Archive | LITTLE BITES

LITTLE BITES: COPYCAT STARBUCKS BISTRO BOXES

Baseball season is in full swing for my oldest two boys and husband (who coaches). I’ve always had mixed feeling about this time of year. Johan is already gone several nights a week so when you add practices and games into the mix it feels like we’re never all together. Throw in the unpredictable spring weather and all the dirt (oh the dirt!) and you get one hot mess of an evening routine. But there is always a bright side! 1. I love watching my athletes play ball and interact with their teammates while the other kids run around with their friends. There is something so sweet about the baseball vibe and I really enjoy being around it. And 2. all the picnic style dinners we get to eat. Keeping our dinner mess confined to a tote bag and blanket is a total win. It also helps with picky eaters — This is what we have so if you are hungry, this is what you can eat — nothing to negotiate with. At least until they find a nicer team mom who brought a container of goldfish… :) HA!

Anyways, some game nights we’ll pickup our favorite sandwiches at Jersey Mikes, other nights I’ll go the crockpot route and we’ll eat a little before and then after the game but more often than not I’ll pack something from home. Problem is, it’s not long before I run completely out of ideas and by that point, slightly out of steam too. So, I’ve been looking for inspiration anywhere I can find it. One of those places has been Starbucks and their cooler of yummy and mostly healthy on the go foods. I love all of their salads and warm sandwiches, but the kids usually pick their bistro boxes so I put together a few copycat versions for Ozzie’s game last night and they went over really well with the kids!

(favorite meal containers, condiment cups, silicone muffin cups, candy eyes or these)

one | sandwich wrap (store-bought or homemade) with carrots, grapes, hummus (for the sandwich or chips if I threw them in the bag), and ranch.

two | protein pack with hardboiled egg, brie cheese (or whatever we have), cinnamon raisin bread (by mike’s killer bread), almond butter, pretzels, apples, and grapes.

three | pb&j with apples, cucumber, carrots, ranch, and dark chocolate raisins.

Of course all of the fruits and veggies can be switched out with whatever we have in the fridge and I’m sure the kids will want to customize some parts, but it’s appetizing enough for the adults and a great base to start with!

What do you guys make for dinner on busy nights and where do you find inspiration!? 

Pinterest is always a good place to troll for ideas but asking friends (you included) what they have been feeding their fam bams is always helpful and inspiring!

Happy almost Friday!

xo, Rae

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LITTLE BITES: TRAIL MIX + MATCH

Trail mix is full of healthy fats and good energy and is one of my go-to snacks for grabbing on the go or adding to school lunches. The only problem with store-bought versions is that certain little someones are always sneaking into the panty to pick out their favorite parts until there isn’t much mixed about it. Ha! Maybe you can relate? So lately we’ve been making individual, made to order batches so everyone can have a mix that is full of their favorites. The process is pretty painless and actually really fun… raid your pantry (and the store) for dried fruit, nuts, seeds, bite-sized sweets, and other snacks, set out in bowls and let everyone fill a container with their own combination.

Some ingredient ideas..

  • NUTS: raw almonds, peanuts, walnuts, macadamia, pistachios, cashews, and pine nuts
  • SEEDS: sunflower or pumpkin… sesame, flax and hemp seeds are also a good addition, but a little messy.
  • FRUITS: dried apricots, cranberries, bananas, mangos, goji, pineapple, blueberries, apples, coconut, and raisins
  • SWEETS: mini m&m’s, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, carob chips, peanut butter chips, cacao nibs, mini marshmallows, yogurt covered raisins, and chocolate covered almonds
  • SNACKS: pretzels, popcorn, cheerios or other cereal, and granola

What’s your default grab-and-go snack?

xo, Rae

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A MENU PLAN, PENGUIN COOKIES, FAVORITE BOOK, + LIFE LATELY

It’s not often that I start my week off with a random post but — oh my goodness you guys — still over here having  a hard time transitioning out of Christmas break mode! Was hoping all the new year’s resolutions, goals and ambitions would kick my butt into gear but the haze has not fully lifted. I’ll be heading out later this morning for a meeting and long work day away from the house and kids (what, what?) and am hoping it will do the trick. Nothing like a quick break from the norm to regain focus and energy.

Here are a few other things that have been going on around here…

I may not have done much other than play and visit with the ones I love this last week but I did manage to put together a meal plan which is always a good thing. Here’s what we’ll be chowing down on this week:

M | beef + cauliflower fried rice

T | baked potato bar

W | thai chicken noodle bowls (i like this recipe but this one has some good shortcuts)

TH | eat out or takeout :)

F | skillet chicken chilaquiles + a winter margarita (cheers to the weekend!)

SA | creamy tortellini and sausage soup + rustic bread

SU | dinner with friends

BREAKKIE | cereal or smoothie with sausage, or omelets

LUNCH | leftover fried rice or bagel sandwich, apple slices with almond butter or strawberries, popcorn or veggie straws, cucumbers or baby carrots with dip

SNACK | zucchini chocolate chip muffins or greek yogurt and granola

Now let’s chat about the cute penguin cookies above that Griffin and I made last week while Poppy napped and the big kids were at school.

To make YOU’LL NEED:

  • oreo cookies
  • white baking chocolate
  • black decorating gel (next to the frosting tubes) or mini chocolate chips
  • fruit leather for the beak (or other orange dried fruit or candy), cut into small triangles
  • wax paper

HERE’S HOW (reference pics below):

  1. Cover cookie sheet or cutting board with wax paper. Melt chocolate according to instructions. Dip cookies in chocolate at an angle to make face. Lay on wax paper and then use a spoon to make chocolate lines more rounded like a heart.
  2. Use black gel to add eyes and small triangles of fruit leather for the beak.
  3. Place cookies in the fridge or freezer until chocolate hardens and then enjoy! Side note — black gel never fully hardens so if you stack them the eyes sometimes smear.

The cookies and my kids recent penguins obsession was inspired by the book, Penguin Problems. I purchased it because the cover and name was so cute (ha!) and then wasn’t sure what I thought about the story once it arrived. The kids however, fell in love and even quote parts of it too!

Those feet! Griffin’s are still cute and sweet to me but probably not for long.

The sun paid us a visit for most of last week and with it frigid temperatures. It was a nice break from the rain but kept us cooped up indoors just as much which I actually didn’t mind too much. These pictures and the pretty light is sure making me crave springtime though!

Feeling a little more ready for the week after that recap… Hope your Monday is off to a beautiful start!

XO, Rae

Poppy’s sweatshirt and sweatpants and Griffin’s sweatshirt are from childhood’s clothing. Griffin’s sweat pants are from Zara.

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OUR FAVORITE HEALTHY(ISH) SNACKS FOR THE FAM

Remember cribs on MTV? Well, the master bedroom might have been where the magic happened, but the refrigerator was always the best part. It’s so fun seeing what other people eat and since everyone in my home could use a cleanse from processed and sugary foods after the holidays, I thought it would be ‘fun’ to share our favorite (mostly healthy) snacks!

Here’s a peek at what you’ll currently find in our kitchen to snack on…

ZBARS (costco) | FRUIT LEATHERS (costco) | ALMOND BUTTER + PEANUT BUTTER (costco) | FRESH FRUIT (a must) | STRING CHEESE | HUMMUS DIPS (costco) | GUACAMOLE DIPS (costco) | HARD BOILED EGGS | PRETZELS (costco) | EDAMAME (costco) | SALAMI | RAW ALMONDS (bulk)

Obviously keeping Costco in business :)

Not Pictured: fresh veggies (Johan is so much better about veggies at snack time than I am), pirate booty, tortilla chips, greek yogurt (the kids like the chobani tubes), turkey meat (wrap around string cheese for an extra fun snack!), izze sparkling juice (as a special treat), and honest juice boxes

Edamames are a hit with half the kids. We buy the big frozen bag with smaller pouches from Costco and keep a pouch or two in the refrigerator for easy snacking or to add to school lunches without having to warm up or defrost. They are extra good with salt sprinkled on top!

I swear there mush be kid crack in Zbars because my little ones are obsessed with them. There were days this past summer where I’m pretty sure, its all Griffin ate. Half curious if they are just as bad as a chewy granola bars but am afraid to know the truth, LOL. If you have any info to share about these lifesaving, easy to pack, crowd pleasing bars, please let me know. But if it’s bad news, break it to me easy :)

Most of our “eat me anytime” snacks are kept in the bottom drawer of the fridge for easy grabbing. Pantry snacks are a little more out of reach with the exception of pretzels.

I try really hard to keep super processed and sweet foods to a minimum in our home. That being said we do indulge but usually when we are out and about or have planned a family movie or game night. Oh, and of course homemade treats (like these yummy cookies) too. So maybe we don’t do that great of a job (ha!) and it’s near impossible around any holiday, but I guess it could be worse!

If you’ve been feeling stumped on what to stock the kitchen with, I’ve been there. And go there often. Hope this helps!

What snacks do you keep your kitchen stocked with?

XO, Rae

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