Month: September 2014

The Great Pumpkin [Lunchbox]

I am one of those people who never finds it too early for pumpkin season to start. Some might call us annoying, others might call us one of their own. I love the start of this new holiday season, and I think September is an appropriate month to bring out everything pumpkin. Dontcha think?

For my Bigs’ lunch at school tomorrow, I brought it allll out.

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I made a sliced chicken and cheddar sandwich (Applegate Naturals) with a little bit of mayonnaise. I used a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter to make the shape and used a sharp knife to make the face details. I used my Food Writers to add some color (orange and green) to the pumpkin. I packed carrot chips and ranch dip, seasoned corn (in a pumpkin shaped silicon mold), homemade cinnamon applesauce, and a green (lime) Tootsie Roll for dessert.

I think he’ll love it.

I made the applesauce earlier today. It was SO easy. I didn’t follow any recipe, and didn’t feel I even needed one (it was that easy). Here’s what I did:

Wash and peel (I ate the peels!) however many apples you have (I had about a 10 small ones). Core and slice them. Put them in your crockpot with a few tablespoons each of water and cinnamon. Set on high for a few hours. I stirred it and the apples were so broken down (a good thing), that they mashed all together. Yum. You can also keep the peels on, but my boys aren’t fond of that.

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The house smelled like Fall. It was wonderful. And I love an easy recipe.

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Have a blessed day!

Kristin

A “Fair” to Middling End to the Week

TGIF! Tomorrow, that is. I love Fridays. Always have. The weekend stretches before you, holding the promise of good times. The long week is behind you. Thank God it’s [almost] Friday, indeed!

I am excited about the lunch I packed for my Bigs to eat tomorrow. It’s a fun one, to celebrate the end of the week.

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It’s a “Coney Island” themed lunch! I packed two pizza rolls. I warmed them up again (they were in the freezer) to take the chill off. I also packed a banana (I decorated it with ice cream stickers), vanilla yogurt with sprinkles, pieces of an ice cream cone, slivered almonds, and itsy bitsy marshmallows, all to imitate a banana split. He might not piece all this together, but I think he’ll go…bananas (!) for it. I sure did. I had a great time making it. I also included a piece of salt water taffy. You can’t go to the boardwalk without getting any these (or cotton candy, however, I think Bigs’ school would object to that as a lunch dessert, as would I HA!).

I hope he has as much fun at school tomorrow as he would on a boardwalk fair!

🙂

Happy [almost] Weekend!

Kristin

“Cultured” Lunches

How is it almost Thursday again, already? This week has flown by! I must admit, these two lunches I’ve just made are far from exciting. Tonight, we had karate for my Bigs and I had grocery shopping. And that was just this evening. I think I lost my creative lunch-making ideas on Aisle 6 (the chips and salsa aisle). But at least my kids won’t go hungry, amirite?

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My small fella is in Mom’s Morning Out tomorrow. I still am not comfortable sending him in with things that need to be refrigerated. I feel he’d try to eat the ice pack or chuck it at someone. So, for now, he gets PB&J. I also packed Goldfish crackers (I actually think they are a bit expired #oops #dontthinkhewillnotice), a banana, and a frozen Simply Go Gurt (I will put it in the lunchbox in the morning and it will be nice and cold by lunchtime).

For my Bigs:

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I have a ham and cheese slider (with mayo), seasoned corn, Concord grapes, a frozen Go Gurt, a mini chocolate chip cookie, and one Hershey’s kiss. He won’t even notice how snooze-ville this lunch is because he’ll think he’s won the jackpot with that Hershey’s kiss.

#winnerwinnerchickendinner

#dontknowwhyikeephashtagging

#haveablessedday

Kristin

Raisin’ the Roof!

Happy Tuesday (I hope it is for you, anyways)! This Tuesday was a pretty happy one for me. My Bigs had a great day in school and worked on writing capital “B’s”. I went jogging with my Smalls and there was a breeze (it’s the small things). I made a delicious dinner (my dinner track record of late hasn’t been so great) and I’ll even be sharing one of the recipes soon. I also made a Cinnamon-Raisin Quick Bread (by Lisa Leake, 100 Days of Real Food). It was a happy Tuesday.

Here is my Biggy Bigs’ lunch for tomorrow:

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I cut one slice of the quick bread and sandwiched it with cream cheese. I also packed one slice of ham, rolled up, and some pieces of cheese, seasoned corn, homemade fruit snacks, and some Sun Drops (colored, chocolate-covered sunflower seeds). I am betting my Bigs will love this lunch. I love the colors of it. So cheerful!

The bread was a breeze to make – it’s not named “quick” bread for nothing!

I love 100 Days of Real Food recipes. They are clean and mostly easy. A win-win!

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The house smelled heavenly while this little loaf was baking. Cinnamon and raisins go so well together in taste AND in smell.

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Yum-o.

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If you’ve got an hour, some whole wheat flour, honey, cinnamon and raisins (and a few other basic ingredients), TRY THIS.

There is no white sugar in it – only honey. It’s made with whole wheat. It’s hearty. It’s good hot, cold, or toasted. What’s not to love?

Here’s the recipe:

http://www.parents.com/blogs/food-scoop/2014/09/04/health/100-days-of-real-food-could-you-do-it/?socsrc=pmmfb1409067

Have a blessed Wednesday!

Kristin

Everyday I’m Wafflin’

My kid loves breakfast. I mean, LOVES breakfast. Especially pancakes and waffles. He got my carbo-lovin’ genes. I love paying homage to this when making lunches for my special boy. Tomorrow, he will eat waffles. And he will like it.

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I made a whole wheat waffle, cream cheese, and raspberry jam sandwich. I toasted it and spread the cream cheese on each side and jam in the middle (to prevent it from getting soggy). I also packed mandarin oranges (washed of their sugary juices), dried blueberries, and applesauce.

I’d call that a brunch!

A waffle brunch!

A waffle brunch is in the hooooouuuuse toniiiiight!

That’s enough of that, you don’t even want to get me started singing.

Kristin

It’s a new day!

Happy Friday! We made it through another week! It’s a new day today, and a new day…a fresh start to my own personal parenting. Last night, my husband and I started going to a parenting class at our church. It’s all about loving your children on purpose (Danny Silk’s series). It was life-changing already. It’s my answer to prayer about how I deal with my Bigs’ behavior and managing myself. I can’t wait until our next class. This is exactly what I prayed for (without knowing exactly what I was praying for, does that even make sense?).

My Bigs’ lunch isn’t too over the top today. It was a long day yesterday and I needed to pack something quick.

Yesterday was the day I worked in Bigs’ classroom. I really enjoyed it! We had so much fun. It was great eating lunch with him, although he ate his and most of mine. Stinker.

Here is Bigs’ lunch today:

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It’s a turkey and cheese on a whole wheat roll (with a leeetle bit of mayo), seasoned corn, dried fruit, concord grapes and raspberries, and a Swiss Miss pudding cup for dessert. He’s going to flip his little lid for the pudding cup – it’s a special treat.

Happy Almost Weekend!

Kristin

From Danny Silk’s series:

“If I give my children freedom, respect, & honor in my own home, they’ll download a culture that makes every other culture pale in comparison.”

Life. Changing.

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Lunches

Tomorrow is Thursday. I like Thursdays. Both my boys are in school. Tomorrow is a special Thursday, however. I am volunteering in my Bigs’ classroom. I love when it’s my turn to do that. It’s SO fun seeing him in his own environment there. And it’s a blast getting to know his teacher and classmates. I had to pack three lunches for tomorrow.

For Bigs:

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I made turkey and cheese (I like the Applegate Naturals brand for all deli meats and cheeses I give the kids) roll-ups on flour tortillas, with a teeny bit of mayonnaise. I use mini skewers to keep the roll-ups together. I break the skewers in half and put a sticker “flag” on the broken side to prevent splintering. I also packed carrot chips, homemade fruit snacks, applesauce, and two homemade mini chocolate chip cookies.

For Smalls:

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I made PB&J on a flour tortilla and cut it into wedges. I don’t give him anything that needs to be refrigerated (at this point, yet) because I don’t want him to have to deal with ice packs. I also packed Goldfish crackers, freeze dried mango, and a banana. On that banana, I scratched the words “I <3 you!” and I am hopeful it will show up by lunchtime tomorrow.

For me:

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I packed fruity chicken salad (bottom left), dried mandarin oranges, homemade fruit snacks, dried fruit mix (raisins, coconut, papaya, pineapple), and dried berries.

I can’t wait to eat it.

Hope you have a blessed night!

Kristin

With my song, I praise Him. – Psalm 28:7

(My Bigs and I have been singing Matt Maher’s “All the People Said Amen” all day today – it’s so great to see my little ones praise God in their own ways!)

Homemade Uncrustables Lunch

I am happy to report that Bigs’ behavior was better today, but unhappy to report that it soured after I already included a lunch dessert in the lunch I just packed for him. As I sit here typing this, and also browning onions for our kielbasa dinner, he is in timeout, thrashing about his room, screaming, and stomping on the floor. I think I felt another gray hair pop up.

Since I already packed him a lunch dessert, I am hopping he earns it back.

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I made a homemade PB&J Uncrustable. I have this little tool that pinches off the crust (and makes it into a square). I love this tool since it doesn’t waste a lot of the bread (only a thin part of the crust). It’s called the Wonder Sandwich Sealer N Decruster. I think I got it at Target on clearance a while back. Anyways, I pressed down the edges with a fork to further seal in the PB&J. I packed my homemade fruit snacks, Goldfish crackers, carrot chips, and three mini homemade chocolate chip cookies. It’s like a little (and healthier!) Lunchable.

I really hope his behavior allows him to enjoy his Lunchable as a whole, versus having an empty cookie spot.

Hope springs eternal!

Kristin

It’s a Lunchbox Party!

So yesterday, I got busy in the kitchen. I made three things, that when put together, would make quite a party in the lunchbox!

I started with homemade fruit snacks.

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I’ve made these many, many times before. They are easy and healthy. MUCH more healthy than store-bought fruit snacks (which I won’t judge if you eat them – we do sometimes too!).

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They only have a few ingredients – frozen (or fresh fruit), honey, orange juice (I use concentrate with water), and gelatin.

Here is the recipe (feel free to use the fruits you love!):

http://www.thankyourbody.com/homemade-healthy-fruit-snacks/

My Bigs loves these. My Smalls doesn’t adore the squishy feeling. The taste is so much cleaner than the over-processed ones.

I also made pizza rolls. I didn’t follow any recipe, but made it up as I went along. These were also very easy, only using four ingredients, as well.

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Crescent rolls, pizza sauce, Italian cheese blend, and mini pepperoni. That’s it!

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I rolled out the crescent rolls and used a rolling pin to flatten them. I spread around a few tablespoons of pizza sauce, sprinkled some cheese, and scattered some mini pepperoni. I then rolled up the dough, like I would cinnamon rolls.

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I placed the rolls in the fridge for a while, so they wouldn’t be too gooey when slicing them.

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Once chilled, I sliced them and put them in a greased cake tin and baked for about 20 minutes.

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My house smelled like a pizzeria! They came out golden brown, ooey, gooey, melty, cheesy, saucy, and pizza-y.

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I think they’ll be a hit.

And lastly, I made mini chocolate chip cookies. I love any size chocolate chip cookie. These were fun to make. I didn’t even mind rolling up a thousand little cookies.

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These are the perfect size for small hands and lunchbox treats!

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I can’t wait for my Bigs to be able to have these in his lunchbox (good behavior is the key to getting these).

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They are DELICIOUS – slightly chewy, soft, a bit underdone…and best of all, adorably little.

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Get in my belly, a thousand of you!!!

Here is the recipe, if you are interested (and why wouldn’t you be?):

http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/07/chocolate-chip-cookie-bites/

Blessings,

Kristin

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Love a cookie jar full of homemade goodness!

The Ferocious Fours & Lunch

Have you guys ever heard of the “Terrible Fours”? Apparently it’s a thing. It’s pretty terrible and it’s actually called the “Ferocious Fours”, according to my research. I did the research to make sure I wasn’t the only parent pulling out my newly highlighted locks, due to my four year old’s behavior. They are also referred to as the “f*****g fours”, but I don’t use that language (out loud). I thought the twos were bad. I really did. But nothing, NOTHING, could have prepared me for the fours. It’s been something else. Bigs’ desire to be independent, his unreasonable demands, his constant questioning of my authority, his flat out yelling “NO!” to everything I request him do, followed by some kind of caveman-esque grunt in anger…yes, it’s been something else. My Smalls is two now, so I can easily compare said phases, and I’m pretty sure the fours are worse. At least I can pick Smalls up and tote him or hold him down. When I pick up Bigs now, to remove him from the situation or to gently force him into timeout, he yells that I’m hurting him (which I’m not), and I get those looks from passerby-ers (if in public…they have a timeout spot everywhere we go, you know), you know the look. The “I’m going to call the authorities” look. No mind that my four year old just had a complete meltdown about me not letting him buy a toy, or eat ice cream, or have screen time after he’s given me a huge attitude or has even dared to swipe at me.

I’m going bald from all the hair I’m pulling out.

I must not be alone. I can’t be. The internet had actual articles on this phase. And everything on the internet is true, right?? RIGHT?

It’s times like these that are very discouraging for me, as a parent. I want to remember (and want my Bigs to remember) the great times, but it feels like the times are filled with bad attitudes and disciplining. I feel like a bad Mom a lot of the time. I know that’s partially par for the course. But I am ready for that to change. His behavior and my reactions to it. Constant works in progress, we are.

Earlier this morning, with the promise of a new day (after a particularly rough-behavior-weekend), I went to work making fun food for my Bigs’ lunchboxes this week. I baked up pizza rolls, mini chocolate chip cookies, and made homemade fruit snacks. I had big plans for a fun lunch for tomorrow. But alas, that Ferocious Four Behavior put the stop sticks down on my plans. As another consequence for that behavior (we also had to leave the mall immediately upon receiving the attitude, etc.) Bigs is not allowed to have a lunch dessert tomorrow. This make him sad. It’s happened before, so apparently it doesn’t make him sad enough to stop the attitude. But whatever. Someday he’ll be five. And this will be better. Right?

So, I packed him a “this will have to do” lunch. An “I still care about you and I’ll show it through your lunch, but you aren’t getting a dessert” lunch.

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I packed two pizza rolls (recipe in an upcoming blog post), some seasoned corn and peas, blueberries, plums, and some dried fruit (mandarin oranges and mango).

So here’s to a much better day, filled with good attitudes, fun lunches, and well-earned desserts.

Kristin

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest – Matthew 11:28