Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pink Arctic Freeze "Salad"- April 2009, Molly

I had a hard time coming up with something to make for the Challenge. The theme had me stumped, and I found myself sifting through memories of Christmases past, trying to figure out what called to me. I had tried to block it out because it just didn't seem good enough, but the more I thought, the more I realized that what was calling to me was fluffy, pink, and studded with frozen fruit.

As a child I had a wonderful grandmother who would make all sorts of yummy food for my sis and me. She taught my mom (the local 'Pie Lady' to many) to cook and would pack an entire suitcase of Christmas cookies, which she carried on instead of checked--"for safety and security's sake"--when she flew up from Florida to visit over the Christmas holidays. All that said, she also had a thing for mixing up strange concoctions and freezing them or putting them in Jello molds to create dishes for the holiday table. Every Christmas we would have this frozen "salad," which is about as saladish as a chocolate Easter bunny.
Incidentally, my husband's grandmother also made a version of Pink Arctic Freeze for their holiday table. Maybe it's just a midwestern German grandmother thing.

So, here we go! Thanks to my lovely 7-year-old Annika for doing all of the photo work on this project and to my handsome and talented 5-year-old Matthew for his amazingly low-mess stirring abilities. Without their help this post would be slightly, well, different and the "salad" would have quite a few more mini-marshmallows in it. :) I love you guys!

The Ingredients:

6 oz. softened cream cheese

1 container whipped topping (or you can use 1c. of heavy cream, whipped)
1/2 c. mayo

1/2 c. marischino cherries

2 cans very cherry mixed fruit, drained

2 c. mini marshmallows

Now you can see exactly how salad-y it isn't. Dump all the ingredients in a bowl and mix.

Choose a bowl larger than we did. This made a mess, but it was fun to eat the overflow marshmallows.

Spread evenly into an 8x8 (or 7x9 as we used) pan
and freeze overnight. We tried to have it after dinner but it hadn't frozen after 3 hours. We chose to treat it as dessert instead of salad.
On day 2 we decided to slice into the pink arctic freeze. Let the container sit out for about a half an hour so that it is easier to cut and the fruit is frosty but not frozen. Slice and serve!
We ate the PAF post marimba ensemble concert with my mom, to see what she thought of our version. (Hers was lower on the fruit and higher on the mayo.) Matthew took one bite and--I think it was the mayo--ate no more, except for digging out the cherries. Annika loved it, Mom loved it, and I *surprise here from the girl who has NEVER bought whipped topping before* thought it was pretty yummy. I think it'd be especially good on a hot day, instead of in the winter, when everything else in the world is frozen. The cream cheese and mayo provide a nice contrast to the marshmallows and fruit, and frozen grapes just taste good. It's so easy and sort of pretty in a 1960s food sort of way. (I think I might have to hide whole boiled eggs in meat loaves for the next Challenge if I continue on this "retro" food theme!)

The Verdict: 3 thumbs up; 1 thumb down. Soren's at work, so his vote won't be in until tomorrow, but I think it might take some major convincing to get him to even look at it...
Prep time: 5 minutes
Chill time: 1 night


  1. Fantastic! What is it about Midwestern grandmothers that makes them mix mayo with whipped topping? Let's hope we don't suddenly start doing that when we hit 65...

  2. It may just be the Germanic Midwestern Grandma in me, but - I love frozen deserts like this AND I could live off of whipped cream. Seriously. I know how close you are to me, and think maybe I might visit your freezer :)

  3. Sounds good. I never would have thought of having it frozen.

    I love the idea of hard boiled eggs in meat loaf. I've only ever seen it done once, but I clearly remember it and have always wondered where the idea came from.

    Have you never had whipped cream in your house or have just never bought it in a tub? Regardless, since you now have your first whipped topping tub you should be sure to save it and the lid. You can store some keepsake in it...for instance hair and/or fingernail clippings.

  4. Oh-ho-ho. I am a big fan of the whipped cream--the real stuff. I have been known to purchase heavy whipping cream without even having a recipe planned in which to use the stuff. I had never purchased "whipped topping" in a plastic tub before this recipe. I felt embarrassed and dirty with it in my cart, but I'm very devoted to the Cooking Challenge, so I managed the shame. Maybe I was really embarrassed about the french onion dip and two bags of Ruffles (gotta have plain and sour cream & cheddar, right?), marshmallows and beer that shared space in my cart! :) I swear, there were vegetables from the farmers' market in my car, greens, even!