Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cranberry Spinach Salad

Since, I have started blogging, I have practiced many new cooking methods and used new foods.  I realize now that I wasn't really an accomplished cook for all those years since my first cooked meal.  I was probably what my Mom was, as a cook, a safe cook, making the basics which hopefully were edible.  I don't remember my mother baking but I was baking yeast breads from the beginning of our marriage  ---- that is after I learned how to boil water.

I know that sounds strange but I knew nothing about cooking or baking or cleaning, for that matter.  My husband introduced me to the washing machine.  My mother must have thought she was making good choices when she did everything herself but I know better.  I am the product of that bringing up and I know, I would have been a lot happier with more knowledge, when I married.

There is an upside though. Everything was new to me and it was exciting to accomplish anything whether it be boiling spaghetti (no mention of  making a sauce or even buying anything better than a can of plain tomato sauce) or frying up a burger.  My innocence was so complete that baking bread was no more challenging than making the spaghetti.

I took my basic cookbook (Good Housekeeping - I think) and chose a recipe and followed it.  When it was a bread recipe, I happily kneaded the dough and followed all the instructions as I would have making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich .  (Hey, I knew how to make those, before the marriage.)

What did this all come from?  Spinach.  I have made frozen spinach numerous times but I don't think, I have ever made fresh spinach until today.  Believe it or not, this is an accomplishment, for me.  I don't mean because it is difficult.  It is not.  Just because it is new to me.  You just may see a lot of fresh spinach in my recipes, from now on.

 Cranberry Spinach Salad   adapted from


1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup  sugar
2 teaspoons minced onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

Heat oil in small skillet. Cook and stir almonds and sesame seeds in oil until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool. 

In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds, seeds and cranberries. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, rice vinegar, cider vinegar, and  oil. 

Toss with spinach just before serving. 

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  1. I love spinach with cranberries!

  2. I have always cooked but there are certain things I have convinced myself I can't make. Salad is one of them. I don't know maybe cuz I like to wing it and I end up using too much vinegar. I am determined to make better salads so I really appreciate you sharing this recipe on foodie friday.

  3. I bet you were more of an accomplished cook than you give yourself credit for.

  4. Oh this looks good! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friday! I've got some spinach I need to use, and will be making this.

  5. All of that put together sounds scrumptious! I can't wait to give it a try. We love spinach!
    And, I love your story ☺ Before I met my husband, I couldn't cook anything that looked edible enough to eat when it was finished. Sometimes, I think it's who you are with, how they make you feel by encouraging words and support, and what is motivating you in your life. It sounds to me that you really enjoy spending time in the kitchen and enjoy taking on new tasks no matter how big or small. Kuddos to you on a great job!
    Thanks for participating in our recipe hop this week.

  6. I know my mom did a lot of stuff herself too - and I learned a lot after I got married as well! I like the sound of this lovely cranberry spinach salad. I especially like the addition of the poppy seeds and sunflower seeds, and the dressing sounds fantastic.

  7. I've never had this with cranberries and I can't wait to try it! Thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday :)


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