I have a pretty long list of dishes to take to social events.  I can pretty much pull a recipe from my butt (as my Mom might say growing up, but more eloquently written, repertoire) according to request.  We have a friend in town on a vacation from the Airforce.  She and her fiancé won a costume contest last year dressed as Trump and Hillary.  The award was a four bedroom week long condo stay on the beach!  We are going over for a little get-together tonight.


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We were asked to bring a salad (not pasta) and I’m making a cross between a recipe handed down from my friend and former colleague, Mandy, acquired from a restaurant in Mississippi and an amazing salad I had at Bonefish restaurant.  The salad no longer exists on the Bonefish menu, but if you ask nicely, they may make it for you anyway.

I can’t find pickled red onions, so Mike made them for me.  I’m not even sure what the process is, but I smelled the vinegar and sugar cooking last night after waking up in my toddlers room putting him to sleep…. I always fall asleep when I tuck kids into bed.


I’m using organic spinach for my greens, sliced organic red apple, thinly sliced pickled red onions, sliced pickled beets, crumbled goat’s cheese and candied pecans.

To candy the pecans the pecans, melt 2 Tbsp butter in a skillet over low heat.  Add 1 cup roughly chopped pecans and 2 Tbsp brown sugar.  Cook, stirring constantly approx. 2 minutes and spread on parchment paper (not wax) to cool.

For the dressing, mix 1/2 package Ranch salad dressing mix, 1/2 cup Heinz salad vinegar and 1/2 cup sugar.  Whisk thoroughly.  Add 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil and whisk. I pour it into a cruet like the one below so I can mix it again later before serving.

This dressing mixes and pours much easier at room temperature so, don’t forget to take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before chow time!

Here is a photo of my assembled salad:


You can use any variety of nut, including almonds or walnuts.  Sometimes I just toast them and skip the candy bit.  Sometimes I leave out the pickled onions.  Sometimes I add mandarin oranges.  Hearts of palm also make a great addition to this salad.  You can mix up your greens as well.

If you feel overwhelmed by all the nutrition advice, calorie recommendations and diet trends, read these: Fact. Not Fad.Let’s Crunch Numbers!Help Me To Help You!

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