Monday, April 29, 2013

salami and cheese (egg free lunch)

My son loves salami. It took me a little while, but I was able to find this nitrate free salami at Whole Foods. I cut some muenster cheese into fun circles, and placed them both on a butter cracker. This little combo takes the place of his sandwich. The remainder of this lunch consists of carrot sticks with hummus for dipping, blackberries, and an apple. The apple does not fit in the planet box, I only placed it there for the picture. If I add an apple to my son's lunch I put it in the front pocket of his planet box carrying case.

Bird feeder

Another pinterest idea.

 We had school vacation last week which gave us some extra time for crafts, and fun activities. This homemade bird feeder was so easy, and fun.

I let my boys each have their own spreader. We used a generic jar of peanut butter that I labeled "birds only." The boys went to town spreading the peanut butter on toilet paper rolls. Once that part was finished, we simply rolled it in bird seed. The kids loved being in control of their own project, and I had lots of fun taking in the mess. It was pretty cute.

*Warning** if you have a two year old, this activity gets pretty messy.

You will need:
toilet paper rolls
peanut butter
bird seed

Friday, April 26, 2013

Flour comparison chart

A flour comparison chart is a pretty handy reference tool for baking gluten free.  There are many different types of flour available, so it can be challenging to know which one to use for any given recipe. I am still on the hunt for the perfect flour blend for my family's needs. Do you ever experiment with different flours?

This chart was found at

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal (GF and EF)

These are so yummy!! I made these baked oatmeal cups yesterday, and they are already gone. My kids ate most of them, so I had to make more today, as the requests kept coming for them.  I decided to make a double batch, and mix half with blueberries, and half with diced apples. They turned out delicious. This is great for breakfast, a quick snack, or a healthy dessert.

You will need:

 2 c. gluten free oats (divided)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbs. sugar
1 c. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. applesauce
1/2 c. blueberries
1 tbs. ground fax mixed with 3 tbs. warm water

Mix 1 cup oats with the milk, and let it sit in the bowl for about 15 minutes.  Pulse the remaining cup of oats in food processor, to make into a flour. Mix with remaining ingredients. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.  I store mine in the fridge. If you store them on the counter in a closed container they will not last as long because there is so much moisture.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day 2013

Earth Day 2013 is here.  What is Earth Day?  Earth Day  is a special day to educate adults and children about respecting our planet and keeping it clean. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970.

Reduce- Teaching your children to conserve electricity not only helps reduce fuel emissions, but it also saves you money.  Turn down the thermostat, and turn off the lights when you are not using them.  Plan your weekly errands so that you minimize the amount of time you spend driving your vehicle.  We all cringe when we fill up at the pump, so why plan our trips to save von gas, or car pool.

Reuse- Try not to throw away anything that can be repurposed into something else.  Look around your house for items that you no longer use, but you could incorporate into something new. This is a great way to create a craft project. Do you have anything that you no longer have a purpose for? Simply donate it. This is also a great way to control clutter.

Recycle- At our home, everyone knows which items are to be recycled, and which items are to be thrown away. If you are just beginning to recycle, designate a bin for recycling. You will need to check with your town's regulations as to what you can and cannot recycle, but you would be surprised at what they will take.  My kids love to help take jars, cardboard and all our other recyclables to the recycling bin.

Replant- Go out and plant a tree, or two. This is a great way to celebrate Earth Day, and find some enjoyment in your day.

This year my family will celebrate Earth Day by planting a tree in our yard, and by going out into our community and picking up trash. However you choose to help on Earth Day is surely a win win for our precious planet.  I feel that it is extremely important to teach our children from a very young age, the importance of respecting the earth, and doing our part to reduce our carbon footprint. Visit to take a fun carbon footprint quiz. It is pretty eye opening.

How are you celebrating Earth Day this year?

Vist: to read some interesting facts about recycling.

Here are some great books to read to your children, and teach them about respecting our planet Earth.

*earth image found at

Kids just love to dip

Have you ever met a child who doesn't love to dip? My boys are big dippers. My husband and I actually call our oldest son "the condiment king." He will eat anything, so long as their is a dipping option available.

This lunch is another egg free option. We have a ham, cheese, mustard and spinach sandwich, carrot sticks, tomatoes, strawberries, a pickle and of course the dipping component is chips and salsa. I'll admit, this does not look like a typical lunch, but hey, he loves everything in this lunch so why not put it all together.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Peanut granola bars (gluten free)

You will need:

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups gluten free oats
1/2 cup ground flax
1/2 cup peanuts

Melt peanut butter, coconut oil, and honey over low heat.  Mix in remaining ingredients. Place in a parchment lined 8x8 baking dish.

Chill in fridge for 2 hours.

Cut into bars.

Store in fridge or freezer.


Green Thumb

Lately I have been trying to find my green thumb. Now that I am 30, yikes, I guess it is time to take my chances in the gardening world. I have always loved plants in my home, but I cannot even begin to tell you anything about them, not even the poor plant's name.

 I have been looking for a plant for the top of my bookcase in our dining room.  After a quick search I settled on a nice plant, (no I do not know the name of it) that seemed to fit well in the space. I had it all transplanted in my pretty pot, but it still looked a little sad. Almost lonely. After a little thought I decided to buy another plant and put the two together in the same pot. I know, I know you people that have already found your green thumb have been experimenting this way for years. Now I guess it is my turn. :)

 I couldn't be happier with how my plants turned out. I love this look. The process was indeed fulfilling.  If you haven't already tried this, give it a shot. You might enjoy yourself.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cinnamon and Honey

I came across this on Facebook this morning. I just had to share. I am not sure where the research came from, but I am sharing it from Kanchana Joseph's Facebook page. Take a minute to read. It is pretty amazing what honey can do for us.

Cinnamon and Honey
Drug companies won't like this one getting around. Facts on Honey and Cinnamon:
It is found that a mix of honey and Cinnamon cures most diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Sc...ientists of today also note honey as very effective medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without side effects which is also a plus.Today's science says that even though honey is sweet, when it is taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm even diabetic patients. Researched by western scientists:

HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, put it on toast instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol and could potentially save one from heart attack. Also, even if you have already had an attack studies show you could be kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of cinnamon honey strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as one ages the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and the veins.

ARTHRITIS: Arthritis patients can benefit by taking one cup of hot water with two tablespoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. When taken daily even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week (out of the 200 people so treated) practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain -- and within a month, most all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis now started walking without pain.

BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder....who knew?

CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water given to a cholesterol patient was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, when taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol-could be cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.

COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and, clear the sinuses, and it's delicious too!

UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also is said to clear stomach ulcers from its root.

GAS: According to the studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that when Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacterial and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles (where DNA is contained) to fight bacterial and viral diseases.

INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food is eaten relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals

INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural 'Ingredient' which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.

LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Use four teaspoons of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder, and three cups of boiling water to make a tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans increase and even a 100 year old will start performing the chores of a 20-year-old.

RASPY OR SORE THROAT: When throat has a tickle or is raspy, take one tablespoon of honey and sip until gone. Repeat every three hours until throat is without symptoms.

PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it off the next morning with warm water. When done daily for two weeks, it removes all pimples from the root.

SKIN INFECTIONS:Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin Infections.

WEIGHT LOSS:Daily in the morning one half hour beforebreakfast and on an empty stomach, and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. When taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

CANCER: Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder three times a day for one month.

FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, even when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, when taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M., the vitality of the body increases within a week.

BAD BREATH: People of South America, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water first thing in the morning so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

HEARING LOSS: Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restores hearing.

Remember when we were kids? We had toast with real butter and cinnamon sprinkled on it!
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Mommy's Lunch


This is, (was) a delicious lunch. The avocado, and green olives gave this salad some hearty substance.  You can't help but feel good eating a meal that is so fresh. Look at all of the vitamins and nutrients on that plate. :)

This would never work for my husband, who insists on having a sandwich for his lunch, but sometimes all I want is a simple salad for myself.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Easy Chex Mix

Chex mix is a snack that everyone loves. Am I right?  My chex mix is super easy. Make this when you have a spare five minutes, and snack on it all week long.

You will need:
chex cereal
honey sesame sticks

That's it. Spread everything, except the raisins, on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes at 250. Don't forget to add the raisins in before you store your mix. Enjoy!!

Preschool lunch (egg free)

My little guy was sick this week, so school lunch pictures are limited. Here we have leftover turkey with ketchup for dipping, veggie straws, tomato's, orange slices, and a spinach wrap cut into fun shapes. I added a yogurt tube, an a mini blueberry muffin also.

 I feel like I am running out of fruit options lately. We are pretty bored with our Winter fruit selection. Ahhh.. organic grapes are in the near future. It is a long wait for us here in the Northeast.

Monday, April 8, 2013

To go Ware

Here are the reusable containers we use for snacks at our house. Stainless steel is a safe alternative to plastic, and is much more durable than glass. These snack cups are the perfect size for a light snack. You can also purchase the larger size for more space. Skip the plastic snack baggies, and try a reusable container instead.

 Earth Day is right around the corner. 


Banana Oatmeal Cookies (GF and EF)

I originally found these cookies on pinterest. I just changed the ingredients a tiny bit. Both recipes are yummy. Original post found here:

You have to think of these cookies as a breakfast food, rather than a cookie. If you are expecting to bite into a cookie, there may be a slight disappointment when you get a mouthful of moist oats and banana. :) Give these a chance though, you will be pleased. I keep mine on the counter to have with my morning coffee.

Another plus.. They are flourless and egg free. Yay!!!  Make an extra batch for the freezer, and pull them out for a quick afternoon snack. The whole family loves them.

You will need:
1 1/2 cups gluten free oats
1/4 cup pecans
1 cup applesauce
2 mashed bananas
handful of cranberries
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. chia

Mix all ingredients and let sit in a bowl for 10 minutes to moisten the oats.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Egg free again :)

Finally a sandwich! Today I packed a hummus sandwich on oat nut bread. Also included: sour cream and onion bunny crackers, frozen peas, strawberries, orange slices and chocolate covered sunflower seeds. I should mention that the sunflower seeds are colored using natural colors from fruits and veggies. We are 100% free of any colors or dyes. :) 

Have a great weekend.

The Dirty Dozen

As I have mentioned before, we are an organic eating family. I realize this is not the choice for everyone, however, this chart provides useful information for those of you who do decide to focus their organic food consumption on produce. The dirty dozen, and the clean fifteen make it easy to remember which foods to buy specifically organic. Visit: to download your own wallet size chart.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Colorful lunch (egg free)

Look at this gorgeous lunch.  It is so colorful, how could you not want to eat every bit of it?  This one was definitely a winner for my son. His little face lit right up when I showed him what I had packed today. 

We have a wedge of brie with gluten free almond crackers. Ham triangles separated in a silicone muffin cup, carrot sticks, tomato's quartered, green olives, and cut up strawberries. I know, YUM!!!  Oh yes, and a power bite for his treat.  I also added a little message to remind him during his school day that his mommy loves him.  (Just a special thing we do.)

No bake cookie balls

2 cups oats
1 cup ground flax
1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup raw honey
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil

Melt all together over low heat. Cool. Roll into balls and store in the fridge or freezer.  I make a double batch, as always, and freeze the extras. Helpful hint * you might have to hide some in the back of the freezer.  When we were out of our stock in the fridge I went looking in the freezer to find two, yes only two balls left. :) My husband was definitely to blame for that one.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Planet Box

I thought it would be a nice idea if I shared my son's lunch box with you. I LOVE this lunch box. It is trash free, so no baggies to throw away. Everything is stainless steel, so no harsh chemicals like in those plastic container lunch boxes, and best of all, it is dishwasher safe. :) The Plant box website offers different options depending on your lunch box needs. Here I chose the Rover lunch box. My son is only four, so he doesn't need the larger compartments. The planet box makes packing lunch so easy. I also purchased the carrying case as well.  Go check out the website.

Preschool lunch (egg free)

This lunch is another egg free lunch option. I packed pasta salad, carrots, cucumbers, crackers with cream cheese spread, an apple and a power bite for a treat. Not much thought went into this one, but it is delicious all the same. Just by cutting the skin of the cucumber , I was able to arrange the slices in a cute pattern.