Block Party

June 10,2010
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

Today is a big day. It is SPH and my 10 year wedding anniversary. How are we celebrating? Buying a new home. Yes, today is the day we officially purchase the new home we are moving to next week. This new home feels "right" for so many reasons, one of which is the neighborhood in which it is located. We currently live on a busy street, a main artery road, which is wonderful in many pedestrian ways, but not ideal for a young family. One of my main gripes about our current road is the lack of a neighborhood feel. We live across the street from commercial buildings, and there are probably only 10 homes and apartments on our stretch of the street. Our street is primarily commercial and while this is great for walking to pick up some food or wine, it is not ideal for a community feel. Enter our new neighborhood...we don't officially move until next week, but we've already been invited to their annual block party tomorrow night. I can't tell you how this thrills me to the bone that we are being welcomed without even actually living there yet... All this to say that ‘tis the season for block parties. Need a dish to take to your next neighborhood block party? Here’s a good one! (Although we've been assigned dessert, so I am bringing the blondie recipe I shared recently). Greek Orzo Salad 2/3 box of orzo pasta (about 10-12 oz, just eyeball it) 2 cups of artichoke hearts, chopped 4 roma tomatoes, chopped 1 cup sliced black or kalamata olives 1/2 cup diced red pepper 1 small yellow squash or zucchini, diced 1/2 small red onion, diced 4-6 ounces crumbled feta cheese Dressing: Juice of one large lemon (about 3 tablespoons) 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 3 tablespoons water 3 cloves of garlic, minced 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/4 cup olive oil Cook the orzo according to the box directions. Meanwhile, combine all the vegetables in a large bowl. Drain the pasta and mix with the vegetables, tossing well. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix all of the dressing ingredients except the olive oil. Stir well and then add the olive oil, stirring as your pour. Pour the dressing over the orzo and mix well. Finish with the feta cheese. Makes 6 servings as a main dish, more as a side. SPC
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