Monday, July 28, 2014

PB and J Sushi

How fun is this?  We don't do sushi in our house, the idea of something that slimy freaks me out. Anyway I have been scouring the internet to find lunch ideas for the kiddos and this is so simple and fun!  Plus it was a HIT!

Peanut Butter

Cut – cut off the crust.
Flatten – Flatten the bread.  I use rolling pin.  You can use the heal of your palm, a can, another board or a plate.  Just get that sucker flat.
Spread – As you see, I put the peanut butter all the way across, and the jelly only half way.  The jelly tends to travel when you roll and this help reduce the mess.
Roll – Just roll it up.  Not too tight or you’ll squeeze all the good stuff out.
Wrap and Freeze – This is the KEY step.  You can skip this step to save time, but you’ll end up with a looser messier roll.  I usually freeze for 20 minutes.
Cut – After it’s firm you can unwrap it and cut.

How to Make Sandwich Sushi for Kids Bento School Lunch - Healthy Ideas From

Sunday, July 27, 2014

School Lunch Ideas

I love the back to school excitement, don't get me wrong I hate losing my kiddos during the day, but I love the shopping!  I love buying backpacks, lunch boxes, all the fun supplies and oh the clothes.  In fact I have been known to go overboard on the shopping part.

There are a few things though that I do not enjoy about the end of summer break: losing my kids, waking up early to make breakfast and get kids ready and chores done, AND the lunch dilemma.  It is so hard for me to figure out what to send in their lunches.

I hate sending the same thing day after day.  My oldest loves sandwiches but good heavens can we say BORING!  I do spice up life a little by cutting them into cute shapes but I need ideas for more "main dishes".  It is so hard because they don't have access to a microwave so they can't heat things up and there are very few foods that taste good cold.  :-)  I am pretty sure that a lot of you moms are in the same predicament I find myself in. 

One thing I started doing last year that we love is a bento style lunch.  The kids have super cute little boxes that I got from Wal Mart with super heroes on them.  They have four spots and typically I fill those spots with a main, a side, a sweet, and a fruit/veggie.  Nathan also gets a pudding and they get a juice box.  This will be my first year making two lunches and my middle child is slightly pickier so that makes me even more nervous!

So I have decided to enlist help!  I am listing all my ideas and hope that you will give me a few of yours!

Ham and Cheese Sandwich
P,B, and J Sushi

Cheese Sticks
Gold Fish
Cheese Cubes
Baked Chips

Apple Slices
Mandarin Oranges
Carrot Sticks

1 Candy Piece
Rice Krispie

I end up taking one thing from each category adding a Jello, Pudding, or Yogurt and a Kool Aid pouch or water.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Menu for 7-28 to 8-3

B- Chocolate Chip Pancakes
L- P,B, and J Sushi (NR)
D- Lasagna Soup

B- Cereal
L- Mini Pizzas
D- Crockpot Balsamic Chicken (NR), Broccoli Salad, Herb Potato Salad

B- Monkey Bread Muffins (NR)
L- Sandwich
D- Hamburgers, Baked Potatoes, Corn on the Cob

B- French Toast
L- ?
D- Slow Cooker Swiss Chicken, Pea Salad

B- Ham and Gouda Breakfast Casserole
L- ?
D- Steaks, Macaroni and Cheese, and Green Bean Bundles

B- Fancy Ham and Egg Biscuits (NR)
L- Taco Stack Up
D- Cook out???

B- Cinnamon Bread
L- Out
D- Leftovers

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ground Beef and Noodle Casserole

Hubby is helping a friend move tonight and I am sorry that he wasn't here to try this dinner with us.  It was really good, although next time I may cut back on the pepper.  The kids all enjoyed it and Nathan and Belle went back for more several times.  It was quick, easy, and delicious... I think that means its a keeper!

1 lb. ground beef
15 oz. can of mixed veggies (I just used fresh carrots)
2 cups cooked macaroni noodles
¼ cup onion (chopped) (I used 1 tsp onion powder and 1 tsp garlic powder)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
8 oz. shredded cheese
Sauce Mixture (ingredients below):
¼ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup flour
1 cup milk

Cook macaroni noodles as directed and drain.
Brown ground beef and onion (and garlic) and drain grease.
Melt butter, mix in flour and milk to make sauce in a bowl.
At this point I added salt and pepper.
Add mixed veggies and macaroni noodles together with ground beef in a oven safe dish.
Mix in 1 cup shredded cheese and add sauce mixture to casserole.
Top with 1 cup shredded cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!

Maple Bacon Green Beans with Slivered Almonds

Hubby said these were good however kind of bland.  It might be because I used turkey bacon...

A big bag of green beans.. picked fresh
Several (maybe 4-5) pieces of maple flavored bacon
A handful of diced onion
A handful of sliced almonds
Flaked sea salt, large restaurant pepper, garlic powder

Cut the bacon into "lardons" - about 1/2 inch pieces
Cut the onions into a small dice
Find a kid to snap your beans - the size doesn't really matter
Start a pot of water to boil for the beans.
Once boiling, add the beans until they are about 90% done.
Drain the beans when they reach this point.
While the beans are boiling, saute the bacon over medium-high heat until about 3/4 done.
It's important that you do NOT put the onions in with the bacon at the beginning.  (If you do, the water in the onions will prevent the bacon from browning and crisping properly.)
Once the bacon is almost crisp, add the onions.
Saute the onions with the bacon until soft and translucent.
Add the drained (blanched) green beans to the crisped  bacon and onions.
Adjust seasonings by adding salt, pepper, garlic powder and slivered almonds.
Stir the beans into the bacon mixture to ensure that a little of the maple bacon grease has coated all of the beans.
Cook for maybe a couple of minutes more for the flavors to incorporate, then remove from heat.
The beans should still be firm, not mushy, salty, maple'y, peppery, crunchy from the bacon and almonds, sweet from the tender onions

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pistachio Crusted Chicken Tortas

These were yummy!  We all loved them, some of us loved them more than others but everyone in our house enjoyed them.  I loved how the pistachios made them nice and crunchy and added a little extra saltiness.

When I put them together I spread some homemade pesto ( on the bottom part of the bun and it added another layer of goodness to these wonderful sandwiches.  The bread was nice and crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy in the center.

The seasoning that I was supposed to sprinkle on the chicken just got thrown in with my flour because I kind of forgot about it till I started dipping the chicken.  :-)

1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise then pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup shelled Naturebox Chili Lime Pistachios, pulsed in food processor until finely chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In small bowl, stir together cumin, salt, paprika, cayenne and cinnamon.
Sprinkle both sides of chicken pieces with spice mixture.
Place flour in shallow dish.
In second shallow dish, lightly whisk eggs.
In third shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs and chopped pistachios.
Spray rimmed baking pan with cooking spray.
Working with one piece at a time, dip chicken in flour, shaking off excess, then egg and breadcrumb mixture.
Place on prepared baking pan.
Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, turning once.


No Bake Granola Bars

These were pretty good mine took awhile to harden but once they did the taste was honestly better than I had expected.

2 cups old fashioned oats
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup agave
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
dark chocolate chips
Spray an 8x8" dish with cooking spray.
Preheat oven to 325ยบ F.
On a baking sheet, spread out oats, coconut and almonds.
Place in the oven and toast for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown (not burned!).
In the meantime, combine the brown sugar, agave, coconut oil, vanilla and salt in a medium sized saucepan.
Cook over medium heat until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
Pour toasted oat mixture into saucepan with brown sugar mixture and stir together until every morsel is coated and combined.
Pour into prepared baking dish and press down so it's even on top and push down to make it stay together.
Let cool completely.
When cooled, cut into bars.
Melt some dark chocolate chip in a small bowl.
Stir and then add in some Nutella (I eyeballed the measurements).
Lightly drizzle over granola bars and enjoy!
Easy No-Bake Granola Bars  - simple granola bars with oats, almonds and coconut with a delicious chocolate & nutella drizzle on top.