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  As I’ve mentioned before, some of my favorite recipes come from the Taste of Home folks. They have a monthly magazine, website and annual cookbooks that have wonderful, down to earth recipes. I love that their recipes are usually made from a combination of commonly used ingredients, so I often already have all the ingredients in my pantry.

Several years ago, my sister ran across a Taste of Home recipe for a fabulous green salad called Festive Tossed Salad. It’s a little more work than your run of the mill green salad (not that bad though!), but it tastes WAY better than those every day salads. We tend to make this salad for special occasions and family gatherings, since it’s a little more work we usually have someone other than the hostess bring this item. That way the person brining it can focus on that one thing and when that’s all you have to make, it’s not overwhelming at all.

Festive Salad


• 1/2 cup sugar

• 1/3 cup red wine vinegar

• 2 tablespoons lemon juice

• 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 2/3 cup canola oil

• 2 to 3 teaspoons poppy seeds

• 10 cups torn romaine

• 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese

• 1 medium apple, chopped

• 1 medium pear, chopped

• 1/4 cup dried cranberries

• 1/2 to 1 cup chopped cashews

1. In a blender, combine the sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, onion and salt. Cover and process until blended. With blender running, gradually add oil. Add poppy seeds and blend.

2. In a salad bowl, combine the romaine, cheese, apple, pear and cranberries. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing. Add cashews; toss to coat. Yield: 8-10 servings.