Month: March 2014

Getting my ducks in a row…

Today is Duck Day for Bigs!

Quack!

Here is his lunch:

Duck Themed Preschool Lunch

It’s a duck shaped PB&J (crusts added back after picture taken). I gave Bigs some corn, a mix of grapes and strawberries, and for dessert – some jelly beans in ducky colors (and I know this to be true since they came out of a Donald Duck packet of Jelly Belly’s).

I once had a math teacher in high school that told me I was always too worried and stressed out about things (see? I told you – it’s how I always have been!) and that I needed to be more like a duck. Even in inclement, horrible weather, even in hurricanes, ducks calmly glide through the water, letting the pelting rain slide off their backs. Sure their little, webbed feet are paddling like crazy under the surface of the water, but the rain drops just slide right off their feathers, not bothering them at all.

I’m going to try to be more like a duck.

Have a ducky day,

Kristin

A Berry Good Day

Today has been a berry, berry good day! Yesterday’s gloomy, overcasty clouds burned off to reveal a blue-skied, clear, gorgeous day. It was a perfect backdrop for strawberry picking. We started our day with our usual Saturday Pancakes.

Pancakes Bacon and Sausage

This time, I added little sausages with our bacon, and brûléed bananas.

Pancake Breakfast

After our hearty breakfast, we were off! The strawberry fields were about a half hour away and we got there just as they opened.

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The boys were SO excited! To them, it must have looked like miles upon miles of strawberries! Bigs did a great job of picking the plump, ruby red, ripe berries. Smalls did a great job of eating any berry he could find, whether it be from the ground (half-eaten by some vermin or squashed by an unknown stranger shoe) or plucked from the plant itself.

Smalls Eating

Just about every time I turned around, Smalls was stuffing a berry into his mouth. His little baby hands were stained red within minutes. When I picked him up to give him a snuggle, his little breath and skin smelled so sweet of ripe, juicy berries. I just held him forever, burying my face in his curly hair and neck, inhaling his sweetness. And he let me, instead of squirming away. It was magical. I could have breathed in his scent forever.

Smalls and Strawberries

The boys had a wonderful time. It was great to show Bigs food-sourcing. He couldn’t wait to get home, wash these sweeties, and eat them – the ones HE picked! Snack-time was wonderful – a bowl of freshly picked berries!

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I love this one of Husband, Bigs, and Smalls, in succession <3

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It was such a happy morning, with the blue, clear skies, the sweet smell of berries in the air, and surrounded by my three, very special boys. My heart is so full!

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Our bounty, washed and drying

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Beautiful, ruby red jewels

From the strawberry field, we went to a Farmer’s Market. We walked around, munching on kettle corn (it’s always best made right in front of you!).

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Each boy got their own little bag. Smalls dumped his out on accident.

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We smelled the produce and plants for sale (this one was a spectacular chocolate mint plant!!).

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We watched an Amtrak train pull into the station and take off again. We sat there gawking at it like tourists. It was great. Smalls talked about for the rest of the day, in his own little 19 month old way, “Choo choo?? Wooo wooooooo!!”, “Choo choo!!!!”. Those boys love their trains.

And, we also walked through the rows and rows of gorgeous flowers for sale. These are the most lovely hydrangeas. I love hydrangeas.

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Spring has most certainly sprung around these parts – a fresh promise of growth and renewal, and a reminder of life’s beautiful, cyclical nature.

It was indeed a gorgeous and perfect morning for our little family! We ended our day (after all the non-event middle day stuff) with frozen yogurt.

Froyo

The boys are now tucked into bed, I am not far behind. I love when I am pooped from doing things that made me happy.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13

I am so blessed by these three boys! They give me the hope for a new day and they fill my heart with love. My cup truly runneth over.

Have a very blessed night, yourself,

Kristin

Dough’nt Worry, Be Happy!

It’s Friday! I love Fridays! You know what I loved about this particular Friday? We had no plans. Zero commitments. It is SO rare for us to have nothing to do. I’ve been craving a day like that for a long time. What better to do with our time on a misty, coolish, slightly gloomy Friday than travel 20 minutes to get the best donuts in [the neighboring] town? I don’t even need to explain our history with donuts. It was a perfect start to our Free Friday.

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Since my boys were up extra early this morning, we got there before 7:45am and almost all the donuts were sold out (not ALL, but all the flavors WE wanted). I asked the girl in the front if they had any in the back and she came back and told me that the baker would make the flavors we wanted. That’s what I call customer service!

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We got a half dozen – that ought to last me through the weekend. 😉 Starting on the top left, we got my new favorites, German chocolate, strawberry cream cheese, sprinkles for Bigs (he was THRILLED to have one freshly made just for him!), a plain glazed (nothing “plain” about the flavor though!), a chocolate peanut butter, and lastly, the Coconut Crunch.

I only ate one – the chocolate and peanut butter, which is a classic and amazing combo, as you all surely must know. Bigs ate his sprinkle donut with gusto.

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He wastes no time. He also said, “By the way, Mom, can I have another one?” (LOL, nice BTW, kid, very nonchalant of you!)

I gave Smalls the glazed one. I learned last time that he’s not so fond of sprinkles, for some reason beyond my personal comprehension. That glazed donut (and I’m having deja vu, so I know I’ve said this before about the same donut), is the best glazed donut I’ve ever had – sticky and slightly crunchy on the outside, tender and yeasty on the inside. Smalls loved it. He would put it up to his mouth and suck on it. That’s one way to get all the flavors. I helped him finish it. He didn’t mind sharing his “do-do”.

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Smalls sucking on his donut…because why not?

We only had to stop and leave all our donuts on the table to use the restroom once. Not too shabby.

We made the 25 minute journey back to our house, all the while giggling and talking about donuts, and still smelling of the fried yeast dough.

When we got home, the boys played in the playroom while I did laundry and worked off my donut on the Elliptical (also located in the playroom). Why is it though, that kids can be quite independent when playing with toys, but become completely needy once they see Mommy doing something else, like a timed work out?!

After that, the boys and I did springy crafts.

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We made “shamrocks” out of paper towel rolls (Smalls’ work on the left and Bigs’ on the right). I think each of them took their own artistic license with it. 🙂

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Smalls ate some paint, as per the usual.

Then Bigs used markers as his next medium, to draw Easter bunnies, some crosses, a few churches, and the most even Easter egg I’ve ever seen!

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I’m this kid’s number one fan! He does great work.

For lunch I made an “Everything Salad”, the healthier equivalent to the Everything Pizza or the Kitchen Sink Cookie.

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I love when my leftovers go nicely with a green salad. I used ice berg, red bell pepper, mandarin orange segments, carrots, and sprouts. I added last night’s beans and carrot salad. Delicious!

Ahhh, yes, it’s been a great day. And it’s not even over yet! Gluten free, dairy free pizza for dinner! I might stick to my leftover donuts. 😉 I can handle a GF crust, but no cheeeeeese (I’m out)?! Whatever will I do?

Have a blessed Friday,

Kristin

Curry On!

For tonight’s dinner, I went with a slightly Mediterranean influence. I use “slightly” loosely, since I’ve never been to the Mediterranean and ‘they’ might just be appalled at what I label as such. Earlier today, I made a curried carrot and raisin salad. I love those. I might be the only person who orders them at Chik-Fil-A (no curry in theirs). Am I? Why do they still have those on the menu if it’s only me eating them? So flattered. The recipe called for mayonnaise and since Dairy-Free-Husband can’t eat that (nor would he, with a ten foot long fork), I made a slightly different version for him. Seriously. Wife of the year. I’ll clear some junk out of the way to put up my trophy.

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The one on the left is obviously the better one (with mayo).

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I added more cayenne to my husband’s and used olive oil in place of mayo. I also added turmeric since it helps with his Crohn’s. The result was like a marinated salad. The fresh lemon juice really brightened it up. I actually really enjoyed this take on it.

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The original recipe yielded a creamier, Chick-Fil-A type salad. This might also be really tasty with pineapple in it. Dang. I actually have pineapple this time.

Oh well. I can add some tomorrow and eat it. There’s plenty of leftovers (of both), since I was the only one eating it tonight. :/

Anyways, if you are into such a salad, here’s the recipe:

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/03/carrot-raisin-salad-from-down-south.html

I also made a chicken and bean casserole. I found this recipe today and love that you can pretty much sub out any of the veggies, beans, and proteins.

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I used one can of chick peas and one of navy beans. I used a frozen mixture of green and wax beans and carrots.

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I love a recipe that you can literally just throw together. With whatever you have. That’s my kind of cooking.

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I really enjoyed this recipe too. The bean mixture on the bottom was so good. I couldn’t get enough. Some of the chick peas had browned to a crunchy state. So good. The little boys didn’t like this. Too bad. More for me. This will also be good tomorrow, cold and over a green salad.

Here’s the link to the recipe:

http://www.katheats.com/easy-chicken-and-bean-bake

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I served it with a fresh fruit salad.

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I really enjoyed this meal.

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Hope you have a blessed Thursday and a wonderful Friday! TGIF!

Kristin

There’s always time for cake!

There's always time for cake

Even though my busyness continues, there’s always time for cake. That’s SORT of ironic, only because making a cake is not always a fast process. You’ve often got multiple bowls going for your wet and dry ingredients, you’ve got to cool before you frost (usually). But somehow, if it is needed (isn’t it always), I always find time to make a cake. This time, I made a gluten and dairy free Chocolate Chip Zucchini loaf cake (under the guise of a “bread”). It came out great – moist, chewy, chocolately, healthy(ish).

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I love packing vegetables into food. What a great way to get a serving in your diet!

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I used three whole zucchini for this recipe. I’d never get away with roasting them and serving them at dinner. Well, Smalls might be all about it, but he’s weird. He didn’t even want this cake. Like I said, weird.

Up Close

I bet if Smalls knew it had so much zucchini in it, he’d have eaten it. He’s my savory-loving little boy!

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Here is the link:

http://www.foodfanatic.com/2013/09/gluten-free-zucchini-bread-decadently-chocolate/

We had simple salads for dinner to go with our veggie theme:

Oh Salad

And here’s today’s elephant themed lunch:

Elephant Themed Preschool Lunch

And elephant shaped PB&J (standing on his rock made out of crusts), an applesauce squeezy fruit, some corn, and some goldfish crackers. I used some elephant themed decorations I had, as well.

Have a wonderful Thursday (almost Friday, yay!),

Kristin

Ketching-up

Ketchup

Well, well, well. What a long break I’ve had from you. It’s felt long to me, too. I hope you haven’t forgotten about my itty bitty bloggy. Right? I need you to tell me you haven’t forgotten. Lots has happened since I’ve last written, but when I sit down to write, I can’t remember much! So we’ll just go down the list of food I’ve made or eaten. That’s mostly all I remember. That’s what I created this space for, mostly, anyways, the important food stuff.

I WAS going to post a few pictures of what I thought was a great dinner, but unfortunately, I had a little tummy bug and saw that dinner come up again and again the whole night. So. I cannot bear to look at it. You aren’t missing much anyways.

So last week was my husband’s birthday. You might remember my ill-fated birthday cupcakes. The next day, we took our kids to a theme park to celebrate Husband’s birthday in a bigger way. It was a long fun day! I packed lunches for the boys:

Mickey Mouse Themed Lunches

I made Mickey Mouse shaped PB&J, gave each boy some goldfish, gave Smalls some applesauce, and gave Bigs some whole grapes and a gummy worm.

We don’t normally spend money on overpriced theme park food, but it was a special day. Upon getting there (in the morning), we started with a Mickey Mouse shaped macaron (could have done without that one, flavor wise) and a surprisingly worth-the-money-for-the-taste lollipop. You are a hero to your almost 4 year old if you let him have a lollipop right after breakfast, especially one with Mickey on the front and that is bigger than his hand. Trust me. You’re a hero.

Mickey Mouse Food

That lollipop left its mark on just about everything we owned – sticky town!!

Aaaaand, we got the most buttery, salty popcorn life had to offer. Yum.

Popcorn Piggy Face

The next day was another working-in-Bigs-classroom day for me. I love those days! We were learning about trains so I made an appropriate lunch for Bigs.

Train Themed Preschool Lunch

A train shaped PB&J (what else!), pretzel sticks, a clementine, and some pudding in a cup. Chugga chugga!

And I packed myself a lunch, too.

Mommy School Lunch

I made a quick farro salad the night before. I boiled and drained farro. I added rice vinegar, some Asian spices, peas, and corn, and S&P. On the side, I packed a clementine and two small (cut up) bell peppers. For snack, I had pretzels and hummus.

Bigs also had a day where he learned about air planes.

Airplane Themed Preschool Lunch

It’s an airplane shaped PB&J (Food Writers details), the word “Air!” stamped in bread, a box of raisins, graham crackers, grapes, and a clementine.

Well that catches us up only to Thursday. See? I told you it was a long week! Friday, one of my favorite days of the week, was a zoo playdate days. Here are the boys’ lunches:

Animal Themed Zoo Lunches

For Bigs, a camel shaped PB&J for Bigs (lightly sprayed gold and eye and toe details added), a clementine, grapes, a box of raisins, and some bear shaped cookies for dessert. For Smalls, I packed a bear shaped PB&J (my track records for adding bear details to a bear shaped sandwich are now 2/2…as in, I’ve messed up 2), some bear shaped cookies, some grapes, and a clementine.

Just before meeting our friends at the zoo, I took my little sweeties to one of our favorite places – a Mom & Pop donut shop! I daresay…and with confidence….this donut shop beats Dunkin’ Donuts AND Krispy Kreme. I can’t even handle how good they are. And my boys think it is such a very special treat going there.

Donut Date

When you walk in, you smell fresh donuts being made. It is such a different kind of donut shop. I adore that place. Look how cute my boys are peeking in the donut case. I hope one of them works there when they turn working-age. Anyways, Bigs picked his usual sprinkles donut (gotta love a kid who knows what he wants!) and I got the same for Smalls. They were almost out of donuts (this place is popular) so I chose ones I don’t normally choose. And I’m glad I did. I have a new favorite. The German chocolate donut was literally to die for. I am dreaming of it now – a not-too-sweet raised donut that was full of cocoa flavor, a rich, coconutty icing dollop, streaks of chocolate frosting. Yes, it’s my new favorite. The bottom left was a strawberry and cream cheese one, also to die for.

Sluuuuurp! **wiping drool off**

Bigs loves sprinkles (he’s the reason, after all, for the name of this blog!!), but Smalls and his sprinkle donut? That was quite a different story. He attempted to  pick off each sprinkle and discard. The horror!!

Then we were off to the zoo! Sadly, it was the day that the entire tri-county school system brought kids in for a field trip. But we still had fun!

Zoo Date

We saw the new giraffes, we ate our funny lunches, rode the choo choo train and the carousel. It was a great day.

That brings us to Saturday! We volunteered for a “Serve Day” at our church.
The kids decorated and filled snack bags for the other volunteers doing more physical work (landscaping, cleaning, etc.).

God is Love

We handed out the bags and the kids said, “Thank you for serving!”, and it was so wonderful to see the kids get it – giving back and being a servant. Love our church!

That night, we were feeling burgers. And peanuts.

Burger Mania

Five Guys is a place where you can get both. AND you can make a big mess of the peanuts, something that is highly appealing to small children. Making a mess on purpose and not getting in trouble? Sign them up!

And lastly, here is today’s camping themed lunch. I LOVE this one!

Camping Themed Preschool Lunch

This might just be my new favorite lunch for Bigs. I did a couple of little cocktail weenies, a packet of ketchup, some corn off the cob, and for dessert, a make your own s’mores (a few graham crackers, a few tiny marshmallows and one little Hershey square). I hope he loves it!! It gave me the giddy giggles to put it together.

Alright. All ketch’d-up. Hope you have a great Tuesday!

Kristin