Tag: cheese

Happy Pumpkin Friday!

It’s almost Friday! I’m excited, not only because it’s almost Friday, but because we are going to carve pumpkins tomorrow night, as a family. Bigs has chosen an Angry Birds design and Smalls can’t decide between Mickey Mouse and Muno (from Yo Gabba Gabba). I’m going to roast the seeds. We’re going to pretend it’s cold and fall-like outside. It’s going to be great. Also, tomorrow is a book character parade at Bigs’ school. He’s dressing up as Thomas the Train. I can’t wait to watch the parade! Cuteness awaits.

Here is Bigs’ lunch for this special Friday:

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I packed a ham, cheese, and mayo sandwich, (more) cheese cut like candy corns (don’t hate on the dairy love!), granola, green grapes, a Halloween cookie, and orange and black chocolate covered sunflower seeds for dessert.

Weekend blessings to you!

Kristin

Cheerio! It’s time for tea!

I have two boys. I think most of you know that because I talk about them incessantly. If you’re near me and they aren’t, I’m showing you pictures of them on my phone (today’s response to wallet pictures). I always thought I’d have a girl or two, I never expected to have TWO boys. I think I’m still in shock. My oldest is four. I am not very good at “boy” stuff. I try, I do. I am really good at dressing in cutoff jean shorts (my daily uniform – I LOVE getting dressed up, but I live in my cutoffs, but I DO love matching my boys and then matching myself TO them.)  and shopping for boy clothes, but when it comes to boy things – I struggle. I just don’t have that gene. Try as I might! I is who I is…

But I’m grateful. They’ve shown me how cute bug catching can be (I don’t quite touch the bugs myself), to let go when they get a little dirty, to eat like cavemen with their hands (okay, so I’m big on table manners, so this particular attribute isn’t so cute), to play superheroes or dinosaurs. I can cut my Bigs’ hair like a salon would do. So I’ve adapted, I’ve learned, and I’ve always been so grateful for them.

But I’m still a girl (well, a WOMAN now, but you know, girl-Y). I do what I can with these boy themed lunches.

Except for today. Last night I made a lunch that is definitely more “girly” for today, but since I added a blue background and my boy is eating it, it’s boyish. Or we can call a spade a spade and just say it’s a girly lunch. Who cares. His favorite color is pink and his besties are all girls. He’s great at karate, running, and yardwork. He is who he is, and I love him.

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I spread strawberry cream cheese on melba toast, there are two little sandwiches of that. I had a conversation last week with my Mom over tea (more on that later) and I was inspired to get some melba toast (okay, impulse buy!). I packed seasoned corn (have to have a veggie!), oyster crackers, raisins, colby jack cheese, sliced plum, and a slice of chocolate cake (with star sprinkles). Looks like a kid’s “high tea” to me!

My inspiration behind this whole meal was the high tea I shared with my Mom last week. We used to do that a lot when I was little, and sporadically throughout our lives, together. We found a really cute place and it was the best tea we’d ever had, and we’ve enjoyed it in England! Making that kid lunch might be the closest thing to having tea with my kid since I do not have girls. Back to the REAL tea…

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We had the most delicious Peach Melba tea (hence the Melba talk – I had remembered that I had a Sunday school teacher named Melba and it always reminded me of melba toast and peach melba, even as a child). This was the best hot tea I’d ever had.

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The food spread was insanely beautiful – the bottom tier was tea sandwiches, the middle was British desserts, and the top was scones with jam and clotted cream.

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Turkey & Cranberry, Egg Salad, & Cucumber with Cream Cheese, all on British bread

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Berry Tart, Baby Cupcakes, Zucchini Walnut Bread, Bread Pud, & Jam Roly Poly

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The scones were perfect (as was everything). The Ex-Pat owner of the tea shop showed us the “real” way to eat them, to maximize jamming and clotted creaming.

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Heavenly

Anyone who has known me knows that I’ve been an Anglophile since before it was cool. I’m glad I found a way to sort of share that with my Bigs, in my own way.

Blessings!

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

Rise and Shine!

My Bigs goes to school Tuesdays through Fridays. It’s sort of nice to have our Monday “off”. Monday comes with such a stigma, that is mostly and completely based on truth. Mondays mostly stink! It’s hard to get back into the weekly routine after a busy weekend.

For Bigs’ lunch tomorrow, I packed a breakfast-y one. He LOVES eating big, breakfast-y breakfasts and we only seem to have time for that on weekends (and not even every weekend, sadly!). This will make him really happy, I think.

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I made peanut butter and honey sandwiches out of mini pancakes. I used frozen pancakes this time (they’ll also stay cold on their own and be thawed by lunchtime). I put PB on each pancake and made a little divot in the middle for the honey (this will prevent them from getting soggy from the honey and will prevent the honey from leaking out, causing a sticky mess). I cut up some cooked turkey bacon. I also packed some banana chips, colby jack cheese cubes, fruit salad (yellow watermelon, pineapple, cotton candy grapes, and blueberries), and applesauce.

Have a blessed day!

Kristin

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23

Gettin’ ham ‘n’ cheesy with it!

My Bigs had a great first day in VPK! And guess what? He ate his whole lunch! Every crumb! I think making raccoon masks and spelling works up an appetite. I know it does for me. For tomorrow’s lunch, I made him a ham and cheese sammy.

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I found Martin’s whole wheat mini potato rolls at Publix when I last went. I hadn’t seen those before, in mini-size or in whole wheat! I put Applegate Naturals ham and provolone cheese on it, with a light smear of mayonnaise. I put a flamingo pick in his sandwich, for fun. His class mascot is a flamingo – I couldn’t believe my his luck! I adore flamingos! I also packed a fruit salad (raspberries, blueberries, watermelon, pineapple, and nectarine), Trader Joe’s banana chips, seasoned corn (just a little bit of S&P), and applesauce for dessert. I think he’ll love it. By the way, he told me that the Trader Joe’s pizzas from today’s lunch were “really yummy” and that they were “so good he wants to eat all of them”. I’d call that a positive review!

Have a blessed day!

Kristin

He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

– 1 John 5:12

Wearing my heart on my cheese…

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Happy February 11th, a very insignificant day in romantic history. But it IS a day on which I made two cute lunches for two cute boys for the next day!

Boy, that does not sound grammatically correct. But it is. Trust me.

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I am always grammatically correct (obviously this is a false statement, as masterfully exemplified in this here blog). I is what I is.

Here is the Bigs’ lunch – a love letter themed one!

Love Letter Themed Preschool Lunch

It took FOREVERRRRRRR. Like, more time than I have. And it still doesn’t look that great. But he’s 3. It’s okay. I made a letter out of a PB&J and a teeny little card out of just bread. I free handed the hearts out of fruit leather and the one on the letter is sitting on a little square of cheese. The wonky arrow is also made out of cheese and pretzels. And even more pretzels are on the side, with some cutie patootie conversation hearts.

For Smalls, I did a simple heart theme.

Heart Themed Toddler Lunch

A little cutout heart PB&J and some heart shaped cheese (cheddar makes everything better).

This will keep them busy while I am making desserts for Bigs’ class’ Valentine’s potluck the next day.

Still grammatically correct.

But oddly worded, I’ll agree.

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Or just BE crazy, as in my own personal case. I is what I is.

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Hope you have a lovely Tuesday night!

Kristin

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PS – I am a leetle obsessed with subway art. I wasn’t sure if you noticed or not.

Hammy Time!

What a week. Seriously. I know I say that all the time, but what a week. Both boys had doctor’s follow up appointments (both better – yay!), both boys had a little kid gym class (they go each week on different days), both boys had a make up little kid gym class (on different days), Bigs had school and one on of those days, I worked in his classroom. And also Smalls got reinfected with pink eye and had another fever night (booooo). But he’s better again. But seriously. Whaaaaat? Why does this keep happening?!

I absolutely love working in Bigs’ classroom. The parents of the kids switch off days, so that every day has a helper parent. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to know our kids’ teacher, classroom and procedures and learning itself, and classmates better. I absolutely adore Bigs’ teacher and classmates. He’s expressed that he never wants another teacher again. Just the one he has. 🙂

I showed up to class rocking my donuts. You just might recall how much my Bigs and I love donuts. It’s sort of a thing for us.

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I put on my donut sweatshirt and earrings. And then I remembered that I had a donut necklace.

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So I put that on, too. Because…you can’t just wear SOME of your donut stuff. Sure I looked like Flava Flav a bit. And maybe also a clown. But you know what? The kids (and adults) thought it was a hoot. And I did too. Love donuts. And someday, probably not too far off in the future, my Bigs will be (and I hope he isn’t!!) mortified when I show up like this. I gotta capitalize on him loving my wackiness now.

Tootsies

My feet matched. I try to do that.

It was a blast of a day, hanging out with my big buddy.

So, back when I’d posted about this sweatshirt, I sort of mentioned that it was a Christmas gift to myself and that my husband didn’t know it yet. I’d already purchased it and was going to give it to him to give to me. But sweet Husband took it upon himself to get it for me before knowing I’d already done the dirty work. It was quite a hubbub to return it. So I EXTRA appreciate it!

Besides the boys not taking naps yesterday, which by all scale-of-tiredness-accounts they should have (and I needed one!), it was a lovely day.

I also made a ham dinner. For some odd (and I DO think it’s odd), Bigs’ favorite meat is ham. I feel like kids Bigs’ age (almost 4) would rather chicken. But I’m glad he likes it! Especially because he’s having it for dinner again tonight. 🙂

Hammy Ham Ham

I glazed it with cherry preserves. I also made a cheesy hash brown casserole.

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This is from the copycat recipe for Cracker Barrel. Do you have those near where YOU live? If not, just get off on the next interstate exit and go immediately. That place is so good. For this recipe, it calls for a cream of soup and sour cream. I didn’t have enough sour cream but I DID have a tub of ricotta cheese. I threw that in, hoping it would help make up for my lacking ingredient amounts. It turned out great, you couldn’t even tell.

I also made beans.

Beans

I sautéed a mix of carrots, green beans, and wax beans in coconut oil with whatever seasoning feels right (lemon pepper this time) and freshly grated garlic. I add dried cranberries when it’s almost done. This time, I burned the lot, but it still tasted good. And, oddly enough (my life must be “odd” because I find myself saying this a lot!), this was the only thing Smalls ate last night. He literally turned down cheesy potatoes and frozen yogurt (I froze actual yogurt for the boys to have for dessert) for beans. That kid is something. But I’m glad that if he’s eating anything, it’s beans.

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It was yummy.

Dinner

And like I said, we’re having it again. I love leftovers.

Yummers

Just yes.

Oh yes ham

After such a long few weeks of sickness and not really having the energy to cook, it was really nice to have a homey, comforting meal to eat.

And I love knowing that no matter what happens today, we’ll get that same homey, comforting meal again. And I don’t have to even cook it again.

Have a wonderfully blessed Friday (seriously TGIF!!)

Kristin

Happy Thanksgiving 2013!

Away in a Manger Scene

We did it! We decorated for Christmas. We always do it the week of Thanksgiving since we travel on the day of and want our home to be Christmas-y upon our return. Bigs was SO excited! This will be a fun year with him. He “gets” it. Smalls, however, is just a typical one year old, plucking the Christmas balls off the tree, yelling, “BALL, BALL!!!”, and throwing them as hard as he can (and he’s freakishly strong) across the living room. I normally put a smaller tree up, as well, that is my “Sweets Tree”, where I put on only dessert and sweets themed ornaments. That one is, sadly, not up this year. I just don’t have the energy to watch Smalls around two trees. I have extra eyes on the back of my head to watch them, but they just aren’t enough. Perhaps next year.

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Bigs was very concerned that the Christmas tree would go away while he napped, while we were away for Thanksgiving and for any other event requiring us to leave the house. Which is a lot. Object permanence isn’t as ingrained as I’d thought. But that will make it more magical and more fun to show him as we get closer to the day. And for him, it’ll be like Groundhog Day, every morning! The tree will still be there, just like yesterday! It is just so wonderful to see this holiday through the eyes of a child. I know that is clichéd (I am shaking my own head at my own self right now), but it truly is.

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I just love that skinny little baby arm and hand (left), and that sweet toddler hand (right) coming together on an ornament, placing it on the tree in tandem. I am so in love with them.

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This is the first ornament Bigs made in church last year. I am only slightly concerned because it’s made of paper and you know, light-heat and paper don’t so much mix, but it was too precious not to put up. I love that he constantly sees the images of Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus. Seeing it over and over will help him learn and then know, with certainty, the true meaning of Christmas. I am truly blessed and thankful for them and my husband.

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Jesus sure is the Reason for this season. Without Him, none of this would be. And that applies to just about everything.

Today I finished making my Coconut Cake. I used a different recipe this year. And as per the usual, I didn’t read the recipe the whole way through before starting on it. That’s how I do. It called for keeping an un-iced, filled cake in the fridge for three days. Luckily, I made the cakes and filling two days before Thanksgiving, so it still worked out. You really think I’d have learned, by now, to read a recipe all the way through before starting on it!

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http://www.cakeduchess.com/2013/11/coconut-cake-foodmemory-guest-post-magnolia-days.html

The only changes I made to the recipe were that I used sweetened coconut in the filling and used less sugar since it didn’t really specify that the coconut used was sweetened or not. I also added about a half teaspoon of coconut flavored baking emulsion to really enhance that coconut flavor.

http://www.amazon.com/LorAnn-Oils-Emulsion-Coconut-Ounce/dp/B001REJIJM

I love how when I pat the coconut on the frosting, it falls all around the plate like freshly fallen snow. It’s such a show-stopper of a cake (if I can be so bold to say so – I simply just followed the recipe!). So very festive. I cannot wait to eat that piece as big as my face, that I promise myself each year.

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I also got my Aunt Sue’s Macaroni Casserole made. It is a cinch to throw together and is so delicious. Here is the little beauty going in to the oven.

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And here she is coming out…melty, ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness.

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I can’t wait to dig into it tomorrow.

Here is the recipe.

Bigs and I made pumpkin muffins for breakfast and snack tomorrow. It was a fun little activity for us to do together while Smalls was still napping.

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We used a shortcut and made them with a store bought cake mix (vanilla). We added one can of pumpkin puree to the vanilla cake mix and stirred like the dickens. We added some ginger and cinnamon and some pumpkin spice bakery emulsion. We baked them in a 350 degree oven for about 20 – 25 minutes.

http://www.amazon.com/Lorann-Oils-Pumpkin-Emulsion-4oz/dp/B00BR25W9E

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I also put together a snack bento for Bigs for the Thanksgiving car trip. We aren’t going TOO far, but snacks make for a more pleasant ride.

Preschool Thanksgiving Road Trip Snacks

I packed a string cheese, a clementine some 5-grain crackers, a box of raisins, some Newman’s Own popcorn and one of our pumpkin spice muffins. Smalls will have less exciting snacks, in the form of Cheerios. 🙂 I will pack both of them an applesauce squeezy fruit.

Thanksgiving Subway

I hope you all have a VERY blessed, safe, thankful and HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Enjoy the time with your family and friends. And if that’s not how it’s going to turn out, it’s what you make of it! And to those going through hardships and heartache, may you feel God’s warm, loving embrace and presence, and may you find comfort in Him and the blessings (big and small) you have. There is always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for. God Bless.

I am so thankful for all my friends and family, near and far. And I’m thankful to God for all the blessings He gifts us (and even those He does not!) And I’m also thankful for this blog and all who read it and support me. It means so much more than you can even know. So, thank you. Happy Happy Thanksgiving.

Kristin

Happy Thanksgiving