Monthly Archives: April 2017

Florida Layered Salad

Pregnancy cravings are a roller coaster.  One minute I want mashed potatoes and pineapple, the next minute I have a burning desire for Sour Patch Kids.  Pinterest should be avoided if at all possible, 5 minutes in and I want so many different things all at once its dizzying.

At the grocery store I end up buying very strange meal combinations like strawberry ice cream and salad with peas and beats, to be eaten simultaneously or Chinese food and a crepe. Couple that with “pregnancy brain” and my poor husband hasn’t eaten a cohesive meal in months. I end up halfway through making dinner before I realize I forgot the other half.  But at least I have a few go-to meals that I almost always have the ingredients for on hand and not coincidentally are on my most craved list of 2017, such as….drum roll please …..

Florida Salad.

Like so many of the yummy recipes in my go-to arsenal, I originally got this recipe from my long time Boss Starla. Crisp, fresh salad greens, sweet peas, celery, savory bacon, diced ham and boiled eggs, topped with a creamy, thick dressing and shredded cheddar cheese.  It’s no wonder that I crave this salad all the time. I made just one minor adaptation to Star’s recipe, I add ranch mix to the dressing. Some fresh chives would be killer as well. But I just go with what I have on hand. I have no idea why its called Florida Salad. But regardless, this layered salad is a must. You can make it the night before and it always disappears at any gathering.  I also love this salad in the winter because the ingredients are easy to find year around.  

Florida Layered Salad Recipe

Refreshing, crisp, and savory layered salad recipe. Great salad year around.

  • Prep Time: 20m
  • Total Time: 20m

Ingredients

  • 6 oz lettuce, chopped
  • 4 oz baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 c celery, diced
  • 1/4 c bacon crumbles
  • 4 eggs, halved and sliced
  • 8 oz ham, cubed
  • 1 1/2 c frozen sweet peas, thawed
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. ranch dressing mix
  • 1 c cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 c green onions, finely diced

Instructions

  1. With stand or hand mixer, beat cream cheese, mayonnaise, and ranch dressing mix until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a trifle dish, layer lettuce, spinach, celery, bacon crumbles, eggs, ham, green onions, and sweet peas.
  3. Spread prepared dressing evening over the salad.
  4. Top with shredded cheese.

My French Experiment: Baking with a 3 year old.


Baking with my 3 year old was not something I had any intention of doing anytime soon.  I know of other moms  who occasionally let their kids help them bake cookies, but it always seemed to me to be a bigger pain than it was worth.

But couple month ago I had a lunch play date with my lovely friend Ingrid. I was a little apprehensive about meeting at a Chic-fil-a play place because the only other time we had ever been to one, it ended with him at the very tippy top of the play tunnel, refusing to come down. The horror of having to climb up through the clausterphobic, gooey tunnels to drag him down is not something easily forgotten. But I decided that 6 months was a long enough banishment and to give him another chance.
While our children played, we got to catch up and I got to vent about how my once amazing eater has digressed into a ridiculously picky one. She recommended a book called Bringing up Bebe.

Im so glad she did. The basic premise of the book is that an American journalist in Paris notices some pretty big differences between American and French children. She sets out to figure out why French babies almost unanimously sleep through the night by 8 weeks, have good manners, and even eat pretty much anything their parents eat. In France, there are no special kids menus at every restaurant.

I really loved the book and a new perspective. I was shocked to learn that in France its pretty normal for a three year old to bake with very little supervision.

After reading about the confidence it helps foster, I decided to accept that it might be a huge mess and give it a try anyway. I even used the French Yogurt Cake recipe she mentioned in the book.
So on a cold Sunday morning I gathered the ingredients and let Oliver and my niece Sia bake. They were really into it and had so much fun. It really wasn’t anywhere near the disaster I thought it would be. There was very little mess and it was nice to have an engaging, positive activity with these littles. Im definitely be doing more baking with my little guy.  My favorite part was that while Oliver swears he doesn’t like raspberries, after baking with them, he actually gave them a try.