TGIF. We made it through another week. Mostly unscathed! I am looking forward to the weekend, however. I’m so tired!
I packed brunch for my boys’ lunches tomorrow. I made sunbutter and strawberry jam pancake sandwiches. I stuck tiny dinos on them, just for fun. I also packed colby jack cheese cubes, diced peaches, cotton candy grapes, and a few yogurt covered pretzels for dessert.
** This would also make a fun breakfast bento! **
My Biggie Bigs loved his pumpkin and cream cheese sandwich so much, he asked me to make it again for tomorrow! With that, I also packed a few chocolate covered sunflower seeds, charred corn, homemade berry fruit snacks, freeze dried jack fruit, snap pea crisps, and an organic yogurt squeeze (I forgot to put today’s in his lunchbox from the freezer again – oooops!).
It’s baaaaaaaaack! Pumpkin is everywhere now, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! I love this time of year! I found some Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread on sale and I couldn’t resist taking it home with me. If we’re being honest, it jumped right in my grocery cart. 😉
So, for tomorrow’s lunches for my boys, I made added cream cheese to that delicious bread (which is so good all on its own!), and split it in half. I also packed homemade fruit snacks, which I made with berries only this time, charred corn, colby jack cheese cubes, and cheddar sandwich crackers. My Bigs will also (if I remember HA!), get an organic yogurt squeeze.
Today was my first kindergarten homeschool day! We had a great time working with the letter “N”. We also took a trip to the library, where my Bigs checked out books on snakes and komodo dragons (ewwwww!). I am so grateful for these precious homeschool days I get with my children!
Here is what I packed for Bigs’ Tuesday school lunch:
I made a ham, cheese (I use Applegate Naturals for both), and mayo sandwich on white wheat. I also packed Horizon Organic cheddar sandwich crackers, a teeny plum, cotton candy grapes, dried dates, and a semi-homemade pumpkin brownie [brownie mix, pumpkin spice, one can of pumpkin].
Last Friday was my first Co-op Helper Parent day in my 3 year old’s class. We had such a great time and it was a real hoot to see him in his classroom environment. We got to sick on kid-sized chairs and each lunch together, too.
Here was my lunch:
I packed pizza (I LOVE cold pizza), kiwi, blueberries, carrots, and broccoli.
And for my boys:
Pizza, snap pea crisps, apples (with blueberries for my Bigs), a chocolate chip cookie, and a few chocolate covered sunflower seeds. I meant to add an organic yogurt squeeze for Bigs too, but forgot about it in the freezer…and boy, did I hear about it later!
I am finally getting back into my “good” dinner cooking groove. If only I can get the rest of my life groove back, I’ll be set! But alas, that is not the case at this time. Maybe once we are settled into our new school routine. But dinner was a success, and some days, that’s all I can ask for. That and leaving the house with all my children and necessities.
Back to dinner. I had purchased a few BOGO packs of big chicken breasts at Publix and had to come up with something creative to with them. And since it IS still peach season (#vivasummer), I decided to grill both.
It was one of my better decisions that day.
Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken and Peaches
3 large chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
2 T honey
1 1/2 T dijon Mustard
splash red wine vinegar
2 large peaches
Make the honey mustard mixture by combining the honey, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Whisk until combined.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Salt and pepper the chicken. Swirl some olive oil around a grill plan that is preheating over medium high heat. Grill the chicken for about 4 -5 minutes per side. Place on a baking sheet and put it in the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes. During this time, brush the honey mustard mixture on the chicken a few times.
Add another swirl of olive oil to the grill pan. Slice the peaches and grill in the pan.
I served this with brown rice and steamed broccoli. It was fabulous.
I’ll be dreaming of this when I make a crap dinner…probably tomorrow. #itiswhatitis #cantwinthemall
Did you know that a group of turtles is called a “bale”? And that turtles have their own water filtration system? It’s true. I read it on the Internet. For tomorrow’s lunches, I went with a turtle and green theme. Only my Bigs will be in school tomorrow, but I didn’t even think about that until after I’d already made Smalls’ lunch, as well.
I made turtle shaped sunbutter and strawberry jelly sandwiches. I used my Food Writers to add details. The boys ate the sandwich scraps as I made these lunches. I also packed cotton candy grapes, blueberries for Bigs, a cute little plum, snap pea crisps, and applesauce with turtle sprinkles.
I have a very tumultuous relationship with banana bread. I either LOVE it or it just rubs me the wrong way. I don’t know what it is. I love a dense cake, but dense banana bread is sort of meh.
But, I just came across a new recipe…
And it changed me…
This Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread recipe yields the perfect balance between dense and fluffy, chewy and crusty.
You simply MUST try it, especially if you are broken up with banana bread, as I was. Now we’re back on. Here’s to a long and successful future!
Cinnamon Swirled Banana Bread
** I didn’t use the banana on the top, and I also made two smaller loaves**
Do you remember your English teachers using the phrase, “KISS”? It stands for “Keep it Simple, Students.” And that’s just what I am doing, keeping it simple, easing myself back into this lunch game.
I packed almost the same lunch for my Bigs and Smalls, who has his first day of the 3’s class tomorrow. For Bigs, I made a sunbutter and strawberry jelly sandwich and I used peanut butter for my Smalls. I used a Mickey Mouse cutter to make the shape and added some red sprinkles to the hole (they stick to the jelly quite well). I also packed champagne grapes (so sweet for little hands!), some Horizon Organic cheddar sandwich crackers, and a homemade chocolate chip cookie. I also packed a piece of colby jack cheese for my Bigs. He eats more. My Smalls is going to have raisins and a squeezy fruit for snack.
I don’t typically love to make pork chops at home. They always end up dry. As a bone. And gray. But not this time! They came out perfectly juicy. I seasoned them with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, and made an apple glaze for the top. They were delicious.
I served them with homemade mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.
Everyone loved this meal (a miracle unto itself)!
Smoky Pork Chops with Apple Glaze
Serves: two adults, two kids
3 bone-in pork chops
Apple juice (I used two lower-sugar apple juice cartons)
Preheat the oven to 300F. Pour the cartons of apple juice into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. This will reduce and become the glaze.
Add some olive oil to a grill pan, that’s been preheated over medium high head. Sprinkle S&P and smoked paprika onto the pork chops (I rubbed the spices into the meat) and place them on the grill pan. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking sheet (or place grill pan) and put in the oven for about 20 minutes, to finish cooking.
Top with the apple glaze and serve.