Saturday, December 17, 2011

Santa's Going to Love Me

Hey y'all! It's been a while. This has been an extremely busy Fall/holiday season for us! But. I do have my holiday baking list ready. I will be baking next Thursday and Friday. ALL of these delectables. What treats do you make for Christmas? I would love to know what some of your traditions are...

 Sweet Roasted Almonds from this here blog, Fuzz Food
 Also from this here blog, a family tradition/recipe, Caramel Pecan Logs
 Nanaimo Bars (with no nuts)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

mpm: week of October 31st

for more menu ideas or to submit your own go here

1-2-3 Soup in bread bowls

oven baked Fish n Chips (I made sweet potato fries)



pizza night :: these again



Monday, October 10, 2011

mpm: week of October 10th

For more menu ideas or to submit one of your own, go here! 


Spinach and Mozzarella Ravioli (Costco)

 Rachel Ray's Cocunut Curry Chicken :: brown rice

Crock pot baked potatoes (build your own: broccoli, chili, cheese, sour cream, etc.)

Pizza Night. I'm thinking these. They are beautiful!



Monday, October 3, 2011

back with bentos

I did good at taking bento photos last week! Yes, it's a miracle. This bento has a 1/2 gala apple, pumpkin shaped pb and honey sandwich on whole wheat, a hard boiled egg, baby carrots, and an energy ball.
bento in the laptop lunchbox. Handprint shaped sandwich with pb and j, checkerboard 1/2 apple, carrot sticks, cheese crackers, and homemade apple molasses cookies.
 Caesar salad wrap in a tortilla (caesar salad with chicken, shredded carrots, and cheese), purple grapes, and white cheddar pirate's booty.
 lemon poppyseed muffin, hard boiled egg, some of my bottled peaches, and carrots sticks
 Zucchini pasta, strawberries, cashews, asiago bagel chunk, and carrot sticks
 tiny Hello Kitty snack bento lid
Inside Hello Kitty Box: purple grapes and raw almonds.

Our daughter has to take a snack in addition to lunch each day. I usually give her a yogurt, or a fruit, or some kind of made up trail mix. I need ideas for snacks.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Look what I did! I've never canned anything before in my life even though I come from a long line of canners. I always refused when my mom, aunts, and grandma would encourage me to come help them. Now I wish I had let the women relatives in my life teach me other things like making bread and sewing. I just had no desire and probably thought it was demeaning to women to do those things. I was a modern girl! I think if I had to do it alone, I wouldn't enjoy it so much, but doing it with a friend on a whim was actually quite fun. This is her picture. I don't think she'll mind that I "borrowed" it. There were some suspenseful moments like, opening a peach and seeing live earwigs swarming about! Ack! I didn't know earwigs had a thing for peaches.

The process can be long, but it was easy to do. First we rinsed our peaches and separated them into 2 piles. One for canning, and the other for making Peach Pepper Jelly. Then we sliced them and put them in jars. We used quart jars with a wide mouth on top. Then when the peaches were filled to about an inch to the top, we poured fresh apple cider over each jar until it reached the top of the peaches. The apple juice we used was from a local fruit stand. It has a scary warning on it that says it is unpasteurized and if you are a young child, or an elderly person, or someone with a weakened immune system to use at your own risk. Yikes. But we've been drinking it for years and figure it's one of those liability things. Ha ha. Famous last words. After putting lids on each jar, we had a handy dandy canning pot that we put the jars in and boiled for about 35 minutes. As they cool, the lids make a cool popping sound when they are being sealed. They seal as the cool down.

Now that I know I can do it, I want to can everything!

Here are some yummy looking peach recipes:
Vanilla-Roasted Peaches with Raspberries (peaches and raspberries are amazing together)
I've been wanting to make this Peaches-and-Cream Ice Cream Cake for years!
My simple Peaches n Cream recipe.
And there ain't nothin' like a Georgia Peach Pie

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

mpm: week of September 5th

for more menus or to submit your own go here

white bean and pesto soup :: toast :: cantaloupe for dessert

egg burritos (just scrambled eggs in a tortilla) :: grapefruit

Zucchini Pasta :: rotisserie chicken :: grapes

Cool Taco Salad (Eating for Life recipe, double to feed whole family)

pizza night. make your own on homemade pizza dough

brinner (breakfast for dinner) :: Sweet and Savory Crepes

Chicken and Dumplings

Peach Cobbler Muffins
White Chocolate Bread Pudding

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

summer lunches & a bento

A simple, yet organized bento. Carrots, a peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into squares on Dave's Killer Bread (I used natural peanut butter, and local raw honey incase you wanted to know), cantoloupe, and a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie, cut into 1/4's. She always takes a water bottle with her. She ate school lunch twice this week per her request. Her school serves pretty healthy lunches, so she will probably choose 2-3 days per week to eat there.

During the summer, bentos made an appearance every now and then. But, almost everyday, I served lunch for the 3 kiddos the same way whether we were indoors or outdoors. Wanna see? It's kind of like a giant bento. I went to the dollar store and got this platter with a domed lid. Then I just put in whatever we had on hand. This first one the kids told me they wanted everything to be orange. I did my best. They LOVED eating their meals this way. So I still do it for lunchtime and dinner when I don't have any plans.
 carrots, veggie straws, clementine orange segments, cheese cubes, and not orange cucumbers
 carrots, raisins, pretzels, bean burritos cut in 1/3's, bananas, animal crackers, and olives in the middle.
 blueberries, carrots, cheese cubes, quesadillas, chips, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes.
 carrots, cucumbers, bean burritos, strawberries, cheddar crackers, and olives
cheese cubes, hard boiled eggs, roasted sweet almonds, carrots, laughing cow cheese wedges, raisins, rosemary crackers, olives
 goldfish, cinnamon muffins, cheese cubes, carrots, grape tomatoes, and hard boiled eggs
 pb&j sandwiches, kiwi fruit, pistachios, chicken apple sausage, chips, and cucumbers
 mangoes, graham crackers, cucumbers, carrots, raisins, ham and cheese sandwiches, and grape tomatoes
cucumbers, raspberries, cheese sandwiches, tortilla chips, carrots, gingersnap cookies, salsa

Kind of a lot of pictures, but you can see the variety and possibilities of what you can put in these. Whatever they didn't finish at lunch, I would leave it out and offer it as snacks when they told me they were "dying" of hunger. Usually everything got eaten up. They did get sick of carrots and cucumbers. We always have those on hand though.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Street Tacos. Or, I'm Homesick.

I have a weakness for street tacos. I always have. It's one of the things I miss most about my home state of California. I'm sure you can get them just about anywhere these days, but I have fond memories of my dad taking us to work with him and at lunchtime, he knew where his favorite taco stands were. We're talking, taco stands that sold brain tacos, tongue, and whatever else. My dad is an adventurous eater. He eats anything and everything. I don't even want to go into the foods I have tried that I wouldn't now because I know better. But I trusted him. And it makes for some good stories now. Anyway, back to the tacos. I developed a fondness for a basic street taco and I crave often the flavors. It hit me that I could make my own So Cal style street tacos. So I did. And the results are delicious and surprisingly easy to do!
First, I wanted chicken. You want to make Pollo Asado. This usually consists of oil, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, orange juice, salt, spices such as Achiote paste, etc. You can find a good recipe online. I am lazy and lucky because we have a local indoor farmer's market that sells Pollo Asado al carbon by the pound for pretty cheap so that's where I got this. It is delicious. All I had to do was cook it and chop it into bite size pieces.
Here is my chopped white onions and chopped cilantro.
You can leave the tacos as is with just the juicy, flavorful meat and the onions and cilantro, or you can add a dollop or two of guacamole. Some people like to put pico de gallo and queso fresco, but then it turns into something else entirely and not a street taco.

 To make guacamole in a jiffy, just mash the avocados and add salsa to taste and voila. There you go.

 Everything you need right here to compile your tacos.

Mmmmm! These were delicious. Usually I use white corn tortillas, but I was curious about yellow. I would recommend sticking with white. You may also want to use 2 tortillas to make your taco as they fall apart easily. Make sure the tortillas are warm when serving. I'm discovering that putting guacamole on everything is maybe a west coast thing? People always seem weirded out when I offer them guacamole as a topping, and HF's family back east never had it until they visited us here. What do you think? Do you put guacamole as a side with all your mexican food? Also, these can be as healthy or unhealthy as you want depending on the ingredients in your asado and toppings you add. I consider these pretty healthy for a family meal. And HF was thrilled to be eating meat. We average maybe once a week eating meat these days.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

back to school special

 First bento of 3rd grade: I tried to make it resemble a butterfly. Can you see it?! The two pink silicone cups contain an egg and pistachios. The "body" is a stack of baby carrots, and the head/antennae are green grapes. The little bear thingies are a chinese cookie called, "Golden Bear" for a treat. Simple, yet, some of her faves for her first day.

This is Day 2 bento: salad with croutons, little container of dressing, 3 gingersnap cookies (Which she said she gave away), an applesauce cup, and a heart shaped peanut butter and honey sandwich. The bread is Dave's Killer Bread. The sports bottle is water.

Monday, August 22, 2011

mpm: week of August 22nd

for more menus this week or to submit your own, go here

Burritos! :: we made 7-layer dip yesterday and the leftovers will be the filling for our burritos.

whole wheat pancakes :: fresh fruit

Black Bean Burgers :: sweet potato fries

Cool Italian Pasta :: garlic bread

homemade veggie pizzas on pita bread :: fresh picked peaches


Lemon Rosemary Salmon :: brown rice :: asparagus


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Yummy Summer Drinks - Whole Juices

Sorry again about the photos. I don't have to tell you - beautiful sunny 90 degree day turned cloudy and windy just as I went to take photos. It is time to build that light box...

It has been so much fun making all the drink recipes and sharing them with you. I hope you found some that you can use and love! For our last post together, I am going to share 4 recipes - three I've made and an interesting new one that I have not made. I dare you to try it and let us know what you thought!

All of these recipes have been formulated for blending in a BlendTec Blender or other similar blender. If you don't have one, be cautious. Chop your fruit and veggies smaller and use a little more liquid, add ice last and any other strategy you have for preventing the burn out of your blender's motor.

The Jolly Green Giant (adapted from a BlendTec recipe)

2 -3 cups washed green grapes
1/2 cup fresh cucumber, with or without peel (I peel it)
1/2 cup fresh zucchini, with or without peel (I don't peel it)
1/2 cup frozen sweet peas
1 stalk celery, cut in 3" pieces
1 cup spinach leaves, washed

Place ingredients in blender in order listed. Secure lid and blend. On the BlendTec, use the "whole juice" button. I like to freeze the extra in ice cube trays and use the ice cubes in fruit smoothies. The kids will never know they're getting a serving of veggies.

Optional add ons: 
1/2 cup broccoli
1/4 of a medium avocado, peeled
1 oz. wheat grass or other sprouts (equivalent to 2 lbs. green veggies)
1/2 cup tofu
sweetener, to taste

Strawberry-Melon Cooler

1/2 cantaloupe, sliced
1/2 cup pineapple, with juice, chilled
1/2 banana
1/8 inch slice of lemon, with peel
5-6 strawberries
1 Tbsp. honey (optional)
3/4 cup ice cubes

Place ingredients in blender in order listed. Secure lid and blend. On the BlendTec, use the "whole juice" button.

Citrus Carrot Cocktail (a favorite we found on the Vitamix site)

 1 cup pineapple with juice
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/8 inch  slice lemon, with peel
1 cup ice cubes

Place ingredients in blender in order listed. Secure lid and blend. On the BlendTec, use the "whole juice" button. I have to run the pulse button a couple of times on this one at the end just to be sure all the lemon peel and carrot is blended well. This is another one that I freeze in ice cube trays to add to other smoothie recipes.

Last of all - here's one for you to try. I have the ingredients, but didn't get around to it today.

Key Lime-Kiwi Smoothie

Kiwi is the star of this smoothie and Vitamin C and fiber are the antioxidant headliners. Fiber is essential for heart health and weight control and there is a long list of health bonuses for Vitamin C, the immune-boosting, bone-protecting, anti-aging, disease preventing super power.
2 medium kiwi, peeled
1 large ripe pear
1 tablespoon key lime juice or 1/4" slice of lime with peel
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
1/4 cup water
1 cup ice

Place ingredients in blender in order listed. Secure lid and blend. On the BlendTec, use the "whole juice" button. 

You may also enjoy:

Monday, August 15, 2011

mpm: week of August 15th

for more menus or to submit one of your own, see here!

Lemon Rosemary Salmon :: wild rice :: asparagus :: fresh peaches for dessert



Chicken Green Chile Enchiladas

pizza night :: takeout vegetarian


Lasagna :: garlic bread :: salad