Monday, August 31, 2009

octopus dogs!

ok, ok... still 'getting rid' of old foods from the freezer - this is one of those.  The Octopus is made from Turkey dogs with a shady ingredient label.  It was the last package, and so I figured they would go out with a bang... or at least with eight legs!

Turkey Octopus Dog (wow, a three animal item!), on Organic Pasta with Parmesan.  Since the pre-k school does not allow peanut butter, the ants on a log are made with organic celery with goat cheese, a little honey and then organic raisins on top.  The last container has cut watermelon from the local farmers market.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

dog bones

My girl goes to pre-k Tuesday and Thursdays only... so MWF's i am only making one lunch...  it is for the boy.  He is 7 now and lived on the 'bad' foods for longer.  He's an old dog so to speak.  He is more stuck in his ways and more hesitant to try new things.... but he is only 7.  There is hope!  Lots of it, actually.  We have a rule in our house.  You HAVE to try it.  You HAVE to take at least one good bite.  I have reinvented, and reintroduced several foods to the table this summer and together, we are finding 'new' foods!

I made an organic ginger/ miso sticky rice with dinner tonight along with some talapia.  He LOVED the rice!  Sooooo, the leftovers were formed into a fun shape  - dog bones...  *cheesey alert* remember, he is like an old dog learning new tricks!  We have also discovered that the boy can suck out edamame like nobodies business.  So, with the help of some leftovers, a fresh peach, yogurt with blueberries and a little flax seed granola, edamame and sea salt, I give you......  Monday's Lunch! (notice the lack of talapia... it did not pass his taste test!)

laptop lunch , the first pic!

I purchased my daughter a new lunchbox this year - it is a bento style 'laptop lunchbox'. I found myself using sooo many plastic baggies or buying a lot of prepackaged lunch foods. We are really trying to eat a lot healthier and staying away from as much modified, processed, non organic foods as we can. This way, I can pack them healthier lunches, use less plastic and save money on the prepackaged (to splurge on the higher quality foods). Here is her lunchbox. It has a cute bag it all slides into. I am going to be ordering one for my son soon, but we figured we would guinea pig it on my daughter (who needed a new lunchbox) before we spent the money on two.
parmasean and bread crumb encrusted chicken with organic ketchup, frozen grapes (they thaw out almost all the way by lunch time, the kids like them still just slightly icey) tomatoes from our garden, and the 'french fries' are really veggie straws. the kids love them! they taste like potato chips!


Question: Why am I doing this blog?

I had a life altering thing happen to me this summer... I grew food in a garden.

It started as a fun family project. The kids enjoyed helping to prepare the area, pick out the plants and put them in the ground. The first few waterings were 'fun'. Their excitement then roller coastered a bit. Their interest was peaked when we discovered a few fatty-boom-batty catapillers munching on the tomato plants, when the hugeomungeous frog made the garden his home, as well as the dreaded ground wasps, and of course, when the first vegetables were ready to be picked.
The rest of the time, the garden was the place mom was when they couldn't find her in the house.

I became a little obsessed. I checked it 2-3 times a day. Sometimes, admittidly, there was no reason to check it that often. BUT, sometimes it seemed as though huge changes occured since the last peek. I didn't want to miss a thing.... heaven forbid a piece of food break off the stem because I negleged to pick it in time.

I also didn't want to put ANY chemicals on or near my garden. ANY. We eat that stuff! I don't want it contaminated. My once well fertilized lawn became neglected. I looked for home made, organic and herbal remedies to everything on, around or near the garden.

Wait a minute. I am coupon queen. I have friends who call me 'Coach' because I taught them how to save tons of money using coupons and sales to the max to stock our homes full of food. Boxes and boxes of cereals in my pantry, my freezer full of the cheapest chicken possible purchased at rock bottom prices. You need a pop tart? I got 'em. Diet soda? cases and cases from a killer deal. I had it all, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated everything, modified whatever - but it was cheap!

It clicked. Then I spent quite a few hours researching.

I cleared out, used up and transformed the pantry, freezer and fridge. It wasn't ok for ME to put nastyness on or in my food but it was ok for others to put it on or in my food? WHAT?!

I have been cooking and making things from scratch more than I have EVER done in my life. I used to pride myself on being a rip and pop chef. Rip it open and pop it in the microwave or in a pan on the stove. Now I am chopping, dicing, fileting, pureeing, grinding, etc. This is new. This is a journey that has already been full of mistakes and learning, but this is also fun. I am finding it to be challenging but also rewarding to use new ingredients, new techniques and ways to keep it healthy, as natural as possible, AND satisfy my cheapness factor.

Yes, I had a life altering summer. But now it is september. The kids are back at school.... i have a whole new challenge *dun dun duhhhhhh* school lunches. Crap. I can't rely on my trusty friends from my past. Dora yogurt, barbie fruit snacks, the gushers that my son thinks are "totally wicked". They may look cute and cuddly, but I can't be fooled anymore - even mickey mouse has something modified and high fructosey up his sleeve.

so, back to the beginning. What was the question again? oh yeah... Why am I doing this blog?
a. because I have a family picture-y type blog and I think my mother in law would rather see y kids' faces and not lunches. 2. because my friend michelle has one and I think it is cool. And lastly, because I need to keep myself in check. It is way too easy to be tired at night or rushed in the morning and I could sooo easily fall back into the ploys of the cute and cuddly fruit snack characters.. or worse, buy a lunchable or two. So, pardon all my gramatical errors and my lower case i's. My overuseage of comas and made up words. Join me on this journey to celebrate the everyday occurance called LUNCH.


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