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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Easy Does It

The past week has been a whirlwind of events. I don't know about you, but I feel like this week I should have been an Octopus. I needed at least 8 arms to juggle all our events/school/homework/church/meals and stuff. I have found a few quick things that have made getting back to school and our meal times easier.

Prepare the night before. Get the cereal out and set it on the counter with bowls/silverware. Hot oatmeal, cold cereal, fruit and yogurt are all healthy and quick meal options.

I also found this Muffin Egg recipe on Facebook--which we love, and it's a great way to "hide" veggies.

Easy Egg Muffins

Spray a muffin/cupcake pan w/ non-stick spray. 
Fill with ANYthing you want: ham & broccoli, chicken & carrots, spinach w/ feta & tomatoes, steak & bell peppers....whatever you have in the fridge. (Note: add all veggies RAW - they will cook to perfection during the baking process)
Mix approx 1 egg per/muffin in a blender w/ a splash of milk. Pour directly into each cup just below the rim.
Top with shredded or sliced cheeses of your choice.
Bake at 425 degrees for approx 20 min.
Let cool before removing from pan
These can be stored in your fridge for up to 3-4 days! Simply warm in the microwave for a quick breakfast on-the-go!

I have tried many things to get my kids to eat lunch. I have tried organizing it so it's easy. 
We prepackage pretzels, crackers, trail mix into individual servings so the kids can grab it and go. 
Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (cover each slice of bread with peanut butter and put jell in the middle) ahead of time and freeze them--they thaw by lunch. 
Go-gurt type yogurts freeze easily too. 
Cut up veggies with dip (save the extra sauce from fast food restaurants for dipping) or fruit (remember soak in lemon juice or Fruit Fresh to keep them from browning).
Use individual packages of pretzels, animal crackers or chips provide easy options. 
Try and keep it all in one place so it's accessible to everyone. Teaching the little guys independence will pay off in the long run--I promise. 

Don't forget to check out this post, and this post and of course, this post for some great ideas.


I'd like to say I have this figured out, but I don't. We have a weekly plan--this year the kids each get a night. And we're getting into it, but there's a learning curve. I'd also like to say I've mastered a million Crock Pot recipes that will come out perfectly every time. Truth is I sold my Crock Pot in the Sam's Club parking lot just last week to a very nice Little League mom who needed one for the Snack Shack. I have tried, and tried and tried and now given up on that cooking method. 

However, I do have lots of easy meals--many on this blog--that ALL my children, yes even the picky ones, eat. Last night was a new winner...Italian Garden Soup.

Italian Garden Soup

5-6 c. water
1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato soup
1 can Great Northern beans, drained
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
2 chicken bullion cubes
1 tsp. Parsley
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp. Onion flake
2 cloves of garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp. powder) 
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium zucchini, chopped
3 cups spinach, chopped

1 1/2 c. macaroni or other small pasta (opt.)
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, divided
Put all the ingredients in Dutch Oven or soup pot and cook 20-30 minutes until pasta is soft. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan on top and serve.

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