Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Honey Apple Salad: Giveaway Winners Announced!

I'm very pleased to announce that Ashley Pomykala and Julia Geraghty each won a Kate Aspen Mommy & Me Bee salt/pepper shaker set. Thanks to Kate Aspen for providing the gifts and to YOU for helping with the effort to save the bees. Happy Mother's Day to all the sweet mommies out there! xo

Mother's Day is around the corner! I am so excited. It may have something to do with the four shots of espresso I had for breakfast. Don't ask why. I just don't know. Five hours later, I am still quite wired. My fingers are typing faster than my brain can compose sentences and the only thing that is saving me is autocorrect (for a change).

Thinking about Mom and what she means to me makes me smile. Her sweetness translates to her natural beauty, even without a trace of make-up on her face.

She is a revolutionary woman with a perspective so different from the way the rest of us see things. While the rest of us always go for the ol' trusty usual, Mom is the adventurer who encourages us to try new foods, go to new places. Mom makes the world a better place for all of us.

Mom loves Nature and has instilled in us a sense of responsibility for the world around us. The garden is her refuge. She can spend hours there, tending to the flowers.

Honey is the most important item in her home-remedy arsenal. She is a firm believer in its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, healing effects and I follow suit. Whenever Daisy has a terrible cough, she finds relief with a tasty spoonful of honey.

My happiest days all have Mom in them. She had a beautiful veil made of vintage embroidered lace for my wedding day. It is now a cherished family heirloom that I hope Daisy will wear someday.

She notices fine details about people and will always tell you the truth, especially if those pants really do make your butt look big. She has a nurturing soul that never stops worrying about the people she loves. She stands by my sister and me, even in the toughest of times.

Our home is filled with beautiful antiques, glassware, vintage items from Mom. She knits cozy sweaters for everyone in the family. Her handmade crocheted doilies are displayed proudly throughout our house as a reminder of the importance of the little details in ordinary life.

Mom is creative in the kitchen, too, often inventing her own recipes on the fly. That spirit is what inspired this honey-apple salad. As I was tossing this and that into the bowl, I was thinking, "What would Mom put into this?"

Toasted pecans, crunchy tart apples, aromatic basil, chewy cranberries and sweet honey are fabulous together. This makes a great bff* for grilled cheese and does well on its own as a light brunch dish.

If you are after the perfect gift for your mom, this quick salad is sure to make a big impression. Treating her with something homemade  will speak volumes to her about what she means to you.

Honey Apple Salad
Serves 4

1 cup pecans, toasted 
1 lemon, juice & zest
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt & pepper to taste
4 large Granny Smith apples
1 bunch fresh basil
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 Tb honey

Set a small pan on medium heat and toast the pecans, about 10 minutes.

Juice and zest a lemon into a big bowl. Add mayonnaise, salt and pepper.

Remove pecans from heat and allow them to cool to room temperature.

Peel and chop apples into small, bite-sized cubes. 
Add to the bowl and coat well with the lemon-mayo sauce. The acid from the 
lemon will prevent the apples from oxidizing (darkening).

Break pecan into smaller pieces over the apples.
Tear basil and add to the bowl.
Sprinkle a good handful of dried cranberries and mix well to combine.
Drizzle honey over the top.
Adjust seasoning to taste.

Transfer the salad to a pretty bowl or dish.
Chill until ready to serve.

If you cannot take your eyes off of my super-cute honeybees, you are in luck!
In honour of my mom, I am offering the Mommy and Me salt and pepper shakers, courtesy of Kate Aspen
Put this sweet duo on top of your Mother's Day present and you'll get the vote as her favourite child.

TWO lucky readers will win a set each. To participate, you must demonstrate how you support the global effort to save the bees. 

Bees contribute a lot more to our planet than honey. They balance nature and help it thrive. Without them, our beautiful world will come to an end.  And we are the cause. We must be the solution.
Get the kids involved and make it a fun weekend family activity. Plant something that attracts bees.
Donate to worthy organizations leading the cause to save our bees. Buy certified organic produce whenever possible. The threat is real and every effort, however small, can have a big impact. What are you doing to help the effort?

To qualify for the giveaway, enter below.  Giveaway open to readers GLOBALLY. Two winners with the highest contribution scoring (see rafflecopter below) will be selected on Friday May 9th. The more you do to save the bees, the higher your chance of winning. Good luck, y'all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

While most people love symmetry, Mom likes pairing objects that share a vein somehow, but different in form. She revels in finding an antique treasure in a dusty, neglected pile and bringing it back to life at home. We could spend an entire day out on the town or at home, busy rearranging furniture, even just setting the dinner table together. Burlap is not exactly her idea of the best tablecloth fabric, but she smiled and helped me set my crazy table, anyway.

Warning: Burlap is a natural fiber and is treated with non-toxic chemicals that give it a delicious fragrance akin to gasoline or turpentine.  Before draping burlap over your dinner table,  spray distilled white vinegar over the fibers several times and let it dry. Airing it out for a couple of days in the backyard should also help dissipate the nasty odor.

With her keen eye for design, love of natural things and kind heart, Mom makes my life meaningful. She has taught me that a thoughtful table sets the scene for a delicious meal and warm gathering, the foundation of the family.

Bees make the world around us bloom and Mom makes everything beautiful. Honour her with some quality time together and this elegant salad.
It comes together in no-time, but you get full credit for the thoughtful effort. The basil lends an unexpected freshness to the mix and the honey balances everything nicely.
This is healthy stuff that tastes like it should be bad for you. Every bite is a burst of something different - Lemony, toasty, fragrant, tangy and as sweet as Mom herself.

bff stands for Best Friends Forever, the current lingo among the hip crowd. Now that you know it, you're more hip.


  1. What a touching post, and what a simple yet delicious salad. Love the bees!

    1. Deeba doll, thanks for stopping by. Happy to see your word here. Wishing you a happy Mother's Day!

  2. Love this sweet post! I have a big bare spot in the garden -- getting it planted has been on my to do list forever. I will plant things specifically to attract bees! They do hover over my rosemary bush and that makes me happy. :-)

  3. Dear Colette, you certainly wrote a beautiful and warm hommage to your mom - I am very touched by your words. And you are so right about all of us having to make a contribution towards saving bees - the kids and I just bought a few seeds sachets to plant fowers and herbs that will attract bees - we will be preparing the ground for those sseds on the weekend.
    Your recipe also sounds quite nice - delicious and fresh flavors, love the tartness that those Granny Smith always bring to a salad.
    Have a great Thursday - many hugs and kisses - take good care of yourself!

    1. Thanks, Andrea doll! I'm so grateful to see your comments here.
      Wishing you the sweetest Mother's Day! xoxo

  4. What a lovely tribute to your mom! and a lovely salad to match:)
    Mary x

  5. healthy and delicious. take care!

  6. What a lovely story and I wish I had the same relationship with my mum. Nevertheless this salad will be a winner anywhere!

  7. What an incredible post! I just know I love your mother already. I will make a contribution to Xerxes (where out niece works) and send you a confirmation of that. And, should I win, I will send her the shakers for her commitment to research and saving the bees. xo

    1. You always make me smile, David. Thanks for the contribution and making me away of Xerxes! xoxo

  8. Dearest C - I completely forgot to say how incredible this salad sounds! Mark will love it! I just made a donation to Xerces.org - such a gray organization!! Thanks for all you and your mother are doing to help with this vital work! xo

  9. I love the salad recipe, we have several bee hives, I love raw honey

  10. I plant alot of flowers that bees love!

  11. I let people know how important bees are to our ecological system

  12. I am planting a huge garden, and will be putting in a top rail hive. I love bees!

  13. Love bees, Love honey, Love your post. Thank you for the chance Have a Beeperfect week Elaine

  14. I already have flowers planted for the bees, and I need to plant more. Thanks for the lovely story and the giveaway!


  16. I plant a lot of vegetables that they pollinate. I don't kill bees, just run from them if they get too close =)

    Hannah Jurgelis

  17. Hi Coco,

    Thanks for organising this giveaway. I like the way how you wrote about your mum. The photo of you with her and the special veil is so beautiful.

    I like bees and honey and hope that I'm lucky enough to win this giveaway :D


    1. Thanks, Zoe. I'm so happy to be able to offer this to you and the rest of my overseas friends.
      Happy belated Mum's Day! (Sorry I missed the Aussie one.)

  18. The bees love my flower garden!!

  19. What a beautiful mothers day post my friend! And those bees are way too cute :D

    Choc Chip Uru


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