Sunday, September 26, 2010

Apples, apples, apples!

Last week my friend went to her sisters house to pick apples and asked if I wanted some. I said only if they had enough to spare. I guess they had plenty to spare cuz I got a huge box full! What to do with all those apples?

First up was some apple sauce. The kids don't like it on its own (the apples are fairly tart and I didn't put hardly any sugar in the sauce) but they love it with cinnamon and sugar on it and in their oatmeal.

I always make a batch of mini muffins for the kids lunches so I decided to make the Apple Pecan muffins from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I made a few adjustments to the recipe. First I left out the pecans (no nuts at school) and instead of cutting the apple into chunks to add I shredded it with a grater and added it that way. The kids love apples but I had a feeling they wouldn't like the chunks of apple in the muffins. They turned out very well and the kids are excited to take some in their lunch.

Then last night I made some pie filling based on a recipe from Catherine over at Food Snob. She used some apples to make a pie filling that goes in the freezer and that sounded like a great way to use up some more of my apples! The recipe calls for 8 apples but my apples are pretty small so I kinda had to do a best guesstimate. I think I ended up with a double batch. I plan on using some of it for apple turnovers this week.

I still have half a box of apples to use up. I'm going to do some more baking and if that filling works out I'm going to use the rest for that. Sorry there are no pics...I was too busy to stop for the camera:)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Packing school lunches in our new PlanetBoxes!

Sorry for such a long absence from blogging...we have been adjusting to new schedules and getting into the "back to school" routine.

First up though an update on the haircut disaster. My youngest is now sporting a very short (and chic!) bob. And although there are large chunks of hair still missing in the back, with some artful blowdrying and combing we can hide much of it. I just hope the missing chunks grow back fast.

Ok so the last few weeks have been crazy with back to school in this house. My oldest started grade 1 and the youngest started preschool 2 mornings a week. Grade 1 has been a huge change for us because for the first time I have to send her to school with a lunch. I really wanted to have a good system for the school lunches and part of that was how to transport her lunch. I didn't want to be wasting time looking for lids to a million tupperware contains - not to mention I didn't want to use any plastic for her lunch either. So when I saw the planetbox I knew it would be perfect.

I first saw the planetbox on this blog (I so love this blog and I hope veganmomma starts blogging again - I have really missed her post!). I really hesitated when I saw the price ($59.95 US plus shipping) but after much internal debate and a lengthy chat with DH we decided to order them. And I'm so glad we did, they have made school lunches very healthy and easy for me to pack and Gabbie to eat!




I don't know why blogger is underlining this, so frustrating! Ok so here is one of her lunches from this week, cucumbers, blackberries, mini banana choc chip muffins, a field roast sandwich and some skittles for her "treat".


Here is her lunch with the big dipper for her snack - some yummy organic strawberries.

Here it is all packed up in her case with the magnets she chose for the day. We have 3 different sets and she really likes picking a set each morning.

And here it is already to go with her sigg bottle full of water for the day. She only drinks water throughout the day. Her big dipper is in the front pouch next to her water bottle.

Ok so here are my thoughts so far on the planet box. First up the likes. I love the compartment system for packing a lunch. You can put anything you want in each compartment obviously but we've designated a fruit one and a veggie one and every morning she picks a fruit(s) and veggie(s) to pack for school. The main compartment is for her "main meal" and the long tray is usually some filler or extras. I usually pack her snack in the big dipper and this works well for her. Its quick and easy for her to grab her snack out of the front pocket. It holds a lot of food. I was initially worried that it won't hold enough to keep her going all day but she always says she has more enough to eat. It is really easy to clean - I usually just wash it in the sink with my pots and pans at night then dry it and leave it open on the counter to pack for the next morning. On the weekend I wash it all up and put the dippers inside, pack it in the carry bag and put it away in a cupboard till Monday.

Now for my dislikes. I first started packing applesauce with cinnamon for a snack in her big dipper and it would leak in her carry case. According to the website if you put a "wet" food in the dippers and you don't put it in the actually box itself you need to put a rubber band around the dipper to secure it. I tried that and it still leaks so for right now I've been putting more fruit or crackers in the dipper. My daughter's dislike is that she finds pretty heavy to carry to school which means I usually carry it for her. I don't find it heavy but I'm not six either.

Thats all I can think of for now. As we pack more lunches I'll be sure to post more.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Stress!

My youngest starts preschool tomorrow and she just finished giving herself a haircut.

*sigh*

How bad is it? Its down to the scalp in some areas and the back...well its one of the worst mullets I've ever seen. Thankfully my niece is a hairdresser and after a frantic call she came over and did her best to fix it. Its a very short bob now with some layers in it and with some artful styling and combing I think I can hide the worst of it.

Fortunately this child can really rock a hat........

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wilbur

Wow my 100th post! I finally made! I probably should do some great food post but its been a crazy weekend of cleaning and organizing with Fall coming and school starting so we've been having some quick and un-blogworthy meals the last couple of days. So instead I want to share a few special pictures of a really special dog.


This is our dog Wilbur - yes I picked his name, not the kids. I don't know - he just looked like a Wilbur to me! When my oldest daughter was little she was pretty sick and at one point spent some time at the local Children's Hospital. She always wanted a dog so once she got out of the hospital I started looking for one. My husband is pretty allergic to dogs and cats but thankfully he is fine around Shih Tzus. We had hoped we'd find one that was white and brown but the minute I saw Wilbur's picture I knew that was my dog. He has been such a great addition to our family. This little guy has a heart of gold. He is a real loving dog, always happy and excited to meet everyone he sees and he is great with kids. He loves to go for walks and at night after our walk he likes to curl up with me while I have a cup of tea and watch tv or read. Everywhere I go in the house he follows - he is a real people dog.


Really - how much cuter could he get?! Love you Wilbur!!!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Farmers Market Finds

We hit the Farmers Market yesterday afternoon for some more back to school produce. Not that we don't eat produce all the time but its exciting for the kids to call it back to school veggies!






A purple bell pepper! I've seen purple beans and potatoes before but never a purple pepper. The lady at the stand said they taste sweeter than a red pepper but I found it tasted more like a green pepper. I don't think the kids will be excited when they taste them because the love red, yellow and orange bell peppers but not so much green ones. They'll still eat them (if only because their purple) and I'm ok with that!

Also deserving a special mention is the awesome cucumbers we got. They had a sale, buy one large bag get the second one half price - couldn't pass that up so we now have a lot of cukes but thats ok cuz everyone in this house loves cukes!