June 14, 2007 at 7:21 a.m.

Cool fruit salads for those hot summer days

Cool fruit salads for those hot summer days
Cool fruit salads for those hot summer days

Today it's about different kinds of fruit salads and next week I'll finish with the salads. This is not to say I won't use a salad recipe or two or more over the summer months. Reading through lots of salad recipes I noticed many of them have very similar ingredients, but with different combinations of fruit or different dressings. The two that seem to be most often used are pineapple and mandarin oranges. If you shop like I do, taking advantage of "specials" at the grocery store, you no doubt have these canned fruits on hand to use when needed.

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Anyway, it's fruit salads today, one right after the other, starting with . . .

FOUR FRUIT COMPOTE

1-20 oz. can pineapple chunks, saving 3/4 c. juice

1/2 c. sugar

2 T. cornstarch

1/3 c. orange juice

1 T. lemon juice

1-11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained (don't save juice)

3 unpeeled red apples, diced

2 large bananas, sliced scant 1/2-inch thick

mint sprigs for garnish

In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in pineapple, orange and lemon juices until mixture is smooth. Cook and stir constantly over medium heat until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine fruit, except bananas. Pour warm sauce over fruit; stir gently to coat.

Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours. When ready to serve, fold in bananas to coat. Garnish with mint sprigs if you wish -- it dresses it up. Makes 10-12 servings.

NOTE: You may substitute 1-1/2 to 2 cups fresh blueberries for the bananas if you wish, for more color.

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PEAR WALDORF SALAD

4 fresh pears, unpeeled, cored and diced

4 medium bananas, peeled and sliced

1 c. sliced celery

1/2 c. broken pecans or walnuts

1/4 c. salad dressing

1/4 c. sour cream

2 T. sugar (can use sugar sweetener)

1/4 t. ground ginger

Put first four ingredients in large salad bowl.

Combine rest of ingredients in a small bowl; pour over fruit. Gently fold in, coating well. Makes 10-12 servings.

NOTE: This recipe is easily cut in half if too much. It's not a salad that keeps very well if there are leftovers.

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CheryL'S ROMAINE AND FRUIT SALAD

Salad

1 large bunch Romaine lettuce

1 c. shredded Swiss cheese

1 c. broken cashews

1/4 c. dried cranberries (craisins)

1/2 t. salt

2/3 c. canola oil (or vegetable oil)

1 large unpeeled pear, cubed

1 large unpeeled Gala apple, cubed (can use Fugi or Braeburn)

Dressing

1/2 c. sugar

1/3 c. lemon juice

2 t. minced onion

1 t. Dijon mustard

1/2 t. salt

2/3 c. canola or vegetable oil

1 T. poppy seeds

Combine salad ingredients in large bowl; set aside. Combine all dressing ingredients (except oil and poppy seeds) in blender; blend 15 seconds on medium speed. Slowly add oil; blending until thick and smooth. Pour into small bowl and stir in poppy seeds, mixing well.

Just before serving, drizzle dressing over salad; folding in to coat. Garnish with additional nuts and cranberries. Makes 10-12 servings.

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CREAMY FRUIT SALAD

1-11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained

one 8-1/4 oz. can sliced peaches, drained (or 1 c.)

1-8 oz. can pineapple tidbits, drained

1 c. mini marshmallows

4 oz. cream cheese, softened (can use 1/3 less fat cream cheese)

1/2 c. peach or plain yogurt

1/4 c. sugar (can use sugar substitute)

maraschino cherries (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine first four ingredients.

In a small bowl, beat cheese, yogurt and sugar until smooth; pour over fruit, gently folding in, to coat. Garnish with cherries if you wish. Makes four servings.

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Let's celebrate Flag Day, which is today (Thursday) and serve this colorful, delicious dessert.

BROWNIE AND BERRIES DESSERT

one 19.5 oz. package brownie mix

2 c. sour cream, divided

1 c. whipped topping, thawed

1 T. powdered sugar

1 t. vanilla

1-1/2 c. sliced strawberries, using medium size berries

1-1/2 c. fresh blueberries

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions -- except fold 1/2 c. sour cream into batter. Spoon into one greased and floured 9-inch round cake pan. Bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack.

In a small bowl, mix together rest of sour cream, topping, powdered sugar and vanilla.

Cut brownie in half horizontally. Put bottom half on serving plate; spread with half of cream mixture. Cover with top half of brownie. Spread with rest of cream mixture and fruit. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 9-12 servings.

NOTE: Make dessert 1-2 hours ahead of serving time and store in fridge.

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Do remember to fly our American flag today (Thursday). If you don't have a proper place to display the flag, buy a couple little ones (the drugstore had them) and stick them in a pot of flowers outside or inside your home.


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