Creating the Perfect Fruit Tray With Dip Recipes

Shelly Hill asked:

Creating the perfect fruit tray is really easy. All you need is a round serving platter, a dip container and some fruit serving tongs.

When preparing your serving platter, make sure its clean and dry. I like to line my serving platter with some fresh lettuce leaves so that it looks presentable.

Your next step will be to wash all of your fresh fruits and pat them dry.

Whole Fruits: Strawberries, Blueberries, Red Grapes, Green Grapes and Cherries.
Sliced Fruits: Bananas, Pineapple, Kiwi, Red and Yellow Apples, Cantaloupe, Honeydew and Watermelon
Tip: soak banana and apple slices in a little lemon or pineapple juice for 3-5 minutes to prevent them from browning.

You will want to lay your fruits onto your serving platter in sections, leaving the center area open for the dip container. Try to keep fruit juice to a minimum.

For Garnishing, I like to use bright red cherries.

Keep your fruit tray covered and chilled until serving time. The above list of fruits is just to give you an idea of what you can use on your tray, you don’t have to use all of them.

Here are some great dip recipes to make and use with your fruit tray.

Marshmallow Cream Cheese Dip

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
7 oz. marshmallow creme

Blend together both ingredients in a small bowl. Chill for 1 hour before serving.

Strawberry Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 jar of marshmallow creme
2 Tsp. strawberry juice (optional)

Whip cream cheese; add in strawberry juice and marshmallow creme. Beat until smooth. Chill for 1 hour before serving.

Maple Dip

1 pkg. (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1-2 tbsp. maple syrup

In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugars and syrup; beat until smooth. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Florida Oranges

Kent Pinkerton asked:

Americans believe that Ponce de Leon and his men brought the first orange to Florida in 1513. Since then, the state has bloomed into the second-largest orange growing producer in the world, after Brazil in South America. Although enjoyed as a delicious fruit, around ninety percent of Florida oranges are used to prepare orange juice which is consumed all over the world, giving an annual return of $8 billion to the state. Hold a Florida orange in your hand and you will realize it is heavier than the other oranges grown outside the state. This is largely due to the high juice content and very thin peel.

Growers do not pick the fruits from the trees until they are ripe. If plucked raw, the fruit will not ripen further. Interestingly, the oranges growing on the south side of an orange tree tastes sweeter than those in any other location. Fruit growing on the north side of the tree will give you sodium-free but tasteless fruit. Health practitioners heavily recommend including these oranges in your diet, as Florida oranges are an excellent source of important minerals like potassium, calcium, folate, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorous, magnesium and copper. A medium-sized fruit will give you only seventy calories, and is fat- and sodium-free. Moreover, this will provide you with antioxidants, from the vitamin C in the fruit. Antioxidants help you retain your youthfulness and improve your immune system.

Storing your oranges in a plastic bag will deteriorate the quality of the fruit. In the absence of air, moisture develops between the rind and the plastic container, leading to unsightly and harmful mold growth. Ideally, your citrus should be stored at a temperature between 35 -50 degrees, which will ensure it remains fresh for a month and can retain its original sweet taste.

Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

Paul Evatt asked:

Naturally with homemade ice cream recipes you do need an ice cream making machine which can vary in price from around $30.00 and upwards. At these prices it can be well worth making your own ice cream and not just for those special occasions.

The great thing about homemade ice cream recipes is that you can put whatever ingredients you fancy in them. You can also make them to suit everyone’s taste like sugar free, low calorie, non-dairy or even the great creamy regular ice cream.

You can use all kinds of fruit for the ingredients, apples, pears, apricots, plums, berries of all sorts, bananas, kiwi fruit, lemons, oranges and the list goes on. Somewhere there will be an ingredient to suit almost anyone’s taste even if it is exotic.

Here’s a tidbit that you may not have known, ice cream was said to have been invented by a French Chef of King Charles the 1st who apparently dished it up as a dessert after a sumptuous state banquet.

King Charles has even been alleged to have paid his chef a princely sum so that he did not share the ingredients of his delightful dish to anyone but instead keep it for the royal personage only. Naturally like all best kept secrets they get out in the end.

To this day it is not known whether Ice Cream was invented or came about naturally because even in the roman era it was known that something similar to ice cream was also around in the time of the Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar. It has been said that he sent slaves to the mountains to bring back ice and snow to cool or freeze the fruit drinks that he was said to be fond of.

One can even imagine times before that when water was frozen over that people would mix some kind of fruit with snow or ice to take as a substitute for frozen water or even to give it some taste. After all this is how wine and beer came about.

What we can be sure of is that ice cream in one form or another is around to stay and we should make the most of it. Ice cream is the delicious treat that finishes off a great meal, party or that very special occasion for nearly everyone.

In the extremely hot weather it is great for that cooling refreshing sensation that it gives you as you enjoy it in the heat of the day or night. To have it everyday would be an indulgence that may be a bit too much for most of us but as there are a great variety of recipes it is now nearly possible to get ice cream that is almost good enough to eat daily.

For the health conscious amongst us it is still only for the occasional treat, but what a treat! If you fancy getting around to making your own homemade ice cream recipes but you don’t have a clue on how or where to start then you may wish to try the link in my bio.

Happy Homemade Ice cream recipes!


Scrumptious Dessert Recipes

Karen J. Graves asked:

Regardless of if you’re a cooking enthusiast, or simply a pro at ordering pizza, you probably find time to whip up your favorite dessert recipes once in a while!

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’re in luck: from birthdays and anniversaries, to holidays and dinner parties, there’s always a great reason to get out your favorite mixing bowl and explore fun new dessert recipes.

One of the best things about dessert recipes is that they’re usually pretty difficult to ruin. A flattened souffl√© might not be as pretty as the recipe photo, but you can always hide a little imperfection under a scoop of fresh whipped cream, ice cream or gelato.

Trying to impress someone special? Don’t give waxy store-bought chocolates to your sweetheart on an anniversary or Valentine’s Day! Instead, surprise them with homemade brownies, decadent red velvet cake or sugar cookies decorated with sweet chocolate kisses nestled in the center.

If chocolaty cakes aren’t your sweet-tooth style, you might enjoy creating fruit-filled desserts. From standard apple pies to adventurous fruit tarts layered with colorful kiwi, star fruit or berries, the flavor combinations are endless. Custards, bread puddings and cheesecakes also make great alternatives to brownies and chocolaty dessert recipes.

Dinner guests might not be able to agree on whether escargot is a culinary delight or a slimy garden critter, but everyone is sure to rejoice at the sight of homemade desserts hitting the table at the end of the meal. Whether your friends are food snobs or plate cleaners, something as simple as a warm plate of cookies filled with chocolate chips, nuts or dried berries will keep everyone smiling.

For a more sophisticated twist on cookies after dinner, try serving thin, crispy cookies or biscotti with small glasses of a sweet dessert wine for dipping.

Dessert recipes also make a great way to introduce kids to the fun of cooking. Stirring up recipes in the mixing bowl (and licking the spoon) is always fun for little ones, and they are sure to love decorating sugar cookies or mini-cupcakes with colorful frosting and sprinkles for holidays or birthdays-or as a way to pass time on a rainy day.

Of course, not all dessert recipes have to be so decadent.

Lighter dessert recipes are particularly nice in the summer time. For an easy treat, a tasty selection of fresh fruits can be sliced and arranged to create colorful fruit trays, or blended with ice for refreshing smoothies. For another kid-friendly project, try helping them create popsicles made from pureed fruits, fruit juices or yogurt-based smoothies.

Homemade ice creams and sorbets are easier to make than you might think, and making them at home allows you to ensure that the ingredients are fresh and natural, high in flavor and low in unwanted extras like excess sugar, corn syrups and preservatives.

Fruits, chocolates, cakes, cookies, sorbets-what do all of these dessert recipes have in common? Fun! Creating and cooking recipes is fun, but sharing them is even better. What are you waiting for? Get that mixing bowl ready!

Enjoy the Benefits of Green Tea with this Green Tea Smoothie Recipe

Joan Jones asked:

Studies have shown that green tea helps to build your immune system with its antioxidants, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, reduces the risk of getting various types of cancer and Alzheimers, and all the while it promotes oral health and increases metabolism.

Smoothies are an easy way to enjoy the benefits of green tea, plus fruits for vitamins, antioxidents and fiber. Smoothies are nutritious, easy to make and provide a healthy meal-on-the-go. If you don’t have time for breakfast, make it the evening before and take it along. Here’s a simple, vitamin-filled smoothie recipe which allows you to add the health benefits of green tea to your daily diet.

Begin with two cups of green tea, made with four tea bags so it’s nice and strong.

Pour the green tea into a blender and add any or all of the following:

banana-source of potassium and fiber

four ounces of yogurt, flavor of your choice-great source of probiotics

a handful of nutritious blueberries or strawberries

tablespoon of soy vanilla powder for protein

a dash of cinnamon for your cholesterol and blood sugar

This smoothie is packed with antioxidants, protein, vitamins and minerals and makes a quick meal. If you’d like to add some fiber, throw in a couple of tablespoons of oatmeal.

Blend until all ingredients are smooth.

Don’t limit yourself to these ingredients either. Other possible ingredients are:

orange juice-Great source of vitamin C

mango, kiwi or other fruit or berries-source of vitamins and antioxidants

a spoonful of honey

peanut butter for protein

Let your imagination run wild!

Children love smoothies. It’s a wonderful way to give them a healthy meal or snack and can replace sugar-packed sodas and fruit juice.

For more healthy recipes, weight loss tips and healthy living tips, to go

© Copyright 2006 by Joan Jones

Pie Recipes – Tips and Facts

Vicki Churchill asked:

I do not know anyone who does not like a slice or pie do you? There are so many different varieties, apple pie, cherry pie, pecan pie, kiwi lime pie, the list goes on! That is not to mention the savory pies, good old steak and kidney, mince beef and onion, cheese and potato and all the others!

The actual content of the pie is only half the pleasure, the crust or topping is something else, some heavy and stodgy, others light and crisp

My family enjoy any type or pie, but when I first got married I struggled to find different pie recipes. Sometimes I would start with a recipe I had used before and with confidence I slightly changed the content and sat back as I watched my family sampled my new pie recipe.

My Pie Recipe Tips.

The main thing to remember when cooking is to have fun, whether it be a pie recipe or not, do not worry if it does not turn out perfect, you can always try again.

If you are cooking a savoury pie such as shepherd’s pie, remember you do not have to keep it simple, try changing the potato topping for sweet potato or mix potato and Swede for an extra sweet taste.

Another idea is to mash plenty of cream and cheese onto your mash before topping your pie, although this pie recipe is not so good for the hips it really is delicious!

When trying out a new pie recipe make sure you understand the different cooking terminologies. This can alter the final flavour of a dish as most pie recipes can be prepared in a number of different ways.

If you are stuck for ideas for new pie recipes never forget that information and ingredients for pie recipes is readily available on the internet at the click of a button.

I would strongly recommend you do not invite the world and his wife over for dinner if you are trying out new pie recipes, there is nothing worse than feeling of disappointment if it does not work out to plan. Always test on your family first but ask them to be honest.

When trying new pie recipes always try to get the freshest ingredients you can, visit your local organic farm store if possible, choose vegetables or fruit that in season to be guaranteed the best taste.

Try to think what would go best along side your dish If it is a sweet desert try to consider if it would taste better hot will a cool ice cream next to it. Or if it is savoury what vegetables or side dishes would look best, I would always go for bright colours as the pasty or topping can sometime look pale and boring.

Above all remember to test your food along the way so you know if you should add something to give your pie recipe that little something extra.

Fresh Squeezed Fruit and Vegetable Juices With the Best Orange Juicer

Peter Sicoli asked:

Ahh…Fresh produce, vegetables and fruits, we all know how delicious they are and how wonderful they are for our bodies. But have you ever considered taking the fresh produce and making some fresh juice with an Omega Juicer? The best orange juicer and lemon juicer is a stainless steel such as the Omega Juicer. The Omega Juicer, available in stainless steel is very easy to clean and is quite attractive if you intend to leave it on the counter in your kitchen or bar area.

Imagine that fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning, or the fresh lemonade in the afternoon, and perhaps better yet, what about the cocktails made with all fresh juices any time during our hectic days. Sure, fresh fruit or vegetable juice is delicious…but nothing beats the nutritional value it delivers to your body.

Your juicer will create a juice product full of all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are essential for your body. The best part, this form of delivery is instantaneous. your body will immediately benefit from this infusion of vitamins and minerals. Your body will capture these nutrients and use them instantly and will be loving every ounce of the fresh juice you consume. You should learn as much about essential vitamins as you can, and see why vitamins are essential for our bodies.

I have been making fresh fruit juice for years in my kitchen, and my kids are in love with it. Sometimes I take whatever is available in the fruit bowl and come up with a delicious, refreshing and nutrient enriched beverage that the children love and ask for more. Never is there a piece of fruit, or a veggie that will go bad in our house as I just place it in the juicer a produce a healthy beverage.

So what are you waiting for? Get your hands on the best orange juicer a citrus juicer or plan to get a simple, stainless steel, easy to clean Omega juicer today. So get your juicer, find the best orange juicer or citrus juicer and find all your fresh produce at your local market…and enjoy.

Try Kiwi Fruit For Good Taste and Good Health

Suzanne Lieurance asked:

Maybe “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But, years ago, that same sentiment didn’t seem to apply to a strange looking little fruit from China known as Yang Tao.

Missionaries in the early 20th century brought Yang Tao to New Zealand, and in 1960 it was renamed the Chinese Gooseberry. In 1961, the Chinese Gooseberry made its first appearance in the United States and the name was changed again. This time to kiwi, in honor of the native bird of New Zealand, whose brown fuzzy coat looks somewhat like the brown fuzzy skin of this unusual little fruit. This name change seems to have been a good move. Doesn’t a kiwi fruit sound much more appealing than a Chinese Gooseberry?

Today, people everywhere love kiwi fruit. And, with good reason. The kiwi has a sweet unique flavor and is loaded with vitamin C, as well as a variety of other vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that promote good health.

Kiwi fruit can be eaten by itself, but it is also delicious in tossed salads, or fruit salads. But here’s a tip you might not know. Kiwi fruits should be eaten soon after they are cut because they contain enzymes that act as a food tenderizer. These enzymes can tenderize the kiwi, making it overly soft. These enzymes can also make other fruits soggy, so add kiwi to fruit salads at the last minute.

It’s easy to enjoy kiwi fruit. You can even eat the skin. Just rub off the fuzz, wash the kiwi, slice it, and enjoy.

Goji Berries – The Health Benefits of Goji Berries

Ray Kent asked:

The below health benefits of goji berries are substantiated from numerous independent medical research contained in the United States of America, National Library of Medicine

The proven health benefits of goji berries (Lycium barbarum) include:

> Powerful anti-aging properties

> Powerful anti-cancer properties

> Weight loss effects

> Increases libido (sexual drive) and enhances fertility

> Immune system booster

> Increases athletic performance

Nutritional value

Goji berries are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth! They contain:

> the highest levels of antioxidants of any known food (10 x higher than blueberries)

> 12 times more vitamin C than kiwi fruit

> more beta-carotene than carrots

> more iron than spinach

> 18 amino acids

> Vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E

> 21 trace minerals and

> Many natural compounds that promote health and vitality.

Recent medical research has identified several powerful medicinal properties of goji berries, including: anti-aging, anti-cancer, weight loss promotion, enhancing libido and fertility, immune system boosting and much more.

To maximize the medicinal benefits of the berries, ensure that you eat the whole berry as nature intended. There are a number of processed products on the market that include a small amount of goji berry extract. These include goji juice, tablets etc. All natural foods that have been processed lose a significant amount of their nutritional properties due to the oxidation occurs during manufacturing

Goji berries can be eaten as a snack just as they are or soaked and added to muesli, fruit salad, trail mixes, yogurt or smoothies (see below for recipes). About 20-30 grammes (two dessert spoonfuls) is a good recommended daily dose.

Juicing Recipes for Skin Care

Melissa Jawai asked:

Energy boosting fresh juice has powerful healing and rejuvenating properties that can help people with skin problems. Evidence illustrates that juicing helps the organs and the body cleanse itself, which results in a softer and healthier looking complexion. Our skin is the body’s largest organ so caring for the skin can be achieved by a diet which combines healthy food with fresh juicing.

The following free recipes contain fruits and vegetables, which are known to promote and enhance the skin. Using juicing recipes as an additional treatment for skin care deserves the best produce, preferably organic. These recipes are not cures for major skin concerns but consuming fresh organic juice will assist in better looking and healthier skins. When you make juicing a natural part of your daily diet you will notice a difference in increased energy and a healthy complexion.


A healthy diet with energy boosting vegetable juice recipes will give the best treatment for skin care.

Vegetable 8

1/2 Tomato

1/4 Cucumber

1 Carrot

1 Celery stalk

Handful Spinach

1/2 Red Pepper

1/2-Cup Cabbage

1 Green Onion

Very powerful skin healer, protector and cleanser.

Skin Deep

2 Beets (with leaves)

2 Cucumbers

5 Carrots

Carrot juice is a wonderful treatment for sunburn.

Carrot Blush

4 Carrots

1 Beet

6 Romaine leaves or Dark Green Lettuce

4 Spinach leaves

4 Sprigs parsley

This is a blood regenerator, high in iron and chlorophyll.

Skin Tonic

1 Cucumber

2 Sticks of Celery

1 Small to medium clove of Garlic

Root Ginger – 1 inch

Cucumber juice is beneficial for skin care as it is rich in the mineral silica, which is good for the complexion and skin elasticity.


Juicing for skin care will result in detoxification, weight loss and healthy looking skin.

Runners Rise

3 Oranges

2 Pears

1 Small yam

Oranges improve skin texture, moisture and reduce body heat.

Skin Smoother

5 Apples

2 Large carrots

1 Large stick of celery

1 Cucumber

Apple and cucumber encourage smooth satin skin.

Clear Complexion

2 Cups spinach

1 Cup of parsley

4 Oranges

Spinach is rich in iron and orange juice is full of vitamin C, which work wonders for a clear complexion.


Fruit juices make for a great morning energy boost.

Melon Mover

1 Cantaloupe

5 Ice cubes

Dash of cinnamon

Melons are powerful agents in the fight against skin cancer.


8 Strawberries

4 oz Green or purple grapes

Fresh juices hydrate and combat dry skin.

Citrus Crush

1 Pineapple

2 Pink grapefruit

2 Lemons-juice and rind

2 Limes-juice and rind

Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant that helps promote healthy skin.


Smoothies are the best alternative for a healthy breakfast.

Strawberry Smoothie

30-60 Strawberries

9-12 Medium or large bananas

7-8 Cups fresh squeezed orange juice

1 Cup flaxseed meal

Health Smoothie

1 Kiwi fruit, peeled

1/4 Cantaloupe, with skin

1 Ripe banana

Tropical Smoothie

1 Pineapple

2 Mangoes

4 Passion fruit

2 Papayas

2 Apples

Ginger root – 1 inch, peeled

Papaya and pineapple are rich in vitamin C, E and iron to improve skin complexion and metabolism.