Valentine’s Ambrosia Fruit Salad

I have always loved fruit, so when I discovered fruit ambrosia somewhere around the age of 10, I was in heaven. I remember my mom used to make this phenomenal pistachio ambrosia fruit salad with Jell-O pudding mix and crushed pineapple. It was always a hit. Anyway, our newsroom here in New England is famous for its impromptu potlucks and celebrations for various holidays - any reason to throw a party. So when I received an email last week announcing that we were having a Valentine’s party and encouraged employees to bring in red and pink Valentine’s-themed dishes to share, my mind started churning. After some brainstorming, as well as realizing most people would most likely be making or buying some sort of cake or candy, I came up with this recipe. It was a hit … one of my coworkers even admitted to having three servings. And, even though Valentine’s is in the name, this dish is delicious year-round.

1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 - 16 oz. container Cool Whip
2 Tbsp. cherry juice or grenadine
1 lb. strawberries, chopped
1 - 12 oz. jar maraschino cherries, de-stemmed and chopped
1 lb. red grapes, rinsed and de-stemmed
3 cups miniature marshmallows
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Blend cream cheese, Cool Whip and cherry juice together in a bowl until the mixture turns a bright pink color. Feel free to add more cherry juice or grenadine for a darker pink. Mix well and add the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for five hours or overnight before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.


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