What’s Cookin’ – Almost Ambrosia Salad

We had the family over this past weekend for a mid-Summer BBQ.  We usually get together over Fourth of July, but since we were just getting back from vacation that weekend, and we’re all going to be together over Labor Day weekend, I was going to skip it this year.  But our twins are going off to college and may not be able to make it Labor Day weekend.  They really wanted to see everyone so we went ahead and got together.  I think it’s sweet when teenagers ask to see their aunts, uncles and cousins.

We had a great time, and we had a lot of great food.  This was our menu:

Jalapeño Poppers
Hot Cheesy Bean Dip
Caprese Salad
Gussy Salad
Almost Ambrosia Salad
Crabby Stuffed Eggs
Baked Beans
Corn on the Cob
Texas Hash Browns
Hot Dogs
Cake Balls with Sorbet
Bourbon Slushes

Sounds like a lot of work, but other than the Crabby Stuffed Eggs and the Jalapeño Poppers, everything is super easy and quick to put together.  I can say that since my daughter made the cake balls.

Caprese Salad with tomatoes and basil from my garden.  Super yummy and refreshing.

The hardest part of menu planning with my family is dealing with their pickiness.  I remembered NOT to use tarragon in the Crabby Stuffed Eggs because my oldest daughter and son-in-law don’t like it.  My middle daughter removes the bacon from the jalapeño poppers before she’ll eat them.  I put bell peppers in the Texas Hash Browns because I think it makes them look pretty and taste good, too, but it means my hubby won’t eat them.

Sangria with red wine, white wine, orange vodka, orange rum, assorted fruits and cinnamon sticks.

I have been trying to find a recipe for homemade sangria that is similar to one that I had at a local restaurant, and I came close this time.  There were three ingredients in it that were problems – cinnamon sticks, orange flavored rum, and pineapple.  Turns out my oldest daughter doesn’t care for the taste of cinnamon, and my son-in-law won’t drink anything with rum in it.  And, of course, I then discovered that my brother’s fiancée is allergic to pineapple!

Oh well, that left more for me.

Not only did the sangria include pineapple, but my Almost Ambrosia Salad did, too.  What is Almost Ambrosia Salad?  Well, it is Ambrosia Salad without the coconut.  I leave out the coconut because no one in my family (other than me) likes coconut.

Oh, the tragedy of trying to feed people food that they like and won’t make them sick!

You might be wondering at this point why I even post about food.  I know I’m wondering that myself.

So, one of the items specially requested for this family get together was my Almost Ambrosia Salad.  It is super simple to make, everyone loves it, and it is very refreshing on a hot Summer day.  And it was hot.  So hot that no one even went outside.

Almost Ambrosia Salad – ingredients.  Pineapple tidbits (you must use tidbits and not crushed pineapple), Mandarin oranges, mini-marshmallows and Cool Whip.

Almost Ambrosia Salad – step one.  Open the cans of pineapple and Mandarin oranges and dump them into a colander to drain off all the juices.

Almost Ambrosia Salad – step two.  Dump the drained fruit, the marshmallows and the Cook Whip into a large bowl.

Almost Ambrosia Salad – step three.  Mix well.

Almost Ambrosia Salad.  Put the mixture into your serving bowl and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.  Sit down and rest.  Putting this recipe together was hard work.

Almost Ambrosia Salad – ready to eat.

Cool, refreshing, and yummy.

P.S. Do not serve to your brother’s fiancée who is allergic to pineapple.

P.P.S.  Oh, and feel free to add a few cups of shredded coconut if you don’t have a picky family like me.

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