Monday, January 30, 2012

Fruit Salad and Cinnamon Chips--Kid tested, Mother Approved!

About a week ago I was trolling another one of my addictions--pinterest--when I came across a recipe for what looked like a YUMMY fruit salad. The blogger who had originally pinned it found it on as one of their all-time highest ranked recipes. I thought this might be perfect for my fruit addicted child and maybe I could find a way to make the chips gluten free so Jim could enjoy too. So, I decided to make it this past weekend weekend-- my son gobbled it up, husband liked it, and I couldn't get enough of the chips.

**A couple of notes**
  • I opted to only put 1-1/2 TBSP of white sugar and leave out the brown sugar since I didn't want to make it too sweet or wind up with too much juice. 
  • To make the chips gluten free, I tried using a few rice tortillas that we had here-- they turned out ok, but my husband ended up using gluten free crackers instead and liked it better. 
  • I recommend  making and eating this in the same day otherwise the fruit gives off way too much juice and it gets runny/mushy. 

picture courtesy of --because I forgot to take one!

Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Chips
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored and diced (you could also use Gala--as I had one of each)
8 ounces raspberries (I halved them)
1 (16 oz) carton of strawberries, diced
2 TBSP white sugar (more or less to taste)
1 TBSP brown sugar (more or less to taste)
3 TBSP fruit preserves, any flavor (I used strawberry)

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
melted butter or butter flavored cooking spray

Cinnamon sugar:
1 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon

1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3.Coat one side of each flour tortilla with melted butter or butter flavored cooking spray. Sprinkle tortillas with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Spray again with cooking spray (not necessary if using melted butter). TIP! A pizza cutter makes easy cutting!

4.Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Kairos moments...

My friend Em posted a link the other day on facebook to a column written by a mom named Glennon Melton for the Huffington Post. (Here's the original link if you want to check it out) In it, along with other things, she talks about time--more specifically--types of time. One is Chronos time. It's regular time--like my students staring down the clock waiting for that last bell on a Friday afternoon, listening to 4 agonising minutes of a Dunc temper tantrum, or even counting the seconds when my husband disappears for more than 15 minutes and I'm up to my ears in bubble bath, toys, and a screeching toddler who doesn't want to get out of the tub. Chronos, Melton explains, is the slow passing time that we most often live in. It can be mean. It makes us feel old-er, and it's what exhausts me by the end of the day.  But then... there's Kairos time.

Kairos is God's time. It's time outside of time. It's metaphysical time. It's those magical moments in which time stands still and you see/feel/touch/hear/share the most wonderful things. I am all for Kairos time. It's the time I most look forward to everyday, and like Melton, half the time I can't remember the actual moment hours or days later, but I know it happened.  But then again, there are times that I hope to remember always. For example--

 A couple of days ago after a rather long day at school grading and prepping for semester exams, I came home to a crazy place--a kitchen that looked like it hadn't been cleaned in weeks, dinner still unmade,  toys everywhere, and my husband and child chasing each other back and forth thru the living room. I seriously thought I might explode or start crying. I needed a break--a bit of time--just to switch gears and start all over. See.. I do love being a working mom, I really do (another time and another post), but there are times I wish that could snap my fingers and life would be simple and stress free, my house would be clean, and dinner would be waiting for me...ya right! Like that is ever going to happen.

Back to my Kairos moment...after cleaning the kitchen, fixing dinner, and getting Dunc a bath and in fresh pjs,  I settled in with him for our nightly ritual...watching that day's episode of Dinosaur Train on the DVR and reading our good night books. Snuggled together on the couch, "blankie" and "monkee" in hand, I began to feel the slow rhythmic breathing of my little guy falling asleep on my chest--something he hasn't done much since he was a tiny baby. I was in heaven...or should I say Kairos time! I snuggled in and just looked at him in wonder---his blonde hair curling just at the ends, beautiful long eyelashes that could make anyone jealous, soft hand in mine, his baby smell--yes I think he still has it-- and that little sleepy sigh... how did I ever get so lucky? It's moments like this that I cherish being a mom and wish would never end.

SNAP! Back to Chronos time--I need to pick up toys and grade papers! As I slowly lift Dunc up and carry him to bed he snuggles deeper into my chest and opens his sleepy eyes for a just a sec, smiles and whispers, "Mum, wuv u". Ahh.... Kairos.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Vera Bradley Obsession

Those of you who know me, know I am not the most "girly" girl. I am a tomboy at heart and didn't own a dress by choice until I was forced to in the 8th grade when my volleyball coach wanted us to dress up for away games. But I have a girl obsession--Vera Bradley. If you haven't been to their  website ( ), go now... you will become as addicted as I am. I currently own three Vera Bradley bags, 2 lanyards (for school), and the pen and brush bag.  Here's some of my loves... (all pictures are from the Vera Bradley website)

My FAVORITE Besty bag in Bali Blue... to bad it's a retired color :(

I use this pencil and brush bag to keep all my pens,pencils, a highlighter or two, and sticky notes organized in my school bag. Another favorite color (especially for fall)--Buttercup!


My next purchase... headbands!

 My goal... I want to get a wallet, and some of the travel bags like the grand traveler or the duffel bags. Who knew I could be so "girly"? I love it. Who knows--maybe this is the start of something big! :)