31 August 2012

French Style Yogurt Cake with Lemon

Stock Image

I have been weeding out my cookbooks, it's true. Even so, there are some that I will never give up. At least, not until I die. This is one. I have been quietly working my way through the recipes and so far, there isn't one I don't like.

Sunday I made French Style Yogurt Cake with Lemon. Have I mentioned before how much I like lemon?

This cake did not disappoint. See the lovely texture? See how moist and lemony?

It's all gone. You'll have to make your own. Pay special attention to the instructions just above the recipe over at Orangette - a jar is equal to about half a cup. You can't go wrong with yogurt and lemons.

29 August 2012

To Do List Tuesday


 I have this project I've been working on. I'm almost embarrassed to say how long. It's a process...

I have weeded out the cookbooks I don't ever use, and even the cookbooks I rarely use. I'm down from 62 cookbooks to about 25. Now I'm going through the recipe file box I've had since college (not telling how long that is) and tossing the recipes I've never used, then typing the ones I want to keep into the computer. 

I have kept a couple of recipe cards for the family album - the ones in my Grandma's writing. I thought it would be fun to keep those around. The plan is for it all to go into one big recipe binder. Now if I could just stop printing more recipes off the internet...

What have you been up to? Link up below!

28 August 2012

Menu Plan Monday

First day of school - last week. So excited to get back to a schedule.

It's going to be hot again this week. Apparently we're going to break heat records that have stood since 1900 or so. Great. I was hoping we were solidly into the 80's, but I guess not. I have a week of crock pot and other meals that hopefully won't require turning on the oven. How do you beat the heat when preparing meals?


Minestrone Stew - great with zucchini and basil from my garden













Also linking up to Menu Plan Mondays!

22 August 2012

To Do List Tuesday


I realize it's almost Wednesday. I mean, Tuesday is pretty  much over. I was done with Tuesday hours ago. 

Today was crazier than yesterday. I won't go into exhaustive detail, but I will just say that it was one of those days when you have a lot to do and not a lot of time between things for dilly-dallying. You know how that kind of day usually does something to your kids' brains that prevents them from being ready to go when you need to go?


I think what I need to do tomorrow is concentrate on getting my kids ready for school. I have very high hopes that things will calm down once everyone is back on a regular schedule. I am going to take a few days off here, and I'll see you Monday.

I'd still love to hear what you've been up to. Link up below!

21 August 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Wow. What a morning. Usually I write up my blog posts for the week on Saturday. I didn't. Then, this morning, I had a sick middle schooler and an extra kid. I have to leave in 30 minutes to take my daughter to the dentist, so I'm throwing this together and we'll just see how it goes. All I can say is 3 more days until they are all in school (theoretically). Hopefully I'll be able to get it together in the next couple of weeks...

School lunch menu for the middle schooler. It's not worth talking about the 3rd grader. She's the pickiest eater in the world. Her lunch menu looks like this: 

juice box

Needless to say, packing lunches with my 13 year old is WAY more fun.

Monday - sick kid, no lunch


Jen's Heavenly Egg Salad Recipe
Egg salad


leftover from Tuesday dinner


Satay Wraps
Satay Wraps - leftovers from Wednesday Dinner


Greek Burgers with Cucumber Sauce

Greek Burgers - leftover from Thursday dinner

Dinner menu:


Is it OK if I say that I have no idea?
It's bad enough that it just may be BBQ brisket from Dickies on hamburger buns...


Spinach Basil Pasta Salad


 Beef Satay


Greek Burgers


Pizza Night

Linking up to Menu Plan Monday!

17 August 2012

Hawaiian French Toast

Hawaiian French Toast

1 banana, mashed
1 cup milk (I use Almond Milk)
3-4 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
sliced bread - 12-14 slices

Whisk all the ingredients together. Coat both sides of bread slices in batter and cook in a little butter over medium heat until done. Serve with coconut syrup.

Coconut syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup light Karo
1 cup cream or half and half (*can use Almond Milk here too)
1 tsp. coconut extract

Boil sugar and Karo together until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add cream or Almond Milk and extract. Store in the refrigerator.

16 August 2012

Lunch Boxes I LOVE

Kid #1 started school this week, and kids #2 and #3 start next week (on a Thursday for crying out loud). Obviously, I've got school lunches on the brain. Only two of the kids will be eating lunch at school, but I figure we may as well make the Kindergartener's lunch in the morning too. I have a couple of good lunch boxes, but it never hurts to look around...

We have this one, probably my most favorite, from Lunchboxes.com 

Laptop Lunches Bento Lunch Box
It's a great lunch box. The containers are tight and there are lots of them. Downside: not big enough for my 13 year old boy, and we do lose the smaller containers/lids on occasion. You should know that when you go to the school and ask everyone if they have seen a lid that is about 2"x2" and tear up the lost and found box looking for it, there's a good chance your kid won't get any play dates for awhile. Well. You can't just buy a part. You have to buy the whole container set and it's like $14. I'm just saying.

We have this one from Pottery Barn in pink and blue:

Spencer Bento Box Containers

I really like the compartments, but the downside is that the compartments are sometimes a little small for including a leak-proof type container for a pudding or salsa or something like that.

We also have this one from Go Green Lunch Boxes:


Like the diagram? This was the best picture I could find. Better size compartments, but still not leak proof or roomy enough for a nice size container of salsa or dip, and I was less than dazzled by the drink bottle.

I continue on my quest for the perfect lunch box. Here's what I've found so far:

These stainless steel bentos from Pottery Barn are cool:

Spencer Stainless Steel Bento Box Container 

Again, not so great for messy, wet food, but compact and stylish. Can they survive at middle school? I guess since they are stainless steel, you could hammer out the dents. Hey Pottery Barn. Did you run good tests on these? Drop them from the second story? Kick them down a hall? Put them in a backpack and then beat a friend? If not, I'd be happy to help out.

I love and adore this one, again from Pottery Barn -  it would be perfect for my 8 year old girl. 

Dot and Owl Planet Lunch Boxes

Pluses are that it comes with containers specifically for the wetter items and it's super cute. Main drawback here? Price. It's $69.95, which, while a bit high, is not totally unreasonable for the container, the bottle and the case, but I can't help thinking about how it's likely to get kicked down the hall more than once...or sat on. Not to mention someone forgetting to pack in all the separate containers after lunch. Agh! The stress!

I can think of all kinds of cruel things to do with this option from Lunchboxes.com. Baby photo? Playing in the tub? Christmas sweaters? As if life wasn't already hard enough, right?
Custom Lunch Boxes

All dreaming, etc. aside, here's what we ended up doing. Two containers - I can't remember who they are made by by Rubbermaid and they are at school with my son... I got them at Target in the food storage section. They have removable inner containers and can be washed in the dishwasher. I like that they both fit in the old Go Green lunch carrier. The price is $5.99 each.

I also bought the divided rectangle from Ziploc. Only one fits in the lunch carrier, but it's a nice alternative, and they are 2 for $2.49. Nice price.

What do you like in a lunch box? You may also want to check out this lunch box review page.

15 August 2012

To-Do List Tuesday


Earlier this summer, we made a list of things we wanted to do this summer. A couple things got nixed (Elitch's), but for the most part we accomplished a lot. Want to know what my favorite thing was? I know you do. All my kids can ride bikes without training wheels now.


What's on your list? Link up below.


14 August 2012

Menu Plan Monday

It's time to start thinking about school lunches. One of my kids - the 8th grader - starts school this week. Last year we tried putting money into an account for him to buy lunch at school. It's a sort of a la carte deal where they can get a basic lunch (a slice of pizza, a fruit and a drink) for about $3 and then add on other things (smoothies, pretzels, more pizza) for an additional charge. He blew through $30 in about a week. He's too big (6 ft./155 lbs) and too hungry to feed that way. We went back to taking lunch. The trick is finding something he likes that is healthy and filling and that will taste good after sitting in a lunchbox for 4 hours. 
I sat down at the computer with him and started looking up lunch ideas. Parents.com is a mother lode of lunch ideas. We pinned like crazy. Here's what we've listed for lunch this week. My only caveat was that he had to pick things that could be made out of a lot of the same stuff. Each lunch also includes a fruit, a drink (usually a water bottle) and sometimes cookies which he trades for chips and other junk.

Monday - last day of freedom - lunch prep for the week:
shop for the ingredients
cook chicken
chop veggies (cabbage, carrots)
make pineapple dip
make hummus

Tuesday - Thai Chicken Broccoli Wraps
Thai Chicken-Broccoli Wraps

Wednesday - Aloha Chicken with Pineapple Dip
see Tuesday dinner :)
Aloha Chicken With Pineapple Dip
Thursday - Chicken Hummus Wrap
We'll substitute cucumbers and bell peppers for the tomatoes which he does not like.
Chicken Hummus Wrap 
Friday - Chef Salad
see Thursday dinner

In other news, here's what we're eating for dinner this week:


Lasagna (nope, didn't eat it last week)
Garlic Bread


Aloha Chicken with Pineapple Dip
Zucchini from garden


Sloppy Joes


Chef Salad


Pizza night




Sweet Chili Meatballs (crock pot)

What do you put in school lunches? I am especially interested in solutions for younger, picky kids who have about 15 minutes to eat lunch...

Linking up to Menu Plan Monday!