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Today is the last day of school for part of our family, and I can’t even begin to say how very excited we are for the long, lazy and fun summer stretching endlessly ahead, and there is no way to even begin to thank the Teachers and Staff at the school who have made it such a wonderful year – for me, my husband and our children!

There is one week during the year, officially dedicated to Teacher Appreciation activities, one of which is a lovely luncheon traditionally held off-campus, where parents bring dishes according to the theme, which was BBQ this year. I made a Berry Mandarin Tossed Salad with home made vinaigrette, and added a few store brought varieties of dressing to go alongside the salad, smoked meat, rolls, beans, potato salad and coleslaw.

It is always one of my favorite events to organize and help out with, but it never feels like enough thanks or recognition for all that our incredible teachers do!!

Happy Summer!!


berry mandarin tossed salad

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/3 cup vegetable oil

salad greens

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained

1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, cider vinegar, honey, lemon juice, paprika, ground mustard, onion powder and celery seed, season with salt and pepper.

Cook on medium-low, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in oil. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a salad bowl, combine the salad greens, strawberries, oranges and almonds. Drizzle with dressing or serve dressing on the side.