Archives

Pre-Packing Snacks

granola bars

My kids have to take their lunch to school every day. One of the hardest parts of making lunches for me is packing snacks. That’s why I like to get snacks ready for the whole week at once. This week I made granola bars. Once they had cooled I packed them into snack sized bags so all I would have to do is grab them in the morning. They can do the same when they get home from school.

th (10)

I also like to cut cheese in chunks at the beginning of the week. Again, I pack them into small snack sized bags so they are easy to grab when needed.

bagged popcorn

Sometimes my husband pops a BIG batch of popcorn on Sunday evenings. This also is bagged for snacks later in the week – either at home after school, or for their lunch boxes.

DSCF2148

Dried fruit, trail mix, crackers, raisins, grapes, etc… All get packed at the beginning of the week. My mornings go so much smoother when all this prep is done ahead of time.

Making and Canning Applesauce

DSCF2189

We are so thankful that there is a good apple crop this year! Last year here in Michigan an early spring followed by a hard frost ruined the apple crop (and many other fruits)! We are taking advantage of the apples and canning applesauce. Normally I like to freeze my applesauce, but lack of freezer space this year is forcing me to can it. My kids are home from school for the rest of the week and they are going to help (in exchange for a trip swimming tomorrow or Friday).

DSCF2181

DSCF2182

The twins helped wash the apples I purchased from a local orchard. We told them we were making applesauce and they made a mixed half bushel for us.

DSCF2184

Aaron helped slice the apples. Notice the slicer/corer he is using. We love this gadget! It is used often at our house!

DSCF2186

DSCF2187

We put everything in the stockpot – even the cores! Nothing is wasted! Then, on to the stove to cook the apples.

DSCF2188

After the apples are cooked, I run them through my food mill. This removes all the skin, seeds, etc. We have very little waste to throw out in the garden after making apple sauce. Sometimes I add a little sugar, but this batch didn’t need it. The kids and I also like cinnamon or apple pie spice in it, but my husband doesn’t, so I leave some plain.

The last step is to fill and process the jars. Lots of yummy applesauce to enjoy this winter!

DSCF2189

Note: It is the middle of February now, and we are still enjoying the applesauce we made last fall. I love to send it in the kids’ lunches instead of buying those little cups you can get in the store. I know exactly what is in it!

Grands! Doughnuts

DSCF2160

It has been a busy week at our house – and it isn’t over yet. Tonight we decided to relax, make some treats & watch a little tv. Last week Meijer had Grands! biscuits on sale in their 10/$10 eleventh one free sale. I stocked up and bought 11! Tonight we made doughnuts! The kids all pitched in & we had a great time!

DSCF2156

We used 2 tubes of Grands! biscuits, cutting the centers out.

DSCF2155

I put them in our fryer for 3 minutes per side.

DSCF2157

After they had a chance to cool, we shook them in powdered sugar. (Sometime we use cinnamon sugar, sometimes plain white sugar, whatever we feel like). They were ready to eat. The kids really enjoyed them & can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow!

DSCF2158

Homemade Bubble Fun

thCACJFRJ3

This is the first week of summer vacation for all of us. The kids are a little older now, so I want to keep them busy during the summer. I don’t want to hear “I’m bored!” I have been reading several different blogs to see how other moms help keep their kids occupied over the summer. I think we will make a list of things we want to do over the summer: some educational things, some fun things, some both.

Today I decided to try a recipe I came across for homemade bubbles. It contains no glycerin (many of the homemade recipes I’ve come across do). In fact, it is 3 ingredients – all of which we had in the house. The kids had a ball & we have a lot left for more fun later.

Homemade Bubble solution

1 cup water
1/4 cup dish soap
1/4 cup corn syrup

Mix all slowly & have fun!

I doubled the batch & put it in a wide mouth quart jar. The kids could dip their wands right in the jar. They had a great time and we hardly used any of it! We just put a lid on & will use when we feel like it. This will also be a great recipe to make at the camper. Next time they have friends over, we’re going to have a bubble party!

Waffles

waffles

I promised the kids yesterday that if we had a snow day today, I would make waffles. So, the snow day is here, but when I went to the fridge, I only had one egg in the house! (I’ll have to get to Jack’s this week. I see they have eggs 1$/dozen). I don’t keep pancake/waffle mix in the house. Those of you who know me, know I like to make things from scratch. Luckily, I was able to find a homemade pancake/waffle mix that only requires one egg for a batch of waffles. Gotta love the internet! I thought I would share the recipe I found on Allrecipes.com. We have waffles for brunch & I have enough mix left for 2 more batches!

Homemade Pancake Mix

Ingredients

5 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups powdered milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 baking powder
1 TBS salt

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl;stir to blend. Store in an airtight container I use mason jars) and use within 8 months.

To make pancakes or waffles:

Combine
2 cups pancake mix
1 cup water
1 egg
2 TBS oil (3 for waffles)
Beat smooth with a wire whisk or fork

Dehydrating Pineapple

dried pineapple rings
Over Christmas break Aldi’s had pineapple on sale. I bought two. We ate one raw and chunked the other for the dehydrator. It was ok, but the kids didn’t like it that much. Then I got a great idea from a video I saw on YouTube: dehydrating canned pineapple rings. Aldi’s had them in 100% juice for $.88! We bought six cans and put all the slices in the dehydrator. We saved the juice to make syrup for pancakes, waffles, and ice cream. It was enough for 12 half pint jars of syrup! We really got our money’s worth out of those cans of pineapple! The kids liked the dehydrated rings much better than the chunks (I don’t know why – I think they tasted the same. But the rings did look much better) Anyway, this was a success for us and we will definitely make them again!

Homemade Fruit Leather

nesco food dehydratorfruit roll ups

Yesterday for some reason, only the last part of my blog posted. I don’t know what happened to the other half. I was talking about my new food dehydrator. We have been using in almost every day for about 2 weeks. We have had successes and failures! I will be posting about our dehydrating efforts in the future.

Yesterday we started our first batch of homemade fruit leather. I decided I wanted to start simple, so we used natural applesauce (bought from the store) and strawberries (on sale this week). We got 2 trays that finished this evening. The kids were excited to taste it. They like it and will be taking some in their lunches tomorrow. I didn’t get any pics, but will take some the next time around. With very little effort on our part we made a healthy snack of the kids to take to school. This was definitely one of our successes!