’t beat that 🙂

Looks like we’ll be eating this ohhh for the next year or so, it makes alot! Haha kidding, knowing us it’ll be gone in a matter of days.  Just sayin’…

Good thing it’s super delicious too.  These flavors just really worked!

So before I go enjoy what’s left of this glorious weekend, how about the the winner of the Pomi Tomatoes Giveway…?!

Congrats Kat!

Shoot me an email at cookinfanatic@gmail.com with your shipping info so I can get your yummy tomatoes on their way 🙂

Enjoy what’s left of the holiday weekend everyone!!! 


  1. Sounds like a pretty fantastic weekend to me. Ours was good too. We got a lot done but got in a lot of family/friend time too. The pasta salad sounds yummy. Raisins is a very unique but fun addition!

  2. Wow that drink looks way more delicious than the margaritas we had today. (HFCS anyone?) And that pasta salad looks so fresh and delicious!

  3. That drink sounds amazing!!
    Glad you had a good fourth girl!!

  4. Oh yum! I want that salad with the cocktail 🙂 Sounds like a perfect summer dinner.

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