November 11, 2011

Holiday Salads...Home for the Holidays!

This is probably the best time of the year to settle in and watch your favorite movies! It's gray and bleak outside The Maine House today. Thoughts are swirling about decorations and holiday recipes to prepare in order to get ready for our favorite family holiday...Thanksgiving! It's all coming together as we anticipate the arrival of our youngest child, Robbie! We will be meeting him in Boston the week of Thanksgiving and have dinner at our favorite Italian cafe before heading back to Maine! So excited to see his sweet face! I talked to Miss Judy down in Pensacola yesterday and she needed advice on what to prepare for her office holiday potluck....something that everyone will like and enjoy, without too much fuss! She wanted something a little different rather than the usual green bean or sweet potato casserole. Hey, I have the perfect side dish for you.....The Strawberry Pretzel Salad. I make this each year and simply cannot have Thanksgiving without this cool, creamy and festive salad. The Divine Miss M states that this is her "fave" too! There is another fruit salad which I made for bookclub and was an absolute hit! It's easy to prepare, healthy and absolutely scrumptious! Now.......go put on you favorite holiday music as you do your household chores and then sit back, relax and share those great, memorable holiday movies with your family.

First on my list is Home for the Holidays!
featuring my favorite all time actress....Anne Bancroft!


2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping
2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry gelatin dessert mix
2 cups boiling water
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen strawberries
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple
Whipped topping or whipped cream, to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Press this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar. Fold in the whipped topping, and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled.

In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, and allow to cool slightly. Add the strawberries and pineapple, and pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until serving time.To serve, cut slices and serve with a dollop of whipped topping.

Refreshing and different, this salad was an enormous hit!

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
1 orange, zested
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
4 apples, preferably use 2 to 3 different kinds
2 pears, preferably red and green
2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl whisk together vinegar, orange juice, zest, and raisins. Core and cube apples and pears. Add fruit and walnuts to a bowl and drizzle with
oil. Toss well to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving

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