June 21, 2009

Sweet Broccoli Salad

Happy Father's Day to all! Mr. Grumps celebrated with our youngest daughter at an Earth, Wind and Fire with Chicago - concert last night. The reviews were that both bands were energetic and awesome. My little crew came home tired, singing and smiling. Couldn't have picked a better gift for a wonderful guy. Mr. Grumps, if we haven't told you lately, you're the best!

For Father's Day, we were invited to a family BBQ at my niece and nephew's house. My nephew has two grills and a smoker, and usually has something cooking in all three! Today was spicy grilled chicken, sweet sausage and juicy burgers. It was greatly appreciated, and enjoyed by all. I can't say thank you enough. As usual, cooked to perfection and delicious!

What inspired me to do this post was trying to come up with fun side dishes to bring to these get togethers. I like to stick to the typical veggie dishes, and can really never go wrong with a nice dish of simmering baked beans. But today, I was asked to bring a Broccoli Salad, which is always a big hit. The recipe I use is a combo of a few newspaper clippings I saved over the years. It all comes together well, and the salad can even be prepared ahead of time.

Sweet Broccoli Salad
Serves 8

2 large heads of broccoli
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup Hormel dried bacon pieces (jar variety)
1 cup light mayo
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 teaspoons sugar

Bring a large pot of water to a boil to blanch the broccoli.

Slice the onion,

and place the slices in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes, then drain. This takes the "bite" out of the onion when using raw.

Cut off the stalks of the broccoli, leaving florets intact. Slice large florets in half.

Blanch the broccoli in the boiling water for about three minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, onion, raisins, Craisins, sunflower seeds and bacon pieces.

Combine the mayo, vinegar and sugar; blend well. Pour over the broccoli mixture. Fold all ingredients together.

Tightly cover and chill until ready to serve.

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