Guest Post: Ambrosia for All Seasons

There are two things in this world that seem to trigger your memory faster than any super computer and they are music and food. Do you ever have those moments when you get in the car and the radio comes on and it’s a song from your childhood or your wedding song and you just have to stop yourself for a minute to listen and let yourself be taken back in time, into your head and into those memories? Food can be the same way. You can smell something and it takes you back to your Momma’s kitchen or waking up to your Grandpa’s famous flapjacks and fresh maple syrup. It almost makes your heart swell because the memories are so sweet. Then, when you get a bite of something familiar, it just sends you over the moon and you almost feel like a kid again. There’s always a small part of us, I think, that’s always trying to recapture those moments of long ago.

One of my favorite desserts as a kid was fruit cocktail. Yep, straight from the can. My Mom would just put the cans into the fridge to get cold so they’d be ready for us to dig into. Such a simple little thing but I will still grab a can of fruit cocktail every now and then just so I can eat it cold right from the fridge like I did as a kid. So, it stands to reason that I love fruit desserts. Ambrosia, like many classic recipes, has lots of variations, but this one here is my favorite since it’s what I grew up with. It is made a lot around the holidays too because of the red and green colors and the whipped topping and coconut makes it look like snow. But this version is so versatile you can serve it anytime of the year. It’s a lighter, sweet way to end a heavier, wintertime meal. Plus, it’s one that can be whipped up very quickly for you to take to any party or for a quick dessert!

Ingredients:
1 (8 oz.) tub of whipped topping, thawed
1 cup sour cream
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple tidbits, drained well
1 (15 oz.) can mandarin orange segments, drained well
1 cup red or green seedless grapes, sliced in half
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1 (10 oz.) jar of maraschino cherry halves, drained very well
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine whipped topping and sour cream. Add in coconut flakes and marshmallows.
Then gently fold in pineapple, mandarin oranges, grapes and maraschino cherries and nuts.
Once combined, put some plastic wrap on it or put it in a bowl with a lid and refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

Cook’s Notes: You can easily switch out most of these ingredients for sugar-free options. This goes really well with angel food cake.

Brandie
www.thecountrycook.net

Guest Blog Post: On the Road with Rhonda & The Rage

My band and I are on a constant quest for food when we’re on the road.

We’re always on the look-out for incredible restaurants along the way. But one of the most amazing things is that fans and friends actually bring special homemade treats to us – many times “baked right with Martha White®.” One time, when we didn’t have time to stop, one of our favorite restaurants even delivered an incredible meal to the Martha White Bluegrass Express on the interstate!

But I have to say my favorite mealtime on the bus is a home cooked dinner. And that is usually beans and cornbread. Delicious and so easy to fix – even on the bus!

In the morning, I’ll put dry beans and a loaf of ham in the crock pot. When they’re tender and ready to eat, I bake up a package of Martha White Cotton Country Cornbread Mix — my personal favorite. Then I put in a pan of Martha White Sweet Yellow Cornbread Mix for those who prefer “sweet” cornbread. By the time we get out bowls, ketchup and slice an onion, both pans are hot and buttered.

We are truly blessed with great friends, fans and food on the road!