Monday, May 24, 2010

The “Unofficial” Start of Summer

The past month was super busy for me. We had Easter, Mother’s Day, a few birthday parties in between and of course the usual busy work, which naturally comes with springtime.  Then again, that kind of sounds like every other month of the year!  I am looking forward to next weekend because it’s our “unofficial” start of the summer, Memorial Day. And it’s also a long three-day weekend!

Every year, my family and I travel approximately an hour and half to the Jersey shore to kick off the summer.  It’s a tradition for our family to gather at the beach for Memorial Day.  We relax, often attend the Memorial Day celebration and of course have a big BBQ.  We all play a role when it comes to planning a family gathering. My father is always in charge of the meat for the grill (he wouldn’t have it any other way), my mother is the overall shopper and planner of the weekend and my Aunt is in charge of making desserts, usually it’s a delicious cheesecake.  For me, I usually just fill in the gaps. I end up making some kind of salad or side dish for everyone to enjoy. This year, I am making the Cool Chicken Pasta Salad from Campbell’s Kitchen.  I am sure it will please everyone! Happy Memorial Day and welcome summer 2010, unofficially!

Cool Chicken and Pasta Salad
From Campbell's Kitchen
Prep: 20 minutes
Chill: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 servings (about 1 3/4 cups each)

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni or 2 1/4 cups corkscrew-shaped pasta (rotini), cooked without salt and drained
1 can (12.5 ounces) Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
1 small cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup prepared fat free Italian salad dressing

Place the macaroni, chicken, cucumber, tomatoes, onion and parsley into a large bowl.  Add the dressing and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!