Monday’s Mixture

When I first defined why this blog was going to be Let’s Have Mixture, I indicated that life to me is a mixture. Truth be known there are a lot of days I just think life is mixed up, but today’s Monday Mixture got me to thinking.  I received several emails over the weekend with updates of different things going on at Little Miss Mixture’s school. Combine these emails with things I have been thinking about and reading on different blogs, my head is spinning.

First off I completely forgot that March was National Nutrition Month.  I bring this up because today so many people and families are focused on healthy living, yet if it were not for dietitians this month would go completely unnoticed.  Sure just like most National anything they are shameless plugs for certain professions, but I like this one as it applies to everyone and most of us think about what we put in our body everyday.  Yet National Cafeteria Workers Day got more publicity in Little Miss’s school than National Nutrition Month.  Do not get me wrong I am all for celebrating the little things and appreciating people, but if you think about it this  could just as easily be touched upon in a bigger way as the food the cafeteria workers serve is suppose to be “good for you” thus nutrition to the children and education about nutrition for the students.

Interestingly I do commend Little Miss’s school as today starts their second community project of the year and it just so happens it is a Food Drive to benefit a local organization.  Why did I not think about this sooner as I would have liked to help incorporated some more pertinent nutrition information into this program.  After all what good is a food drive and collecting food for those without if we are not providing the more nutritious foods for them. 

As part of this event, the children are learning about “food insecurity” a term that was new to me. I am a part of the committee that is helping with the food drive at school and as a visual lesson for the children, the parents are assisting with collecting food waste during lunch in the cafeteria.  How many pounds of food do you think is thrown away at a typical school each day?  

I know I throw far too much food away in our house.  I try very hard to make a conscious effort to eat leftovers and not over buy, but there are always the items that are not great leftovers, others that simply get forgotten in the back of the refrigerator, or the fact there are too many of things out there I want to try.  So as I was reading my emails last night, thinking about this food drive, and pining through Pinterest the irony of my world occurred to me.   Here I am someone who joined so many others to blog about food.  Many of you probably spend your days and nights thinking about food just as I do.  Yet how many of us ever think twice about the ingredients we need to try that fabulous looking item we just pinned last night or whipping up a favorite treat. I become frustrated if I cannot find a specific item and I must visit multiple stores to track it down.  How lucky I really am to have the time and the means to track down that particular item.  Far to often many of us never stop to think about the good in our lives, and here again it is the little things that we should be thankful for. 

One last food related thought came up in my reading. It is time for another writing celebration at school.  I received the “signupgenius” for the snacks for this get together.  Now don’t get me wrong I was happy to see the food  consist of healthy items – fruit, cheese and juice, but the fact still remains school begins at 7:30 and this writing celebration is at 8:45.  On a typical day Little Miss has breakfast around 6:45am and is at school by 7:30.  She has the early lunch that begins at 10:40am then they have snack early afternoon.  So because I am being asked to come and read her writing and that of some of her classmates we should plan an extra snack because the children most definitely need to eat again.  Snacks and our children, what are we doing?  There are a lot of posts recently that speak to this topic.  Two in particular I  read recently.  Spoonfed refers to how kids are not the problem it is the parents.  I felt compelled to respond to this as I wholeheartedly agree with many of her statements.

There are a lot of views to this debate and parenting similar to how you live your life is a personal choice. However I commend you on taking a stance that it is not the children making this choice. We as parents, educators, role models must help our children decide how they want to live. I am all for letting kids be kids and yes some of my best memories as a child and an adult center around food. However most of us were raised when obesity and type 2 diabetes were not at epidemic levels in our country much less the children of our country. Rather than nit pick the type of food being served all the time, I think we need to evaluate is food needed at all!
Most all of us were served breakfast by our parents. We went off the school and had lunch and probably had a snack upon returning back home. I do not recall a friend dying of starvation yet we never had snack at school except on the rare occasion of a birthday or holiday celebration, yes it was probably a sweet and it was most likely homemade. Many days I went to an afternoon activity and I never had food or a treat or anything given to me by the activity coordinator. Why does my daughter get a piece of candy for a dance class I pay for. Yeah! you took my class today. Please! It is definitely the parents, educators, teachers, etc. that are influencing the idea all things revolve around food . Yes I too agree with many of the above statements on the type of food, but as I stated initially the problem is bigger than just food it is a way of thinking.

The other blog post I read was more specific as to the type of snack our children are receiving, but also asks the questions is a snack necessary.  We as a society seem to be teaching our children that nothing occurs without food.  Remember I stated in my first post many of my memories have been made around food, but in a society that is growing in size the wrong direction, shouldn’t we think about the messages we are sending about food.  Check out what this mom who writes for 100daysofRealFood has to say about snacks at recreational sports. What do you think should all activities and get togethers at school and elsewhere involve food?

Monday is a mixture day and the perfect way to start the week.  Remember the cereal I found at Costco, well it was a huge hit with my cereal lovers this weekend and the perfect sweet crunch addition to my Monday morning mixture of nuts and dried fruit. 

Five Friday Finds

Friday marks the end to what can sometimes be five long days. Some weeks the five days go by way to quickly and I am not able to get everything done.  Don’t get me wrong I love my family, but I find I am much more productive around the house and with errands when I am on my own.  I am sure a lot of moms can concur.  A quick run to the store is not as easy or as quick when your accompanied by little ones or sometimes bigger ones asking ” can we get this.. how about this.. I have always wanted to try this..?” Regardless of how quickly the week passes and how peaceful it has been or how tortuous the days were waking up before the sun, getting through homework and the litany of activities, when Friday arrives I do take a breath and try to relax.  Family time has arrived again.

I am one of those people that starts their day the minute my feet hit to floor.  I am not a huge fan of the early morning wake up that must be a way of life with our school schedule, but when the alarm goes off or the dog starts to whine that is all I need to get me up.  Once up I am ready to tackle the day.  So on Friday mornings I try to enjoy my coffee and wrap up anything that I may still need to get done for the week so that I can enjoy the weekend with Little Miss Mixture and Mr. Mixture.

This morning as I geared up for the day, got lunch made for Little Miss Mixture, breakfast served and I kept pondering in my head “what should I write about today…”  In the last four days I have learned to enjoy my sharing of random thoughts and things.  As I said I love my alone time, but maybe I need to be heard more and this blog thing might just be the way to voice my ideas, opinions, and random thoughts.  I do know that not only does my day start the minute my feet hit the floor, but my mind never stops.  I am always thinking of the next recipe to make, meal to have, restaurant to try, project for the house, trip, and I have recently come to realize I have a lot of random thoughts throughout the day.  So what better way to end my first week of blogging (well not really a week, but four great days) than to provide five random finds.

1.  As I took to the internet this week, I have taken the time to read more blogs.  Some I occasionally visited before and others were great new finds.  There are so many interesting things to discover if only I had the time to sit and read everyones thoughts all day.  If you have not had a chance to visit some of these, you should.  Here are a couple of different ones that I enjoy http://www.browneyedbaker.com,  http://huppiemama.com,  http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com,  http://www.pbfingers.comhttp://www.preventionrd.com

2.  Mr. Mixture recently presented me with this nifty little product.  I have a habit of being hard on him sometimes and saying this like you “never notice” or “if you only paid attention.”  Truth be told I am sure he does pay attention at times, but this is the same guy who after six months asked me if that pillow was new on our sofa.  I often like this innocence as it does make it easier to sneak little things into the house without hime realizing.  However I guess he has been observant recently as I have been trying to keep recipes organized in an app and using my ipad to cook.  I received this random present the other day and I love it.  Perfect for the cook that is using a tablet. http://www.ianker.com/

Image

3. As I mentioned in my about me, I try to eat healthy and instill healthy eating in our home. However, there are some battles that are more difficult than others.  Mr. Mixture grew up eating a lot of foods that I try not to have in our home.  Thus avoid taking Mr. Mixture to the store where he often tries to pick up these items.  Mr. Mixture and Little Miss Mixture both enjoy cereal for breakfast.  A little known fact about me I only eat cereal dry.  I am not sure how or when this habit began but I do know that I had an aversion to cheerios and literally would gag at the smell of them when I was a child, but I cannot recall ever being a big cereal and milk fan.  I do enjoy cereal in my mixtures.  Boxed cereals are not the healthiest item, but I found this little gem at Costco yesterday and wow did I score points.  They taste just like a certain major food companies cereal, but without all the unnecessary ingredients.Image 

4. Remember my post on Wednesday about the lost earring, well surprising enough Little Miss Mixture put the ziploc bag I put in her backpack to use.  She found the stone to her earring.  Talk about a find. It is so small and yet she found it, so off to the jewelry store I go today to get her earring repaired.

5. Dates.  I have always eaten dates on occasion and used them to make homemade Lara bars and several other healthier type recipes along the way, but this week I learned that I really like dates. This week favorite breakfast turned out to by my PBB&D smoothie 

Happy Friday!

 

Treasure Chest Thursday

Let's Have Mixture

Image

When you open your internet browser on Thursdays it is hard not to think about your past. Everywhere you look it is #TBT Throwback Thursday, well the only other thing that might catch my eye on Thursday is Thirsty Thursday – where is it and sign me up, because by the time Thursday has rolled around we have had four early mornings, school lunches, homework, after school activities, etc and I am ready for a drink or a break. Actually either and most likely both.

As I am waiting for the arrival of Little Miss Mixture from school and preparing for the afternoon tornado, I began thinking about what else starts with T. How can I make a catchy phrase to capture someones attention and draw them to my blog. Treasure came to mind as I was thinking there are recipes that we treasure – family traditions, holiday favorites, and…

View original post 390 more words

Treasure Chest Thursday

Image

When you open your internet browser on Thursdays it is hard not to think about your past.  Everywhere you look it is #TBT Throwback Thursday, well the only other thing that might catch my eye on Thursday is Thirsty Thursday – where is it and sign me up, because by the time Thursday has rolled around we have had four early mornings, school lunches, homework, after school activities, etc and I am ready for a drink or a break.  Actually either and most likely both.

As I am waiting for the arrival of Little Miss Mixture from school and preparing for the afternoon tornado, I began thinking about what else starts with T.  How can I make a catchy phrase to capture someones attention and draw them to my blog.  Treasure came to mind as I was thinking there are recipes that we treasure – family traditions, holiday favorites, and so on.

Each new season I look over my personal recipe collections and there are always a few recipes that sound great.  I remember enjoying them so much and I work them into our weekly menu and then UGH, they disappoint.  Did I make it wrong?  Did I do something different?  Did I use a different ingredient or brand, or variety of something or have our taste changed?  Whatever it is the recipe is then out.  There are those recipes though that last the test of time and no matter what you change, how you make them they are a success.

Calypso is one of those in our house.  I do not know how it got its name, and I have scoured the internet looking for this recipe to give credit to someone, but I have yet to find it.  I believe it was torn out of a magazine many years ago, so my apologizes to whomever developed or wrote this recipe first, but I am taking credit until you shout out.

Calypso as we know it typically something from the West Indies or Caribbean.  It definitely uses ingredients that would be incorporated into that style of food, but in our house it is almost a comfort food.  It also helps that it can be made quickly and with ingredients that are generally on hand.

Calypso

10 oz. package of Yellow Rice – make as package directs

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

            seasoned with garlic & crushed red pepper flakes

1 c. chopped or diced pepper (I use whatever color I have or combination of peppers)

1 c. diced onion

2 (16oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

2/3 cup water

Saute peppers and onions over medium high heat in the flavored oil about 6 minutes or until onion becomes translucent.  Add 2 cans of drained black beans and 2/3 cup water.  Cook for 6 minutes on medium high heat then reduce to low and mush beans to help mix flavors.

Serve over yellow rice and top with cheese, diced tomatoes.  Jalapeños and Cilantro are great toppings as well.

* I like to use dried black beans, but obviously they need to be soaked and cooked prior to beginning the recipe, so that takes more planning.

 

What recipes have lasted the test of time in your household?  What recipe do you treasure?

 

 

A Cheering Up Mixture

Well it was just one of those days that we needed a little something extra in our mixture.  Something sweet and not so good for us.  I am a firm believer everything in moderation.  If you need some chocolate, dark is always my first choice, but sometimes you just have to embrace the season and the contents of the pantry.

Over the weekend the avid reader in the house had breezed through a new chapter book in a little over 36 hours and desperately wanted to make the recipe from the book.  I struck a deal.  If she accompanied me on a couple of quick errands, we could get her the necessary ingredients and she could make Cookie Pizza.  Please realize this was a very easy deal to get since my biggest weakness  is the chocolate chip cookie.  Go ahead and walk away now if you cannot agree that chocolate chip cookie dough may be the one processed food that could never be taken away.  As I said before I am who I am and that is that. I may be a dietitian, but I love cookie dough and pretty much anything chocolate or sweet.

I can honestly admit that I did not know that the blue tube of chocolate chip cookie dough could be cooked until probably high school.  I have memories of making homemade chocolate chip cookies at least once a winter with the family, but cookie dough well that was an off and on staple when dad travelled.  To this day mom and I still love to take a big knife out and whack a hunk of dough and indulge.

My tastes have grown in a lot of ways since I was a kid, but I still feel the best chocolate treat ever is a warm chocolate chip cookie. Oh and when I say warm and gooey I truly mean it. To Mr. Mixture they are still raw because they are so undercooked.  I believe I have actually perfected the art of undercooking enough that if I let the cookie sit for about 5-10 minutes it will be perfect.  So when the lovely little lady of the house presents a recipe for cookie dough rolled out as a pizza and topped with marshmallows and m&m’s, I caved.

We perfectly undercooked the cookie pizza and I have been enjoying it for several days now.

However this afternoon was just one of those days when it looks pretty out, but really we are just lucky to see the sun as it is still a brisk 40 something.  I picked up the little lady at school and she held her tears until she was securely in the car and then they streamed down her face.  It was just girl drama nothing more and probably a little of a rite of passage in growing up, she lost her first earring.  I felt bad for her as it was one of the nicer ones that she has, but after I helped her search around her desk and explained it happens and we can replace it, she needed something to cheer her up.  Thus the pre made container of homemade mixture (walnuts, cashews, peanuts, dried cherries, dried blueberries, raisins, and semi sweet chocolate chips) just was not enough.  

So we tossed in a few yogurt covered raisins and some of the Easter M&M’s leftover from her Cookie Pizza recipe.  

SMILE

A cheerful mixture made it better!Image