Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer 2013 Meal Plan

It's that time of the year when we use up the strange things in our freezer and savor the first bits from the garden. We've been eating a lot of apple butter pie (I make it with just the bottom crust, like pumpkin pie) and putting kale in lots of things.

We're partway through our first rotation through this plan. The sweet potato and kale casserole was pretty good, and I hope all the other new things turn out well too, else I might have to edit them out! I tried to design this plan so that it can use whatever produce is coming from the garden: for example we had egg salad sandwiches on Tuesday because we aren't getting tomatoes from the garden yet, the quiche can use a variety of vegetables, and burgers can be served with or without tomatoes and lettuce. Seasonal fruits and veggies can be served as side dishes or snacks as well.

I've made a one-page printable version of this meal plan for your fridge (it includes a few snack and breakfast ideas too) if you'd like to try it out. I rotate between weeks A and B, sometimes switching meals around to fit our schedule. Our backup meal is spaghetti.

Week A
quinoa salad (we made this without the zucchini and served it with quesadillas)
BLT sandwiches OR egg salad sandwiches
potato-crust quiche (from Simply in Season)
Sourdough Pizza
Chicken (ideas: grilled kabobs or maple chicken)

Week B
runzas or pocket sandwiches
Sweet and sour meatballs (or chicken) with rice
lettuce or cabbage wraps
Sourdough Pizza
Breakfast (sourdough waffles, omelets)
(grilled) burgers/brats/sausages

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pinterest Bath Inadequacy

The phrase "Pinterest Inadequacy" has been thrown about to refer to the feeling people get when looking through the picture-perfect meals, activities, theme-coordinated kids' birthday parties (those got to me for awhile!), clothing, and projects.

Maybe I follow too many kid activity blogs, because for awhile it seemed like every other post on my Pinterest feed was how I could make my kids' bath a) holiday themed or b) teach them the alphabet. While I may feel occasional inadequate twinges about recipes I haven't gotten to and the not-quite-decorated state of my house, I indignantly rebel against the bath pins. I refuse to succumb. While we do an occasional drop of food coloring in the bath, the bath-as-edutainment movement seems artificial.

Today was Flag Day. Our bath wasn't red, white, and blue with floating glow-in-the-dark stars. The alphabet pieces were played with, but mostly as boats.

Do you want to know what I think bath time is good for teaching?
  1. The Laws of Physics: Baking soda boxes disintegrate when held under running water. Rocking your body back and forth creates waves. You can't fill a sieve. Drops of water initiate circular waves that spread outwards from the source. Once a container is full of water, it overflows: you can't squish more in. If you run on slippery floors, you'll fall on your bare bum. 
  2. The Laws of Human Interaction: Don't dump water on your brother. Or the floor. Share your toys. Ask respectfully if you need help with something instead of whining. Do. NOT. Squirt. Mom. Putting underwear on afterwards is a good habit.
Enjoy the special bath times (but a great piece of advice my Aunt Pam once gave me is "Aim Low": if you keep the expectations low they will continue to be enthralled by the drops of food coloring). 
But value the everyday baths too. Kids are going to do what God designed them to do (explore, learn, be creative), so with a little interaction from a parent and some empty yogurt cups, bath time needs no lesson plan.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Guest Post: Cultured Foods

I think that cultured foods have a lot of health benefits with very little financial investment, as well as being fun and interesting.
If you're interested in learning more, hop over to the Medi-Share blog where my guest post on cultured foods is posted today.