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4th of July Pasta Salad

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. As a little girl, school was out, everything was a little relaxed, I could stay up late to watch any and all firework displays (and in the city of brotherly love the 4th was a big deal). And it was around this time we had block parties on our street. Somehow the adults got permission to block off the street so no one could drive down it. Everyone brought their grills from the backyard to the front sidewalk. And us kids played every game we could think of like Hide & Go butter bee, Hide & Seek, Double Dutch, we’d have Uno and Acey Duecy tournaments and any other game that lends itself to 20+ kids playing together.

Food was usually a simple fare burgers, hot dogs, chicken, sometimes steamed crabs and lots of fruit. These days I love bringing vinaigrette based pasta salads. I know a lot more vegetarians and pescatarians these days and want to make sure they eat well too. And if I could find or create more recipes that taste as good as this I’d consider pescatarianism at the very least.

And the cool thing about pasta salad is you can totally personalize it. My husband hates bell peppers so they can be taken out. I love onions and garlic and tend to add them in everything. Fresh squeezed lemon juice or lemon zest brighten up everything in my opinion so it’s always an ingredient. And everyone knows I love crabs. So if it’s possible I’m adding it to a recipe. Prefer lobster or shrimp? Swap it out. The only thing you need to be aware of is having enough vinaigrette to adequately coat all the ingredients. If you stick with these ratios you should be good but you can always double or triple the vinaigrette recipe if you find your ingredients list is getting kind of big 😀


So make a bowl of this amazingly fresh summer pasta salad and serve at your next 4th of July bash!

Need help planning your next holiday get together?

Check out our friends at Tinselbox Holiday for awesome ideas and future subscription boxes. They help you celebrate every holiday!

Pasta Salad with King Crab
Serves 8
A wonderful summer side dish for any bbq!
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  2. 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  3. 1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
  4. 2 tbsp honey (we use Orange Blossom flavored local honey)
  5. 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  6. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  7. 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  8. Salt & pepper
  1. Kosher/sea salt
  2. 2 cup fresh corn kernels
  3. 1/2 lb pasta, such as campanelle, cavatappi or tortiglioni
  4. 1 tbsp olive oil
  5. 3 oz baby spinach or arugula
  6. 1 small bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and very thinly sliced (red, yellow or orange)
  7. 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  8. 4 oz crumbled feta
  9. 1lb king crab legs
  10. 2 tbsp old bay (optional)
  1. Combine lemon juice, mustard, shallots, honey and lemon zest in a bowl and set aside for 5. Whisk in extra virgin olive oil. Add in dill, and stir to combine. Season with 3/4 tsp and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Taste and adjust honey and lemon juice to your taste.
  1. Over high heat, get a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Put the corn in a metal strainer/small colander and dip it into the boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Remove corn,rinse under cold water, draw well and place in a bowl to let cool.
  2. *At this point you can add the crab legs to the water to heat through. I prefer to steam mine with a little old bay seasoning in a separate pot*
  3. Bring water back to a boil and add pasta. Cook to al dente. Drain well and toss with olive oil set aside to cool (if I'm really hungry, I put the pasta and corn in the fridge for 10 minutes to speed cooling)
  4. In a large bowl combine pasta, corn, spinach/arugula, and the vinaigrette. Stir to combine. Add cheese, the red onion and crabmeat and stir gently. Let stand for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
Adapted from Fine Cooking: Pasta Salad with corn, spinach and red bell pepper
Adapted from Fine Cooking: Pasta Salad with corn, spinach and red bell pepper
Tasty Tin http://tastytin.com/



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The Tasty Tin Food Photography Book Experiment


book cover


Anyone want to learn to take better pictures of food with me?


Cool, here’s what I plan to do join in however you can.

A new friend, Nagi, a food blogger (check her out at Recipe Tin Eats) wrote a book about how in 3 months she went:


And she swears anyone can do the same on a budget.  In this age of Instagram, twitter, yelp and every other social media outlet that people showcase their food on, pictures are important.  A great picture can sell a restaurant as a viable dinner choice, they can make or break a food blogger and they can get thousands of likes and followers.

So here’s my plan.  It’s pretty simple and straight to the point

  1. Buy the book
  2. Read the book
  3. Create my budget friendly Photo Booth setup
  4. Practice
  5. Post practice pictures on here and Instagram.
  6. Practice
  7. Practice some more
  8. Post final pictures and show my amazing improvement!

Come back here and follow my journey of the The Tasty Tin Food Photography Book Experiment.  I would love feedback from all of you.  If you want to join in at any point click the picture to buy the book


But remember I want all of you to be involved as well.  Create an account on our blog, follow us on Instagram and Facebook, like us on Twitter and post all of your practice pictures too with the tags #TastyTinFoodPhotoExperiment




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The Making of Tasty Tin…


feeding the world, one friend at a time

Growing up my parents instilled a strong sense of independence in my siblings and I.  There are 2 boys and 2 girls and each of us had to learn to cook, sew, check your oil and change a tire.

So one night a week we each had to cook a meal for our family of 6.  There weren’t any rules to what we could make but we had to do it ourselves.  So from an early age, I’ve been cooking.

I could fry the perfect french fry by age 6.

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