The Last Day of VPK for 2015

Tomorrow is my Bigs’ last day of VPK. I am in denial. He’ll be in Kindergarten next year. That’s like “big boy” status.

Cue ugly crying.

Bigs’ class pet this year was a flamingo, appropriately named “Mingo”. He spent many nights with us, as he did with all the classmates. He was very loved. It was absolutely fitting that the class pet was a flamingo. It’s always been, um, my spirit animal. If there is such a thing. So I really enjoyed the flamingo theme this year. I made a few flamingo lunches this year, as well (here and here). So for his very last VPK school lunch, I felt that Mingo needed his due course.

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I made a “Mingo” shaped PB&J. I also packed a pluot, TJ’s organic PB crackers, red grapes, and yellow watermelon. I didn’t pack a dessert, since we’ll be having an ice cream party tomorrow. I used flamingo cupcake picks and added a palm tree (that I acquired through a bakery cake at some point).

Long live Mingo.

And for my Smalls, who is also having his last day of Mom’s Morning Out…

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…he’ll be in the “3’s” next year. Sniff. I made two little ice cream cone shaped PB&J sandwiches. I added details with my Food Writers. I also packed PB crackers, yellow watermelon, and one homemade chocolate chip/sprinkle/M&M cookie, cut into fourths.

I made those cookies yesterday to deliver to the boys’ school staff, as a thank you. They were really easy to make and used whole wheat flour.

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Sprinkle M&M Cookies

Adapted from: Weelicious

1 C AP flour

1¼ C whole wheat flour

1 t baking soda

½ t salt

1 C butter, room temperature

1 C brown sugar, packed

½ C granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 T vanilla

1 C semisweet chocolate chips

1 C M&Ms

1/2 C colored jimmies

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside.

Whisk together both flours, baking soda and salt. In another bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), cream butter and both sugars together for 3 minutes. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Gradually add in dry ingredients. Do not overmix. Stir in chocolate chips, M&Ms, and sprinkles.

Drop dough onto your prepared baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

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Enjoy! Summer is here!!

Kristin

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Circus Week – “Magic Bunny” VPK School Lunch

I feel like circuses have magic shows. Do they? Like, with a magician in a tux, pulling a rabbit out of a top hat?

I might be stretching it a little. I only have so many circus-themed cutters.

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I made a magical bunny shaped PB&J and added details for his ears (very instrumental to his magic show), eye, ad nose. I also packed a few banana chips, a few TJ’s organic PB sandwich crackers, two dried dates, an aprium, colby jack cheese, a Tim Tam (thank you Australia!!!), and a homemade granola bar.

And for my Smalls:

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I packed half a PB&J, trail mix, an aprium, TJ’s PB crackers, colby jack cheese, and a cotton candy Oreo. He’s got a granola bar for snack.

I made the granola bars for Teacher Appreciation Week a few weeks back. They were delicious!! I thought I’d make them again for my own family.

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They were super easy to put together…

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…and had ingredients I both had on hand and could pronounce.

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AND they are easy to individually package and freeze!

http://happymoneysaver.com/no-bake-homemade-chewy-granola-bars/

A hint – if you are out of honey, as this recipe requires a LOT, you can use corn syrup as a sub. I don’t love using that, but I do keep it on hand for some recipes.

Do it!

Kristin

Goodbye Turkey School Lunches!

Today was the last day of turkey school lunches. Boo hoo. But Christmas is coming and that makes me just as excited as turkeys! And we decorated for Christmas. Yup. We went there. Before Thanksgiving (to be honest, we’ve done that every year since we’ve been together).

Here is what I packed my boys today:

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Turkey-shaped PB&J sandwiches, with feather, gobbler, feet, eye, and beak details, crust hay bales, a few organic PB Trader Joe’s crackers, applesauce, orange segments, and a chocolate candy for dessert.

Blessings!

Kristin

It’s the end of the week as we know it (and I feel fiiiine)

It’s in your head now. Right? You’re welcome. R.E.M. rocks! Do people say “rocks” anymore? Do young people say “rocks” anymore? I wouldn’t know.

So, the end of the week is here (yay). It’s been such a crazy week. I haven’t even had a second. But now I do. So, I’m taking my second to show you food.

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Bigs’ Wednesday lunch was a breakfast theme! I packed a pancake “sandwich”, made with two gluten and dairy free pancakes, peanut butter, and honey. I also packed one slice of turkey bacon, cut up, some assorted raisins (Trader Joe’s big bag of assorted raisins ROCKS [#cantstopwontstop #imold]), a colby jack cheese slice, an orange, and granola (Trader Joe’s again).

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Bigs’ Thursday lunch was another turkey lunch (this time with ham and cheese!). I used my Food Writers and a turkey cookie cutter to make him so cute (if I can say so myself). His hay bale is crusts. I also packed grapes and applesauce. Bigs told me he was “staaaaarving” after eating this, so I made sure to pack more tonight for Friday’s lunch.

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So. For Bigs’ lunch tomorrow (Friday), I was sure to pack more food. I went with a Fallish squirrel theme. I made a ham and cheese sandwich, shaped like a squirrel. I used my Food Writers for his eye detail and cut out a little piece of fruit leather in the shape of an acorn. I also packed pretzels, seasoned corn, grapes and pineapple, an organic yogurt squeezy thing, and Trader Joe’s ginger cookies for dessert.

He’s going to go nuts! Get it? I love a pun.

And for my Smalls’ lunch today, I packed a Mickey Mouse(ish) lunch. And to prove it, here’s a blurry picture:

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Three baby Mickey Mouse shaped PB&J’s, some organic Trader Joe’s PB crackers, grapes, and TJ’s school house letter cookies. He ate all the grapes this time!

I also made Thanksgiving this week! I don’t think you can have it enough. I made a meal for a friend and doubled so my family could enjoy it too!

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I can’t wait for the REAL Thanksgiving! It’s going to be the bomb! (Do they say “bomb” anymore? Or is that done-zo?) For us, I made gluten free Turkey and Sage Meatballs.

Turkey and Sage Meatballs

1 lb (ish) ground turkey

1/2 C gluten free breadcrumbs

1 egg

S&P

1 1/2 t of ground sage or poultry seasoning

Mix together, roll into balls, place on greased pan, bake for 30 – 45 minutes (depending on size of meatballs) at 350F.

I covered our meatballs with a homemade cranberry orange sauce.

Cranberry Orange Sauce

1 C fresh or frozen cranberries

1/4 C frozen orange concentrate

1/3 C water

1 T sugar

1 packet of plain (unflavored) gelatin

Place all ingredients, except for gelatin, in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Whisk in the gelatin and simmer until thick.

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Roasted turkey breast for my friend. I seasoned it with S&P, garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning, and olive oil. I roasted it according to directions.

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I made green bean casserole, all of which I could have eaten by myself. I love it.

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I made sweet potato casserole. I didn’t have marshmallows, but I DID have marshmallow fluff. And being the resourceful woman that I am, I swirled that ooey gooey fluffy goodness around in the sweet potatoes and it came out just fine.

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I made cheesy corn and cornbread casserole.

http://jareskepinterestrecipes.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/corn-casserole/

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I made my first ever pumpkin pie (weird that it’s my first!). I used a basic recipe. And I overdid it. But I love my friend, she didn’t even care.

And lastly, I made an old fashioned Cranberry Fluff Salad. I took a picture, but it looked awful. Like bad awful. But it was good. SO good. I am on the molded and gelatin based salad train. Doesn’t that sound like a gross train to be on? It’s not. It’s amazing. If you like that sort of stuff. Which I do. I DID have to change the recipe, due to my lack of marshmallows. Again, I used the fluff. I thought it might work since that IS one of the names in the recipe. And it DID work, maybe not as successfully as marshmallows would have, but it was still really good!

http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/cranberry-fluff/

Do it. That could be your Thanksgiving, right there.

Have a BLESSED end to your week! We are ending our week right with our church/school’s Fall Festival tomorrow night! It’s going to rock!!

Blessings,

Kristin

Halloween Muddy Puppy – a last minute Halloween dessert recipe

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Do you call it “Muddy Buddy” or “Puppy Chow”? I grew up with both names for this dessert. I like them both. I can’t decide which one I want to call it, so for now, I call it “Muddy Puppy”. It seems to work out.

Do you need a quick last minute Halloween party recipe that is sure to please? You’ve come to the right place! This recipe can be made in under 20 minutes (add a few to that to the drying phase) and contains very simple ingredients. And it’s addicting. I’m not so sure that’s a good thing though.

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Halloween Muddy Puppy

Serves: a ton

8 C Chex cereal

1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 C butter

1/2 C peanut butter

1 1/2 C powdered sugar

Candy (I used candy corn, Kit Kats, and mini M&M’s)

*You can also add vanilla (I didn’t and it tastes fine without)

*This can be made gluten and dairy free with the base ingredients (GF Chex, DF butter) – just make sure your candies are, as well

Put the Chex in a large bowl. Melt the chocolate chips, butter, and peanut butter (microwave for 1 minute, stir, microwave in 30 second increments to ensure it’s completely melted). At this point, you could add vanilla. Pour over your Chex and stir gently. Place in a Ziploc bag and pour in powdered sugar. Shake shake shake! Spread onto a large pan, covered in wax or parchment paper. Dry and cool. Add your candy.

**Caveat: I was in a rush and shook the powdered sugar and Chex WITH my candy. It all tastes the same, but your mix would be more vibrant if you followed the above instructions, which I failed to do. Which is typical.

Have a blessed Halloween!

Enjoy!

Kristin

A Pretty Good Day (and lunch)

Today was a good day (do you Ice Cube’s song in your head now? I do…don’t make me rap it, because I will). My Bigs had school and I took my Smalls to a sweet pumpkin patch. He (mostly) listened to a story about pumpkins and proudly picked out his very own, teeny, little, adorable, curly-stemmed pumpkin. We ate burritos and tacos afterwards. Yes, it was a good day. My Bigs had a good day too! And all of us had a great nap after school. I even made a good dinner – gluten-free baked chicken cutlets, smashed garlic mini potatoes, and fruit salad.

Here’s to a good day tomorrow, too – we are on a roll.

Here is the lunch I packed for my Bigs:

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My hands typed “Ham & Cheese” at the top of this picture, but they meant to type “Chicken & Cheese”. Oooooops! I would lose my head if it weren’t attached, my attention to detail is declining with age! I’m not even going to fix it (I deleted the original!!). Oh well. Ain’t nobody got time to worry about that. I packed a chicken, cheese, and mayo sandwich on whole wheat, some organic TJ’s peanut butter crackers, fruit salad (bananas, plums, pineapple, apple, grapes), carrots with ranch dressings for dipping, and a teeny homemade pumpkin chocolate chip brownie cut into pieces.

I hope he enjoys it!

Blessings!

Kristin

“A person who respects the Lord will have security. And his children will be protected. Respect for the Lord gives life. It is like a fountain of water that can save people from death.” – Proverbs 14:26

Thursday is the new Friday (lunch)

So, tomorrow is Thursday, this I know. But it’s a Friday for us. There is no school on Friday, so I get a bonus day with both my boys!

For my Bigs’ “Friday” lunch, I made this:

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I made a ham, cheese, and mayo sandwich (I cut it into four pieces). I packed a mini plum, some HUGE grapes, seasoned corn, a few TJ’s plantain chips, and three freeze dried mangoes. I would have included a dessert, but we had a situation with lying. Sooo…..

For my Smalls:

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I made him a PB&J, which I also cut into four pieces. I packed some organic TJ PB crackers, a few freeze dried mangoes, and some of those huge grapes, cut up.

Here’s to a great Thursday AND Friday!

Blessings to you!

Kristin