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Lunch Time Blues

Written for Kids Cuisine on the Well Fed Network I often struggle with our weekday lunch. It is the most frustrating part of the day for me because I have a hard time getting creative and making a quick and healthy lunch that my kids will enjoy. I am also very tempted at lunchtime to scrap the whole idea of eating at home and instead going to the nearest restaurant to grab something for the kids to eat. This option rarely includes healthy choices and often results in a budget buster.Over the past couple of weeks I've decided to shake up our lunch time rituals. I want lunch to be healthy but also to be an interactive and fun time for my family. I have made some simple changes and they have been very well received by my kids. We don't rush through lunch anymore... it is a fun event that my kids look forward to now.  Here are some of the fun things we have been doing at lunch time. ABC - A few weeks ago we had days where everything we ate at lunch time had to correspond to a letter of the alphabet. For example, one day was the letter "P". On "P" day we had pepperoni personal pizzas, pineapple and pudding.  On "S" day we had salad, sandwiches, strawberry yogurt and a few Starburst for dessert. I get my children involved at the grocery store, helping me to pick out food that matches the corresponding letters for the week.Picnic Lunch - Indoors or out, changing the venue of your lunch from the kitchen table to a blanket spread out really … [Continue reading]

Love Thy Neighbor

{First of all...sorry about the lack of any posting this past week. We had a death in the family and my kids and I went out of town for the visitation and funeral. We've had some other tragic extended family stuff going on this past week as well... it has been kind of a crazy time.}  I was thinking today about what a great neighborhood we live in. Our block is filled with families young and old and our neighborhood is like one that I used to dream about living in. The kids all hang out together...riding bikes, playing games, playing catch. The parents all hang out together grilling hot dogs, drinking margaritas, catching up on the news, etc. We borrow eggs, we borrow tools, we borrow trucks. We have a great time together and I am thankful to have such wonderful families surrounding us.I also like my neighbors because they never turn down baked goods.  I like to bake a lot, if you haven't figured that out already, and if I ate everything I baked I would be the size of my house. This is when my neighbors really come in handy. I know that I can always count on someone on our block taking something off my hands...making the caloric sacrifice for me.Today I decided I was going to make one of my favorite mini-loaf bread recipes. I don't make this recipe often because it is just too good. I am always tempted to scarf each little loaf down myself. This recipe makes 4 mini loaves of the softest most delicious bread. In my math challenged mind, I had two loaves to give to … [Continue reading]

Is It Monday Yet??

I am going to start this post off by saying I love my husband... I truly do. I love spending time with him. I love having long leisurely weekends with him. I love the fact that he is a great dad, a great husband, a great helper around the house. He is way more than I deserve.With that out of the way, I am also going to say...when is that man going back to work?? It has been such a long weekend! We went to a party on Friday night, had church this morning and other than that our weekend has been a whole lot of nothing. Nick is not the sit around and do nothing kind of guy. He always has to be doing something... and it drives me crazy. When I'm in the kitchen, he's trailing along after me cleaning up. When I'm sitting down to read a magazine, he's banging around the house...hanging shelves, picking up, etc. Nice quality, I know, but sometimes it just gets on my nerves. When he's not relaxing, I feel guilty for relaxing. For some reason, he was especially busy this weekend and I was especially annoyed by it. Silently annoyed... I'm not about to complain about him helping out around the house, but still... I am so ready for him to go back to work tomorrow so I can have my "domain" back.We did manage to make a few great meals this weekend...something we do very well together. Two of the highlights were the Chicken Fajitas from Saturday's lunch and the Honey Oatmeal Bread that went with a yummy rotisserie pork loin he made for dinner tonight.  The fajitas were better … [Continue reading]

Food For Talk and the Well Fed Network

I was recently asked by Cate over at Sweetnick's to be a contributing writer on the Well Fed Network. I've been submitting articles for the past couple of weeks and keep forgetting to mention it here. If you are into all things food, then make sure you bookmark the Well Fed Network. There is something for everyone! This article has been submitted and will soon be up in the Kids Cuisne section:  Does this sound familiar? Dinner is ready… you are trying to get everyone gathered around table. Once seated, you pass around the food and as it is going around your kids are throwing endless demands at you. “Mom…I need more milk.” “Mom… I need another napkin.” “Mom…can you get me some dip for my veggies?” By the time you actually get to sit down to start eating, your food is cold and the race through dinner has ended…everyone is asking to be excused. Your dream of having a nice, leisurely dinner together as a family has come to a halt and reality has hit hard. Your family is not connecting over the dinner table. They are simply there to bark demands, eat and run. Author Julienne Smith was tired of having her kitchen table be the site of a hit and run. She wanted more… she wanted her family to connect around the table and for the conversations to be deep and meaningful. Isn’t that how it was when we all grew up? We didn’t have a million places to be… life was slower and dinner time … [Continue reading]

Back to Normal

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and concerns regarding Ella. She is completely back to normal now. The swelling has gone down and her cute little face is just plump from chubbies... not from the swelling! We are doing great! … [Continue reading]