Right now

Right now I am loving the white tulips that are sitting on my kitchen table. 

Right now I’m eating entirely too much of this amazing sun-dried tomato, pesto, and soft creamy cheese spread.  I just smear a generous amount of it on a slice of sourdough baguette, and repeat until I sigh a happy, pleasantly full sigh.

I am enjoying my new living room shelves.  My husband hung them up after the new year and I’ve been slowly adding things to them.

Right now I’m wearing my new yellow bicycle scarf.

Right now this stack of fabric is making me very happy!  It reminds me of spring.  It is sitting in my clean and freshly organized sewing room just waiting to be made into something fun.

It’s probably just the pregnancy cravings kicking into high gear, but I could eat this salad morning, noon, and night.  It’s a mixed green salad, with a sweet basil vinaigrette, feta cheese, dried cranberries, and candied pecans.  It is amazingly good and it’s the dressing that makes it perfect.
It’s a recipe that my husband’s aunt has brought to several family events.  I got the recipe from her but I have no idea what the original source is.  The original recipe called for croutons but I don’t think the salad needs them.

I start with baby spinach, chopped iceberg lettuce, and leaf lettuce torn into bite-sized pieces.

Then I make the dressing.  Sugar, vegetable oil, two cloves of garlic, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper, and fresh basil, get tossed into the mixer.  I blend them together until everything is completely mixed and the dressing has taken on a lovely green color.

Isn’t that the prettiest dressing you’ve ever seen?

Then I drizzle the dressing over the mixed greens and top with the feta, pecans, and cranberries.  Don’t be stingy with the feta!  The creamy feta mixes so well with the sweet basil dressing. 

Really.  You should make this salad.  Your mouth will thank you.  And if you want to bring this to the next level, add some grilled chicken and a slice of sourdough bread, and you’ve got a lunch that would rival any bistro menu!

Sweet Basil Dressing

1/2 c. apple cider vinegar (don’t substitute this with another kind of vinegar.  It won’t taste as good)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. fresh basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Blend in blender until well mixed.  Store in fridge making sure to shake well before using.

And now I’m going to go enjoy a big bowl of salad!


36 thoughts on “Right now

  1. Elizabethmarie_1

    1. That salad sounds really good…I am going to try it this weekend. We love feta in this house. My favorite salad is golden beets, feta, spinach (and sometimes candied pecans).

    2. LOVE The Avett Brothers. They are going to be close to my house in a couple weeks…but the show was sold out by the time I checked.

    3. Your house looks so fresh and clean. Makes me want to organize!

    4. Your tulips are lovely.

    5. I am jealous of the sundried tomato creamy spread…where did you find it? (Not that I can get it since we’re far apart…but you never know. ;)

    Happy Wednesday April. =)

  2. baileyandme

    everything is so fresh and pretty- i need that in my life tonight. my husband has another meeting tonight- i miss him and my girls are soooooooo hyper. not in a cute way either.
    i am so making that dressing. it looks delish. and where did you get that cream cheese pesto stuff? i shouldn’t eat anything like that right now but it looks beyond awesome. and glamorous.
    fun fabric- yes, fun.
    avett bros- really like them too.
    how are you and the bebe? miss you, sunshine-y April!

  3. grace_to_be

    okay.. i was reading to see if liz said that scarf made your neck look fat? ;) )
    i was going to try to use her line to see if it might convince you to just go ahead and send it my way!!!! :) ))
    love it.
    and that salad. and spread. yum yum.
    do you have a recipe for the spread?
    anything with cream cheese is awesome by me~

    happy you’re posting again! :) )


  4. inanorchard

    @grace_to_be -  The picture of the scarf just got added (forgot to put it in the first time around ), so Liz didn’t have a chance to use her line :)   I was going to tell you to just go to Old Navy and get yourself one, but I wasn’t sure if they have any of those in your neck of the woods.  I was just telling Liz that the spread is something pre-made that I buy at Trader Joe’s.  Sorry!

  5. Elizabethmarie_1

    @inanorchard - I do! The closest one to me is about 45 minutes away. I try to go every couple weeks…they have so many good things to buy there. I stock up when I go! The job Jeff is working on isn’t too far away from one, so I may just send him. What you posted looks so, so good. Thanks for sharing…and the salad too!

  6. nov_way

    Right now, I am inspired to make that recipe; it looks both healthy and yummy– a much appreciated combo. Thank you for sharing these very pleasant moments with us. =)

  7. Richgem

    Oh, I just love those W letters on your shelf! You do the cutest things, including that adorable scarf. That salad…I have made something almost exactly like it. I leave out the crans and I don’t make the dressing. When I candy the pecans, I become an out-of control pecan eating monster. Hmmm, maybe that should be on our menu in the next couple of days. No, wait. I have a broken temporary crown (again) and can’t be chomping on things.

  8. appalolly

    This is how lazy I am about stuff like this. I want someone to make that salad FOR me and then I would eat it!  Otherwise, I just think “Too much work.”  I don’t know why I do that to myself!??   I love it for you that you got your fabric room all organized and that you have new and exciting fabrics to work with!  That kind of thing makes me happy…even if for someone else!

  9. mlbncsga

    my daughter fixed a baguette similar to your pesto one only she put some of those pistacio’s like are keeping your tulips company on them and used plain yogurt instead of sour cream, I didn’t think I would like it but it was amazing!  Thanks for the salad and dressing recipes! 

  10. inanorchard

    @appalolly - I almost never take the time to make myself a nice salad.  I’m totally a lazy lunch eater… I’ll just grab little bits of anything to get me by until dinner.  It’s this pregnancy that’s got me making myself lunches!

    It’s great to have friends who are happy at the thought of another friend being happy :)   I’m I making any sense?!

  11. lifeisadance

       You are making me HUNGRY!!! :)
    I love anything with sun-dried tomatoes in it. That spread looks wonderful!
    And the salad!! Thank you SO much for the recipe, i will definitely be making it. :)
    And your bicycle scarf!! Are you even kidding me, it is SO cute.
    Your new stack of fabric makes me happy too – i can’t wait to see what you create from it all!

    Any baby belly pictures in the works? :)


  12. inanorchard

    @lifeisadance - Clarita, when I bought that scarf and I wore if for the first time I thought “I look like Clarita!  How fun!”.  Yes I really should take a few pictures, “the bump” has certainly made it’s presence known :)

  13. fruitloops115

    Happy sigh. your post, and your blog are always a breath of fresh air to me. So reflective of you. LOVE that bicycle scarf! You can totally send it to me when you’re done with it since Amber and Elizabeth don’t seem to like it very much. 
    And YES baby bump pictures!!! anytime, anywhere!! It still seems rather vague to me that you are actually and truly with child over here

  14. down_onthefarm

    right now… i am wishing that i could be there with you, eating too much sundried tomato cheese stuff together! it looks delicious. and good to know that i can add that to my TJ shopping list. our closest one is in d.c.

    and i am totally making that dressing! it looks so cool, and my fav color is green. :) the floating shelves are neat. such a attractive way to display your interests and the individuality that you have as a family. and the scarf is so fun. just like you!

  15. seekinHISwisdom

    Bump pictures interest me as well!

    That salad looks divine, I could put one away real fast like. I often am too lazy to fix “real” food for lunch as well, I tend to grab fruit until I am weak enough that I finally give in and fix a sandwich or an egg…….or eat cereal. ;)

    The flowers, scarf and fabric, all so much yumminess………..

  16. redladybug18

    That salad and pesto/bread sounds so yummy! I just had dinner and if I wasn’t so full I think I could eat a plate of that right up…I can understand why you’re getting addicted to such yummy stuff!
    Yes, I want to see bump pictures too ;)


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