Pretty (and YUMMY!) Fruit Salad

fruitThere is something about these hot, HOT Arizona summers that just get me in the mood for a crisp, refreshing fruit salad.

When I was little and still living in New Jersey, my grandparents used to take us to pick strawberries on those humid summer days. We would make fruit salads, desserts or just eat those succulent berries all by themselves. Ahhh the good old days.

I pulled this recipe from one of my favorite down-to-earth chefs – Ree Drummond 9aka the Pioneer Woman). I realize she makes hearty, cowboy recipes that aren’t exactly the healthiest things to put in our bodies, but she will throw in a salad or fruit dish every now and then.

Her recipe calls for a sugar and water mixture to sweeten the recipe up, but I just like to use to some freshly-squeezed orange juice to kick up the antioxidants and Vitamin C levels.

This dish would make a great dessert or side dish as any BBQ. In fact, I’m eating it right now for breakfast!

Enjoy!

Pretty Fruit Salad:

The ingredients:

  • 1 green apple, cubed
  • 1 pint of strawberries, chopped
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • A couple of mint leaves, chopped

The method:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss together. Refrigerate until cold and serve. Great as leftovers!

Chocolate Frosted Cupcakes with Raspberries (GF)

cupcakeI’m not really a “sweets” person. I’ve always considered myself to be more of a “salt tooth” but when you throw raspberries into the mix, I’m game. I made these just to see what gluten-free cupcakes taste like. Man, am I glad I took a stab at this recipe – they are absolutely delicious!

Chocolate Frosted Cupcakes with Raspberries (GF)

The ingredients:

For cupcakes:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Raspberries to garnish

For the frosting:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

The method:

For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper cupcake liners
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk. Combine milk and vanilla in a separate bowl.
  4. With the mixer on low, add half the flour mixture to the butter, then the milk mixture and finally the rest of the flour.
  5. Divide the batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes or until they feel springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the coconut oil, butter, and chocolate chips. Melt over low heat until smooth, stirring frequently, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and beat in the cocoa powder and salt.Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the heavy cream, sour cream, and vanilla; whisk to combine.
  4. Alternately add the powdered sugar and cream mixture to the melted chocolate mixture, beating well after each addition.
  5. Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes and top with raspberries.