# 3 A Spring Salad and Ice Cream Cake

What a great Easter weekend!  The only thing that could have made it better was if Kindra and DL could have joined us.  Over the course of the weekend we went out to dinner with friends, got to hold a new baby (Evvie was visiting from Branson), went to church and out to brunch, visited with Kayla, Dylan, Molly and Taylor, then topped the weekend off with a family dinner at home.

Most everyone ate ham for their Easter brunches so I decided to grill out some steaks for dinner.  Besides the obligatory party potatoes I am required to make at each holiday, and at many times in between, I also made asparagus(Molly showed me a new blanching technique), Pioneer Woman’s Rosemary Rolls, and a new salad that was sooooo good.  This salad recipe is from the September 2008 issue of Southern Living magazine and is called Baby Blue Salad with Fresh Pears.  It has a few ingredients that some in my family would typically say they did not like (Blue Cheese and Pecans).  However, I did not mention these in advance and I can say that every bite of salad on each salad plate was gone.

Baby Blue Salad with Fresh Pears

Washed Salad greens of your choice

2 large Bartlett pears, cut into thin slices

1 qt strawberries, sliced

4 oz blue cheese, crumbled

Sweet and Spicy Pecans (recipe follows)

Balsamic Vinigrette (recipe follows)

Place greens on 8 individual serving plates.  Top evenly with pears and strawberries.  Sprinkle with cheese and pecans.  Serve with the Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing.

Sweet and Spicy Pecans (Southern Living April 2000)

¼ cup sugar

1 cup warm water

1 cup pecan halves

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)

Stir together ¼ cup sugar and warm water until sugar dissolves.  Add pecans and soak 10 minutes.  Drain, discarding syrup.  Combine 2 tablespoons sugar, chili powder and cayenne pepper.  Add pecans tossing to coat.  Place pecans on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes stirring once.

This made more pecans than I used on the salads but these are good enough to eat as a snack by themselves.

Balsamic Vinaigrette  (Emeril Lagasse – Food Network)

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup olive oil

Place all the ingredients in a screw–top jar and shake to combine.  Makes 1 cup.

This salad was light and very spring-like.  I made the pecans and vinaigrette on Saturday so at dinner all I had to do was cut the fruit and assemble the salad.  I will definitely be making this again in the future!

Between the buffet brunch, large dinner and an afternoon of snacking on Easter candy we certainly did not need any dessert, but then again it was a holiday.  I made a quick ice cream cake (Joy’s recipe) that I have made a few times in the past.  It is VERY easy and utterly delicious.

Ice Cream Cake

2 packages Ice Cream Sandwiches

Hot Fudge Sauce

Chopped Peanuts

12 oz cool whip, thawed

Layer the bottom of a 9×13 pan with Ice Cream sandwiches, top with a layer of fudge sauce, then add a layer of chopped peanuts  and a layer of cool whip.  Create a second layer of ice cream sandwiches and top with a second layer of cool whip.  On the top you can sprinkle more peanuts or add chocolate shavings or sprinkles.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze.

And just because I love them, I also ordered a dozen of my favorite iced cookies from my go-to cookie baker at Cookie-Jar Bakery.

Now I will just need to walk about 400 miles this week to counteract all those calories I ate………….

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