My Little Elephant and Orange Pasta Salad


This evening, I was tucking Will into bed when I asked him if he knew what day tomorrow is. He didn’t, but he declared it to be the day we play the square game (Candy Land, in lay terms). The boy never forgets anything — this afternoon on the way home from school, I mentioned that we might play Candy Land tonight if we had time (we didn’t…he chose to watch Diego instead). But he didn’t forget …

Then I told him that tomorrow is Friday and his eye flashed with recognition. “We’re going to have fresh popcorn and watch a special movie!” he declared with certainty. Then he lowered his voice and reminded me that the special movie was a secret and not to tell he or Paige what movie we’d be watching. Good thing, because I am not sure what it will be yet. It’s only been a few weeks since we started the popcorn and movie tradition, but already it’s ingrained in him. He’s like an elephant … never forgets. Love that.

He’s growing up faster than I can grasp. Sometimes it feels like if I blink too long, I will miss something spectacular. When I started this blog, Will was just a few months old. He could sit, propped up, but he wasn’t yet talking or walking. Still, everyday was an amazing new adventure. It still is.

While Will has developed from that little infant, who wore fuzzy one-piece rompers and socks with rattles on them to a vibrant boy who loves to help in the kitchen, I have grown too. Back then, I wasn’t sure of my voice on here. I wasn’t sure what to share and what to hold back. Coming from a journalism background, it was hard to let the “I” enter this realm. Eventually I got past that.

Back then, I also was a little afraid of creating in the kitchen. I could cook, and I was learning to make new things all the time. New ingredients freaked me out. Technique? Yea, I was a little short there too. But I worked at it and forced myself to learn. These days, I know that I can do pretty much anything if I try … the key is to try.

This evening, I had some leftover pasta after dinner (homemade chicken parmesan, mmm!), so I tossed together a quick pasta salad for tomorrow. We will eat it with some grilled chicken and perhaps some roasted asparagus. Delish, easy and perfect for our movie night. Plus, it’s a great (and simple) way to use up extra pasta. Score.

Easy Orange Pasta Salad
Serves: yields about 2 cups
  • 2 cups cooked pasta
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • ½ tbsp orange zest
  • 1½ tbsp orange vinegar (you could sub in a good apple cider vinegar if necessary)
  • 2½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp grated romano
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate. Let it sit over night for the flavors to fully mingle.



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