Another little thing we do each week is have dinner on china by candlelight on Sundays. I have skipped the china while Mike is gone, but we do still light a candle....Livi calls them 'candle dinners'. Tonight I made my all time favorite dinner....a Greek pasta salad that I found in a Cooking Light years ago.
I felt like the 'pioneer woman who cooks' taking a picture of this. I even considered going on a photo overload, but trying to prep dinner in the 30 minutes that "Maggie and the Ferocious Beast" is playing didn't include time for a step by step photo shoot. It is a whole wheat penne pasta, kalamata olives, feta cheese, spinach in a garlic balsamic vinaigrette. Seriously we have this at least twice a month! The kids love it and so do I.
I don't know why I let myself get sucked into "Army Wives" on Lifetime. I think I watched it once to see if I could laugh at it like nurses and doctors laugh at Grey's Anatomy and ER. But again for the third week in a row, I am watching it now. Some Colonel's wife just mentioned a Hail and Farewell ( basically a party to say, "Welcome to the battalion...or Here is a stupid plaque that you probably paid for.....see ya later." But she made a point to say it was for "officers and their wives".....whatever! I met Mike when he was a little Lieutenant. I don't get the wives "wearing rank" thing. I have always told Mike if I am going to wear rank, then I want a star or something. I am not going to be some little Lieutenant's wife! For every wife that does wear rank, there are so many more that don't even care about that. I am not a soldier and won't act like one! (****added for a laugh.....the lady wearing rank was a General's wife*** that is hilarious, since he is probably at least a one-star!...maybe she told her husband she would wear rank when he got his star! )
another edit: Katbliss asked what 'wearing rank' is.....basically it is acting like you so much more important because your husband is a higher rank than someone....a Captain's wife thinks she is better than a Lieutenants.....so a General's wife is pretty much the top dog of all officer's wives if she acts like she is wearing her husband's rank.
most whole wheat boxes are only 12 oz....so adjust the vinaigrette if you find a box that is more..
1 box of whole wheat penne pasta
4 oz crumbled feta (I use the tomato and basil blend)
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
3 T olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
bag of baby spinach
2/3 of a 7oz jar of kalamata olives
while the pasta is boiling, (make sure you salt the water once it is boiling....the whole wheat pasta tends to need a bit of seasoning), make the vinaigrette. Mix the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and garlic in a bowl.....swirl it around so the garlic flavors the liquids. Set this aside. If it starts to boil over, add a bit of olive oil to the water.
Pit the olives, and cut into chunks. (If you are brave enough to let the kids cook with you, Pampered chef makes a little knife that kids can use....my kids take the pits out once I score the olive...then they cut them into chunks) Set these aside.
Stem the spinach, or if you are in a hurry, just tear it into small pieces and pick out the bigger stems. I usually use about 3/4 of a bag. I go ahead and tear all of it. Throughout the week I add it to salads or sandwiches. It is so much more healthy than regular lettuce. Set this aside.
By now, the pasta is done...drain it....toss it with the vinaigrette until all the pasta is coated. Now add the spinach. Since the pasta is super hot, the spinach kind of wilts (making it harder to pick out, so the kids will eat it)....once that is all incorporated, add the feta and olives.
If it becomes a favorite you have to call it Tommie's pasta salad.....enjoy!