Over 20 years ago, my husband and I were members of a wonderful round dance club in Cincinnati, the Bendoliers. At Christmas time, the couple who served as President gave a brunch for the other officers in the club. As Secretary, my husband I were invited and it was a beautiful meal. I told the hostess that my favorite dish was what she called “Blueberry Salad” and asked for the recipe. She was amazed that I didn’t know this old standby and as the years have passed, I’ve seen many versions of it in community cookbooks. But at that time it was new to me and I loved it.
I adapted her recipe a little bit and I think of it as a dessert rather than a salad, but basically, it’s the same great dish we had that long-ago Christmas.
BLUEBERRY PINEAPPLE DESSERT
- Two 6 oz. packages of blackberry gelatin (I used four 3 oz. packages of Jell-O Blackberry Fusion)
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup cold fruit juice*
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- One 8 oz. can crushed pineapple
*Whenever I drain a can of fruit, I put it into a pint jar that I keep in the freezer. I keep adding the drained juice from whatever fruit I have until I have enough to replace the cold water in a gelatin recipe. In this case, I used a mixture of several kinds of fruit.
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup dairy sour cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
In a 9×9 pan, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add the cold fruit juice, stirring well. Chill in the refrigerator for about 1-1/2 hours until the mixture cools and begins to thicken. After the mixture has thickened, add the blueberries and pineapple. (Pineapple should be drained through a sieve into a cup, lightly pressing with a spoon. I add this juice to my jar of stashed juice in the freezer.)
Chill gelatin/fruit mixture until set.
After the gelatin/fruit mixture has set, make the topping: Beat together the cream cheese, dairy sour cream, granulated sugar and vanilla. Spread the topping over the gelatin/fruit mixture. Sprinkle chopped pecans over the top.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Yield: 9 delicious servings.
I offered to fix lunch for my two daughters and two grandchildren before they headed for the large pool at Coney Island in Cincinnati. One daughter suggested an oriental style pasta salad would be good and I found one on Allrecipes. This is my edited version with a few changes.
SESAME PASTA CHICKEN SALAD
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 8 oz bow tie pasta (Barilla Piccolini)
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup Teriyaki sauce
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 3 Tblsp. granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- few gratings of black pepper
- 2 chicken breast halves, baked and shredded
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add sesame seeds and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 7 minutes. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water. Transfer pasta to a large bowl.
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine canola oil, Teriyaki sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds, ginger and pepper. Shake well. Pour dressing over pasta and toss to coat evenly. Gently mix in chicken, cilantro and toasted almonds.
The three adults loved this salad – it was exactly what I was looking for in flavor and I would suggest that you not omit the fresh cilantro. It just adds so much to the salad.
For dessert, I pulled out a recipe for a pie that myoldest daughter had made for a pie contest at the Hamilton County Fair (Cincinnati) in 1985. She won an award and as soon as we tasted it, we could see why. It’s incredibly rich, so plan on at least 8 servings.
NANCY'S CHOCOLATE LIME PIE
- 16 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed (Oreo)
- 2 Tblsp. butter, melted
- 3 egg yolks
- 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
- 2 envelopes of Nestle Choco-Bake pre-melted chocolate
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 3 egg whites
- 7 oz. jar of marshmallow creme
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In a 9″ pie pan, combine crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom and up sides of pie plate. Bake @ 375 degrees F for about 8 minutes. Cool while preparing filling.
Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F.
In mixer bowl beat egg yolks at high speed about 4 minutes. Add condensed milk, pre-melted chocolate and lime juice, mixing well. Pour into prepared crust.
Beat egg whites to soft peaks, gradually adding marshmallow creme, incorporating well and beating to stiff peaks. Spread over filling.
Bake @ 350 degrees F for 12 minutes until meringue is golden brown.
Chill for 2-3 hours.
Note: It’s important to chill the pie well and to chill any leftovers to make the pie easier to serve.