Mad Men – LA

Posted on March 25, 2012


When I first heard about the Mad Men hiatus, I was a little disheartened.  After being burned by Lost and the writer’s strike of 2007, I was worried about losing momentum, and well, interest.  After all, there’s a lot of incredible shows addictions on television.  I’ve been on an HBO kick lately–True Blood, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and Band of Brothers.

But, time flies when you have lots of distractions (moving, traveling, wedding planning).

Seventeen months without Don Draper, and I’m ready to get back on board.  When Britt suggested a Mad Men theme for the premier (a brilliant move), I was all over it.

I thought about making a retro ice box cake or perhaps a classic french dessert (like a Floating Island).  In an ideal world, I would’ve gone to down to the new oyster bar and had a dozen for lunch washed down with some dirty martinis.

Since this is a cooking blog, a video of me slurping down some oysters would’ve been fun for me, but incredibly boring for you.

So, I thought I’d do a modern twist on Ambrosia Salad, a classic Southern potluck staple from the 50’s and 60’s that gets a bad rap.  Deservedly.

Seriously, put down the fruit cup and canned mandarin oranges.  Step away from the marshmallows.  They only belong in white chocolate rice krispie treats, s’more pies or in rocky road ice cream.  Not in a tropical salad.

Once you isolate the key ingredients–pineapple, coconut, oranges, something creamy and pecans–you begin to realize the full potential for this colorful side dish (or breakfast parfait or refreshing dessert).  I love it layered in a pretty sundae glass or mason jar (or an old jelly jar, as seen here).  Fruit salad topped with Greek yogurt, toasted pecans and drizzled with delicious Campovida honey.  Perfect for brunch or your Mad Men-themed party.

Modern Ambrosia Parfait

Makes 4-6 servings.  Best served in fun individual mason jars.  Or mix and match!

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 16 oz. of fresh pineapple, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 medium-sized oranges, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup of chopped, toasted pecans
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 2-4 tablespoons of honey, approximately
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

1.  In a large bowl, combine pineapple, orange segments, salt and lemon juice.  Toss to mix.  Add in shredded coconut to liking.  Cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.

2. Toast the pecans in a skillet, being careful not to burn them.

3.  Immediately before serving, fill the mason jars or sundae cups by layering the fruit, yogurt, etc.  I’d start with a tablespoon or so of yogurt on the bottom, followed by a 1-inch layer of fruit.  Then add about a 1 teaspoon of chopped pecans and drizzle some delicious honey on top of the pecans (this is critical to the yummy-ness factor).  Keep layering until you get to the top, and finish with some additional pecans and honey drizzle.

4. Enjoy by putting on your favorite pearls and house dress (do those still exist?) and watch the season premier of Mad Men!