Sisters and Cousin Getaway with Fresh Strawberry Spinach Salad

A few weeks ago, my sisters and cousins from my Dad’s side of the family met over in the Bend, Oregon area for a little getaway.

This was our first time to make something like this happen. And let me tell you, special times like this don’t just happen over night, they take planning and effort to try to get everyone together, some coming as far as the Midwest.

But it’s so rewarding.

We sang together, laughed, cried, shared our hearts, and learned from each other. We road bikes, hot-tubbed, shopped, walked, talked for hours, and of course we ate good food.

My sisters and I cooked dinner one night for all the cousins, and we wanted to create a special atmosphere, so we brought along my Dollar Store goblets. (Yes, I brought my goblets :)) They never break. They are so durable.

And along with a tablecloth, pretty paper napkins, candles, and the goblets – our table was set.

In the end we decided that our time together was God-inspired, never to be created again. It was a gift.

I literally left feeling like I had this precious gift that I was bringing home with me, wrapped up in a beautiful box, but what was I to do with it?

What do you do with inspiring memories, where love goes so deep that it almost hurts, the gift of getting to know others in a deeper way, sharing our heritage, going back in time and feeling different moments–painful moments–with one another.

Most of us there had lost our moms, as early as age 15, and as recent as 2 years ago. Death, cancer, hurts and pains. We were there for one another.

More importantly, I’d say that our time together was focused on love, people, God, encouragement, hope.

We ended our time standing in the kitchen and holding hands. Eight grown women, holding hands, tears streaming down our faces, and singing.

Music is what we learned growing up. It was part of what had knit our hearts together over the years. To break out in 3-part harmony, everyone finding their notes, we’d blend together in love.

Yes, love through music was the gift that I brought home with me.

I came home different.

I came home changed.

I came home understanding love in a whole new way.

When’s the last time you made a special getaway happen, possibly with cousins or friends?

So how’d we make the salad? We did a taste test on which dressing was the best and Trader Joe’s Cranberry, Walnut and Gorgonzola dressing won! Delicious.


Recipe: Strawberry Spinach Salad {}


  • Fresh spinach, stems removed
  • Fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • Cranberries or Cherries
  • Your favorite nuts, toasted
  • Feta Cheese (optional)
  • Trader Joe’s Cranberry, Walnut and Gorgonzola Dressing


10 comments on “Sisters and Cousin Getaway with Fresh Strawberry Spinach Salad”

  1. This is a perfectly delicious summer salad; I just made it tonight for dinner and it’s wonderful! Thank you for this lovely recipe and such a great post with fabulous pictures. I can’t wait to meet you in Seattle for BlogHer Food and the TreeTop tour this week!

  2. Pingback: Berry Spinach Salad - Inky Jazz

  3. Sandy, I just had to come back and tell you that I went to Trader Joe’s and bought the ingredients. I made it today and …love it. And best of all, it’s not a big fuss. This is my kind of salad.


  4. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. It has been a year or more since we have seen family. Most of our family lives in and around St. Louis, Missouri while we are currently residing on the beautiful Southern Oregon Coast. That salad looks scrumptious! What nuts did you use in it?

  5. Sandy,
    Thank you and your sisters again for putting this weekend together! I love looking at the pictures again and reading your comments. I was a wonderful weekend. It already seems like so long ago!
    Love you so much and I deeply appreciate all of your support.

  6. Since my parents are both only children I don’t have any cousins:( but my husband has dozens! Unfortunately they are scattered all over the county so we don’t see much of any of them. They seem to have grown up and grown apart. That’s why I encourage my children and my nieces and nephews to make the effort to stay close. And it does take effort but well worth it.

  7. The salad looks stunning!! One more time you’ve proved yourself to be extraordinary!
    How lovely to have a family and get-togethers like that. I have one cousin 16 years older than me. I’m always a bit envious of warm family gatherings and all the memory making. I’m happy that you had that, Sandy!

  8. I love how you focus on the people instead of wasting so much time on making everything perfect. You inspire me! I’ve pinned your recipe and I’m going to make this one. Heading off to Trader Joe’s.

    blessings and love,

  9. A lovely post, and what a salad! I just picked some fresh spinach this morning. Strawberries on the counter. I see this in my future. Click. Print.

  10. Wow, you must have had such a wonderful time. Sometimes it is important to have time with relatives and share, love, and just have a good time. I personally like moments like those.

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