Archive for the ‘Kid Friendly’ Category

We Are the Champions


kids:pumpkin bread + fruit

me: green smoothie


boy: pb&j, blueberries, strawberries, cucumbers, mango and celery
girl: cheese+ tortillas, mangoes, berries, carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, celery

In case you need proof that my kids eat their lunch, I present the School Day report:

My little guy is the ‘lunch champion’ for 9 days and counting.  We’re raising champions over here.  No wonder I’m so worn out at the end of the day.  Champions are demanding little things.

me: white bean+cashew spread from Eat Drink and Be Vegan, veggies

I too ate all my lunch, but there was no report card for me.  I hereby name myself Lunch Champion.  You can be one too.

Tired Mom’s Black Bean Taco Dinner

My 20 minute start to finish dinner:

  • taco shells, baked at 350 for 7 minutes
  • black beans (from a can), heated for 1 minute – sometimes I season them, sometimes that is too much effort
  • shredded lettuce+chopped cilantro+avocado+diced tomato+shredded cheese
  • jarred salsa
  • chopped fruit
  • that’s all

What is your dinner on tired nights?

linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons



What I Ate Wednesday

This weekly installment of our daily eats isn’t quite as exciting as the Valentine’s Day or Snow Day versions.  Today was a pretty normal Wednesday, no holidays or frozen precipitation to celebrate.

I started my day at 4 am for no particular reason, just unable to sleep.  I snuck downstairs and watched last week’s Glee.  If I can’t be sleeping, watching Glee isn’t a bad 2nd alternative.  🙂

Once the munchkins awoke we started our morning.  I had a slice of Rustic Banana Oat Cake from Oh She Glows (I left out the chocolate chips and didn’t do the glaze).

The boy had Banana Cake, apples, frozen blueberries and frozen peaches.  The girl didn’t like the cake, so she had toast with jelly, apples, frozen blueberries and frozen peaches.

Wednesday is a preschool day, so I packed their lunches.  This is a recycled photo, but my kids eat pretty much the same lunch each preschool day.  The girl likes cheese + tortillas, while the boy likes pb&j.

We got in the car and I had a driving snack of hot lemon water and some cut up veggies (in my super fancy kid’s plastic cup).

I dropped off the kids and skipped happily to the car and headed to Starbucks for my third round of breakfast.  China Green Tips tea and an orange, enjoyed while catching up on Facebook and then doing some Bible Study.  Facebook and the Good Book.  That’s how I roll.

After a fantastic and much needed yoga class, I dropped by the store for bananas and came out $30 later with more than bananas.  Including a little treat for myself, Kombucha.

I started to make my salad and when it came time for the lime juice, I had to head to the study to pick a lime of the ‘fruit cart’ that my daughter assembled last night.  See the black scarf?  She uses it to pull the fruit cart around the house, dropping oranges in her trail.  If you come over in a few weeks and find a moldy orange behind a bookshelf, you’ll know why.

See that blue paper contraption?

Want a closer look?  It is an ocean for Ariel (aka The Little Mermaid).

Gratuitous Construction Paper Cleavage Shot…..

Back to the salad.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  Or the blue construction paper sea.  🙂

I had one of my favorite salad combinations and caught up on laundry folding while catching up on a November episode of The Good Wife (I’m really behind).  My kind of multitasking – laundry and tv.

field greens + avocado + cilantro + lime juice+ macadamia oil+ hemp seeds

I was still a little hungry, so I had my second lunch of the day while gazing at the folded laundry and enjoying the quiet.

1/2 a frozen pizza – sometimes I eat like a rabbit, other times like a teenage boy

As with most Wednesdays, my 5 hours of kid-free time goes by in what feels like 20 minutes.  I picked up my munchkins and came home to start the afternoon routine.

The kids had snacks, complete with oranges picked off the fruit cart.

banana cake + cara cara oranges + tortilla + avocado triscuits

For dinner we had some crockpot lentil soup, Coscto sourdough bread and fruit.  Because it was a long afternoon with some cranky kids, I enjoyed my lentils with a nice Malbec.  No offense to the soup, but I enjoyed the wine the most.

How was your Wednesday?

Linking up with Peas and Crayons What I Ate Wednesday.

Love Food (Valentine’s Day Eats)

As I mentioned on Monday, Valentine’s Day has become a much more enjoyable holiday now that I make it about loving on my family and less about the romance.  Nothing against romance, but I prefer romantic gestures to be on less commercialized days.

This is our 4th year of doing a pink and red dinner, but I decided to make this year’s whole day of meals festive.  If you keep reading, you’ll see how we ended the day with a new and unexpected red addition….

Lest I get further ahead of myself, we’ll start the day’s recap…

The husband was supposed to leave really early for a conference call, but got a nice Valentine’s Day surprise of a dead car battery.  No amount of muttering and attempted battery jumping worked, so he shut himself in our bedroom and took the 2 hour call at home.  All this to say, he didn’t get to participate in the special breakfast.

I prepared a Valentine’s Day themed morning meal:

Blueberry muffins from a box (the second appearance in 2 weeks and the last until a birthday) + strawberry yogurt with red sprinkles + whipped cream with sprinkles + strawberries + pink lemonade and sparkling water

My little valentines viewing the breakfast table:

Twirly Straws make everything better.

I had a less festive but no less delicious breakfast of vegan cookie dough oatmeal (recipe coming soon).

I packed my daughter’s lunch for preschool.

cheese tortillas + fruits and vegetables

The preschool class was all abuzz with Valentine’s Day excitement.  It was really sweet.  Not only was it Valentine’s Day, but it was also pajama day, which is adorably exciting to the kids.  Pajamas?  To School?  So funny for 4 and 5 year olds.

My little guy and I came back home, picked up the husband and drove him to work.  After dropping him off, we drove to the gym and I got to enjoy a run with some new music – thanks for the suggestions!  We came back home and had some snacks.

He had a cookie.

I had a redish-green smoothie.

Purple Kale + Strawberries + Raspberries + 1/2 frozen banana + water

We played for a bit and enjoyed some Love Day themed Dora the Explorer.  That show is starting to get old after 2.5 years of watching it, but it is his current favorite and he only gets to watch when his sister isn’t around, so sat beside him, tuned out the strange yelling-instead-of-talking of Dora and played Scrabble on my iPod while he enjoyed the show.

We had some lunch.

PB&J + vegetables

Non-festive Butternut  Squash and Coconut soup (recipe to come) and Kombucha

Upon arrival home from preschool, there was an immediate dumping out of the school valentine’s day bag.  All cards and sweets were thoroughly inspected.  They each got to eat one.  The girl chose a hershey kiss, the boy chose a sucker.  I, however, chose kale chips.

When dinner time finally arrived, we welcomed over some family friends and had our 4th Annual Pink and Red Dinner.  For the fourth year in a row we had Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce (which is almost pink).  New to the table this year was some Valentine’s Day Cheese Ravioli that we found at Costco.  It was pretty good.  I also set out some jarred tomato sauce.

We had red produce: cherry tomatoes, strawberries and red peppers.

And our traditional heart shaped focaccia bread.

As for the new addition to this year’s dinner….

During a rambunctious game of chase (is there any other kind?) in the house (bad idea 1) with overly excited kids (bad idea 2), there was a collision involving my daughter’s tooth and my son’s forehead.  So, the new red addition to our dinner was blood, generously provided by both kids.

After some TLC, a failed attempt to go to Urgent Care (which was jam packed), a quick trip to CVS for some first aid supplies and some ice packs, we patched him up.  He seems no worse for the wear, but may sport a little scar to always remind him and us of Valentine’s Day 2011.

Hope your Valentine’s was equally as exciting, but without the head injury.  🙂

linking up with Peas and Crayons….



Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is in full swing over here today.  I loved Valentine’s Day from childhood through about age 14.  Around 9th grade I realized that I wasn’t one of the girls walking around with balloons and flowers.  It was the worst in college.  I remember so clearly walking through the lobby of our dorm and seeing it transformed into a flower shop with all the bouquets waiting for their recipients to come down and claim them.  I was not one of those recipients.  😦  When my now husband and I started dating, after college, I still wasn’t a big fan of Valentines Day.  To be honest, I did revel in my first ever time to get a bouquet on the fourteenth of February, as a grad student living 1000 miles from my Valentine.  I almost hugged the delivery guy standing on the porch of our sketchy rental house in Raleigh, NC.

As dating turned to engagement and engagement to marriage, I’ve given my husband complete permission to not bring me overpriced flowers or gifts on Feb 14th.  Any other day of the year I will happily accept them. Hint, hint husband.

Now that I get to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family, I am totally on board with the holiday.  I want to make it a special day for all four of us.  One where my kids feel loved and celebrated.  A day they will look forward to each year, always knowing they will be their dad’s and my Valentine.

We have had a red and pink dinner for 3 years in a row now and will celebrate the 4th one tonight.  I’ll post about it this week.  Here are some pictures from the last few Valentine’s Day.




With my brother and sister in law.  I was 7 months pregnant and rocking an awesome maternity shirt.  Note to self – burn that one…..


My little guy slept through most of the big dinner.  We tried to wake him up for decorating cupcakes.  You can look at his face and see how much he appreciated that.  That’s my boy – sleep trumps all, even cupcakes.


What are your thoughts on the holiday?

Parallel to the Weather

I feel a bug coming on. I wouldn’t say I’m under the weather, but I’m definitely not over it. I suppose I’m equal or maybe parallel to it, but I’m trying my hardest to fight gravity and rise above.

Drinking Lemon + Warm Water.

Eating Miso Soup (a la Alicia Silverstone’s Magic Healing Soup from The Kind Diet).  Kinda looks like pond water, you know, if pond water had mushrooms and collard greens floating around in it.


Feeding my kids cookies for breakfast when I’m too tired to think of something else.  🙂

And lots of vitamin C filled oranges with our dinners.


Eating Greens + Hemp Seeds + Avocados with Cilantro Lime Dressing for the vitamins, minerals and good fats.

Keeping my kids and self entertained.  Laughter is the best medicine, right?

Wishing you a healthy and happy weekend!

What do you do to fight off sickness?

Snow Day Eats

I live in San Antonio, Texas.  Home of the Alamo.  And, no Pee Wee, there is no basement in the Alamo.

San Antonio is known for it’s place in Texas history, the Tex Mex food and several tourist attractions like the Riverwalk and Sea World.  It’s known for being hot.  It’s not, however, known for winter.  Certainly not for snow.  I had even made statements to my daughter (who spent the first 2.5 years of her life in Minnesota which is known for winter and snow) that we’ll never see snow in San Antonio.

Last Friday I was proven wrong.  Just barely, but wrong.

Sled is from our MN days and, lo and behold, it got used again.  Who knew?  Our snow shoes, however, stayed in the attic, where I think they will live the duration of their San Antonio lives.


Onto the food – linking up to Peas and Crayons What I Ate Wednesday


What We Ate Wednesday- the San Antonio Snow Day Version


I really like to bake and consider myself a decent baker.  My kids, always keeping me humble, like nothing more than blueberry muffins from a boxed mix.  It is their very favorite baked good.  I baked a box of muffins to celebrate the snow day.  They ate 4 a piece.  I had one (they are fantastic straight out of the oven) and a bowl of steel cut oats.


I had a bowl of Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup.

We had two neighbor friends over for the day.  I played short order cook for all four kids.

Clockwise from left: bean and cheese quesadilla (for my son), pb&j (for neighbor friend 1), nachos (for neighbor friend 2) and cheese quesadilla (for my daughter)

Lunch was served under the table in the ‘cave’.


Banana Oatmeal Cookies (from scratch, take that Betty Crocker and your delicious muffins).  The four kids finished the pan in record time.  Under the table, of course.


Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie and fruit.  Eaten sitting at the table. I’m a kill joy like that.

The snow dusting was gone the next morning, much to my kid’s dismay. Leftover boxed blueberry muffins eased the pain a bit.

Hail Merry Grawnola – Giveaway and Review

I first heard about Hail Merry Snacks on Amber Shea’s Almost Vegan blog.  I filed it away in my mind as something to look for during my monthly pilgrimages to Whole Foods.  Last month I finally found them on the shelf, conveniently close to the kombucha.  I picked up a package of the Blonde Macaroons and tore it open as soon as I was back in my car.  Heavenly.

I contacted the company to tell them how much I loved their product and to inquire about the possibility of their product being sold in HEB, the local grocery chain in San Antonio.  Hail Merry generously offered to let me host a giveaway of both Grawnola and Macaroons.  Come back Friday for the Macaroon giveaway.

As for the Grawnola, I got to sample both the Lemon Blue Agave and Orange Cranberry.

The Lemon Blue Agave has the following ingredients: almonds, organic buckwheat groats, sunflower seeds, organic raw blue agave, organic dried apples, fresh lemon juice, organic blueberries, fresh ginger, walnuts, organic flax seeds, lemon juice powder, seat salt and organic rice bran solubles. Not a bad label, huh?

I would put lemon just behind chocolate as my favorite flavor of sweets, so I loved this one.  It does pack a lemony tang, though, so if you aren’t a lemon fan, you might find it a bit too lemon-y.  I loved the hint of ginger and the very light sweetness. The blueberries add a nice visual, but I didn’t pick up any blueberry flavor.  The product isn’t cloyingly sweet like so many of the traditional granolas on the market.

You know who else liked this?  My two year old.  See his little fingers caught in the act?

I’ve made my own Orange Cranberry granola with the Raw Food, Real World recipe, so I was eager to see how the Hail Merry product compared.

I prefer the texture of the Hail Merry Grawnola to my version.  The buckwheat groats add a nice dry crunch that contrasts well with the chewy cranberries and whole nuts.  It is wonderfully balanced texture with just the right amount of crunch.  I loved the cinnamon and cranberry flavors together.  I didn’t get much of an orange impact, which I actually think is a good thing.  At times the orange zest used in raw granola can lead to a candied orange taste that overpowers the other flavors.  Hail Merry uses orange juice, not zest, so it adds more of a fruity sweetness as opposed to a strong orange hit.  The product almost has a brown, toasted note to it, even though it is heated at low enough temperatures to qualify as raw.

As with the Lemon Blue Agave, you can see the high quality ingredients.  Full pieces of nuts and fruit galore.

The toddler grawnola snatcher strikes again.

I would also call these products kid-friendly, based on my little guy’s pilfering during my photo shoots.

Want to try some? Hail Merry is generously giving away 4 bags of Grawnola to one of you!

Please leave a comment below with your favorite way to eat granola.  I’ll choose a winner on Friday, Jan 27.

Come back on Friday to see if you’ve won, as well as to enter for a chance to win Hail Merry macaroons.