Tuesday, August 31, 2010


After a year of listening to Drew complain about school lunches, and then watching Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution", I have decided to let him take his lunch to school...except on Friday's (apparently he can "tolerate" their pizza).

But making up lunches is more difficult than I expected. It can't be refrigerated and it can't be warmed up, so how many healthy food alternatives does that leave? Well apparently a lot according to Melissa from "another lunch". I can only aspire to be as creative as her; chances are good that my child will not be taking star-shaped cheese slices or sandwiches made to look like Sponge Bob, but I can certainly gain inspiration from her food selections.

Lunch Box #1 ~ baby carrots, striped Granny Smith apples, chocolate chips, organic strawberries, pretzels, granola bar & fruit leather.

Lunch Box #2 ~ fruit leather star, goldfish crackers, smiling orange, checkered apple, kiwi flower, sausage & cheddar cheese cubes, swiss cheese & peas

Lunch Box #3 ~ spinach, cucumber & cherry tomato salad, homemade ranch dressing, cheese quesadilla, veggie straws and blueberries

photos via another lunch

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Quick and easy recipe for those nights when you don't have a lot of time to cook! Obviously frozen chicken strips aren't the healthiest choice, so an alternative would be to use leftover grilled or baked chicken. But I have to say these little wraps are SO good, even with the frozen chicken strips!
1 serving

1 9-inch flour tortilla
1 cup (about 3-4) frozen breaded frozen chicken strips
Tomato, chopped
Green onions, chopped
Lettuce, spinach, or any other green leafy vegetable you have on hand
Shredded cheese (I used a blend)
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon Ranch dressing

Bake chicken strips as directed. Let sit for a few minutes to cool, then chop into bite-size pieces. Toss chicken with hot sauce to coat.

Spread Ranch dressing in a thin layer over tortilla. Add cheese, chicken strips and additional ingredients to tortilla. Roll up the tortilla, and enjoy!

photo & original recipe from The Curvy Carrot


It has been a while since I have posted a recipe! Been a while since I have cooked a meal! This was a good one! The original recipe called for broccoli raab...we cooked it, tasted it, and quickly changed to good ol' regular broccoli! The raab has a very strong and distinct taste, and needless to say we didn't enjoy it. Broccoli was delicious and I'm sure you could substitute other veggies, such as squash, and it would be equally as yummy.
Serves 3-4
adapted from this recipe

Broccoli (use as much as you want)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice (next time I would probably use more tomatoes)
1/2 white onion, finely diced
Pinch of chili flakes
3/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth, divided
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Black pepper
1 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
1 pound fresh (not dried) fettuccine
Big handful of flat-leaf parsley or basil leaves, roughly chopped

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Boil the broccoli until tender, remove (leaving the water for the pasta).

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Do not burn it. Add the garlic, onion, chili flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and saute for three minutes, until softened.

Whisk the butter and onions while drizzling in the juice from the tomato can. You want to get the butter to emulsify, as in a beurre blanc (rich, hot butter sauce), or in this case a beurre rouge. If it gives you any trouble, just start whisking in a little more cold butter. Then add the tomato chunks, 1/2 cup of the wine, and the lemon juice. Bring to a slow simmer and reduce a little, until it coats the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust the seasoning; it probably needs more salt and possibly lemon juice.

Preheat a serving platter or bowl in the oven (200 degrees F is good).

When you are nearly ready to serve, add the broccoli to the sauce to reheat, and boil the pasta. Fresh pasta usually takes about 3 minutes. When it is al dente, immediately strain it and toss it in the skillet with the sauce and the remaining 1/4cup of wine (I left out the additional wine). Toss half the sauce, pasta, half the cheese, and a few grinds of black pepper together until the noodles are coated.

To serve, use tongs to put the noodles on the serving platter. Pour the rest of the sauce, which won't have mixed in too well, over the top, distributing the broccoli and tomatoes. Top with the rest of the cheese, more black pepper, and the parsley or basil and eat immediately.
photo & original recipe via Herbivoracious

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Where can you enjoy carnival rides, eat foot-long corn dogs & make your own slushies, go to a 1-ring circus, pet exotic animals, attend a concert featuring nationally known acts, watch a rodeo / tractor pull / auto race / bull riding championships, AND enjoy a day with your entire family? The Missouri State Fair!

I grew up just outside the State Fair town and let me just say I visited the Fair a LOT growing up! But I haven't been in probably 18 years (ouchy to my ego), until this year that is. And I have to be honest and say that I loved it! Keep in mind I'm a farm girl, that's been away from the farm a long time, but I still miss it. The wide open spaces, the safety to let your children play outside unsupervised, the smells of grass and hay (minus the allergies), and the quietness...oh the quietness.

Back to the fair...the MO State Fair began in 1901 in Sedalia, Missouri. Set on 150 acres, it attracts around 330,000 visitors from the Show-Me State and elsewhere each year. It's very rural and highlights agriculture and livestock; it's a bit hokey and a lot country, but it represents where I grew up and honors the extremely hard-working, generous, friendliest people on Earth...Midwesterners! Said with a bit of bias, but I believe it to be true.

Goodbye State Fair, goodbye Missouri. I'll be back soon...

photos via Missouri State Fair

Monday, August 9, 2010


The "World's Most Beautiful..." according to Budget Travel Magazine. These are just a few of my favorites, but you HAVE to go look at all the amazing photos I didn't post! Wow! There is such beauty all around us...if only I could afford to see all these places firsthand!

...hotel pools. You can take small sailboats out on the saltwater pool at San Alfonso del Mar, in Algarrobo, Chile. The pool measures two thirds of a mile in length—Guinness World Records calls it the largest in the world. (Courtesy San Alfonso del Mar)

...bridges. The 16th-century "Old Bridge," or Stari Most, in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, was rebuilt in 2004 from its own rubble. Do like the locals have been doing for centuries and take a 66-foot dive from its central arch into the Neretva River below. (Danilo Krstanovic/Reuters/Corbis)

...castles. Ludwig II of Bavaria, also known as Mad King Ludwig, began planning his famous Neuschwanstein Castle in the 1860s. A century later it would inspire another visionary structure: Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle is modeled extensively on it. (© Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung)

...lakes. Croatia's 16 blue-green Plitvice Lakes are connected by hundreds of waterfalls. The waters are amazingly clear. Walk on well-maintained wooden planks to get to the edge.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Oh those eyes, and those eyelashes, and those cheeks & that crooked little smile!
One of my favorite photos of Soph. So still and so sweet.

My chunky monkey with her squishy legs and dimpled knuckles.

What can I say? Pure sweetness...


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