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There are times when you think you find a friend because you believe that they need your help or support. Other times, without you realizing it, that same friend switches places with you and you suddenly realize that despite what you initially thought, they really found you. Audrey was one of those friends. While we became friends without a formal introduction from our common connection, in a most unconventional way, somehow it just worked. A friendship surfaced despite either of us really knowing much about the other. This type of friendship has happened to me a few times over the years and although somewhat unusual, I surrendered knowing that they just felt ‘right’ and I took the leap to let them into my heart. My friendships with Jennifer and Ilina sprung up under similar circumstances and despite our physical distance or our lack of regular conversation, there remains a bond. I know that I can always pick up the phone or send a text and I have no doubt that they would drop whatever they are doing if I was in need.

Friendships really do come in all shapes and sizes but at the core it is the simplicity of the relationship that keeps me engaged. And I feel lucky to have had so many special friends share special moments, look out for me and enjoy spending time together. The long-time girls in my life – Suzie, Stacey, Natalie, Roe, Sue, Burley, Joan, Ingrid, Karen, Maria and Diana – are very special to me. And into this mix grew Ilina and Jennifer and most recently Audrey. These are my Ya-Yas.

This group would be the first to tell you that while I am somehow managing to blog, it is kinda a miracle. I don’t really have time for this, despite how passionate I am about food and writing. So for now, I will keep it simple. Sometimes life doesn’t have a magic formulaic recipe, it just happens and we find it in our hearts to embrace it.

As Audrey said when she shared this recipe with me, “You are going to love this salad- it is simple, fresh and healthy.” Don’t be afraid, there are no exact measurements. Follow your heart and your palate to give this salad your own flair.

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Grapefruit & Greens Ya-Yas Salad


1 head Bibb (Butter) lettuce, washed cleaned and cut

2 cups baby spinach, washed and cleaned

1 red bell pepper, washed, seeded and chopped

1 1/2 large grapefruits, peeled, pith removed and sliced into wheels

1 large cucumber, washed, cleaned and chopped

8 oz Feta cheese, crumbled

½ cup walnut pieces, chopped

¼ cup sugar


½ grapefruit, juiced

3 TBS olive oil

1 TBS white wine vinegar


To prepare salad, wash and clean all produce. In a small pan, over medium high heat add nuts and sugar and continue to stir until sugar melts and nuts are caramelized, then remove from heat. In a large bowl combine all ingredients.

To make a simple deconstructed dressing, once salad is assembled pour dressing ingredients over it. Mix and serve.

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