It’s not easy but then again no one ever said it would be. Being a full-time blogger, wife and Mommy is enough for any sane person to handle. Now throw in a full-time job, which my boss calls my “primary” full-time job, and it’s a full on juggling act for me at times. (OK- times). Needless to say, I wear a lot of different hats. There’s always something to do or that needs to be done and we stay quite busy.
My husband is employed as a Captain with the local fire department working full-time his shifts consist of three 24-hour days each week and my primary work schedule consists of four consecutive 12-hour days. I know what you’re thinking and yes this leaves us often dazed — and confused! We also have extra-curricular activities for my daughter like gymnastics classes and soccer practice, and due to our combined work schedules, we have to have help to caring for our daughter on days my husband is away from home and I’m also on shift. Thankfully my mother-in-law lives close by and doesn’t mind helping us out when we’re in a jam — which is often. Our family calendar, which is color-coded person and activity, looks like a rainbow but it’s the one thing we have to keep us all moving in the right direction like our own personalized symphony.
Over the years, five now and counting, we’ve developed a good sense of rhythm but our hectic schedule makes family time all the more precious. All that said, it’s important to me to be able to have some quick meals to put together to get me out of the kitchen and back into quality time with my family. This Mexican Macaroni Salad does just that. Ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta, we often serve this with grilled chicken or chicken tenders for a quick and easy family meal. This Mexican Macaroni salad also does very well at family gatherings and is a favorite at our summer picnics.
Now, because of our schedules, we often shop in bulk despite it being just the three of us now. This saves us time and trips to the grocery store when we can buy everything we need for a month at a time and then just running out to the Farmer’s Market when we need fresh fruits and vegetables. At my local Samsclub.com this month, I found the new 7 ct. Barilla® Pasta Variety Pack which includes Farfalle (two 16-ounce boxes) “bow tie” pasta, Elbows (three 16-ounce boxes) “macaroni”, and Rotini (two 16-ounce boxes) “corkscrew” pasta. Barilla® is made from quality ingredients and cooks in just 11 – 12 minutes to a perfect al dente every time.
My Daughter LOVES pasta all kinds of ways and because pasta is so versatile, for recipes both hot and cold, we can! Seriously, Barilla® is my favorite brand pasta so to find it in the convenience of an assorted variety pack at my local Sam’s club is a win-win for me as a busy Mom. Have you seen their macaroni noodles? They have teeny, tiny little ridges and those extra ridges are more than just aesthetically pleasing. (You can see them in the photo above). They mean the pasta clings onto more of whatever sauce you’re tossing it in. More sauce on each piece = more FLAVOR! If you haven’t already discovered it for yourself, hop on over to your local Sam’s Club and purchase the new Barilla® Pasta Variety Pack (1 lb. box, 7 ct.) Farfalle, Elbows, & Rotini. You’ll be so glad that you did.
Mexican Macaroni Salad
For the Salad:
- 1 pound Barilla Elbow Macaroni, cooked and rinsed with cold water
- 1 can (15.25 oz) yellow corn, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15.25 oz) Black Beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 Hass or 1 green (Florida) avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
- 6 whole Roma Tomatoes, seeded and chopped or 1-pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/2 whole Red Onions, Finely Diced
- 1 large Anaheim, Poblano or green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced fine (optional)
- fresh chopped cilantro
For the Dressing:
- 1 cup jarred Salsa
- 1 cup Sour Cream1 clove Garlic, minced or 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- Salt And Pepper, to taste
- 2 Limes, Juiced (optional)
- Mexican crumbling cheese,
- fresh chopped cilantro
- fresh squeezed lime juice
- Drain and rinse the corn and beans and set aside.
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined.
- Place the macaroni, corn, beans, tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro (if using) in a large bowl. Pour 3/4 of the dressing over the top and gently toss until all the ingredients are coated.
- Add the final 1/4 of the dressing if you think it needs it.
- Cover and chill for 2 hours or overnight [See Note 1].
- Garnish with cilantro, lime wedge, and Mexican crumbling cheese!
- As pasta salad sits, it soaks up some of the dressing. So if you are making this ahead of time, reserve some dressing to mix in again just before serving. I usually make a little more than I need and toss to coat again just before serving.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barilla®. All of the opinions expressed here are 100% my own. We disclose this is accordance with 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides about the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Kitchen Dreaming.