Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Nonna used To Say...

Got Agita? It's Not What You Eat; It's What Eats You

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cherry Bliss Fruit Dip

I live in an Active Adult Community where diet is an evil word. There's always an event to attend and most events involve, food. The saving grace is that there are many exercise programs to take advantage of...zumba, aerobics, circuit training, pilates, tennis, men's boot camp & more. The fitness center is more than adequate for a great workout. The community is so lovely and safe that just walking and admiring my surroundings can keep me fit-as-a-fiddle. And it does work!
But I can't let my guard, no, no...because on the other side of the scale is, a monthly Wine Social, Pot Luck Supper, and a cafe that serves tasty meals. Add in the "special" activities like, Mardi Gras, Valentine's Day Dinner/Dance, 50's Night, Lobster Boil to name a few and the pounds pack on. Having 12 close Girl Friends adds up to lots of house parties and dinners out. But I wouldn't trade any of this. Living in Victoria Gardens is my slice of Paradise. Ain't Life Grand!?

I never made a Fruit Dip, maybe because it sounds like something a skinny, health conscious woman might have in her recipe box. The last one I tasted was at our Holiday House Crawl. Maryann served a gooey caramel dip with a variety of fruit slices. So darn good. I was trying to come up with something to bring to the Wine Social. While perusing the refrigerated section of the supermarket, I saw an eye-catching green colored dip. The ingredients were interesting, but the price ridiculously high. I would need about 4 containers and that wasn't happening. Sooooo, I do what I often do....I created it myself. I was happy with the results. Sweet but not overly so, tangy, crunchy yet smooth and refreshing.

The one I brought to the Wine Social had been made with pistachio and green in color. When another Foodie, Loretta, tasted it she liked it lots and suggested I make it for a baby shower we were going to attend. Pink for the baby girl just born. I changed the pistachio to cherry and the apple slices to strawberries. It worked. Hope you enjoy both recipes.

Cherry Bliss Fruit Dip 

8 oz sour cream
4 oz (approx.1/2 of a 7 1/2 oz jar) of Marshmallow Fluff
8 oz can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped fine
1 1/2 teaspoon cherry Jello mix
1/2 to 1 packet of Splenda (blends better than sugar)
In a hand or electric chopper chop the crushed pineapple so it is very fine. Do the same with the walnuts. In a medium size mixing bowl, blend together the sour cream, marshmallow fluff,  & Splenda. Add cherry Jello until you achieve the desired color. I used 1 1/2 teaspoon for a light pink. Mix. Fold in pineapple and nuts. Chill covered until serving.
Wash strawberries at the last minute and serve with fruit dip.
yes, the dip is green
For Pistachio Paradise Fruit Dip: swap cherry Jello mix for pistachio instant pudding. This pudding has bits of pistachio nuts already in it. You can add extra nuts if you desire. All the ingredients remain the same. Great for St. Patrick's Day supper or even green for Christmas! I served this with apple slices. Sorry photo doesn't show the crushed pineapple, but it was included in the final recipe. Re: the Splenda, add amount to your sweet taste.
Remember To Make Memories At The Table

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Eggnog Loaf

I love eggnog and right before Christmas I buy a quart. Yes, it's fattening and the richness doesn't always agree with my tummy, but it tastes so darn good. And what's Christmas morning without eggnog sprinkled with nutmeg? Okay, a drop of rum or brandy doesn't hurt either. So after the one glass, the container goes back in the refrigerator. Sadly, the leftover often gets dumped in the sink.

 Ahhhh, but not this year. First of all, I read online that eggnog can be frozen. Who knew?! Secondly, I was given a recipe for an Eggnog Loaf from who else but, my baking diva sister, Joan. Since I intended to bake with the eggnog, it wouldn't bother me if the texture changed a bit. Thinking back, I do remember making a wonderful eggnog bread pudding one year, but it was around Thanksgiving not after Christmas.

I thought I was through baking for awhile after the hearty amount of goodies I baked for Christmas. But a friend, Jon from my community, was having a birthday on the 2nd of January and I thought this loaf would be a nice birthday surprise. His wife, Shari, commented that his special day kind of gets lost in the holiday shuffle.

It was rather brave of me or stupid to try something new on the poor guy, but it looked like a simple recipe and, heck, I had all the ingredients. Shari assured me that the loaf was moist and tasty. Jon enjoyed it and Shari even toasted a slice the next morning for breakfast. Good idea!

Eggnog Loaf
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups eggnog
3 Tablespoons rum
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter (soften)
1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups AP flour
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Powdered sugar to dust top of loaf

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
Blend together eggs, eggnog, rum, sugar, butter & oil.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla pudding & nutmeg.
Add to eggnog mixture and stir just enough to moisten; pour into prepared pan.
Bake loaf for 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan. Cool completely. Dust top with powdered sugar.
*if it needs extra time to bake through, you can cover top with foil if it is getting too brown.
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Remember to Make Memories At The Table