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Box It Up

Published August 23, 2016 by lynn k scott

School is in full swing, at least in our little corner of the world it is.  Since organization is the name of this school year game, I’ve purchased a little box to help make lunches more fun and convenient this year.

I stumbled across this little box known as a Bento Box.  If you’re familiar with Japanese culture at all, I’m sure you have heard of this compartmental box for meals.  This one happens to be plastic.  While, I personally, prefer glass, we are talking about a 10-year old and taking lunch to school.  I need the container to survive after all.

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As you can see there are a plethora of combinations that could be utilized.  My daughter goes through phases of what she feels like eating.  Sometimes she wants a sandwich, other times just sandwich meat, sometimes just a bit of this and that. Prior to the week beginning, I cut up different fruits, if needed, so I can refill her container each night.  This has been such a time saver!

Whether she feels like being vegetarian for the day or carnivorous, there are spaces to satisfy her appetite.  This week she is focusing on salami slices, fruit and she’s adding grape tomatoes.  One of the pics shows how hard-boiled eggs can be substituted as the protein, instead of meat slices.  Another option would be to make a garden salad or add a pasta salad by removing the compartments.  It works for young and older kids, or even adults taking their lunches to work.

When all has been decided upon, simple snap on the lid, another bonus (it stays closed), and set it in the fridge until the morning.

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 Then add to a reusable lunch bag, a small ice pack to keep it all cool and in a blink of an eye, lunch is ready to go to school with your little one.

I wish waking them up and getting them dressed was that easy!

If you like this particular bento box, you can find it here.

 

 

 

Snack Pack Hack

Published August 21, 2016 by lynn k scott

It’s Sunday and there’s school in the morning.  If you’ve got kids in school, odds are you have lunches to make.  My daughter rarely purchases lunch from school and this year it’s not even an option; as the government made it non-cost efficient to offer one while conforming to their rigid guidelines.  I’m ok with that; I prefer sending in her food with her.

Now, I’m not a morning  person; regardless of what my sleeping schedule may say to the contrary.  I do my best to set the coffee up the night before.  After all, that is my life blood and it’s what saves the world from ultimate destruction should I not have that vital liquid.

I’ve a got a tween in the house (pre-teen, that is) and her appetite is increasing.  So, I give some snacks she likes as well as some healthy ones I know she will eat as well.  One of her favorite go-to snacks are the Pepperdige Farm Goldfish Crackers.

Tonight, I purchased a 30 oz. box of the crackers and planned to divide them up.  I took a sandwich bag and filled it half-way with goldfish.  I did this 16 times until the box was emptied.

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Now, instead of having a bunch of loose snack packs in my cabinet, I cut off the top of the goldfish box, wiped it out  and then restack the snack packs in the box.  This way, for the next 16 lunches I prepare (about 3 weeks’ worth), I just grab one each evening and put it in her lunch bag.

Of course I did the math.  This box cost me $5.98.  When I divide that by 16 snack packs I made by the cost of the box.  It comes out to about $0.37 each.  If you were to buy the individual snack packs from Pepperidge Farm, then you’d pay at least 10 cents more per pack and it would include less crackers.  By creating my own snack packs and storing them in their original container, I’ve saved at least $1.60 on this one snack.

Place the box in the cabinet and it stays organized and I’ll know when I’m getting low on my daughter’s favorite snack.  A little planning ahead can make the mornings run much smoother, esp. since getting up before the sun rises is one of my least favorite activities.

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Crock Pot Caramel

Published August 13, 2016 by lynn k scott

My favorite season of the year is almost here; no not the season with a bearded fat man in a red suit.  The season right before that; where leaves turn vibrant shades of oranges, reds and yellow, before they detach from the trees and begin to litter the ground.  Fall!  That’s the best season of the year (to me anyway).

That being said, it’s also the time some of my favorite dishes are made.  Ok, who am I kidding, I make fall food year round, but for most people, they tend to stick to seasonality when cooking.

Last night, I made a Fall staple that you must have in order to make caramel apples: Caramel.  I like to make it in the crock pot, simply because it allows me not to stand at the stove and there literally is no clean-up.

All you need is a crock pot, a can of sweetened condensed milk, three 4-oz mason jars and that’s it!

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Simply open the can and pour equally into the three 4-oz mason jars.  Set the mason jars into the crock pot, uncovered.

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Carefully, add enough water to cover the jars to where the milk stops.  This is how the milk will cook evenly; surrounded in water. Add the lid to the crock pot and set the cooking temperature to low and eight hours.

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I like to do this overnight or when I’m gone all day at work.  Then it’s ready when I wake up or come home and I am not hovering over it hoping it miraculously finishes quicker. Carefully, remove the jars and place on a heat-protected surface to cool.

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In addition to being able to use this caramel to cover apples for Halloween, you can use it as a great school or work snack.  Pour a bit of caramel into a container, pack some apple slices and a snack is ready to go.  You can use it to drizzle over baking creations or simply eat it with a spoon, if that’s your prerogative.

*Whistles innocently*

Published January 18, 2016 by lynn k scott

REBLOG!

Originally posted on It’s Good To Be Crazy Sometimes.  She’s in a contest, where you can vote daily.  Please take a moment, click the link and cast you’re vote.

Random Act of Kindness never hurt anyone.  Won’t you help a fellow blogger out?

itsgoodtobecrazysometimes

I am just leaving this here, you know just incase 😉

http://blogawardsuk.co.uk/ukba2016/my-entry/itsgoodtobecrazy

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Crock Pot Potato Soup

Published January 16, 2016 by lynn k scott

This morning, as I was checking out what happened on Facebook while I slept, my friends had posted this recipe for a Crock Pot Potato Soup.  I shared the post and thought, I have all the ingredients to make this.

After I got back from the gym, cleaned the kitchen, I decided to whip this up.  I love my crock pot and if there is a recipe that I can make in it, using fresh ingredients, I’m all over it.  Add to the fact it’s been rainy and a bit on the nippy side here today, and potato soup, with a little cheddar cheese added to it, sounded pretty good.

I adore these little video clips adding the ingredients and quickly showing you quantities.  I personally don’t need the videos, the recipe would suffice too.  However, for those who may not cook often or are new to using the ever versatile crock pot, they are quite helpful.

Watch the video to see the soup come together in mere seconds.  I’ve listed the recipe below should you want to jump to the head of the line.

  • 4 cups potatoes; diced
  • 3/4 cup of onion; chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock (I used homemade vegetable stock)
  • 1/2 TBSP salt
  • 1/2 TBSP pepper
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Add the potatoes, onions, stock, salt and pepper and stir (the video omits this step).  Set the crock pot on Low for 6 hours or High for 4 hours.  After the set time has expired, melt the butter and add the flour; stir.  I used Pamela’s gluten-free flour and it worked great. Let the mixture cook for about a minute and then add the heavy cream and sour cream. Stir mixture until it thickens a bit.  Add the mixture to the crock pot, stir, reset timer for another 30 minutes on Low.

I didn’t think there was enough salt for all those potatoes.  As soon as I tasted it, I knew I was right.  It could use more, but easily corrected by the person eating the soup.  Garnish soup with cheese, scallions, bacon bits, etc.  I like the texture of the diced potatoes.  If you prefer a creamier soup, by all means use an immersion blender or blend in batches in a traditional blender.

This soup would be great in a bread bowl or served with a few slices of baguette.  Sadly, these aren’t options for me, but it’s how I would have eaten this in the past.  I will definitely be making this soup again.  With my substitutions, the soup is now vegetarian and gluten-free (for those that need/want those options).

Enjoy!

Crock Pot: BBQ Pulled Pork

Published January 15, 2016 by lynn k scott

Before heading out the door for work yesterday, I managed to start the crock pot so dinner would be done when I arrived home.

I had thawed some boneless pork roast.  You can use the bone-in kind too, but you just have to remove it from the bone.   That’s a time-consuming task that I’m willing for forego the majority of the time, esp. when we’re talking pennies on the dollar for boneless.

I cut the meat into chunks and placed them in the crock pot.  Then sprinkled with salt, pepper, cumin and paprika.  After giving the meat a quick toss so spread the seasonings around, I added about a cup or so of (homemade) vegetable stock.  I then added roughly a quarter cup of BBQ sauce (gluten-free, of course).  Gave then crock a quick stir, add the lid, set on low for 6 hours and off to work I go.

When I come home, the pork chunks are a bit browner and ready to be shredded.

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The easiest way to shred these is put the pork in a bowl with some of the cooking liquid (1/4-1/2 cup or so).  Take your hand mixer and begin shredding.  No need to tear apart with two forks, the blender is king for this task!

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Once the pork is shredded, you can add a bit more liquid if you think the meat needs it.  If not, you can add more BBQ sauce or serve it on the side.  Take the shredded meat, pile onto a hamburger bun and enjoy.  When I could still eat hamburger buns, before I added the top of the bun, I’d add some mayo-free coleslaw.  Heaven on a bun!

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Fresh Coconut…PASS!

Published April 8, 2015 by lynn k scott

This happened in November 2014.  Gotta love experiments, right?

We held school in the grocery store tonight. Sounds odd, right? Well, I’m still learning to teach my daughter not everything comes from books. So since I needed to pick up some lunches for her, I dragged her along.

We went over items in the produce department. What things were, related to, similarities of root veggies, peppers, eggplant, etc. Then she spotted it; the coconut.

Silly me had a “brilliant” idea. I asked her, “would you like to buy one and we’ll crack it open?” She was excited. She ran and picked up the $1.99 coconut. We continued about our shopping. Looking at price tags, calculating costs, etc.

Fast forward to arriving home. I put away the groceries and we begin. I read the directions of this mislabeled “quick cut coconut”. The coconut comes scored and the directions say to poke a hole in the coconut along this scored line using a dull knife.

I had my daughter shake the coconut. She heard the water inside. She then thought the water and the flesh would be white. Well after hammering on the coconut with a dull knife, my hand started cramping like I was torturing it into a death-grip around this knife.

I now see what one of these brown, hairy spheres of hardness can kill a person if they fall from a tree. Good grief, who the Hades opens these things on a regular basis? Better question is HOW???? I mean, I was hammering so hard, I could have built a fine piece of furniture. Ok, so that’s how it sounded, but really how long does it take to open? If someone considers the amount of time it took to pierce such a tiny hole to shake out the 8 oz of water inside, I’d hate to see there definition of long. I did consider throwing it on the floor to see if it would split open. Then figured with my luck, I’d crack the floor. Scratch that idea.

The directions said to continue around the score on the coconut to open and scoop out the flesh. Screw that! I put it in the fridge for the hubby to take a crack at in the morning. As far as I’m concerned, my daughter saw the water was clear, a bit of the flesh proved it was white and I call the experiment officially over!

Sheesh, I won’t do in the name of education. I will give the stores whatever they want to charge me regarding coconuts. It was fun while it lasted and I’m not sure when that fun started, but fresh coconuts are not forte.

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