It’s so good to be back :)
But first … Where did summer go?? Seems like I blinked and summer’s already over and my babies are heading back to school. Yup – both of them. Sofia’s in Junior Kindergarten this year! Such a bittersweet feeling for me – on one hand, I’m looking forward to having that time to focus on my photography work and my beloved blog (and the usual household chores); but on the other hand, my days without her by my side tugging at my shirt to play pretend together are going to need getting used to. *sigh*
I made the decision – albeit a tough one – not to post for the entire summer. It was unintentional at first, but I figured since my kids were going to be with me for a short couple of months before routine would settle back in, it only made sense that I devote my time to them.
I didn’t realize though that my short absence from the blog and on social would be felt by so many of you. I received numerous messages asking if everything was ok, and that they missed my food pics and recipe postings.
So just wanted to say a big thanks for all the love and support – you really made a gal feel special. :)
My family and I had an incredible time together. I can’t tell you what we did exactly, because it all seemed like a blur, but we did it. We went to parks, spent time with family and friends, chilled at home, watched Moana and Hotel Transylvania 1 and 2 more times than I can count, made a sh*t load of muffins, cupcakes, cakes, Peanut Butter Cups, Crispy Marshmallow Treats, and a ton of savory deliciousness, including this summer hit salad – what I call the Perfect Spinach Salad.
It’s perfect for a few reasons, namely that it’s a snap to make – literally in a few minutes. But it also has so much flavor and punch all in one giant bowl. I must’ve made this salad at least once a week this summer, and we never tired from eating it. Neither did friends and family.
I guarantee that this salad will become a staple in your home too. Just the bright and vibrant colors alone are enough to try it out. I also included the most delicious candied pecans recipe you’ll ever need in your life. I have another one that was featured on the FeedFeed site (so cool), but this pecan recipe totally takes the cake.
This salad is also allergy free (if you omit the pecans, but don’t unless you can’t have them), raw, über delicious, and healthy to the max. It’s free from:
- tree nuts
Need I say more?
- 1 package - 11oz - baby spinach, washed and trimmed
- 8-10 strawberries, thinly sliced
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced into wings
- Pinch salt, to taste
- 2 C pecans, roughly chopped
- ⅓ C - ½ C Salted Maple Caramel Sauce
- ¼ C honey
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- In a large bowl, add spinach and top with half of the strawberries and all of the onions.
- When ready to serve, drizzle dressing in a circular motion and using tongs or two spoons, gently combine salad with dressing until all of the spinach is coated.
- add remaining strawberries and top with candied pecans. Serve immediately.
- In a large pan, lightly toast pecans on medium heat. A few minutes, or until fragrant.
- Add salted maple caramel sauce and stir using a spatula or wooden spoon. Continue to cook for about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and spread pecans onto a lined baking sheet. Let cool.
- In a bowl, whisk together well the honey and balsamic vinegar, until emulsified. If not using right away, store in a lidded jar until ready to use.