Monday, December 3, 2012

Apple, Cranberry, Feta Salad with Candied Pecans

We put up our Christmas tree this weekend.  It's a fake tree.  My first fake tree.  Turns out Hubby is allergic to real trees and was pretty much miserable last year.  I was kind of bummed that we had to go the artificial route.  I've had real trees my whole life.

But you know what? 

Our fake tree is AWESOME. 

It's easy to assemble.
It's pre-lit with 500 lights so no need for me to spend hours stringing lights.
It fits perfectly into the small space we have to put a tree. 
It doesn't make a mess leaving dead needles everywhere. 
It doesn't need to be watered.
The branches bend so you can arrange your ornaments to hang just how you like them.
And, it looks real!

Now all I have to do is get a Christmas tree scented candle and I'll have my tree smell too.  A small trade off.

Even though we already have our tree up, I'm a bit discombobulated with the timing of the holidays this year.  Thanksgiving felt like it came early which has subsequently thrown everything else off.  This is definitely the earliest we've had a tree up and running.  And I felt a totally panicked last week that we hadn't even thought about holiday shopping, even though it's completely normal for us to wait until early December to start.  But it's all good and I'm going with the flow and enjoying the season. 

In the spirit of the holidays, I've embraced an ingredient somewhat new to me this year.  The cranberry.  Cranberries have an extreme tartness that has turned me off in the past.  The turning point started with the Can It Up challenge for November--where I had the task to can something using cranberries.  It was my first time using fresh cranberries and I made these cranberry orange preserves.  It was a big success.  And it seems like it's been a flurry of cranberry ever since. 

Starting with this salad.  I'm loving this salad.  Normally when I make salad at home, 99% of the time it's the basic garden variety type--lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, peppers, maybe a mushroom or two.  But when I go to a restaurant, I always order the non garden variety type.   Like salad with fruit, nuts, beets, a little goat cheese or blue cheese.  I'm not really sure why I rarely make this type of salad at home.  No need to dwell in the past though.  I've made this salad no less than 3 times in a week.  Even Hubby is eating it (a modified version anyway).  It's sweet, it's tart, it's crunchy, it's salty.  It's yummy.  It's fall on a plate.

This salad would be a great side dish to a holiday meal, or to savor any day of the week as your lunch.  This is more of an ingredient list than a recipe.  Tweak it and make it your own. 

Happy holidays!


Apple, Cranberry, Feta Salad with Candied Pecans

Lettuce (such as spring mix, butter lettuce or romaine)
Apples, thinly sliced (I used honey crisp)
Dried cranberries
Feta cheese
Green onions, thinly sliced
Salted candied pecans
Your favorite vinaigrette (such as balsamic)

Put it all together and voila!


  1. This is exactly the kind of salad I like. I bet your tree is wonderful. This salad sure is!

  2. I love this salad, so refreshing to see something healthy with all the Christmas treats going around!
    I can So relate with the tree story. The same thing happened to us My husband is allergic to the trees too.He can't even handle the pine scented candels;( I was bummed like you but I got used to the prelit tree in the bag:)

  3. Such a gorgeous salad Gloria! I rarely if ever make salads at home but I love ordering them when we're out - this one would definitely sing to me on a menu :)

    I think we're skipping a tree this year since we're going away for a week in the middle of the month, but you're making me wonder if maybe I can talk my husband into a small, fake tree. I've always been anti fake tree, but you make a compelling argument for them!

  4. Wonderful change from the cranberry salad I have been eating for 30 years!