Make Ahead Fruit Salad

Fruit Salad It’s been a busy week.

And it doesn’t stop yet! We’re packing up to head out for some special family time at my niece’s bridal shower.

In the midst of all the busyness – my girls are working on some preparations for a special Mother’s Day lunch for me on Sunday.

I’m not sure everything that is on the menu – but I have seen some Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes in the fridge along with this luscious fruit salad.

We love this salad because it not only tastes great – but it is fast and easy to put together – and it stays well in the fridge for several days.

I originally got the recipe from my mother-in-law and we have served it often – to rave reviews.

It travels well, – trust me on this one! I have served it at a funeral meal and a political gathering in the last 2 weeks!

I have substituted the drained pineapple juice for the orange juice and tried a variety of fruit!

Make Ahead Fruit Salad

2 -1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
juice of one orange and grated rind (about 1/4 cup)
1 can pineapple chunks
1 can mandarin oranges
Assortment of fresh fruit

Drain the pineapple and mandarin oranges well and put the fruit in a large bowl.

Wash and cut the other fruit into bite sized pieces. Add to the bowl with the pineapple and oranges. Set aside.

Mix together the cornstarch, sugar, water, orange juice, and grated orange rind. Cook on medium heat until the mixture is thick and clear.

Pour over the fruit when the mixture is hot.

Cover and refrigerate.

Keeps well in the refrigerator for several days.

You can use a variety of fresh fruit in this salad — apples, grapes, melon balls, strawberries, bananas or blueberries, but if using blueberries and bananas add them just before serving.

You can add as much or as little fruit as you wish – my kids like it really juicy, but I prefer it with more fruit.  This is one of those recipes you just can’t mess up!

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up at Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum

Chocolate Cheesecake

Chocolate Caramel Peanut Cheesecake My wonderful children – knowing my love for chocolate – made me a very special dessert for Mother’s Day – chocolate cheesecake with caramel and peanut topping.

This was their first attempt at cheesecake and although it wasn’t as pretty as the picture in the cookbook, but it sure did taste good!

Chocolate Cheesecake with Caramel Peanut Topping

Ingredients:

Crust:

1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup cocoa powder

Topping:

1 pkg. (14 0z.) caramels
1 can (5 oz.) evaporated milk
1 cup peanuts, chopped

Filling:

16 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup dark chocolate, melted

Directions:

Combine graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder and melted butter. Press crumb mixture evenly on bottom and 1-inch up sides of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes. Cool.

Combine caramels and milk in heavy saucepan (or in microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave). Cook over low heat until melted, stirring often. Mix in chopped peanuts. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese at high speed with electric mixer until light and fluffy, Gradually add sugar, mixing well.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and melted chocolate, beat until blended. Pour over graham cracker crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and pour caramel and peanut mixture on top. Run knife around edge of pan to release sides.

Let cool to room temperature. Cover and chill 8 hours.

What a blessed momma I am!

Need a Mother’s Day Gift?

Flowers

My sister started a Mother’s Day tradition with our mom years ago that continues to be a blessing today.

Mom is a gardener and has beautiful flower beds surrounding the house. Every year for Mother’s Day my sister has given her a perennial flower.

These flowers are enjoyed for a few weeks in the house and then planted in one of her many flower beds.

Then, every year, Mom can watch these same flowers come up, bigger and more beautiful as they take root in the soil. They bloom, make seeds, and spread their beauty.

What a perfect illustration of motherhood and a perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day!

Peanut Butter Creams

Chocolate Peanut Butter Creams
My nephew Justin sent me a some peanut butter creams today. Bless his heart, he knows they are my favorite!

Now these are a cookie with some history! The original recipe was in the cookbook that my class made years ago in third grade. Each child brought in a recipe and we compiled them into a special Mother’s Day cookbook for our moms. I think we even had them in for tea.

A kid named Jimmy brought this recipe. My mom still has the mimeographed cookbook with the original recipe handwritten in Jimmy’s 3rd grade handwriting. It also included my recipe for Spamburgers, at least my taste buds have matured since then.

Anyway…the recipe had stood the test of time and has become a family staple. Justin is required to make them for every family gathering or else he can’t eat. (Well not really, but we still give him grief!)

Fast, simple and really yummy, these are a perfect treat for those who love chocolate and peanut butter (like me!)

Thanks Jimmy and Justin!

Peanut Butter Creams

1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk
1 c. peanut butter

Form into balls. Drop on wax paper. Refrigerate and eat.