August 25, 2012

Sharing Saturday

Time for another round of Sharing Saturday.  This time we're picking a food theme.  Here we go!  Tell us what you know.

1) What do you pack your kids for lunch?  Or if they aren't in school, what do you do for snacks?  We happen to be in a snack rut and my boy are big time snackers.  I run out of ideas sometimes.

2) What's your favorite quick dinner to make?

3) Is there anything you've tried (recipes) from Pinterest that's really as great as it claims to be?  Feel free to share the link.

Thanks for stopping by and pitching in.


  1. I'm excited to see the other comments on this one. :)

    We don't really do anything super creative for snacks: fruit, string cheese, yogurt, goldfish crackers, etc.

    My favorite quick dinner is pasta with olive oil, tomatoes, mozzarella (I usually cheat and use cut up string cheese) and basil. If we have left-over chicken I'll add that too.

    If you mean a super quick dinner (5 minutes) I'll throw a grocery store rotisserie chicken and a pack of frozen vegetables that steam in the microwave on the table.

    We also use the crock pot a lot. Last night we had a chicken tortilla soup that is made in the crock pot. (Cook a large chicken breast, 1 can of corn, drained, 1 can of black beans, drained, 1 can of tomatoes with peppers, 1 pack of taco seasoning, and 6-8 cans of water on high for 4 hours. Shred the chicken before serving and serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, and tortilla chips)

    I don't use a lot of recipes from Pinterest, but this one did turn out well:

  2. My youngest LOVES carrots and apples. Usually can't convince my eldest that carrots are yummy, but he digs the apples too. They lost their goldfish too. Sadly nothing really creative snack wise in this house.
    My best friend tried those apples the other day and said they were fantastic.

  3. 1) I pack my son's lunch almost every day during the school year. For snacks I include fruit (apples, berries, plums, peaches, etc.), cereal bars, granola bars, pudding, applesauce, cheesesticks, cookies, chocolate chips, potato chips, carrot sticks or brocolli and ranch dressing. 2) A favorite quick dinner is some grilled chicken (made on my stove top grill pan) with pasta and a simple sauce made with chicken broth, tomato sauce, black olives, garlic and Italian seasoning. 3) My favorite Pinterest recipe is penne with roasted asparagus and balsamic butter ( Very simple and it taste amazing.

  4. I buy lots of different kinds of crackers and then I put them all in little snack baggies, then we have a big basket that holds all the baggies. Then at snack time, my 3 girls can go choose their own snack. I also have a small basket of baggies filled with veggies, cheese and fruit in the fridge and one snack each day was from that basket. I'm always amazed at what a difference the freedom of choice makes in their attitude about the snack. It might be exactly what I would have chosen for them but if THEY choose it, it's better!

  5. I don't have kids, and I don't really do recipes from pinterest, but I'll link to one of my favorite dinner recipes.

    I double the black beans and serve it with either quesadillas or tortilla chips. We've been eating this about once a week for a few months now and everyone still loves it.

  6. 2 and 3 combined: one jar of spaghetti sauce, one jar of Alfredo, any type of pasta (I usually do whole wheat penne), and Italian sausage cut into meatball pieces. Oh my goodness it's heaven!!

  7. i am always making energy date balls. kids help roll them into balls... tons of recipes and variations out there that are nut free or chocolate or dairy free!
    i make granola bars. or candy popcorn. (melt 1/3 c honey and 1/3 c pb - drizzle over popcorn)
    i use the dehydrator and make veggie chips out of zuchinni, sweet potato, ect.
    nachos/veg and hummus is a quick and easy one.
    smoothies made into popsicles.
    we are all about snacks for school starting!!!

  8. Last year when my olsest was in K we sat down and brainstormed a list of foods for lunches and broke them into catagories (ours weere protein, dairy, fruit, veggie and other). We made a chart and she picked one from each catagory every day. I used a dollar store pocket chart to keep the ideas in so we could add or take away ideas as needed.

  9. Last year when my olsest was in K we sat down and brainstormed a list of foods for lunches and broke them into catagories (ours weere protein, dairy, fruit, veggie and other). We made a chart and she picked one from each catagory every day. I used a dollar store pocket chart to keep the ideas in so we could add or take away ideas as needed.

    1. Brilliant!
      Both educational and empowering for the child.

  10. 1. Some snack ideas: smoothies, air popped popcorn with parmesean, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Take wonton wrappers and stuff with anything you want: cheese and pepperoni, pumpkin pie filling, bacon and scrambled egg. Close up each wonton and bake on parchment flipping over half way. Bake until golden. These can even be popped in a freezer bag and just nuked when the kiddos are hungry. A fun snack idea that is very popular with the munchkins I nanny: Cut baby carrots, celery and red bell peppers into matchstick size. Use a tiny vessel (a thimble, a bottlecap) to hold a few dip choices like guacamole, salsa, ranch, peanut butter, etc. For some reason they like being "giants" and eat the veggies. lol.

    2. If I need a quick dinner, I just keep the ingredients for spaghetti in the pantry: sauce, ground beef in the freezer and noodles. If you have time one weekend, take a couple pounds of ground beef or turkey, separate each pound and cook for different dinners. I mix some with sloppy joe mix, taco seasoning, brown with onion, garlic and seasonings for spaghetti. I then freeze it all. It's easy to pull the bag out of the freezer the night before and then have dinner!

    3. I have a corn sausage chowder that I love off of pinterest. It was a recipe from Centsational Girl and it's really easy and yummy.

  11. 1. for snacks, my boys love to have muffins....I make a huge batch and freeze them individually, then just pull them out in the morning and by snack time, they are thawed out and fresh. We do banana with a few chocolate chips or a low fat morning glory that I use from allrecipes. One son always loves babybel cheese, so one of those with a few pretzels or crackers is always a hit. If your kids are allowed to take peanut butter, we love slices of granny smith apple with peanut butter made like a sandwich.
    2. for quick dinners, I'm trying to do more crock pot cooking. That way, I'm not scrambling at the end of the day or picking something junky to make quick!

    3. here is my favorite recipe on one of my pinterest boards. I had this earmarked for a LONG time and finally made it. Super picky son gobbled this up and he NEVER eats much. Very easy and versatile recipe. I added a bit of cornstarch mixed with water during the last 30 min of cooking to thicken the sauce a little bit. Dont be afraid, this chicken is YUMMY!!

  12. Question 1:

    My son just started Kindergarten and I was terrified about making lunches but as far as I was concerned school lunch is just not an option. I searched the internet for something I thought my son would actually eat. I found bento boxes. Some are super creative mine are not but I think either way they are fun and inviting. I found this blog: She has great ideas including a list of lunch ideas. My son has been super excited about his lunches everyday.

  13. Our super easy (&healthy) dinner is chili - we have almost every week. I do it in the crock pot with chicken breast (2 boneless/skinless breasts, 2 BIG cans beans, 1.5 cup frozen corn, 1 cup diced bell peppers, 1 can diced tomatoes & green chilies, 1 can chili ready diced tomatoes). This makes enough to serve 8-10 (and my 18 month olds eat as much of it as I do!) Since we ALWAYS have left overs, I've been looking for ways to re-eat it but make it feel different. Our favorite is Taco Pasta. Make a box of rottini, add 1 can of diced tomatoes to 2 cups of left over chili -heat, add 1/2 pkg of cream cheese and 1 cup of shredded cheese, mix with noodles, and serve. Simple, relatively healthy, and it disappears from my children's plate!

  14. From Pinterest: I made this blueberry-buttermilk breakfast cake and it is so wonderfully delicious. Let's just say I've made it quite a bit in the past several months:

    Also the beef with snow peas from Pioneer Woman....super good:

    Also made the peanut butter cup brownies at Christmas, everyone really liked them. I was "okay" with them:

    Sooooo much more that I've pinned that I wish I've tried.

    1. I think beef w/snow peas is the recipe I started a kitchen fire making one night! Yikes, it was scary...but she said to get the pan hot!

  15. Hi! I found your blog through Hair Romance!

    I don't have kids so I can't answer your first question although my dad always made me a sandwich, bag of chips, carrots, applesauce, water, and a cookie for lunch. He's awesome.

    One recipe I found from pinterest about a year ago and just got around to making for my boyfriends birthday is this:
    It's awesome and we both loved it! You definitely can't taste the coffee in it and it's probably the best chocolate cake I've made.

  16. Snacks - edamame, cheese cubes and raw diced garlic (yes, he eats raw garlic), dried fruit/nut mix, hummus or pesto w/ rye crisps (add spinach to the hummus and/or pesto for extra vitamins), rye crisps w/ goat cheese and blueberries, bananas and peanut butter, frozen blueberries.

  17. We like rice cakes, cheddar flavored or apple/cinnamon with peanut butter on it; my kids love any fruit, especially berries, grapes and the little Cutie tangerines, cucumbers, carrots, grape toms, pudding/jell-o cups, raisin bread, bagels w/cream cheese, granola bars, Wheat Thins w/cheese slices, Pirates Booty, and we recently discovered cheddar/caramel popcorn at Costco that is SO good.

    My go to quick dinners are:

    pasta with grated cheese (with or w/o butter depending on who's eating it
    Pancakes/scrambled eggs
    French Dip sandwiches (or BLTs, we eat ours with turkey on it as well)
    Leftovers - we just pick at whatever's in the fridge

    I never did get very interested in Pinterest, which is probably a good thing!

  18. 1. My kids have been trained to make their own lunches since they were in K. I figure this way they're more likely to eat it all :) The rule is they have to have protein, fruit and vegetable and "snack". Plus I buy only 100% juice boxes. I always have fresh options available and a Master List posted on the fridge to give them ideas. Oh and we freeze grapes and berries that serve a dual purpose as ice pack and "fresh" fruit. My kids LOVE to suck on the frozen fruit!

    2. I'm not great at quick dinners since I work swing shift and hubby usually feeds the kids, but we all like chef salad. We add leftover chicken or ham, hard boiled eggs, diced tomatoes and cucumbers to a salad mix and voila!

    3. There is a chicken alfredo from Pinterest that I really, really like: Also this quick crescent pizza is a fast favorite:

  19. My four year-old really likes it when I cut an apple into eighths, poke a couple of toothpicks in and add four grapes to make it look like a little car (peel side up). He normally moans a bit at apples but he eats them up if they look like cars.

  20. I love Bento Lunchboxes! My son has two fish Boxes ( these are the hit in his Kindergartengroup. A lot of great ideas i found here:
    Love your blog!

  21. My kids love carrot sticks or multigrain crackers and dip, especially hummus and avocado. They will devour anything in puff pastry too. Chicken, veg and cheese parcels are a hit. I also do ham and cheese pastry scrolls which are easy as. Line one edge of the pastry sheet with the filling, roll it up then chop it into rounds and bake in the oven. These freeze well for lunchbox snacks too.

    A favourite quick dinner is a chicken pie in (you guessed it) puff pastry! I make a white sauce and stir in chopped cooked chicken, frozen veg and cheese then pour the lot into a puff pastry lined pie dish. Top with another layer of puff and into a hot oven until the pastry is golden.

  22. Lunches -- bento boxes rock, and make your own "Lunchables" with healthier options. Sometimes a meal (or snack) is more about the presentation than the ingredients. Cheese cubes and pretzels taste better when you call them Nuts & Bolts. Oh, and use canned biscuit dough to wrap around just about anything. We've made those into apple pie dumplings and "pizza puffs" just by rethinking the inside ingredients.

    Dinner -- I would only be half the Mom I am if I didn't use my Crock Pot and/or Pressure Cooker regularly. I suppose if I really was hurting for time -- is there anything you can't do with a from a store bought rotisserie chicken?

  23. Thanks for all the good ideas.

    This is the best quick dinner I know- frozen chicken tenders (not defrosted), one onion cut into chunks, and plenty of lemon pepper. Put it on the stove with the lid on and 30 minutes later you have a wonderful saucy chicken to serve over rice, etc. I love that these are ingredients I have on hand and I don't have to think about it ahead of time.

  24. Hmm, my little one likes crackers with hummus and popcorn as snacks... she isn't a really big snacker though.
    As for quick meals, this one is my favorite:
    It only takes about 15 minutes to cook!
    I haven't tried many recipes from Pinterest yet. Food is one thing I don't pin much of... I prefer to invent my own recipes most of the time.

  25. I haven't taken the Pinterest plunge yet (I'm afraid of becoming obsessed), but there are lots of fabulous quick dinner ideas on I've made several of her recipes and they always get rave reviews from my family.

    Snacks here are pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, smoothies, popcorn, fruit (this gets eaten best if it's all prepared...washed, cut up and presented on a plate with something to dip it in if necessary). Fruit also gets eaten a lot faster when I keep it in a bowl on the kitchen table where everyone can see it and grab some when they're hungry. Fruit leather is good, Gogurt, breakfast cereal, banana bread, granola bars, crackers and cheese, toast (buttered, jam, or cinnamon sugar), chocolate or strawberry milk and homemade cinnamon rolls. My 12 year old son also likes eggs. He can fry one up himself or he likes them hard-boiled, which is easy to just have in the fridge on hand.

  26. I have a super fast chili recipe which is a family fav around here. Honestly, in the fall/winter I make it probably once a week which makes two meals. The aforementioned chili, then I can make a soup outta the leftovers.

    ground beef
    can of diced tomatoes
    can of red kidney beans
    chili seasoning
    any fresh cut up veggies you like (I usually put peppers and mushrooms in mine.)

    brown meat, add the rest of the ingredients, serve on rice.

    We always have left overs, so to make soup, you just add a little bit of water to the chili, add some more soupy veggies (carrots, celery, whatever), a bit of beef/chicken/turkey stock (whatever I have on hand really) and some noodles. Simmer until it's soup. Serve with "crusty bread" (Which is just, y'know...bread that is crusty...)


  27. A few of our favorites in a house full of boys are

    -cubes of low fat cheese and grapes on pretzel sticks
    -whole grain pita stuffed with ricotta cheese and granny smith apple slices
    -break grahm cracker into bite sz pcs, add to low fat choc pudding along with a few mini marshmellows
    -fill waffle cone with fresh fruit, top with low fat yogurt
    -spread mustard on turkey Slice, wrap around a sesame stick
    -DIP fun
    Carrots in ranch dressing
    Strawberries in yogurt
    Pretxels in mustard
    Pita chips in hummus
    Grahm crackers in applesauce
    Breadsticks in salsa
    Mini toaster waffles in cinnamon applesauce
    Granola bar in low fat yogurt
    Animal crackers in low fat pudding

    Sandwich fun on wheat
    Veggie cream cheese with cucumbers on wheat bread
    Apple butter and apple slices
    Jam and cream cheese
    Laughing cow with sliced ham and shredded carrots
    Hummus and chopped peppers
    Whipped cream cheese with blueberries

    Hot lunches
    Chili with corn chips
    Pasta rings with corn & peas
    Grilled cheese on wheat
    Scrambled eggs with bacon
    Rice & beans
    Pizza bread
    Chicken nuggets

    Hope one or more of our favorites might tempt your boys or even you!!!!
    Hummus and chopped peppers

  28. My favorite quick dinner is pizza: store-bought pizza dough with jarred spaghetti sauce and whatever toppings I have on hand (usually zucchini or mushrooms, but I've used canned artichoke hearts and whatever leftover sausagey meat I have lying around). Cover it in cheese, and everyone's happy.

    I also always have frozen Chinese dumplings on hand--check the ingredients for no MSG--my almost-three-year-old will always eat dumplings.

  29. I just started packing lunches for my 5 year old for Kindergarten (it started this past week) and am determined not to pack the same thing twice. I'm keeping a Flickr log to keep track of the lunches and my daughter's comments. Feel free to take a peek, you might get some ideas. I love the laptop lunch system, it's very versatile. You can peek at my photostream here: but there isn't much on it yet as there has only been 4 days of school so far :)


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