I hope you all had a fantastic Labor Day Weekend! In Michigan, most of our kids are just heading back to school today. So shiny faces and lots of firsts for our younger citizens today! I have a special recipe treat today that will make them smile!
First I would like to thank my dear friend Maribeth Schmidt for her help with the photography for this post! Maribeth has an incredible gift and talent with photography, and she loves to photograph food. Her pictures are positively stunning, and if you would like to see more of her work or for an inquiry, you can connect with her at Maribeth Schmidt Photography.
Now today’s post is such a sweet addition to any meal, it could easily be called a dessert. But I’m calling it Dreamy Creamy Fruit Salad!
- 1 pt strawberries
- 2 bananas
- 2 apples
- 1 can pineapple chunks, drained well
- 1 can mandarin oranges, drained well
- 1 can fruit cocktail, drained well
- 1 8 oz pkg walnuts
- 1 8 oz pkg sliced almonds
- 1 lg carton whipped topping
Start by draining the canned fruit and putting in bowl. Its really important to drain this well, as you will end up with a small pool of reserve liquid in the bottom of your salad within a few hours otherwise… (yes this happened to me on more than one occasion… its ok… you can drain it off but its nicer if you simply drain a bit longer before combining the salad)
Then, core your apples, leave the skin on, and chop the size you like in a fruit salad, add to bowl.
(I’m already getting hungry just looking at this picture!)
Slice your strawberries and add to bowl.
Peel and slice the bananas and add to bowl.
Gently stir the fruit.
Add in the nuts *note you can easily serve without the nuts if you prefer. You could also substitute granola.
You can stop right here if you prefer your fruit salad without Cool Whip.
Or if you just want a little Cool Whip, add a dollop here.
But when I make it, I stir in about 3/4 container of Cool Whip reserving 1/4 to make coat over the top of the bowl. Then I make a creamy coat of Cool Whip over the top and decorate with additional fruit and nuts.
Scoop it up for the ones you love and set it by their plate, and watch the smiles grow and glow!
How could you not feel so special when someone places this in front of you! The perfect affirmation after a long day!
It is fun to get creative with the decorating of the top of the salad. I never know where its going to go when I start. Its apple season, so on this salad we celebrated and showcased the apples a bit.
Note, I’ve seen other recipes that replace the Cool Whip in this recipe with vanilla yogurt, so that would be an option as well. You could of course switch out any of the fruits, or add in some mini marshmallows to give it an ambrosia like taste. You could also add in some flaked coconut and or raisins. I’ve even seen where some folks use sour cream in place of the Cool Whip.
As a little girl, I remember so many meals where all six of us kids were gathered around the table. Mom had little dessert cups that might be filled with Jello or chocolate pudding or fruit cocktail. Whatever it was, it was like the crowning jewel to the meal. When she called us all to supper, we would squeeze in at the table (we had a bright orange wrap around booth in a corner of the kitchen – the open side was for mom, dad and whatever high chairs were needed. When we would first see the meal, (maybe pot roast or meat loaf or pork chops etc) our eyes would search… and there were those little dessert cups! It was like getting a little kiss from Mom on the forehead!
I think we need a little more of those sweet affirmations in life. They don’t have to be food, it could be a quick call or text that says “Love you!”, or a note in your child’s lunch box, or at work, you could surprise the office and bring in bagels or refill your candy dish. Or at the end of the first week at school, send a note to your teacher telling her or him great job on a first week and that you are in their corner and its going to be a great year! Or surprise someone who is always there for you with a kind note or gesture.
All people can benefit so much from these little affirmations. It seems we always hear the negative, what someone thinks we are doing wrong. But how good it is when someone tells us something positive in word or deed! Adult children need this, they are now out there facing life and it can be scary, but a kind affirming word from mom or dad or grandma or grandpa can be just the thing that gives them the confidence to face another day. I think affirmations are a lot like “Miracle Grow”, a shot of that every day makes your flowers bloom tall and strong… same with people. A shot of affirmation every day will help them bloom wherever they are at in life. There is no age restrictions on who can benefit from little acts and words of love, encouragement and affirmation. It is a blessing to give them as well as receive them! Even our precious pets thrive under them!
And remember you can’t pour from an empty cup, so dear friend, you need to take care of you too! Especially if your road is a tough one right now. You can take some time to refuel yourself a little bit, maybe with a cup of your favorite tea, or lighting a fragrance candle, or time for a nice long walk or some little treat for yourself! Taking a little bit of time for yourself is not selfish, it makes you better equipped to do all the things you do for others. You dear one are precious and you matter to God and to me and so many others in this world! So take some time to breathe, enjoy the simple things and take good care of yourself!
I hope you enjoy this Dreamy Creamy Fruit Salad! And I hope this kickoff week in September is amazing for you! I’ll be back Friday for another Fashion Friday!
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” ~Audrey Hepburn