Monday’s Mixture: What we are Eating, School Lunches

DSC_0608While the internet and television are buzzing with fall recipes the temperatures continue to be some of the hottest we had all summer.  As much as I want to start baking with my recently picked apples and enjoy the taste and smell of fall, all I can think about it is smoothiesmilkshakes and meals that will not require me to heat my kitchen up.  It is suppose to cool off starting today and I am looking forward to it not only because I love crisp mornings and the warmer days of fall, but I have gotten stuck in too many summer type thunderstorms this past week trying to pick Little Miss Mixture up at school.IMG_3878

1.  What We Are Eating (August 31 – Sept. 6)

It was a very busy week in our house, which lucky for me translates into easy dinners.  Apparently I had overcooked a little the week before which was also to my benefit as we enjoyed several nights of leftover or a revamp of a meal.

Sunday – Family Dinner Out

Monday – Baked Salmon, Spinach & Apple Salad, Macaroni & Cheese (my take on this recipe from 100daysofrealfood.com)

Tuesday – Taco Salad or Cilantro Serrano Pasta

Wednesday – Leftover Indian Food for Little Miss Mixture and I had a Spinach Salad with Baked Salmon

Thursday – Breakfast Eggs & Fruit Salad

Friday – Quick Rotini with Sausage (recipe posted soon)

Saturday – Attended a Surprise Party for a friends 40th

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2.  Kitchen Organization – Now that Little Miss Mixture is back in school, I have to get to work on some random house projects I have on a list.  One of the easier, less time consuming task was to redo a couple kitchen drawers and cabinets.  When we moved in I gave Little Miss Mixture two drawers in the kitchen where we kept her utensils, plates, cups, and bowls.  Well now that she has grown I decided we could decrease her space to one drawer.  I am not a fan of kids stuff, so she has duralex dishes for breakfast and lunch meals.  I still want her to use these as they are a good size , but I do not need her jumping upon the granite.  They say they are nonbreakable, but I do not care to take a chance.  Decreasing her space allowed me to move some kitchen gadgets around and make room for some tasting bowls I recently bought for soup.  Those of you with kids –

Did you use the plastic utensils and cups?

 At what age did you advance your children to real utensils?

 

3    3. Apples – I may not have started baking or making homemade applesauce as yet, but I have enjoyed a fresh apple either plain or with peanut butter for lunch all week.  It is also puts a smile on my face when Little Miss Mixture asks for an apple for her snack.  Here are some ideas I have for using all our apples:  Cinnamon Apple Rings, Brie & Apple Grilled Cheese, Kale Salad with Apples, and caramelized apple pizza.

4.  Lost Tooth – It has been almost two years since Little Miss Mixture lost a tooth.  In fact I forgotten how aggravating it can be when the tooth is not quite ready to come out, but it is scary to brush and hard to eat certain foods.  Little Miss Mixture seems to have a knack for loose teeth in the fall as one year she had no front teeth to bite the apples we picked, then she had a loose bottom tooth which made it impossible to bite into an apple the next year, and now after a two year stent it is apple season and she could not eat an apple for the first two days.  Luckily she came home from school on Tuesday one less tooth in her mouth, and ready to bit into an apple.

5. Baby Animals – Animals do some of the cutest and yes annoying things sometimes.  Thus coming from the person who recently realized my dog has learned to jump on my bed and take things off the night table.  No matter how annoying some of the things they do are just so darn cute and funny.  I find it hard not to smile with some of the things animals do and now a days you can find some great videos that are just adorable.  This video of panda’s playing on a slide just made me happy this week.

6.  School Lunches – It is almost impossible to look through Pinterest or Facebook and not find someone who has tagged a list of healthy school lunches.  I am all about eating healthy and I tend to think Little Miss Mixture has a good repertoire of food she eats, but most of the lunches on the lists I have seen would end up coming home.  In fact I cannot even imagine eating them myself.

My goal is to eat healthy and instill good eating habits.  Little Miss Mixture like me has a sweet tooth, but sweets are limited in school lunches.  Yes, I send Chocolate Milk because I encourage the calcium and protein with her meal and Little Miss Mixture is not a big milk fan all the time.  I choose to pick my battles and I would rather make sure a balanced diet is consumed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, than to pack something and it not be enjoyed.

Here are a couple of recent school lunches I have packed.

Munster Cheese Slices, Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Wafer Crackers, Apple, Cashews, and Organic Chocolate Milk

Peanut Butter, Honey, and Raisin Sandwich (use bread of choice), Trader Joe’s Organic Corn Dippers, Raspberries, and Organic Chocolate Milk

Nitrate Free Ham Roll Ups with Cheddar Cheese, Cantaloupe and Grapes, Mixture (Pecans, Plantain chips, and Dried Blueberries) and Chocolate Milk

Happy Meatless Monday!  Have a good week!

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Monday’s Mixture

Well it appears spring has finally sprung.  It is amazing what a change in the weather can do for a person.  I awake early, I have energy, and I just have constant thoughts going through my head that are not only about food, but everything I know I need or want to do now that the season is changing.  Change my drawers and closets to put certain clothes in the more accessible places, get new clothes for Little Miss Mixture, get new shoes for Little Miss Mixture, check out new styles of shoes for myself, plant herbs in my barrels, get flowers planted… and the list just goes on.  Why a week ago when it was still in the 50’s and raining was I not even thinking about this?  I knew it was almost April.  It does not matter because with the change outside I just feel as if I have more time and I am more motivated.  Time to get some mixture and get busy.

Todays mixture consist of mostly nuts and dried fruit, but spring is here and things are looking more green and so is my mixture with the addition of pistachios.

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1.  March Madness which has now in the past few years become March – April Basketball snuck up on me this weekend.  In full disclosure I like sports.  I am not your crazy must see every game life in our house stops type of person, but I enjoy taking in different games on occasion.  At least I can carry on a conversation about a game or explain to Little Miss Mixture how the games work.  Basketball took on a new meaning in our house this year.  Mr. Mixture and I became rival teams. My alma mater was one of those teams that flipped sides and joined another conference.  Mr. Mixture is in fact ACC all the way more specifically “Tar Heel born and Tar Heel bred.” I on the other hand have always had a love for Orange, raised as a Tennessee fan and then attending Syracuse.  Apparently I was impartial to location but true to color.

Unfortunately neither of our teams made it past the Sweet Sixteen and I frankly just forgot about the games this weekend. I did however keep an eye on the Food Brackets.  Have you seen this?  In the last few years they have popped up everywhere.  One can search the internet now and find Sweet Sixteen of almost anything – Fast Food, Wine, Cake & Pies, Burgers, Pizza, etc.  For a lover of all things food related it is fascinating. So for tonight Championship game be sure to have your Final Four Food.

2.  In our house we celebrate lots of things and make it a point to celebrate the little things.  Nothing makes Little Miss Mixture happier than a special treat.  Okay yes it makes me happy as well to have an excuse to satisfy that sweet tooth.  We had a little something to celebrate this past weekend and with the warmer weather, ice cream seemed a perfect fit.  As a kid I loved cones, but they have to be one of the messiest snacks for a kid to enjoy.  Mr. Mixture clearly still a kid at heart can make a mess of one as well.  Little Miss Mixture does not get cones often and primarily because cones have evolved and grown.  What happened to sugar cones, wafer cones? Nowadays it is just waffle cones.  Is there anyone who needs a waffle cone with 2-3 large scoops of ice cream stuffed in it?  This is not a portion for a child.  Marble Slab has done it.  They introduced a Kid Size Waffle Cone.  Now it still is somewhat larger than necessary, but it is a smaller portion and takes a kid size scoop of ice cream and wraps it up in the novelty of the dipped waffle cone.  Thank you Marble Slab for making her day!

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3.  As a follow up to last Monday’s Mixture I wanted to update you on the food waste project.  We did it. Five brave moms took on the school cafeteria.  We collected all leftover food from the kids lunches.  We even took notice mid way through and started collecting unopened milks, uneaten apples, and other items for a separate pile. Talk about an eye opening experience.  We did not collect the partially consumed liquids, so more was actually tossed.  The school menu may have in fact increased the weight slightly as it was hot dogs, baked beans, cole slaw, and apples. One thing was apparent most kids cannot eat a whole apple during a twenty minute lunch. Apples seem like a great item but considering the time crunch and the fact half these kids do not have teeth or have loose teeth, it really is a challenging food to eat.  That said approximately 684 students threw away 94.2 pounds of food.

This number causes pause in my day and makes me think about what we as a society could do to change this.       

How can school lunch waste be decreased?  More time for lunch? Change the school lunch menus?

On the flip side this school had an amazingly successful food drive and was able to send 2462 items to a local food pantry.

 WAY TO GO!!!

4.  There are a lot of blogs that talk about school lunches. I have often said that I am happy to pack lunches, grocery shop, etc.  These things do not stress me out.  With that said this blog is intended to help give food ideas so what is LIttle Miss Mixture getting today.

Organic Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich w/ Peanut Butter, Vanilla Infused Honey & Raisins

Carrot Slices

Apple Slices

Organic Chocolate Milk

A couple of non food thoughts in today’s mixture.

5.  Are you struggling with what shoes to wear in the not quite summer, but warmer weather?  I love the ballet flat. Though we all know what can happen when you wear shoes without socks.  Beware family or anyone nearby… I recently found these little things, and I cannot decide if I feel cool in them or if I am old enough not to care, but I love them.  They are comfortable, they are hidden, and they keep everything smelling fresh throughout the day. They are also an added bonus when you travel and don’t want to go barefoot through security.

6. I think I am getting the hang of this twitter thing, and I downloaded the blog pro app for the ipad, which allows me to fancy up my post with some different fonts and colors.  So watch out world I may start to Mix things up!