The Three Little Lunches

Tomorrow is my Co-op day. I love those days where I get to be a Helper Parent in my Bigs’ class. It’s so fun. I love seeing him do his VPK thing, I love spending extra time with him, and I love sitting on the teeny chairs next to him and his friends while eating lunch.

Here is what I packed Bigs:

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I made a vanilla bean cream cheese and apple cranberry butter (from Trader Joe’s) sandwich. I also packed some dried cranberries, a few banana chips, some freeze dried apples, assorted raisins, seasoned corn, a few mini sausage links, a few pretzels, a banana, and a couple of teeny chocolate pieces.

For me:

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I made the same sandwich for me as I did for Bigs. That cranberry apple butter is to die for. I also packed the same dried fruit, and added a Gala apple (my favorite).

And for my Smalls, who has Mom’s Morning Out:

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He has a PB&J, pretzels, banana chips, dried cranberries, assorted raisins, and three itty bitty chocolate pieces.

Hope you have a great night! I better rest up! Spending the day with a boatload of 4 and 5 year olds kicks my bum bum! Hats off to teachers!

Blessings,

Kristin

“Fall” VPK School Lunch

Hi, how’s the weather? Seriously. I’m talking about the weather. How’s your weather? Where I live, it’s been flip-floppy. It was FREEZING (read: not freezing but felt like it to this Southern gal) last week and in the 80’s this week. I just want cold. Or even cool. I’m ready for that. I want to wear my boots. They are sitting out of their boxes in my closet, just mocking me. I gaze longingly at my scarves, hanging up. My jackets remain untouched. Full-time Fall weather, where are you?

I’ll tell you what makes it FEEL like Fall – cinnamon brooms. I picked up two tiny ones (adorably named “Cinnamon Whisks”) from Trader Joe’s. They make my house smell like the Holidays. Planning my Thanksgiving dishes also make it feel more Fall-like. I’m doing everything right for the season! We even had homemade chili tonight for dinner.

So, I’ll just be sitting here, in my cut off jorts and tank tops with the occasional flannel, waiting for the leaves to change colors and the temperatures to drop.

Don’t mind me and my pity party.

Here’s what I made my Bigs for lunch tomorrow:

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It’s got a hint of fall, by way of Halloween Muddy Puppy (we are calling it “Fall Muddy Puppy” now) and dried apples. I also packed a ham, cheese, and mayo sandwich, seasoned corn, and grapes.

Tell me how your Fall is going so far. I’d love to hear!

Blessings!

Kristin

Tuesday Pizza Lunch with a Monday Attitude

Tomorrow is our “Monday” (we have no school on Mondays). “Mondays” sneak up on me. Always. I can’t ever get my act together on my “Monday”. For the sake of not putting “Monday” in “” again, here is my halfhearted lunch for Bigs for tomorrow:

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We had pizza last night for dinner. And again tonight. And Bigs is going to eat it for lunch tomorrow. I also packed veggie straws, dried apples, grapes, a yogurt sqeeze, and a Krackel candy bar.

Cold pizza for the win. And a candy bar. It isn’t that halfhearted, now, is it? Looks like my old college lunches.

He’s ahead of his times.

Monday and Tuesday blessings to you!

Kristin

Pumpkin Themed VPK Lunch

Whew, another week in. I’m so glad it’s almost Friday. It’s been an extremely long week. This Mama is ready for some rest!

This is what I packed for my special Bigs:

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I made a plain cream cheese and TJ’s pumpkin butter sandwich, shaped like a pumpkin. I cut out the Jack-o-lanturn details and added color with my Food Writers. I packed seasoned corn, dried cranberries, dried apples, red grapes, and a teeny TJ’s pumpkin pie.

Happy Friday, everyone! May you have a blessed weekend!

Kristin

Only the Lord gives wisdom. Knowledge and understanding come from him. – Proverbs 2:6

A Tree-Hugging Trader Joe’s Review

So. We’re back from vacation. School is about to start. Summer is coming to a close. Things are changing. I should be able to keep up with my blog posts now, right? RIGHT?! Right.

Back to biz.

You guys know I have a serious sweet tooth. It’s well documented. You might not know that I also have a health food tooth (I feel like that’s less sparkly and lovely than a sweet tooth). Is that a thing? I love all vegetables, fruit, tofu, and other healthy fare.

Salad is one of my top favorite foods. I love going to salad buffets. And eating all their yummy veg. I even love beets. BEETS. Even as a kid I loved them. If you don’t like them, I have recipes that will forever change your mind about them.

I digress.

I went to Trader Joe’s this past week to try their healthier food (and some not so healthy food…blog posts on those to follow).

My kids love dried fruit as snacks. My Mom dries her own fruit and it’s delicious. Since I don’t have a dehydrator, I don’t mind buying them (or eating my Mom’s).

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We tried the TJ’s Dried Flattened Banana. I’ve never had this before now. They were really good, like banana fruit roll ups (if you rolled them up). The ingredients were bananas and something to keep them from browning. At $1.29, it was a bargain.

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Organic Banana Chips: They were good, crunchy, and delicious. Like any ol’ banana chips. They were $2.99 and there were a lot. I’d call it a deal.

Dried Sweet New Zealand Apples: These were delicious. Despite only having apples (several different varieties) as the only ingredient, when I opened the bag, they smelled like fall. They were chewy, moist, and full of apple flavor.  And the bag wasn’t skimpy on quantity. Also priced at $2.99, I think they were a deal.

Dried Fruit Mandarins Soft & Juicy: I’ve never had these before either. These were the only dried fruits we tried that had sugar as an ingredient. I’d serve these more for a lunch dessert. When I opened the package, the fresh, bright, citrusy scent of mandarin oranges hit my nose. The flavor copied that. They were delicious and sweet. They cost $2.69. I’d get them again.

Freeze Dried Mango: The only ingredient was mango. I like to see that. They were crunchy and yielded a nice bite, but also melted in my mouth (like most freeze dried fruit). They were also delicious. They also cost $2.69.

Lastly for the fruit and nuts category, we got some slivered almonds. They were delicious and like any other slivered almond. I like to put these on my oatmeal and in granola bars. I got quite a bit for $3.69.

I’d get all of those again.

I also picked up some gluten free pasta. Trader Joe’s has a good selection of such pastas. They offer both brown rice and corn pastas (perhaps more, but those are all I looked for). They had different shapes too – fusilli, penne, spaghetti. It’s great to see GF pasta becoming more mainstream.

I picked up a box of brown rice penne, brown rice fusilli, and brown rice spaghetti. They were $1.99 each (which is comparable to Aldi’s and far better than grocery store prices).

A few nights ago, we tried the brown rice spaghetti.

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It was delicious. I love that they give you a whole pound. Some GF pastas come in smaller packages. It was nice to feed the whole family from this (very cheap for GF) pack.

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It was delicious. We really couldn’t tell the difference between this pasta and flour-based pasta, in the best way possible.

It’s a must-buy for us now.

I also restocked my TJ’s sprouted tofu. I can’t wait to eat that. It, too, was delicious, the last time I made it.

Enjoy your day, go hug a tree, and eat something healthy!

Blessings,

Kristin