Raw food diets are all the rage these days, with age-defying celebrities like Demi Moore, Alicia Silverstone, Gwyneth Paltrow and Woody Harrelson fueling the trend. I've never really looked into raw food, mostly because the thought of limiting myself to uncooked fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts is much too daunting.
Ham, cheese & Ritz crackers, blueberries, grape tomatoes
This week I'm going to be out of town for 2 days, so I can't make lunch for the kids on those days. OR CAN I? At first I thought of buying Oscar Mayer's Lunchables packs for them in advance and storing them in the fridge for Thursday and Friday, but then I realized, I can make my own lunchables! It's so easy to cut ham and cheese into squares and pack them with Ritz crackers. They'll keep in the fridge just as well as the store-bought Lunchables -- and my lunchables come with blueberries and tomatoes!
With that in mind, this week I'm featuring lunches that can be made ahead of time. I normally make each lunch fresh each morning because I don't want any sandwiches to get soggy (or worse, dry out). But the lunches below can be stored in the fridge overnight, or even a couple of nights ahead. Just wrap the sandwiches in cling wrap and freeze them; the rest of the ingredients can stay in the bento box container in the fridge. When it's time to pack lunch, add the frozen sandwich to the bento box and it should thaw by lunchtime.
Bay Area mom bloggers from last year's Cars Land press event: Techmama, SV Twin Mom, bonggamom, Xiaolinmama, The Silent I
This week I'm traveling to the Disneyland Resort for a press event: they want to make sure everyone knows about the newest section of Fantasyland, Fantasy Faire, and they're celebrating the debut of Disneyland Park's new live show, Mickey and the Magical Map. Even though my time there will be filled with interviews and film tapings, there's going to be a press party and we do get lots of breaks to explore the parks. And even though I'm going solo (the kids are outraged, but they've missed enough school to visit the Philippines last December), any visit to the Disneyland Resort is a great one, and I'm really looking forward to my trip. Okay, I'm DYING to start my trip. What with end-of-school activities, next year's PTA activities, the usual afterschool carpool runs and my regular work, life has gotten way too hectic, and this trip is starting to feel like my only chance to take a breather from everyday life and grab some time for myself.
Scones with peanut butter and jelly, cherry tomatoes, honeydew melon
Holy cow, where has the time gone? I can't believe it has been almost a month since I last posted my lunch photos! I've been faithfully snapping away every weekday morning, but when Monday rolls around, I've either been too busy, too sick or too lazy to actually write the post. It doesn't help that school is ending a lot earlier than usual (our school district altered the school calendar to end in May instead of mid-June because the earlier calendar will give high school seniors the chance to finish their mid-term exams before the holiday break). It also doesn't help that I'm going to co-president of our school PTA board for next year.
May is always a crazy-busy month, what with all the end-of-year activities like class picnics, sports days, thank-you brunches, field trips and classroom activities. Yes, field trips and classroom activities happen throughout the year, and I could just stop volunteering and make my life easy. But this year all the coolest ones seemed to happen at the end of the year, so busy or not, I had to make time for them! Take the cow eye dissection -- no way I was about to miss that. Then the very next week came Jammy's field trip to Harley Farms Goat Dairy, and I've been wanting to visit that place since forever, so of course I had to go.
Last week I attended a launch party for food blogger Jennifer Perillo's new cookbook, Homemade With Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's Kitchen. Everything we ate at the party was one of Jennie's dishes, cooked by Jennie and another food blogger and cookbook author, Gina Von Esmarch.
One of the tastiest dishes there was Jennie's Lentil-Ricotta "Meatballs" -- obviously, the quotes are there because this is a vegetarian version of traditional Italian meatballs. Since we're always looking for ways to cut down on our meat intake, I resolved that this would be the very first thing from Jennie's cookbook that I would try to make.
One of the activities that 3Po and Jammy enjoyed most during their week at Camp Galileo was building a suspension bridge out of pipe cleaners, wood, cardboard and rocks. It wasn't just a beautiful art project: the bridge actually had to support the weight of 100 pennies! It was exactly the kind of challenge they relish. Even more important, they applied and learned some important engineering principles: forces, weight distribution, counterbalancing, etc -- have stuck with them. Now they know the difference between a cantilever and a suspension bridge, and every time we cross the Bay Bridge or the Golden Gate Bridge, they can look at the structure and understand what the trusses and cables are for.
Those lessons have definitely stuck with them: one afternoon a couple of months ago I found myself browsing through the Galileo Learning blog and came across a post describing a Gumdrop Bridge Challenge. It was a slow afternoon, and I already had toothpicks and mini marshmallows in the cupboard, so I challenged the boys to build a 10-inch bridge with just 40 toothpicks and 20 gumdrops.
If I'm not mistaken, it has rained almost every year on the day that The Pea has had a birthday party. This year, we finally wised up and realized that the best way to ensure clear skies would be to hold her party in late April instead of early April -- less showers, more flowers. Here's how we celebrated:
Warning: This post contains graphic, gross, gory photos! If you feel squeamish at the thought of raw body parts, here is the gist of today's post: 3Po and Jammy dissected a cow's eyeball in class today. No need to read further.
For those of you who like the gore, read on...
Without a doubt, this was a week that sucked. So far we've had the horrible tragedy at the Boston Marathon on Monday, an earthquake at the Iran-Pakistan border on Tuesday, and a fertilizer plant explosion in Texas on Wednesday. I actually need a calculator to figure out the total number of dead and injured (I'm lazy at mental math). The US Senate voted down an already watered-down background check bill for gun purchases (the Manchin-Toomey amendment), which means even more bodies added to future death/injured tolls.
On the shallower side (far shallower, but focusing on the inane helps calm my agitation at the injustices of the world), my favorite soccer team Arsenal tied 0-0 with Everton and Manchester United managed to pull off a last minute goal to tie the score and deny West Ham a well-deserved victory. To top things off, a virus has entered our home. I've felt crappy all week and I've infected the rest of the family. Is it any wonder that I don't feel like making lunch?
This was not my week for homemade lunches with colorful fruit and interesting sandwich fillings. It was a week for school hot lunches, for bread and cheese, for bagels with cream cheese and PBJ, for Oscar Mayer Lunchables. It was a week to sit on the sofa and watch the news and explain to the kids the meaning of words like pressure cooker and fertilizer and amputation. Yes, a healthy, beautifully presented lunch shows your kids that you care, but so does a hug. This week, I chose hugs.