Love Themed Kindergarten School Lunch

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I get headaches. Quite often. And migraines. And they can be debilitating. I get nauseous. I can’t eat. I can’t do much of anything. Any noise is too loud; I can literally feel each noise throbbing in my head, neck, and shoulders. Being in pitch black is still too bright. I am working with a Neurologist to get them under control, but it’s a long process, of trial and error. For people who don’t get them, it’s really hard to understand their magnitude, much like anxiety and depression, of which I also suffer.

[I’m a bag of fun 😀 ]

So, when I have a good day, I am SO very thankful. For the little things, things that I shy away from, on a bad day – the beautiful warming sunshine, the gentle breeze, the [loud] sounds of my boys. I relish in my energy, baking cookies, painting my boys’ bathroom, cleaning the house, running errands. I am grateful. Today, I am grateful. I know that ALL of this is in God’s plan, even if I don’t understand why. I don’t believe that God gives us only what we can handle; God gives us what He gives us, and then we lean on Him.

Day by day. Sometimes, minute by minute.

For tomorrow’s lunch, I packed a cream cheese and raspberry jam heart-shaped sandwich, pita chips, dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, blueberries, and a homemade gluten free chocolate brownie cookie. Love themed. Because I am thankful.

Blessings,

Kristin

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Cooking with my Kids: “Pilgrim” Meatballs With Cranberries

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My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, hands down. Any chance I get, I’ll find a way to  Thanksgiving-ize something. I came up with this recipe a few years ago and it’s been a favorite. I’ve since made it gluten free and simplified it for my little (big) sous chef.

These turkey meatballs are the very essence of Thanksgiving – tender sagey turkey, studded with tart cranberries. I served them (obvi) over mashed sweet potatoes and with  sweet corn.

Pilgrim Meatballs with Cranberries

1 lb ground turkey

1 egg, beaten

2/3 C corn flake crumbs

1/3 C chicken stock

Handful of dried cranberries (I used Trader Joe’s orange flavored ones and I soaked them in cooking white wine/sherry)

1/2 t sage

S&P to taste

Preheat the oven to 400F. Prepare a baking sheet with tin foil and Pam. Mix all the ingredients, except for ground turkey. Once fully combined, add the ground turkey. Form into balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes.

Gobble Gobble!

Kristin

Fairy Bread Kindergarten & 3’s School Lunches

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Have you ever heard of Fairy Bread? It’s this magical dish served at parties in Australia and NZ, where slices of white bread are slathered with butter and liberally covered with nonpareils (or hundreds and thousands, as they’re known as there), and cut into triangles. This is my take on it. I made sunbutter and strawberry jam kebabs and turned them into Fairy Bread kebabs. It’s Friday. It’s time to celebrate. It’s the end of the week. We made it!! I also packed orange flavored dried cranberries, oyster crackers, red grapes, gingerbread muffins, and peas and carrot mallow candies…because PEAS AND CARROTS CANDY!!! They were one of my favorite candies growing up. I’d spend my allowance on those things at the mall candy store. Along with sour peach gummy rings, sour gummy belts, Jelly Bellies, licorice, Warheads, gummy sharks, gummy colas, and pretty much anything else I could get my hands on. I digress.

Fairy Bread.

Happy Friday!

Kristin

Pancake Brunch Kindergarten School Lunch

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For today’s lunch, I made a chocolate chip pancake sandwich (with sunbutter and raspberry jam). I also packed a mandarin orange, pineapple, dried fruit (dried coconut, dried ginger, dried dates, raisins, dried cranberries), and one gold chocolate coin.

Happy Brunch!

Kristin

Star of Bethlehem Kindergarten School Lunch

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In his Kindergarten class, my son is studying Jesus’ special birth and all the events that led up to it. This season is so very important to our Christian faith and he’s so excited to be immersed in such a beautiful story each day in class. For tomorrow’s lunch, I made a ham and cheese Star of Bethlehem (lolz). That star (the real one, not the hammy version) is so symbolic of the birth of the baby who would go on to save us all, for all time, no matter the cost. The star shone so bright in the night sky, leading the Wise Men and others to the humble stable where our Savior was born.

I made a star shaped ham and cheese sandwich and I sprayed it gold with a bit of food safe spray. I also packed dried cranberries, pita chips, a mandarin orange, red grapes, a shortbread cookie, and a few red/green/white chocolate covered sunflower seeds.

May the light of the Lord shine brightly during this special season for all of you,

Kristin

Happy December! (And a Snowflaked Themed Lunch)

Happy Happy December! Is it cold where you are? Are you wearing boots and scarves? Making snowmen? Dancing in the falling snow?

Welp. I’m in shorts. With my A/C on. Dreaming about a cold winter. It’s a pipe dream, really, for us Florida folks.

So, I’m pretending it’s cold. My house is DECKED out in Christmas, I drink hot chocolate, I wear Christmas themed t-shirts. I’m trying, people.

I wanted to make a special December 1st lunch for my big boy for today, but I had a horrible migraine. So, I am made some today for both my boys for tomorrow.

A chilly, wintry themed one.

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 I made snowflake shaped jam sandwiches and added details with my Food Writers. I also packed goldfish crackers, colby jack cheese, dried cranberries, a mandarin orange (Bigs), a Go-Gurt (Bigs), grapes (Smalls), and a snowball donut (that was leftover from the special breakfast our elf Duncan [Donuts] brought the boys this morning).

“Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem.”

-William Hamilton Gibson

Blessings!

Kristin

Perfect Sweet Potato Casserole (and another squirrel themed lunch)

It is THAT time of year again! I adore Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday. Not just for the food, although that’s a huge part of it. I love the tradition, the memories I have of Thanksgivings past, the new memories made with family, the way people become so introspective about thankfulness. I love the traditional food that I make each year, and the new recipes I come up with. I love the crafts. I love every part of it. It makes me happy.

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I always seem to make mini Thanksgiving meals in the weeks prior to the Big Day, in hungry anticipation. Last week, I made a turkey and cranberry meatloaf which I paired with my traditional macaroni and cheese casserole, green bean casserole, and sweet potato casserole (#casseroleallthethings). This week, I paired a new sweet potato casserole with a honey and dijon mustard glazed ham. And this SPC was SO dang good, that I just had to share the recipe with you. It also happens to be dairy and gluten free, which for my family, is a bonus!

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It’s creamy on the inside, studded with little jewels of dried fruit, and topped with two kinds of marshmallow, which have been toasted just the perfect amount.

**Caveat** This recipe has raisins in it. I know for a fact that many people do not like raisins. I don’t care for them in cookies. They ruin cookies for me. But in this? They added a chewy, lovely texture.

Perfect Sweet Potato Casserole

Recipe serves 2 adults and 2 kids, with leftovers

3 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 T melted coconut oil

splash of coconut milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

3/4 C dried cranberries

2/3 C golden raisins

1/2 small jar marshmallow fluff

1/2 bag of mini marshmallows

Boil the peeled and chopped sweet potatoes until they are tender. Using a hand mixer, blend together the next three ingredients, until creamy and smooth. Fold in the dried fruit. Pour into a greased pan (I used a 9×9) and bake in a 350F oven for about 25 minutes. Melt the marshmallow fluff in the microwave. Pull the casserole out and spread the fluff over the top. Sprinkle the mini marshmallows over that and place back in the oven, with the broiler on high. Make sure not to burn the marshmallows, but see that they get nice and brown!

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It is dang good. ENJOY!

Also. I made yet another squirrel themed lunch. This is my last week of fall and Thanksgiving themed lunches, so I am doing repeats allll day.

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I made squirrel shaped sunbutter and grape jelly sandwiches. I cut acorn shapes out of fruit leather for the little tree rats to snack on. I also packed goldfish crackers, dried cranberries, more dried fruit, colby jack cheese (Bigs), a mandarin orange (Bigs), green grapes (Smalls), and a Linzer cookie for each.

Peace ‘n’ Blessins’,

Kristin