by Donna Amis Davis  ⁄ @DonnaAmisDavis

My grandson celebrated his 4th birthday today! His creative parents went all-out with an Angry Birds theme party at Mission Bay, in San Diego. My assignment was to assemble the pasta salad. My daughter wanted something antipasto-like to accompany the Costco pizza. She provided me with all the ingredients. It was up to me to put it together, and get it to the party on time.

Party Pasta Salad
Party Pasta Salad

This makes a HUGE batch of salad. Everyone raved about it. Full of fresh, organic vegetables, and loaded with California and Greek olives, it was the perfect accompaniment to the spicy pizza and sweet Angry Birds cake.

Angry Birds Cake
Angry Birds Cake

My daughter designed and created the cake. She didn’t get her cake decorating genes from her mother, I have to tell you. Her cakes are amazing. My cakes always look like Pinterest Fails. Fondant and I don’t know each other.

Birds at Mission Bay
Birds at Mission Bay

Before the fine company all arrived at our site on Mission Bay, I had a chance to wander down to the edge of the shore and capture some of the birds. Seagulls, of course, those ubiquitous birds. To us San Diegans, seagulls are unlovely, so common. They are everywhere and try to steal food from our picnics. It took a visit from a famous Kansan to make me appreciate our gulls. So I included some gulls in my little collage. But the heron, the sandpipers, the egret. I love those. And coots and ducks out swimming in the water, they were out there today, too.

Party Pasta Salad at Bay
Party Pasta Salad at Bay

It was pretty chilly down there at the bay today. We bundled up in our jackets and scarves. We downed hot coffee and hot cocoa. We sought the sun when it appeared between the clouds. And when we got home from our party, I read that today 67% of the U.S. is covered with snow. I’m sorry!

Winter is Sunset Season in San Diego. Tonight didn’t disappoint. As we headed home from our fun afternoon, we had another extravagant display.

 The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
    night after night they make him known.

Mission Bay Sunset
Mission Bay Sunset

All in all it was a great afternoon! Our grandson loved everything – the Angry Birds game, his gifts, his company.

The adults had a good time reconnecting, eating, talking, and watching the little ones have fun.

I’m not going to suggest that the pasta salad made the party. No. But it did add to the festivities. And you should add some Party Pasta Salad to your next big occasion!

Party Pasta Salad
Party Pasta Salad

Party Pasta Salad

Party Pasta Salad


  • 1 package (32 oz.) rotelle pasta
  • 1 can (6.5 oz.) sliced ripe olives
  • 1 jar (5.75 oz.) pimento stuffed olives
  • 1 jar (6.35 oz.) kalamata olives
  • 1 bottle (16 oz.) Newman's Own Family Recipe Italian salad dressing
  • 1 pound broccoli
  • 1 yellow sweet pepper
  • 1 orange sweet pepper
  • 1 red sweet pepper
  • .5 lbs grape tomatoes
  • 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled


  1. Boil pasta according to directions on the package, about 9 minutes. Drain, and let cool. Stir occasionally while cooling to separate pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse all the vegetables.
  3. Open olive jars and can and drain olives.
  4. Slice the pimento stuffed olives.
  5. Cut broccoli into small florets.
  6. Dice the yellow, orange, and red sweet peppers.
  7. When the pasta is cool, you can combine all ingredients, and stir gently. This makes a huge batch, so I had to use two of my largest bowls. I divided the pasta between the two bowls, and then divided all the ingredients between the two bowls.
  8. You can make this a day ahead, and refrigerate.