I will be the first to admit that if I'm running late, or I know it's going to be a busy night, I am more than willing to take some help from the store in the dinner department. I think we all need to ask for help sometimes, and I'm not ashamed to admit that!
Plus, before Alex came along and I was still a "working gal" I either had to have meals that were easy to prepare when I was dead on my feet, or simple enough for Adam to either start before I got home, or even cook entirely. Working 40+ hours a week didn't always lend itself to the well rounded meals I enjoy preparing so much now. One thing I started making during those times was boxed pasta salad.
It could be cooked and dressed in 20 minutes, went great w/ burgers, hot dogs, sloppy joes, etc., and Adam loved the stuff. Plus it made enough (when it was just the 2 of us) I could take some to work the next day in my lunch. Well, this is one thing I've just continued to make from the box, without even thinking twice about it. Until now! I figured, how hard can it be? And to answer my own question, not hard at all! And this variety tastes even better than the old, and makes a TON so it's perfect for supper, leftovers and for entertaining. If you need to take a little help from the store to feed your family, hold your head up high, we've all been there! But if you have a little extra time on your hands, try taking one of those "helpers" and making it fresh---you'll be amazed at what you can do!
Ranch Bacon Pasta Salad
1 lb. small shell macaroni
3/4 c. Ranch dressing
3/4 c. sour cream
1/2- 1 c. frozen peas- thawed and drained ( I left mine in a colander in the sink all day)
1 c. shredded carrots ( about 2)
1/2 c. real bacon bits
Prepare pasta according to directions. Rinse w/ cold water and drain well. In a large bowl combine other ingredients. Stir in pasta and combine well. Chill for 2 hours before serving.
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