Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sub Sandwich

We found a FANTASTIC two day sale at a local grocery store today.  It seems as if they will make no money on this sale since there are so many incredible deals.  We purchased so many staples (ie: bananas, pineapple, lunch meat, cheese, bread, eggs, etc) and paid less than half of the normal amount.  We even found deals on things that we don't normally buy but couldn't pass up.
Our main entree is a sub sandwich.  The store was selling loads of lunch meat for $2.98 a pound so we stocked up.  We also bought some soft fresh rolls.  I'm usually a whole grain type of Momma but these looked so delicious.  We split the roll, added salami, corned beef and pepper jack cheese for one yummy sub.

Our vegetable side is cucumber slices.  We figured that with the soft bread and fillings, the crisp, refreshing and juicy cucumbers would  be a great compliment.

Our fruit side is grapes.  Molly's Grammy purchased these for us at the same store yesterday when they were on sale for 88¢ a pound.  They are nice and meaty grapes that are super sweet.

Our fun Friday treat is a red velvet roll.  The store had these on sale for $1.44 for four of them.  It is red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, all rolled up like a HoHo.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ladybug Lunch

I was looking for a healthy snack for Molly's little sister's preschool class and I found some really cute ideas, including the strawberry mice from today.  I also found some really cute ladybug strawberries.  Then, I started to look for some cute ideas for Molly's lunch and I found a whole lot more lady bug ideas.
Our main entree is ladybug sandwiches.  We used Arnold Sandwich Thins Mini's and added salami, provolone cheese and mustard.  We cut a small piece of provolone for the face and antenna and attached them with a little bit of mustard.  (We think that they look a little bunny rabbit-like, but still not too shabby for our first try.)We dipped the end of a toothpick in food coloring to add the face and dots. *Someday we'll buy those food safe markers.

Our vegetable is carrot sticks, again.  Molly requested these.  We were a bit shocked since she usually isn't much of a fan but we are happy that she has changed her mind.

Our dairy side is a Babybel cheese.  We cut out a small circle for the head and smaller circles (we used a straw) for the dots.  Then, we used our toothpick/food coloring trick for the face again.  

Our fruit side is strawberry ladybugs.  We sliced a small piece of the strawberry to create wings.  Next, we stuffed half of a grape into the end of the strawberry where we removed the hull.  Finally, we pushed in a few mini chocolate chips for the dots and eyes.

Finally, our dessert is plain old vanilla yogurt.  We added some "ladybug dots" a/k/a, mini chocolate chips for extra fun.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

There Are Mice In My Lunchbox!

Molly has been having a few issues at school with the other kids.  She's the kind of kid that worries about everyone else.  She gets worried that if someone copies off of her paper, they might get the answer wrong on their page if she gets it wrong.  Molly worries if someone else in her class gets in trouble.  It's to the point that she is confusing small and simple things at school because she's so worried.  We had a long talk about focusing on the plethora of positive instead of dwelling on a few negatives.  Hopefully she will find a few positive things in her lunch tomorrow.   
Our main entree is a pumpkin bread sandwich.  Autumn is in full bloom here in Western PA.  The leaves are changing and the weather is cooling down.  Everyone has their scarecrows on display and the apple cider is filling the shelves of the local grocery store.  We made this pumpkin bread for breakfast this morning and the kids got to have a warm slice with a little butter.  We had three very big smiles this morning.  Molly requested that she have this bread made into a sandwich with cream cheese and we were happy to oblige.

Our vegetable side is sliced carrots.  Molly isn't a huge carrot fan but every once in a while, she enjoys them.  We sliced these up and keep them in a container with water in the fridge.  This keeps them nice and crisp and makes them very accessible to anyone walking past the fridge.

Our fruit side is our Strawberry Mice!  We cut the hull end off of the strawberry so that the mice can face up. We added sliced almonds for ears and mini white chocolate chips for the eyes and a nose.  The tiny strawberry mouse came from our very own strawberry plant in the front yard.  Homegrown strawberries are very sweet and they never grow to be that big but the flavor is deliciously intense.  Hopefully, these will put a smile on our Molly's face.  There is one to represent each person in our family. ♥

We added a Colby Jack cheese stick for some extra protein and in case the mice need a little snack because we all know how much mice like cheese.  ☺

Finally, our dairy/dessert is a Chobani Champions in Verry Berry.  We figured that it would be a good compliment to the rest of Molly's lunch.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Something New

Our local grocery store intrigued me today by offering new and exotic fruits.  I had seen some of them before and some, I hadn't.  Most of these were pretty expensive and if I'm going to dip deep into my budget, I want to make sure that I at least like it.  We went for the least expensive variety of "fruit" so that we could all try it without breaking the bank.
Our main entree is mini-ravioli pasta salad.  We cooked up a bunch of Trader Joe's dried mini cheese ravioli for dinner and saved some for Molly's lunch.  We added black olives, light shredded mozzarella, turkey pepperoni and light Italian dressing.

Our vegetable side is a garden salad.  Molly loves black olives so we added a few extra to her salad.  On the side is more of her favorite light Italian dressing.  We figured it would go nicely with the pasta salad.  We added a Babybel cheese on top for extra protein.

Our fruit side is our "something new".  We decided on a pepino melon.  These originate mostly in South America and are really neat looking.  The pepino melon is small, like a large lemon and the skin is a pale yellow with dark purple stripes.  Pepino translates into cucumber and it is a very good translation.  The flavor (minus the skin, which is edible but not very tasty) is a mix between cucumber, pear and banana.  Very interesting.  The texture is soft, like a cantaloupe so it was easy to cut with our crinkle knife.  We're excited to see what Molly's verdict it.

Finally, our dessert is unsweetened applesauce.  Molly has been asking for this lately and since the pepino melon isn't all that sweet, we figured that it would be a nice addition to her lunch.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Papa John's

I promise that this will not become the normal Monday lunch. Molly wanted to buy lunch last Monday and tonight, I am just too wiped out to put forth any effort to make her lunch. It was a super busy week last week and the weekend was just as busy. Mom needs a break tonight so Molly will be buying her lunch (Papa John's Pizza) tomorrow.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Final school day of the crazy week.  Molly is very excited to go to school tomorrow because she is so confident about her spelling test tomorrow.  She's been practicing all week and even the hard words aren't intimidating her.  Plus, it's Fun Friday!
Our main entree is a salami sandwich.  We used the new Sara Lee Iron Kids bread.  It has extra iron and calcium that are important for a kid's diet.  We added, salami, pepper-jack cheese and mustard then used a large heart cookie cutter and a micro heart cookie cutter to show our love for our girl.

Our vegetable side is a tossed salad.  Molly's Daddy helped out and made this for her.  There are black olives and light Italian dressing accompanying it.

Our fruit side is sliced strawberries.  We bought these today and the smell incredibly sweet and delicious.  Molly's Daddy also helped out with these by slicing them up just for his little girl.

Finally, our Fun Friday treat is a Little Debbie Pumpkin Delight cookie.  These are only around once a year so we have to take advantage of that awesome fall flavor.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bacon and Eggs

Molly's Daddy and I had a fantastic date night tonight.  We had some great food and drinks at Olive or Twist and then went to the Benedum Center to see Wicked.  It was incredible.  I would highly recommend it to anyone!
Now that we are home, it's time to get cooking.  But, I prepared ahead of time so that all of the cooking was done and it would be easy to put together.  You may be asking...bacon and eggs for lunch?  We thing that this lunch is a "grand slam" of a lunch!
Our main entree is pancakes.  We cooked these up for lunch today for Molly's siblings and saved a few for her.  We cut them out with a small flower shaped cookie cutter.  They are being served with with maple flavored cream cheese (we included a small spreader to help with this) with a little extra maple syrup on top for good measure.

Our fruit side is no sugar added applesauce.  We figured that if Molly isn't too excited about the maple cream cheese, she can dip her pancakes in this.

Our protein side is bacon and eggs.  It is a hard boiled egg that has been cut into quarters with a crinkle knife.  Then, we tore two slices of turkey bacon into manageable pieces.  We'll see how this goes over and it may be something that is added again.

Finally, our dairy/dessert side is Chobani Champions Verry Berry.  A great end to a yummy lunch.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Blog Face Lift

A great friend of mine gave my blog a face lift!  We think it looks pretty awesome and we think that April is a design genius!  Let us know what you think.  Thanks again, April.

Molly's lunch today was planned way in advance today since our schedule is so packed this week.  I made some of our healthy banana bread, prepped the fruit and veggies for the week and relied on Molly's favorite yogurt and cheese sticks to round it out.
Our main entree is a banana bread sandwich.  We made our healthy banana bread recipe, sliced two pieces and spread cream cheese in the middle.  Then, we cut it into three manageable pieces to make it easier for Molly to handle.

Our vegetable side is sliced cucumbers.  We usually go for the seedless English cucumbers but out buddy Joe at the produce stand had regular cucumbers so that is what we're serving tomorrow.

Our fruit side is a large prune plum.  This particular plum is extra sweet.  We may have had a sample while slicing it up.

Our dairy side is a colby jack cheese stick.  We figured that Molly might need a little extra energy to get through the day.

Finally, our dessert is a Chobani Champions Honey-Nana Greek yogurt.  We figured that we'd stick with the banana theme when choosing this variety.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Classics Are Always Good

This is a very busy week at our house.  The girls started Faith Formation (a/k/a CCD) tonight and their Daddy is a Catechist (teacher) at the church so everyone was really excited to get things started.  This weekend is the semi-annual Consignment Sale at Molly's little sister's preschool so I will be busy helping there this week.  Also, Molly's Daddy and I are lucky enough to be seeing Wicked this week in downtown Pittsburgh.  It is one of my all time favorite Broadway musicals and the theaters here in Pittsburgh are amazing.  There is not a bad seat in either Heinz Hall or the Benedum Center.  We have something on the calendar everyday this week but, we will do our best take a breath and enjoy it.  ☺

Tomorrow's lunch started out with a general idea for sides but I didn't think of the main entree until I was almost done with everything else.  Then it hit me, nothing is better than a classic!
Our main entree is a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich.  PB&J is good any day of the week.  We used whole grain white bread, added the peanut butter, Trader Joe's No Sugar Added Grape Jelly and used a large butterfly and a small butterfly cookie cutter to cut them out.

Our vegetable side is a green salad.  We added a few pieces of red and orange bell pepper and some black olives.  We are serving Ken's Steak House Light Italian Dressing on the side.  We've also added a Babybel Cheese to this container for some extra protein.  We used a micro cookie cutter to cut out a heart on the wax outer layer.

Our fruit side is a sliced McIntosh apple.  It's that time of year here in Western Pennsylvania.  There are apples and pumpkins galore!  These McIntosh apples are petite with a wonderful sweet and tart flavor.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is a Chobani Champions Greek Yogurt in Verry Berry.  Molly will be so excited when she sees this.  She has really taken a liking to these and isn't seeming to get bored with them.  This makes us very happy since they are so good for her.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hamburgers and Hot Dogs

Over the summer, our church has their annual festival with great games, delicious food and fun raffles.  This year, Molly was the lucky winner of what we are referring to as "The Meat Basket."  It was a huge raffle basked filled with Heinz products, including ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, Heinz 57 sauce and several others.  It also came with a gift certificate for Tom Friday's freezer special with over 40 pounds of different meats including hamburgers and hot dogs.

Well, today we had a "meat party" at Grammy and Papa's house to commemorate their new pool and Molly's big win.  We had lots of friends over and enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs, along with many other delicious sides, pulled pork and chicken.  I was in charge of the dessert so I stuck with the theme and made hamburger and hot dog cupcakes...but don't worry, there isn't any meat in them.

We made yellow cupcakes and put cream cheese canned frosting on top, plus a few black and gold sprinkles (or Jimmies, if you are from Pittsburgh) to help cheer on our Steelers.  Then the fun part....the hamburgers and hot dogs.

For the hamburgers, we used Nilla Wafers for the bun and a new Oreo Peanut Butter Fudge Creme for the hamburger. (these are delicious, by the way)  We softened a lemon Starburst and flattened it out for the cheese.  On top of the cheese, we used red piping gel for our "ketchup" and then some green frosting piped out with a leaf tip for lettuce.  We used frosting to stick our layers together then added the top Nilla Wafer bun and piped a few white "sesame seeds" on top with frosting.

For the hot dogs, we used caramel squares for the actual dog.  These are very pliable so we rolled them into little hot dogs with our hands.  We cut a circus peanut in half on the bottom and used these for our buns.  We added the hot dog to the bun and then piped some red piping gel on top for our "ketchup" topping.  

It was pretty simple and very well received.  The party was a hit and a good time was had by all.  So much so that everyone is tired and ready to head to bed early instead of making lunch tomorrow.  Therefore, Molly will be the lucky recipient of one of her favorite school lunches, Papa John's Pizza.  The first of several, but not many bought school lunches.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

First Full Week Friday

It's finally Friday!  This week seems to have gone slowly because we are just getting back into our routine so there were plenty of  hiccups.  We are looking forward to a great weekend and some time off.  The great thing about Elementary School is that there usually isn't any homework on the weekend.  Happy Friday everyone!
Our main entree is a repeat of today, salami sandwiches.  Molly went nuts over these and asked for them again, plus she wanted more of them, so we added more.  She said that they were so good and that she could have eaten a "whole bunch more" of them.  So, again it is our Wonder Smart White Bread with Genoa Salami, Pepper-Jack Cheese and mustard, cut with a fun cookie cutter.

Our vegetable side is cucumbers.  This was requested by Molly since she hasn't had them in a while.  She always says how great they taste in her lunch.

Our fruit side is a clementine.  We had these for our dessert after dinner tonight and Molly made the request to have them in her lunch tomorrow.  She said that they are extra sweet.

Our dairy side is a Colby-Jack cheese stick.  This is just in case she's still hungry after everything else.  We think that Molly might be going through a little bit of a growth spurt.

Finally, our Fun Friday Treat is ThinAddictives Cranberry Almond Thins.  These are similar to biscotti but much more thin.  They have a wonderful crunch and a great flavor.  Molly's Grammy purchased these and Molly has been begging to have them in her lunch so we've been waiting for Friday and a nice treat.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

In a Pinch Lunch

My day started very early this morning.  Molly's brother was up before the sun but that allowed extra snuggle time with him.  Tonight, I went to see The Help with my Mom.  WOW!  It was incredible and I would recommend it to anyone.  I got home late and just made Molly's lunch.  I grabbed the things that I had already prepped and threw it all together.  Now, I'm writing this post and then going straight to bed because I'm sure tomorrow morning will be here before I know it.
Our main entree is a salami sandwich.  We used our Wonder Smart White Bread and added Genoa Salami, Pepper-Jack Cheese and mustard.  Then we used our fluted cookie cutter and Molly has finger sandwiches for lunch.

Our vegetable side is a rainbow of bell peppers.  They were a hit on pizza day so we were excited to have them already prepped so that we could quickly add them.

Our fruit side is a peach.  We cut it in half, removed the pit and then sliced it.  I think Molly might dip it in her yogurt.

Finally our dairy/dessert is another Chobani Champions in the Very Berry variety.  It's still on the favorite list so that's what we're putting in her lunch box.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


As a family on a budget, we often turn to breakfast for dinner.  It is simple, inexpensive, healthy and the kids just love it.  We make pancakes or waffles with some sort of turkey bacon or turkey sausage.  Then we add eggs on the side and a fruit smoothie or fresh fruit.  Molly's little brother could a plate pancakes and he's only two years old.  The other thing about breakfast is that it is usually pretty fast when you're limited on time.  This lunch was done in no time at all.
Our main entree is a waffle sandwich.  We toasted two toaster waffles until they were extra crisp and then let them cool completely.  We added Trader Joe's Organic Maple Agave Syrup to some light cream cheese, stirred it together and then spread it on both waffles.  We then thinly sliced several strawberries, spread them out on the waffles, sandwiched them together and there you have it!

Our vegetable side is, well, non-existent.  When we add vegetables to our "breakfast for dinner" it usually consists of something like spinach, zucchini and peppers added to our scrambled eggs or fritata.  Since we know that Molly does not like cold eggs, we don't have them in this lunch.  So, we'll make sure that Molly gets extra veggies in her dinner.

Our fruit side is green grapes and of course the strawberries in the sandwich.  These grapes are very large and extra sweet.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Molly's new favorite, Chobani Champions Greek yogurt in the Very Berry variety.  Molly told us that it definitely keeps her more full and that she's requesting it for every lunch from now on.  Funny how she says that now.  But then again, she was a big fan of Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla last year. ☺

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pizza Lunch

This summer, Molly's Grammy and Papa had a pool put in their back yard.  It is gorgeous!  The weather today was so nice that Grammy called up to see if we wanted to visit her for a swim after school...and that's exactly what we did.  All three kids were in their glory and enjoyed every minute of it.  Also, all three of them ate huge dinners afterward since they had been swimming so hard.  By the time we got home, they were all ready for bed and now it's time for Mommy and Daddy to get things ready for tomorrow.

Our main entree is a pepperoni pizza.  We usually do this on a Monday but since we had the leftovers that Molly liked, we put it off till Tuesday.  We used our favorite Trader Joe's Middle Eastern Flat Bread as our crust, added sauce, mozzarella made from 2% milk and turkey pepperoni, baked it up and sliced it into pieces that would fit into Molly's lunch box.

Our vegetable side is a rainbow of bell peppers.  We talked about these in yesterday's post.  We got them from Joe at the new produce stand down the road from us.  They are very crunchy and sweet.

Our fruit side is a prune plum, also purchased from Joe.  These things are huge.  Their flavor is sweet and tart with tons of juiciness.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Chobani Champions Honey 'Nana.  Molly requested this because she enjoyed the other one so much today. We think it might keep her fuller as well.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Leftover Lunch

We have an awesome new produce stand within walking distance to our house and we couldn't be happier.  Joe has a great variety of products and his prices are incredible.  I purchased a 3 pound bag of green grapes, 3 cucumbers, 4 large multi-colored peppers, a 2 pound bag of onions, 6 peaches, 4 large prune plums and a large eggplant, all for $12.  He even threw in a different type of red pepper so that we could try it.  We have been enjoying this new place for the past several weeks and we are very thankful that we can walk down the street, 7 days a week, and get fresh fruits and vegetables at a very reasonable cost.

After saying good-bye to Joe, I ran to Sam's Club to get the rest of the week's shopping finished.  When I arrived home, I started cleaning my fruits and vegetables, chopped them up and then put them in containers in the refrigerator.  This will make it so much easier when preparing meals or when the kids want a snack.  It made making dinner this evening much easier.  Which brings us to Molly's lunch...leftovers.
Our main entree is Curry Chicken Salad.  I put the recipe below in case anyone wants to try it.  (The photo doesn't do it justice) This is a very flavorful and nutritious alternative to a regular chicken salad.  It is loaded with fruit, protein and dairy so it keeps you full much longer than you might expect.  We are serving this with round butter crackers.  We offered Molly some smaller multi-grain crackers that she normally loves, but she chose these instead.

Our vegetable is a pickling cucumber sliced into spears.  This was the last one of these left because our refrigerator got a little too cold and froze two others.  We were still very happy to have this one though.  They are so crunchy and the flavor is very mild.  The skin is even less firm than a regular cucumber so it is easier for a child to bite through.

Our fruit, well, is in our chicken salad.  It's loaded with green grapes and honey gold apples.  It gives a great sweet but not too sweet taste, nice texture and fills the salad so that it feels like you are eating a lot.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Chobani Greek yogurt.  We found these Chobani Champions in our run to Sam's Club today.  They are tailored to kids so they are a little smaller and they are premixed so that the kids can just dig right in.  This was our dessert with dinner tonight and all three kids really enjoyed them.  The flavors available to us were Very Berry and Honey-Nana.  Molly chose the Honey-Nana tonight and wanted the Very Berry for her lunch.

Curry Chicken Salad

4 c. shredded chicken (we used a rotisserie chicken and chunked it up but we've also used chicken breasts)
1 c. chopped apples
1 c. grapes (halved)
1/4 c. chopped celery
1/4 c. slivered almonds

Mix together in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine...
1 c. plain greek yogurt (we used Chobani)
1/4 c. light mayonnaise
2 TBSP curry powder
salt and pepper to taste

Mix chicken salad with dressing and serve on a bed of lettuce, with crackers or on flatbread.  Tasted great the next day if you have any leftovers.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

1st Fun Friday

In our house, like many, we are trying to cut back on sugar.  We have yogurt or fruit for dessert.  (Grilled peaches were a huge hit this summer.)  We are trying to make our own recipes with less sugar and encouraging healthier snacks.  So far, we've been pretty successful.  That being said, we are realistic and understand that a special treat once in a while is a good thing...a really good thing.  So, we are carrying on our tradition of giving Molly a special "Fun Friday" treat.
Our main entree is a banana bread sandwich.  We tweaked our original healthy banana bread recipe by removing the brown sugar and using 2/3 cup of quick oats instead of the 2/3 cup whole wheat flour. (We kept 1 cup of whole wheat flour)  It isn't very sweet at all but the flavor is delicious.  It is much more dense and will keep Molly satisfied longer.  We spread light cream cheese and peanut butter (by request) on the banana bread then cut it into smaller sandwiches.

Our vegetable side is a pickling cucumber that has been cut with a crinkle knife.  These are incredibly crunchy and have such a fresh and clean flavor.

Our fruit side is two clementines.  These are much smaller than the varieties that we are used to, but the flavor is much sweeter.  Molly had some of these with her dinner tonight and requested them for her lunch tomorrow. We also added some dried cherries (in the tiny container) just to give her a little extra food.  She said that she ate her lunch today and was still a little hungry so we were happy to add a bit more for her.

Our dairy side is a colby-jack cheese stick.  We figured that Molly could use the extra protein to help fill her up and get her through the day.

Finally, our Fun Friday treat is a Little Debbie Fall Tree Cake.  Molly's Daddy loves the Christmas Tree Cakes by Little Debbie so he was very excited to see this new product. He even convinced me to purchase them by saying that they would make a great Fun Friday treat.  Daddy's a tricky one. ☺

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ham Sammy

Molly makes requests for her lunch on a regular basis and I am usually happy to oblige...if I have the ingredients on hand.  Molly requested a ham sandwich with pepper jack cheese, just like today's lunch.  Well, we are out of pepper jack so we are giving Swiss a try.  She has tasted it before but I can't remember whether she liked it or not.  I'm hoping that she does or she will be ready to eat everything in the refrigerator when she gets home.
Our main entree is a ham and cheese sandwich as requested.  We decided to use a flower shaped cookie cutter to make these smaller versions of one of Molly's favorite sandwiches.  Ham and Swiss with mustard is a good combination in our eyes, we hope that she thinks so too.

Our vegetable side is pickling cucumbers cut into sticks.  Molly had a little bit of a cucumber left over from her lunch today and decided to eat it when she got home.  Her sister wanted and bite and the crunch that came off of it was astounding.  Molly said that she just wanted the plain cucumbers in her lunch so that she can try and get the same crunch as her sister.

Our fruit side is a mix of strawberries and blueberries.  All three of our kids are berry-aholics.  They enjoy every variety and always ask for seconds.

Finally, our diary dessert is Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla yogurt.  We think that it may become strawberry and blueberry yogurt once Molly opens up her lunch.  She has always liked to mix things and make new recipes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Snack Lunch

Molly's little sister started preschool today as well and tomorrow she is the snack person.  We had to add some of our extra snacks to Molly' lunch so that she can share in the fun.  Normally, we wait until Friday for a special treat but we feel like the first week of school is pretty special.
Our main entree is a ham and cheese sandwich.  It is in a different compartment than normal but we still managed to fit it all in.  We used Wonder Smart White bread, added some Virginia ham, Pepper Jack cheese and mustard.  Then, we used a new small apple cookie cutter and made four small sandwiches.

Our vegetable side is cucumber boats.  We bought some pickling cucumbers at the farmers' market and decided that they would be perfect to add a little something extra to.  We hollowed the cucumbers by removing the seeds then added some light cream cheese that has dill mixed in it.  Molly and her sister really enjoyed this combination all summer.

Our fruit side is a nectarine.  This one is especially juicy and sweet but still has that great tartness that nectarines always offer.

Finally, our dessert is edible crayons.  We found this recipe at a great blog... 
We decided to go with Trader Joe's Honey Wheat Pretzels, dipped each end with colored white chocolate and then added the labels available at the Gourmet Mom on the Go website. So fun and mostly healthy.

Monday, September 5, 2011

1st Day of School Lunch!

Tomorrow marks the 1st day of second grade for our girl, Molly.  She is excited and nervous all at the same time.  I remember not being able to sleep the night before the first day of school.  The adrenaline was enough to make me sick.  Molly can't wait to see her friends and meet her teacher even if there is some resistance on her part since she's such a homebody.  We are very excited to hear all of the stories that the day will bring.

We had a fantastic and busy summer but we are ready to get back at it.  We are ready for our scheduled days and the fun that weekends hold.  We are looking forward to an incredible year with lots of new adventures.
Our main entree is tortellini pasta salad.  Molly chose this for her first lunch because she wanted something that reminded her of the fun summer meals that we had.  The salad includes Trader Joe's Cheese Tortellini, turkey pepperoni, light pepper jack cheese, sliced olives and light Italian salad dressing.  This should keep her nice and full for the rest of the school day.

Our vegetable side may seem a little different.  They are called ground cherries.  They are actually tomatoes and a member of the tomatillo family, which is why they have a "wrapper" around them.  You just peel the wrapper off and pop the sweet little cherries out.  Ground cherries are very sweet and have an almost pineapple-like flavor.  We found these at a local farmers' market and we can't get enough of them.

Our fruit side is a sliced Granny Smith apple and blueberries.  Molly chose these and actually helped clean them and put them in her lunch box.  They are both tart in flavor and will offset the sweetness of the ground cherries.  It's kind of like opposite day. ☺

Finally, Molly chose Dannon Light and Fit vanilla yogurt for her dessert.  She said that she wanted to put a few blueberries in it and maybe even dip her apples in it.  After Molly left to get her backpack and outfit ready, we added a single Hershey's Kiss.  A simple reminder of the love that waits for her when she gets home. ♥

Have a blast in the 2nd Grade, Molly!  It's going to be an awesome year!

We purchased Molly's actual lunch box from