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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Weekly Lunch Wrap-up

We finished our first week of school! And somehow a nutritious lunch was sent with Kiddo1 every day! Here’s what he ate…

Monday

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All the round foods! Sausage (grass-fed beef sausage I found at the local grocery store), disks of cucumber and carrots, strawberries, also sliced in rounds, and, finally, sweet potato “chips” that apparently were cut way too thick and were not too edible at all. We’ll get that one next time I’m sure.

I forgot what all the jokes were this week! I should photograph them with the lunch box or something… They were really funny, I swear.

Tuesday

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I told Kiddo1 I was making him a deconstructed ham roll-up today. Little did he know that really just meant it was a salad. But a salad with almost more toppings than lettuce! He said it was pretty good, yay! Rounding out the meal is an Enjoy Life cookie and yellow watermelon. Yes, the watermelon is yellow! We found it at the farmer’s market over Labor Day weekend. It’s amazing! It stayed non-mushy for like two weeks after we cut it. Tastes like watermelon but better.

Wednesday

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Sorry for the blurry picture. Sometimes I just shoot and run in the mornings! Lunch today is leftover ground turkey and asparagus stir-fry. He loved the turkey but… well I tried with the asparagus but it came back home anyway. In the muffin cups we’ve got cucumber and raisins, and on the right there’s carrot sticks and a broken Enjoy Life cookie.

Thursday

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Ham roll-ups day! Or should I say, oh-crap-its-8am-and-lunch-isn’t-packed-yet day! We had this beautiful leaf lettuce leftover and it made the best wraps cause the leaves didn’t have stiff spines like romaine. They look pretty too. Of course, rounding out the box is an Enjoy Life cookie and carrots sticks because… well we were late.

Friday

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Why not begin and end the week with shape-themed lunches? Instead of circles today we have cubes! Okay well I guess the homemade chocolate chip cookie is a circle (why didn’t I make a couple cubed ones??) but for the rest of the lunch we have some more of that delicious yellow watermelon, ham, cucumbers, of course there are carrots and also some homemade BREAD! Whaaa??? Bread??? Yep, I’ve found a recipe for wheat/gluten-, egg-, dairy-, and nightshade-free bread that is soft and delicious. We’ve been making toast, french toast and even a couple sandwiches with it (and I’ll use it this Thanksgiving for stuffing). I’ll post the recipe later on. Oh and the cookie recipe!

Til next week!

 

Weekly Lunch Wrap-up & Guide

Waaaay back when I was pregnant, I did a weekly post called Tie Tuesday. It provided motivation for me to take care of myself and feel good about myself by holding myself accountable for getting dressed every day. Because getting dressed every day can be really hard for the pregnant! But forcing myself to not just throw on yoga pants but really try to put something together ended up making me feel really good about myself every day. I digress, but my point is the weekly posting of my outfits was a good motivation to do something I didn’t really want to do but was good for me.

So, I thought I might do the same sort of thing again but with a little twist. This time my dreaded task is lunch-making, but once I have it done I feel so super good that my son has a healthy lunch he can eat at school. I felt so proud the first day I even Instagramed a photo of my son’s lunch! And that’s when Tie Tuesday popped into my head again.

Each week I’ll post a photo and description of my son’s lunches. I hope this provides me with the motivation not only to make the lunch every day (actually, he needs to be making more of them too!) but I hope doing this also motivates me to use variety and new ideas when planning and packing meals out. Oh also! I write out a joke for his lunch every day too, so I’ll include that in the comments because I think they are very funny, even though I did not come up with them myself.

Let’s get to it!

Wednesday

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Okay so this is a short week because school started on the Wednesday after Labor Day. A good week to start with posting! Today we packed roll-ups with leftover pork, red onions, and a bit of BBQ sauce all wrapped up in a couple small leaves of romaine. Also packed: cut strawberries, carrot sticks, applesauce, and the dessert-of-the-week: homemade brownies (wheat-, egg-, dairy-free Bob’s Red Mill mix).

Today’s joke: What’s the king of all school supplies? (The Ruler)

Thursday

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On Thursday I had fun with my julienne peeler on some carrots and cucumber. To keep with the theme I shredded chicken into strips as well! Coupled with BBQ sauce. Rounding out the left side is another brownie and grapes.

Today’s joke: What’s smarter than a talking bird? (A spelling bee)

Friday

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I wasn’t ready for Friday. We must pack lunches at night! So my fall-back lunch is a romaine wrap. It’s like a sandwich, sorta, because you can stuff things in it, but it isn’t bread and it sneaks in a vegetable too (both because of the romaine and I can usually sneak some onion or something in there too, although he is getting wise to that). So today we had chicken, cucumber, and a tiny bit of onion in our romaine wrap, along with more carrot sticks, broccoli, raisins and an Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookie for desert (those egg-free brownies are only tasty for a couple days, plus this cookie is the first “processed” lunch item  so far!).

Today’s joke: What did one mathbook say to the other? (I’ve got problems)

Next week is a full five days! Hopefully I’ll be better about packing lunches the night before by then. And my picture-taking will slowly get better, I hope.

Also! Bonus feature today since it was a short week. I created a sort of map for us to use when we pack lunches. It is a general guide for us to use when we pack so that any of us can attempt to put together a nutritious lunch. I only wrote down the foods that Kiddo1 has a high likelihood of eating, but I’m sure we’ll be adding to the list as the year goes on since we continue to try new foods, sometimes trying the same ones again and again! Anyway, this is what is hanging on our fridge now:

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I think it’s pretty self-explanatory but… each column is basically a food group that is needed for a complete lunch. We start with one protein, then at least one or two veggies, a fruit, and a dessert. Under each column title is a list of suggested foods that Kiddo1 likes. Of course we can put in other foods, these lists are just suggestions.

Below the list of foods for each column is a list of suggestions for serving. For protein you could put it… in a wrap, on a kabob with veggies, in a casserole or salad, etc, etc. Veggies can be cut in strips – thick or julienne/thin like Thursday’s lunch, cut in chunks or rounds for a kabob, dehydrated into chips, all kinds of things.

They all seem like simple suggestions but it’s really nice to have the list while you’re packing so you have a little less to think about. This also helps with my weekly meal planning so I remember to plan for a little extra food here and there so we have lunch ingredients handy. I’ve found it is hard for me to plan specific lunches, just easier to throw them together based on what we have. Perhaps I will change my tune after a couple weeks, I’m not so sure. Luckily I have the choice to change it whenever we all see fit!

Happy lunching, til next week!

Vacation Recap, Part 4

After our good times with friends and good food stores in Montana, we headed out for a full day 4!

Our first stop was the Berkley Pit in Butte, Montana. home of the Evel Knievel festival that we missed by just a week (but one of our friends went and it did look like a good time, although one you would probably want to go sans children). But we did learn all kinds of interesting and weird facts about the Pit: it was a mining pit, one of the richest in the country. It’s very deep, I don’t remember how much, but more memorable facts had to do with the toxicity of the Pit. The water is as acidic as lemon juice, even though it is filled with only fresh rain water. The folks that watch over the Pit have to shoot at water fowl (to scare them off) so that they don’t land in the water because if they do they’ll die (right away or later from complications I’m not sure…). And the Pit only has a few years left, I think until 2015 or 2020, until it is totally full and will start to overflow and spread toxic water everywhere. So they are building (or just finished building?) a pump to control the water level. WTF??? I just smacked my head like the whole time we were there. I can’t believe how people screw themselves over voluntarily. But that is probably a discussion for another blog altogether (perhaps one for which the writer can actually remember her facts!).

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Beautiful toxic reflection

All those facts about the Pit were interesting, though, and it was a great opportunity to talk with Kiddo1 about how choices have consequences! Plus they had a nice little gift shop. I got myself a copper necklace and Kiddo1 picked up a wolf tooth charm necklace and a magnet (Kiddo1 and Mr. Handsome loved picking up magnets at almost every place we went).

We had a little picnic before taking off…

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Picnic at the Pit, very amusing

And then did more driving through Montana. It seemed like around just about every turn was an idyllic Montana scene: a small river running through evergreen-covered rolling hills with a mountain in the background. If only the road pictures could do it justice:

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Montana!

Our last Montana stop was at the Southern-most tip of the state, that little bit that hangs down between Idaho and Wyoming. There we stopped at Earthquake Lake for a little break and some education before heading into Yellowstone. Earthquake Lake had all kinds of interesting and depressing facts too!

The lake was the site of pretty severe earthquake back in the 50’s. It occurred in the middle of a busy summer night in which the whole area was full of campers. The articles said there were even people camped by the roadside because campgrounds were full and the weather was beautiful. There was no moon that night, it was super dark, and all of a sudden this huge quake hits. They call it “the night the lake tilted” because apparently one side rose by like 20 feet I think, causing the lake’s dam to spill over (although it did hold even though it suffered significant structural damage) and all kinds of violent water sloshing. Geyers in Yellowstone erupted and aftershocks continued for months. It caused millions of dollars of damage, even in the 50s. A few dozen people lost their lives and the survivors had to huddle in the near-pitch darkness and wait until morning until they could both be reunited with their families and seek medical attention.

Luckily our time at the lake was much more pleasant. We toured the Visitor’s Center that gave us all the facts about the Earthquake and took some pictures of the lovely lake.

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Those tree trunks sticking out of the lake weren’t stuck in water before the quake

Then it was time to get into Yellowstone! We were so excited!

We arrived via West Yellowstone so we made Old Faithful our first stop, both because it is also in the West side of the park and because we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss it! We only had to wait about 20 minutes for the next eruption so we spent the time in the gift shop (of course) and running into some interesting characters who tried really hard to take pictures of our Baby2. They did ask nicely if they could take her picture but I politely declined. It happened several times while we were in the park, so by the time we left we were ready to be away from people for a little while!

After our gift shop adventure, we found a nice spot to watch Old Faithful, back far enough that we could get a good overall view:

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There she blows!

And we’re glad we were far back because the wind really kicked up and half the people sitting on the benches in front got pretty soaked with sulfur water! Stinky.

After Old Faithful we drove North and tried to fit in the Grand Prismatic Spring, but it was getting to be dinnertime and we still needed to set up camp. Kiddo1 and I rushed through the boardwalks and snapped a couple pictures while Mr. Handsome waited with sleeping Baby2 in the car. We were in a hurry, though, so we didn’t make it all the way back to the Grand Spring, just a few little pools off the parking lot, but it was still pretty cool! We will have something awesome to come back for next time.

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This little pool is a subdued version of the larger spring’s deep blue waters and orange “beaches” of sulfur

After the spring/pools we made our way a couple more miles North to Madison Campground were we stayed the night. We got all educated about what a “bear box” is (we didn’t use it, we just put our foods in the car), bought some Montana-grown firewood and set up our camp and cooking fires.

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Kiddo1 to the right, hacking up a tree stump with the hachet

We made beef stew in the cast iron dutch oven that night and it turned out pretty good. I had seared the meat and combined everything in a large freezer bag and frozen it solid before we left. I kept it at the very bottom of our cooler and it was still a little slushy when I got around to using it. I was a little nervous carrying around frozen beef for that long but we ate it and we’re fine! And it was already cooked so I felt the danger was fairly minimal, given that we were boiling it all again at the campsite.

After dinner we had to have some s’mores, of course:

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S’more and lingering sausage

Then we got everything cleaned up and we headed off to a nature talk at the campsite’s amphitheater. We took a path recommended by the camp director and it was very lovely in the evening!

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Trying to take a picture of Kiddo1 and Baby2 side-by-side but Baby2 was not having it and Kiddo1 had had enough

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Lots of bubblies coming up from the creek bottom

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His must-have standing-on-a-rock picture

We made it to the nature talk… but we didn’t stay very long. Baby2 was not amused and it was getting dark quickly. So instead of sitting with the others and watching the stars come out, we had another lovely walk along the creek back to the campsite. Luckily we had a near-full moon and flashlights to guide us back.

 

It was a great day 4!