Spring Bunny Themed Kindergarten School Lunch

This season of life is so wild! I’m constantly busy. Time is a luxury. A rare gem. And this holiday season has been…what’s that? The holiday season is over? It’s been nonstop busy since the holidays started, that I was unawares they ended. Huh. Well. Spring is almost here. And with Spring, comes renewal and freshness. And time, I hope. Along with clearing of the mind [mine, in particular].

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

In the spirit of impending, renewing, fresh, time-filled Springtime, I put together a fun bunny lunch for my oldest son!

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I made a bunny shaped sunbutter and creamed honey (Trader Joe’s – necessary) sandwich. I also packed pita chips, red grapes, their shriveled cousins, cantaloupe, and a Hostess cupcake.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalms 51:10

Blessings!

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

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

Happy Halloween Kindergarten & 3’s School Lunches

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Welp. This about wraps up October, can you believe it?! For their final Halloweeny lunches, I packed spider web shaped sunbutter and apple butter sandwiches. I stuck plastic spider rings in them and used Food Writers to add webby details. I also packed raisins (for Bigs), seasoned corn, dried cranberries, green grapes, snap pea crisps, Trader Joe’s mini pumpkin pies, and a few black and orange chocolate covered sunflower seeds. I used Halloween cupcake picks and rings to decorate.

And since I am blessed to be the Co-op Parent Helper in my Smalls’ classroom tomorrow, I packed myself a lunch.

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For me, I packed smoked gouda chunks, Trader Joe’s pumpkin and cranberry crackers, Boar’s Head salami, green grapes, cucumbers, and a mini pumpkin pie.

SAFE AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN to you all!

Kristin

Lunch Catch Up

These weeks, you guys. Oh bless me. They’ve been challenging. I haven’t been on top of my daily lunch game, but I’ve been able to do a few. So here they are. In all their “glory”.

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Sunbutter and jam (or ham and cheese, I just can’t remember!!) on hamburger buns, popcorn, green grapes, raisins, and a Twix bar.

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Another Lunchable – ham, colby jack cheese, Ritz crackers, green grapes, pears, and a cut up Star Crunch.

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Another hamburger bun with some kind of filling ( 🙂 ), green grapes, popcorn, and a “New York Peppermint Patty”, as my boys call them.

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And for tomorrow’s lunches – mini pancakes and apple butter sandwiches, cubed cheese, rolled up ham, green grapes, and a few little chunks of Trader Joe’s pumpkin Pop Tarts.

Whew.

Have a great week!

Kristin

Ham & Cheese Friday Kindergarten & 3’s School Lunches

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Tomorrow is Friday. Yay. I’m so glad we made it another week. I packed ham, cheese, and mayo sandwiches for my boys. With this Arnold’s Country Bread, I only have to make one sandwich and split it between them. I also packed cotton candy grapes, an Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookie, cheddar sandwich crackers, raisins, a natural fruit leather, broccoli for Smalls, and yogurt pretzels for Bigs.

Long live the weekend!

Kristin

Pumpkin Bagel Kindergarten School Lunch

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For tomorrow’s lunch, I packed a bagel with pumpkin cream cheese, a few pretzels, raisins, dried pineapple, cotton candy grapes, strawberries, and colby jack cheese.

Fun fact about today: my sons will only answer to “Leonardo” and “Raphael”.

Heroes in a half shell!

Kristin

Happy Friday! Kindergarten & 3’s Pizza School Lunches

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Tomorrow is Friday. I think Fridays are meant to celebrate…you know, after school (work for most), is done. It’s a celebration of making it through the week, of having a blissful few days ahead. To celebrate Friday, I packed pizza rolls for my kiddos. I made them for dinner last night and my boys love them. They are so easy to make! I also packed raisins, strawberries (my Smalls doesn’t care for them because of the “bumps” [he’s a sensory kid!], but I am going to press my luck with just a few pieces), red grapes, freeze dried jack fruit, and a gluten and mostly dairy free cupcake (with orange tinted icing sugar glaze, Smalls got half of one).

HAPPY FRIDAAAAYYYY

Kristin

Kebab Kindergarten School Lunch

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For tomorrow’s lunch (for my Bigs), I packed two ham & cheese kebabs. I used colby jack cheese. I also packed apples, peaches, raisins, pretzels, and an Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookie.

Happy Friday Eve!

Kristin

Quinoa Granola Bars with Dried Fruit & Chocolate

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Well, oopsie. It’s almost been a month since I blogged. What can I say? Summer really took over. Now, it’s coming to a close. My boys go back to school next week ( 😦 ). I’ve so enjoyed my extra time with them, where the days started and ended later, we ate our weight in ice cream, and we did what we wanted. Times are a-changin’! It’s back to the grind. It’s going to be a rude awakening next week, when I’ll be forced to wake them up. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. That “my baby is now going to Kindergarten” bridge will also have to be dealt with. I’m not emotionally prepared to deal with that at this time.

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Moving on to what makes me comfortable – food. 😀

I found a recipe for Quinoa Granola Bars and tweaked them a little.

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These were so good! The oats made them chewy and the quinoa made them crunchy. The dried fruit made them subtly sweet and the chocolate coating just made them. Chocolate coating makes almost everything. Ask anybody.

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You can leave the chocolate coating off, if needed. I can barely come up with a situation where a chocolate coating would not be needed. But, know that option exists.

Quinoa Granola Bars with Dried Fruit & Chocolate

Recipe adapted from: Superhealthykids.com

1 C uncooked quinoa

1 C oats

1/2 C coconut

1 1/2 C combination of nuts and dried fruit (I used a 1/2 each of cranberries, golden raisins, and sliced almonds)

1/4 t salt

1/2 C peanut butter

3/4 C honey

1 T  oil (I used coconut)

3 T brown sugar

1 t vanilla extract

1/2 C chocolate chips

1 t oil (I used coconut)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9X13 inch baking dish.  Spread the oats and quinoa on a cookie sheet and toast in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Pour the quinoa and oats mixture into a large bowl and add coconut, nuts, and dried fruit. Mix together. In a medium saucepan, combine salt, peanut butter, honey, oil, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and immediately remove from heat. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Pour over oats mixture and combine until dry ingredients are evenly coated. Pour into baking dish. Press mixture down into pan. Bake for about 15 – 18 minutes.

To make the chocolate, mix the chocolate chips and oil together in a bowl. Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring until melted. Spread over the top of the bars and let them cool/dry.

Cut and serve.

These are a teeny bit crumbly, but are delicious for snacks (after school, maybe? mid-morning? you decide). You could also individually wrap the slices and freeze and pop into a lunchbox.

Enjoy!

Kristin

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