Chicken Penne Pasta Salad

Chicken Penne Pasta Salad

This summer, I’ve shared a few pasta salads with you. Chicken Penne Pasta Salad is another favorite of mine.  It has lots of grilled chicken in it, so it is hearty and filling  when using for a meal! I know you’ll love it as much as I do.


Chicken Penne Pasta Salad


1 ( approx 3 lb.) pkg. boneless, skinless chicken breast filets

1 – 16 oz. pkg. penne  pasta

1/2 cup thinly sliced celery

1/2 cup sliced green onion.

4 cups red seedless grapes, sliced or left whole

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)

1/2 cup Italian Salad dressing ( for chicken breasts)

1/4 vegetable oil

1 – 1/4 tsp  crushed thyme

1/2 cup (or more) chopped yellow or orange pepper (optional) I prefer this to the walnuts! I add this for more color!

Dressing for Salad:

2  1/2 cups Mayonnaise

3 Tbsp. milk

3 tbsp. honey

1   1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

3 tsp. crushed thyme



If grilling chicken, use the following directions. (Another option is to use store-bought rotisserie chickens – not as good as the pieces are not thick and uniform,  but quick and easy!)

For grilling the chicken: Pierce chicken on both sides with a fork and brush with Italian salad dressing. Spray grill with a non-stick cooking spray. Grill chicken for 5 minutes on one side. Turn, brush with salad dressing and grill until juices run clear. Cool and cut into thin strips.

Cook pasta and rinse with cold water and drain.

In large bowl, combine oil and 1  1/4 tsp thyme. Toss into grilled chicken mixture. In another small bowl, combine mayo, milk, honey, 3 tsp. thyme, mustard and salt. Refrigerate salad and dressing separately overnight. Several hours before serving, fold dressing into salad. Refrigerate covered. Before serving, fold grapes and walnuts (optional) into salad   Before serving, garnish with thinly sliced green onions.

Makes 20 (1 cup) luncheon servings.

Chicken Penne Pasta Salad



I hope you enjoy this Chicken Penne Pasta Salad! I know it will become one of your favorites, too!


Phyllis (Oma)

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Dice Bingo Game

Dice Bingo Game 

(craft and game)

                                                                                                                                                              Copyright ©2013 by Phyllis (Oma)

Dice Bingo Craft & Game

This simple Dice Bingo Game is easy to make and fun to play with one or more players.  It is simple enough for young children age 4 up to adults! There is no caller and everyone plays. Dice Bingo is even played as a solitary game and makes a great travel game, too!

There are two dice made of  small wooden blocks purchased at a craft store. On one of the wooden blocks, write the letters B,I,N,G,O and FREE! On the other one write 1,2,3,4,5, and FREE!

Dice Bingo Game


Dice Bingo Game sheets have 5 columns with B,I,N,G,O written above each column across the top and 5 rows horizontally numbered 1,2,3,4, and 5.

The first player rolls the dice and marks their sheet accordingly. For instance, if the player rolls the dice and gets a “B & 5”. They put an X on the B,5 spot. If the roll was “FREE & 5″, the player would mark any spot of their choice on row 5. If it is ” Free & B”, they would mark any spot on the B column. If it is ” Free & Free”, the player can mark any spot they choose anywhere on their Bingo sheet.

Dice Bingo Game

Each player rolls and marks their card. Then the dice are handed to the next player for their turn. Only the player that rolls the dice, marks their card. The other players wait for their turn. If the square is already marked, play moves to the next player.

The Tools for Teachers website has a free printable program where you can type in the letters and numbers for each die and print out dice on cardstock to glue together. Go here…..

Variations for winning the Dice Bingo Game and sample score sheets are here…

Dice Bingo Game Sheet

For a one player game, count the number of rolls to make a BINGO! Next game see if you can beat your score!

I like to keep this game in a ziplock bag with some score sheets and Bingo Dice.  Easy to take along in your purse or car! Pull it out and play anytime!

Easy game, don’t you think?

Have fun and Enjoy!

Phyllis (Oma)

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Tri-Color Pasta Salad


Tri-Color Pasta Salad

There are certain pasta salads that are requested during the summer by my husband. This is one of them. I simply took the colors of the pasta, added the vegetables that matched and came up with this recipe! You can make a little or a whole recipe just by varying the amounts.  When two people are home, I make 1/2 a box of Rainbow Rotini. It keeps well for a couple of days for lunches or a side dish for dinner.

Tri-Color Pasta Salad

Colorful goodness in a pasta salad!

  1 box Rainbow Rotini ( or any three colored pasta)

All of these amounts are approximate and variable according to your liking. I never measure, but just add what I think is a good amount.

1 cup  Cauliflower ( broken into small flowerets) or more

1 cup chopped Broccoli (or more)

1/2 – 3/4  cup slivered Carrots

1/2 cup onion (red or your choice)

 Approx 1 cup of Mayo

3/4 cup Italian Salad Dressing (I’ve used  fat-free, regular and zesty)

Salt & Pepper

Optional Ingredients: Black or Green Olives, chicken, ham, salami



Cook pasta according to package directions for “firm” pasta, rinse and drain

Add vegetables: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and onions

In a separate bowl, add mayo and mix with Italian Salad Dressing

Add to pasta and vegetables.

Mix well and refrigerate overnight.

Salt & Pepper to taste

Before serving, add more mayo and Italian Salad dressing, if necessary, to moisten it.

Serve as a side salad.

Tri-Color Pasta Salad

Great summer pasta salad!

 Don’t you love the colors?


Phyllis (Oma)

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Crab Pasta Salad

Are you a fan of crab? I love it! If not, you certainly can substitute chicken in this recipe, however, I think it is best with crab!

This Crab Pasta Salad is best the next day so make it the night before you serve it. Great Italian flavor and just a little zest of lemon add to this colorful, tasty salad.  I use imitation crab so it is less costly when serving to a large group.

Crab Pasta Salad

Wonderful flavor! You’ll make this again and again!


Crab Pasta Salad


12 oz. vermicelli broken into 1 inch pieces, cooked, drained and cooled.

1 medium red onion, chopped (approx. 1/2 cup)

1 medium green pepper, chopped (or use red pepper for a sweeter taste)

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

3/4 cup Italian Salad Dressing ( lite or regular) I’ve also used a zesty Italian dressing!

1 cup Miracle Whip (lite or regular) If using mayo, just as some extra Italian spices and a little sugar to the Mayo.

1 pound crab or imitation crab, chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

optional items: (black olives, celery, peas)



Cook vermicelli, chop onion,  green pepper. Mix Italian seasoning, celery seed and parsley into Italian Dressing. Add Miracle Whip or seasoned mayo. Add lemon juice and crab. Refrigerate overnight.

Serves approx. 8-10

Remember, this pasta salad is great with chicken instead of crab.

Crab Pasta Salad


Great summer meal!


Phyllis (Oma)

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Vegetable Centerpieces

Vegetable Centerpieces

 Vegetable Centerpieces

Usually we  think of mainly flowers and decorative items as centerpieces. Well, making Vegetable Centerpieces is something different and certainly spectacular with color, texture, and form! Gardens are now producing wonderful fresh vegetables which gives you the makings for your centerpieces right in your backyard! If you don’t have a garden, a quick visit to your local farmer’s market or grocery store will give you all the ingredients you need.

Vegetable Centerpieces

Easy to create!

When using vegetables as a centerpiece, they are spectacular for your party and still usable the next day. Flowers wilt and die, but there is no waste with using vegetables.

These large Vegetable Centerpieces are beautiful on any buffet table!

They make a gorgeous display for fall or Thanksgiving tables.

Vegetable Centerpiece! #vegetable #centerpiece #vegetable centerpiece

Vegetable Centerpieces
Easy to do!  #vegetable #centerpiece #vegetable centerpieces

I love the different textures and colors! By using an elongated dish or basket for the base, just arrange and change around as desired until you like the way it looks.  The center is higher while mixing the colors and textures on each side.  Items used are red and green pepper, cucumber, eggplant, zucchini, pineapple tops, asparagus, summer squash, and tomatoes.

Vegetable Centerpiece Variation

Another variation of a vegetable centerpieces! #centerpiece #vegetable #vegetable centerpiece


You don’t need designer talent to do this! It is such an easy centerpiece for any occasion! I also like that everything is  still edible, too!

A smaller version for your table….

Hint: To make vegetables stay in a certain spot, use a toothpick and insert in each one to hold it.

Vegetable Centerpieces

Vegetable Centerpieces

By the way, I found an oval tray and an oval basket at the thrift store! Great deal!

Thanks for visiting! I enjoy your comments and answer any questions!

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Phyllis (Oma)

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