NOURISH … with a winter citrus salad topped with orange vinaigrette and sweet + spicy pecans


After many requests for this yummy salad, here it is. The combination of sweet citrus, crunchy fennel, sweet/tangy dressing, and the sweet/spicy pecans makes it a very refreshing wintertime salad. I’ve made this one for quite a few holiday parties and it’s great to have a dish that can be made ahead of time and assembled just before eating.  I do like to make this when I can find blood orange juice, but orange juice works well too. Adding sliced blood oranges would also be amazing.  You will notice on the recipe below that you can now print out recipes easier. I’m experimenting with this format and hope to modify more of my recipes for easy printing as time allows. 




Winter Citrus Salad
  2. Your choice of salad greens ( spinach, lettuce mix, arugula)
  3. 1/2 fennel bulb thinly sliced
  4. 2 oranges, sliced and peeled
  5. 1 pear, sliced
  6. seeds of one pomegranate
  8. 1/4 c. orange juice ( or blood orange juice if you're able to find it)
  9. 1/2 t. dijon mustard
  10. 1 T. honey
  11. 1/2 t. apple cider vinegar
  12. 1 t. minced garlic
  13. 1/4 c. olive oil
  14. dash of sea salt
  15. dash of pepper
  17. 2 T. butter
  18. 2 T. maple syrup
  19. 1/4 t. salt
  20. 1 t. cinnamon or chinese five spice blend
  21. 1/8 t. (or less) of cayenne or aleppo pepper
  22. 3 c. pecans
  1. I usually prepare the vinaigrette first to let it marinate and also make the spiced nuts ahead so they are cool enough to add to the salad. Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together except for olive oil. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture. Set aside. Slice the oranges with peel on and then lay slices flat and cut off the peel.
  2. Arrange greens, sliced fennel, sliced oranges, pomegranate seeds and the sliced pear (slice and add pear to the salad right before serving). Serve with vinaigrette and sweet and spicy pecans.
  3. DIRECTIONS FOR SWEET/SPICY PECANS (make these ahead of time to allow them to cool)
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  5. Heat the butter and maple syrup in a saucepan. When butter is melted take the mixture off the heat and stir in the salt and spices. Roast the pecans in the oven for 10 min, stir, and roast for another 5. Let the pecans cool before serving.
Five and One

CREATE … recycled paper towel roll hearts w/ pencils for valentine’s day

If you’re looking for a simple last minute valentine (and you collect paper towel rolls), this is it! Made with recycled paper rolls, paint, a hole punch, and a pencil. We used the Treesmart recycled newspaper pencils that I added to the Garden Seed Kit, but any pencil will be fine.

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Gather some saved paper rolls.

Have your kids add paint. We used tempura paint and then after they dried they added some designs with Craypas oil pastel.

Cut tubes into 1″ widths (we used a decorative scissors, but any scissors will work).

Punch a 1/4″ hole on each side of the cut circles and add your pencil. You will have to push a little to work the pencil in, but it should fit snugly and not fall out.

Form the circle into a heart and add a tag. The boys wrote “you’re sharp” on the front and signed the back.

Simple, Simple!

Enjoy the weekend!


CREATE … recycled lacing heart valentines


Well, most of your preschool kids have probably decided on valentines for this year but just in case they’re looking for an easy, recycled craft or valentine to give, these lacing hearts were a lot of fun for this little girl. I’m really trying hard to use/reuse some of the materials that we have on hand, so for valentines this year I cut out cardboard hearts similar to the recycled coffee/tea sleeve hearts we did last year and let E collage away. Since kids get an overload of candy, this gives them a fun activity as an alternative.







Cut out hearts from thin recycled cardboard

Punch holes (1/4″ hole punch) around the outside edge

Have your child decorate (paint, stamp, tape, eraser stamp) the heart.

Let the hearts dry and then tie a button with yarn (20-25″ long) to one of the holes and tape the bundle of yarn on the back, leaving room for them to sign their name and a friend’s name. If you don’t have buttons just tie the yarn around one of the punched holes.

I added a little tape at the end of the yarn to make it easier for kids to grab the end, but this is an optional step.


P.S. another recycled valentine is on the way for all ages.