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Memorial Day Weekend 2013

I had a great memorial day weekend.  It was eventful enough, yet still relaxing.  I went to Nocona on Friday.  My parents were out of town, and I planned to use the pool and relax for a couple of days.  Unfortunately, after they left town on Monday, a terrible tornado producing, high wind, and hail storm rolled through town.  Luckily a tornado didn't hit in town, but wow, they had a lot of storm mess that needed to be cleaned up. 

I went to visit with my Meme and then I headed back home for clean-up.  These pics don't really do the damage justice, but you get the drift...
I didn't do any relaxing on Friday.  I spent about 4 hours in clean-up mode.
Saturday morning, I drove over to Saint Jo, to visit my other grandparents.  My grandmother and I went on to Muenster to the meat market so I could stock my freezer up on some meat for grilling and pick up some sausage and cheese at the request of Jennifer and her family.  Then I went home and spent a little more time cleaning the pool. 
This was as far as I got when the vacuum attachment broke.
I called it good, and got in the pool (though after all the rain and hail, it was a wee bit cold!)
I did my favorite warm weather activity... float in the pool and read!
Sunday morning, it was time to come back to McKinney for the Smiles Charity concert featuring Ryan Star (that I wrote about yesterday).  Then Monday, I had to hit up the Super Walmart for groceries.  I decided to try a new recipe.

I got it off of Pinterest, and I have had trouble getting the pin to open everytime for some reason, so I'm just going to give you the recipe:
Spring Vegetable Orzo Pasta Salad
1 bunch of asparagus, about 3 cups diced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, minced (I used green onions because I went grocery shopping at Walmart!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces orzo pasta, cooked to al dente and cooled
15- ounce can artichoke hearts (recipe calls for you to quarter them, so I bought already quartered)
1-1/2 cups sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, julienned (I bought julienned already)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
Bring a medium saucepan full of water to a boil.  Turn off the burner, add in asparagus pieces and blanch for 2-3 minutes.  While the asparagus is in the water, heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a small saute pan.  Add in shallots and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes, just until tender.  Drain the asparagus and rinse with cool water (this will stop it from cooking too much).
In a large bowl, add the cooked orzo pasta, asparagus pieces, sauteed shallots, and garlic.  Drain the artichoke hearts and quarter them, adding them to the bowl.  Add in the sun-dried tomatoes with oil and the lemon zest.  Stir to combine.
In a small bowl, whist together lemon juice, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.  While continuously whisking, slowly pour olive oil into the vinegar.  Once emulsified, stir the dressing into the salad.  Move to the refrigerator for at least 5 hours for flavors to combine.  Serve cold.
Makes 12-15 servings.
The original pinner's photos are much prettier than mine, but this is what it looked like when I made it:

It is a great salad for several reasons:

(1) It's light.  No heavy dressings.  The taste of lemon is perfect for a summery salad.
(2) Orzo pasta is just a brilliant pasta for a salad.
(3) I love asparagus and artichokes, so this is perfect. (although I only like super skinny asparagus.  If it's too big, it is too woody for my taste).
(4) When I was making it, I was questioning the sun-dried tomatoes, and wondering if some fresh cherry tomatoes might work better.  But I really enjoyed the sun-dried element to the whole salad.

I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend.  Hopefully you had some rest & relaxation, did something fun, ate some good food, and took a moment to, as we say at Christmas, but is wholly applicable here, remembered the reason for the season, and thought of those who serve and have served this country in military service. 


Abby said…
Can't wait to try it!!

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