Category Archives: ASM Entertains

08/14/17

Fresh Fruit Salad with Orange Simple Syrup

Fruit salad kind of gets a bad rep.

grapes

It’s sometimes rather bland and tasteless, and even worse {shudder}… it’s boring. Sort of been-there, done-that.strawberries

But not this fruit salad!

It is loaded with fresh berries of all kinds- strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, plus big, juicy red seedless grapes. It’s simple enough to make a big batch and just store away in the fridge for snacktime or for a delicious breakfast treat, and sophisticated enough to serve a crowd for a brunch party, bring to a potluck, or even serve at a wedding or baby shower. blueberries

Then, all that deliciousness is tossed in a sweet and tangy Orange-vanilla simple syrup. It is so lovely, colorful, dripping in shiny syrup, and really, really delicious.

Image result for fruit salad with orange simple syrup

It is a perfect addition to your summertime table.
blackberries

Fruit Salad with Orange-Vanilla Simple Syrup 

{original recipe from Pioneer Woman here, but I have adapted it to our tastes… i.e.- more berries!} 
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • Juice Of 1 Orange
  • Zest Of 1 Orange
  • 2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 pints Strawberries, Hulled And Halved
  • 1 pint Blueberries
  • 1 pint Blackberries
  • 2 cups Red & White Grapes, Halved
  • Coarsely chopped Mint Leaves, optional

Directions:

For the simple syrup…

1. Place the sugar, water, orange juice and orange zest into a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 to thicken slightly. Set aside to cool, then store in the fridge until cold.

2. Mix together all the fruit in a large bowl and pour the syrup over the top, tossing gently to coat. Garnish with sprigs of mint leaves and serve.

3. Simply pack into resealable little plastic containers for easy transport and keep them chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.

Image result for fruit salad with orange simple syrup

All the glorious pleasures of summer in one delicious dish!

I hope you’ll enjoy this one…

xoxo

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08/02/17

Individuality + Chocolate Eclair Cake Mini Dessert

As Southern women, we love to entertain, to play hostess, to welcome, to assist, to help, to comfort, to make someone feel loved or feel special.

Well, there is no better way to make someone feel loved or cared for than making them something.

Especially if that something is a sweet something.
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The old saying – “the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach”, isn’t just true of men. It’s true of just about any one.

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Summer is almost over.

In fact, kids here in the Atlanta area return to school this week.

So, for these last few days of hot & sunny, firefly twinkling, long summer days & nights, invite some friends over for a cookout. Nothing more fun than time out on the patio this time of year. Light the citronella candles and break out the Adirondack chairs!

Have a little fun and make little, individual desserts, and serve them extra festively in the ultimate container of Southern hospitality — the Mason Jar.7

One of Mom’s old standby recipes is a super simple and super delicious Chocolate Eclair Cake. Traditionally made in a 9×13 rectangular pan, it is always nice to change it up and make something so simple a little more special. And, I just love individual desserts.

Perhaps the most beautiful thing about it (besides the extra decadent chocolate fudge layer that I could eat totally on its own by the spoonful) is that it is a no bake recipe. Perfect for hot summer days- no oven at a high temperature and then they can just set up for hours in the fridge until ready to serve them. 2

Gotta love that!

So, prep these precious little desserts the evening prior to the party, topped them off with their lids, and store them in the fridge until party time.

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No muss and no fuss. And, I assure you, these jars will call come back wiped clean. 6

So, here we go…

Mom’s Chocolate Fudge Eclair Cake

Yield: 8 Half-pint, Wide-mouthed Ball jars

{recipe slightly adapted from Chocolate Eclair Cake on Just us Four blog}

What you will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
  • Two 3 oz. boxes instant vanilla pudding (we use French Vanilla flavor)
  • 3 and 1/4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1 8 oz. container cool whip (thawed)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

So, let’s get started…

1. For the crust, toss graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar until combined. Then, melt 3 tablespoons butter and drizzle into cracker and sugar mixture while gently tossing with a spoon, just until cracker crumbs are moistened and start to ball-up.

Crust perfection achieved!

2. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of crust into bottom of each ball jar. Using the back of a teaspoon, pack the crust until nice, smooth, and you have reached your desired thickness.

3. In a separate bowl, mix 3 cups of cold milk with the 2 pudding packets, stirring constantly with a whisk until thickened.

*Tip: If you need to place in the refrigerator in order to get the pudding to desired consistency, you can do so. Shouldn’t take long at all.

Once properly thickened, fold in the 8 oz. Cool Whip.

4. Top graham cracker layer with a nice layer of pudding mixture. I filled mine up almost to the rim of the jar, leaving room for the chocolate fudge topping.

*Tip: If you choose to do 2 layers, feel free to do so. Simply, repeat graham cracker, and pudding layer once more until your dessert is almost full still leaving room for that all-important chocolate topping.

Refrigerate the desserts while you prepare the topping.

5. In a heavy saucepan, bring 1/4 cup whole milk to a soft boil stirring frequently with a whisk. Whisk in the cocoa powder and granulated sugar and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes or until sugar is mostly melted and the sauce isn’t grainy. Turn heat to low and add in vanilla and 2 tablespoons of butter. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

6. Top jars with a healthy layer of chocolate fudge. To do so, you may need to put the fudge into a container with a pour spout… that certainly helped me! And it keeps the jars nice and clean.

7. Seal all the jars and return to the fridge until ready to serve. If planning on serving soon, the fudge layer must have a minimum of 1 hour in the fridge to properly set up.

So delicious!5

So cute. So sweet. And the perfect way to give someone a little extra dose of special.

xoxo…

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