Greetings internet friends! I am super excited to be the new Cookbook Co-Chair with the soon-to-be Mrs. Ashley Hoff. We can’t wait for a fun year of cookbooks, Holiday Gift Market, more cookbooks and some really fun events. I thought it would be fun to kick off our year on the Cookbook Committee by doing a blog post.
If you ask me, it’s officially summer when the windows are already dripping with condensation by 8 am. Summer means I really hate turning on my oven. So when we were asked to bring a dish to a pot luck, I decided to bring a salad. Being that this is the 10th anniversary of our Life of the Party cookbook (woo hoo!), I picked the Strawberry Festival Salad. It is made up of easy to find ingredients and has a great mix of elements that I had to try, like sweet-and-sour dressing and sugared almonds!
Making the almonds was a little intimidating in theory, but it couldn’t have been easier. After that, it was just mixing up the dressing and slicing up the strawberries. I have a container I use for transporting salads, so I poured the dressing in the bottom and layered the romaine on top, with the strawberries, mandarin oranges and almonds going on last. The salad traveled really well and was a huge hit!
Here’s to a summer of delicious food and relaxing with family and friends. I look forward to cooking out of The Junior League of Tampa Cookbooks with you all year long!
Festival Strawberry Salad
Life of the Party
½ cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
10 drops of red pepper sauce
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of black pepper
1 head romaine, torn into bite-sized pieces
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup almonds
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
For the dressing, combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, red pepper sauce, salt and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Secure the lid and shake vigorously to mix well.
For the salad, combine the romaine, celery, strawberries and mandarin oranges and a large salad bowl.
For the almonds, combine the almonds and sugar in a small skillet over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved and the almonds are well coated. Poor onto waxed paper too cool. Break the almonds into small pieces.
To serve, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Sprinkle the almonds over the top and serve immediately.