Sunday, March 29, 2015

Pesto Pasta Salad... Made special thanks to ClubsGalore (the perfect Mother's Day Gift)!

EVOO and Vinegar Gift of the Month

$5 off of first month using gift code CGMOM5 at check out.  Shipping is free!
*Valid through 5/10/15
Liv Life Note:  I received a sample club gift and compensation for this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Please know I would not stand behind a product unless I truly liked it!

Do you have go-to gifts for special occasions?  One of my ultra organized girlfriends always has just the gift for everything.  Be it a bridal shower, teacher thank you, birthday gift or Mother's Day treat, she always has something special up her sleeve.  Me?  I'm the polar opposite and find myself usually at a loss as to what to get, let alone where to get it.

Hence, I'm a big fan of "Gift of the Month" clubs.  Easy to personalize, simple to shop online at a minute's notice (procrastination and I are good friends...), and unique, Gift of the Month Clubs can be special and fun.  I've sent a number of subscriptions over the years, but let it be noted that even with all my hints I've been waiting to be a surprised recipient myself until just last week.  

As luck would have it, an offer to review ClubsGalore (arranged by Blog Meets Brand) not only introduced me to a new (to me, they've been around since 1996) one-stop, Gift of the Month shop, but they also sent me my first ever gift!

Faced with a decision to choose from one of their 41 clubs (the tequila club so tempted me....) I plowed through categories including brownies, bath and body, wine, tea, coffee, bacon, fruit, grilling and even a college care club.

I did place that College Care Club (including gift cards, movie sized candy boxes, hot chocolate packets, chips, pretzel crisps, popcorn, mac n cheese, assorted bars and trail mix, and a box of tissues) into my cart and thought how my son in his first year of college would love it, but my perusing continued until I stopped at the EVOO and Vinegar of the Month Club.  Now as good mothers, we try to be selfless and put our kids first, but in this case I selfishly removed said college club gift and replaced it with that oil and vinegar club as a gift to me from me.

Described as "1 bottle of extra virgin olive oil and 1 bottle of balsamic or flavor-infused vinegar each month - 200 to 375 ml. artfully gift boxed", the box arrived on my doorstep just days later, and yes, it was beautifully wrapped with a bow and carefully packaged, and included a card with my name on it.

Popping the cork on the Basil-Garlic Olive Oil, the aroma of garlic sent my salivary glands thinking of salads and dipping sauces.  Paired beautifully with a honey-colored bottle of B.R. Chardonnay Vinegar, the gift sent away any lingering guilt I had for choosing a gift for me instead of my college boy, and simply made my day.
Due diligence for this review sent me to the B.R. Cohn site to check prices, and a little research showed ClubsGalore indeed brought a special and quality product in addition to a fair price. 

So here's a big hint to my family... just FYI, Mother's Day, is right around the corner.  I really, really enjoyed the one month gift I received of the Olive Oil and Vinegar Club.  I'm fairly certain the bottles will be empty within then next few weeks and just so you know, a monthly box with more oils and vinegars would be such a wonderful surprise!

Furthermore, ClubsGalore is offering $5 off of your first month using the code CGMOM5 at checkout (offer valid through 5/10/15) and shipping is always free (note for Mother's Day delivery free shipping is available until April 25th, 2-Day Shipping 4/26/15 - 5/7/15, and overnight available from 5/6/15 - 5/8/15)!  Monthly payment options are available, and their site offers a "Print your own Announcement" feature free of charge.  Moms always have oil and vinegar in the kitchen, but often we won't splurge on that special bottle, so... Hint. Hint.  Hint.  :)

And what would a mom do with a delightfully infused bottle of olive oil and special bottle of vinegar?  She might brush it over artichokes just before grilling and make a lovely vinaigrette, or she might use it in a special Pesto Pasta Salad she's making for her own mom for Mother's Day.  Either way, I know she'll appreciate the monthly doorstep surprise, and you just might become her favorite child.

Pesto Pasta Salad with Sundried Tomatoes
Made special with a drizzle of the Garlic Infused Olive Oil I receive in the ClubsGalore gift, this salad transports easily making it a perfect potluck dish.  Made with our DIY Pesto, or a jar of store bought, this salad is a favorite with kids and adults alike.

1 package pasta (we used Hodgson Mills Multi-Grain with Quinoa - or use Gluten Free)
1/4 to 1/3 cup Pesto  (we used our own recipe found here)
Chopped Sundried Tomatoes in Oil
Garlic Infused Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare pasta according to directions.  Drain and rinse and place into a large bowl.  Add the prepared pesto (we made our own) and toss.  Add the sundried tomatoes and toss again to distribute.  Taste, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Pasta may be served warm or chilled.  If not serving right away, freshen the pasta with a drizzle of the garlic olive oil and toss again.  Transports to picnics beautifully!

Liv Life Note:  The Garlic Infused Olive Oil may be used when preparing the pesto too!


  1. Yum! Gotta love a great pasta salad and so simple too? Love this! Can't wait to give this a try!

    1. Debra, we made it for a Bridal Shower yesterday and the bowl was gone before we knew it!

  2. Sun Dried tomatoes are so incredibly flavorful. I really need to explore them more! Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. I'm somewhat new to them, Stephanie, but I'm loving them more every day!

  3. After reading that list of possible clubs, I can wholeheartedly say I would've chosen the same one as you. :-)

  4. Good quality olive oils and vinegars can make a world a difference in recipes. And you are right--great gift ideas as well :)

  5. This pasta looks divine. And I also love the idea of gift of the month clubs! My daughter is currently in one where she gets an engineering project each month to build with her dad!

  6. LOVE simple recipes, plus this looks delicious. Will definitely be trying!

  7. Pasta was my favorite when I was a teenager. I used to have before I was asked to quit eating fast food and do something about your weight. I had to give up on all the foods which I loved the most. Since then I have been on Goji Berry Juice diet and eating only green vegetables and fruits. In 2 years I lost 13KG of weight. Your recipe has made my mouth watery. I wish I could try it someday. :)

  8. Lovely recipe for a quick, simple and striking pasta dish that even an inexperienced cooks can prepare perfectly...

  9. I love a classic pesto pasta! You have done it justice.. this pesto pasta salad looks absolutely delicious.

  10. This sounds really delicious and something new to try. Thank you for sharing this.



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