We’ve been making these fun apple-almond (or peanut) butter monster mouths a lot lately, after my friend suggested it, and they are so, so good and fun to make! Although I found peanut butter smeared in random-ish places, the kids were able to put them together themselves for the most part and were completely occupied which is always a bonus. Just thought I’d pass the idea along if you’re looking for something creative to snack on.
Dinners, on the other hand, have looked a lot less creative which is why I didn’t share a menu last month. But with the start of May has come sunshine, a less hectic baseball schedule (no rainouts!), and less needy kids (yay outside playtime!). All of which are game changers, but lets be honest, whether your kids are little and needing hands-on attention, or older and in evening activities, there is no amount of sunshine or meal planning that will make dinnertime easy, so I’m still going to keep things pretty simple this month. Keep scrolling to find my best tips for getting takeout, picnic ideas, a list of v. easy dinners and our go-to filling snacks!
MONSTER MOUTHS | Spread favorite nut butter on one side of your apple slices. Line one apple slice with a row of marshmallows. Top with other slice. Use peanut butter to add candy eyes and eat!
- Tired of pizza and sandwiches for takeout? Try ordering from your favorite Thai, Sushi, Indian restaurant or that cute little Italian place down the street…
- Look for specials on certain nights of the week — for instance, Monday’s are double points at Jersey Mike’s so that’s been our go-to… every other visit our order is half priced!
- Do 1/2 and 1/2 — for example, make a big salad at home and order your favorite crab fritters (or whatever) to go!
- Grab some grocery store takeout from the deli/coolers — Trader Joe’s has yummy stuff, but most places offer more than jo-jos and corndogs these days :)
- Copycat Starbucks Bistro Boxes
- This caprese sandwich looks delish and very packable
- Mediterranean chicken pasta salad (I use rotisserie chicken or salami in a pinch!)
- Charcuterie platter
- Sandwich or antipasto skewers
- Any chopped salad (my fave), Goddess bowl or quinoa salad (this one looks yum) in a mason jar
- Chicken fried rice is a picnic win for us. This recipe is similar to the one we use, but I usually swap out the peas for chopped broccoli or whatever else is in the fridge. It’s also a great way to use up leftover chicken breast or a rotisserie.
- Favorite pizza
- TIP: I usually pack things up in tupperware, but when I want to avoid them getting left at the field or in the car for too many days, THESE are handy, compostable containers. We’ve gotten THESE for parties before too and enjoy when we have extras to use. Definitely nice to have options!
REALLY EASY DINNERS
- Anything in a bowl — goddess bowls, burrito bowls, etc.
- French bread pizza
- Tuna melts
- Egg and sausage breakfast sandwiches — add pesto, avocado, basil, fancy cheeses (like the coconut gouda at TJ’s) to spice things up!
- French dip sandwiches
- These enchiladas are the best! Although they aren’t the easiest or fastest, they are easy to make ahead and the bake time helps with clean up.
- Tomato pesto spaghetti florentine
- Store-bought, ready to grill, kabobs
- Quesadillas with black beans, avocado, etc.
- The stuffed bell peppers from Costco
- Baked potatoes
- Crockpot shredded chicken or pork for throwing together tacos, salads, soups, etc.
- Apple monsters are seriously so good. I wasn’t sure about the mallows and then I took a bite!
- Still love a good caterpillar kabob
- And pantry party mix
- Crudites and hummus 4ever
- Tuna dip with cucumbers, carrots, crackers and potato chips!
- String cheese and deli meat roll ups
- Chunky monkey protein shake
- Energy bites
- Sliced avocado or guacamole and chips
Yesterday while looking for meal ideas, I stumbled upon a few recipe cards given to me by a family friend during my kitchen themed bridal shower. They read:
“AH-SO ON THE GO”
1) enter your favorite chinese takeout phone number here _____________.
“DOUGH ON A ROLL”
1) Enter favorite pizza joint phone number here _____________.
“IF YOU MUST, CHICKEN BUST”
1) Chicken breasts.
2) Favorite bottle of BBQ sauce, put on chicken
3) BBQ until done.
I loved finding these cards among all the trusted, handed down and detailed recipes. It reminded me not to be so “all or nothing” when it comes to feeding the fam and that on those nights or seasons when life is crazy or I just don’t want to cook, there are other options and no need to feel guilty about it. Just hope all the lists above help a little!