This week’s menu was inspired by: having just a small amount of some beans that needed to be combined and turned into chili, wanting spinach, and some cherry tomatoes that needed using. Also, ease in preparation. I was out shopping with friends today and didn’t feel like spending hours and hours cooking.

Credit where credit is due: I’ll be using this penne alla vodka recipe, the tabbouleh is a delicious repeat from the other week, and Emily salad is a funny little story. Let me tell you about Emily salad. Desserts will be Lemonade cookies courtesy of the Girl Scout troop in front of the Gamecock Bi-Lo today! FINALLY, I GOT SOME GS COOKIES!

In like… wow I can’t even remember, maybe 2006? 2007? my friend Emily had a murder mystery party at her apartment. The salad was REALLY good, and she gave me the recipe for it. I have definitely kept it all this time and it’s one of Patrick’s all time favorites. He has drank the dressing before. :\ It’s a spinach based salad, with canned mandarin oranges, walnuts, feta cheese, and a poppy seed dressing. So so good. Bet she didn’t know I held on to that recipe! I’ll be back later in the week with the dressing recipe, partially to keep everyone in suspense and partially because I’m freaking hungry and chowing down on my chili now too while I’m typing!