Monday, October 15, 2012

Autumn Chopped Salad

I totally pulled off a last minute surprise party on hubs. His birthday was back in October, so we are moving right along on catching up the blog. I didn't get any pictures of the party because I was too busy trying to hostess. We had the dinner at home, and had around 25 people come for a relaxed evening of chili, corn bread, autumn salad, and fall beer. After dinner, we adults all gathered around the fire pit to chat, while the kids swam. The pool was rather chilly, but G turned on the heater in the jacuzzi for the ones who didn't brave the cooler water.

The fun of this party was the fact that he had NO IDEA! He thought we were going out to dinner with friends. It was a fun surprise to plan for my sweet love. A high note at the party was the autumnal salad. I found the base of this recipe on pinterest, and adapted it a bit. There are so many ways to make this salad your own. I've included some of the many ways I have tried in this recipe.  I've even chopped up chicken and added it to this salad to round it out as a meal. Always turns out delish!

Autumn Chopped Salad
7 cups chopped lettuce (romaine and bibb are favorites)
2 red pears (or Apples if you prefer)
1 cup dried cranberries (or dried cherries if it's that season)
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts if you prefer)
*8 slices of bacon cooked crisp and chopped (or not if you are vegetarian)
4 oz feta cheese crumbled (or blue cheese if you prefer)
1/2 cup Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
(You could even change the cups around on each of these to make the dressing more tangy, less sweet. Also, you could add a teaspoon of dijion mustard to the dressing for a bit more spice)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together two dressings, then pour slowly over salad, mixing with your hands until you get the right consistency of dressing to suit your taste. This is key because I have found that some lettuces absorb the dressing differently than others, and you may or may not use all of the dressing mixture. Turn out salad onto a large platter, and serve up to 10 people. This recipe is perfect to take to a pot luck dinner, just double the recipe if needed.

Happy Birthday Babe!

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