Tag Archives: fruit pizza

Tristan’s “Big Night” (because he is turning 29)

Happy Birthday, Tristan Kelley!


pictured: The sign made by Steph and Stormie with a nod to The Office, naturally.

You are at that age – you know?  The one everyone claims to be when they don’t wanna be the age they really are?  So pretty much, for the next year, everyone will think you are lying about your age.  But you’re not.  Like McCaulay Culkin, you are actually 29.  Which puts into perspective for me the little boy you were so many years ago when we watched Home Alone with our kids, and Stephanie, in particular.


When you chose Stephanie, when you decided (which in retrospect seems uncharacteristically devilish of you) to pursue Stephanie in spite of a road-bump whose name I shall not bother to mention here, you got us all, the whole loud, crazy, undone and un-in-law-tested bunch of us, lock, stock and barrel.


And we are grateful to your parents for the wonderful son they raised.  We thank God that you were nurtured and encouraged in a godly home, prepared and equipped to be the man you have become – a great husband to Steph and a true daddy to the bambinos.  Tell your mom and dad thank-you for me, will you?  Because they did really raise a courageous son, one who, in spite of the size and girth of the sum of us, is not only equal to the task, able to withstand our faults and failures and shortcomings as much as enjoy any good, but strengthens us as a family, bringing rich character and treasure to us.  Who could have known when you became one of us that one such humble young man’s presence in a family could change our course so drastically?  Tris, you brought  an increase of the favor of God upon us and I can’t remember life before you became our “son.”  We are blessed.

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pictured: he must have said something funny at the family party; a shot from the recent Kelley photo shoot taken by Tredessa; the apparent Rocky/Tristan “butt” shot…for their wives only, I am sure.


Food ~ The Glorious Timpano

As usual, we had your annually-requested-birthday fruit pizza (see recipe) instead of a cake (but I really am game to create free-standing drum set someday), which nearly drove several family members into a sugar coma.  And, much to Stormie’s delight, your celebration became an opportunity for her highly-sought-after Timpano ~ as made famous by the cinematically beautiful movie, Big Night, starring Tony Shalub and Stanley Tucci.  The movie is wonderful.  The food they prepare is inspiring.  Stormie’s version is delish!

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What a silly family we are, sometimes, huh?  But what great times celebrating each other and just being with people who’ll love you to the end!


Twenty-nine wishes for Tris on his 29th birthday.

  1. May the storehouse of good in you always be full to running over!  “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him…”  Matthew 12.35
  2. I wish for you to know the deep things of God and to increase in wisdom as He leads you.
  3. I hope you and Stephanie will always remain madly in love, and that your life’s pursuits will  keep you running into each other in happy, romantic collisions.
  4. I pray that the love you bestow upon your children will come back to you a hundred-fold.
  5. Long life!  And may it go well with you because you keep the 5th commandment to honor your parents.  Keep doing that.  You can’t go wrong. 
  6. God?  Bless Tristan.  Really bless him! 
  7. I wish you 50% off days at Mile-High Comics every Labor Day!
  8. I wish for your full talent as a musician to be recognized beyond your wildest dreams and that you be compensated duly.
  9. May you get all the best drumsticks and Zildjian cymbals you ever need.
  10. I wish for you to have good students: the kind who don’t waste your time and who will really learn from the treasure-trove of musical knowledge you possess.
  11. I pray that as you have dared2work at dare2share, you’ll  get credit in heaven for the harvest!
  12. Tris, I hope you will always be strengthened by knowing that you are so well loved by our whole family.
  13. The time you need with the people you love.  Thank-you for working so hard to provide for your family, for doing whatever it takes, but enjoy time that belongs to you, too.
  14. And that secret dream?  May the resources and location come to pass quickly by the divine hand of the Lord.  He is on the look out for you, I know it!
  15. Rest.  I wish rest for you.
  16. Peace.  I wish peace for you, too.
  17. And joy.  I wish an abundance of the joy of the Lord to be your strength.
  18. X-box 360 expertise.  As if you even need this wish – may you do reeeeeally well in X-box tourneys and beat everybody (except occasionally let Rocky have a victory since he is your “little brother”)!
  19. I hope you’ll…laugh (you thought I was gonna say “dance”, didn’t you?).
  20. I wish for your sense of humor to get even keener, if that is possible, so you can keep us laughing!
  21. Surprises.  I hope this year will be full of really good surprises for you.
  22. I wish increased relationship and bonding between you and all the siblings (the sister you were born to and her husband, and all the ones you have because of Stephanie).  Their lives are so enriched in the knowing of you.
  23. Cool t-shirts, the perfect jeans, great hair cuts and shoes that make your feet go “ahhh.”  You have your own style and I wish for it all come to you easily this year!
  24. Songs.  New songs.  Lots of them.
  25. Beats and rhythms only heard previously in the halls of heaven.  Bring ’em on, Tris!
  26. I wish lots of English toffee for you and other sweet sundries, which I guess can be made possible if I will only get busy.  Sometime between now and Christmas, maybe…
  27. I wish more kids for you, but apparently you are not going to receive that little present, but can’t you just see it?  Six or seven more little redheads running around??!  Wouldn’t the world be a more delightful and magical place???
  28. I am hoping for lots more conversations with you because I learn so much and am so moved by your insight and wisdom on so many different topics.  You are truly one of the smartest people I have ever known in my life.
  29. And finally?  I pray for God to bless you back, in the same kind and with the same measure with which you have loved us, shown respect to us, honored us and become a part of us.  And if He answers that prayer, and I know He will, you will be blessed – on your 29th birthday and always.  And I am believing for that! 

We love you, Tristan.  I hope you will always know how much.  Happy Birthday to you!…mom (and so honored to get to share that role just a tiny bit even though you already have a wonderful mama)

NOTE TO SELF:  Break out the toffee recipe because Tristan is worth it, even if it isn’t Christmas.

Sugar Shock: Fruit Pizza Recipe


The sweets and baking arts are not my calling, though I enjoy  baking a wedding cake  for a crowd  because of  the challenge.   But through the years, I have latched on to a few, and I mean a few, recipes which have become known as “Family Favorites.”

One is Fruit Pizza.

Please do not mistake this goodie  for the pretty pictures of fresh fruit on a light crust that you might see in a Pampered Chef booklet or a Pillsbury Dough magazine ad.   This little pile of indulgence is heavy and sweet, chewy  and laden with fat and sugar  and could probably kill you, if you ate the whole thing.

The recipe came to Dave and I within a few weeks of our marriage from one Mrs.  Howard Helm  of Minot, North Dakota.   She was a faithful  KHRT radio listener, where Dave was the afternoon/evening dj at the time  and she stopped by the station to bring this dessert – in a time and place where it was received readily, without reservation and enjoyed by the whole staff.

This is old-fashioned-if-you’ve-gotta-die-of-something-it-may-as-well-be-dessert Fruit Pizza.   Nothing light and fresh about it – well, the fruit is until you bathe it in the “sauce.”   But it is pretty darn-tootin’ fun on occasion.   Tristan asked for it for his family birthday celebration and though we all get very excited about it initially, we can barely finish our servings and are bemoaning how rich it is before we finish.   But give it a couple of hours and we’re back.

Do you have the courage?


Old-Fashioned (Killer) Fruit Pizza

Crust: one roll of prepared sugar cookie dough, pressed onto a pizza round or into a cake pan or cookie sheet, baked 12-15 minutes (until browning).   Remove from oven, set aside to cool.

Sauce (make this while the crust is in the oven): 1/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1 cup of frozen orange juice concentrate (don’t mix it with water-just the actual concentrate!), 1 cup of sugar, a dash of salt and 3 tablespoons of corn starch.   Whisk these and bring to bubbling in a saucepan.   Cook until thickened and then set aside to cool (must be totally cool before spooning over the fruit).

Filling:   Beat 8 oz. softened cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

Fruit: any combination of your favorites in season or frozen.   We love bananas, strawberries, kiwi and even mandarin oranges or fresh peaches.   Then we pop raspberries and/or blueberries on top because they look so pretty.   I used to place all the fruit in very careful patterns and designs, but when I started just using a cake pan, the sauce covered it all up anyway, so now I just throw it in.


  • Spread the cream cheese filling over the cooled crust.
  • Place fruit over the cream cheese.   Load it up and pack it on.
  • Spoon the sauce over the fruit.   Chill for a few hours or overnight.

Over the years, we have strayed from the traditional o.j. concentrate glaze and tried fruity combinations like mango-orange, or strawberry-grape.   I also put way less sugar in now, but you can’t tell!

My teeth hurt just recounting this.