Back to the daily grind! The plus side to this means lunch in a box, and pictures thereof.
Archer Farms Tuscan style garlic & basil pasta salad with add-ins (see recipe), cherry tomatoes, hummus with forty spices, carrot sticks, and a fresh nectarine, cut up.
There's a story on this pasta salad (which does not photograph well, apparently). And I fear it may be a sad one.
Archer Farms (the Target brand) occasionally comes up with something I fall completely in love with. They had a chicken sausage lasagna with creamy walnut pesto sauce that was the best frozen lasagna that I've ever eaten, and about a year ago, it just disappeared. Not manufactured. Gone. No traces thereof online. (If anybody has recipe ideas, I'll gladly take them. I sometimes have cravings for this lasagna phantom.) Not long ago I first encountered their "Italian-inspired Tuscan style garlic & basil cold pasta salad (includes tri-color radiatore pasta & seasoning mix)." Now, rationally, the box, which makes about five servings, is not worth $3.50, particularly when you have to add stuff yourself, including mayo for the dressing. And yet...it is just about the best pasta salad I've ever tasted. But it was on clearance last time I was at Target. I think they're trying to mess with my head.
There's a recipe on the side of the box that I've modified over time. Basically, you boil the pasta, drain, and rinse in cold water. The dressing is more or less a pesto mix, I think. You dissolve that in boiling water for about 10 minutes, then add mayo to make 1 cup of said dressing. Unlike the lasagna, I think I might be able to replicate this sometime. In any event, you add a few handfuls of pepperoni slices, quartered, a can of black olives (whole), and a few handfuls of shredded parmesan (fresh! please!). Chill for half an hour.
At room temperature, this is divine, but it may well be no more. And there you have it. Target is messing with my head.