Vanilla Cream Fruit Pizza!

I got this recipe a few years back from my sister-in-law and it has proved to be a great summer dessert! Got a last minute invite to a friends for dinner and we brought this for dessert.

Here are some of the ingredients to start with:


  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package (10 oz) vanilla chips, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees.

Cream butter and confectioner’s sugar.

cream butter and confectioner's sugar

Beat in flour (mixture will be crumbly).

Mixture will be crumbly

Pat into the bottom of a greased, 12″ pizza pan.

Bake at 300 degrees for 25-28 minutes or until lightly browned.


In another mixing bowl, beat, melted chips and cream.

follow directions on package for melting chips.

Add cream cheese and beat until smooth.

Spread over crust.

Chill for 10 minutes.

Arrange berries over filling. (I could spend hours arranging them!)

In a sauce-pan, combine pineapple juice, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice.

Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Boil for 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly.

Cool, brush over fruit.

The Final Product!

The Final Product!

Chill 1 hour before serving. Store in refrigerator. Yield 12-16 servings.  Best made and served the same day.


In search of…

imagethe perfect tomato. Every summer my father would have a garden and it was mostly tomatoes. He grew the most heavenly tomatoes ever. My sister and I would live on tomato sandwiches all summer long….perfectly sliced tomato, Hellman’s mayonnaise, a little salt on white bread (I don’t think it was Wonder Bread – that would have been too expensive!). The perfect summer lunch.

The first year we were married, my husband grew a garden at my parent’s house – we lived in an apartment so there was no place for us to plant. It was a massive garden! Eggplant, green peppers, zucchini, summer squash and TOMATOES…lots of tomatoes. The funny thing is, my husband doesn’t even like eggplant! But he thought it was pretty and it grew well, so we had lots of eggplant to give away.

That was 28 years ago (which makes me feel really old right now!) and quite frankly, we haven’t had a decent tomato sandwich since! We’ve grown all the favorites, Big Boy, Beefsteak, we even tried growing some of the yellow ones….they just don’t match up.

This spring, my daughter-in-law’s mother Joyce, who with her husband Roland have extensive vegetable gardens at their home in Maine told me she would grow heirloom tomatoes for me to help with my search for the perfect sandwich tomato. She grew Purple Cherokee, Brandywine and another variety. We got about 10 of them from her last Saturday, along with a loaf of homemade bread and some fresh grown basil. This was exciting! That night we sliced the bread, added the mayo, sliced up one of the juicy tomatoes and ate…now I don’t want to be an ingrate…it was so sweet of Joyce to plant, grow, coddle and protect from the chipmunks these red orbs of flavor, we truly appreciate it…

but they’re not it

after all the anticipation, that flavor isn’t there…don’t get me wrong, they were tasty, it’s just not what we remember. Maybe we’ve been waiting so long for the perfect tomato sandwich that we no longer really know what it tastes like? Could that flavor lurking in our memories be just that, a memory? I’d like to think it’s not, that I will one day discover that perfect tomato flavor for my sandwich….one of Joyce’s was close, of course I have no idea which variety it was! Looks like we’ll have to do some more research….until then,

the search continues…


So I decided to get serious (well mostly serious) about my health and weight…on Saturday it was gorgeous out so I decided to take a walk. It was a 40 minute walk – got my heart rate up and sweated (did I mention I hate to sweat?!?). Sunday and Monday were pretty hot days, so I didn’t make an effort (unless you consider shopping exercise!). Tuesday is my quilt group day so instead of exercising, we ate!

Wednesday I walked again (at the urging of René). René told me, do it! you’ll feel good about yourself! So I did…and surprisingly, I did!

And here it is Thursday – and I walked…again! Took a different route today and it clocked in at 1.1 miles in 20 minutes…that’s not a bad pace, is it? I downloaded an app for my Droid called RunKeeper. It’s pretty cool – tracks my walk (distance-wise and map-wise) and times me and tells me how many calories I burned (101). I recommend it for Droid owners! I also listen to Pandora Radio on my Droid (another great app I’d recommend!) to keep my pace up.

So now I get to clean up and quilt another customer quilt…I counted on Tuesday and have 17 in the queue…but I got one done yesterday so now we’re down to 16! Yay!

Have a great day!

There is a camp along Sta-ha-he shores….

Camp Trexler is its name…

Well, Camp Trexler used to be its name. Trexler was a Lutheran Camp for boys in Harriman State Park in NY from the 1930’s until 1986. My husband worked there from 1977 until 1983 and I worked there the summer of 1982 right after we were married. We had so many good times there, that I started a group for alumni on FaceBook. When I started the group, we had three members. Myself, my husband and my brother-in-law. My brother-in-law’s first post was, “Now what?” My answer was, “we wait” and sure enough, just like in Field of Dreams…”If you build it, they will come”. We now have 85 members! We all have that Trexler connection and this past week we decided to hold a reunion.

Harriman State Park used to be home to many overnight camps and each summer (around the first Thursday of August) they would hold a canoe regatta on the shores of Lake Sebago. My first regatta was the summer of 1978. My mother drove me and a friend up to watch the races and I was fascinated! There are several heats involving kids and counselors from age 8 and up. Girls against girls and boys against boys, all competing for the coveted McManus trophy. Whoever had the most wins, took the trophy home. Camp Trexler won that trophy each year I attended the regatta from 1978 – 1984 – they had won before that, but I’m not quite sure how many times.

So imagine a group of about 12 forty-somethings reliving their youth watching the races! At one point one of the race coordinators approached our group and asked if Trexler would like to enter a 4-man canoe in the races…oh yea, of course they would! So after almost 25 years, Trexler was represented in the regatta! Jeff, David, Andy and Graham came in third place (out of four)…they didn’t swamp and no one had a heart attack so all in all it was a good showing!

Afterwards we gathered at Rhodes North Tavern for food and drink and more reminiscing…it was a pretty great night. We’re hoping to hold another reunion next year and I’m hoping that “the boys” bring their wives and families. Trexler wasn’t just about a bunch of teenagers going wild, it was about hiking, camping, friendships, and traditions. Trexler may be officially gone, but it lives on in our hearts and when we sang our evening hymn the other night, I felt a chill.

Now the day is over

Night is drawing ‘nigh

Shadows of the evening

Steal across the sky

Glory to the Father

Glory to the Son

and to thee blest Spirit

While all ages run…

OH — IO!

On Friday, July 30, we get up at the crack of dawn to catch a flight to Detroit and visit friends and family in Ohio. Do you believe that in order to catch a 6:20 am flight you have to be at the airport at 5:00 am! And of course that was the least expensive flight, so we “had” to do it!

Our flights were on time and after a brief (30 min) plane change in Chicago (yes, we flew to Chicago to go to Detroit!) we arrive at Detroit Regional Airport (DTW). I was pleasantly surprised with how nice it was! I was expecting city, city, city, but it was actually quite green and pretty!

We picked up our rental car and met Erik and Sarah (son and daughter-in-law) and Roland and Joyce (daughter-in-law’s parents) at Tony Packo’s in Toledo for lunch. For those of you who are M*A*S*H fans, this is Klinger’s favorite place! And now, we know why! Food was delicious and inexpensive! And the staff are great – loved hearing them yell our order!

We made to Erik and Sarah’s new home (for now) and got the tour and then headed to our friends Chad & Cheryl’s home (where we were staying). Chad and Cheryl invited Erik, Sarah, Roland and Joyce to join us for dinner and outdid themselves preparing it! We had chicken and shrimp on the grill, fresh corn on the cob and an awesome salad with home made bread. Dessert was a homemade yummy pineapple pie! We got to meet Chad and Cheryl’s twin boys, Caleb and Cole – I had seen pics but had never actually seen them! They were such well behaved kids!

The following day we hung out at Erik and Sarah’s and got a tour of downtown Perrysburg (and a yummy frappuccino at My Daily Grind) and headed off to another couple of friends from Seminary – Marty and Angela’s for dinner! Marty outdid himself in the kitchen (which is to be expected from Marty!). We had grilled bacon wrapped filet mignon and bacon wrapped chicken – oh so good! There was an amazing salad that had stuff in it I can’t even begin to name…one of them being the most amazing goat cheese I have ever had! I was so fixated on this cheese, I can’t even tell you what else dinner consisted of, but boy was it good!

Sunday was the “big day”! We all went to church at Chad’s church in Haskins, St. Paul Lutheran where they had a great contemporary service with a praise band – gotta love a praise band! After church, Cheryl and Chad again hosted us for an amazing lunch…Cheryl made this yummy pasta dish with whole wheat pasta, fresh garden tomatoes, fresh basil and cream cheese – it was to die for! Along with it was a great home made bread (gosh I love bread!) and Chad shared his peanut butter pie that someone from his church made for his birthday! Holy cow was that good!

Roland and Joyce stayed with us at Chad and Cheryl’s while Erik and Sarah went back to their place to prepare for Sarah’s ordination! The ordination was held at St. Mark’s Lutheran in Bowling Green and if you’re interested in what an Ordination is like, Erik did streaming video of the service and it’s available to watch online here. It’s broken up into several parts.

So Sarah is officially a Lutheran Pastor of the ELCA! We’re very proud of her as were her parents who openly wept during her ordination. It’s really an emotional time! What can you possibly do to top that? Go to Sonic of course! Okay, not really, but we see so many commercials for Sonic and the nearest one is 30 miles away in MA (actually up until now I thought they were much farther away…may need to make a road trip!)

So on Tuesday, after five days in Ohio, we headed back to New Hampshire. This time our stop-over was in Baltimore! We made it home and in our bed by midnight.

Sweet dreams…

Day Seven…Saturday

Even though I got up relatively early, I didn’t beat René who was already packing the car with her dad! We had yet another breakfast of English muffins and spun honey (it’s addicting!) and got ready to leave.

I really can’t begin to thank Winn and Jerry for their hospitality! What wonderful hosts they were! I never felt awkward or out of place…I felt like I was home. I got to meet René’s brother Jim that morning…but he’s a “keep to yourself” kind of guy so we really didn’t get to talk. Isn’t it interesting when you meet your friend’s family and realize things like “Oh! That’s why she/he does it that way!” There’s something about family dynamics that intrigues me!

So we headed out onto the highway and our way back North…I’m still not sure where I was, but I know this – I had an AWESOME time! I hope they’ll have me back again, sometime!

Now time to get ready for another adventure…OHIO!

Day Six…Friday

Our last day in Pennsylvania. Ahhhhhh I got to sleep in today! After a yummy breakfast of English muffins and spun honey (René has quite the sweet tooth, I’ve found out!) we headed up to the sewing room and sewed most of the morning in our pajamas (so decadent!). I worked on a liturgical stole for my daughter-in-law, Sarah, Winn worked on another bag and René…I can’t remember what René worked on!

Later that afternoon we took a trip to the Vanity Fair outlets. There were definitely some bargains to be had! I purchased three shirts and six pair of socks for a mere $22! I love bargain shopping! I could have stayed another hour, but it was getting late!

Our last night was spent packing up our sewing stuff. I had gotten a call earlier in the day that one of our parishioners had died suddenly, so I wanted to get home as soon as possible on Saturday. René was very sweet, even offering to leave on Friday so I could get home faster. Instead we packed up our stuff and put it in the living room so we could pack the car first thing.