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Nuts About Berries Salad

This. This is summer in a bowl.

Summer is the bee’s knees. Especially here in Utah. It’s pretty hard to beat a summer evening in Utah.

Then you have splash pads, and swimming, and carnivals, and and and …

Actually, I took baby girl to the carnival the other day. Can I just tell you?

The day before we go I imagine her first experience at the carnival. She’s running around with her ice cream in hand laughing and skipping in slow motion. (Don’t ask me why she’s skipping, she’s not even one and a half years old yet…) Sun flares blur my vision until she comes into focus bouncing around in a bouncy castle, smiling at me as she dodges other laughing children.

Okay… fast forward to real life.

Here we are standing in line at the carnival and she is throwing herself onto the ground, screaming in full on tantrum mode because her toddler brain hasn’t quite grasped the concept of lines yet. We finally make it to the front and she jumps around in the bouncy castle for a good… I don’t know… thirty seconds? Her attention span is pretty short. Alright… There were no sun flares, nobody was bouncing in slow motion, but I can deal with this. I can salvage this carnival day.

We make our way over to the ice cream truck where I rip her away from climbing all over the generator at least three times. I order her a cone, hand it to her and she takes four licks and dumps it to the dirt before running over to climb on the generator again. She should have been skipping by this point.

I hear there is a magic show starting soon so my friend and I head over that direction with the kids, her toddler sitting like an angel licking his ice cream cone in his stroller this entire time. YOU GUYS. IT WASN’T EVEN DRIPPING ON HIM. Baby girl had licked hers four times and had more ice cream on her shirt and face than had made it to the inside of her body.

The magic show is about to start and people are gathering on the stage. It had rained several hours before and there was a giant puddle that had formed near the front row. I’ll bet your can’t guess where baby girl wanted to be. She started by stomping around in it, splashing everyone within a five foot radius. Not horrible. Not my favorite activity either, though. I grab her and take her away from the puddle. The kicking and screaming commences. I put her down and she finds her way back to the puddle but this time she lays HER ENTIRE BODY IN IT, puts her head down and starts to DRINK the water out of it.

I freak out, grab her and we continue to play this game for the next ten minutes. After enjoying this little show, my friend (who has three adorable and perfect children mind you) assures me that she will survive and that everything will be alright if I just let her do her thing. I oblige. She has successfully raised three happy and healthy children, after all.

So there baby girl is. In all her glory. Laying down in this puddle and sipping the water out of it like some wild animal. Then it happens. These two absolutely flawless looking moms holding their perfect sleeping newborns walk past me and whisper (I say whisper even though these two girls seriously need to practice their whispering skills), “OMG. Like, that is SO totally disgusting.”

I actually don’t think they sounded like valley girls but for the purposes of this blog we are going to say that they did. My little heart was crushed. My dreams shattered into little tiny pieces. This day hadn’t turned out at all like I had hoped. But I think most of us have been there.

Except for those two new moms.

I would pay big money to see those girls a year from now.

And then I would pat them on the back and tell them they are doing just fine.

nuts about berries 2

Nuts About Berries Salad

Ingredients: Romaine, spinach or field greens Strawberries, sliced Raspberries Blueberries

Cinnamon Sugared Almonds: 1 cup chopped almonds 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt

Poppyseed Vinaigrette: 1 1/8 cup olive oil 1/3 cup red wine vinegar 1/2 cup sugar 3/4 teaspoon dried mustard 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon poppyseed

Directions: Wash your lettuce and berries and set aside. In a small frying pan, combine your almonds and sugar. Cook on medium/low heat and watch closely. Keep stirring as the sugar begins to melt, to keep it from burning. Once sugar has coated the nuts, sprinkle with cinnamon and salt and remove from heat and place on parchment paper to cool. In a blender or mason jar Combine all of the dressing ingredients and mix until combined. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Shake just before serving. To finish the salad, layer the lettuce, berries and nuts and top with dressing.

** Special note: I’ve had a couple people tell me the olive oil was really strong in the dressing. I usually prefer to use light olive oil in my dressings, so I didn’t run into that problem, but it’s something you might want to consider! **

nuts about berries 3

I’m so glad it’s summer and we can have nightmarish experiences at carnivals and then we can come home and stuff our faces with fresh berries.

Yay summer!

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