When I'm having lots of children at my house, such as for my son's baseball team pool party, fruit is always on the menu. In the past, I've served it various ways, from fruit salads to fruits on a skewer. They look great, but the trouble is that lots of kids don't eat every fruit. As a result, I'd find pieces of various abandoned fruits on plates as as I cleaned up -- what a waste!
I've decided that the best way to serve fruit for a cookout with children is a nice platter of seasonal fruits with a dip on the side. Not only does this result in less waste, it's also quicker to prepare. I do wedges of watermelons, grapes cut into little bunches, strawberries with the stems attached, and so on.
Here's an easy, basic, creamy fruit dip that I've served a few times. I like it best with tart fruits, like strawberries, pineapples, and tart apples.
Creamy Fruit Dip
Adapted from a recipe on Allrecipes.com
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (low-fat is ok), softened
1/2 cup sour cream (light is ok), for topping
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whipped cream (I've used Cool Whip, Light Cool Whip, and the stuff that squirts out of the can. It all works.)
In a mixer bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the sour cream, sugars, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Serve immediately or chill for later.