So, a funny thing happened this week – I made pizza for dinner. Because pizza (I don’t need no stinkin’ excuse). I put the leftovers in a Tupperware that looks a lot like the one above. The next day, when I went to pull out the leftovers for lunch for my Smalls, I pulled out Bigs’ lunch! That meant that HE got a bajillion pieces of leftover pizza for lunch at school! I texted his awesome teacher and she sent me a picture of his smiling face and said he loved his lunch! He won Kindergarten that day. 😀
Between that pizza lunch and this one above, I’d say I’m on top of things (but only according to my Kindergartener; to the rest of the world, I’m slowly unraveling!)
For this particular lunch, I made a cheese sandwich, shaped like a heart. I also packed cheese crackers (everything’s better with Cheddar! – it’s my life’s motto), blueberries, red grapes, and a strawberry truffle cookie. I used plastic Valentine’s rings to decorate.
I get headaches. Quite often. And migraines. And they can be debilitating. I get nauseous. I can’t eat. I can’t do much of anything. Any noise is too loud; I can literally feel each noise throbbing in my head, neck, and shoulders. Being in pitch black is still too bright. I am working with a Neurologist to get them under control, but it’s a long process, of trial and error. For people who don’t get them, it’s really hard to understand their magnitude, much like anxiety and depression, of which I also suffer.
[I’m a bag of fun 😀 ]
So, when I have a good day, I am SO very thankful. For the little things, things that I shy away from, on a bad day – the beautiful warming sunshine, the gentle breeze, the [loud] sounds of my boys. I relish in my energy, baking cookies, painting my boys’ bathroom, cleaning the house, running errands. I am grateful. Today, I am grateful. I know that ALL of this is in God’s plan, even if I don’t understand why. I don’t believe that God gives us only what we can handle; God gives us what He gives us, and then we lean on Him.
Day by day. Sometimes, minute by minute.
For tomorrow’s lunch, I packed a cream cheese and raspberry jam heart-shaped sandwich, pita chips, dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, blueberries, and a homemade gluten free chocolate brownie cookie. Love themed. Because I am thankful.
My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, hands down. Any chance I get, I’ll find a way to Thanksgiving-ize something. I came up with this recipe a few years ago and it’s been a favorite. I’ve since made it gluten free and simplified it for my little (big) sous chef.
These turkey meatballs are the very essence of Thanksgiving – tender sagey turkey, studded with tart cranberries. I served them (obvi) over mashed sweet potatoes and with sweet corn.
Pilgrim Meatballs with Cranberries
1 lb ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
2/3 C corn flake crumbs
1/3 C chicken stock
Handful of dried cranberries (I used Trader Joe’s orange flavored ones and I soaked them in cooking white wine/sherry)
1/2 t sage
S&P to taste
Preheat the oven to 400F. Prepare a baking sheet with tin foil and Pam. Mix all the ingredients, except for ground turkey. Once fully combined, add the ground turkey. Form into balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes.
As of late, my oldest, who will be six in a few short months (cue tears), has been very interested in helping me cook. He pulls his little IKEA chair up to the countertop while I’m prepping for each meal. It’s terribly cute. We’ve been checking out kid-friendly cookbooks from the library and he’s been helping me come up with meal ideas.
It’s these moments, where we talk over saucepans of oatmeal, and over racks of herbs and spices, that we bond over life, and that we share the same language of love – for each other and for food.
So, I am starting a new series on this blog about kid-friendly recipes that are easy for the little hands. These recipes will be simple, but delicious.
Easy Roasted Chicken & Vegetables
Serves 4, with leftovers
One whole fryer chicken
Preheat the oven to 425F. Place tin foil down in a roasting pan. Spray the pan with Pam. Place the whole chicken in the pan (make sure you take out all the innards and that the chicken is patted dry). Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place the plan into the oven to roast.
Chop up the vegetables and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and rosemary. You can place the around your chicken, but I did them separately, so that they wouldn’t get too dark in the oven. I placed them in the oven about 25 minutes after the chicken. Bake the chicken for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Let the chicken rest for about 7 – 10 minutes before slicing. Pour the juices into a saucepan and add a tablespoon of cornstarch. Whisk to make gravy.
Have you ever heard of Fairy Bread? It’s this magical dish served at parties in Australia and NZ, where slices of white bread are slathered with butter and liberally covered with nonpareils (or hundreds and thousands, as they’re known as there), and cut into triangles. This is my take on it. I made sunbutter and strawberry jam kebabs and turned them into Fairy Bread kebabs. It’s Friday. It’s time to celebrate. It’s the end of the week. We made it!! I also packed orange flavored dried cranberries, oyster crackers, red grapes, gingerbread muffins, and peas and carrot mallow candies…because PEAS AND CARROTS CANDY!!! They were one of my favorite candies growing up. I’d spend my allowance on those things at the mall candy store. Along with sour peach gummy rings, sour gummy belts, Jelly Bellies, licorice, Warheads, gummy sharks, gummy colas, and pretty much anything else I could get my hands on. I digress.
For today’s lunch, I made a chocolate chip pancake sandwich (with sunbutter and raspberry jam). I also packed a mandarin orange, pineapple, dried fruit (dried coconut, dried ginger, dried dates, raisins, dried cranberries), and one gold chocolate coin.
Tomorrow is Wednesday. The week is half over. I’d call that a victory.
I made sunbutter and raspberry jam sandwiches. I also packed pineapple, red grapes, oyster crackers (with dinosaurs walking in them), and gingerbread muffins.
Well, oopsie poopsie, I haven’t posted lunches in….um, a while! During Christmas break, we were so busy doing fun activities, okay, surviving, we didn’t so much do fun lunches. We ate. Square sandwiches. But, now I’m back.
So here are two fun lunches I did (amongst MANY others, I can assure you 😉 ).
I packed pizza, chips, oranges, grapes, blueberries (for Bigs), and frosted brownies for dessert. These are all things I’d like to have at a slumber party. Wouldn’t you?
For the brownies, I used this recipe:
And for Bigs’ lunch tomorrow, I went with a deli(ish) theme. I made a sunbutter & jam sandwich. I also packed Cheez-Its, pickles, a mandarin orange, a gingerbread muffin, and a chocolate coin. I’ve never actually had any of this at a deli, but whatever.
Here is one last lunch for the year! I actually made it last week, but forgot, in typical fashion, to post it.
I made a cross shaped apple butter sandwich. I also packed pita chips, yogurt covered raisins, cheese, red grapes, and an Italian almond cookie.
I only have one more special school lunch to make for this year, after today. I don’t even know where the time has gone!
**Red Dye #40 alert…below**
For tomorrow’s lunch, I made an ornament shaped sunbutter and apple butter sandwich. I used lots of colors to make it festive. I also packed pita chips, red grapes, colby jack cheese, a mandarin orange, and two little peppermint meringues that I made yesterday.