Monday – Meatless & Mixture

How was your weekend?  Did you spoil yourself and indulge on National eat what you want day?

Since I like to celebrate all the little things I took great pleasure in enjoying May 11th as both Mother’s Day and “eat what you want day”.  We have certain traditions that have been created over the years and Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that includes some.  We all have small indulgences that we like and I try to eat healthy but every now and then you have to spoil yourself.

Doughnuts – I have never been a person who eats a lot of doughnuts but I have always liked munchkins and on occasion I would stop by Dunkin Doughnuts when I used to travel for business and get 5 chocolate cake munchkins.  Yes I am probably one of the few individuals who realizes you can buy munchkins individually.  After Little Miss Mixture was born I stopped traveling and it had been a good year since I had enjoyed a munchkin, so on my first mother’s day that is what I got for breakfast.  Now it is a day Little Miss Mixture waits for and regardless of it not being a breakfast that fits our eating style anymore, I cannot change the tradition, as it is our Mother’s day breakfast.  I have also come to realize Mr. Mixture is a fan as well as it makes for an easy Mother’s Day morning for him as well.

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2. What we ate this week (May 5-May 10).  It was a crazy week with busy afternoons and evening events.

Monday  – Veggie Tostados for Cinco de Mayo

Tuesday – Leftovers                                                                                               (Little Miss had to eat on the go and Mr. Mixture and I had a late dinner to finish off some leftovers)

Wednesday – Chicken Broccoli Mac & Cheese with Bacon                                         (post about this recipe will be coming this week)

Thursday – Mr. Mixture was on his own as Little Miss Mixture and I had tickets to a play at the local children’s theatre.

Friday – Salad with Radishes, Rhubarb, & Strawberries and Chicken Broccoli Mac & Cheese

Saturday – Super Nachos

Sunday – My Night off.  We dined at Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar.

3. Nut Free Snacks – Do your kids have allergies or do you have to find healthy snacks that are not free because the school or the classroom is nut free.  As you can probably guess we are not a nut free family and this has been a challenge over the past few years finding healthy food that Little Miss Mixture enjoys to eat at school.  I have found snacks are the hardest as I like to send something balanced and Little Miss Mixture has an afternoon snack, so I really do not like sending items that require ice pack that sit around for almost 6 hours before they are eaten.  I often make homemade granola bars, muffins, healthy cookies but I have found a lot of the banana based ones are just not a favorite of Little Miss Mixture.  I also like variety.  It might be me, but I cannot send the same thing week after week and day after day.  We love Kind bars as they are a great snack to toss in your bag when traveling or just out and about, but they are not nut free.

Check out the new Nut Free Kind Bars that I found.  They are called Healthy grains and they have several varieties.  I got the Dark Chocolate Chunk and they got the thumbs up from Little Miss Mixture.  Thank you KIND.

Nut Free Kind Bars

 

4.Countdown to Summer – I think it has officially begun.  The weather has hit almost 90 a couple of days, so as usual we skipped the gradual spring warm up and went straight to summer temps.  These warm temperatures only fuels the readiness for lazy summer days lounging by the pool, kids staying up later and no early morning alarm clocks. Yes we are almost at the 20 days and counting point.

5. Pizza, flower & dessert – I want to thank PB for helping to make Mother’s Day special.  I love pizza and we wanted something casual with good food for dinner on Mother’s Day. Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar had been on our to try list for awhile so we decided to go.  It was a great choice as we not only enjoyed the food, but I thought they added some nice touches to make mom feel special and reinforce it was her night off.  We scheduled an early dinner since it was a school night.  Unfortunately there were no tables available outside but the host overheard Little MIss Mixture state it was cool in the restaurant and as we walked to our table he engaged her in conversation stating ” we will get you some food to warm you up” and ” I am taking you to the warmest table in the restaurant.”  It was sweet and she happily followed.

The decor is unique a mix of rustic yet modern giving it a nice vibe.

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The drink menu was nice as they had local beers on tap and the wine list by the glass had several choices for the different varieties.  Something for everyone.  They had a fixed price Sunday dinner that was intriguing and very reasonable, but we had in our minds that we were going for pizza.  We each ordered a different individual pizza, which was more than we needed.  Little Miss Mixture has passed the food on the kids menu at most restaurants though she still loves to color and play the games the menus offer.  So we ordered three different pizzas – BBQ Chicken, Roasted Mushroom, and Chicken Meatball.  The individual pizzas were a nice size and though we would have had ample with two pizzas, leftover pizza has never gone bad at our house.

Mr. Mixture started with a salad that was a generous portion and could have easily been shared.  Don’t worry Little Miss and myself gave it a try as well.  The pizzas arrived and the waitress provided mason jars of parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.  We like spice, so this was an added bonus for our table.  The pizzas were hot and fresh.  The crust was delicate and flavorful and we enjoyed our choices.  To make the evening more special the restaurant provided a complimentary cannoli to mom, and Little Miss Mixture ordered a chocolate cake with tiramisu ice cream for the table.  The cannoli was not only a nice touch, it was flavorful nicely presented and had bits of dark chocolate scattered on the plate.  The cake was enjoyed by Little Miss Mixture and Mr. Mixture as well and the ice cream had a really nice flavor.

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I also was provided a flower on my way out and told Happy Mother’s Day by the staff.

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So thank you PB for ending my day just as sweet as it started, we will definitely be back.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

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No Bake Protein Packed Rice Crispy Bars

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Snacks at school have been a challenge for our family as I try very hard to send something healthy that includes protein.  Enter the nut free zone and your choices quickly diminish.  When first hearing of the nut free classroom, I went in search of healthy granola type bars and other items that were nut free and nutritious.  You are probably thinking yogurt and cheese are perfect, but my daughter has the early lunch this year so snack is in the afternoon, and I just do not love the idea of dairy products being in her bag for over 6 hours before being consumed.  The other part of that Little Miss Mixture likes cheese and crackers in her lunch several days a week and often consumes yogurt for breakfast. BORING who wants to repeat the same food items several times a day.

I found a recipe for Puffed Quinoa and thought perfect until I found none of the stores in town sell puffed quinoa and it takes about 72 hours to make it yourself.  I love to cook but I draw the line on things that take days to prepare.  I just do not see the value and doubt many people would be interested in a recipe like that.  So I adapted the recipe using rice krispies because they are a simple nut free cereal. The result was a deliciously sweet bar that everyone enjoyed.

This is a simple recipe that can be changed to meet your taste or food preferences.  No reason to go nut free, try Peanut Butter or Almond Butter, both pair nicely with some chocolate on top.

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Protein Packed Rice Crispy Bars

2 cups Crisp Rice Cereal (Rice Krispies)

1 cup Sunbutter, or Nut Butter of Choice

6 Tbsp. Agave Nectar (Maple Syrup can be substituted)

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Optional : Chocolate of choice, melted

In a mixing bowl, combine Sunbutter, agave, and vanilla.  If the mixture is too firm, you can heat it slightly on the stove top or microwave.  Be careful not to cook, simply warm to mix thoroughly. Add puffed cereal and stir until coated well.  At this point the mixture is stick.  You can place mixture in fridge to firm up for 15 minutes and then press into bar form, or in a hurry press into a prepared 8×8 square pan.  Allow to firm in refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.

Optional: Melt chocolate to drizzle or coat the top of the bars.  I went a little heavy on the chocolate,   You can never have too much chocolate in my opinion.  I used 52% cocoa chocolate chips.  Once the desired amount of chocolate is on the bars return to refrigerator to set.  Slice into bars and enjoy or wrap for snacks throughout the week.

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