Savory Sunday: Kids in the Kitchen & Lasagna Roll-ups

We firmly believe that Sunday is family day in our household. With all the hustle and bustle of the week and children and parents having various activities in the evening it doesn’t allow much time to sit down and relax as a family over the dinner table. This is why we have instilled Savory Sundays!

Savory Sunday for our family means time together, time to savor, and to linger over savory dishes for dinner.  Our Sundays start off early, like any family with younger kiddos I am sure. The kiddos have breakfast and then usually start on an art &craft activity overseen by our 6-year-old (no joke, by 7:45pm it looks like an art room threw-up in our kitchen, lol!). Then it is time to get ready for Sunday school and church, after church it is lunch time followed by quiet time for the kiddos and time for my hubby and me to enjoy quality time together (we try our best to have date nights but truth be told those usually occur every other month…but we are working on it). Then after quiet time the kiddos help me get dinner ready for the evening.

The kiddos attention span is short so this often entails them pouring, stirring, or doing a simple step and then going off to play. I want to always be honest with you; sometimes we need to lower our expectations so that they coincide with the developmental age of our kiddos. You can’t expect a 2-year-old to cook with you for an hour, shoot for more than ten minutes if we are being truthful! Which is why I always try to have steps that are age appropriate, and if the dish involves cooking over the range (all my kiddos are too young for that…I have a 6, 5, & 2 year olds) then I will have them work on a side project. One of their favorites is helping make bread to accompany dishes. That is precisely what I had them do while I prepared the Lasagna Roll-ups. All you need is one or two Pillsbury dough, they come in the tubes and pop open (kiddos get a kick out of that).

Ingredients:

  • 1 or 2 Pillsbury dough…whatever you have on hand, cresents, flatbreads, Italian, etc. (depends on how many kiddos you have, need 1 per 2 kids)
  • ½ stick of butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons Pesto (I have a jar I use from the store but if you want to go homemade more power to you!)
  • Small paint brushes
  • Various Cookie cutters
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Place wax or parchment paper on table in front of each child.
  2. Place dough on top of paper.
  3. Make certain butter dish is cool to the touch and mix pesto in butter then place paint brushes in bowl.
  4. Place cookie cutters in the center of the table.
  5. Instruct children to paint their dough with the butter & pesto, sprinkle on cheese, and then cut into fun shapes.

Now for the main dish….

Lasagna Roll-ups!

Ingredients:

  • 1 summer squash (sliced and then halved or quartered depending on the size, see image)
  • 1 zucchini (sliced and then halved or quartered depending on the size, see image)
  • ½ a yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 14 100% Whole Grain Lasagna Noodles
  • 1 container of Ricotta cheese (15 oz)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Lightlife Kick n’ Black Bean Burgers (these add a nice kick…but not too much and are a nice substitute for meat)
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce, whatever you have on hand

Directions:

Mix together summer squash, zucchini, onion, garlic, and pesto in bowl.

Place mixture in pan over medium heat and sauté until onions are just golden and squash is tender.

While veggies are sautéing boil lasagna noodles, follow directions on the box, drain, and then lay flat on Parchment paper so that noodles don’t stick together and this will make it much easier to assemble the roll-ups.

While veggies are sautéing and noodles are boiling in separate bowl mix together ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese and egg. (And they wonder why us women are champs at multitasking? Hello…we can sauté, boil, and mix…haha).

Crumble up the Lightlife Kick n’ Black Bean Burgers so that they resemble ground meat and add tomatoes and Lightlife Kick n’ Black Bean Burgers to the sautéed veggies, turn off heat.

Pour sautéed veggies into bowl with cheese/egg and stir till thoroughly mixed.

Spoon out two tablespoons worth of mixture onto each Lasagna noodle and then spread across each noodle.

Then simply roll each noodle and place into 9 x 13inch greased (olive oil) pan .

Pour Spaghetti sauce over noodles and sprinkle a little shredded mozzarella cheese over the top.

Cover with aluminum foil, place in oven, set to 350 degrees, and cook for 40 minutes.

(You can save money and energy by not preheating the oven. It is not necessary unless you are baking breads and/or pastry type of food).

Grab a roll-up and some of the yummy bread the kiddos made and sit down to enjoy!

Over dinner discuss the happenings of the past week. Perhaps say a special blessing for a family in need. Have each child share their favorite part of the week or day and their least favorite part of their week or day.  It is also helpful if you discuss the upcoming week, what each child has going on, and encourage the other children to support that child in their endeavor whether it is a soccer game, a spelling test, bringing snack to preschool, etc. This is also a great time to share what mommy and daddy have planned for the upcoming week. It is time to get practical, I would love to have a leisure dinner every weekday evening but it simply isn’t possible. Yes, we do still eat together but sometimes it is a mere 15 minute before one child or parent needs to be somewhere. This is why Savory Sundays are so important to our family.

Does your family do anything special on Sundays? Do you have a Sunday meal tradition? How do you get your family to participate in meal preparation?

Lost & Found Friday

Have you ever found yourself lost in the everyday routine, responsibility, obligation, etc.? Dropping off children at school, after school activities, picking up kiddos, doing homework, mending emotional and physical boo-boos, giving all your patience and guidance to redirecting a toddler or preschooler to a more appropriate approach, uttering “use your words” for the umpteenth time, dealing with sibling quarrels, maintaining a household, meals, and more is precisely what I signed up for when I became a mom.  Those are my main, daily, priorities. I also feel that the behavior I model for my children is more impressionable than the words that come from my mouth. Thus, I feel that it is of utmost importance that my actions reflect the actions and attitude that I hope my children will one day adopt as their own. But I have to be honest mine have not.  Over the past few days I have had trouble finding that ever so popular complaint that we moms have, BALANCE!

It dawned on me yesterday, Friday. We had just said goodbye to our little toddler princesses and guests who attended our Mega Blok Party (so much fun, will be vloggin about it later) and we were tidying up when I received a phone call.  We had planned on Sponsoring Pizza & Movie Night with our Playgroup at a Local family shelter, The Beach House. We had everything in order, pizza, pop, brownies, cookies, etc. it was organized to a tee and then I received the call a couple of hours before we were supposed to pick up the pizza and head to the shelter, the voice on the other end simply expressed that we needed to cancel due to an issue at the shelter but we would still be on for the following month.

The first thing that entered my mind was that my kiddos are going to be so disappointed; they were looking forward to going down to The Beach House to serve. My second thought was crap, we already ordered all those pizzas…perhaps there is another charity/shelter we could sponsor dinner for? Never in my life did I think I would have to have a backup charity/shelter…I mean who doesn’t want free food? But I didn’t have long to think, I had moms I needed to notify and kiddo to pick up from school. Thankfully we were able to cancel the order…special thanks to Tammy and Marco’s Pizza (and Ashleigh’s hubby) for being so understanding and all the moms who signed up to volunteered their time and/or beverages/desserts.  Then it dawned on me, how often does a charity/shelter pass up food? Was I receiving a sign or message?  A sign/message to slow down…stop running from one activity to the next and filling your schedule to the max…even with good intentions…just, slow down. So I did just that…..

 

After picking up our eldest from school we headed to the park where I would leaf (totally intended), my worries behind. I totally cleared my mind of all the  nonsense…the rumors of this person thinking I don’t like them…me not living up to other mothers’ standards… (When truth is told, I am just running on empty, exhausted, I have spread myself thin) I have literally scheduled every minute of my days. Exhaustion had me contemplating every aspect of my life… where I once had confidence insecurities were surfacing. While trying to be the best everything I could be for everyone else I lost something very valuable, me!

FOUND….

Walking, sitting, playing, eating, and running in the park…not having to rush off to this activity or that obligation freed me.  The clean air, sunshine on my face, joy in my children’s voices, colors of Fall all Freed me from the shackles of routine, time, rumors, insecurities, and the nonsense that had clouded my confidence. Removing yourself from the online world, unplugging, and just being for a while allows you to have time with you….that is where I found something valuable that I have LOST…ME!

Last night I had the gals over from our Moms’ Timeout show to plan upcoming shows.  I felt so rejuvenated, more like me than I have in the past month, it is amazing what a little bit of time away from “the crazy” can do for your soul.

 

Have you ever lost yourself in the hustle and bustle of motherhood? How could you tell you were lost, was it a single incident or a collection of activities that clued you in? How did you find yourself again? Or perhaps you have already found balance, what do you do to maintain that balance? Do you have a certain ritual you do or hobby that helps you stay connected with you?

40 Days for Life

At first the baby didn’t seem aware of the cannula (a straw-shaped instrument attached to the end of the suction tube)…It gently probed the baby’s side…the next movement was the sudden jerk of a tiny foot as the baby started kicking, as if trying to move away from the probing invader. As the cannula pressed in the baby began struggling to turn and twist away. The tiny body violently twisting…being wrung like a dish cloth, twirled and squeezed…then the little body began disappearing…the last thing visible was the tiny, perfectly formed backbone…and then it was gone.

These words are taken from the book, unPLANNED that tells the dramatic true story of a former Planned Parenthood leader’s eye-opening journey across the life line. You might be asking yourself why I have decided to address this topic today. It is because today marks the first of 40 Days for Life.

With abortion being the leading cause of death in the US there is a desperate need for transformation…which is where forty days comes into play. For forty days you are asked to…call upon the community to unite in prayer and fasting to end abortion. To conduct peaceful forty-day-long prayer vigils outside abortion clinics and to be a witness to the harm being done there, and offering hope and compassion to all who enter. (Taken from the book, unPLANNED)

 

Why this is such a passionate topic for me….

Okay, I guess it is time to get personal. During my freshmen year of college I was asked to write two papers, one from the perspective of a pro-life woman and the other from the perspective of a pro-choice woman. This was one of the most difficult assignments I had, and probably ever will, receive in my lifetime. That assignment, in particular the latter paper, though terribly difficult to write since I was raised pro-life and firmly believe in pro-life actually opened my eyes to the fear that can cloud ones judgment. I had to put myself in the place of a woman who was dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and suddenly I realized that fear and shame played such strong roles in their outlook. The fear of not being able to have a child alone, the fear of going through with an abortion, the fear of what other people will think, the fear of not accomplishing your dreams and goals, the fear of what life holds with a child by your side…the shame that you have brought this upon yourself, that you have had an abortion, etc. I also realized that this woman, no matter what her decision was going to be judged by some people; I say some because there are people out there who are kind and compassionate and realize that God shall pass judgment one day, not us.

Fast-forward to the present and I find myself labeling those women who have found themselves pregnant at a young age, who have to make difficult decisions, and who have chose life, I call those women BRAVE! It is no easy task to bring a child into this world out-of-wedlock, underage, etc. and I commend those women and I praise them for if it were not for them I would not have some of the most precious individuals in my life today. So I extend my gratitude to those brave women and I wish I could give each of you a warm embrace as the tears are beginning to stream down face. I am including a very touching song by Casting Crowns, Just Another Birthday that focuses on this topic….

I also have a practice I would like all to share with me for those women who have undergone an abortion, COMPASSION. I have spoken with a few women who have experienced an abortion and not once has one been glad she followed through with it. Even though they were young and they had so much potential for a bright future, career, etc. it wasn’t worth a life. In fact they regret what they have done…they always wonder what if…what if they had their baby…would it be a boy…a girl…maybe that child would have grown into the individual who would one day cure cancer. The heartache, burden, and pain those women carry for the rest of their lives are something no one should have to endure. 

So please join me in 40 Days for Life and pray and fast for all the innocent victims and victims of abortion. In honor of 40 Days for Life I am altering the background of this blog to a blue to represent the hope, peace, compassion, and fortitude for life.

The following link has printable devotions for each of the 40 days. http://40daysforlife.com/getinvolved.cfm

 

Also, if you or someone you know is facing an unplanned pregnancy in the Toledo area please direct them to Heartbeat of Toledo . If you are not in this area please seek help from a local church or other community affiliate center but not a Planned Parenthood who needs to meet abortion quotas.

If you have had an abortion here are a few sites that might help provide solace, http://hopeafterabortion.com/, http://www.afterabortion.com/, and http://www.experienceproject.com/groups/Had-An-Abortion/366.

 

40 Days for Life is not about being right, wrong, or indifferent, it is about Life…will you join me?

Play with Your Food & Kashi Soft-Baked Chocolate Squares Review (vlog)

Last Monday, it was sunny, high around 78 degrees, an all-around beautiful day and we spent it in a beautiful way…..watch the clip to learn more…

Seriously…those soft-baked squares are delicious. But back to the play date….we had such a lovely day and looking back that might have been the last official beautiful day of the summer season. The remainder of the week was cooler and rainy.

I thought I would briefly share how we stamped our food and the recipe for the edible peanut butter play dough. Prior to the play date the moms were given strict instructions to dress their little ones for fun, not fashion!

Food Stamping….

What you need:

  • Container to hold sponge (and in our case veggies & fruit too)
  • Sponges
  • Paint (Washable Tempera paint or whatever you wish)
  • Food/Fruit/Vegetables (we used onions, peppers, boiled noodles, broccoli, star fruit, etc.)
  • Paper (constriction paper, white paper, whatever you have on hand)

Directions:

  1. Spray paints on sponge
  2. Wash, dry, and cut fruit and veggies accordingly so that the shape will be displayed when stamped.

Have fun!

Edible Peanut Butter Play dough….

What you need:

  • 1 cup Dry Milk
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter (creamy)
  • Dry noodles to decorate
  • Dry fruit to decorate

 

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together, adjust as necessary.
  2. Make into fun shapes and add dry fruit, noodles, etc.

Tactile Tub….

This one is really simple…just add oat meal, rice, water, etc. to tub and fun objects to find, small shovels, cups, funnels, etc. to embellish the fun!

I do hope you have the opportunity to share these activities with your kiddos; they are so much fun especially when you do them together. Remember moms, it is not the quantity but the quality of time, shut off the phone, turn off your screens, and give your child your undivided attention. No one knows what tomorrow holds… so why put off something so important.

I will treasure the memory of this day for always…summer 2012.

Okay…so in this pic I was totally trying to capture her smile but when I told her I needed to have the soft-baked square while she was swinging because she could joke that smile quickly left her face….she kept saying “mine”, “MINE”…like I was going to eat it or something (I would so not do that…or would I? Do you think I ate it?).

So, do tell, have you had the chance to try Kashi’s soft-baked squares? If so what do you think? Do you have a favorite Kashi brand treat…cereal?

The First Day of Autumn!

 

Knock…knock…knock…what is that knocking on your door? Why it is autumn! And I don’t know about you but I am welcoming autumn with open arms…a cozy sweater…pumpkin pie…and a visit to Gust Brother’s Pumpkin Farm….

 

Well, truth be told, we welcomed the first day of Fall a little early this year. Yesterday my two younger kiddos and I meet up with our playgroup at Gust Brother’s Pumpkin Farm.  Gust Brother’s Pumpkin farm is the essence of autumn, upon arrival they have wagons and wheel barrow to borrow on your adventures through the farm. They have animals on the farm including, goats, sheep, cows, pigs, rabbits, chickens, etc. that the kiddos so enjoy seeing.  There are also tons of, well, pumpkins!

They also sell gourds, apples, eggplant, Indian corn, hay, fruit crisps, etc. basically anything Fall related.  Also, no matter which way you turn the view is a pure vision of autumn, if you get a chance to visit I dare you to take a bad picture, seriously …the scenery is amazing!

 

The kiddos and I got out some of our Fall decorations this morning….and our Fall books….

Thought I would share some fun Fall Riddles and Poems…

 

Riddle: Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater

 

Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,

Had a wife but couldn’t keep her,

Put her in a pumpkin shell,

And there he kept her, very well.

 

 

Song: I’m a Little Pumpkin….tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”

 

I’m a little pumpkin

Orange and round.

 Here is my stem,

I grew in the ground.

 

When I get all cut up,

Don’t you shout!

Just open me up

And scoop me out!

Poem: A Child’s Calendar November

 by John Updike

 

The stripped and shapely

Maple grieves

The ghosts of her

Departed leaves.

 

The ground is hard,

As hard as stone.

The year is old,

The birds are flown.

 

And yet the world,

In its distress,

Displays a certain

Loveliness—

 

I am so looking forward to all the splendor Fall has to offer including….the leaves changing, leaf rubbings, pumpkin pie, carving pumpkins, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin lattes (you get the idea), long nature walks in the park, sweaters, picking apples, apple pie, hayrides, Halloween, Thanksgiving, fires in the fireplace,….and so much more!

So what is your favorite season of the year? How do you welcome autumn…do you have a family tradition? Do you and your kiddos have a favorite autumn inspired book, riddle, or poem that you read? Please share…

Moms’ Timeout Episode I (video)

I need to first apologize to anyone who tried to tune in and watch our show live on Monday. We experienced a few technical difficulties for our first show and it did not go live, unbeknownst to us. We actually went through the entire show and then noticed that we were not being seen, so disappointing! But we handled the situation with class; we had a glass of wine and then did the exact same show again. If you don’t succeed at first try…try again…and so we did! So without further ado, Moms’ Timeout Episode I….

And Part II….

Do you have any Time Management or planning tips to add to the list? Or perhaps you can relate to some of the issues we discussed?

Please share your thoughts, ideas for future shows, suggestions for the format of the show, any and all comments are graciously welcomed so please share. Don’t worry; you will not hurt my feelings.

Tailgating Tuesdays: Vegetarian Recipes & GIVEAWAY ($70 value)

Okay, so I tailgating often means you are eating food that mom usually wouldn’t approve of, but isn’t that part of the fun? My hubby would say yes! Well… to be more precise he would say something along the lines of…there is no Tofu in Tailgating! And he might be right?  But why not think outside the box, or rather, the bun.  We need not limit our tailgating experience to meats that fit in bun! Right!?!

Besides, tailgaters come in all different shapes, sizes, team colors, weird superstitions, and yes, each even has different dietary needs. So, if you hadn’t guessed, this Tuesday’s Tailgating topic is vegetarian tailgating recipes…. I am saying yes to Tofu and tossing the buns!

The first recipe is Asian inspired and I think it tastes scrumptious!

Asian Toasted Tofu (yummy side)

Ingredient:

  • 1 package extra-firm tofu
  • 1 cup peanuts (plain or honey roasted)
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 bottle Kraft toasted Asian sesame dressing

Directions:

  1. Marinade tofu in dressing for at least 30 minutes before grill….just enough dressing so that it is submerged, about half a bottle.
  2. Grill onions till tender.
  3. Grill Tofu for roughly 5-6 minutes on each side (this will vary depending on the temperature of your grill so keep an eye on it.
  4. Remove from grill and cut into bite sizes. Add peanuts, onions, and remaining dressing toss gently and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chili Cheese Burrito

Ingredients:

  • 1 can Chili Ready Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can Kidney beans
  • 1 can blackeye peas
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 pepper diced
  • 1 package of lightlife Smart Ground Original (faux beef)
  • 8 cheese sticks (whichever type you prefer)
  • 1 package tortillas (I like the whole grain)

 

Directions:

  1. To make chili: Place chili ready tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, blackeye peas, tomatoes, Smart Ground and pepper in slow cooker on medium heat for a couple hours before you plan on tailgating.  Either leave in slow cooker or take entire container or place in smaller containers.
  2. Once you begin tailgating place the little griddle or aluminum foil on grill then add one tortilla, a couple tablespoons of the chili o the center of the tortilla, one cheese stick in the center of tortilla on top of chili and then top with a few slices of onion (I like mine grilled first but you do not have to grill them first).
  3. Leave on gill for about 4-5 minutes and remove once cheese starts to melt.
  4. For added texture and flavor … dab a tablespoon full of plain Greek yogurt in the center.

Enjoy!

 

And for Dessert…Buckeye cakes! Yep, that’s right, I said Buckeye!

Ingredients:

  • 1 chocolate cake mix
  • ½ stick of butter at room temperature
  • 2 cup confession sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 Tablespoons of Milk

Directions:

  1. Follow directions on the back of the cake mix box and cook in cupcake forms.
  2. For frosting…mix butter and peanut butter into mixer at medium speed. Add milk and slowly add sugar until it is the right consistency.
  3. Frost cupcakes after they have cooled otherwise the frosting will melt.

Enjoy! And go Bucks!!

And now for the giveaway!

I am not sure who had a chance to view the vlog from the first Tuesday’s Tailgating post so I thought I would include it here for those who did not view it so that you know more about the products that are in the giveaway.

 

This giveaway includes:

  • Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Outdoor Lantern
  • Grate Chef Stainless Steel Wipes (6 wipes)
  • Grate Chef Non-Stick Grill Wipes (6 wipes)
  • Grate Chef Firestarters
  • Grate Chef The Groove All-in-one cleanser-filled scrubbing pads (3 pads)
  • Grate Chef Flare Down
  • Set of 4 Plate-N-cup

And is valued at $70!

In order to enter the giveaway you will need to

  1. Like Mom on the go in Holy Toledo facebook page (if you haven’t done so already)
  2. Follow Mom on the go in Holy Toledo blog
  3. Like Thermacell facebook page
  4. Like Grate Chef facebook page

And last but not least, comment to this post stating you have done all four and share what college football team or NFL team you root for!!

Good Luck!