Thursday, August 9, 2012

My kingdom for a recipe with no canned or frozen food!

Quick post...why does every recipe call for frozen food or canned food ingredients?  Can we not get off our asses and cook some real food from scratch? Stop opening cans! Stop buying frozen crap! Buy fresh! I just can't stand seeing people open can after can of veggies and soups and putting them together for their meals. It doesn't take a chef to cook from scratch. You just have to follow a recipe...if you can find one that doesn't use prepackaged or frozen crap that is!

Steps down from soap box, puts it away, heads into kitchen shaking head :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Realistic school lunches please!!

Honestly I have spent hours searching online for school lunch ideas. I used to have 4 kids eating lunches 5 days a week, but thankfully we are only down to 2 now. Two with very different likes and dislikes.

I am also trying to not to use so much packaged crap. The amount of waste from prepackaged lunch food is amazing! I worked for 2 years as a public school custodian for all grades and believe me I have seen so much garbage that just gets tossed, it would make you sick. Unless your school is heavily into recycling, the packaging creates too much waste.

So on my quest to find realistic lunches my ten year old twins would eat, I found a lot of web sites with food that would never pass my kids palate! FFS! Honey Ricotta Fondue? Herbed (Liver) Pate with Parmesan crackers? Turkey, Brie and Apple Sandwiches on Raisin Walnut Bread? Oh my! If I gave these lunches to my kids, they couldn't even trade them!

Don't get me wrong, I am all for healthy. But Holy Crap, let's be realistic! What kid eats that stuff? And if they do eat it, imagine the smell of the liver pate in the lunch room? Yummmmeh! lol My kids are not too picky, they like veggies and fruit and most sandwich meat - except bologna (yucky! I agree). 

So here we go again, It's the first week of August and Momma's on a mission to get the shelves stocked with school lunches in mind. I like to make things in August and test run them to see if they would be a good for lunches. I can usually tell when I am cooking or putting together a lunch how interested they will be in it in about 5 seconds. Twin #1 will stick his finger into any kind of food and try it, he's got a stomach of steel and the curiosity of a cat! Twin #2 is a picky little one, she usually goes by look and smell. If it looks good but smells crappy, there is a good chance she ain't gonna eat it lol!

First off, last year I bought a couple of divided plastic dishes with tight fitting lids. They were perfect for sending stuff with out packages. The only thing was any kind of wet food ran over the "tight" fitting lid (which wasn't very tight after all) and into the spot beside it. So this year I am on the look out for a better dish. I have seen a few that I really want to check out. Lap Top Lunches is my first choice. I am loving that some of them come with lids for wet or juicy food and some come with out for the other type of food. But it still doesn't help me by what to actually put in them!

Here is my list of lunches that I made and sent last year. I think they were pretty healthy and the kids ate them up, which is better than I could say for the liver pate hahahaha!

*Home made fruit salad always goes over well as I can put in the fruit that they will actually eat. 
*I always send fruit and/or veggies in with the lunch. Carrot sticks, apple slices, oranges, cucumber etc. 
*Deli meat or veggies in tortilla wraps. These can be cut up into bite sized pieces as well as stuffed full of what they like. You can even make a fake sushi roll with the tortillas.
*Pasta salads - add some pepperoni chopped up into bite sized pieces as a little treat mixed in with the pasta. Also don't forget to mix up the dressing. There are hundreds of different home made dressing ideas for pasta salad.
*Speaking of pepperoni. Add some along with cheddar chunks to a wooden skewer for some kabobs. Add french bread chunks or crackers.
*French toast and pancakes cut up with maple syrup dip
*Potato cakes, salmon cakes or tuna cakes with some cucumber dip
*Meatballs or meatloaf with sweet n sour to dip it in
*Perogies and cheese dip
*Home made chicken strips. Chicken breasts, cut into strips, dipped in egg and panko or crushed corn flakes and baked until crispy. Throw in some BBQ sauce or salsa for dipping
*Bisquick cheddar n weenies. Take bisquick and make the dough for buns, throw in some shredded cheese and chopped hot dogs. Put in muffin cups and shred some more cheese on top. Send some tomato sauce for dipping
*Another bisquick idea is to make it and roll it out, cut into circles and put a dob of tomato sauce on it, a pepperoni or salami slice and some cheese. Put another circle of bisquick on top and pinch together. Bake and send home made pizza pockets to school :)

There are many other ideas that we have but I think these are the best. I hope I have helped someone with ideas for school lunches. If you have any ideas yourself, please leave a comment :)

It's about time Harper!

Just a quicky post to say that even though I am NOT a fan of Steven Harper, he finally has done something I can totally agree with. EI benefits extended to families of seriously ill children.

Now hopefully this will let both parents concentrate on the health of their child!

Bumping Along

     I think I have come a long way from, let's say, 5 years ago. We made a huge 3500 mile move, we downsized, we reconnected and we lost a few along the way. The one thing that sticks out in my mind though is the way I personally have changed. Of course my kids have changed, hubby has changed and places have changed, but my own thoughts and feelings have changed the most I think.

     Things are slower now. Life isn't the hustle and bustle it used to be. I'm sure the kids would see it differently because they hustle and bustle more then ever. But for me, life is taking a few small steps instead of running now. I can sit and read for hours and be perfectly content to do so. Before I always had some nagging thought to bring me to put my books down and go do something. Maybe I am getting lazier now, I don't know. But life just seems to have slowed to a nice leisurely pace rather than the roller coaster ride it used to be. The same things that bothered me to get done right away before, just float through now. Eventually they get done and some times half-assed, but they get done. I spend more time connecting with people than rushing around with a quick hello. It's almost as if I have learned what is important and what isn't in life. And it's not too shabby :)

     On another note, my 19 tomato plants aren't doing to badly this year. I have a lot of plum tomatoes coming along and there is going to be a lot of salsa and freezer tomatoes going to be had when it's all said and done! My little pecker pepper plant is plodding along...only 1 blossom so far but it's getting there. I bought  a plant from BackYard Diva this spring at the artisan sale and I can't wait to see my first "pecker" pepper! They are supposed to look like this when they are done -

Let's hope I at least get one this year! It's quite a novelty to grow penis' in your garden you know :)

     Lately, along with being lazier, I have become quite a fan of the "free" list on kijiji and craigslist. I am always searching there to see what I can pick up! I have been a member of freecycle for awhile now and encourage everyone to join the one in your area! It's nice to pick up something you had been looking for on there for free and save it from the dump. Also it is a good way to get rid of things that you don't have a need for anymore as someone is always looking for something that you have. Currently I am searching for a old kitchen table and chairs that I can re-do and so far I have been beaten out on a couple but the one I want and am really looking for will come along soon, I know it! I'm in no rush...