Progressive Dinner: Heirlooms and Cran-Raspberry Spinach Salad

If you read my last post on how to get a Progressive Dinner started, then welcome to the Salad House. A progressive dinner is a great way any time of the year to hang out with great friends and to enjoy each other’s houses. I particularly like Christmastime because the houses are so festive and fun. I also love visiting our friend’s dogs. And you can see my husband loves them, too.

Jenny has over 100 snowmen in her house; I won’t even begin to show you all of them. What I really love is how each hostess uses her imagination with the table setting, like Jenny bringing out her Grandma’s white linen napkins and dressing her table with a elegant silver reindeer glow. And did you notice? Jenny has the same Dollar Store goblets that I have!

The tasty serving at Jenny’s house was this amazing salad. It was pretty and so yummy and healthy.

Cranberry-Raspberry Spinach Salad
Makes: 6-8 side dish servings

1 10oz pkg frozen red raspberries in syrup, thawed
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ cup cranberry-raspberry juice cocktail
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon celery seed
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 10 oz pkg fresh spinach, stems removed and torn
1/3 cup broken walnuts
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 TBS sunflower seeds
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Fresh raspberries for garnish

Dressing:
In a blender or food processor, blend raspberries till smooth; strain through a sieve to remove seeds. Discard seeds.

In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar and cornstarch; stir in strained raspberries, cranberry juice cocktail, red wine vinegar, celery seed, cinnamon and cloves. Stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly; cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Transfer to nonmetal container, cover and chill until serving time.

Serve:
In a salad bowl toss together spinach, walnuts, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and green onions. Garnish with fresh raspberries. Drizzle with half of the dressing (cover and chill remaining dressing in a nonmetal container for up to a week to use in other vegetable or fruit salads).

If you come back next week, you’ll get to visit my house and see what I cooked for the main course.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on if you like to use heirlooms when setting a Christmas table?

Did you miss Progress Dinner: How to Get Started and Making Luminaries?

17 comments on “Progressive Dinner: Heirlooms and Cran-Raspberry Spinach Salad”

  1. Pingback: Progressive Dinner: How to Get Started & Party Luminaries! - Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

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  4. The table looks amazing! :) Just stunning!

  5. Not sure, just what the recipe stated :)

  6. That salad looks absolutely delicious! Love the slighlty unexpected addition of sunflower seeds.

  7. Everything on my table this time of year (and all other seasons in between!) has an interesting history from
    a grandmother, a great-aunt, a cousin, my mother, her mother and her mother’s mother! I’m the lucky one
    that everyone hands things down to…I guess because I cherish each and every piece and use it all the time.
    These beauties are not going to be stored away…..I say bring ’em out and use ’em!

  8. That salad looks so good , and it is a pretty presentation too! We do have family heirlooms, glasses, I have told you about my obsession with glassware and dishes before. But when my wife’s grandmother died she received two green glasses, water goblets, just two. I researched them and found that they were Anchor Hocking, and from the 1930’s. They are called Boop’s glass and we love them. Any hoo I digress, so we began a search, at garage sales, antique shops, on line, well to day we have a complete set of 12! water, wine, and dessert glasses, and we USE them. I really feel that you need to use your heirlooms, create new family memories with them, or they just become dusty glasses that sit there. So our table right now is set with these glasses, and when we walk by we remember Grandma Ruby, a loving wonderful woman of French descent, that taught us all how to live frugally, but graciously, how to love with abandon, and in the end how to die with grace and dignity. So use those heirlooms, cherish them, and make new memories to go along with the old ones. We only get one chance at this thing called life so live it to its fullest, and enjoy it!!!
    Christmas Blessings to you and yours
    Curtis & Sherrie

  9. Sounds yummy!!! I don’t necessarily have heirloom pieces that I use, but I cherish all of my moms decor that I have now to use.

  10. The salad looks delicious! May I ask why we keep the sauce in a non-metal container?…

  11. I have to agree with Tara, at first glance I thought your hubby had on a fir trimmed coat that matched the dog :) LOL.
    I don’t have any heirlooms either I’m afraid, but I love getting creative when setting my table. I’ll have to check out my dollar store for those glasses, they look wonderful.

  12. Hi Sandy! Oh your friend’s dog is so cute. This sounds like such a fun idea to do a Progressive Dinner… especially over Christmas or even in the winter when we are all stuck inside. I am in love with those goblets and still cannot believe they came from the Dollar Store… I need to find them! Thanks to your neighbor for this great salad recipe… I’m bookmarking it. Have a great weekend.

  13. Ok, first of all, I was reading and only glanced at the first photo and I kept thinking, “What is that man wearing?!” Do you know that I have no family heirlooms for the table?! I would totally love to use them if I did. The recipe sounds delicious- I grew up in cranberry country and love that tanginess!

  14. That salad looks yummy, and I have to prepare one for my husband’s office luncheon on Monday. Might give this one a try.

  15. Whoops….meant to comment on the last post! Sorry. But that salad looks delish.

  16. I love entertaining….especially at Christmas…but having a clean house definitely holds me back sometimes. I love the planning, cooking, having people over…if I only had a cleaning lady. :)

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