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An Easy Peasy Cooking Column by a Fun Loving Foodie
Carl Minding loves to cook and loves to create photo tutorials in his super cool home kitchen. His instructions are clear and easy to follow for a novice while more experienced home chefs can take the recipe up a notch by customizing it with their own personal twist!
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Home Chef Carl

Carl Cooks

Welcome to my Flirty Guide food column. My name is Carl Mindling and I am enthusiastic about food. And I love every facet of food from recipe writing to cookbooks to shopping to prep to photography and watching my dishes come to life. When I entertain it is always about food first. I also love to dine out and often bring my favorite restaurant foods home for a makeover. And speaking of feeding, I crave feedback so be sure to send me your comments. I am always intrigued by culinary adventures and love to share them with like minded fantastic foodies.

Unless otherwise noted, all Cooking with Carl photos are by Carl Mindling.

Mashed Potato Tacos

Breakfast Bars

Pasta Salad
Pasta Salad

Peach & Mozzarella Salad
Grilled Peach &
Mozzarella Salad

Easy Antipasto

Asparagus with

DJ Carl Mindling
Carl is also a Professional Wedding and Event MC and DJ

CLICK HERE to visit his website iMCevents.com

Carl's Killer Confetti Croni – The Salad That Says Summer

Pasta Salad

This salad tastes best when served outdoors on top of a picnic table.

Nobody loves summer more than me. My homage to it food–wise was to create a summer salad and since I almost consider pasta to be a food group it was certainly a natural palette for my creation. It's fun and has festive bits of color that remind me of confetti. The only cooking involved in this dish is boiling water so I know I am speaking to a large audience of people who can easily make it.


Pasta Salad Ingredients

Anellini Pasta (1 pound package)

Sliced Green Olives with Pimentos (about 10 ounces) Drained

Marinated Artichoke Hearts (about 30 ounces) Reserve the marinade juices*

Bell Peppers (1 each Red, Green, Orange Medium Size)

Celery (about 4 large stalks)

Green Onions (about 1 large bunch)

Salt, Pepper and Garlic Salt to taste


Start a large pot of water boiling

Finely dice the Bell Peppers and Celery

Thinly slice the Green Onions (both white and green parts)

Roughly chop the Green Olives and Artichoke Hearts

Boiling Water

Add the pasta and salt only when your water has reached a very rapid boil.

A word about the PASTA.

The funnest part about this dish is the little round O's that remind me of the Franco–American SpaghettiO's I ate as a kid. Sometimes substituting pasta makes no difference but with this dish it is just not the same with orzo, shells or any other shape. One brand of pasta that I have found in stores who make Anellini is called Zaffiri. Be persistent and find those fun little O's. It will be worth it.

Some say cooking is 90% prep and this recipe is a perfect example. The key is chopping each ingredient as close as possible to the same size.

Chopped Bell Peppers

The chopped Bell Peppers are ready and stacked up like a traffic signal.

Artichoke Hearts

Marinated Artichoke Hearts are soft and should chop easily.

Chopped Celery

Finely chopped Celery adds a nice crunchy texture.

Chopped Green Onions

Be sure to keep the slices thin on the Green Onions.

Chopped Olives

The Green Olives come sliced but I always put a rough chop on them too.

Here's what all of your ingredients should look like before mixing them into the cooked pasta. Note that everything has been sliced and chopped to about the same size to match the size of the pasta.


It's a lot like a mini salad bar of sorts.


Cook pasta per instructions on the package and taste for texture.

Drain the cooked pasta really well in a colander.

Combine all of the ingredients with the pasta in a large bowl.

Add salt, pepper, garlic salt to taste.

*NOTE: If more flavor is needed, add some of the marinade from the artichoke hearts, oil and vinegar or your favorite vinaigrette. Keep tasting, stirring and seasoning until it all comes together and tastes like a picnic. The flavors seem to meld the best after a few hours in the fridge or overnight.

Vegetarian Pasta Salad

Everybody in the Pool!

The Back Story. My sister, Holly, loves this salad. I always swing by her house with a tub for her. She put out an ice chest on the porch because she had errands and would not be home when I came by for the drop off. The note she left for me kind of says it all about our mutual love for this time of year.

Thank You Note

So I hope you enjoy this ode to my favorite season too. My parting shot is of me on my porch taking a big bite with a veggie sausage smothered in grilled onions and peppers. Happy Summer Everybody!

Carl Mindling
This Photo by www.HowardFriedenberg.com

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