Valentine’s Themed Kindergarten School Lunch

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So, a funny thing happened this week – I made pizza for dinner. Because pizza (I don’t need no stinkin’ excuse). I put the leftovers in a Tupperware that looks a lot like the one above. The next day, when I went to pull out the leftovers for lunch for my Smalls, I pulled out Bigs’ lunch! That meant that HE got a bajillion pieces of leftover pizza for lunch at school! I texted his awesome teacher and she sent me a picture of his smiling face and said he loved his lunch! He won Kindergarten that day. 😀

Between that pizza lunch and this one above, I’d say I’m on top of things (but only according to my Kindergartener; to the rest of the world, I’m slowly unraveling!)

For this particular lunch, I made a cheese sandwich, shaped like a heart. I also packed cheese crackers (everything’s better with Cheddar! – it’s my life’s motto), blueberries, red grapes, and a strawberry truffle cookie. I used plastic Valentine’s rings to decorate.

Kristin

Lunch Catch Up

Well, oopsie poopsie, I haven’t posted lunches in….um, a while! During Christmas break, we were so busy doing fun activities, okay, surviving, we didn’t so much do fun lunches. We ate. Square sandwiches. But, now I’m back.

So here are two fun lunches I did (amongst MANY others, I can assure you 😉 ).

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I packed pizza, chips, oranges, grapes, blueberries (for Bigs), and frosted brownies for dessert. These are all things I’d like to have at a slumber party. Wouldn’t you?

For the brownies, I used this recipe:

http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/my-favorite-brownies/

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And for Bigs’ lunch tomorrow, I went with a deli(ish) theme. I made a sunbutter & jam sandwich. I also packed Cheez-Its, pickles, a mandarin orange, a gingerbread muffin, and a chocolate coin. I’ve never actually had any of this at a deli, but whatever.

Blessins’.

 

Kindergarten & 3’s Pizza School Lunch

Last Friday was my first Co-op Helper Parent day in my 3 year old’s class. We had such a great time and it was a real hoot to see him in his classroom environment. We got to sick on kid-sized chairs and each lunch together, too.

Here was my lunch:

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I packed pizza (I LOVE cold pizza), kiwi, blueberries, carrots, and broccoli.

And for my boys:

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Pizza, snap pea crisps, apples (with blueberries for my Bigs), a chocolate chip cookie, and a few chocolate covered sunflower seeds. I meant to add an organic yogurt squeeze for Bigs too, but forgot about it in the freezer…and boy, did I hear about it later!

Kristin

This Week’s Lunches

What a busy, busy week I’ve had! Here is what I packed each day:

Tuesday:

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I make two little PB&J’s on toasts. I also packed pretzels, blueberries, mandarin orange slices, seasoned corn and a homemade chocolate chip sprinkle cookie.

Wednesday:

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I made a PB&J on a hot dog bun. I also packed red grapes, pretzels, strawberries, and a homemade chocolate chip sprinkle cookie.

Thursday was my last Helper Parent day in my Bigs’ class. When he goes to Kindergarten next year, his school doesn’t utilize the Helper Parent system. I will SO miss spending the school day with him. I look forward to starting all over with my Smalls next year! I had to pack three lunches for today:

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Smalls got PB&J on a flat bread, broccoli with ranch for dipping, trail mix, and a homemade chocolate chip sprinkle cookie. For myself, I made a salad, packed ranch for dressing, a little piece of flatbread, two dates, and an apple. And for my Bigs, I packed a PB&J on a flat bread, red grapes, dried ginger, dates, strawberries, and a cookie.

And lastly, for tomorrow, Friday:

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We had pizza tonight for dinner, so I packed a piece for Bigs. I also packed goldfish (cheeseburger flavor – so weird!), strawberries, grapes, and half of a chocolate chip cookie bar.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Kristin

Lazy Lunch Friday

I had every intention of making a cute lunch for tomorrow, but I have to admit, I am pooped. I worked as a Co-op Parent in my son’s class today. If you are a teacher, I want to thank you. You work SO hard and love on our children SO much and I am so grateful. I don’t know how you do it, day in and day out, and then go home to take care of your own families. So…THANK YOU.

With that, here’s Bigs’ lazy lunch for tomorrow (which I know he’ll enjoy and not find lazy at all…but I know the truth):

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I packed two slices of pizza, a mandarin orange, some pumpernickel pretzel sticks, blueberries, grapes, raisins, and a few mini peanut butter cups.

Happy Friday!

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

Bigs’ Last Day of Preschool

Today is my Bigs’ last day of age 3 preschool (next year will be VPK). I am so proud of how far he’s come this last school year. We will miss our school routine, his teacher, his classmates, and their Mommies. It’s been a wonderful year. I am so grateful for his school.

Today for lunch, I packed “Bigs’ favorite things”.

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I packed some pizza (BBQ chicken pizza from Aldi), an applesauce squeezy fruit, some red grapes, and for dessert, a sugar cookie and a gummy worm. I also packed a no-sugar apple juice box. He loves those, but they are very rare, so it will be a treat. For his snack, I packed fruit snacks and shrimp chips (weird, but both my boys love those!), two of his favorite things.

Wow, what a year of lunches, too! Next year, Bigs will be in school 4 days a week (versus the two this year). I will definitely have to get my thinking cap on. Yikes.

Have a wonderful day!

Kristin

Birthday, Cake, and Pizza!

Happy Birthday

Today is my husband’s birthday! We LOVE birthdays in our family. We like to make a big deal out of them. It’s so fun and it’s that person’s special day, so why not!? Usually, my husband takes off work for all of our birthdays, including his own, but since Bigs is in school now, we decided celebrate in a bigger way on a different day, so that he wouldn’t miss school. But we made my husband’s day special! Happy Birthday Penguin from BigsBigs picked out that penguin graphic for his Daddy. 😀

I made my husband some gluten free, dairy free cupcakes. And let me just tell you…everything I’ve touched today, so far, has turned to poopy. This new recipe was, of course, no exception.

For the cake, I followed the directions exactly. Only one difference. Which isn’t exactly then, now, is it? The only difference I made was in the type of GF flour, which shouldn’t have made the cupcakes try to eat themselves. Oh. I just remembered I did something else different – honey instead of maple syrup. You know we eat a lot of pancakes around here. Maple syrup doesn’t last. But honey should be a very viable replacement. Right??

Let’s rewind, shall we? One of my wonderful friends sent me a recipe that was right up my alley – gluten free, filled with vanilla flavor and healthy zucchini.  But let’s not mince words – It’s not exactly unheard of for me to follow a recipe exactly and have it turn out…um…not so appetizing.

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Let’s call this a case of “I did the best I could”. These cupcakes looked slightly less than decent right out of their trip to the oven. But I knew there was more to the story…that top middle cupcake was already warning me…mocking me.

Within three minutes and a transfer to the cooling rack, those little – I am lacking the correct word for them – “beauties” began to sort of eat themselves.

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I literally have never seen such a thing, even on a soufflé.

Let’s bring on the frosting, because THAT makes everything better, right?

RIGHT??!!

No.

Not always. I’m sorry if that popped any sort of frosting-makes-it-better theory you may have had.

But you’ll be in good company. My frosting bubble is completely deflated.

Sort of like my cupcakes. But not as bad.

This one is my fault though, like, for sure.

The two-ingredient-vegan frosting recipe required chocolate chips (check!) and full-fat coconut milk (che…oh. of COURSE I don’t have full fat, because whilst at Publix earlier on, I did the ‘right’ thing for my slightly less than girlish figure and got ‘lite’ [seriously…lite? you can’t throw a ‘g’ or an ‘h’ in there?] coconut milk).

So. my lovely, fluffly, whipped chocolate frosting turned out to be just a simple ganache. Not normally a bad thing. But totally so, when you are expecting something along the lines of this:

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Say it ain’t so.

“So yeah…uh, definitely they were supposed to come out like this!

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Especially that wonky one on the top left…you know I like weird stuff.”

Oh, sorry, just practicing my Happy Birthday speech to my husband, who deserves the best ever cupcakes in the world. So glad I could come through for him. 😀

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I have to admit that I tried one, too. I mean, I can’t put my baking name on the line without trying my product, right?

They were about what you’d think they’d be like, considering my day’s track record.

A bit greasy, half baked, sort of oddly fried on top. And now covered in a too rich, too thick, cloying chocolate ganache.

Yep.

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Soooo…..Happy Birthday. May all your dreams that don’t have to do with delicious food come true.

Happy Birthday Cupcakes

At least they look okay if you squint and only focus on the star sprinkles.

And also at least they were all boys that I served them to and they don’t care.

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I mean, they ate them. They were even better once I’d refrigerated them.

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INSERT: The lovely writer of the recipe let me know that coconut flour cannot be replaced, so ooops! I will be trying them again but with the correct ingredients. My apologies! I have learned a valuable lesson. Thank you Kayla!

We ordered pizza, my husband’s choice for his birthday dinner!

We got a GF, DF pizza from Domino’s:

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And for the rest of us (including one of husband’s oldest friends), we had pan pizza from Pizza Hut – just the best!

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By the by, here are the two recipes I used:

http://ohsheglows.com/2013/05/20/2-ingredient-chocolate-fudge-frosting/

http://healthyalamode.com/2014/02/simply-healthy-vanilla-cupcakes/

Happy Birthday Husband!

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. 🙂

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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

Happy December!

Happy December

Happy December! It’s a new month! A month that’s filled, already.

We took the first spin around our neighborhood last night looking at Christmas lights. Bigs is super in to it! It’s so exciting! Most of the homes in one cul-de-sac in our neighborhood collaborate with their Christmas lights and everything is lit up. It’s spectacular!

We had a visitor in our home this morning. He’ll be here through Christmas Eve. Duncan is his name, as you’ll recall, named after Dunkin’ Donuts, our favorite place.

Elf on a Shelf Day 1

Duncan plopped “himself” on my candy wreath. The oil painting is of our precious dog. So far, I have seen Bigs stop himself when about to complain and shift his eyes quickly to Duncan. Day 1 and he’s already doing his job as a “young scout elf”. Go Duncan.

We had our first advent church service. It was beautiful. The church was all decorated with trees and lights and stars and snowflakes. Absolutely stunning.

Also, I made pizza. I used my favorite whole wheat crust recipe and mozzarella cheese and pepperoni!

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The family gobbled it up.

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Enjoy your Sunday, the first day of December!

Kristin