Friday, June 20, 2014

Homemade Summer Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

With a heat wave bearing down on the area, heavy foods and any recipes that require standing over a hot stove are intolerable. I got the idea for a yummy honey-lime fruit salad from Pinterest yesterday, and since I had a lot of fruit on hand (including a fresh pineapple)  I decided to make my own version along with homemade cinnamon sugar tortilla crisps. It was just the thing for dessert after a sweltering summer day. And the handful of blueberries came from my backyard--the first ones of the year! This recipe is so simple, light, and refreshing, and it tastes like summer in a bowl.

Jennifer's Summer Fruit Salad with Cinnamon Crisps

Fruit Salad

1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into bite sized chunks.
3 ripe black plums, sliced
2 cups of strawberries, sliced
2 kiwis, cut in small chunks
1 cup of blueberries

Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup honey

Mix the fruits in a large bowl. Wisk together the lime juice and honey (poppy seeds would be a nice addition as well!) and pour it over the fruit. Stir the fruit gently to coat with the dressing, then cover and sit in refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour.

Cinnamon Crisps

6 (6inch) flour tortillas
softened butter
1/2 cup sugar/cinnamon mixture

Coat the tortillas with soft butter on both sides, stack, and cut in small triangles (like a pizza). Arrange on a buttered cookie sheet in a single layer, sprinkle the tops generously with cinnamon sugar, and put in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes. Remove when crispy and allow them to cool before eating.

Super simple, and so good! Of course, almost any combination of fruit would be equally delicious, so I recommend using whatever is in season, inexpensive, and at it's peak of flavor in your area.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Little Creature Come To Call

The Carolina anole, Anolis carolinensis

This little guy was hanging out by my doorstep last week, soaking up the sun and attempting to attract a girlfriend. Forgive the quality of this next picture; I tried my best to get a good photo of him sticking out his dewlap, but all of them were blurry. I still wanted to share the best one of him "showing his money" as my grandma used to say!

He quickly got tired of having a camera stuck in his face by a crazy human woman. He crept over to the bushes after awhile and disappeared.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer Respite

These last three weeks have been wonderful. I thought about it the other day, and realized that I haven't had three weeks off work all at once for about 18 years now! It's been great to spend all this time at home. The surgery wasn't too bad. The first three days or so were rough, but after that it was just a matter of some soreness around the incisions. After the first week, I was able to begin to enjoy my time off. 

I've barely spoken to anyone (besides my husband and pets) for the past three weeks and I have to say--I've loved it! My inner introvert has been delighted with the break from other people. I can be outgoing and engaging at work (when I need to be) but I forget how very draining all that contact with other people can be.

The dogs have been in heaven. Marco has suddenly started talking more and seems happy to have so much out-of-cage time. I've cooked, cleaned, organized long neglected parts of our house (closets and such), and got caught up on a lot of odd and end sort of tasks. 

I've read several new books. The most noteworthy have been by an author from the past that I've just recently discovered, Elizabeth von Arnim. She is perhaps best known for writing The Enchanted April, but I discovered her after reading a recommendation for Elizabeth and her German Garden on the NPR books website. I loved this novel. It's loosely autobiographical, and the author's love of her garden (even with all of her mistakes in it and failures), her wry observations of German society and women's place in it (she was an English woman unhappily married to an older German count, humorously referred to in her books as the "Man of Wrath") and her subtle wit all made me feel like I had looked back into the past and discovered a kindred spirit. Elizabeth and her German Garden is available free at project Gutenberg, along with most of her other books. Here is a link to it if anyone is interested:

(Project Gutenberg is a great site for poor readers like myself! There are thousands of free books to choose from!)

I'm also reading a new (to me) mystery series. The first book is The Novice's Tale, by Margaret Frazier. I don't normally read mysteries, but I like novels about convent and monastery life (goodness knows why, pagan-leaning atheist that I am) and these books look like fun. I downloaded the first on onto my Nook, and will let you all know how it is.

I still have three days off, and plan to spend them reading, idling around, cooking, drinking wine, and generally goofing off. Real life starts back up on Monday, and I plan to make the best of my last few days of freedom. Summer is in full swing outside, and it's just a wonderful time of year to take a rest and remember what it's like to simply enjoy life. I hope you all are having a similarly nice beginning to the summer!