Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chicken salad, part II

I made enough chicken salad this week to last a few days, so I "reformatted" it to make it a little different for another day of lunch. Instead of a pita, I served this straight up with some whole wheat crackers on the side (not pictured). I also packed cucumber slices drizzled with vinegar and a 100 calorie cheese cube pack. Not to mention a Clif Kid Twisted Fruit for a fun snack and a V8 low sodium can to drink. It is easy to make a main dish one time and switch it up the next day to make it brand new again!

All of this was served in a fantastic container from EasyLunchboxes. Don't forget to sign up for the giveaway to get one of your own!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Splitting the mango

Grayson's favorite fruit is a mango, but it is by far my least favorite fruit to prepare. I've always had trouble cutting them....that is until we got a mango splitter (I like the OXO version because the handles are really sturdy). This thing does what it says its does while allowing you to get the maximum fruit possible from the mango.

Place the splitter on top of the mango
Press down firmly

And the seed/pit comes right out!

When this is done, you can scoop the fruit right out of the skin (much like an avocado) and serve however your prefer. YUM!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another day, another lunch

I'm having a lot of fun trying out different combinations with the EasyLunchboxes system I received early last week, and so is my son. Sometimes, getting a new "toy" to play with inspires new ideas or the rebirth of old ones.

Yesterday's lunch was chicken salad and spinach on mini whole wheat pita bread and baby carrots with ranch dip (a HUGE treat around here, leftover from a previous take out order). I also included a string cheese and a pineapple fruit cup (packed in juice). Which reminds me, I need to make a run to the farmer's market!

I made the chicken salad with 1/2 mayo and 1/2 plain yogurt, diced cucumber, dill pickle relish, and some seasoning. Grayson really enjoyed it, and it didn't take long to make at all.

Don't forget to sign up for the EasyLunchboxes giveaway!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Grilling time!

I had high hopes of posting lots of blogs about all of the yummy food we've grilled this summer. Far too many 100+ degrees days has severely gotten in the way of those dreams, and cooking in the air conditioning has taken priority. Today, our high was a brisk 94 degrees, so we fired up the grill.

On the menu for tonight:
-Sirloin filets (completely lean - very similar to filet mignon, but a fraction of the cost especially when on sale)
-Baked beans (Vegetarian Bush's Baked Beans with a little "this & that" added)
-Boiled red potatoes with light butter
-Leftover green beans from last night

This meal took no time at all, but was VERY delicious, for the grown ups and the kids!

Adult plate
Kid plate

I am digging this ad!

The message is great, plus I heart Alton Brown, so this ad gets a thumbs up from me! Eating grapes and drinking grape juice has been proven to have the same heart-healthy effects as drinking wine (which kids obviously can't do!).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lunch on the easy side

Packing lunches for your kids doesn't have to be time consuming and hard. I love reading blogs featuring Bento-style lunches, and I'm envious of the parents who put those together for their kids. But most of the time, I just don't have the time to be that creative.

Being pressed for time doesn't mean you have to be pressed for healthy food. This lunch (turkey and cheese on whole wheat, baby carrots, and strawberries) took me no more than 5 minutes to make, and my son loved it.

The Bento-style lunch boxes, such as the EasyLunchbox system, are still a fantastic option for the mom who isn't putting together a fancy lunch. They are great for holding a lot of food with only one package to keep up with.  I've noticed a couple of things about these that I really like - they don't get spotty in my dishwasher like many plastic containers and I don't have to struggle to get the lids on or off (they fit like you want them too).

Don't forget to sign up for the EasyLunchbox giveaway!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Good things growing

No time for a real post today, but thought I'd let you see some of the good stuff my dad has growing!



Part of the garden

Grapes (Muscadines)


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer lunches

Grayson goes to a day camp during the summer where the only option for lunch is fast food, so I still pack his lunch every day. Today's lunch menu: turkey and cheese wrap on a whole wheat tortilla, 100 calorie cheese cubes, tomato slices (from my dad's garden), and a dill pickle.

Because he is at camp all day, I like to pack him a couple of extra snacks to have throughout the day. Luckily, this insulated container with the Easy Lunchbox system has plenty of extra room for some preztel crisps, a Simply Fruit fruit roll up, and a 100% juice Capri Sun. But the bag is not so big that a child can't manage it. 

I'll try to post a few more lunches we've done lately, but in the meantime, don't forget to enter the latest giveaway!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No such thing as a FREE lunch?

Maybe not, but there is such thing as a FREE lunchbox!

It is almost time to head back to school, and a new eco-friendly lunchbox would be the perfect way to start the year. The fantastic folks at EasyLunchboxes are offering a free lunchbox system (4 lunch containers and one insulated bag) to one lucky winner (you get to pick the color).

I've tested out this container/bag system, and it is fantastic to say the least. It is well made, the containers fit perfectly within the insulated bag, and there is plenty of room for more items to fit in the bag.  I will post some fun lunches I have packed in it in the next few days as well as more thoughts on the product, so stay tuned!

To win, please visit and then come back here and leave a comment on this post letting me know something cool you have learned about the product. Only one entry per person, and the winner must live in the US or Canada for shipping purposes. Make sure I have a way to get in touch with you if you win! Deadline for entry will be Sunday, August 1 at 11:59 pm. Good luck!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


One day I'm going to post a recipe and pics from an elaborate meal I've prepared for my family, I promise. I honestly do know how to make "nice" food, and I wish I had more time to do more "real" cooking, but for now I will continue to post what I actually do most - the quick stuff.

My kids love spaghetti sauce with angel hair pasta. I don't argue with noodles that cook in 3 minutes. I will admit, I cheat with my sauce. I'm not ashamed because we think it tastes really good. My secret? Prego Marinara. It doesn't have anything funky in it, no added sugar, and is reasonably priced.

I brown one pound of lean ground beef with diced onion, drain and rinse it, then mix it one jar of sauce and add a little extra Italian seasoning and let that simmer while I make the noodles. Add a side steamed vegetables, and you can have a nice dinner on the table in 15 minute flat.

So yes, I cheat, and I'm proud of it. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Shame on you, Parents magazine

I know magazines make most of their money off of advertising, but I wish Parents magazine would be more responsible in choosing which ads to accept. Little Hugs have been around since I was a little kid, and they have never been a good beverage choice.

Ingredients: Ingredients: Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Polyphosphates, Artificial Flavors, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate (To Protect Flavor), Natural Flavor, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Red 40 (Punch And Grape), Yellow 6 And Yellow 5 (Orange), Blue 1 (Grape And Blue Raspberry).

I don't know about you, but I sure don't "feel good" about that!

P.S. I am somewhat guilty of bad advertising myself. How do I get the "Sweet Surprise" ads from popping up on my blog?? I certainly don't endorse HFCS.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Amy's giveaway winner!

And the winner is...STACIE G! Congrats to Stacie on be the winner of 3 coupons for free Amy's products and a t-shirt or tote bag! The winner was chosen using Stay tuned...the next giveaway will be posted later this week!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Big sale on YummyEarth Lollipops!

We love YummyEarth lollipops, and now you can get them for half off! Yes, they have sugar in them...but no artificial anything, and they are organic! Plus, they actually taste like fruit. Enjoy!

Giveaway reminder - last day!!

Would you like to win 3 coupons for free Amy's products and a t-shirt or tote bag?

Don't forget to enter - contest ends tonight at 11:59 pm!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cooking class

My kids had a ball this week taking a cooking class at our local community arts center. They learned to make kid-friendly snacks like ants on a log (peanut butter and celery with raisins), lady bugs (apple halves with peanut butter, raisins, and pretzel antennae), fruit kabobs, etc.They also learned a lot about nutrition!

A lot of communities offer this type of class, so you may want to call around and check for local classes. If not, then host your own cooking class at home! Spend an hour a day for a week teaching your kids how to use the appliances (stove, toaster, blender, etc.), how to properly wash and cut fruits and veggies, make simple snacks, etc. It is a lesson that'll last a life time!

P.S. My daughter LOVED the class...she's mad in this picture because we're not going to the pool today. Hard life indeed. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shucking corn

Last night we had another fresh from the garden favorite - corn on the cob! My kids both really like it, and my dad always grows plenty of it. Tonight, I got the kids to shuck the corn for me to prepare for dinner. I love to involve them in any way I can, and this is an easy task.

A worm! Harper is obsessed with bugs, so this was a cool find for her. No worries, we cut it off and used the rest of the ear of corn.

Cooking corn on the cob is about as easy as it gets. I put it on a plate, cover it with plastic wrap, and microwave it for 5 minutes. You could also boil or grill it, but this is my go-to method on week nights. Add a small amount of butter when it is done, and you've got a yummy side dish that the kids were able to help with.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hold up...I like a Hardee's commercial?!?

Even though it is a fast food commercial for fried chicken, the message couldn't be more relevant.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Shelling peas

I grew up preparing whatever fresh vegetables my grandparents grew in their large garden - shucking corn, shelling peas and beans, stringing snaps (green beans to you Northern folk), etc. I decided it was time for my own kids to learn these skills, so I purchased some purple hull peas (very similar to black eyed peas) from the farmer's market and put them to work.

They both got into and did a good job (Grayson didn't want to be photographed!), and I think it was rewarding for them to eat a dinner they worked hard to help prepare. I think it is important for kids to know where food comes from (not a can!) and how it gets from point A to point B. This is also a good lesson in manual labor!

I didn't get many peas because I didn't want to overwhelm them their first time, and I didn't want to do the work for them. When they were done, I washed them and simmered them for about an hour with a few spices. Most people around here will cook them with some sort of pork, but I wasn't cooking a large enough quantity to justify that. The family enjoyed them, and the kids learned a new skill.

My dad's snaps/green beans will be coming in soon, so that will be the next lesson...stay tuned!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Time for another giveaway!!

I'm excited to announce this blog's second giveaway, and what a cool one it is! I've recently bragged on how fantastic Amy's products are...and now you can find out for yourself for FREE! The winner of this giveaway will receive THREE coupons for free Amy's products and your choice of an Amy's tote bag or t-shirt!!

What do you need to do to win?
1. Head over the Amy's facebook page and "like" it.
2. Comment here that you've done so.
3. Make sure I have a way to get in touch with you.

This contest will last for one week, and will close at 11:59 pm on Saturday, July 17. Spread the word, and good luck!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Great price?

I went by Food Lion during my lunch break today to pick up a couple of things and noticed the "great price" on watermelon. (My apologies for the cell phone pics - I didn't have my camera with me.)

Luckily, I stopped by the farmer's market with Grayson (my farmer's market addict!) earlier this morning and got a better great price on the same size watermelon - $2.00! Plus, I helped support a local farmer and our local economy. I was able to see the person who grew the watermelon and thank him for it. Plus, my son got to be a part of the process.

Go out and compare not only prices, but customer service and your gut feeling. Or better yet, grow some yourself! (My dad is growing some, but they still have a while before they are ready.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Frozen quickies!

Almost every mom needs a quick meal for their kids at some time or another, and it is so simple to heat up a frozen meal and be done with it. But in most cases, these meals are filled with fillers, preservatives, and other gross ingredients. Naturally, I was THRILLED when I noticed our local Walmart is now carrying Amy's products (not a wide variety yet, but it is a start). I like to keep these sort of products on hand in the freezer for when I need something quick and easy, yet still pretty healthy.

You can easily dress up a quick meal by making a picnic out of it and making it a little more special. Kids love this, and it takes no longer than eating indoors. This is especially easy to do with foods that don't require utensils.

Amy's is also a good brand for those with dietary restrictions (allergies, vegetarian, vegan, etc.) My kids really love the bean & rice burritos, and we're excited to try more varieties in the future. Convenience foods do not have to be bad for you!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Annoying commercial #12

The USDA must be smoking crack if they think I will believe drinking a glass of juice is the same thing as eating 2 servings of fruit & vegetables. Why do these companies keep trying to force us to believe that hiding vegetables and tricking our kids is the best way to keep them healthy? What kind of adults are we going to produce with this method?  I'm not saying drinking juice in moderation is a bad thing (and throwing some veggies in it does make it a little better), but don't try to fool us into thinking it is something it is not.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Using up old/leftover fruit

This time of the year, I tend to get a little fruit happy since it is readily available, priced right, and tastes great. Problem is, we can't always eat it all before it goes bad. When bananas go brown or strawberries get too mushy, a smoothie or frozen drink is a great way to extend the life a little longer. You can even freeze the fruit to use later.

I made some frozen fruit drinks this weekend for my kids using bananas, strawberries, and watermelon. Just add some ice and orange juice and you've got a nice cold treat for a hot summer day.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Vote for me, pretty please??

Babble is having a contest of the 50 Best Mom Food Bloggers, and I've shamelessly put myself in the running. Help a mama out by taking a minute to vote for me. Just sort alphabetically, find me under the W's (for What are my kids eating?), and click "I like this."

Thanks a million!

Affordable and healthy!

Organic on the left, regular on the right - exact same price, but you get more with the organic version. Don't assume that organic is always more expensive!

Eight popsicles for $2.00 isn't bad, but stack a $1.00 coupon on top of that, and you've got a great deal! Your kids get a yummy treat you don't have to feel guilty about!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Grayson's favorite - beans & biscuits

Almost anytime I ask Grayson what he wants for dinner, he will answer beans & biscuits. I'm sure this recipe was invented by someone else long ago, but I still consider it a Kelly original. The measurements given below are my best guest...I'm an eyeballer.

1 lb ground beef - browned, drained, and rinsed
1/2 diced onion
1 large can Bush's Baked Beans (I get vegetarian)
3 tablespoons bbq sauce
Chili powder, salt, and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded light cheddar cheese
2 cups biscuit dough, whatever recipe you would normally use, but add enough milk to pour (I use Jiffy mix and add milk)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all but last 2 ingredients together and pour in a 8x8 casserole dish. Add a layer of cheese then poor biscuit mixture on top and spread evenly. Bake until brown on top. I won't declare this to be the healthiest meal I make, but it is a hit, and there is plenty of room for variations.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Let your kids call the shots

Because their worlds are filled with people constantly telling them what to do, kids love it when you let them make their own decisions - especially when it involves food. When it comes to the fruits and vegetables we eat, I ask my children for their input as much as possible.

This week when I went to the grocery store, I asked what fruits they wanted  and was told watermelon. Luckily, they were on sale for $3.99 each at Food Lion. I cut it all up so it is readily available in the fridge for them to help themselves to.

This morning on the way to camp, we passed the local Farmer's Market and Grayson asked to stop. Thursday mornings are a big morning for the market, so he noticed all the people out. I gladly stopped and gave him $10 to spend however he wanted to. He picked out some great stuff, and we had an interesting conversation about supporting your local growers and economy. Don't assume your kids are too young to learn these things.

When it comes to picking healthy food, let your kids call the shots when they can. It'll get them excited about what is on their plate! Better yet, let them grow it themselves (more to come on that topic)!