Fruit flavored syrups made with REAL fruit to amp up your waffle and pancake game!

This post for fruit flavored syrups for pancakes made with real fruit may contain affiliate links.

Literally the best part of going out to a pancake restaurant instead of having them at home is the fruit flavored syrups. See, I’m more of a homemade pancake girl, because I love mine extra fluffy and a little bit undercooked. But when it comes to those fruit flavored syrups, I always feel a little like I’m missing out when I’m eating pancakes and waffles at home. Luckily, they’re really not hard to make and they store in the fridge for weeks!

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MARVELous Superhero Lunch Ideas

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MARVELSnackBar #CollectiveBias

Looking for the perfect Superhero lunch for your child, like a HULK lunch, a Captain America lunch, and a Spiderman lunch? These awesome lunchbox ideas are perfect for big and little kids alike, and really pack a fruit and veggie punch! Switch up your bento routine with these super lunches! #MARVELSnackBar #ad

I’ve been a MARVEL fan for as long as I can remember. Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow… I love them all. And as MARVEL fever has hit just about everyone, it has only made my passion for the characters and powerful themes even stronger. And, because I know it can be SO hard to think of great lunches now that it’s time for back-to-school, I came up with a few fun MARVEL themed lunch ideas that will help keep your rotation of delicious lunches fun and exciting for your children. I started by picking 3 superheroes I really love– the Hulk, Captain America, and Spiderman.

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Easy Apple Crisp for One or Two

A heart healthy dessert featuring oatmeal ad fresh sliced apples, you'll love this quick and easy dessert perfect for one or two. It's a great, homemade, easy dessert that takes minutes to prepare and tastes fresh!

I love a warm, delicious treat that is pretty heart healthy. I’ve shared my personal story about heart problems, and I do my best to try to stay as healthy as I can, even though I don’t always succeed. But, a dessert like this does help make things a little bit easier. Featuring oatmeal, proven to be heart healthy, and freshly sliced apples, which are a serving of fruit, this is an all-around healthy dish that takes only a few minutes to prepare. Plus, as a dessert for one, it’s easy to make just as much as you need and not have any extras to tempt you!

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Salsa De Mayo Easy Fruit Salsa

Holy cow. It’s almost May. Seriously? How did it become May already? Just yesterday I was singing Christmas carols, it seemed like.

No. Wait. I literally WAS singing Christmas carols yesterday because I had Spotify on shuffle and couldn’t resist. But maybe it’s the April snowshowers or the Spotify confusion, or maybe it’s just my unwillingness to admit that summer is right around the corner and I still don’t have a bikini body, but it really is May and I’m really, really unprepared.

So, I decided I needed a festive treat for Cinco de Mayo to help get me in the mood for May.

I started by going to the store and buying any fresh fruit that was on sale and could add some color and texture to my special Cinco de Mayo fruit salsa. My picks were strawberries, plums, kiwifruit, and mangoes, but you pick whatever your family likes. Personally, I thought these tasted really great together and looked a lot like ACTUAL pico de gallo when chopped up.

So growing up, we were always pretty convinced that Cinco de Mayo was the Mexican Independence Day (or if you’re my dad, it’s the day the Titanic sank carrying a big load of Mayonnaise meant for the Mexicans, and they were so upset over the loss, that they mourned with a holiday– the Sink-o de Mayo).  However, it’s not either of those things. Cinco de Mayo, which is actually more of an American holiday than a Mexican one, is the commemoration of the cause of freedom during the early years of the Civil War in America for Mexican-American communities in the West, a way of celebrating Mexican heritage and pride, and a way to celebrate Mexico beating the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862, on, you guessed it…. May 5.

To start a good fruit salsa, just peel and dice your first fruit really finely. I decided to start with a mango. I used 1, but you just add as many of them as you want for the amount of fruit salsa you plan on eating. You’ll know a mango is ripe when it gets that pretty red color on the outside, and when it’s firm, but not squishy (overripe). You’ll want to make the dices very small– the same way you would want your pieces if you were eating a regular salsa, so you can fit a lot onto a chip. Unless you’re a dipper and not a scooper, in which case, you are salsa-ing all wrong.

While making the salsa, I got curious. What was the Battle of Puebla? I mean, Cinco de Mayo NOT being Mexican Independence Day (which is actually on September 16) kind of blew my mind, and I wanted to find out more info. Basically, after the Mexican-American war in 1846-48… AND the MExican Civil War of 1858… AND the 1860 Reform Wars… the Mexican Treasury was super broke. Like bankrupt broke. The president of Mexico at the time decided to just suspend all of the payments on debt that was owed to other countries. Because hey, no money. So France, Britain, and Spain were VERY much not cool with getting no money. I mean, it’s the equivalent of loaning your kid brother lunch money day after day after day, and him giving it away, and then when it’s time for him to pay you back, he says “Uh… yeah, maybe in 2 years, bro.” You’d totally want to beat him up, right? Well, Britain and Spain talked to Mexico, negotiated, and left, figuring things out. But Napoleon III of France was like, “No way, dude.” He wanted a Mexico that would be favorable to France, and moved his troops right in, storming Veracruz.

Taking a break from the very intense history lesson I was getting, I started dicing my plum. To add a little color and texture, I left the skin on this one… you do what you like, and remove that skin if you’d prefer. To me, it was easier, and looked way prettier in the finished product.

Again, you want really small dices!

After the plum dicing, I realized I wanted to know more. I mean, they stormed Veracruz… but then what? Turns out that the French force was so intense that the president of Mexico, and his government, took off and retreated, basically letting the French gain a lot of ground. However, the Mexicans near Puebla were not cool with this, and said “No! You’re not getting in here, dudes.” The French army was big, strong, and had 8,000 people. It was literally considered THE best army. In the world. Anywhere. The Mexicans really didn’t stand a chance… there were 4,500 of them, and they were poorly equipped. No way they’d be able to beat France’s best army ever… things just didn’t look good for the Mexicans.

I was plagued with the feeling of impeding doom for the Mexican army… or, as impending as something that happened like 150 years ago could be… so I decided to take another break from my history lesson to dice up the kiwifruit. Tossing it into the fruit salad, it was almost done… but it looks like it needs something else, yeah? This isn’t quite enough like pico de gallo in looks to me…

Then, I just had to keep reading to see what happened next for the Mexicans vs. the French.

Somehow, against all odds, the Mexicans CRUSHED the French in the battle on May 5, 1862! It was a great morale boost, and the Mexicans celebrated! Call it stereotypical of me, but I get mental images of that taco shell commercial where they’re all lifting the girl on their shoulders and cheering. The Puebla victory was a huge deal! Not only was the battle the first time that the French army had been defeated in more than 50 years, but it was also the last time that a country in the Americas was invaded by European military force.

I cheered for the Mexican Army as I sliced strawberries to add to my festive fruit salsa. It would add the perfect red color to it as a finishing touch!

However, I was pretty dismayed to find out that not long after the great victory, the French defeated the Mexicans, winning the war, and establishing Emperor Maximilian I as the ruler in Mexico. Luckily for my love of underdog stories, that was a short-lived victory. The French were in power only 3 years before the US started giving more help politically and militarily so Mexico could get rid of the French. When the United States finished their own Civil War, they had the opportunity to give that money to Mexico, and it scared the French, who decided to give up and let the Mexican president return and re-organize his government once again.

My fruit salsa was finally complete, and the Mexicans were back in power after the French invasion. Thank goodness.

But then I started finding out that, had the Civil War not ended, or had the French gotten the chance, they would have pushed farther into the States, backing the Confederacy, and quite possibly changing the United States as we know it! Can you imagine what might have happened had France won the battle, defeating Mexico at Puebla, and then marching their way into the South? The United States may have stayed divided! That’s what makes Cinco de Mayo such an important holiday in the United States, as well. In fact, the Mexicans barely even celebrate it, with it being an official holiday in Puebla and Veracruz, but not in the rest of Mexico! Today, though, Cinco de Mayo celebrations can be found around the world, in Canada, the Caribbean, Australia, Japan, and ironically, even France.

When looking for the perfect vessel to get the yummy fruit salsa into my tummy, I knew that these Taco Bell Cinnamon Nacho chips from the Cinnamon Nacho Dessert kit would be perfect! Intended to be served with ice cream, I decided to shake it up, set the included caramel aside to enjoy at a later date, and just enjoy the chips with my fruit salsa. I even sprinkled the included toffee bits over the top as I indulged in the delicious Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips.

It is the PERFECT snack for Cinco de Mayo, no matter what country you’re celebrating from!


Do you want some helpful tips on easy cleanup from all your peels and pits while making the fruit salsa, and a fun way to use up and leftover fruit salsa? Don’t forget to follow @jengerbread88 on Instagram to find these two great tips appearing later today! Not an Instagram user? That’s okay, they’ll be on the DigitalEraMom facebook page, too, which you can access by “liking” it in the sidebar!


Do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Let me know how you celebrate in the comments below!


Tang-y Fruit Salad

This recipe was from my grandfather, and I’m not sure where he got it from. The copy that I have is scrawled in his handwriting. When I first encountered the recipe, we were down visiting him at his house, after he had gotten ill. I thoroughly enjoyed the fruit salad, and Zach couldn’t get enough of it– the bananas, mandarin oranges, and pineapple were easy for his fingers to pick up and chow down. Because it was such a hit, I asked him for the recipe, which I texted to my email, and then promptly forgot about.

This is one of the few images I have of Zach and my grandfather together. It happens to be one of my favorite photos.

I rediscovered the recipe when I was going through the box of recipes I had gotten from him after he passed, and I decided I had to make it. The recipe was completely un-named on the paper, but all I’ve been able to surmise is that it’s a fruit salad, and that there’s Tang in it.

I told my mom I planned to make it, and she said “Yeah, but can you even still buy Tang?” Luckily, I found it at my local grocery store (and in fact, apparently they even make an off-brand, but I stuck with the original this time around!)

You’ll also need a box of Vanilla Jell-O instant pudding, a can each of pineapple tidbits or chunks and mandarin oranges (I like Del Monte), and 5 bananas (not pictured, ripe is best… too green or too overripe and it won’t be as perfect, but whatever you have on hand should work).

Start by draining the canned fruits into a bowl. Do not drain them into a sink or the garbage, because you need the juice!

Add a little Tang and the box of pudding mix, then whisk that up until there’s no more clumps of the powdered ingredients.

Put your sliced bananas and canned fruits into a separate bowl.

Then, pour the liquid over the top and mix until it’s combined.

Chill before serving.

We found that this recipe is best if made a couple of hours in advance, or even the night before, so the flavors really have time to mesh together. However, you can always make it right before dinner if you need to, because it still tastes awesome then.

This fruit salad is also good served over Angel Food cake.

Did you know that Tang was still on the market? Or better yet, do you drink Tang? Sound off in the comments below!

Tang-y Fruit Salad

1 can Del Monte chunk pineapple, drained
1 can Del Monte mandarin oiranges, drained
(reserve juice from both)
5 bananas, sliced
1 package Jell-o Instant Vanilla Pudding, dry
1 Tablespoon orange Tang
Add to juice dry pudding and Tang. Mix all, then add fruit back in. Add in 5 sliced bananas. Serve chilled.