I got up this morning, groggy from being woken up several times by children who are suddenly afraid of the dark and looked around.  I wish I hadn’t. Everywhere I looked was a mess for me to clean up. My living room was in shambles, my dishes piled high and Megan’s room was a disaster.

I am tired of cleaning.

But I have to, right?  I am the only one that will get this mess straight again!

With a deep breath, I started to clean.  And then I stopped.  I decided that what I needed more than anything else was something fresh, crisp and delicious to eat that would motivate me to clean this house like a mad woman!  Do you ever do that?  Use something fresh and clean to get motivated to make something else fresh and clean?  No?  Must just be me.

So I loaded up my messy kids and headed to Randall’s, my Safeway affiliate, to find something good to eat.  I had a hankering for Dole Mandarin Oranges.  Have you had them yet?  Little bite sized pieces of citrusy goodness that burst with flavor in your mouth.  Oh we love them and I always have a can on hand!

See my whole shop and the beautiful salad below:

As we strolled into Randall’s I noted that every time I go to this store, something is different.  For instance, this time they seemed to have seriously expanded their wine and beer selection!  I mean, it went on and on!  In addition, they had clothing for sale?  Summer dresses but still.  I don’t think I have ever seen that in this store.

As I meandered on, lazily – and by lazily I mean correcting my girls at every turn so that things and people did not get knocked over – I though of what I would love to have!  When I got to produce, it hit me!  A beautiful, colorful, crisp Dole Mandarin Orange  Salad!

I looked around to see if I could find a display that is supposed to be in Safeway affiliate stores that was to have Dole Pineapple, Mandarin Oranges and Tropical Fruit on it.  But I could not.  I blame the kids for distracting me while I looked.  But it is possible that my store just did not have it up yet!

Motivated, still, to not only get a good salad but to vacate the store with my minions, I headed to produce with purpose!  Knowing I had a Dole Mandarin Salad Recipe in my head, I aimed at fulfilling that checklist of ingredients!  Prepackaged Spring Salad, Black Olives, Dole Mandarin Oranges, a Red Onion, Feta Cheese and a sharp Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing!

I loaded up on my produce and headed to the Canned Fruit aisle.  Right there next to Dole Pineapples, Tropical Fruit and variations were the Mandarin Oranges!  I meandered explaining to the kids why there were both crushed and cubed pineapple cans and looking at all of the dependable standby, high quality fruits that Dole offered.

The tug on my shirt stopped my mind from creating more recipes and we headed out.

Home – with messy house blinders on – I tossed the salad in a bowl and then sliced up the red onions really thin and threw them on top. I then drained and tossed in a spoonful or so of black olives.  The main ingredient, Dole’s Mandarin Oranges, I was not stingy on.  I tossed in the whole can.  Yes, I did!  Topping the salad with creamy Feta Cheese and a few tablespoons of tart balsamic vinaigrette dressing, I was ready to indulge!

I had no happy place to sit IN the house so I headed out to the back patio.  I savored every bite until the bowl was almost empty, patted myself on the back for the inspirational fresh salad, and then headed in to face the kids and the mess!

And in a few hours, I might actually make a dent!

Next time you need a refreshing meal, snack or just a reason to sit back and relax, do so with Dole’s Mandarin Oranges!  On salads, in the crockpot with pork and even as a delicious part of an ambrosia salad, they brighten up every dish!


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