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Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 5 - Happy Anniversary to us!

Today was the boy's and my 6-year anniversary! To celebrate, we went out to dinner at the Olive Tree (a great Mediterranean restaurant in Downingtown) and then saw Get Him to the Greek. Dinner was fantastic...the movie? Not so much. But it didn't matter - we had 5 uninterrupted hours of adult time and were able to reconnect as partners instead of parents.

We've been hearing rave reviews of the Olive Tree for some time now - it's a BYOB favorite around here, but haven't taken the time to go. We had a gift certificate, so we stocked up on a couple bottles of wine and headed over. We split a calamari appetizer (it's grilled, not deep-fried...absolutely delicious!), the boy got a pork chop, potatoes and veggies, and I got the shrimp and scallop kabobs, potatoes and veggies. I toyed with the idea of dessert, but was just too full.

Before dinner, though, we decided to have a small lunch, so I made mini-pita hamburgers and pasta salad. It was so yummy! The burgers were about a 1/2 portion of a normal one and the pitas are a much lighter bread than a roll. The pasta salad is also pretty's my mom's recipe and a summer favorite of everyone in our family. Here's the pasta salad recipe:

Italian Pasta Salad
16-oz box of rotini pasta
1.5 cups cubed swiss or provolone cheese
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
1 bag of mini-pepperoni
1/2 cup chopped pepper (you can use any type - I like to use orange or yellow to give the salad more color)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup wine vinegar
2 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper

  1. Cook pasta; drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again.
  2. For salad, mix pasta, cheeses, broccoli, pepperoni, peppers, onions and parsley.
  3. For dressing, combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano and pepper.
  4. Shake dressing and pour over pasta.
  5. Cover and chill 4-24 hours.
  6. Mix before serving.

And here's the burger recipe again...our friends Sarah and Michael watched the kiddos, so I left a bunch of burgers for them to eat. When we came home, they couldn't stop raving about how delicious they were! They are beyond simple and easy to make in bulk. Give 'em a try!

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs (equiv. to about 2 slices of bread if you want to make the effort to grate it - I always do)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
minced onion and garlic powder to taste

  1. Mix all ingredients until well-formed.
  2. Split into 6 even patties

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