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By: Julie Ann Walker

Carbo-load the Writer's Block Away!
(My Three Favorite Pasta Salad Recipes)

A few days ago I was suffering from that dreaded phenomenon known as writer's block.  I knew my characters.  I knew my story arc.  But could I get from point A to point B?  Abso-friggin'-lutely not!  The page sat before me… blank.  The cursor blinked on the screen… in the most annoying fashion.  My blood pressure began to rise… to frightening levels.  And then I thought what the hell and I - gasp - gave up.  I stood from my chair and stomped into the kitchen.  And as I thumbed through my recipe books, as I gathered the ingredients for three of my favorite spring/summertime dishes, as I chopped and boiled and mixed, the story suddenly began to materialize.  The path from A to B rose from the darkness into the light and - voila - the writer's block vanished.  So, today I'm sharing with you those three dishes in the hopes you can use them to vanquish your own writer's block.  Or, at the very least, indulge in a carbo-fabulous meal!

Mediterranean Pasta Delight Salad       
1 lb bowtie pasta - cooked al dente and drained
6 oz package of turkey pepperoni - individual slices cut into halves
1 bunch scallions - chopped green and white parts
1 bunch parsley - chopped loosely
2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes - sliced in half
14 ounce can artichoke hearts - drained and chopped loosely
1 can whole black olive - drained and sliced into halves
1 jar roasted red peppers - drained and shopped loosely
8 ounce package feta cheese - crumbled
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp garlic salt
Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

 Picnic-style Macaroni Salad
1 family-sized box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner
½ cup mayonnaise
4 scallions - chopped green and white parts
10 slices bacon - cooked and crumbled
2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes - quartered
2 medium cucumbers - sliced and quartered
Cook macaroni until al dente.  Combine all ingredients, plus the cheese packet from the macaroni, in large bowl and mix until smooth and creamy.  Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, then enjoy!

Avocado Caesar Pasta Salad
1 lb medium pasta shells - cooked al dente
1 ½ cup Caesar salad dressing
14 ounce can artichoke hearts - drained and chopped loosely
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes - sliced in half or quartered
2 medium avocados - chopped loosely
8 slices bacon - cooked and crumbled
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Gently mix together all ingredients and chill until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

And then if you cook all three at the same time - like I did - you'll have to share with your friends and neighbors.  Because there's no way you can eat all that pasta by yourself.  But believe me, your friends and neighbors will thank you!

 Until next time, cheers!

Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series. She is prone to spouting movie quotes and song lyrics. She'll never say no to sharing a glass of wine or going for a long walk. She prefers impromptu travel over the scheduled kind, and she takes her coffee with milk. You can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission. Look for the first four books in her fast-paced series: Hell On Wheels (August 2012) In Rides Trouble (September 2012) Rev It Up (October 2012) and Thrill Ride (April 2013). For more information, please visit or follow her on Facebook and/or Twitter @JAWalkerAuthor.

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  1. So this is how you deal with writer's block! I hate cooking, but I don't mind wandering around and thinking. Sometimes I wader into the kitchen...

  2. OMG, I LOVE PASTA RECIPES! And I HATE writer's block. I also cook to abate it.

  3. Oh, yes, many a chocolate cake or fried pie or bread pudding with vanilla sauce has been the result of writer's block in this house...when I sigh and stand up from the computer, the bath room scales start to whine.

  4. I have never been very good at making pasta salads but these sound delicious! Thank you for the yummy recipes.

  5. These salads look fabulous! However, they may have given me writer's block! ;)


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