Monday, May 5, 2014

Strawberry Tapioca Salad

We spent the past 5 days in Southern California, visiting Disneyland and the beach.  My today's task list has been well used while I have been doing laundry and getting my house put back in order.  Why is it that you need a day of vacation to recover from your vacation!?  Dinner was in the back of my mind when my friend called and reminded me of our neighborhood block party.  I had totally forgotten about it, but was excited that all I had to do for dinner was make a salad to take to the party.  Strawberries are in season right now, so I decided on this yummy salad.  I have a few different salads that are my go to.  You know the type, easy and everyone asks for the recipe because they are so good, this is one of those.  
We actually call this "Peach Salad" at our house.  Then depending on which fruit it has in it we say, "Peach Salad with Strawberries".  Confusing I know...the first time we had it was with peaches, and the name peach salad stuck.  The thing that's so great about this salad is that it is very versatile as to which flavor it is.  My absolute favorite is peach loaded with fresh peaches...YUM!  But, since it's not peach season, today it's strawberry salad. 

This is a salad that needs to be made early so it has time to cool and thicken.  It can also be doubled easily for a large crowd (that's what I'm doing today). 
In microwave bowl or sauce pan mix and bring to a boil
1 small pkg of INSTANT vanilla pudding
1 small pkg of tapioca pudding
1 small pkg of jello - any flavor  (strawberry for me today)
3 cups of cold water
I cook min in the microwave in 2 min increments, whisking well in between.  It usually takes about 10 min for it to come to a boil.  Once it has come to a boil, place in the fridge till cool and thickened.  This will take a few hours.  I try to make this the night before, or first thing in the morning if it's for dinner. 
After it has cooled,
Fold in an 8 oz container of cool whip and mix until combined
Add fruit of choice  (lots of fresh sliced strawberries)
It is so simple and so yummy!  Add a piece of grilled meat and a veggie and it's the perfect summer meal. 
Our favorite combinations are; peach jello with peaches, strawberry jello with strawberries, orange jello with mandarin oranges.  If I know it will all get eaten (because it doesn't save well) I like to add bananas to the strawberry and orange salads, but make sure you add them right before you serve so they don't brown. I make this salad year round and use bottled fruit when fresh isn't available and it's still a big hit!

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