Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lenten Lunch 3

This whole time, I'm thinking that a Lenten lunch is going to be hard thing to figure out.  Then, as I look back at Molly's Lunch Box, most of her lunches are vegetarian.  Very rarely is there any meat in her lunch at all.  So, if you are looking for a kid friendly Lenten meal idea, just look at just about any lunch on this blog and you'll be set through Easter.
Our main entrée is our take on a peanut butter and banana sandwich.  We split a banana in half and filled it with Nutella hazelnut spread.  Then we spread peanut butter on one slice of bread.  We then put the banana on the bread, wrapped it up, and cut it in half.

Our vegetable side is small slices of green pepper.  Molly has liked peppers since she was very young.  Plus, it gives her a nice crunch.

Our fruit side is a plum.  We found these at Sam's Club and they have a great sweet/tart flavor.

Finally, our Fun Friday treat is candy.  There are two mini Kit Kats and two mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  This is not a regular treat but we decided to go a little crazy since Molly has been doing very well in her school work and hasn't complained much at all about her homework this week.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Buying Lunch

Now that I've gotten the whole lunch ticket thing taken care of, Molly can't wait to buy lunch.  I think it's the fun newness of the electronic lunch system added to the yumminess of popcorn chicken that has gotten her really excited to buy lunch tomorrow.  We're pretty excited for her too because we always liked chicken nugget day at school.

*Side note* Just wondering why it is still snowing in Western Pennsylvania?  I thought that March was supposed to go out like a lamb and bring warmer spring-like weather.  Hopefully this means that spring will be that much nicer this year. ☺

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wednesday Already!

This week is going by pretty quickly.  We've been keeping ourselves busy with errands, cleaning, paperwork and everyday life.  Molly's little sister is feeling much better, she's driving us crazy so she's definitely getting back to normal.  Molly's little brother is a drool monster with his teeth but he's in much better spirits.  Molly is just her happy old self and working hard on her school work and some other fun projects like a writing contest through our local PBS affiliate.  This is the second year that she has entered.  She and her Daddy work very hard on this project and have a lot of fun being creative together.  I am still a little tired from the crazy week I had last week but I've managed to be pretty productive.  I straightened out the lunch ticket situation.  It was my fault because I was using tickets from last year and they don't take them anymore.  Now, her account is up to date and she can buy lunch whenever she wants.  But, she's packing tomorrow.
Our main entrée is a quesadilla of sorts made with Trader Joe's Middle Eastern Flat Bread and Pimento Cheese Spread.  Molly saw that we had this in the fridge and begged for it!

Our vegetable side is edamame.  Some people have told us that they've tried it and didn't like it.  We suggested that they try it both cold and hot to see if it might be a temperature thing.  All we know is that our whole family enjoys edamame whether it be hot or cold.

Our fruit side is an apple.  Molly requested this after she saw us give a nice cold apple to her brother to help his teething along.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is none other than our trusty Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla Yogurt.  Molly asked for a cookie but we said to wait until Friday for her treat.  She enjoys this yogurt so much that she didn't argue at all.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Molly asked to buy lunch tomorrow because they are serving breakfast for lunch.  At first I figured, why not?  I have one sick kid and one teething kid so if she bought lunch, I'd have one less thing to worry about.  Then I get a letter home from the school saying that her lunch account has a negative balance.  WHAT?  Molly's school has started using an electronic system for lunch where parents put money on an account and the kids put in their pin to buy lunch and snacks.  This is a great idea as far as I'm concerned, but we still have a bunch of lunch tickets that we were told to use until they run out.  If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know that Molly rarely buys lunch so we still have lunch tickets and use them when she buys lunch.  Molly has told me that the lunch ladies give her a little grief when she uses the tickets but that they will take them if she puts her pin in, which she is fine with.  Then last Friday she said that I need to call them because she isn't allowed to use lunch tickets anymore.  So, since I have the sick kids at home I didn't have a chance to call during school hours.  I left a message and I'm waiting for a call back so that they can tell me what they've been doing with the tickets that I've been sending in and what they want me to do with the tickets that I still have.  I would've expected a note or something that says that the tickets aren't allowed anymore.  Oh well, we'll see how this pans out.  Until then, we'll be making our lunches no matter what.
Our main entrée is a waffle sandwich.  We toasted two waffles, a little extra crispy so that they won't get soggy, and spread peanut butter on one waffle and maple flavored cream cheese on the other.  We then layered thinly sliced apples on top of the peanut butter and added the cream cheese waffle on top.  YUM!

Our fruit side is sliced strawberries.  These are very sweet, yet a little bit tart.  Absolutely delicious!

Finally our dairy/dessert side is Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla Yogurt.  A great end to a great lunch.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Back to Normal

The consignment sale was a huge success and now life is getting back to normal, well at least our normal.  The week was busy and so was the weekend.  We had the consignment sale on Friday night and Saturday morning, then a birthday party on Saturday and another on Sunday and they were both a blast.  It's been quite a week.  Time to get back at it.
Our main entrée is a turkey pastrami and pepper jack cheese sandwich on multi grain bread.  We added mustard per Molly's request.  This box also contains a few pretzels for some extra crunch.

Our vegetable side is cucumber slices.  A cool and refreshing addition to Molly's lunch.

Our fruit side is green grapes and strawberry slices.  Molly requested the grapes but didn't know that we had strawberries so we added them as a nice surprise.

Finally, our dairy/dessert side is none other than Molly's favorite, Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla Yogurt.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Crazy Week - Lunch 3

Well, I had a great idea for a Lenten Friday lunch and I still have a little bit of energy to make it but Molly's Daddy told me that she really wanted to buy lunch.  At first I was opposed since she just bought lunch on Monday.  Then, Molly's Daddy made a great point by telling me what the lunch is.  Grilled Cheese!  Growing up, grilled cheese was a Lenten staple in my house.  It was usually accompanied by tomato soup but Molly's comes with tater tots.  As soon as I heard what was on the menu, I immediately changed my mind.  Every kid needs to have a good old fashioned grilled cheese sandwich with tater tots once in a while.  I think we might even have that for lunch here at home tomorrow.  It just sounds SO good!  I'll save my other lunch idea for next week.

Have a great weekend everyone.  I'll be working at the consignment sale and doing my part to help the preschool.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crazy Week - Lunch 2

Still working hard at the consignment sale and there are three days left to work.  I'm tired just thinking about it.  But the sale will be great and the preschool will benefit so much from it.  Luckily, Molly's Daddy is so incredible and really helps me keep the ball rolling at home too.  He helped me with Molly's lunch again tonight so, thanks again, Daddy!
Our main entrée is spaghetti salad.  Molly requested some type of pasta salad and we had leftover whole wheat spaghetti from dinner last night, so that made the request much easier to fulfill.  We added turkey pepperoni, Monterey Jack cheese and light Italian dressing.

Our vegetable side is cucumber slices.  Another request from Molly.  These cool and refreshing veggies are always a nice addition to Molly's lunch.

Our fruit side is a Clementine and some green grapes.  Molly really likes both of these fruits so we figured that we'd add two of her favorites.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Dannon Light and Fit Strawberry yogurt.  We usually buy a large container of vanilla yogurt and several small yogurts in fruit flavors.  Today, Molly chose strawberry just to mix things up a little bit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Crazy Week - Lunch 1

This is going to be a crazy week for us.  Molly's little sister's preschool is having a consignment sale on Saturday morning and since I'm on the preschool board, I'm going to be "working" the sale every night for the rest of the week and then the big day on Saturday.  This means that there is a lot of planning ahead and lots of help from Molly's AWESOME Daddy.  He really helped so much with this lunch.  Thanks Daddy!
Our main entrée is left over cold pizza.  We are still honoring our Lenten sacrifice of giving up fast food so we purchased this frozen pizza today and baked it in our oven.  More convenient than making it from scratch ourselves but a lot less convenient than bringing home a hot pizza from the pizza parlor.  There is a little container of ranch dressing in this container for dipping.

Our vegetable side is sliced cucumbers.  Molly's Daddy used our crinkle knife to cut these fun little discs.

Our fruit side is a blood orange.  These are Molly's Daddy's favorite but he was nice enough to share one with her.

Finally, we have a special treat because Molly's little sister is the snack person tomorrow at preschool and Molly reaps the benefit of leftovers.  The theme of tomorrow's preschool day is "the early bird catches the worm." So, what better then some good old fashioned dirt for a snack?  We made sugar free, low fat chocolate and vanilla pudding. (We did both flavors in case one of the kids does not like chocolate pudding)  Then we added some smashed Oreo cookies on top of the pudding.  Finally, a few gummy worms top it off for fun.

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Sandwich by Request

Molly is really open to trying new things, more than most kids her age.  She eats corned beef and cabbage, sushi and even gobbled up lamb for dinner tonight.  So, when we were talking about what she would like for tomorrow's lunch, she said that she wanted to try something new.  I bought peppered pastrami lunch meat for Molly's Dad and she got a glimpse of it so now she wants to try it.  She and her siblings really enjoy spicy things so I'm confident that she will enjoy the peppery goodness that the pastrami holds.
Our main entrée is a peppered pastrami sandwich.  We added provolone cheese and mustard and sandwiched it between two pieces of whole grain white bread.  YUM!

Our vegetable side is a leftover from our dinner.  It's a steamed vegetable blend of corn, carrots, green beans and peas.  Molly would eat this hot or cold any day of the week.

Our fruit side is an apple that has been cut up into bite-sized pieces.  Molly requested an apple since she hasn't had one in a while.

Finally, our dairy/dessert side is Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla Yogurt.  What would we do without this staple in our fridge?  Molly is always happy to have this side.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pizza Monday at School

Molly begged to buy lunch at school tomorrow because they are serving Papa John's pizza and she's really in the mood for pizza.  So, we decided that she could buy tomorrow as a special treat.  She was so excited that she jumped up and gave both of us a huge hug and kiss.  Even though it might not be the most nutritious lunch, it's fun to have really yummy and unhealthy food once in a while.

Happy Spring Everyone!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lenten Lunch 2

For as much as Molly would love a leftover corned beef sandwich for lunch, it's a Friday during Lent which means that there is no meat.  We'll save our St. Paddy's Day leftovers for Saturday.  So, we've decided to take advantage of some other leftovers.  We served a variety of Irish Cheeses with crackers as an appetizer to our Irish dinners and we have some left.  They will make a delicious Lenten lunch.
Our main entrée is an assortment of Irish cheeses with pita crackers.  Molly really likes these sharp and creamy cheeses that can be compared to cheddar and gouda in flavor but they are still very unique.

Our vegetable side is green pepper slices.  We had a bit of green pepper leftover from Molly's St. Patrick's Day lunch and she likes them, so might as well chop it up and pack it for lunch.

Our fruit side is a clementine and some blueberries.  There is a distinct tart and sweet flavor that goes along with both of these fruits to they compliment each other very nicely.

Finally, Molly requested yogurt for her dairy/dessert side.  (Shocker!)  So we have her favorite Dannon Light and Fit vanilla yogurt all set for her.'s Fun Friday so we added a special treat on the side.  We found a few Nestles Chocolate hearts for Molly's treat.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Lunch! ♣

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!  We, as a very proud Irish family, love to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  The story of how St. Patrick taught the Irish people about God by using the shamrock to represent the holy trinity is one that we will never tire of.  We are very proud of our Irish heritage and celebrate it throughout the year, but especially on St. Patrick's Day!  So, enjoy the day, smile at your luck and GO GREEN!

Our main entrée is a shamrock sandwich.  We mixed up a little agave nectar with cream cheese and added a little bit of green food coloring, spread it on cinnamon raisin bread and used one of our several shamrock cookie cutters to cut it out.  We also added a few mini Irish Soda Bread scones for luck.

Our vegetable side is cucumbers that have been cut into shamrock shapes and the bottom of a green pepper. God did the shape for us.

Our fruit side is kiwi cut into shamrock shapes and some green grapes that have been halved.  Sweet and tart all in one dish!

Our dairy side is Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla Yogurt.  We added some green food coloring to it and then topped it with shamrock shaped sprinkles.

Finally, for dessert, we added a shamrock coin that we made earlier today.  A lucky treat indeed!

As an added bonus, we gave Molly a really awesome drink.  Instead of her normal water, we added green food coloring to lemonade and put it in her bottle.  She's going to be so excited.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Beannacht Dé leat!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Do Over With Help

Molly has recently expressed an interest in helping to make her lunches.  I've changed my schedule a bit lately and I'm home more often in the evening.  So, I figured that the more involved she is in the process, the more likely she'll eat it or try new things.  (Note: She doesn't eat all of her lunch all of the time and will sometimes turn her nose up to trying something new or very odd to her.)  Molly enjoyed her lunch so much today that we are repeating a few of the same things, and she helped to make them!
Our main entrée is Molly's favorite "quesadilla."  She spread Trader Joe's Pimento Cheese Spread on a Trader Joe's Middle Eastern Flat Bread, folded it in half and we cut it into quarters.

Our vegetable side is the same as yesterday's lunch as well.  We sliced up a few cucumbers and added a pinch of Trader Joe's Shredded Carrots for sweetness.

Our fruit side is a clementine with a handful of blueberries.  Molly peeled and divided the clementine and added the blueberries.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla Yogurt with a special little twist for our helpful little chef.  We tossed a bit of teddy bear sprinkles on top for a splash of color and fun.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Trader Joe's Tuesday

We had our monthly trek to Trader Joe's today and purchased some awesome food.  In preparation for St. Patrick's Day, we got our baby cabbage, buttermilk, Irish cheeses and some Irish bangers.  (Our corned beef, potatoes, Irish butter, etc has already been purchased.)  We also purchased a lot of great produce, baked goods and some regular pantry staples.  This lunch was inspired by several of our purchases today.
Our main entrée is a unique take on a quesadilla.  We are using Trader Joe's Middle Eastern Flat Bread for our "tortilla."  Then our cheese is Trader Joe's Pimento Cheese Spread.  Molly goes GAGA over this cheese spread.  Although we aren't in the south, we do have some southern roots so it's not a surprise to us how much she likes this cheese.

Our vegetable side is seedless cucumbers and Trader Joe's shredded carrots.  The carrots make for a sweet and crunchy compliment to the cool and juicy cucumbers.

Our fruit side is Trader Joe's dried figs.  Kind of like the Newton, but without the cake around it.  We also added some Trader Joe's Vacuum Fried Banana Chips.  These taste so bananaie (is that a real word?) and the crunch is awesome.

Finally, Molly requested her favorite Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla Yogurt.  This was not purchased at Trader Joe's but they do have a lot of yummy yogurt varieties available.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Not The Average Monday

Since we gave up fast food for Lent, we didn't get a pizza this past weekend and also didn't make one ourselves.  So, that means no typical cold pizza Monday.  Instead, we decided to do an all request lunch.  Molly had some bizarre ideas but we tamed them down a little bit.
Our main entrée is all white meat chicken nuggets.  Molly likes to eat these cold with honey mustard to dip into.  Well, we are out of honey mustard so Mom is going to run to the grocery store after everyone is asleep and get some honey mustard.  When looking at the photo, just imagine that there is honey mustard in the empty container. ☺

Our vegetable side is cucumbers.  Molly really likes the juicy and crunchy cucumbers in her lunch and requests them regularly.

Our fruit side is a banana.  We haven't given Molly a banana yet this year because of the browning factor.  What kid wants to eat a mushy, brown banana?  But, we had seen several other lunch boxes that had incorporated the banana with the peel on so that they don't brown.  We'll let you know how it turns out.

Finally, Molly requested some special pretzels for the last component of her lunch.  These little gems are filled with peanut butter and are a great sweet/savory blend of flavors.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lenten Lunch

Tomorrow is our first Lenten lunch because Molly bought her lunch on Wednesday.  When I was growing up we always had grilled cheese and tomato soup or fried fish on Fridays but now we have to be a little bit more creative since we serve a cold lunch.  Also, our family gave up fast food for Lent so any type of food that we serve is homemade.  If we give Molly her favorite cold pizza on Mondays, it will be made by us and not our favorite Sir Pizza.  Hopefully we will have some good ideas for our Lenten lunches and maybe break some traditions.
Our main entrée is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole grain bread.  Yeah, not the most creative meatless meal but we have high hopes that there will be some more inspired entrées over the next few weeks.

Our vegetable side is cucumbers and baby carrots.  These will provide a nice crunchy texture and help to cleanse her palate from the peanut butter.

Our fruit side is a clementine and some fresh pineapple.  This tropical blend is a very refreshing and juicy.

Finally, our fun Friday dessert is a few Chewy Chips Ahoy cookies.  Molly's little brother hasn't been feeling well and he LOVES cookies so we splurged and got some for him.  But since he isn't quite 2 years old yet, he is more than happy to share his container of cookies since he can't eat them all.  Well, he probably could but Mom won't let him. ☺

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Overwhelmed 1st Grader

Molly is falling into the normal overwhelming feeling that most kids her age get into.  Today I asked her why she didn't remember something that I remind her about almost daily, and she said, "Mom, there is just too much to remember."  As a parent, I forget that she is expected to remember so much more than I ever did at her age.  My biggest worries in the 1st grade were what color to use on my next picture or how to spell my name.  Molly is reading, writing in a journal, doing more math than I did in the 2nd grade and has to remember things for science, social studies and the arts.  She even has a PIN for her lunch.  She has to remember her address, telephone number, Mom's cell phone number, Dad's cell phone number, etc.  No wonder she can't remember to keep her elbows off of the table.  Poor kid.  I understand being overwhelmed so I'm hoping that with a little extra love and encouragement, we can help Molly get through this information overload.
Our main entrée is one of Molly's favorites, pasta salad.  We had some left over whole wheat rotini from dinner so we added a few pieces of mozzarella, mini pepperoni and Italian dressing.

Our vegetable side is cucumber slices.  They go very nicely with the pasta salad and she could even add them to the salad if she wants.

Our fruit side is kiwi and blueberries.  This batch of kiwi is on the tart side but Molly and her brother and sister pretty much prefer tart things, like lemons and limes.

Our dairy/dessert is another of Molly's favorites, vanilla yogurt.

Hang in there Molly!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten Season.  We, as Catholics, abstain from eating meat tomorrow.  This makes meal planning a bit on the rough side but it can be fun too.  We decided we would let Molly eat the school lunch tomorrow.  They are serving macaroni and cheese which will be a nice warm lunch for her.
Happy Easter Season Everyone!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tuesday with a Treat

Molly is doing her best to feel better.  Poor thing still sounds like a dog barking when she coughs and she seems more sleepy than usual but she's powering through it.  What's really nice is that the teachers at her school are so open to help the kids that need to miss school.  The librarian told Molly to come in early and exchange her books so that she doesn't miss out on reading something new since Molly loves to read.  The art teacher told her that she could come in during recess if she wanted to get caught up on her art project.  I was also surprised that Molly only had a few extra papers in her folder to do as make up work.  I'm very thankful for such a spectacular array of teachers at Molly's school.
Our main entrée is a turkey sandwich with pepper jack cheese on whole grain bread.  We added Molly's favorite mustard and cut the sandwich into small triangles.

Our vegetable side is red pepper slices and cucumber halves.  We figured that this crunchy duo would be a nice accompaniment to her sandwich.

Our fruit side is apple slices and blueberries.  Molly has been asking for an apple in her lunch and blueberries are a favorite of everyone in our family.  They make a nice little mix.

We added a cheddar and mozzarella cheese stick for a little extra calcium and protein.

Finally, we added a little treat for our girl.  She is trying her hardest to feel better and keep up with her schooling so we added some Care Bear fruit snacks for a bonus to her lunch.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Getting Better

Molly isn't 100% back to her normal self but she is doing much much better than she was.  We feel that she is ready to head back to school tomorrow.  She's not too pleased with our decision because she doesn't want to go back to school.  She'd rather stay home and play with her sister, color in her coloring books and do her school work here, with one on one help.  We can't blame her but we know that she needs to get back at it, so we made a yummy lunch to help get her through the day.
Our main entrée is left over cold pepperoni pizza.  Yes, that classic Monday lunch is back.  (You're welcome BFF!)  Molly's Papa imported this most excellent pizza from Buffalo, NY along with some classic wings for our Sunday dinner.  THANK YOU, PAPA!!!  It is such an incredible treat to get authentic pizza and wings from Imperial.

Our vegetable side is baby carrots.  These came with the wings and we decided that they would be a great addition to Molly's lunch.

Our fruit side is fresh pineapple and fresh strawberries.  We found an incredibly juicy pineapple at Sam's Club and the whole family has been devouring it all weekend.  We also added some strawberries for extra sweetness.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Dannon Light and Fit vanilla yogurt.  This sweet and creamy treat will definitely be a great ending to Molly's lunch.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Still Sick

Hopefully this will be the last sickness that we have to deal with this year.  Granted, we dealt with the chicken pox last year, (even after getting the vaccines) but this seems to be a rough sickness year in our house.  Molly looks just miserable and sounds miserable too.  She went through an entire box of tissues today.  I'm hoping that she miraculously gets better over night and will be able to return to school tomorrow but it doesn't seem too likely.  Molly wants to go back to school tomorrow too because tomorrow night is library night with her favorite librarian.  Keep praying for her, please!

ps - if she does end up going to school tomorrow, we still have the lunch from today for her. ☺

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We'll See

Poor Molly can't win.  She is just over that awful stomach flu and now she has a cough and cold.  She looks terrible and all I can do is just give her lots of love.  I think that when your child is sick, it eats away at you as a parent.  So, we'll see what the morning brings for our favorite 1st grader and whether she'll eat lunch at home or at school.  Say a little prayer for her that she gets well and stays well.
Our main entrée is a "tea sandwich".  Molly's Grammy picked up some Irish soda bread for our family and since Molly really likes it, we figured that it would be a nice comfort food for her.  We spread cinnamon honey butter on the two slices to keep them moist.

Our fruit side is a kiwi and a clementine.  These both have a sweet and tart flavor that will both taste great and feel great on Molly's sore throat.

Our vegetable side is a yellow bell pepper.  A nice crunch with a mild flavor.

Our dessert/dairy side is Dannon Light and Fit vanilla yogurt.  Molly requested this because she said it will help her tummy feel better.

Finally, we added a cheddar and mozzarella cheese stick to add some protein to Molly's lunch.  We're not sure if she'll even eat it but just in case, we decided to add it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Breakfast for Lunch!

Just before 1pm today, my phone rang.  It was the school nurse calling to let me know that Molly was feeling dizzy and had a slight temperature.  Luckily, Molly's Daddy was working from home today so I was able to run down to the school to pick her up without having to take her little sister and little brother with me.  After resting for most of the day, she says that she's feeling better.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.
Our main entrée is mini waffle sandwiches.  We spread maple flavored cream cheese on each mini waffle and topped one side with thinly sliced apples, then sandwiched the waffles together.  We also added a small container of peanuts to add some protein and crunch.

Our vegetable side is, well... nonexistent.  Without some sort of egg dish or potato dish, it's hard to integrate a vegetable into breakfast.

Our fruit side is a mix of strawberries and blueberries.  There aren't enough apples to constitute a full fruit side in our opinion.  

Finally, we have our standard vanilla yogurt.  Molly is a really big fan breakfast for lunch so if she isn't feeling 100%, this should put a smile on her face. ☺