A Heavenly Cowgirl Salad

When I get to heaven I’m pretty sure that they will serve this Salad. It is just heavenly, which is why I’m changing its name from Autumn Chopped Salad to Heavenly Cowgirl Salad. It’s made up of Pears, Cranberries, Pecans, Cheese and (drum roll please) Bacon! I’m not much of a food person, but there is no doubt, I love to eat. So food was eventually going to be the topic of one of these posts. I was talking to one my friends the other day on the phone and she was talking about how she was going to go back to eating healthy since the holidays were over. During this call, I was sympathetically taking stock in how much Rocky Road Ice Cream was left in the freezer. She laughed and I explained that I didn’t pig out over the holidays, so I was going to continue eating everything I wanted (in moderation) like always.

So back to the salad. It’s a good thing that this salad was healthy because I ate all of it! I made enough to feed about 5 people and it was delicious. It was surprising too, because as we all know, salad doesn’t usually keep in the fridge and it almost lasted 24 hours. The pecans, pears, cranberries, and cheese offer enough texture to where you really don’t even care about the lettuce being a little bit wilted. I’ve learned over the years that when you have horses, most of the time things mold in your fridge before you actually eat them… especially if you don’t have anyone to feed.

When I was making this salad all I could think was, “I have to tell Poncho (my brother) about this salad.” It reminded me of a conversation we had many years ago when I was in college. That day we were playingly making bold statements about life, food, whatever and then giving our theory-proof of why those statements were true.  I’m sure that if anyone from outside our family saw/heard us doing this they would think we were dorks-beyond repair… Think House meets Seinfeld. Actually I take that back, it would be more like “good looking dorks beyond repair.” (Note my brother is cuter than Brad Pitt. I know humble, right?) This bantering back and forth is some sort of language of love we have using the scientific method. So he says, “If you pour apricot preserves on anything it becomes delicious.” I laughed and he said, “watch this!” He then took out some Brie cheese (which I do not like), heated it up, pulled it out of the oven, and poured apricot preserves on top of it. I tasted a bit of it and he was right, theory confirmed, it was DELICIOUS. I treated myself to some of that last night too. (see left)

I once had a love affair with some honey cinnamon butter at my friend Nicole’s wedding. The caterer told me that the butter, was going to change my life. After tasting it, I felt that it was my duty to spread the gospel of honey, cinnamon and butter to the rest of the wedding attendees. I wanted to dance on the tables it was so good.

I think cream cheese and apricot preserves really should be put in the same family. Nicole’s mom put’s salsa on top of cream cheese as a dip and let me tell you. I’ve never wanted to eat of block of cream cheese, but if you put salsa on top of it, it’s like the calories in the cream cheese don’t exist. The salsa acts like an invisibility cloak of calories.  All of a sudden you’re not eating a block of cream cheese, you’re eating a “dip.” And when it becomes a “dip” you don’t really care if its healthy. At least I don’t.

Ok so now I’m realizing I could tell you about every food I have ever loved in my life! Which I’m sure you really don’t care about. So I’m going to stop now before you quit reading, (hopefully) that hasn’t already happened.

Gosh, it’s a good thing I’m not trying to get a date with this post, you would think I loved eating… just a little too much! For all the cowgirls out there this is a great salad to make and you can’t screw it up. I have too short of an attention span to cook/assemble anything that takes patience. So file this one, in your “need to have something to go with the steak” dinner plans. You will really enjoy it.

Heavenly Cowgirl Salad

6-8 Cups chopped Romain Lettuce

2 Medium pears, chopped

1 Cup dried Cranberries

1 Cup chopped Pecans

8 Slices thick cut bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled

4-6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Poppy Seed and/or Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette

On a platter or in a bowl, combine the lettuce, pears, cranberries, pecans, bacon and feta cheese. Drizzle generously with dressing.


  1. I love cream cheese and salsa about as much as you love this salad, but the chips always break in the block of cheese! I like to cut the cream cheese into cubes, microwave it for about 20 seconds at a time, and stir it until it’s smooth. Then, I add the salsa to it, and voila, a creamy, smooth, yummy dip that won’t break the chips!

  2. OK..the salsa is good but what is even better is jalapeno jelly over cream cheese..eat with wheat thins and it becomes a diet dish!

  3. I can not wait to make this for Cutter, and it sounds wonderful, but I must say the photo of your brother is the most delicious thing I’ve seen in a long time….hummmmmmmmmmmmm! Oh and the butter deal might be pretty good to boot!

  4. I feel so special Marissa to be credited with the cream cheese and salsa dip on your blog! May I also suggest pouring Raspberry Chipotle Sauce over cream cheese to be spread over buttery crackers…Yum! It also works with Olive Tepenade over cream cheese and crackers… Hmmmm, seems that I really like cream cheese…

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