Tag: dinner

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 toย  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

Valentine’s Day Leftovers

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day week. We sure had a busy one! And it spanned over a few days, too. We filled food bags for hungry kids through our church and school (which is the same thing for us). It was a great way of showing Bigs how to show love to others, even if we don’t know them.

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It was nice to let Bigs pick out the pantry items to put in the bag.

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And then to see the sea of red bags in the foyer of his school was just heartwarming.

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Then, Bigs’ Thursday class party was just precious. The kids sang (so very softly and with some nervousness too) “Skinnamarinky Dinky Dink”. Then we ate. And it was just a perfect day.

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Bigs and his Valentine’s for his teacher and the Admin ๐Ÿ™‚

Bigs woke up to his last “What I love about you” heart on his door on Valentine’s Day. Each morning, starting February 1st, I put a new heart on his bedroom door while he was sleeping. It was a fun thing for him and it allowed me to put in writing for him to see, some of the things I love about him.

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On Valentine’s morning, I made pink almond pancakes with sprinkles.

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They were so good. I put conversation hearts as decoration, although they were highly coveted by The Big One.

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I let him only have a few, knowing how sugary sweet the rest of the day would, inevitably, be.

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And Cupid came, wrote a poem, and left his poop (hey, I live in a house where poopy humor runs [get it?] rampant)!

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We went on our Friday playdate, where the kids exchanged Valentine’s (just like at school the previous day). It was a lot of fun. I packed up the cookies I’d made earlier in the week (what’s interesting to me is that the kids liked the Sweethearts candy more than the cookies! Oh well – more for us Moms!). I had made sure to make double batches of everything so we’d have enough.

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After we got home and napped, I took the boys to the market to get some dinner supplies. I wanted to make a nice meal for them and my Sweetheart. I made Chateaubriand Filet Mignon (such a rare treat!!) and asparagus, and had a few salads.

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To make the steaks, I let them get to room temperature, sprinkled them with Kosher salt, and placed in my preheated, olive oil-coated grill pan. I seared them for a few minutes on each side and transferred them to a sheet pan. I put them in a 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes and brought them out to rest. For the asparagus, I rolled them around in olive oil and Kosher salt and roasted them in the 400 degree oven for 13 minutes on a sheet pan.

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I served them with a strawberry and spinach salad, and a cucumber and dill salad purchased from the market. It was all delicious!

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We had chocolate covered strawberries for dessert, quite fitting.

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That night, I made a Flourless Chocolate Cake (the recipe was already gluten free and I made the ganache dairy free) to celebrate my father-in-law and husband’s (husband has birthday coming up) birthdays the next morning.

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The cake came together easily and so beautifully. It was dark, dense, and oh-so-chocolately. The ganache was glossy, rich, and shiny.

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http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/flourless-chocolate-cake-recipe

While I was making that, the boys painted their little ceramic elephant craft we’d gotten them for Valentine’s Day. They had a lot of fun. It was a lovely day.

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Bigs

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Smalls

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Final product: Bigs, left, and Smalls, right

Bigs also did his Valentine’s Day homework that his awesome teacher sent home! It was a neat Sweethearts themed one!

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It involved counting and coloring heart shapes and sweethearts. SO CUTE!!

The next morning, we got up and “released” Bigs’ Valentine’s Day heart balloon. I sort of love doing that. It’s fun to watch it flit away, wherever the wind pulls it. The kids liked it too.

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I like to think that if I saw a heart shaped balloon flying in such a gorgeous, crisp, blue sky, it would make me smile!

Then we went to my husband’s parents’ house to celebrate his and his father’s birthdays with chocolate cake and a sunshiny day!

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We played with sidewalk chalk and played hopscotch. Does anyone play that anymore?

Then…cake!

I used this knife that my wonderful sister-from-another-mister friend gave me:

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It’s always been my life’s motto! Even as a young child!

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The cake was RICH! So rich, like a truffle. But very good.

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Despite being a short little old thing, it fed a lot of people – my in-laws, my own family, I gave some to my parents and also to our neighbors! The cake that kept on giving!

We ended our day with walking around a craft store. Look at this cute bike bell I found – it’s a donut! I just need a bike now!

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Although I didn’t get it, if I did, it would have been like buying the shoes first…THEN the outfit. That’s normally how I do it.

Church on Sunday was wonderful. We love our pastor and his messages. The boys had fun in Sunday School and had a fun snack before naps:

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Yogurt Banana Splits!

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I cut a banana in half and lengthwise and put vanilla yogurt and chopped strawberries in between. The boys got such a kick out of it. We needed to get back to simple eating after all the festive, rich foods we consumed this weekend.

And back on the diet. :/

I hope you all had a blessed “holiday” weekend! I’m ready to slow down, get back to “normal” (schedules, diets, LIFE!).

Kristin

A Pizza my Mind!!

It was Pizza Day in my Bigs’ class yesterday!! You can tell by the number of “!” how excited I was. I am so food-inspired. It’s weird. Anyways, my Bigs was excited too! We love our pizza – OBVIOUSLY. I make a lot of it. We eat it a lot. Even Smalls likes it. And he likes saying it…”Peepoo, peepoo, peepoo!!”. He’s cute.

Pizza - Close Enough

Yup.

I made Bigs a pizza-themed lunch, also obviously. It’s what I do.

Pizza Party Themed Preschool Lunch

This one was so much fun to make! I made a pizza-shaped PB&J (this kid and his PB&J’s!!) and used my food-safe spray to make a golden crust and sort of reddish sauce. I cut out fruit leather “pepperoni” (I add the crusts and bread leftovers back into the bento after picture taking – no one wants to see those things), which served as his dessert. I added pretzel chips and real pepperoni so Bigs can make little snack stacks. Is that even a phrase? He also has an applesauce squeezy fruit. I got such a hoot out of making this. I can’t even handle it.

And obviously, we had to dress the part! I can’t help myself!

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Just a red and white striped shirt (my friend, B, let me know that she found Waldo!!) and…PIZZA EARRINGS. I can’t even.

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Food jewelry makes me happy. Is that weird?

Anyways, I painted pizzas on my nails too. Was it too much?

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All the girls in Bigs’ class squealed with delight when I showed these to them. The boys could care less, although Bigs and Smalls liked it, at home!

I do it for the kids. What can I say?

And Bigs dressed the part too (Smalls always matches big Brother, so he had the same shirt on that day too), wearing a shirt with pizzas having a party.

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I know. I know I’m ridiculous. I admit and accept that.

Bigs’ wonderful teacher had really fabulous pizza themed activity centers! And for snack time, each kid got to make their own little English muffin pizza. It was so fun! I loved seeing how different each pizza came out.

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This has sort of been a pizza week for us. I made Pizza Pasta earlier in the week.

I made it up. I mean, I’m sure it’s been done a time or thousand, but I came up with it on the fly, with what I had.

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It basically came out of when dinner time rolled around and I hadn’t thawed anything. And it worked with our pizza theme.

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I mixed spaghetti sauce with teeny pasta shells (GF for Husband), added mini pepperoni, cheese (none for Husband), and olives, only for me.

I served it with peas and apples. It was good and it totally looked like I planned it.

And today, Friday, I made pizza for dinner. Just to “round” out the week.

I used this GF & DF crust mix:

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It’s pretty good. It comes with a packet of yeast, so it’s at least more like a “real” pizza crust.

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This was the pizza for Bigs, Smalls, and me. GF, but with cheese, ham, and pepperoni.

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My husband’s looked a little more pitiful without the cheese and three lonely pepperonis.

But dessert made up for it (it IS Dessert Friday, after all!!)!

I made vegan Chocolate Haystacks.

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This simple recipe consists only of making a quick, vegan chocolate sauce, mixing it with rolled oats, and freezing. That’s it!

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They came together in minutes and were fantastic!

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I think these would make for a really lovely Valentine’s Day dessert.

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Try them! They are so easy and you probably have all the ingredients!

Here is the recipe:

http://www.becauseilikechocolate.com/2013/12/vegan-chocolate-haystacks.html

My kind of blogger – “Because I like chocolate”…

ANNNNND, since we are on the topic of dessert, my beautiful friend had a birthday yesterday and shared her cupcakes with some of our other beautiful friends. We had a great time and cupcakes are ALWAYS a plus. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Aren’t they just gorgeous? I meannnnnn….. I can barely contain myself where there is a cupcake around. Just wonderful.

I hope you all have had a lovely week and that your weekend is just as lovely!

Kristin

Too Cool for School

I have the world’s coolest kids. I just do. These kids are the reason I am certifiably insane, but they, and my husband, are a constant in my life that I can count on (to make me certifiably insane…and to make me happy).

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My little Buzz Lightyear loves riding his bike with his wings on. He’s just cool.

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To infinity…and beyooooooond!

And my little Smalls has been loving doing almost everything on his own. He can now “blow” bubbles.

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And by blowing bubbles, I mean eating the bubble blower thing.

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And he loves being walked by his dog. Isn’t this hilarious? Our dog is like Rudolph, pulling Santa’s sleigh. Giddey-up! [Smart parenting lol]

We’ve also been very busy eating food.

I enjoyed good (i.e. food not cooked by me) food for a friend’s birthday. I got gussied up.

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I ate this.

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Fresh, warm pita, edamame humus, goat cheese stuffed peppadew peppers, roasted red pepper hummus, briny olives. I can’t even handle how good that was.

I also ate this.

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Lemony, pine nutty, olivey Moroccan chicken over Israeli cous cous. Yes.

And this…shared with the birthday girl and the rest of our gang:

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Chocolate Lava Cake. And vanilla ice cream. I mean, I could legitimately eat lava cake every day of my life. I have a soft spot in my heart for it (Get it? Soft spot in the middle, JUST like the lava cake? I’m basically a lava cake.).

I also made lots since I’ve last written! You know…because my family thinks they need to be fed or whatever. So weird.

Meatloaf Sandwich

I made this meatloaf sandwich for lunch. Aren’t those good? I like to order them from restaurants too. TooJay’s has a good one. And so did this other little country type restaurant before it turned into a funeral home (don’t ask).

I ate this too:

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Oats with coconut milk, cranberries, and granola. It was a power breaky. Sadly, it didn’t give me power OR energy enough to keep up with my littles.

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Dairy free, gluten free cinnamon pancakes, turkey bacon, and fruit. Yum. We eat a TON of pancakes in our home.

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I made lamb shoulder steaks, vegetables, and fruit.

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My husband LOVES lamb. I pan seared it (after sprinkling on steak seasoning) and finished it off in the oven.

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And for dinner lastย night, I made this little fun thing. You KNOW how much I love all things cafeteria themed! I made chicken nuggets from scratch. Like, from ground chicken. I happened upon a recipe and it was DELICIOUS!

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They were so easy to make and MUCH MUCH healthier than any chicken nuggets that could be purchased, pre-made.

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I’ll never buy another pre-made chicken nugget for my family again! SO EASY!

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I served them with carrots I peeled and boiled in cinnamon water, chopped pears, cherry halves, applesauce with sprinkles (because…sprinkles), ketchup, and GF bread and butter. It was a hit with EVERYONE! Smalls ate more than I have literally ever seen him eat. I think it was a hit.

Here is the recipe:

http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/817988/Tonight-s-Dinner-Homemade-Chicken-Nuggets

I’ll be making those again and again!

I also went old school and made marshmallow cereal bars.

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I used Cheerios (it was all I had that would have worked), white marshmallows, and fruity marshmallows.

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They were great! I put one in Bigs’ lunch for school and when we were discussing what he had to eat (during dinner), he said he loved his “biscuit with marshmallows” HAHAHAH! I literally laughed out loud! He’s funny. And weird.

Below is a link to general guidelines for making cereal marshmallow treats. I love that you can use almost anything and don’t have to be too precise in measurements.

http://food52.com/blog/8304-how-to-make-any-cereal-treats-without-a-recipe

Speaking of school lunches, Tuesday was Construction Worker day in Bigs’ class.

Construction Themed Preschool Lunch

I normally use a reusable compartmentalized plastic lunch container, but since I had this adorable construction-themed sandwich container, I used that instead. I put construction-themed stickers on each little individual baggie. So. He got a PB&J (what else!), on which I drew (using my Food Writers) a “Detour” sign with an arrow. I also packed carrot sticks, a squeezy fruit, pretzel stick “logs”, and a small Cheerio marshmallow treat. For snack, he got a box of raisins and some wheat crackers.

And don’t you know I love a theme? He wore a construction-themed shirt.

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A digger/back hoe thingy with “I dig my Dad” on it. Too cute.

Anyways, enough catching up on kids and food!

Off to paint my nails for Pizza Day (oh, just you wait!)!

Kristin

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Nutrients

Schedule All the Things

Ahhh, I just love a schedule! I mean, I thrive in an organized, scheduled situation. I love knowing what to expect (I was never a girl that needed surprises…I used to open my Christmas gifts and then re-wrap them, for crying out loud!). Knowing what’s coming gives me peace and time to prepare (thereby reducing any current or impending anxieties…boo-ya – my psychology degree comes in handy once again!).

Willy Wonka Schedule

Yes, SO excited!

So, now, two days back into our old (school) routine, I am successfully existing once again. I LOVE normalcy.

My lunchbox for Bigs, however, was a bit lackluster.

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I made a “school(ish)” themed lunch. I did a gold star (gold food spray) shaped PB&J, with “A+” written on it with my Food Writers, some pretzel sticks, an apple, a cinnamon applesauce squeezy fruit and a gummy worm for dessert.

For dinner tonight, I made Chinese black rice and ground chicken. Sounds appetizing. HA! It was better than it sounds. Or looks, for that matter.

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I love black rice. It’s delicious and nutty and has a bite (chew) to it. I made it and then added garlic and sesame oil.

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I paired it with ground chicken that I browned (does it ever really get brown per se? Not really.) with wasabi powder and Chinese five spice. I added soy sauce to my own portion since my Crohn’s Husband (that’s his new title) can’t eat the non-GF version we have. This was a delicious and quite healthy dinner.

I would say that the kids did not enjoy it. They are becoming pickier and pickier as the days go on. I’m sure (I hope) it’s a phase.

I also made one of those little frozen packets of broccoli, cheese, and rice since Bigs has been wanting so desperately (bless his little heart) to like broccoli. I thought that gooey cheese sauce would be a game changer, but it was not. Oddly enough, Smalls (he who eats almost nothing except about one PB&J a day) devoured (relatively speaking) it.

PB and J

I make a lot of these. I am really glad both boys love peanut butter. For them, it is an essential source of protein. And plus, it’s amazing. I love PB in ANY form and with ANY spread of ANY sort. I’m easy like that. And daring.

I even love PB and pickles. And PB and olives. Give each of those a try if you are feeling it. They are delish.

Anyways. Last night, a couple of girlfriends and I got together for a little wine and snackies.

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You can’t go wrong with wine.

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Or snackies.

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Luckily, and let me tell you how hard it is to apply that word to this, there were no sweets. Eeeek. That was hard.

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If there were, I’d have been forced to eat them, thereby breaking my new diet.

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Today is the fourth day I’ve gone without any sort of sweet during the day. I am proud and miserable.

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I had a great time with my girls and honestly, when there is some sort of bread involved (Cuban, French, who cares!), I feel a little less sad about the dessert.

But only a little.

And also wine helps.

Here’s hoping tomorrow brings lots of good things. My little buddy, Smalls, started feeling crummy tonight so I am hoping he’ll snap out of it by tomorrow. I’ll go ahead and make those pancakes just to make him feel better. Just as a precautionary measure. You know.

Despite feeling puny, Smalls had loads of fun spinning with Big Brother after bath. They get such a kick out of that (until one of them falls into a wall or something hurty). I love his little strong spirit! (I also love matching jammies and matching clothes.)

Spinny Spinny Boys

Have a lovely night!

Kristin

Busy as a Bzzzzz!

Busy as a bee

We have been so busy. School is back in (yesssss! I love having BOTH my boys around, but when Bigs is in school for a few hours a week, I am really able to find time to get stuff done.) and sometimes getting back to an old schedule takes a little adjusting. Sure my kids never slept in during winter break, but we still had to move a little more quickly to get places.

For Bigs’ first day back at school yesterday, I did a transportation themed lunch.

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Mind you, I’m a bit rusty from not doing any special school lunches since December 12th. I made a choo-choo and race car shaped PB&J, I put some dried fruit, nut and raisin mix in there with some orange yogurt raisins, some pretzel sticks and an applesauce squeezy fruit. He said he really enjoyed the train sandwich!

And dinner was even mostly successful.

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I roasted zucchini and squash (in a tian fashion, without the cheese or breading).

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I cut the up the veggies and tossed them in olive oil and Montreal steak seasoning and baked them for about 40 minutes.

I served them with sun-dried tomato, garlic and herb chicken sausage and green bell pepper tossed in a homemade tomato sauce.

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Everyone (all the adults – we had a friend over for dinner) ate it and there were no leftovers.

Did I mention that I am on a self-imposed diet? I am. It’s a dessert on weekends only diet. AUGH! I am three days into it and have stuck with it so far. It’s going to be hard when I start baking again.

Well, since today is Wednesday and there is no school, I decided to TRY to start a new tradition – Special Breakfast Wednesday. During the school days, we just don’t have enough time to MAKE a breakfast (that isn’t cereal, toast, etc.). So this morning I made pancakes from scratch. Snickerdoodle Pancakes. And they were HEALTHY. And let me tell you, they were some of the best pancakes I’ve eaten in my whole life. Bigs ate 10 small ones. Smalls ate about 4. And that’s a lot for him.

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I used a recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie. She does healthy desserts and breakfasts. I’ve made her Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip before and it was wonderful. These particular pancakes have a very small amount of sugar and no fat at all (or eggs)!!

They browned up quickly and beautifully.

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Like every other time I make pancakes, I get better at making them as I go through batches. The last batch is always the best. Works out for me since I always give the first batches of pancakes to the boys and my husband first. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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There, that’s better. Golden brown.

Anyways, they were DIVINE. I am not exaggerating. They were so wonderful. I still smell the cinnamon in my house. I will be making these again and again. And I can easily make them gluten and dairy free. They were made even better with real maple syrup.

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Real maple syrup can make anything better.

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These are a great “work-around” to my no dessert during the week diet!

Here is the recipe:

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/05/12/snickerdoodle-pancakes/

TRY THEM!!!

Anyways, off to ready the house for my bestie! She is up from where she now lives, four hours away from me (waaaaaaah) and we are going to spend some time together this morning with our kids.

Have a blessed day!

Kristin

Orange you glad?

So, how has your New Year been treating you so far? I’ve discovered (via friend and styling medias), dry shampoo. It’s sort of the answer to some of my dreams. The dreams of sprucing up this under-showered Mommy.

And we’ve been busy. I’ve been terribly busy today catching up on emails (they get dreadfully behind so easily…not that I am that popular, but it does take some catching up) and I had two weeks’ worth of laundry. Yuck. I can’t stand laundry. I started it at 6:30am and as I sit here writing this, at night, I still have huge (clean), folded piles sitting on the dining room table. Mocking me. I am already over it. The house was in complete disarray today, every single toy out. The boys were pink-cheeked from running around the house so much. Suffice it to say, I was certifiably insane by nap time. And maybe refreshed a little afterwards, but still insane.

The boys started off the day very peacefully. I made them breakfast and they, adorably, played with cars while eating.

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Bigs and his dump truck. And his cereal.

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Smalls and his dump truck digger pusher thing IN his cereal.

It was a very, very cold morning and day. The sort where you love staying inside and wearing your jammies and slippers all day. Which we did.

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Smalls

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The boys, still peaceful, played cars and trains for what seemed like forever.

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I enjoyed a cup of coffee (or three) in my new mug from a friend (the sunflower thing on the top is this neat little suction thing that keeps your drink warm – from my Mom-in-law and I love it).

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Smalls enjoyed catching up on books from his reading list.

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Both boys drew pictures and made squeaky noises with their fingers on the condensation-covered front window (Bigs standing on a chair and Smalls standing in my dog’s toy basket).

Life seemed peaceful. All was right in the world. We were in our warm, little cocoon safe from the world’s troubles and frigidity.

But…

I don’t know if Santa didn’t bring them enough things to do, or they read every book (they seemingly have hundreds) they own, but cabin fever set in for them by lunchtime, which incidentally, that was about the time where every toy in life that these boys have were pulled out and scattered all over the house, as if a toy and book store exploded and I was pulling out my hair.

<<Whiny voice>> It’s just so haaaaaaard, waaaaaah!

Okay. Snit over.

I made a pretend ambrosia salad. I’d have preferred a real one, but naturally, did not have all the necessary ingredients. I had also planned on a tropical cous cous salad for lunch, but also lacked ingredients for that as well. Sigh. Tomorrow’s a new day.

I love ambrosia salad (the kind with marshmallows in it). I love how the sour cream and the acid from the pineapple mix together to break down the sugars in the marshmallows, making a creamy sort of sauce.

Well, I didn’t have pineapple. Not fresh, not frozen, not canned.

So. I used both fresh clementines segments and canned mandarin oranges. It was quite…orangey. I also used sour cream, shredded coconut and marshmallows. I didn’t follow any directions or measurements. Should have (lol).

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Desserts and sides I can do (usually). But lately, I’ve been in a real pickle with cooking dinners. I have the occasional good ones, but with my husband’s newly gluten-free and dairy-free diet (due to his Crohn’s), I’ve been a little overwhelmed. I never know if I should switch us all over to GF & DF (which for some things, I’m not okay giving up completely and also our grocery bill will go significantly up) or if I should cook two different meals or if I should have him sort of pick what he wants and have a go himself. Tonight, despite having a lack of energy, I sort of made two meals. I made a ham and pea pasta and used GF pasta for my husband.

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I cubed some ham (from a previous meal) and browned it in a pan with olive oil and fresh garlic. I added some peas and cooking wine and reduced. I put some in with his GF pasta and then the rest in ours. The bottom picture is the steamy ham and pea mixture.

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It was decent. I added tumeric to Hubs’. It’s a spice that is known to alleviate internal inflammation (a side effect of Crohn’s).

I’d rather have eaten this vegetarian salad from a new local eatery that I enjoyed yesterday. It was really good. It was greens with falafel and a lot of other Mediterranean salads on top. I had it with a yogurt sauce, garlic sauce and tahini. And topped with a cilantro sauce.ย  I want more. It was really heavenly. It is such a shame I am stuck with my own cooking.

Falafel Salad

Anyways, while we ate, Smalls ran around (he only will stay in his high chair for 2 minutes MAX and then scream like a banshee and worm his way out of the straps, soooooo what’s the point of torturing all of us? I’ve found he eats more when not trapped.), standing on my feet (had my legs crossed).

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He balanced on my crossed foot and got all up on the table. This kid is nuts.

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He also played peekaboo. Has anyone seen Smalls?? Such a goofball. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love how he “hides”.

And Bigs ate all his noodles because he was promised that ambrosial dessert if he did. I am all for negotiations if needed. Sue me. At least dessert was half fruit.

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Look at these little wonders.

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They were…um…a little less than decent. The marshmallows were able to break down a little, but the pineapple flavor was clearly missing (in my opinion) and for some reason the coconut was hard. Not quite the ambrosial effect I was hoping for.

Sigh.

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Whatever. It still looked pretty. I might pick out all the marshmallows and then I won’t have to chalk it up to a complete loss.

Because he had marshmallows, Bigs went a little berserk. Coo-coo bananas running all over the house. Sigh.

The night ended with the boys doing downward dogs (my poor pup safely out of the way).

Downward Dog Boys

I hope your day was more/less exciting than mine and definitely less chaotic.

Off to put laundry away. Waaaaaaaah.

Kristin

What a Hassle!

Since I’ve been on my gingerbread kick (which really isn’t so much of a “kick” as it is a “lifestyle” for me right now), I made Bigs’ lunch with a gingerbread theme.

Gingerbread Themed Preschool Lunch

His class also enjoyed the giant gingerbread cookie I made for them the day before. I think most everyone liked it! I was able to bring Smalls in with me and we enjoyed it with the class. Then Bigs’ sweet teacher told them the story of the Gingerbread Man. It was adorable. For this lunch, I cut out gingerbread boy shaped PB&J and used my Food Writers to draw on some faces and buttons. I gave him an applesauce squeezy fruit, some dried cranberries, some holiday shaped Goldfish crackers and a gingerbread boy Peep. And can I tell you how gingerbread-y that Peep tasted? I had to try one, natch. So good!

And our trusty scout elf, Duncan, came again. This time, he got himself into quite the pickle when playing with Bigs’ army men.

Elf on a Shelf Day 5

Who even knows (Pinterest??!) what he’ll be up to next!!

I made Hasselback Potatoes for dinner last night. They looked nothing like the picture on the recipe website. Typical of my cooking.

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Whyyyy are they so blackey burned in some spots and not browned enough where it should be?

Hassel Potatoes

Once I brushed off most of the blackened bread crumb mixture, they looked better….so…they looked just okay.

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What a hassel

All in all, I’m okay with serving semi-burned food to my family. It isn’t so bad. I served those potatoes (which were more of a HASSLE than a Hassel) with some roasted red pepper & asiago chicken sausage and some fresh fruit.

Whatever. I can bake much better than cook. And if you’re interested in this Hasselback potato recipe, which if you are solely going based on these photos, you should have no interest AT ALL, here is that recipe.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/hasselback-potatoes/

Better luck to you.

So what if I used olive oil instead of butter and used the kind of grated Romano cheese that belongs on pizza instead of freshly grated. So what.

Have a wonderful Friday,

Kristin