By Cheryl Radkiewicz
When you’re wandering around in the grocery stores, you can’t help but noticing the varieties of fresh fruits. Right now, my latest addiction is Cotton Candy Grapes. However, I actually love all fresh fruit. There’s nothing more refreshing on a summer day than having a big bowl of nature’s goodness on your plate.
With the beginning of summer entertaining knocking at our door and most Covid restrictions being lifted, it’s time to celebrate!
Street Party Grape Salad:
1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1-8 oz. container sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
4 lbs. seedless grapes, assorted varieties and colors
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup crushed pecans
Cream together cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Fold grapes into cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle brown sugar and pecans on top just before serving; toss.
Yum Yum Salad:
1-4 oz. pkg. instant cheesecake pudding mix
1 cup buttermilk
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1-8 oz. container non-dairy whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), thawed
1/2 pint raspberries
1/2 pint blueberries
1 pint strawberries, halved
2 cups seedless green grapes
2 cups seedless red grapes
1-8 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
1-8 oz. can pineapple tidbits, drained
2-3 peaches, peeled and sliced
Combine pudding mix and buttermilk in small mixing bowl. Beat for 2 minutes or until smooth. Beat cream cheese in large mixing bowl until fluffy. Stir in pudding mixture until well blended. Fold in whipped topping. Fold in raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, oranges and pineapple. Spoon into large serving bowl and chill. When serving, top with sliced peaches. Serves 12.
Mozart’s Magic Fruit:
1 1/2 cups cantaloupe balls
1 1/2 cups honeydew balls
1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
1-11 oz. can Mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup fresh strawberries, stemmed
1-6 oz. can frozen lemonade, thawed, undiluted
1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 Tbsp. orange-flavored liqueur (like Triple Sec)
Combine cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple chunks, Mandarin oranges and strawberries in large serving bowl. In small bowl, combine lemonade, marmalade and liqueur. Stir well. Pour over fruit and toss gently. Cover and chill 2 hours before serving. Garnish with mint leaves. Serves at least 8. Note: Serve in small stemmed dessert dishes for brunch.
It’s the Berries:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and halved or quartered
1 cup raspberries, rinsed and well-drained
1 cup blackberries, rinsed and well-drained
1 cup blueberries, rinsed and well-drained
In medium saucepan over high heat, combine water, sugar, lemon juice and thyme and boil until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute. Cool slightly and add vanilla. In large bowl, combine berries with syrup and mix gently. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, but NOT overnight. Serve in glass bowls or goblets with syrup spooned over each.
Melon Ball Fruit Cup:
1 cup cantaloupe balls
1 cup honeydew balls
1 cup watermelon balls
2 tsp. chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup champagne or ginger ale
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I use pecans)
In large bowl mix fruit and chopped mint. Refrigerate for several hours. Spoon into 6 large wineglasses or goblets and divide champagne among glasses, pouring it over the fruit. Sprinkle each serving with some nuts and garnish with a mint leaf. Serve with a spoon.
1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen strawberries with juice
1 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup chipped ice
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Combine frozen strawberries, orange juice, sugar and ice in blender and blend. Add blueberries and blend BRIEFLY. If you blend longer, it will turn the drink into an unappealing color. Pour into glasses and serve.