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Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

1 (12 oz.) tri-color rotini pasta
10 slices bacon
1 C. Mayonnaise
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1/4 t. garlic powder
Black pepper to taste
1/2 C. milk, or as needed
1 large tomato, chopped
1 C. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; cook rotini until tender yet firm. About 9 min. Drain.

Place bacon in a skillet over med. high and cook until evenly brown. Drain and chop.

In a large bowl, mix mayo, dressing mix, garlic powder and pepper. Stir in milk until smooth. Place rotini, bacon, tomato and cheese in bowl and toss to coat with dressing. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Add additional milk if salad seems dry.

Can add black olives or cucumber, if desired.

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Creamy Cucumber Salad

1 C. sour cream
1/4 C. sugar
2 T. seasoned vinegar
3 t. dried dill weed
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
4 large cucumbers, thinly sliced
onion to taste

In a mixing bowl, whisk together sour cream, sugar, vinegar, dill, salt and pepper. In a separate large bowl, toss together cucumbers and onions. Pour sour cream mixture over the top and mix together. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

From Genius Kitchen

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Tart Cranberry Relish

3 oz. pkg. raspberry jello
1/2 C. boiling water
12 oz. package fresh cranberries
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 medium apples
1 orange, rind included
20 oz. can crushed pineapple

In a large bowl, dissolve jello in water.

Chop cranberries, apples and orange in a food blender or processor.

Add pineapple and sugar.

Add jello to fruit mixture.

Stir well and place in a plastic container.

Refrigerate. Can be frozen.

12 servings

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Pineapple Pretzel Salad

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained well
1 1/2 C. crushed pretzels
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 C. sugar

Mix crushed pretzels, melted butter and sugar. Spread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 5-6 minutes. When cool, crumble into small pieces.

Mix cream cheese, sugar, Cool Whip, and pineapple. Refrigerate. (This can be done the night before.) When ready to serve, add pretzel mixture to cream cheese/pineapple mixture.

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Hawaiian Tortellini Salad

1 (19 oz.) bag frozen cheese tortellini pasta
2 orange bell peppers, finely diced
1 English cucumber, diced
1/2 med. red onion, finely diced
12 oz. (about 2 heaping cups) ham, diced
1 (14 oz.) can pineapple tidbits in 100% pineapple juice, divided

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 c. pineapple juice (reserved from the can of pineapple tidbits)
1 T. granulated sugar ( I used a bit more)
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 t. Gourmet Garden garlic paste or fresh grated garlic
2 t. Gourmet Garden ginger paste or fresh grated ginger
1 t. black pepper
salt to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and set aside once cooked.

Chop ham and vegetables and set aside. Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a pint size mason jar add dressing ingredients. Shake until dressing is combined. Pour dressing over salad and gently toss with salad tongs until well coated.

Serves 8

From Donna Elick–The Slow Roasted Italian

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Balsamic Chicken Salad

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips or chunks
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 t. minced garlic
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
6 C. mixed salad greens

1 In a large skillet, saute chicken until no longer pink. Add garlic, cook 1 min. longer.

2. Add vinegar, tomatoes, and seasoning. Cook until heated through. Let cool a little and put over the salad greens.