STRAWBERRY ALMOND SPINACH SALAD With Poppyseed Dressing
This is a great mix and match salad. Don’t like spinach? Sub in romaine or even baby kale. No almonds? Try lightly toasted pecans. Prefer blueberries or blackberries to strawberries? No problem. I’ll bet fresh or dried figs would be great in this too. Or chunks of peaches or nectarines. Are you drooling yet? You can also substitute feta or blue cheese, or add chicken, shrimp or poached fish for a heartier main-dish salad. I add avocados because I love ’em!
8 cups washed and dried baby spinach leaves
1-1/2 cups sliced almonds, slightly toasted and lightly salted
1 pint strawberries, sliced.
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced and sprinkled with lemon juice
Toss together ingredients and just before serving pour dressing over salad.
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (optional)
2 tsp. Dijon mustard, or 1 tsp. dry mustard and 1 tsp. Dijon
2 tsp. poppyseeds
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
In a jar with a lid combine all ingredients except oil and shake. Slowly pour oil into jar, cover and shake again. Shake again before dressing salad.
adapted with permission from DINNER ON THE GROUNDS, By James T. Farmer III
RENT ONE OF MKA’s COTTAGES
The Breeze Inn
Did you know that MKA’s own beach cottages—that she has lovingly restored with her own hands and decorated with her own junking treasures—are available for rent?! You and yours can chillax in beautiful beach cottage comfort in the very spot where MKA pens her bestselling novels. Smaller group? Choose The Breeze Inn which MKA took from ramshackle to the pages of BH&G in a year’s time back in 2009. For larger groups, check out MKA’s new treasure, Ebbtide, which she fixed up in her own signature style. Call Diane at Mermaid Cottages and book yourself in for the full MKA experience! If MKA’s places are not available, Diane has 50 one-of-a-kind cottages sprinkled around the island, all just a short ride on a beach cruiser away from each other. Get yourself on “Tybee time” and discover the magic of slowing down.
We’ve swept away the last of the pollen, hung the fern baskets by the steps and dragged the porch furniture cushions up from the basement. So let summer 2014 finally commence!
And may I suggest you kick off the sweetest season with my newest book? SAVE THE DATE is the story of Cara Kryzik, a Savannah wedding florist/planner who’s convinced herself that storybook endings never happen in real life. But all that changes one busy Saturday when a handsome stranger mistakenly dognaps Cara’s goldendoodle puppy. Jack Finnerty restores historic homes for a living, and like Cara, he has a cynical view of love and marriage. But all that can change in the blink of an eye.
The early reviews have been raves. Delta Magazine says SAVE THE DATE is “storytelling at its best,” and AARP calls it “an absolute delight!” Booklist says “all will swoon over steamy scenes…right up to the wholly satisfying happy ending.” Kirkus Reviews declares SAVE THE DATE “a date Andrews fans won’t want to miss.”
I’ve got so many tour stops for SAVE THE DATE I can’t keep them all straight, but I do know that I’ll be hitting Charleston, Raleigh, Myrtle Beach, Fairhope, Birmingham, Houston, Chicago, St. Louis, the Jersey Shore and the Connecticut coast, and then Savannah—again! See all my tour stops here, and be sure to save the date for a good time and a great read.
In between tour stops, I’ll be working on next summer’s book, breaking ground on a new home office, and hopefully finding some time to chill out with my family at the neighborhood pool. We do lots of grilling in the summer, and I’m always looking for a cool new side dish. This strawberry-almond salad with poppyseed dressing (recipe at left) is adapted from my friend James Farmer’s new cookbook DINNER ON THE GROUNDS: Southern Suppers and Soirees. I added goat cheese and avocado because they’re my favorites. If you’re taking this on a beach picnic or to a covered dish, pack the salad ingredients in separate zip-lock bags and tote the dressing in a Mason jar. Yummers!
You know what else is great to pack for a trip to the beach or the pool—or just the hammock in your own backyard? A copy of SAVE THE DATE! Or two!
Thanks, as always, for your support.
All my best, MKA
Do you have a book club? If your club is reading one of my books, I would love to call in and join your discussion. You never know, I may even be able to drop by in person if it works out right. E-mail us with your request and we’ll see what we can do! Be sure to include a snail mail address and info about the size of your club.