Monday Mixture: Celebrating the small things, Camp, What we are eating…

Another week has gone by and I cannot believe it is almost July.  I feel as if the past month has been a complete whirlwind.  I finally have a week to enjoy summer, pack picnic lunches and hang out by the pool.  I had intended for our weekend to consist mainly of that, but here it is the last weekend and June and though I am not necessarily complaining with the enjoyable temperatures for taking the dog on walks and grilling, the weather was not exactly picture perfect for a day by the pool.  We did manage to squeeze a few hours in and as the day went on the weather improved, so I am hopeful the forecast for the week improves as well.

1.  What we ate this week (June 21 – 28)

Saturday & Sunday – Traveling

Monday – Sandwiches, Popcorn, and Grapes @ Swim Meet TraderJoesPopcornHerbsSpicesBag

Tuesday – Hummus & Veggies, Macaroni & Cheese

Wednesday – Salad of Grilled Shrimp, Yellow Squash, Blackberries & Goat Cheese

Thursday – Sandwiches @ Swim Meet

Friday – Leftovers

Saturday – Grilled Potatoes & Onions, Grilled Okra, & Sausage

As I look at what we have eaten recently, I realize how few meals I have made.  It feels so nice to have reclaimed my house and put it back together.  I am looking forward to a week of freedom being able to get to anything and everything at anytime.  Many of our evening meals have been on the go or quick and easy, but being home has allowed for some nice lunches.  A couple of days Little Miss Mixture and I enjoyed salads for lunch since we knew we were having sandwiches for dinner.

2. Making Room for Real Food –  I know there is a balance between what we can make and what we need to buy.  I think that no matter what others say you need to be happy with the choices you feed your family and how it works into your life.  I think I limit some processed foods really well, but I have a couple weak points and some it is because I enjoy the food and just crave it occasionally.  Other foods items there is just simply no time to make everything from scratch.  I feel you have to balance time and money.  Additionally to me making room for real foods in our life is more about meals and the healthier choices of less processed items.  If an item is available without all the unnecessary added ingredients that todays manufacturers use, then I am happy purchasing the item rather than making from scratch.  On those same lines my sweet tooth is better satisfied with homemade items at times for that same reason.

I thought this was an interesting article of items that can be made.  I am impressed as I will occasionally make bread, though usually it is something other than sandwich bread as I like homemade bread to go with soup or salad meals.  However I do not see myself making some of these items, it is a nice resource for those that might.

3.  Breakfast – What do you eat for breakfast?  What do the kids eat?  With more time on our hands, Little Miss Mixture has been making her own breakfast more.  Another positive for the summer of responsibility.  Summer season makes it so easy to start the day in a colorful way.  Who wouldn’t be happy if their child brought them this picture of their breakfast?  Yes I may be creating a little food blogger.

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4.  Celebrating the small things – I like to celebrate and I am looking forward to Friday as the 4th of July has become a fun holiday in the last few years.  This past weekend was my half birthday.  I mentioned it before dinner and was surprised with a “make your own sundae” dessert.  Sweet tooth was satisfied and hearing Little Miss Mixture sing Happy Half Birthday reassured there is a reason to celebrate the little things, it made her happy to have a fun dessert and celebrate.  Wait until the family finds out July is National Ice Cream month… I see a lot of cones, shakes, and toppings in our future.Image 1

5.  Camp – So it seems this weekend was camp send off.  Every time I looked at Facebook, there were pictures of happy campers, parents and kids saying their goodbyes, and parents celebrating.  We have not yet ventured down the overnight camp thing.  In fact we are still working on getting sleepovers as Little Miss Mixture is happy to go to others house, but it seems a lot of her friends are not ready yet.    Wonder what that says about me if I sit and reflect?

Actually I am happy she is ready and makes me wonder if she would enjoy sleep away camp.  From the pictures it seems like all the campers enjoy themselves and they are excited for another summer away.  I unfortunately did not have the best experience when I was younger at overnight camp.  I really enjoyed it as a counselor though.  I am not sure what I disliked so much that I did not want to stay, but I do remember the food was a thing for me.  Bug juice was a staple and that did not fly at every meal with this little foodie.  As a counselor I am sure I ate more, but I still remember my staple item was peanut butter.  In fact that may be around the time I realized I loved Peanut butter and to this day rarely go 36 hours without consuming it in some form.

So, if I were to send Little Miss Mixture to camp, I think I would be just as concerned about the food as I would the activities and the accommodations.

Do you worry about what your kid eats at camp?  

Has camp food changed over the years?  

Is all that organic food and real food you feed during the year a waste when they go away and consume foods you would not dare allow them to eat?  

Or is it just what every kid needs?

I found some fun articles about camp, camp traditions new and old, preparing for camp, and what to expect from your child going to camp.  Check these out for some fun reads.

Camp Bus Departure

Packing for Camp 

Stores for Camp Supplies really a store that sells nothing but camp things.  Regardless of camp I think Little Miss Mixture would love this store.  Okay I would love this store.   That is it, I am going to camp next summer!

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Wake Me Up: Cantaloupe Strawberry Smoothie

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The internet can be a wealth of knowledge if you want to make a smoothie.  I have always been a milkshake girl.  Aside from cookie dough this is probably one of my top weaknesses.  I have never argued with replacing a meal with the thick cool richness of a milkshake.  When I want to be healthier I have a smoothie.

Years ago I started making smoothies and they typically consisted of the more mainstream combinations – yogurt, banana, and a frozen fruit, most likely of the berry variety.  But when I caved and got my vitamix, I was determined to get my money out of it.  I would glance through the refrigerator at the fruits and vegetables on hand and enter a couple into my google search.  See what people have posted and get ideas on what to make.  Sometimes the results were spot on, others I made notes on what to add and what to alter.  Unfortunately for me having not been a person who measures or follows recipes it continues to be a game of trail and error.  Luckily it works most of the time.

Recently I purchased a cantaloupe, and this year it has either been my bad luck or the melons just have not been the greatest.  We have eaten some cut up, but then they seem to sit becoming lost in the refrigerator and on the verge of slimy.  Cantaloupe is not something I would typically put into a smoothie, but I was pleasantly surprised with the result.  It was a definite win since it would have most likely been tossed otherwise.

The taste of cantaloupe though is refreshing and light so it blends well and provides a nice start to the day.DSC_9938DSC_9939

Wake Me Up

1 oz Almond Milk

1 banana

3/4 cup cantaloupe

5-6 strawberries

Blend the above together and enjoy one 8 ounce smoothie.

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 Printable Recipe & Nutrition Info

 

Spinach & Cantaloupe Smoothie

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In continuing with my Smoothie week, I made one a couple weeks back that though not exactly picture worthy, the flavor and nutritional value were high.

Again the luck of not getting the best cantaloupe struck again.  The first day it was delicious, but as much as I enjoy cantaloupe this family of three cannot eat an entire melon in 24-36 hours.  Unfortunately the ripeness of this melon was great at first taste and when I decided to slice it and store it, but as it sat for two days it started to become more ripe and mushy.  As much as I enjoy melon I am a bit particular as to they need to have some texture to them if I am going to simply eat and enjoy.

I had my taste buds set on making a green smoothie that morning as I had some fresh baby spinach and I had not had one in awhile.  So as I do so often I simply started adding ingredients to my Vitamix container.

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Spinach Cantaloupe Smoothie

3/4 cup Milk of choice

1 Tbsp. Greek Yogurt

1 banana

1 cup spinach

1 c. Frozen Pineapple

1/2 -3/4 c.. Cantaloupe

Blend to a smooth and enjoy.

 Printable Recipe & Nutritional InfoIMG_2302

 

 

Sunrise Smoothie: Smoothie or Juice?

 

 

Smoothie Week
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Is it a smoothie when it has no ice, no milk or dairy alternative?  What would you classify a liquid of nothing but pulverized juice?  I call it a great way to start the day.  But I am hesitant to call it a smoothie as so often a smoothie is thought to be a liquid meal.  Sure a tall glass of fruit can be filing but it is not exactly a balanced meal.  It fits more along the lines of a juice or the juicing fad.

Regardless of what you call it, if the first thing you consume contains more than half the recommended intake of fruits for the day, you have to feel good about it.

I have found that aside from coffee and a small handful of nuts I can be completely satisfied with a juice in the morning.  However if you are sending kids off to school or camp you may want to provide them with something slightly more balanced.  Serve this along side some protein.  Maybe some yogurt, eggs, a handful of nuts, or even a heaping spoonful of peanut butter whatever they prefer to have some protein to start their day.

Sunrise Surprise

1/2 cup Pineapple

1/4 cup Apple

1/3 banana

5 strawberries

Blend and enjoy.

This recipe makes about 8-10 ounces.  One thing I have noticed is a lot of people drink or at least blog smoothies that are served in large glasses.  I tend to serve smaller glasses, especially to Little Miss Mixture as 6-8 oz. is more than ample.

 

Printable Recipe and Nutrition Info 

Monday Mixture

Happy Monday!  I am hopeful this week will be a little less hectic than the last.  Though I will admit it is not starting off that way.

This past weekend, Little Miss Mixture and I finally got to tag along on a business trip.  This is the first time in 6 years and we enjoyed ourselves.  Mr. Mixture needed to be in Nashville and aside from being in country music heaven, it was old stomping ground so we got to catch up with friends.  We had a busy but fun weekend which was definitely needed after having the house full of workman the first part of the week.  It was also a great getaway to start the summer.

As most of you have probably experienced at least once, when the kitchen and other rooms get disrupted so does your entire week which includes shopping and meal preparation in addition to where you eat.  Thank goodness for tv tables and bar stools.

In preparing for the busy week, I decided to have our true father’s day meal on Saturday and something more simple on Sunday.  Well Sunday worked out well.  Saturday all good plans can be foiled and the skill of adapting is necessary.  The bulk of the meal was to be grilled on our new Weber grill; however part way through the preparation Mr. Mixture noticed a fire in the drip pan of the grill.  Needless to say our food was partially cooked but to ashy to eat.

1.  What we are Eating June 14 – June 20th

Saturday –  Planned Meal:  Grilled Chicken, Grilled Okra, Biscuits, and Tomato Mozzarella Salad.  What we actually ate:  Biscuits, Scrambled Eggs, and Tomato Mozzerella Salad.

Sunday – Swiss Chard & Ricotta Pizza

Monday – Swim Meet (picnic food sandwiches & salads)

Tuesday – Chard, Yellow Squash, and Green Onion Flatbread

Wednesday – Leftover pizza, flatbread, and sandwich quesadilla for Little Miss Mixture using some ham rather than turkey.

Thursday & Friday – traveling

2. Nashville, TN – A quick recap of some of the food related highlights of our trip to Music city.  Little Miss Mixture and I enjoyed appetizers at Merchants.  It was a perfect light meal after a late day sweet treat.  Your experience starts with the cutest container of popcorn.  I am not a huge popcorn fan, but it was hard to not enjoy this perfectly seasoned not even greasy popcorn.IMG_3117

Our apps included Fried Green Tomatoes served along side pimento cheese.  Another unique way to sneak pimento cheese into an appetizer.  Adding this to my list of ways to enjoy the southern spread.  We also had light and creamy deviled eggs that were served atop spicy pickles.

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On our own Friday morning, Little Miss mixture and I had a lovely breakfast on Nashville’s east side at Marche.  It was a quaint french style cafe.  Little Miss Mixture had croissant french toast with a side of bacon, because she loves bacon and I had a bowl of house made granola.  It was a perfect way to start our day.

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One evening we grabbed a quick bite at a local burger and beer hall called the Pharmacy.  The meal was good, but I think standout item that you do not find many places was the creamsicle soda.  It was a no phosphate orange soda with vanilla syrup and absolutely tasted like a creamsicle.  Little Miss Mixture loved it.  The funnier part I am not sure she has had a real creamsicle so we may have to have one before the summer is over.

IMG_31473. The home of cast iron in South Pittsburg, TN.  Did you know there is a National Cornbread Festival every April.  How much fun would that be?  I have wanted to go since we lived in TN, but the timing never worked out, so on our return trip home Mr. Mixture appeased my love for random cooking things and stopped in South Pittsburg, TN.  home of the Lodge factory.  Though the factory was not open the store had an amazing selection of cast iron pots and accessories.  I am looking forward to trying out my new 6″ skillet for indoor s’mores.

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4.   National Food Holidays – June has a lot of great random National celebration days.  However I have been too busy trying to find a spot in the house to eat or packing meals for swim meets to indulge in them.  Not that I need an excuse but it sure makes one feel better when randomly having onions rings and an eclair that I am in fact celebrating a holiday.  Since I missed National Vanilla Milkshake day, National Lobster Day, and National Eclair day just to name a few, I am marking my calendar for next year already in the hopes that summer will feel more relaxing.  In the meantime I am looking forward to July when I hope to celebrate national ice cream month!

5.  Responsibility – I have decided this summer we would work on responsibilities.  With our recent long weekend it was a great time to let Little Miss Mixture pack for herself.  She usually does, but I check so as not to forget things.  I did not check her clothing bag this time and I have to say she did better than I did.  She was upset having forgotten a pair of sandals, which of course matched a couple outfits better than her trustworthy keens, but at least she remembered socks.  I actually had to borrow her socks to wear with my cowboy boots.  Who goes to Nashville without their boots?  I was actually thankful that she is catching up in size for her socks were a perfect fit.

Thinking about responsibility I love these random signs I found, maybe I need to make a necklace and just wear them to help remind everyone in the house.  Oh a girl can dream…

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