I just couldn’t resist saying YES again this year to being one of the host families for the Senior High Progressive Dinner.  Our church youth program is outstanding and so many people put in hours of volunteer work throughout the year so this was one way we could say thanks to the leaders.  Actually, I also said yes out of selfishness because I LOVE these kids.  Rob and I taught many of them in Confirmation and we’ve gotten to know them as wonderful young men and women.  We had a great time with lots of laughter, shared a meal, stories and then…in the blink of an eye, they were gone.  Just like last year, I was a little sad because it just went by so fast!  The great thing is, I get to see most of these sweet  people every week and I’m counting these smiling faces as a big blessing in my life!
I needed A LOT of food for this group so along with my Creamy Chicken Casserole, I served a Chopped Salad.  It was easy and packed with flavor.  You can add all kinds of extras to suite your own taste.  The key to success with this salad is the dressing. Homemade Parmesan dressing has just the right mix of creaminess with the sharp nuttiness of the cheese.  Chop some different lettuces and get creative…you’ll love it!

Chopped Salad

4 cups of chopped lettuce – butter, romaine and iceberg
2 stalks of chopped celery
1/2 cup of craisains
1/2 cup of cubed sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of toasted almonds
1 chopped egg
Place all ingredients in a large bowl.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Drizzle with creamy Parmesan cheese dressing and gently toss with tongs.  Serve immediately.
Creamy Parmesan Cheese
1 cup of mayo – not salad dressing
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese – freshly grated (the store bought stuff loses it’s flavor really fast)
1/2 cup of Half and Half
2 Tablespoons of sour cream
1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (more if you like a lively taste)
1/4 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon of salt and fresh cracked pepper  – I use about 4 to 5 turns of the pepper mill
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