Monday, August 27, 2012

Bento Lunches

Isn’t that a fun word? Bento. Bento. Bentobentobentobento. *ahem*

Okay. So I’m kinda liking the bento boxes for the kids—especially for the littlest guy. He likes having so many choices, and eats much better than if he has only one choice. His box is simply a glass container with smaller containers nestled inside. I want to get some of those silicon baking cups, too. Then I'd be able to squeeze more stuff in there. The older kids have Easy Lunchboxes, that I bought on Amazon.

So the little guy's bento breakfasts won't win any cuteness awards, but he liked them and ate them, which is the whole point, yes?  My older boys nixed the idea of cute veg cutouts and the like, darn it.  Well, I still have the little guy, and he appreciates cuteness still. :)

Speaking of which, it's time to get his breakfast ready!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Best Banana Bread Ever

See that deliciousness? Moist, flavorful, yummy. The only thing that could have made it even more tasty would have been adding walnuts. I forgot. Bummer.  At any rate, there's only about two slices left, and I baked it yesterday. Everyone knows banana bread is better the next day.

This is the banana bread my mom always made, and although I've tried other recipes, this is the one I always come back to, because it's the best banana bread ever.

Banana Bread

2/3 C. shortening (I always use Spectrum organic non-hydrogenated)
1 2/3 C. sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 C flour (I used white whole wheat)
2/3 C buttermilk (or sour milk by adding 1 Tbl vinegar)
1 1/4 C. mashed banana
2 eggs
*note: more milk might need to be added if you use whole wheat flour

Stir shortening to soften. Sift in dry ingredients. Add bananas and half milk and mix. Beat 2 minutes. Add rest of ingredients and beat. Bake@350 for 1 hour. Makes one large loaf, depending on the size of your bread pans. Or fill muffin papers and bake until top springs back when touched.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Back in the Kitchen Again

Back to school means more time in the kitchen. My kids take their lunches every day and I try very hard to give them healthy lunches. That’s not to say they don’t have chips or a cookie, because they do sometimes. Usually they take a tortilla wrap (yummy uncooked ones from Costco) filled with beans or lunchmeat and cheese, or grilled chicken, etc. Other times it’s a sandwich. This year they have bento boxes (Easy Lunchboxes) so it’s fun coming up with stuff to fill the sections. The only drawback to this particular bento is that the lid isn’t leakproof, so that does limit the menu a bit. I actually have more freedom/fun making the little guy’s bento for breakfast and lunch. He’s not that great of an eater, being 3 ½, but seems to like having a choice, and he gets excited about the bento like his older brothers and sisters.

Tomorrow is food shopping day. I’ve always struggled with making menu plans for whatever reason, so this time I am going to make menus after the trip instead of before. That way I already know what I have and can plan accordingly. I need to do some prep work this week for breakfasts and lunches, just to make my life easier. J

I have a bunch of coupons and a list of all the deals at the stores for tomorrow, but I’m not sure how many we will get to all in one trip. Even though they are only 6-8 miles away, with the traffic, it seems longer.

So we shall see how this menu planning after grocery shopping works. I will post pics of my haul and later the menu and let you know how it went.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reflections on the first day of school

By 8:40 this morning all four of the school age kids were gone, leaving me with my 3 yr old, henceforth referred to as 'shadow'.  It was a good morning, no hissy fits or fighting, all the lunches were packed the day before, so this morning went as smoothly as it could.

The main thing I notice once all the kids were gone was how absolutely quiet it was. No chaos, no interruptions, screams, yelling, etc etc. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. Not that Shadow was silent all day, but as noisy as he is when his siblings are around, he's a pretty quiet guy by himself. Plus, all that annoying obnoxiousness only emerges when he has to compete for attention. To his pleasure, he had Mommy all to himself today.

And it was a good day. I missed the kids, but it was nice all the same. Summer was wonderful. I think maybe the school year will be a good one as well.

On the black board I wrote a question: How was your first day of school?
 Here are their answers:

K--Easy (12th)
E--loooong (9th)
N--Long and really stressful (not sure what's stressful about a 2nd grader's day, but oh well)
J--Easy (5th grade)

Both girls collapsed and took a nap and woke up refreshed.  They both got up at 5am to catch the bus @ 6:40. Not sure if they will continue to get up that early. Time will tell.

Three days of schoo this week, then the weekend. I'm thinking that if I want to go to the library Saturday morning it will just be me and the boys. :)