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Cooking with kids: little ladybug salad

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There is a wonderful website for grandparents ( which not only provides many health, recreation, child care and travel tips while with your grandchildren, it also regularly offers recipes grandparents can make with their grandchildren.

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There doesn’t appear to be any rules, however, requiring one to be a grandparent in order to use the site. This recipe for little ladybug salad from Melissa Barlow’s Noodlemania is a simple pasta salad which will delight kids and satisfy adults, and will look adorable on your dinner table.


  • 2 cups mini penne
  • 1 (8-ounce) container cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
  • ¾ mini pepperoni slices
  • ¾ to 1 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 3 whole olives, cut in half


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Drain and rinse with cold water and then let cool completely.
  3. Wash the tomatoes and set aside 3 of the largest ones.
  4. Cut the rest of the tomatoes into halves or quarters.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the pasta and the cut tomatoes.
  6. Add the drained sliced olives, keeping two or three slices out with the reserved tomatoes.
  7. Stir in the mini pepperoni. Toss with the dressing and refrigerate until reading to serve.
  8. To make the little ladybugs for your garnish, cut the reserved tomatoes in half. Slide a toothpick lengthwise through the center of each tomato half and then stick an olive on one end to make the ladybug’s head. Cut the reserved olive slices into little pieces to make the “spots” and arrange them on the tomatoes.
  9. Place the ladybugs on the salad before serving.

Serves 4 to 6



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