Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Apple Cranberry and Brussels Sprout Salad

I am so excited that it is finally officially Fall.  Our family has been on vacation this past week and the cooler weather made our touring and camping activities more bearable.  We have learned that in the Mid-Atlantic the months of September and October are reserved for all of our outdoor activities. The summers are just too hot and humid.

Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware
We decided to do a "staycation".   It is our first time doing this but we found ourselves visiting sites in our state and surrounding states that are popular tourist attractions for lots of people outside of this area.  We were anxious to learn and see what was in our own back yards that drew so many people here each year.

Tuckahoe State Park, Maryland

Tuckahoe State Park, Maryland

Our fist day started with a trip to the National Zoo in DC. The zoo was perfect.  I felt the size was not too large.  The animals were very active on the day we arrived and this made Isabella happy.  We saw the baby panda, even though he is not quite the size of a baby anymore, and the baby tigers. They were great to sit and watch.  The lionesses (there were two) had their paws full with 6 baby tiger cubs.

The Maritime Museum was up next. I have been to St. Michael's many times. We always skip the museum because our thought was that it would be boring. I thought the kids would not enjoy learning about the history of the watermen and ship building history that we are surrounded with here in Annapolis. I am glad to admit that I was wrong. The museum is wonderful. They had plenty of hands on activities and toy structures for Isabella to climb on and explore. A lot of reading was done but they had so many exhibits that we were all intrigued with the processes of the history. I would highly recommend it for all families.

Our family loves to camp and this was what we decided to do the last few days.  We headed over to Delaware and had a pleasant day/night at Cape Henlopen State Park.  We made our way back into Maryland and camped for 3 nights at Tuckahoe State park.  I have to say that the state parks in our area are beautiful.  They have plenty of hiking trails to keep a young family busy.  We rented bikes and canoes too.

Overall our week was a success. We felt rested. The kids did great.

Vacations are important to our family and this was something that I needed. I have been a bit burned out lately with so much going on and this week allowed me to disconnect from technology and focus on the little kids without a lot of outside disturbances.

National Zoo with the whole family.  Drake and Rye still had school and work so they were able to do only a few of the planned events with us for the week. I will take what I can get. 
This salad was something that I could throw together and pack in the cooler while we were camping. I served it with our favorite marinated flank steak recipe.

I use a mandolin to cut the apples, celery and brussels sprout thinly. This is not required to make the dish it just made it easier for me. You can use a sharp knife to cut everything too.  I like that the salad is filled with thinly slices vegetables and the apple.  The presentation is pretty.

The dressing is light. You can tell from the pictures that it is not thick and creamy. If you want it to be this way then add more mayonnaise or double the dressing recipe. We just prefer it to be lightly dressed.

Apple Cranberry and Brussels Sprout Salad
Serves 4-6

10-12 brussels sprouts, sliced or shaved very thinly
1 small apple, sliced thin
1 celery rib, sliced thin
3 thin slices of red onion, diced small
small handful of cranberries

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
zest from one lime
1/2 lime, juice only
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of maple syrup for sweetness (add more if needed)

1.  Combine the salad ingredients in a medium bowl.

2.  Blend the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

3.  Combine and mix well.  Serve immediately or should be kept in the refrigerator.

Written by Sherron Watson


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