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Monday, July 20, 2015

Back-to-School LUNCHBOX IDEAS!

Gearing up here for the busy back to school season. Even though we homeschool, I like to have quick lunches on hand for grabbing and going off to activities. Pre-prepped lunches are GREAT for spontaneous picnics and save money by avoiding fast food stops! Here's a link to a cheap and reusable set of divided containers on amazon:
The smaller sections get a fruit and a veggie packed in. Here's a list of entrees I like to pack in the biggest compartment: *CUT UP CHICKEN & CHEESE QUESADILLAS, veggie is guacamole *GREEK CHICKEN WRAP, with chicken slices, spinach, feta cheese, black olives & cucumber dressing *ITALIAN WRAP, with salami, ham, pepperoni, lettuce, tomato, Italian dressing *LAYERED SALADS - BLT, chef, chopped, strawberry & chicken, pasta, etc. *MYO PITA PIZZAS - quartered pita, small zip bag of spaghetti/pizza sauce, small zip bag of mozzarella, small zip bag of pepperoni *WRAPPED UP PUPS - biscuit or roll dough wrapped around halved hot dogs and baked, add ketchup packets *GREEK YOGURT PARFAIT - layers of yogurt, fruit & granola, topped with whipped topping, fruit is cherries *TUNA BAGELS - minced onion and celery mixed with 1 can drained tuna, 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese, microwave it, then spread on toasted bagel halves - delish and NO mayo! *HAM & CHEESE CROISSANTS, fruit is apples or applesauce *MINI SUBS on HOT DOG ROLLS, veggie is pickles, sweet or dill *MEAT & CHEESE KABOBS, veggie is cherry tomatoes *SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN, with fried rice and wontons/chow mein noodles ******************************************************************************************************************************************* Just a few ideas to help you brainstorm - these are great for sending off with anyone who commutes! When I have pre-packed lunches in the fridge, and pre-prepped slow cooker dinners in the freezer, I can sit back in a comfy chair with a cup of tea and relax. And if I'm not home, or sick, the masses still get fed on schedule with no fuss. Happy Back to school season everyone! ******************************************************************************************************************************************* Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it. ~William Haley

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Recipe Wednesday: Red, White & Bleu! White Bama BBQ Sauce, Easiest Red BBQ Sauce & Four Ingredient Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette

When it's hot, no one wants to heat up the kitchen! And on a holiday, you want to spend time with your family, not on food prep. Save money too, since these recipes don't have complicated ingredient lists a mile long. Two of them have only FOUR ingredients. Just fire up the grill, let it settle down to coals, and throw on some meat and veggies. Drizzle the dressing over your plate of hot grilled veggies. Carve up the finished meat and serve it on hot grilled rolls with toppings and homemade BBQ sauces. Our new favorite is this regional specialty from northern Alabama, a white BBQ sauce. It's wonderful on chicken, served up on your favorite rolls with dill pickle slices. Simple and fabulous - Happy Birthday America! Have a wonderful Fourth everyone!
WHITE BAMA BBQ SAUCE - INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 c. mayo, 1/3 c. white vinegar, 1 tsp. pepper, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. sugar, 1 crushed garlic clove DIRECTIONS: Stir ingredients together and chill. Makes almost 2 cups. ***************************************************************************************************************************************** If you like it classic, this easy BBQ recipe is for you! Tweak it with some fresh minced herbs like sage for pork, or tarragon for chicken.
BEST BASIC BBQ SAUCE - INGREDIENTS: 1 c. ketchup, 1/4 c. packed brown sugar, 1 Tb. vinegar, fresh herbs DIRECTIONS: Stir together ingredients and chill in the fridge. For tweaking, add dashes of garlic, onion, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, honey or jelly or jams (We love apricot or orange marmalade!) ************************************************************************************************************************************** Toss some sliced yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and onions on the grill (or whatever you have on hand!). Brush with oil and salt & pepper if you'd like. Grill them until done, with a few char marks. Splash this easy dressing over the platter and serve!
FOUR INGREDIENT BLEU CHEESE VINAIGRETTE - INGREDIENTS: 1/2 c. vinegar (can use balsamic), 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp. dijon mustard, small container (5 oz.) bleu cheese crumbles DIRECTIONS: Whisk first 3 ingredients together until well blended, then lightly stir in the bleu cheese crumbles. You can also make this dressing with fresh minced herbs instead of the cheese. Basil is yummy over tomatoes, and mint or dill is wonderful on cucumbers! *************************************************************************************************************************************** "LIberty is like rich food and strong wine: the strong natures accustomed to them thrive and grow even stronger on them; but they deplete, inebriate and destroy the weak." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau