I have had many culinary misadventures in all my time cooking and baking. Where do I even start? From bread that didn't rise or cakes that I forgot to add sugar to or where I used cornstarch instead of baking powder. I'm habitually horrible at over-salting things. You name it - I've done it. So if y'all ever get to thinkin' that I'm some sort of guru at cooking or baking...well, sorry to disappoint. I make mistakes all the time. And lots of my experimental recipes don't turn out right...at all. But the great thing about food? There's always tomorrow and a chance to try again.
And today is redemption day for my seriously-gone-wrong fruit salad. If you're a regular follower of my blog, you might remember me talking about a fruit salad I took to a potluck my husband's boss was having. You can read all about that fun here. Gene and I were very young and newly married. I worked a lot and did not cook or bake much at all in those days.
I thought I could easily throw together a fruit salad after I got off work and before heading to his boss's house. I picked up some fruit and a couple spray cans of whipped cream. I threw all the fruit in a bowl, squirted a bunch of whipped cream into the bowl, stirred and threw into the fridge while I got changed out of my work clothes.Who knew that spray whipped cream can turn so soupy so quickly? I went to take it outta the fridge before we left and about cried. My fruit was floating in liquidy cream. Floating!
My husband Gene, being the ever-loving supporter he is, said it was just fine. I was mortified to take this gigantic bowl of fruit soup. But I had no time to make anything else. So I hung my head in shame and my hubby grabbed the bowl and off we went. That poor, pathetic bowl of fruit soup sat on the table with all the other magnificent food. It remained untouched the whole night. Well, except for my husband who graciously scooped some up and his co-worker who was trying so hard to make me feel better. I was so embarrassed. My first invite to the bosses house and I had royally goofed. But in the scheme of things...it really wasn't the end of the world, was it? Lesson learned on that one.
But here I am now, all these years laters, and maybe in some small way, I can redeem myself. I can turn that fruit soup into a proper creamy fruit salad. No squirty whipped cream in this one folks.
For the dressing:
1 cup Greek Vanilla Yogurt
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. lemon juice (optional)
For the salad:
4 cups chopped apples
2 cups seedless grapes, halved if large
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained really well
1 cup walnuts
1/3 cup raisins (optional)
I'm using a (16 oz.) bag of apples that are already sliced. These apples have already had vitamin C added to keep them from turning brown quickly. I just chopped them up into thirds to make them more bite-sized. If you are using freshly chopped apples, you will want to add lemon juice to your apples to keep them from turning brown (see above ingredients for amount to use)
In a large bowl, add all your salad ingredients. Make sure you drain your can of mandarin oranges really well before adding them to the bowl.
Next, whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined.
Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients.
And stir gently until combined.
No more fruit soup!
Serve and refrigerate any leftovers.
Cook's Notes: I like to use the Greek Yogurt because it is thicker. This dressing can go with any fruits you might enjoy. So feel free to add whatever fruits you have on hand; blueberries, strawberries, etc. Just make sure if you use any canned fruit that you don't get the kind that is packed in heavy syrup or it will be far too sweet. And make sure to drain it very well.