Thursday, December 22, 2011

4th Lunch of Christmas

Tomorrow is the last day of school before Christmas vacation.  Molly and all of her little friends are positively giddy and it shows in the stride of their step and their smiles and giggles.  We're getting all of the teacher gifts together and also the candy canes that Molly is giving to her classmates.  Molly made cards for each of her teachers and can't wait to give them out.

At our house, we can't wait until it's time for Molly to come home.  That will signal the real start of vacation for all of us.  We have over a week where all of us are home and there isn't much on the agenda other than a few get togethers.  That means that we can spend lots of time playing and enjoying each other's company.
Our main entree is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  The sandwiches on Tuesday were a big hit so we decided to make mini-sandwiches and use our food safe markers to decorate them.  The one gingerbread man looks like his hand and foot got a little burnt but it's just a little bit of crust. haha!

Our fruit side is kiwi and apple slices.  We put them in the red and green pattern and added one of Molly's favorite picks from this season.

Our fun side is Utz Holiday Shaped Pretzels.  These are so cute.  They are shaped like Christmas trees, stars (or snowflakes) and bells.  We couldn't resist.

Our Fun Friday treat is a pizzelle cookie.  Molly's Daddy makes the most delicious pizzelles.  Our whole house smells amazing because he made about eight dozen anise pizzelles last night.  They are one of Molly's favorite cookies of all time.

Our extra Christmas treat is a small candy cane.  The story of the candy cane is that it was made to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas.  It is shaped like a "J" to represent Jesus and that is why we put it in her lunch that way.

From Our House to Yours, Merry Christmas One and All and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year to You!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

3rd Lunch of Christmas

Family traditions are a big part of our Christmas.  Daddy makes fantastic cookies, the kids make special decorations, we light the advent candles and Santa falls down the chimney little by little every day until Christmas.  We also started a new tradition, The Elf on the Shelf, last year.  We didn't realize what hard work it is to keep up with the elf every single night.  There aren't that many places to put him in our house so we had to get very creative.  It's a really fun activity and it keeps the kids on their toes.  New traditions can be just as special as old traditions because all of them make the holidays so wonderful.
Our main entree is a waffle sandwich.  We spread peanut butter on two waffles, added a little honey, then sandwiched them together.  We used a big snowflake cookie cutter to cut it out and added a Christmas tree pick to the top.

Our protein side is turkey bacon.  We rolled it up a little bit so that it looks like Christmas ornament balls, or at least that was the thought. ☺

Our fruit side is red and green grapes.  These may not be the regular bright red and green of Christmas but they work for us.

Finally, our dessert is strawberry cheesecake yogurt.  We wanted to give Molly something extra special and we think that this will fit the bill.  We added a few sprinkles because they have gotten rave reviews lately.

*We had to share a fun Christmas themed dessert that Molly's little sister is bringing to preschool tomorrow.  We arranged cupcakes into a Christmas tree shape, then decorated them with frosting and cute little Christmas light bulb rings.
ps - Molly's Daddy came up with a great way to get these to school since the lid to the cupcake holder would've squished a few of the cupcakes.  He created a cardboard "border" and covered it with foil.  Just call him MacGuyver!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2nd Lunch of Christmas

It's the little things that count.  The smile on the garbage man's face this morning when I handed him a Christmas card said it all.  The grateful thank you of the Salvation Army red kettle bell ringer as a stranger handed her a cup of coffee to keep her warm.  The look on my son's face as he opened a new book from a family friend.  The shear giddiness of the girls as they hand their dance teachers the gifts that we picked out for them.  It's these little things that make Christmas so magical.  Hopefully the little things that we do for Molly's lunch will create a great Christmas memory for her.
Our main entree is Christmas pasta salad.  We used just the pasta the Kraft Winter Shapes Macaroni & Cheese.  Next we added some shredded mozzarella, pepperoni, red and green peppers (for our Christmas colors) and light Italian dressing.

Our vegetable side is the peppers in the salad.

Our fruit side is the Kiwi Elf!  We were feeling creative and channeled Frankenkiwi from Halloween.  First, we carved our kiwi into what started out looking like Yoda or Shreck. But then when we added the Santa hat and a few mini chocolate chips and sprinkles and our Kiwi Elf came to life.

Our dairy side is a colby jack cheese stick.  Molly asks for this "just in case" she needs a little extra something in her lunch.

Finally, our dessert is vanilla yogurt.  We added some sprinkles and a candy cane pick to keep the theme going.  

Monday, December 19, 2011

1st Lunch of Christmas

We're going to try to keep the Christmas theme running all week and hopefully there will be enough ideas to get us through Friday.  There is more red and green in our refrigerator than ever and we can't wait to see how fun things will get.
Our main entree is a salami and provolone sandwich with mustard.  (surprise, we know.  Molly keeps requesting this.)  We fancied it up with a snowman cookie cutter and a Christmas tree cookie cutter.  Then we used our food safe markers to decorate them.

Our vegetable side is sliced cucumbers.  We peeled these for something different and added a decorative Christmas tree pick.

Our fruit side is an apple.  Actually, it's half of two apples.  We sliced a red delicious apple and a green granny smith apple in half and cut the same amount of slices out of them.  Then, we replaced the same slices on each of them with the slices from the opposite apple.

Our dairy side is a colby-jack cheese stick.  We figured that the sandwiches were a little on the small side so Molly might want a little extra in her lunch.

Finally, our dessert is a melted snowman!  Really, it's just our regular old vanilla yogurt but we put a snowman hat on top of it to make it more festive.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Last Monday of the "Year"

The 2011 part of the school year is entering it's final days and the anticipation of the upcoming Christmas break has the kids giddy with excitement.  I can't help but be excited too.  Those last few days before Christmas are a mixed up in chaos, anticipation, wonder and happiness.

Because of this being the last Monday at school this "year" we have decided to let Molly buy the famous carb-loaded pizza lunch.  It's carb-loaded because they not only get a huge slice of Papa John's Pizza, but a hot pretzel to go along with it.  I guess it's better than sugaring them up. ☺

Here's to the last week of school!  (for 2011, that is)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Field Trip Lunch

Molly is going to Old Economy tomorrow.  I remember going there when I was a child.  It is so much fun and they do it up so nicely.  The old time German traditions are so much fun and the fantasy of Christmas from a different country just ups the excitement level.

Since it is field trip day, we are packing a sack lunch with a twist.
Our main entree is a salami and cheese sandwich.  We used a holly leaf and berry cookie cutter to cut it out.  We then used food safe markers to decorate them a little bit.

Our vegetable side is sliced carrots.  Molly said that these are easier to eat than sticks so we're making it as easy as possible for her.

Our fruit side is apple slices.  We quartered a small apple, cored it, then used our crinkle knife to cut it into smaller pieces.

Our dairy side is a babybel cheese with a little star cut out of it.

We are sending in a small bottle of water for her to drink.

Finally, our fun little treat is a small rice krispie treat.  We made these for a play date that Molly's little sister had yesterday and Molly is the lucky recipient of a left over treat.

Here are a few pictures of Molly's lunch bag.  She asked us to make it fancy so we did our best.

Front of the bag.

                                                Back of the bag.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Buying Lunch

Molly was very excited to see a chicken sandwich on the menu for lunch tomorrow.  She has chosen it for her school lunch this week.  Mom is okay with this since I will be checking out the Feast Navidad Burrito (with real Who Roast Beast!) at Mad Mex tonight after run club with my peeps from Mojo.

Molly is going on a field trip on Friday so we'll be packing a special lunch tomorrow night.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa Was Here

Santa came through our neighborhood tonight!  Our volunteer fire company drives around with the fire engine and a truck with Santa's sleigh hitched to the back.  They play Christmas music and hand out candy canes.  All of the neighborhood kids gaze at the jolly old elf in the big red suit as he waves and yells out a hearty "Merry Christmas"!  Their little faces are all rosy from the cold and their eyes are glazed with wonder and excitement.  It's hard to not catch the spirit.  It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
Our main entree is leftover pasta bake.  We cooked up radiator pasta, added sauce and some leftover taco meat and beans, threw it in a 13x9 pan and sprinkled shredded mozzarella on top.  Then, we baked it off and then served.  YUM! (and the taco meat and beans was SO delicious, believe it or not)

Our vegetable side is red pepper slices.  We're kind of playing on the Christmas color theme.

Our fruit side is a sliced kiwi.  There's our green.

Our dairy side is vanilla yogurt with red and green sprinkles.

Finally, our little extra treat is snowman marshmallows.  They are french vanilla flavored and delicious but are extra yummy in hot chocolate.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Candy Cane Pizzas

Christmas chaos is in full swing.  We are done shopping and decorating but there are still so many things to do.  We need to have a wrapping party to wrap all of the presents, bake a plethora of cookies and still remember the real reason for the season, Jesus.  You can't have CHRISTmas without Christ.
Our main entree is candy cane pizzas.  We used a cookie cutter to cut out our Trader Joe's Middle Eastern Flat bread and provolone sliced cheese.  Next, put a little sauce between the bread and cheese and added some stripes of turkey pepperoni.  Finally we baked them off in the toaster oven.

Our vegetable side is a salad with grape tomatoes and light Italian dressing on the side.  Molly usually isn't a big fan of tomatoes but these are so sweet and not as acidic.

Our fruit side is sliced strawberries.  Molly's Daddy was nice enough to cut these up especially for her, even though it's his birthday, he's always helping.

Finally, our Fun Tuesday treat is blueberry angel food cake.  This is one of the lightest cakes you can make.  The recipe is below.

Angel Food Fruit Cake

1 box of angel food cake mix
1 can of pie filling (blueberry, cherry or even crushed pineapple)

Mix together and put in an ungreased 13x9 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

THAT'S ALL!  Yummy, easy and pretty healthy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Daddy's Birthday!

Tomorrow is Molly's Daddy's Birthday!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DADDY!!!!  We had a great weekend of celebrations with friends and family that included some scrumptious goodies and lots of laughs.  Some of the best things in life are these little get togethers.  The worlds' problems stop for those few moments when you are doubled over with laughter after a funny story that  a friend tells.

Tomorrow we will have a small celebration since it is Daddy's real birthday but Mondays are usually pretty busy at our house.  Sundays are too and Daddy was at church for most of the day today at a class for catechists.  The good thing about that is that he picked up a couple of hoagies (or sub sandwiches) on his way out.  Our youth group does this as a fundraiser and they are hard to pass up because they are so delicious. You'll see just below.
Our main entree is part of an Italian hoagie.  It's freshly baked bread with fantastic meats and cheeses.  Molly can eat an entire foot long sub by herself on some days.  We're hoping that this fills her up enough.

Our vegetable side is yellow pepper slices with Trader Joe's sun-dried tomato hummus.  We would probably put the peppers on the sandwich but Molly really enjoys dipping them in hummus.  This sun-dried tomato hummus is a little sweet from the tomatoes and had a fantastic basil flavor.

Our fruit side is a fresh plum.  This is paying homage to the sugarplum fairies of the Nutcracker Suite.  We've been listening to as much Christmas music as we can and the girls are always twirling around to the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is strawberry yogurt.  Molly asked for a twist so we switched it up a little bit and went with the strawberry instead of the regular vanilla.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Buying Lunch

Molly has chosen to have tomorrow be the day that she buys her lunch in the school cafeteria. We enjoy giving her responsibilities now that she is old enough to understand what it means. Her newest task is toasting waffles. She did this a couple of times with my help and can now make waffles on her own. It really helps out when we are having a patticularly busy morning. She even spreads some peanut butter on the waffles too. Picking lunches and making breakfast may seem simple to you and me but they are big steps in Molly's life. Great job, Molly!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fun Thursday

Molly has decided to buy her lunch on Friday so we are doing our Fun Day one day early.  It's kind of fun to mix things up sometimes too.  I'm thinking that we may have to implement Fun Days on different days.  Who wouldn't want a Fun Monday Treat?  Hmmmmm....
Our main entree is leftover pasta bake from dinner tonight.  We cook up a pound of pasta, add marinara sauce and some cut up chicken sausages.  Then, we put it in a 13x9 pan, sprinkle a little bit of shredded mozzarella cheese on top and bake it at 350°F for about 20 minutes.  We think it tastes even better the next day.

Our vegetable side is carrot slices.  We try to cut the veggies up in lots of different ways to keep the kids excited about getting their daily servings.

Our fruit side is strawberries that have been cut with Christmas themed mini cookie cutters.  This is something different to keep the Christmas spirit thriving. (We put the scraps in the fridge to add to yogurt or oatmeal.)

Our dairy side is vanilla yogurt.  We added some Trader Joe's Elegant Cocoa Pearls on top to add a little extra flavor and crunch.

Finally, our Fun Thursday Treat is Market Pantry Holiday Fruit Snacks.  We bought these a while ago and now Target doesn't have any left.  Guess we really do need to stock up around Halloween. ☺

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Ornament Apple

We love Christmas at our house and we are always looking for some new and fun ways to celebrate.  Molly's little sister is going to be the snack person for the Christmas Party at her Preschool later this month, so we got our thinking caps on and did a little internet research.  We found some incredibly cute ideas and decided to give one of them a try in Molly's lunch.
Our main entree is a croissant sandwich.  We found these miniature croissants at Aldi during our last shopping trip.  We sliced the croissant in half and toasted it to reduce the soggy factor.  Then, we added half of a piece of provolone and some salami.  YUM!

Our vegetable side is cucumbers that have been cut with our favorite crinkle knife.  We sliced them pretty thin and they look a little bit like pickles.

Our fruit side is our Christmas Ornament Apple!  We sliced an apple in half, cored it and then cut it into three sections.  We spread a small amount of peanut butter on the slices, then stuffed some mini marshmallows between them.  Finally, we added a little piece of a small pretzel knot for the hook on our ornament.  If it were Fun Friday, we would probably have added some mini M&Ms to adorn the marshmallows and make them look more festive.  

Our dairy side is a colby jack cheese stick.  Molly has been extra hungry lately (growth spurt?) so a bit of extra bone strengthening calcium and some hunger staving protein seemed like a nice addition.

Finally, our dessert is vanilla yogurt with Christmas sprinkles.  We're going to be adding a little more Christmas cheer to each lunch.  Sprinkles are a great way to add some fun to any lunch. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Breakfast for Lunch!

When in doubt, look at the school lunch menu.  They are having breakfast for lunch tomorrow so we decided to follow suit and make breakfast for lunch.  We also borrowed some inspiration from a friend who lamented about how his kids only eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches.
Our main entree is a waffle sandwich.  We added some peanut butter and honey to two waffles that were toasted a little extra toasty.  We also added two pieces of turkey bacon to bump up the protein factor.  Plus, everything is better with bacon. ☺

Our fruit side is strawberries.  Molly really enjoys strawberries and we try to keep them on hand as often as possible because she's not alone in her preference.  Her siblings enjoy them too.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is vanilla yogurt.  We were going to add some sprinkles to it again but decided that there is enough color and fun in this lunch, so we'll save them for another time.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Simple Lunch

We had a very full weekend, including a trip to the doctor for Mom.  Yep, I'm the one with the sinus infection, etc.  The good thing is that I feel alright (I sound a little bit like Kathleen Turner) and I'm not contagious, the bad thing is that it is wearing me out.  Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in and I'll be back to my normal self in a hurry.

All of this lead me to make a nice simple lunch.  We're hoping that pb&j will be okay on pizza day.
Our main entree is a peanut butter and jelly uncrustable.  We keep these on hand for those crazy busy days and for Molly's little brother who is a picky eater.  This is his alternative option when he doesn't want what were are having for lunch or dinner.  They aren't the most nutritious but in a pinch (or when Mom is feeling tired) they do provide a decent amount of protein.

Our vegetable side is seedless cucumber slices.  A little bit of green to welcome in the Christmas season.  These will be a good palate cleanser for after the peanut butter and jelly.

Our fruit side is a small Empire apple.  We found these at Sam's club and they are grown to stay small so that they are a better size for kids.  A little bit of red to welcome in the Christmas season.  We cut this apple into quarters to make it more manageable.

Finally, our dairy dessert is vanilla yogurt.  We added a few fun Christmas sprinkles for a special treat for Molly.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Fun Friday Treat!

The weekend is finally here and we can't wait! Our Christmas traditions are in full swing.  We've gone to see the lights at Hartwood Acres and the whole family ooh-ed and aaawww-ed.  It was awesome.  Next comes the cookie baking, card making and more decorating.  It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
Our main entree is turkey and cheese skewers.  We had the most delicious deep fried turkey breast at Thanksgiving so we had to get another one for this week.  Deep fried seems like it wouldn't be a healthy option but it is 98% fat free, all white meat turkey and again, delicious.  We cut the turkey into cubes and skewered it with plastic lollipop sticks along with a colby jack cheese stick that had been cut into cubes as well.  We have a little bit of honey mustard on the side for dipping.  We also added some Cheez-It crackers so that Molly can have a few carbs to burn off quickly.

Our vegetable side is green pepper strips.  This was by request again.  Sometimes kids get stuck on one particular food and the pepper is it for Molly these days.

Our fruit side is a tangerine.  We segmented it for Molly so that she wouldn't have to waste any time at lunch. Something about orange-like citrus screams Christmas.  We used to always stud oranges with whole cloves and leave them out in several rooms of the house to make it smell good.

Finally, our NEW Fun Friday treat is Cinnamon M&Ms.  We reluctantly purchased these when the kids asked because they didn't sound all that appetizing.  They really enjoyed them though.  The cinnamon is not a hot cinnamon, it's more like the powdered stuff in the pantry.  It is a mild hint of it with a good chocolate flavor.  If you like cinnamon, give them a try but I wouldn't recommend eating them on a regular basis, just a special occasion.