Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips

Once upon a time, on a blog from long ago…I posted about Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips. The recipe was so gosh darn good that it is making another appearance here on Sheepsake today! I made this delicious snack a couple of weekends ago for a family gathering and fell in love with it all over again. So here it is…originally posted in December of 2011, my re-blog of Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips!

This past weekend, I had the honor of helping organize a baby shower for my lovely friend, Shez, who is expecting her little princess in a few months. She specially requested finger foods so I wanted to make a dish that was easy to eat AND nutritious for my preggo buddy…and I came across this wonderful recipe for Annie’s Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips on Allrecipes.com. This dish was a MAJOR hit at the party and I got rave reviews from just about everyone who tried it. I do believe this dish (which I’ve modified to my liking) will become part of the regular “Go-To” dishes for future parties! Since so many people asked me how I make it, I decided to write out the instructions here on my blog. Before you thank me…you might want to give a special thanks to Moby. After the baby shower, I brought back home a secret stash of the salsa and chips I had set aside for my hubby. He was SUPER excited about getting to eat some and got all set up to watch his TV show and enjoy his special snack comfortably on the couch. To make a long story short, Moby’s foot (paw) ended up in the salsa bowl and we had to throw it out before hubby could even eat ANY of it. I could tell hubby’s bubble had been burst in a BIG way. I felt so bad that I just had to make some more…and it’s from this second round of me making this recipe, that this post and the pics resulted! Let’s DO this! First I pre-heat the oven to 350 and then gather all of my ingredients: Fruit, Tortillas, Cinnamon Sugar (1 Cup of Sugar with 1-1/4 teaspoon of Cinnamon), Preserves and Cooking Sprays! Simple enough! EFFICIENCY – It’s a good idea to prep the tortilla chips and get those in the oven so you can be cutting up the fruit while the chips are baking. All you have to do is spray the tortillas (front and back) with butter flavored cooking spray, cut them into triangles. dredge them in the cinnamon-sugar mix and lay them on your foil-lined baking sheet. (For all of you smarty-pants who noticed…I didn’t have butter flavored cooking spray so I had to improvise with butter spray and cooking spray.) To get the tortilla triangles, I take a few 10″ flour tortillas at a time, cut them in half, stack the halves and then cut those into thirds. Here’s my first batch of chips ready to go into the hot oven. While those are baking, it’s time to chop up the fruit! Kiwis are already done…On to the strawberries and peaches. Important TIP: Dice all of your fruits SMALL! This way, when you pick up the fruit with your chip, you get a nice blend of all the fruits instead of huge chunks of any one particular fruit.

Although fresh peaches can be used, frozen peaches add a bit of convenience to the fruit prep process.

9 minutes later, we have…

warm crispy cinnamon sugar tortilla chips!

Apples and peach preserves are ready to be tossed with the rest of my fruit! Another Important TIP: When chopping up your fruit, save your apple for last! This way, at the very end, you can toss your diced apple in and get the pieces coated with all of the other fruits/preserves. This helps prevent the apples from browning too much.

Let the salsa chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes are up, grab those chips and have a fruity fiesta!

The tip of the chip is my favorite! Yummm…load that bad boy up!

Oops. I wanted to take one more pic from a different angle of that loaded chip…but somehow it ended up in my mouth before I could get the shot.

(Can you see the flaky layers in the chip? Seriously…you need to try this.)

Now that’s a great guilt-free treat! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Here’s the detailed recipe for how I made it:

JAINY’S FRUIT SALSA & CINNAMON CHIPS

(Serves 5)

Fruit Salsa:

  • 1 Fuji Apple (Fuji’s seem to have less issues with browning fast. But you can use whatever apples you have on hand really.)
  • 1 Kiwi
  • 1/2 lb Strawberries
  • 1 heaping handful of Frozen Peaches (lol…gotta love my exact measurements, huh?)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon peach preserves (or whatever preserves you fancy)

Dice up all of the fruit, saving the apple for last.

Toss it all together with the preserves and chill for 20 minutes. DONE!

(If serving this in individual bowls, dress it with a dollop of Cool Whip. Trust me on this!)

Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips:

  • 10 – 10″ flour tortillas
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1-1/4 t Cinnamon
  • Butter-flavored Cooking Spray

Preheat the oven to 350.

Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a flat dish and set aside.

Spray 2 tortillas, front and back, with the cooking spray. Cut into 6 triangles per tortilla.

Dredge each triangle in the cinnamon-sugar mix and lay out on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 9 minutes and then remove promptly from the oven, and allow to cool.

*Repeat these steps until you have finished making the desired quantity of chips.

ENJOY!

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Saturday Pancakes

Pancakes.

Warm.

Crisp edges.

Warm Maple Syrup flowing.

Butter melting.

Is  your mouth watering yet?

Top em with apples and I’m SOLD!

ApplePancakes

Comforting, satisfying and oh-so-delicious…I’ve been on a pancake craze ever since I found this new recipe that gives me the pancake goodness without the need for eggs! (Eggs are Kryptonite for my little man of steel so we keep them out of the house.)

Since I’ve managed to make these several times now without messing them up, this is my go-to recipe so I thought I’d share –

I call these “Saturday Pancakes” because

1. I usually crave them on Saturday mornings and

2. By Saturday, my groceries are practically depleted but I can usually scrounge up the ingredients for this recipe in my pantry. Not counting water, it only has only 8 ingredients, of which only 6 are really necessary.

SATURDAY PANCAKES

Ingredients:

2 C All-purpose flour

4 t Baking powder

1/2 t Salt

2 T Sugar

1/4 t Cinnamon (OPTIONAL)

1 C Water

*1 C Milk

1/2 t Vanilla Extract

**1/2 C Apple sauce

*If you don’t have milk, just stick with water so that you have a total of 2 C of water in your batter. Pancakes will come out a bit more dense though.

**I use a Motts snack cup but I’ve also chopped, boiled and blended a fresh apple with a splash of water, sugar and cinnamon for a homemade applesauce when I ran out of snack cups.)

Steps:

1. Whisk together the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and beat together with your whisk just until the ingredients are combined. Be careful not to overmix!

3. Butter your skillet after warming it on a medium/medium-low heat and pour in batter as needed for your desired pancake size.

4. Cook the pancakes for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Flip it when the top center of the pancakes begins to bubble.

(Repeat steps 3 and 4 until your batter is finished.)

5. Enjoy!

My pancake apple topping is still being perfected so I’ll get back to you on that recipe. I will tell you this much – In a medium saucepan,  I throw in two chopped apples, about a 1/2  cup of pure maple syrup, 1 Tablespoon of raw cane sugar, a dash of cinnamon, vanilla extract and a splash of water. I cook it on a low heat while I’m making my pancakes. When it’s nearly done, I throw in some cornstarch that’s been dissolved in a little bit of water to thicken the sauce and let it cook for a few more minutes. I’ll post the recipe for that at some point in the future but feel free to just take a shot at it because it’s pretty hard to mess up!

ApplePancakes2

Summer Wreath

Now that I find myself inexplicably drawn to the warmth and sunshine of the summer season , I decided it was time to see what I could craft while enjoying the outdoors. I do have a good bit of sewing projects to do and I do have an outdoor outlet. However, something tells me that my neighbors wouldn’t be too thrilled with me sitting on my porch with Bessy, stomping away at her presser foot, while she belts out her sewing machine “song” (zzzzzZZZ…CH-CH-CH-CH-CH-CH-CH). Bessy’s no old lady but she’s still not exactly a sewing machine built for stealth.

So the next thing on my To-Do list, aside from sewing, was to make a summer wreath using items I had around the house. Being the crafty lady that I am, I actually happened to have a metal wreath-form laying about. I wrapped that with some twine.

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Word to the wise: Don’t wrap too tightly or the metal form will bend and you will have to undo your work. (Confession: I wrapped that thing tighter than Spanx on a burly man my first go-around.) Wrap the twine firmly and closely, but not too taut.

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Once I had the wreath form wrapped in twine, it was time to “pretty” it up. Luckily I had spare faux flowers in the house!

I had originally bought bunches of these flowers from the dollar store for functional party decor. I had cut each flower from their bunches and attached them to Sharpie markers with floral tape to create a writing “arrangement” for a birthday card signing-station.

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That was 3 years ago so the markers are dry and the flowers, ready to use for Project: Summer Wreath!

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(For all of the Super Sleuths out there, that IS painters tape along the bottom of the window sill. We’re finally getting geared up to paint my craft room! I’m excited.)

I poked the stems of the flowers through the twine in a design that I liked. Then I used hot glue to keep them in place. I used a wire cutter to trim the excess stem that protruded from the back of the wreath.

Overall, this wreath is pretty easy and fast to make! I hot glued a wooden letter S to the bottom to add a monogram-personalized touch.

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I love the colors of this wreath and I think they’d compliment the new wall color going up in my craft room. (Can you guess what color I’m painting the room??)  So I may end up hanging this on the door to that room!

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Happy summer days, everyone!

Spring Storm Tea Time

I finally started back up on my Freckled Nest Home Ec. online course again and the lesson I worked on was for cloth napkins. I finished them last night and I’m so glad I made them. I scrapped the fabric from one of my mom’s old mu-mu style cotton night gowns so the result is a soft and FREE set of napkins that I won’t be upset about if they get stained. After all, what good is a napkin if I won’t allow them to get messy?

Napkin Set

As many things as I’ve sewn on my lovely sewing machine, Bessy…I’ve never ventured beyond the straight stitch! WOW…where has my sense of adventure and risk gone!? So this lesson helped me get over my fear of leaving the safe and straight mode of stitching.

Napkin-ZigZag Stitch

I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out. I used bright red thread to add a little pop of color to the brown/white pattern.

Cloth napkins are a great way to cut back on our use of paper napkins/paper towels during meals so I’m not opposed to making more of these to use on a regular basis. Good for the environment and good for the wallet!

I was pretty excited to use my napkins today. This afternoon, the weather is warm and stormy so it’s the perfect time for tea and cookies. (But really, when is it NOT the perfect time for tea and cookies?)

Napkin-Tea Time

Anybody free to join me for tea time?

Girls Will Be Girls

Now that the sun is shining bright and warm in this lovely Spring season here in Maryland, I’m rarely indoors anymore…hence my sudden blog silence! Oh, how I LOVE that my “job” as a stay-at-home mom forces me to go play at the park with my little guy!

PARK TIME

I have a few WIPs still, but progress is slow since I’m not home much.

In the meantime, based on a friend’s request, I thought I’d share with you one of my little secrets to staying organized.

If you’re girl, then you know that there is a CONSTANT battle that we ALL face:

The need to have everything we see that is pretty & sparkly VS. Finding a place to keep it all!

At some point, my lovely collection of beaded necklaces and dangly earrings turned into a nightmarish clump of metal which could only be untangled with the concentration and focus of a jedi…solving a Rubix Cube…from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.  I needed to find an organized, space-saving solution that I could access easily but keep out of sight.

SOLUTION:

Just Solutions! Hanger Jewelry Organizer

Jewelry Hanger

Life-altering jewelry organization tool…and under $12. I LOVE THIS!

All of my long necklaces and earrings are neatly kept with this hanger. There’s even a place for a few of my rings!
JewelryHanger-Ringse

And when I run out of space (because, I KNOW I will) I won’t mind adding another hanger to my collection! Space for my pretty little accessories…SOLVED!

River Rocks Redone

When I first got my own place, 8 years ago, I thought my decorating skills were top-notch. I had never ever even glanced at a home-design magazine or TV show. Nor did I have any idea about patterns or color combos. I was just a “natural”….eh, natural disaster. Instead of having any idea of what type of style or atmosphere I wanted to create, I went crazy buying all sorts of decorative things that didn’t really go with anything. I was convinced I was doing a great job though. Ah, the pains of ignorance…not as blissful as it once was.

Now that we’re in our new place, I have to deal with all of my old “baggage” of decorative junk and find ways to make them work. One of the items in my baggage are river rocks. Lots of them. I went through a river rock phase and put them in literally every vase I owned.

RiverRockVaseI am no longer a huge fan of having jars of rocks everywhere so I decided to get crafty with it.

I dumped out the river rocks and threw a handful into a Dixie paper bowl. I drizzled some acrylic paint over it and stirred it up with a paint brush.

Painted Rocks

This step only took about a minute to complete. I repeated this with a yellow and metallic pearl for a few more batches of rocks.

After the rocks were evenly coated, I spread them out on the plastic wrapping of an unopened pack of poster boards to dry. I’m sure wax paper would suffice. It didn’t take long to dry.

VaseRemodel

I hot-glued all of the rocks onto my vase. This was a slightly tedious process since the rocks are small, but I’m happy I did it! FYI, I did not bother with trying to make the rocks perfectly flush with each other.

After all the rocks were glued on, I used a paintbrush to apply a dab of a 2nd coat of paint to the top surface of all of the rocks.

I now have a beautiful custom-designed vase which will add a fun splash of my favorite colors to my craft room.

Colorblock Vase(The craft room is under construction right now, so this vase is in its temporary home, in our guest bedroom.)

This project is a great and inexpensive way to add unique colors and color combos to coordinate with your room/decor!

VasewithFlowers

The flowers you see in here are temporary. I’m actually not sure what type of flowers to put in here. Maybe some playful white daisies? I don’t know. What do you think??

Happy Birthday J

The little man has officially turned two…You’re thinking “Terrible Two’s?” Well, he’s been “warming up” WELL before he actually turned two (shaking my head with a heavy sigh). haha Honestly it’s not too bad yet since I’ve been blessed with a baby full of sunshine – mostly…but bad enough that I might be reading up on a few articles to help me get through this phase of his life in good mental standing. (Or perhaps I can ask my own mom. If my memory serves me right, it’s possible I wasn’t always this easy-going and delightful in my toddler years. lol)

Enough of that though. Birthdays have always been exciting for me, like Christmas and Thanksgiving. I may have genetically passed this trait on to J since for a few months now, he’s been running around the house singing happy birthday to everyone he can think of and demanding cake after each performance. So when his birthday came around, D and I wanted to make it a special day filled with fun and wonder.

MamawithBdayBoy

Me and my Birthday Boy – After opening his first gift, a little Batmobile with Batman sitting in it. (He loves Batman.)

After spending the morning at home, smothering him with hugs and kisses and feeding him “Birthday” Oreos, we took him to the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

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The aquatic creatures we saw there were truly amazing. God is so much more of a “fun” artist than I realize sometimes. Some of the fish we saw looked like they were from another world!

AlienFishComboIMG_3571SeaHorseYellowFish
TurtleJellyFish

The National Aquarium also has a section dedicated to the tropical rainforest. You almost feel like you’re really there (if the rainforest had smooth gravel walkways and no gargantuan mosquitoes trying to chase you down).

BirdSnakeCombo

J got a chance to stalk some pretty intimidating, but beautiful sharks up-close.

Sharks

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This crocodile better make different dinner plans because J is not available!

We also saw a great dolphin show at the aquarium. (DOH! I should’ve taken a pic but there was too much excitement!)

HarborView

Enjoying the view of the surrounding Baltimore Inner Harbor

After a great day at the aquarium, we went back home and had birthday cake and presents! This was his very first time being able to blow out birthday candles and he was so excited, I had to keep him from diving head-first into the cake!

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YES! Chocolate cake right before bed!

Birthdays are great…especially when you get to celebrate that little munchkin who lights up your world.

Happy Birthday J!