Sunday, July 6, 2008

Back From Vacation

It was a wonderful week away to relax. First M & I went to Orlando. M had a conference to attend & we got to stay at the Omni at Champions Gate a golf resort 10 miles West of Disney World. Neither of us golf, but we took full advantage of the pool.

Many hours were spent on the lazy river.

And one night we did the tourist thing and went to play mini golf. Good thing I played there and not at Champions Gate, I'm no golf pro. I also hit the many outlet stores in Orlando while we were there. Love the outlet prices!

After Orlando, on Wednesday I headed to Longboat Key for more sun and relaxation on the beach. My gracious friend J and her family go there every year for a week and invite me to come along. We had the best time. We were there until the 4th of July. We sat on the beach, drank wine and watched the sun set. Then once it was dark enough, the fireworks began.

For dinner we had a fabulous BBQ. My friend J made this wonderful Orzo Pasta Salad. You must try it, everyone is sure to love it.

Orzo Salad
Giadia De Laurentis

4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups orzo
1 (15oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
1 1/2 cups red and yellow teardrop tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
About 3/4 cup Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Pour the broth into a heavy saucepan. Cover the pan and bring to a boil over high heat.
Stir in the orzo. Cover partially and cook until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite.
Stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Drain the orzo through a strainer. Transfer the orzo
to a large wide bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly. Set aside to cool completely.

Toss the orzo with the beans, tomatoes, onion, basil, mint, and enough vinaigrette to coat.
Season the salad to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Red Wine Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a blender. With the machine running,
gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette to taste, with more salt and pepper if desired.

Another fabulous side dish made was Black Bean & Corn Salsa. A specific recipe was not followed, but here were the ingredients used:

1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 red onion chopped
lime juice
1 fresh chopped tomato
salt & pepper
olive oil
I think a shake of Old Bay seasoning was also added

We used this salsa for our tortilla chips, fish tacos and I even saw someone use it as relish on their hot dog. Either way, it was so flavorful and delish. I really don't like raw onions, but I enjoyed this dish.


Kate said...

Those pools look amazing!

Melissa & Emmitt said...

what a great vacation!
your recipes look delicious! we are going to have to try them too!
melissa and emmitt

Melissa said...

I am sorry! I deleted it...I thought it was some random pic you found on the internet. Sorry! How in the world did you get a motor on a cooler, I am confused?

Preppy Pugs said...

the picture of the cooler scooter is a picture my husband took. He was driving and noticed this lady crossing the road. He couldn't resist, he pulled over to take a few pictures. Apparently you can purchase these scooters at Who would have thought?!