Sunday Family Feast Recap (Soup-er Sunday Name Change)

I haven’t posted a real Soup-er Sunday Recap in a while. There is a few reasons for that – and they really only amount to excuses.

The Soup-er Sunday schedule had gotten a little off kilter for the month of January. Family travelled, illness struck and then there was the Super Bowl! It’s not that we didn’t get together, but on one of them I actually ordered food and I can’t even remember all of the rest!

Alas, I think we are back to a bit of the normal again. Although March might be a little funky – we will be missing the son as he travels for business. We will still get together, we will just be down a man.

Additionally, I need to come up with a new name for these Sundays because here in the desert, soup is not going to be on the menu for many more weeks just because it’s getting warmer already. I think it will become Sunday Family Feast. That fits anything on the menu!

Ok…now that I’ve addressed the past and future….lets get to the present! We got together yesterday for our normal Sunday Family Feast as well as celebrating my mom’s birthday which is this coming Tuesday. Before I get to the main dish – let me say that I did make a dessert, but it didn’t come out photo worthy (I failed on getting my 2nd layer of the cake out of the pan successfully) in my opinion. Alas, since it was a hit taste wise with the crew, I will be making it again and will take photos then.

So, for lunch this week I made what our family has always called Gardner’s Delight. Initially it was a chicken pasta salad with cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage and the only veggies in it. I have changed it up several times over the years and my version of Gardener’s Delight is PACKED with veggies. Whatever I can find that looks beautiful and in season…it goes in (ok…I am aware of those I’m serving it to and what veggies they like so that I don’t include something that won’t be eaten at all.). Chicken is always my go-to meat for this dish, however, shrimp works well too.

The recipe below is the exact recipe I made for our lunch yesterday. This made enough for 6 of us at lunch – with several having seconds and I think there may have been some thirds. I also had a container for the kids to take home with them and a container still in the fridge (this salad is even better the next day!). This is a large batch and you can modify it down or up accordingly.

Gardner’s Delight Pasta Salad                                            

  • 1 Roasted Chicken – shredded (I roasted mine the day before, pulled it all off the bone and then put the pieces in a Ziploc in the fridge overnight until I was ready for the next step.)

  • 3 – 12oz pkgs Rotini pasta (I actually use Wacky Mac veggie pasta will all of the different shapes. You can also use shaped pasta – I find them a lot at Cost Plus World Market)

  • 2 cans medium black olives, drained

  • 2 Green Bell Peppers, diced

  • 2 Red Bell Peppers, diced

  • 1 Celery heart, diced

  • ½ Head Purple Cabbage, chopped

  • 1 Bunch Broccoli, chopped

  • 1 Head Cauliflower, chopped

  • 1 Small bag Snow Peas in the shell

  • 1 Large bottle House or Zesty/Robust Italian Salad Dressing

  1. In a large pot (I use an 8 quart pot for this amount) bring water to a boil and cook pasta until tender. Drain.

  2. While the pasta is draining (if you have a pot like I do, the strainer just lifts out of the pot, this is perfect, lift it out and set it in the sink. If not, pour your pasta in a large strainer to drain.) combine chicken, chopped veggies and drained olives in the pot. Mix well with your hands.

  3. Add in the pasta a few handfuls at a time.

  4. Once ½ of the pasta has been added, pour the entire bottle of salad dressing over the mixture. Combine with your hands (make certain you get to the bottom of the pot as you want everything incorporated well.).

  5. Add the remaining pasta and combine well until everything is coated with the dressing.

  6. Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve.

That’s it. Easy Peasy! Like I said, it is super quick, super yummy and a perfect meal in the warmer months of Summer.

Hope you like.

Not Taco Tuesday

I posted the photos above on my IG and FB accounts on Tuesday. We don’t do Taco Tuesday like a lot of families do…and there is a part of me that would like to. However, Tuesdays can be very crazy for me…they are the day that all of my meetings for church seem to fall on.

Alas, when I don’t have a meeting I like to cook a great meal for the Rocket Scientist. This was one of those meals that I literally pulled out of thin air. I think all of the elements came together as I was sewing during the day. While none of this is a true recipe…it will give you the gist of how I got to the finished product!

Roasted Chicken

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a deep baking dish (I love my Pampered Chef Covered Deep Baker) place a sliced onion to create a ‘rack’ for the chicken to sit on. Place chicken on the onion, breast side up. Inside the breast cavity place 2 peeled cloves of garlic, 1 lemon, sliced and ½ an onion sliced. I then coasted the outside of the chicken with butter and sprinkled it with a spice combination from Penzey’s Spices. You could use just salt and pepper and I would be fine. Place in the oven, uncovered, and bake for about 90 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thicket part of the breast and the thigh reads at least 165 degrees. Let rest for 15 minutes.

Sautéed Asparagus & Mushrooms with Bacon   

  • Fry up ½ package of bacon and set aside. Drain bacon grease from the pan, leaving 1 tablespoon. Chop 2 bunches asparagus (I only chop the top ½ of each bunch) and slice one carton of mushrooms. In the pan heat the bacon grease and lightly sauté the asparagus and mushrooms until slightly tenders. Crush bacon over the top and stir in.

New Potatoes with Dill

  • I used mini red potatoes as they were on sale. Slice potatoes in half (if using full sized New Potatoes I would slice them lengthwise and cut into 8ths. Pars boil until a fork easily pierces the flesh, remove from heat, drain and place in a baking dish. Place 2 tablespoons butter on top of potatoes and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons freshly chopped dill weed or dried herb. Stir until butter is melted and then place in the over at 425 degree for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender all the way through.

That’s it…simple and not a lot of work. I think it took me a total of 30 minutes to pull it all together once the chicken was in the oven…and that was a breeze. It was a quick, beautiful meal and the Rocket Scientist’s noise told me that it was going on the favorite list!