It’s the Christmas season, y’all!
And no, I didn’t forget about Thanksgiving. I like to celebrate Christmas for as long as humanly possible—and as long as the public will let me. Celebrating before November is typically frowned upon. When the clock strikes midnight on November 1st, all bets are off. I’ve had my holidy Spotify playing nonstop since this weekend, the satellite radio in my car has the Christmas music channel as the #1 preset, and I’ve already got all my decorations up.
I think this will be the last year with this Christmas tree. The cats have dug holes in the branches and it’s not quite as full as I’d hoped. I’m going to try and hit up the post-Christmas sales and snag a big, full tree for next year. Even though this one is scraggly, a little wonky, and my light skills are missing in the middle (this has 700 lights on it, too), it still sparks joy everytime I light it up.
My favorite thing to do? Drink coffee in the mornings by the Christmas tree light. I’m not sure there’s anything better than that.
My holiday baking also kicked off this weekend. When you have a food blog, you’ve got to get started early. There’s only three weekends in December before Christmas day, and I’m not going to bake four different sets of cookies each weekend.
With the extra load of cooking/baking on the weekend, I’ve really got to keep my normal meals pretty simple. Skillet and sheet pan dinners are in the rotation, and I expect to use my crockpot heavily over the next few weeks.
For my lunches this week, I went extra simple: a salad. The only time-consuming part about this dish is cooking the bacon—and if I hadn’t run out of foil, it would’ve been even more simple. I wanted everything that I love about this time of year in one bowl: sweet cranberries, nutty pecans, tart apples. I ended up forgetting to cut up my apple and toss in for the pictures, but I’m including it in the final recipe because I tried it later and it was delicious.
If you’re still in the fall spirit, this salad really invokes that. If you’re already in the Christmas mood, this salad is good for that too! No judging here.
Chopped Harvest Salad
A nutty, sweet and salty salad with the best fall ingredients: cranberries, pecans and apples.
- 6 strips applewood smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1-2 Granny Smith apples, diced
- 1 cup feta cheese
- 3 cups chopped butter lettuce
- 2 cups chopped romaine salad mix (the bag I chose include romaine, endive and raddichio)
For the Harvest Dressing:
- 2/3 cup olive oi;
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 TBS. maple syrup
- 2 TBS. dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- salt & pepper
- In a large bowl, toss salad greens with cranberries, apples, cheese, pecans, and crumbled bacon.
- Make the dressing: whisk together all dressing ingredients until emulsified. Serve dressing tossed with salad.