Another Picnic Dish (Recipe: X-quisite Layered Fruit Salad)

I volunteered to do another dish for the Virtual Picnic, hosted by Louise at Months of Edible Celebrations. To refresh anyone's memory on the rules, each blogger chooses a letter and "brings" a dish that begins with that letter, also including all the dishes brought by the previous bloggers. Okay, here we go!

I'm going on a picnic, and I'm bringing...

A: Almond Joy Pie
By Modern Day Ozzie and Harriet

B: Baked Beans
By Grub and Stuff

C: Chocolate Picnic Cake
By Dying for Chocolate

D: Dutch Funnel Cake
By Sporadic Cook

E: Easy Blender Chicken Pie
By Simple Recipes

F: Five Bean Salad
By Moveable Feasts

G: Granola Bars
By Fun Foods on a Budget

H: Herb and Cheese Pasta Salad
By Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

I: Incredibly Fruity Raspberry Cakes
By Raspberry and Chipotle

J: Jeweled Picnic Bars
By Rochelle's Vintage and Frugal Recipes

K: Kaltschale (Cold Fruit Soup)
By Kaffeeklatsch (German)

L: Long Island Lemonade Cocktail
By Culinary Types

M: Mushroom Tart
By Gherkins & Tomatoes

N: Nut Roast
By Green Gourmet Giraffe

O: Olive Nut Bread
By Chaya's Comfy Cook

P: Pomegranate Mousse Cake
By More Than a Mount Full

Q: Quiche
By Sweet and Savory

R: Raspberry Chocolate Macarons
By Anne's Food

S: Spicy Glazed Shrimp and Veggie Kabobs
By God's Perfect Promises

T: Turkey and Pear Wraps w/ Curried Aioli
By Girlichef

U: Unoriginal Whole Foods Salad Bar
By Mae's Food Blog

V: Vegetable Things of Spring Salad..Veal Shank with Risotto
..and Viennese Chocolate-Cherry Torte
By Postcards From The Dinner Table

W: White Caramel Popcorn
By One Crazy Cookie

My letter X: X-quisite Layered Fruit Salad (recipe below)
By Fun Foods on a Budget

I invented this exquisite salad tonight specifically for this picnic game! This recipe is partially based on my family's favorite fruit salad recipe, and utilizes the fruits I happened to have on hand. The layering is something I just thought of tonight, and adds a touch of elegance and beauty to the salad.

X-quisite Layered Fruit Salad
1 3.4-oz. box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 3/4 cup milk
1 12-oz. carton cool whip, divided
1 16-oz. carton cottage cheese
1 3-oz. box strawberry jello
2 cans fruit cocktail, well drained
4 large apples, chopped
1 lb. fresh strawberries

Whisk together pudding mix and milk for 1-2 minutes. Fold in half of cool whip. Chill while preparing other ingredients. Combine cottage cheese and remaining cool whip. Add jello.

Now it's time to layer. Pour drained fruit cocktail into large glass bowl (about 4 quart size, I think). Top with jello/cottage cheese mixture, then apples, then pudding mixture. Lastly, arrange strawberries on top. Cover and chill until serving.

I think the combination of a fruity jello-flavored sauce layer and a creamy pudding-flavored sauce layer really makes this salad pop. This can, of course, be customized with a variety of fruits and jello flavors. I just used what I had on hand, but I think it would be delicious with more fruits, like bananas, mandarin oranges, grapes, pomegranate seeds, fresh peaches, raspberries, etc. Plus, there's so much sauce in this salad that I think you could really get away with adding a larger amount of fruit (like mixing bananas with the apples before adding the pudding layer). Anyway, get creative! I know I will. :-)

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