Spinach Strawberry Salad

This is as close as Andrew’s Aunt Linda and I can get to Cafe Patachou’s (a Carmel, IN French bistro) salad by the same name.  Aunt Linda even begged the chef personally for the vinaigrette recipe, and was rewarded with at least the ingredients, if not in exact measurements.  We make it constantly in the summer.

For 4-5 servings:

1 package baby spinach leaves

1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

1/2 (or less) red onion, sliced

1/2 C candied walnuts or pecans

1/4 C gorgonzola or feta cheese crumbles

1/2 C croutons


1/3 C olive oil

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

salt and pepper


-Slice onions to your preference: thin for less strong, thick for a stronger onion taste

-You can use feta, goat, gorgonzola or blue cheese here based on your affinity for blue cheese

-Definitely use (or make your own) candied nuts–it’s crucial!

-The dressing makes about a half-cup, which is more than you’ll need for this salad.  Refrigerate the rest and use again on your next salad!

1st goodbye

We made our trek out to Carmel for a funeral, actually. For those who don’t know, Andrew’s grandfather was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer back in February of last year. He passed away at home Dec. 28.

Andrew has a small family, some of whom live here in town, some in northern Indiana, and the rest of us in Western New York.
We’re at the wake right now, and the line of those who knew Bill is out the door with no sign of stopping.

Andrew’s grandfather was a great man; he was a strong Christian, a wonderful father and accomplished civil engineer, who did a lot of work for the state and city. He was an avid golfer and softball player. He surrounded himself with great men, many of whom continued to visit weekly, even up until the end.
Andrew’s grandmother, Nancy, has always been a friend to me and has been so strong this past year as she cared for grandpa.
Andrew’s grandfather was a Mason, and 75 of them came to perform a short service and pay their respects. (Apparently a normal turn-out for this sort of thing is 8 or 10.) Many of them visited him often throughout the past year and spoke of him very highly to grandma.

The overflowing line of his friends and acquaintances here is a testament to how great a man Andrew’s grandfather was.
The funeral will be held tomorrow morning–please remember Andrew’s family in your prayers right now.