Thursday, June 4, 2015

patio time, pasta salad, and painting

Oh, how I love these late spring days before the heat and humidity set in and we're plagued by mosquitoes. These are the days where we can actually sit out on the patio without being eaten alive. Yes, we've tried everything natural to protect ourselves against mosquitoes. Nothing has worked. It's that bad. We are surrounded by trees, creeks, and a lake. And our little village doesn't spray for mosquitoes. Which, in one way is a good thing, as that means the air, trees and grass aren't laden with chemicals.



This time of year is also perfect for lighter meals. One of our favorites is to make a hearty and healthy pasta salad. I made this one for our lunch on the patio today. Bow-tie pasta; two grilled chicken breasts, cut into chunks; an assortment of fresh veggies that you have on-hand (I used red onion, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sugar snap peas and olives); and fresh herbs. From my garden, I picked dill, cilantro and chives. For the dressing, I used extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. That's it! Easy-peasy to make and delicious. Brian said he had to stop himself from eating the entire bowl. ;-)

 

While the weather's been so nice, I've also been finishing up with painting the three drawers that will be going in this chalk-painted nightstand. I'm going for an ombre look with the drawers. Stay tuned...I hope it will look nice!



16 comments:

  1. I look forward to seeing your finished chest of drawers! That pasta salad looks and sounds delicious. Just the right sort of thing for the summer. Not that we have had any summer here yet, apart from today when it has been nice. Enjoy your outside space! xx

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  2. I love the look of that nightstand, Melanie. Such lovely details!

    I also love the beautiful white wicker furniture. I've been thinking the same thing - time to sit out on the porch now before it gets intolerable!

    xo
    Claudia

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  3. I know how you feel about the mosquitoes. I used to live in the northeast where we had lots of them and I'm prone to bad reactions when I get bitten. I always get more bites than anyone else too. I tried everything and you're right, there aren't good solutions. Your pasta salad sounds great. I love cool summer food.

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  4. I think the salad looks ever so good! I like the ombre look so can't wait to see the how it looks on the nightstand, also love working wit chalk paint!

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  5. Anxious to see your nightstand finished. Sounds interesting. The salad sounds and looks delicious.

    Judy

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  6. Oh that nightstand is going to be so pretty! I'd eat the entire bowl of that salad too. Well, maybe not all in one sitting but I love pasta salads in the summer and yours looks delicious!

    We have a bout of reasonable weather going on here as well . I'd be happy to never have a humid day all summer but I doubt that's possible :)

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  7. Boy, your outdoor space is so pretty. It looks picture perfect. The pasta salad sounds wonderful. Can't wait to see the finished nightstand.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Debbi

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  8. Your salad reminds me of the homemade salsa I made yesterday. It is such a treat to have fresh fruits and veggies available again. I think I'm going to try a variation of your salad tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

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  9. Melanie, your garden looks so lush . . . I can't believe how fast everything started growing as soon as your warm weather hit. Your seating area looks wonderful. Also your pasta salad . . . except for the cilantro, it must be an acquired taste that I haven't acquired, LOL. Oh! have you tried putting dryer sheets in your pockets, I read that it keeps mosquitoes away. We are going to try it on an up coming camping trip.

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  10. Can't wait to see the ombre drawers! Our town sprays for mosquitoes, and they swear up and down that it is a safe and natural formula. We're just grateful, because it really works! So pleasant to sit out on the patio after dinner.

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  11. Can't help you with the mosquitos. Maybe have a bat house?!!

    That salad looks wonderful. I don't eat pasta but I've been making veggie laden salads with veggies and beans and I've been getting creative with vinaigrettes. My fave is the same as yours but I add a bit of Dijon mustard, honey and just a splash of water/ It works!

    Tomorrow we are humid and severe storms. Stay safe.

    Jane x

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  12. You forgot PERFECTION.

    time on the Patio, Pasta and Painting add up to a Perfect way to enjoy your days.

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  13. Your patio area looks so inviting, cozy and comfy...a delightful place for coffee in the morning and a glass of wine later in the afternoon. Oh if only those mosquitoes weren't such a pest. After trimming our shrubs last weekend I was covered in mosquito (or other) bug bites. One must have even bitten me on my eyelid because the next day it was almost swollen shut.
    Mary Alice

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  14. Melanie,
    This is a recipe-I mean a delicious let's make it tonight one! Oh and your ombre night stand-so looking forward to seeing the finished look.
    Humidity and mosquitoes-well as you know we (Texas) received a 100 year rain and Grapevine Lake is about 20 feet over flood stage. I was walking this morning bright and early and came back drenched from the humidity and mosquitoes are sprouting like weeds with this stagnate water!
    Gotta love our State in June-August!
    Jemma

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  15. It looks beautiful out there, Melanie! And eating that wonderful looking pasta salad would be a perfect way to enjoy the patio! Looking forward to seeing the drawers for your cabinet project!

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  16. Yum, yum and yum! That salad looks really good.

    The mosquitos haven't appeared here yet, but I know they're coming. We don't get sprayed either.

    Can't wait to see what you do with the drawers.

    What the heck is chalk paint anyway? I keep seeing it, but I've never heard of it. I'm so out LOL

    xo

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