March 20, 2011


It feels like spring out here in North Carolina (Have I ever told you how much I love NC? I love NC.) and spring weather means that I want fresh fruits and veggies.

Food like salad.
Mandarin Salad
This is a salad introduced to me by my dear, sweet friend, Missy. We met at massage school. She is a mother in every form and desires nothing less than to feed every person she comes across. I love it!

First things first, grab a jar and shake up the dressing.
salad dressing
Of course, I don't usually measure. I just eyeball it and adjust according to what I like (lots of vinegar, not so much oil) and you should try that too. That's all that salad dressing is. Just a little fiddling around with some ingredients to spice up your lettuce!

salad dressing
salad dressing
Sugar-I actually use half the amount of sugar in the original recipe. I'll let you know why here in a bit.
salad dressing
Apple cider vinegar-I double or triple the quantity in the recipe. I love vinegar.
salad dressing
Oil-I was trying my best to stay true to the recipe for you...I like it better with about 2 Tablespoons of oil rather than the 1/4 cup.
salad dressing
Juice-I use 2-3 tablespoons of the juice from my mandarin oranges to replace some of the sugar and to add more liquid in lieu of the oil.
salad dressing
Hawt Sauce-I like Frank's. I put that *beep* on everything. Please tell me you know their ads. They crack me up.
salad dressing
Parsley-Fresh is best. Second best would be a good quality dried herb. For those of us who keep trying to be cheap, the $1 Kroger Italian Seasoning is not up to par. It kinda tastes like dirt.
I forgot to take a picture.
There you have it. Salad dressing.
salad dressing
Oh yeah. Shake it.
salad dressing
I make the dressing first so the flavors have some time to incorporate and become friends. ( :

Next up is sugared almonds!

I double this because I'm in salad for the crunchy stuff. It's true. Extra croutons, more nuts, lots of tortilla strips--give me the crunch!

Two ingredients this time: sliced almonds+sugar
sugar almonds
Pop those babies in your pan and get ready to stir. Here, I recommend stirring constantly. Mostly because one time I neglected to do this and decided to chop something else up and I ended up with a blackened pan of carbon. Not tasty.

Medium heat, after two minutes:
sugar almonds
Three and a half minutes:
sugar almonds
Four minutes, done!
sugar almonds
The sugar has melted, gotten slightly caramel in color and is sticking to the almonds. I pour it out on a sheet of waxed paper to let them cool. 
sugar almonds

The only other prep to do is to dice some celery and grate some onion. I don't like raw onion, so I omit that, but it's not horrible. [Especially if you actually like onion.]
celery celery
Lettuce-Butter lettuce is best, but Whole Foods was out, so I used this other stuff that wasn't nearly as good.
Mandarin oranges

Toss that baby and enjoy! Revel in the evening light-thank you daylight savings time!! I love this salad! Of course if you're my mother you will turn your nose up at the fact that I put fruit in my salad.
I don't know where I come from either. ( :

Here's the original recipe from Missy:

Mandarin Salad
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • dash of Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Salad Oil
  • dash of Red Pepper Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley
Shake dressing ingredients in tightly covered jar.

  • 1/4 cup sliced Almonds
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 cup Celery, finely diced
  • 1/4-1/2 small Onion, grated
  • 1 can Mandarin Oranges, drained
  • 1-2 bags Butter lettuce 
Cook almonds over low heat adding sugar and stirring constantly until sugar is melted. Cool and break apart. Toss all ingredients together with dressing in a large bowl topping with almonds. 


  1. Ha! I'll have you know that I ate a salad with strawberries in it--and it was good! By the way--I like my mandarin oranges straight from the can thank you very much!
    P.S. Your salad looks good--if you take out the oranges. =-)

  2. @Mom--It is good! Did you eat the strawberries because someone made it and served it to you?

  3. that looks quite tasty, my dear!

  4. @Kathy--My tastebuds agree with you! ( :

  5. you should try adding some napa cabbage (:

  6. napa cabbage, you say? OK, I will. ( :