When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A wonderful Christmas week (and a recipe for a festive spinach and pomegranate salad)

There is so much for me to love about being on Christmas holidays with Matt and the boys.  After several bustling weeks of Christmas preparations and parties and swim meets and school concerts, it has been really wonderful these past several days to just slow down and enjoy spending time all together.  The break from a hectic schedule has already done all of our hearts, minds, and bodies a world of good.  We had a lovely Christmas filled with excitement and happiness in the early morning hours around our tree, and delightful food and company at the home of my aunt Christina and her family later in the day.  There have been lots of hours over the past week for sleeping in, for building gingerbread houses and new Lego sets, for playing board games and solving puzzles, for reading intriguing new books, and for laughing together out in the fresh snow that finally fell on Boxing Day evening.  We've had time to catch up with far away loved ones over the phone, and to share relaxed, cheerful holiday dinners with those who live close by.  It's so wonderful to think that next week will allow us more opportunities for the same!

As our family's activity level has slowed down this past week, so has my busy mind, which is a very good (and necessary every once in awhile) thing!  So today, I'm keeping things short and sweet here, and sharing a simple but well-loved recipe for a festive spinach salad tossed with fresh clementines, pomegranate seeds, and toasted pecans.  The idea for this salad came from a recipe for a similar one I found years ago in our local newspaper, and it has been one of our family favourites at holiday dinners over many Christmas seasons since.

Spinach Salad with Pomegranate and Clementines

For the salad:

6 cups baby spinach leaves
6 cups mixed greens
3 clementines, peeled and sectioned
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans

For the dressing:

1 tbsp raw honey
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
sea salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine the spinach leaves, mixed greens, clementines and pomegranate seeds.
In a glass jar, combine the honey, white wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, sea salt and pepper.  Close the jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to mix all ingredients well.
Pour the dressing over the greens and fruit and toss gently to coat.  Sprinkle toasted pecans on top of the salad and serve.

This pretty and healthy combination of red, orange and green makes a lovely accompaniment to roasted turkey, chicken, beef, or pork, or a delightful contribution to a holiday potluck dinner.

I hope you and your loved ones are also enjoying a wonderful Christmas week together!

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