gorgonzola, candied pecan, and bacon vinaigrette salad

A couple days ago during my government class, I reminded the students it was election day.  Then the following conversation occurred.  This is real life, all statements are true.

Me: Does anyone remember what type of elections are taking place in the state of Georgia today?
(Several hands go up, but I called on an extremely excited girl bouncing out of chair with hand in air.)
Student: The presidential election!  We get a new president!
(Class bursts into laughter and tears.)
Student: Oh wait, that's not right.  I think I'm confused, who is the president again?

In this little girl's defense, she has probably only been in my class a total of eight days all year.  She is frequently absent.  But still, really?
I've been scouring the internet the past few days for a fall salad.  I had a few flavors in mind and I searched for a recipe that would bring them all together.  Unfortunately, that was hard to come by.  So instead, I ended up piecing together the different flavors I wanted in my salad by pulling together different recipes I found.
The end result was amazing.  During dinner, David said he could eat it every day.  It definitely made me feel good about how this salad turned out!  We both devoured our dinners.
Gorgonzola, Candied Pecan, and Bacon Vinaigrette Salad
Serves 4

1 bag of hearts of romaine lettuce
5 oz gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup pecans
1 tsp Splenda
3 tbsp EVOO
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp bacon (we used turkey bacon)
1/2 tsp minced onion
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp Splenda brown sugar (or regular)
Optional: Cranberries, blackberries, or baked chicken strips
Heat up a skillet with a little butter in it.  Add the pecans and stir around.  Next add the Splenda and stir continuously for several minutes so that the sugar does not burn.  Once the pecans are a nice brown color, put them on a paper plate or towel and let them dry.

Put the lettuce in a bowl.  In a jar mix the remaining ingredients (EVOO, vinegar, bacon, onion, mustard, brown sugar, salt and pepper) together with a whisk or put on a lid and shake.  Once blended, pour over lettuce and stir.  Cover the lettuce well.  Then add pecans and gorgonzola cheese.  Toss the salad more and enjoy!

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