December 24, 2014

Cherry Fluff Salad with Cherry Pie Filling {& a Peek at My Christmas Tree}

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Quick and easy Cherry Fluff Salad with Cherry Pie Filling is a beautifully delicious creamy side or dessert salad, fabulous to enjoy on your holiday table or year-round.
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Cherry Fluff Salad
Merry Christmas Eve and Merry Christmas, everyone!  I wish you all a wonderful Christmas filled with peace, joy, and happy times with your loved ones.

I decided to share this quick-easy-and-delicious Cherry Fluff Salad with Cherry Pie Filling today ... Christmas Eve day ... because it's color reminds me of the colors on my Christmas tree.  Hey, it's as good a reason as any, right?  But while I may be sharing this Cherry Fluff Salad recipe at Christmas time, rest assured Cherry Fluff Salad with Cherry Pie Filling is a great dish year-round!

Since the salad color reminds me of my tree colors, I thought it would be fun to share with you a look at my Christmas tree and some of my favorite ornaments that adorn it.
My tree has a somewhat eclectic Victorian-inspired glass-brass-and-pearls theme, accented with burgundy and pink ... like the burgundy and pink of Cherry Fluff Salad with Cherry Pie Filling.

Victorian Christmas Tree

Many of the glass ornaments don't show up well in pictures, so the tree actually has more ornaments than it looks in the photo.  The glass ornaments catch the light and sparkle just beautifully live! ... an effect that is lost in photos.

This tree has been decorated little by little over a very long time ...

See, I 'started' my tree way back in high school ... that's when I first started collecting glass and brass Christmas ornaments.  And that collection has evolved into this tree, now almost 30 years {yikes!} later ...

When my family would travel, I would buy an ornament or two for my collection.  I can still remember where I bought {most of} the ornaments ... Unpacking the ornaments and decorating the tree each year is like a wonderful trip down memory lane.  Each carefully-packed tissue-wrapped ornament I take out is a little memory-filled surprise that makes me smile as I think about where I was when I bought it ... or who made it for me ... or who gave it to me as a gift.

The pearl element of the tree came to be while I was in college ... when my Mom came up with the idea of pearl swags instead of garland.  And I just adore the look of the pearls.

One Thanksgiving weekend as our 'Black Friday project' {we don't shop on Black Friday ... we've always done a craft or baking project together instead}, Mom and I made the pearl swags you see on the tree.  Mom designed them.  And then we made them together.  Those swags are about 25 years old and still going strong!  I can't believe it was so many years ago that we created those.  Each year I carefully pack them away in a shoe box, gently laying them between layers of paper towels to keep them from getting tangled.

My mother-in-law has added to the tree's pearl elements ... with gorgeous beaded Chrismons she meticulously makes by hand.  Chrismons are Christmas decorations and ornaments in the shape of or with Christian symbols on them.  I'm fortunate to have a dozen Chrismons from her hand-made collection to grace my tree.

Here are a few of my favorite Chrismons:

Epiphany Star {this one is my absolute favorite}

Epiphany Star Chrismon

The Cross of Mary

Cross of Mary Chrismon

Rose

Rose Chrismon

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

The Parable of the Mustard Seed Chrismon

Aren't those Chrismons just gorgeous?  I can only imagine just how much time, patience, and hard work went into the creation of each one.

I also love this glass nativity scene.  It's so simple and so pretty.  This is one of the ornaments that, unfortunately, I can't quite remember it's origin.  I'm pretty sure my grandmother gave it to me ... but not 100% positive.

Glass Nativity Scene Ornament

And then there are these adorable wooden sleds.

I have a dozen of these little wooden sleds on my tree.  And they hold a very, very special place in my heart.

Wooden Sled Ornament

Because they were hand made by my grandfather.  Whom I adored.

See for many, many years, my grandmother made and sold dolls ... in fact, she was known in her town as 'The Doll Lady.'  She and my grandfather would sell her dolls at craft shows all over our region.  And quite often, I would go with them and help out.  I'm sure in my younger years, I was more of a nuisance than I was of help ... but as I got older, I truly enjoyed helping set up gram's booth, talking with customers and helping sell the dolls, collecting money, and totaling up the sales.  Gram would even let me sell little items I had made.  

My grandfather made wooden doll cribs and mini wooden table and chair sets to sell, too.  

And he made these little wooden sled ornaments.  By the hundreds.  That he sold for $1.00.  They were painted bright red with a white cord ribbon for hanging.

After my grandfather died of cancer when I was in the 7th grade, I asked if I could have some of the sled ornaments he'd made.  They stayed stored away in my cedar chest for years and years ... until my Christmas tree made it's debut in my college dorm room.

My tree was very small then.  And it's Victorian glass-brass-and-pearls theme wasn't yet fully developed.  But the bright red sleds made by my grandfather's hands were one of the very first ornaments to adorn it.

Mom and I later repainted the sleds to a more burgundy-red color to be more in line with the tree's Victorian color scheme ... and changed the bright white cord hanger to an ivory ribbon.  And I love that these wooden sleds made by my grandfather's hands some 30+ years ago still adorn my tree each and every year.  I smile every time I hang them on the tree and every time I look at them on the tree  throughout the Christmas season.

Another of my favorite ornaments with a 'family history' is this pink glass hummingbird.

Flower Clip Hummingbird Ornament

This ornament was inspired by a very similar hummingbird ornament that was always on my aunt's Christmas tree.  Instead of hanging on the tree like most ornaments, the flower part of the ornament clips onto a tree branch.  The hummingbird then extends out on a wire and hovers over the flower, dipping it's beak toward the flower as though about to take a drink of the flower's nectar.

When I would go visit my aunt at Christmas time, I was enthralled with her hummingbird clip ornaments ... she had three or four, if I remember correctly.  To me, they were so unique, and I loved how the hummingbird hovered as though in flight.  

When I came across one in a small gift shop, I of course had to buy it.


I am also very fortunate to have four hand-blown glass ornaments that give a nod to my home state of Vermont.   They're from my favorite Vermont glass blowing company, Simon Pearce.  Gifts from my best friend, they fall into my 'favorites' category for many reasons ... they're absolutely gorgeous ... they are so thoughtfully given to me by my friend and I think of her every time I glimpse them hanging on the tree ... they sparkle so gorgeously with the lights shining around them ... they're hand made by amazingly talented artists ... and they're from Vermont.

I adore the swirl in this ball one ...  

 Simon Pearce Hand-Blown Glass Ornament

And then again in the newest addition to the tree ... a pear-shaped one ...

Simon Pearce Hand-Blown Glass Pear Ornament

Simply beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.  Have you ever watched an artist blow glass?  You can take a peek with this Simon Pearce video if you'd like.


I'm completely enthralled with the process ... and completely in awe of how it all works.  I don't claim to understand it one bit, but sure love enjoying the beauty of the result!

So, with the pinks and burgundys of my ornaments, can you see why the Cherry Fluff Salad with Cherry Pie Filling colors remind me of my Christmas tree?

But unlike my tree, we get to enjoy Cherry Fluff Salad's beauty year-round.

Merry Christmas!

Cherry Fluff Salad
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Cherry Fluff Salad with Cherry Pie Filling
Source:  Adapted from "The Covered Dish" ~ recipes from Good Hope United Methodist Church
(Printable recipe)
Ingredients
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling {I use the premium one with extra cherries}
  • 1 1/2 c. miniature marshmallows
  • 1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 1/3 c. chopped pecans {optional}
  • 1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip
Directions
  1. Combine sweetened condensed milk, cherry pie filling, marshmallows, pineapple, and pecans; stir until well mixed and uniform in color. Add Cool Whip, stirring gently until well mixed.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
Note ~ While pecans are optional, we love the flavor combination of the cherries and pecans, and love the little crunch pecans lend to the salad.


Enjoy!



Follow along with our deliciousness on Pinterest!
Visit Tracey ~ The Kitchen is My Playground's profile on Pinterest.
Please enjoy these other comfort-food-fluffs from The Kitchen is My Playground ...

Pistachio Watergate Salad {Green Fluff}

5-Cup Fruit Salad

Cranberry Fluff Salad

Fruit Cocktail Fluff {Easy Ambrosia Salad}

Chocolate Fluff

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16 comments:

  1. What a lovely post...gorgeous tree...awesome family traditions and history wrapped up in your beautiful tree. I really LOVE all the pearl creations...what a keepsake! I love this recipe..just looking at the beautiful mounded bowlfull makes my mouth water. Thanks much for sharing with us at Weekend Potluck. Happy New Year to you and yours!!

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    Replies
    1. You're so sweet, Marsha. Thank you so much for all your kind words, and for stopping by! Happy New Year to you, too!!

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  2. Beautiful tree...I notice you are from MY home state (Chester)...Simon Pearce, Quechee...one of the many beautiful places visitors love, especially in the fall.
    I am anxious to try the Cherry Fluff, it makes for a beautiful presentation.
    Happy New Year!

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    Replies
    1. Well, hi there, fellow Vermonter! This Cherry Fluff Salad would look extra beautiful in a Simon Pearce hand-blown glass bowl, wouldn't it? :-) I grew up in Barre, and do miss the beautiful Vermont fall foliage. Thank you so much for reading The Kitchen is My Playground!

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  3. I love your Cherry Fluff Salad it looks delicious. Thanks so much for starting your 2015 with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week.
    Happy New Year!
    Miz Helen

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  4. My DIL's mom makes this, but she freezes it. I like this way much better...not so cold on the teeth! My DIL would like it, too, as she has her mom leave out some so that it's not frozen for her.
    Happy New Year! I'm visiting from Weekend Potluck.

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  5. What a delicious salad! And, your tree looks like it should be in Victoria magazine! I love all the special family-made ornaments! Of course your family is talented! :) No surprise there! :)

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  6. Hi Tracey, I just found you on the Country Cook, Weekend Potluck #152.

    Your tree is GORGEOUS!! I always look forward to putting up our Christmas Tree because I enjoy the ornaments so much!! So many have memories attached that mean the world to me. The sled your Grandfather made would be a favorite of mine.

    I love salads like this. Pinning to try!! Thanks!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Kim! Welcome to The Kitchen is My Playground! I know what you mean about ornaments meaning the world to you ... as you read in this post, I completely understand. The sleds made by my Grandfather, especially, are very dear to my heart.

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  7. Hello Tracy,

    Can you please tell me what was added to the chocolate fluff?

    Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Hi there! The chocolate fluff is homemade whipped cream and chocolate graham crackers. It's sooooooo good {and so simple}. Here's the link to the post with the recipe: http://www.thekitchenismyplayground.com/2014/06/chocolate-fluff.html Enjoy!

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  8. I got this exact recipe at least 40 years ago from an older lady, friend of our family. I didn't know until right now that she didn't invent it. I love love love it, and freeze the leftovers to enjoy later. I thaw in the refrigerator before eating.

    I've just discovered your blog, having come over from The Country Cook. Think I'll look around and stay awhile. Looks like a great site. Sherri

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    Replies
    1. Welcome, Sherri! Yes, this Cherry Fluff Salad is one of those recipes we all love, isn't it? Who knows ... maybe your family friend IS the one who invented it!! ... and then it "made the rounds," getting tweaked along the way. You never know!

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    2. Ahhhh, the salad! this is my kind of dessert!

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  9. thanks for linking up on Show Me Saturday, your post was featured!

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I love your comments. I read and appreciate each and every one. Thank you so much for visiting The Kitchen is My Playground! {NOTE: Captcha word verification is on to turn away the 'spambots' ... I apologize for the commenting inconvenience!}

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