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Breakfasts and Lunches and Snacks – OH MY!!!

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Egg Muffins and Pancake Muffins!

Crayons, markers, uniforms, notebooks and pencils are covering my living room floor. School must be starting soon! I cannot believe we have hit the end of summer, but my three big kids are going to start in less than a week.

Our children attend a small private school. Since it is small, lunches sometimes are provided by a sweet mom who cooks for them, but other years no one is available to take on this huge task. This is one of those years. The thought of getting three lunches ready every morning plus a morning, afternoon and after school snack each day became a little overwhelming – that’s 60 ‘meals’ each week! So this year we are going to apply my freezer meal techniques to breakfast, lunch and snacks. (Or at least start out doing it!) Continue reading

Fuel Your Effectiveness: Everything You Need to Know About Nutrition

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Green apple.

I was thinking about energy and health and nutrition and thought I would put together an incredibly simple list of nutrition principles.  At first glance it doesn’t exactly fit with our blog’s usual theme, but everything is related when considering how to be a well-balanced leader.  I had a couple posts (here and here) about the inter-relationship of Time, Money, Energy, Focus, and Relationships, and health certainly affects all of those.

For example, a healthy lifestyle boosts your immune system, which keeps you from getting sick as often.  (I am not very productive when I am sick.  Just ask my wife.)  It is impossible to be at your peak energy level without good health, and my ability to focus is also closely tied to healthy eating habits.

When discussing our diet, weight loss/weight preservation usually seems to be the focus.  And that is important, no doubt. However, there is a lot more to nutrition than that.  With that in mind, here are a few basic principles to get you started.  Continue reading

Apple Picking Time!

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Last weekend we went apple picking with my in-laws. I love U-pick patches and this one is always a hit for my family. Cider Hill Family Orchard is just a few miles west of the Legends shopping area in Kansas City, Kansas. We really like going here and it works great for the kids. We were on a time crunch this year so we weren’t able to enjoy all the extras that the orchard has to offer, but we did get more than enough apples to bring home. I really need to write down how many apples we buy so I can remember it the next year. I always get too into it and forget to stop picking! 🙂

Here is our link to last year’s post that will tell you more about Cider Hill. In this post you can also find a link to the most amazing Apple Fritters and our recipe for homemade applesauce.

This year I made my applesauce a little different. My crockpot was being used to make Apple Butter so I made my applesauce on the stove. I chopped up a bunch of apples and cooked them on the stove top. My apples did not produce enough juice on their own, so as they cooked down so I had to add some water to the mixture. Once the apples were very mushy, I put them into my food mill and ground them into a very smooth consistency. I did not add any sugar or cinnamon to my applesauce since my family is used to the natural applesauce from the store, but you could add either to taste if that is what your family prefers. Continue reading

A Little Wonder!

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I may be late to the boat, but I have discovered this little wonder…

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I love making egg muffins for my kids so that they can have a little protein in the morning. I like to make a whole bunch and freeze most of them to save for another week. I also love to make my children their birthday cakes. I love being creative and making them into shapes that represent an interest they had that year and decorate them accordingly.

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Last year’s boys’ cake.
Girls cake in 2010
Girls’ cake in 2010

 

In times past I have had one major frustration that at times prevents me from doing exactly what I had planned. I hate trying to get them out of the muffin tin or pans!  They never come out in one piece! I will typically miss one little corner or the exact middle of the cake when I spray my pans and then I have a hole or tear that I have to fix in my decorating. With the egg muffins, my pans are a mess and so difficult to clean up. Yes, I could buy new pans that have better non-stick still on them or I could use muffin cups, but I’m not a fan of putting them in the microwave and I am too cheap. Continue reading

Sweet Corn!!

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When my in-laws stopped by for a quick visit recently, they brought with them 125 ears of sweet corn. Sweet corn that was picked that very morning from their farm! Not only did we get fresh corn, we got shucked sweet corn. Oh what a HUGE blessing! So the next day, I got busy and cooked and froze most of the corn. I of course left enough for supper since nothing is better than corn on the cob or “cob on the corn” as one of my little ones used to call it.

Here is my mother-in-law’s recipe for freezing corn:

If you aren’t as luckily as me to have your corn already shucked, then shuck your corn and brush/clean off as many silks as you can. Then you cut the corn off the cob. Afterwards, you turn your knife backwards and slide it up and down and all around the cob. This gets the extra juice part off to make the corn even yummier.

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Strawberry Season!!!!

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It is May in Kansas City and I have one word for you….STRAWBERRIES!!!!! I am so excited that strawberry season is almost upon us. When I was a child, my grandparents had a U-Pick strawberry patch. I have many fond memories of going to their house and staying for a week to help my grandma run her business. Most years I was a picker for those who could not bend over or the heat was too much. Eventually, I got promoted into the job of selling the strawberries from the nice shade of the barn. Continue reading

Passover and Easter Fun

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EasterFun

Here is a list of fun Passover and Easter Activities for kids.

 

Please let us know what you guys do to help celebrate this beautiful season!!

 

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Breakfast

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I am not one of “those moms” who makes their kids breakfast every morning. I am a “go eat cereal” type of mom. I am not a big breakfast eater, so the thought of getting up 10 minutes earlier to make something just doesn’t appeal to me.  Sorry, just being honest here. Then one day recently when I did decide to make the kids breakfast my oven wouldn’t work 🙁 I felt so bad for the kids. They were super excited to have something other than cereal and their excitement was quickly dashed by a non-hot oven. Continue reading

Quick Meals #1

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I have been falling back on a lot of my quick, easy meals these last couple of weeks while we get moved and settled in. Here are a few of my favorites.

Tacos: Whenever I do my big cooking day I try to brown up and season at least two pounds of hamburger, if not four, to have stocked and ready in the freezer. I always have tortillas, cheese, sour cream and salsa on hand so we can easily make a tasty meal whenever needed.

Quesadillas: Since I always have tortillas and cheese on hand these are an easy, light meal. Continue reading

Snow Ice Cream

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When life hands you a foot of snow, make SNOW ICE CREAM!!!! This is the second year of this fun tradition. Special thanks to our church friend Susan for the yummy recipe. This is a great budget saver when ice cream is a staple in your household and you can’t get to the store because of the weather!  (Nate tells me that this costs about 65 cents!)

Here is the recipe we use:

Ingredients

Ingredients

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