Thank you for stopping by! Here you will find a variety of things as I post whatever happens to be going on in our home - recipes, crafts, homeschool, birthday parties, travels, meals in muffin tins and more! I'd love to know what you think so please feel free to leave comments!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Making Snack Time a Little Easier

I'm a mom. Like all moms out there, I always have at least 974 things going on at one time. Homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, planning meals, playing referee in arguments, never-ending laundry, washing dishes, more cleaning, paying bills, feeding chickens, feeding cats, catching the chicken who escapes from the enclosure 90 times a day, cleaning some more, reminding children to flush & wash hands, feeding a cricket (as of yesterday), exercising, running kids to various homeschool activities, rounding up library books, fixing broken toys, changing batteries, planning field trips - to name a few of the things I find myself doing day after day. When I finally have a moment to sit down and rest, here come the kiddos asking for a snack. With a heavy sigh, up I get and head out to the kitchen again. We've all been there.
So what's a mom to do? Let the kids go get their own snack, shoving grubby little hands into the bag of whatever, leaving it open to get stale, eating way more than they ought to and leaving crumbs all over the kitchen? I don't think so. I'd have to add cleaning to that list up above yet another time. Time to start the thinking wheels a'turning.
Today, I put my evil plan to have a little more down time for myself into action. Mwahahaha! Sorry. I got carried away for a moment. It's kind of exciting to think about having a little extra time to yourself!
So here is what I did.

First, I did pantry snacks. I sat down at the kitchen table with a box of snack size zip bags and a variety of packages of snacks. Then, I simply measured out individual portions into the bags. I neatly stacked the bags of snacks in a plastic shoebox container. In this box: individual serving packets of peanut butter; Udi's GF crisps; Annie's Cheddar Snack Mix; pretzel crackers; a homemade trail mix that has pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried berries (cran, straw & blue) and Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips; and lastly fruit leathers. Other options for the box: granola bars, tortilla chips, fruit & nut mix, beef jerky, rice crackers, snap pea crisps, nut thin crackers, granola & raisins, popcorn, homemade Lara bars, banana chips or homemade cookies as a special treat.
Next, I did refrigerator snacks. First, I had to clear a space in the fridge. I have to admit, I am not very good at keeping my fridge neat & tidy, so this added a little time to my initial prep time. After that, it didn't take long to get the rest done. The fridge snacks include: various fruits - oranges, peaches, apples, grapes and a kiwi; cut veggies - carrots and celery sticks; mozzarella cheese rounds; colby jack mini cheese sticks; and yogurt in little mason jars (the containers with the dry erase "y" on them because I also have cups of milk in the fridge and don't want them to get confused). Other options for the fridge snacks: olives, pickles, pepper strips, snap peas, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, cooked sausage links (we love apple, maple chicken sausages), cucumbers, meatballs, fruit salad, melon balls, apple sauce, ham cubes, cauliflower, broccoli, chicken cubes or ham & cheese pinwheels (spread cream cheese on a slice of ham, top with a layer of spinach leaves, roll it up and cut into half inch long pieces).
Now, with just a little bit of prep time once a week, when the kids start begging me to get them a snack 9 seconds after I sit down, I can simply direct them to the snack section of either the fridge or pantry. They love the freedom of getting to choose what they feel like having from a number of options and I love getting to have a few extra minutes to sit and enjoy some quiet while they are eating. Wait, did I say quiet? Yeah, it's rarely quiet. Add reminding the kids not to talk (or sing) with their mouths full to that list up above.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Back to the Blog with a Muffin Tin Meal!

It's been a little while since I've written anything here. Life just got busy over the summer and then school started  and well... I let it go a while. So I decided to ease back into things with a Muffin Tin Meal post! My kids love when I do these but I just never seem to have the time to pull them together anymore but I managed to get one done today. Well, sort of - the muffin tins didn't easily hold what we were serving, so we basically just used one silicone muffin liner on a plate.

We recently got a membership to the library and one of the first books that Laural decided to check out was A Princess Cookbook. The recipes require no cooking, just some mixing and putting stuff together. Laural had a blast reading the book, helping me make a shopping list, shopping for all the ingredients and then putting the meal together. We made a couple changes to some of the recipes that worked with some stuff we already had on hand. 

Laural reading A Princess Cookbook the night before we went shopping.

 The Princess and the Pea Salad. We cut the tomatoes to look like hearts - that wasn't in the cookbook.

 Laural's Princess Meal: Wish on the Evening Star Sandwich (this was supposed to be a Slipper Sandwich as in Cinderella's slipper, but we couldn't find a shoe cookie cutter & I didn't want to try cutting it free hand, so the next best thing was a star), Magic Wand (pretzel rods dipped in candy melts with sprinkles), Princess Parfait (vanilla yogurt, raspberries & granola), Castle Crunch (peanuts, dried cranberries, banana chips & marshmallow cereal) with the Princess & the Pea Salad in the middle. Not shown is the Fairy Tale Float (natural cherry soda & cherry ice cream) which we saved for dessert.

I wish I could have taken pics of the kids enjoying their meals, but I had to finish making the grown up dinner so mommy & daddy could eat too! They really enjoyed helping make the meal and then eating it too! I think I need to try to do these more often again.


Related Posts with Thumbnails