Easy-Tasty-Fancy Looking!

fruit pizza

OK.  So in the title I took out “healthy” and replaced with “Fancy Looking.”  Just work with me here.

Fruit Pizza is what we call this in my family.  You may or may not be able to tell that I was going for a “sun” theme with the fruit display.  I made this for Easter so it seemed appropriate.

Every time I make fruit pizza everybody gobbles it up and all the mommies ask for the recipe.  It looks beautiful and is so absurdly easy to make everyone should have this recipe in their back pocket.

Fruit Pizza

Ingredients: (I’m embarrassed to say…) Pilsbury Sugar cookie Dough, 16 oz. cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar (or powdered sugar), tsp. vanilla, diced fresh fruit.

Directions: Set cream cheese out for about an hour to soften.  Spread the cookie dough (this is 1 1/2 tubes) out on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for approximately 17-20 minutes or until done.  Set out to cool.   Mix softened cream cheese with sugar and vanilla.  Spread on completely cooled sugar cookie crust.  Top with fruit.

Tips: I’ve made this with homemade sugar cookie dough and although it is certainly a less processed food choice, you really cannot taste the difference (short cuts are all the rage.)  Fruit can be arranged in a stunning display of some sort (not featured above, unfortunately) or just scattered.  The pineapple and orange chunks that I used were drained before placement.  Good fruits for this include strawberries, blueberries, grapes, sliced stone fruits… don’t use bananas though as they will brown and throw off the whole “impressive” statement you’re going for.  (I seem to be using an excessive amount of quotation marks today….  Don’t you think?)

I seriously dare you to take this to a potluck situation and not impress the masses.  Yes.  Maybe even double-dare.



Warning: today is a “mommy post” so if you’re not up for it, consider yourself notified. 🙂

My kiddos’ school has a uniform policy.  Besides the school colors and polo guidelines, we also have school t-shirts.  I had purchased my three each a t-shirt from the old stock, but they hardly ever choose to wear them.  So when this new design (slogan and color voted upon by student body–fun!) was created, and they all three begged me to get them each one, I was hesitant.

“But you don’t wear the t-shirts you already have.”  I said.  “So I’ll buy one shirt for the three of you to share, and if you really like it, we’ll get more.” I said.  We’ll see how this goes, I thought.

My kids love this t-shirt.  It’s either in the wash or on one of their backs every day of the week.  We have an assigned rotation–I know, right?  Seriously… –now to make it fair.

“So when are you going to buy two more shirts, Mommy?” My daughter asked me this morning.  “Hmmm…  I’m not, my love.”  I said.

How many people have had this experience: You take your toddler to someone else’s house or a children’s museum or whatever.  He discovers a toy he’s never seen before and becomes so enthralled with it that it makes you misty.  You see the toy at Lakeshore and purchase it without a thought as you can’t wait for your child to have the ability to encounter, time and time again, that same engaging experience.

Soon enough, however (sometimes even later that same day!), the newness wears away and you find the toy in the bottom of the bin with all the rest.

My toddlers are now school-aged, and if I haven’t learned anything since then, what the heck have I been up to?

Why deprive my kids of the opportunity to have to wait for something special?  They’re too young to realize, but I see very clearly, that–at least in part–the anticipation is what creates the sense of satisfaction.  If each of my children had his/her own new t-shirt, they wouldn’t wear it every day.  If history is any indication, it wouldn’t take long before this shirt would be hanging in the closet alongside all its common friends.

So, I’m controlling the supply and keeping the demand–and excitement–high.  Josie already had her turn this week, Rhea was thrilled that today was her chance for the t-shirt, and Grayson can’t wait till he gets his go.

Our precious t-shirt.

Hamburger Helper

burger 1

OK.  So technically these are turkey burgers, not beef.  Why so many?  I’m making them for school lunches of course.

Spring break just ended for us and we’re in the home stretch now, but there are still 10 or so weeks of school left–that’s still 50 lunches times 3 kids to pack.  Whew.

One of our current faves is a burger for lunch.  Pictured above you see 8 patties (there are more that didn’t fit on the pan) that I made from a pound of ground turkey.  Little olive oil in the pan, dash of garlic salt on top and wah-lah: ya’ got yerself some burgers.

Once they’ve cooled, I can put the patties in the freezer (buns separate) and then pull them out for a fridge-defrost the night before.  20 minutes at the stove top for a dozen lunches = good return on my time investment!

burger 2

Out of a one pound package of meat, I can make 12-14 patties.  Slap these little honeys on a whole wheat bun with some ketchup and what do you know:  Lunch!

Here you see me placing my model burger in a reusable  food pouch.

burger 3

The pouch cost me about eight bucks–but they clean up in the dishwasher, and we’ve been using them all year long and they still look great.

(I made sure my kindergartener was going to be responsible with his lunch bag before I started sending such pricey accoutrements with him.  It’s important to be green, but once my daughter lost her lunch bag with a water bottle, thermos, food pouch and fruit container.  Thank goodness we recovered it or it would have come out of her college fund…)

My middle child will eat one of these a week.  The other two would eat it every day if I packed it up.  Throw in some veggies, fruit and a little cookie–now we’re talkin’!

Does the bun get soggy from the condiments?  Not enough to bug my kiddos.  You could see about a small container with a dipping style situation though if it’s a problem.

Sometimes when Mike’s been a very good boy, I send him to work with a burger too.