What’s in Your Lunchbox Wednesday: With Love from Mom!

When I was growing up, my mom used to make fantastic great lunches for us complete with cute notes from time to time.  Other kids were always jealous of my lunches.  This school year, I vowed that I would be a “better” mom.  I vowed that I would not continually resort to Lunchables and peanut butter sandwiches for  school lunches.  To date, I must admit, I have for the most part failed miserably.

So, this morning, I resolved to do something different!  I’m going to start small and try to make one fun and/or creative lunch each week.  Here’s my first attempt at a creative lunch!

-Peanut butter & Jelly sandwich (trusty standby) with a heart cut into it

-Heart-shaped cucumbers w/ ranch

-Heart-shaped cheese slices


My daughter walked in as I was making her lunch this morning and was super excited!

What was in your kids lunchboxes this week?

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Tasty Treat Tuesday: Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

These cookies are a family favorite!  My mother-in-law is a celiac and cannot have anything that contains gluten so this is one of the few flourless desserts I can make for her.  I was a little worried at first that the lack of flour would make the cookies hard, like most gluten-free cookies are, but these are surprisingly soft.  The best part of all… there are only four ingredients!

Here is what you will need to make Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies:

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg

24 mini peanut butter cups

Here is how to make them:

-Preheat oven to 350

-Combine peanut butter, sugar and egg in a meduim bowl and blend until smooth.

-Divide out and place dough into 24 mini cupcake/muffin cups.

-Bake for 8-10 minutes.

-Remove cookies from the oven and press down an unwrapped peanut butter cup into the center of each cookie.

-Place cookies back into the oven for 2-4 minutes until cookies are set.

-Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.

NOTE:  This is another recipe from my sister Melinda!  I hope you’ve been enjoying all the yummy Tasty Treat Tuesday recipes she’s been bringing us!


Recipe and Craft Round-up!

If you’re looking for some recipe inspiration as you plan your menu for this week, check out this round up of recipes from last week:

Monkey bread (see the picture above – doesn’t that look DELICIOUS?)

Tortellini totem poles (totally kid friendly!)

Slow cooker french dip sandwiches (one of my family’s favorites!)

Red Velvet pancakes 

If you need more meal-planning inspiration, check out my weekly menus in my Menu Planning Monday posts here (recipes are included)–>Menu Planning Monday 

Check out these back to school craft ideas to help you organize all those papers that come home and to help your kids get their homework done–>Back to school crafts:  Get organized 

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information.


Kid Friendly Dinner: Tortellini Totem Poles

Picture of Tortellini Totem Poles Recipe

I am always on the hunt for new dinner ideas that will please my picky eaters and that don’t include hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, or pizza.  Sometimes I think my kids think those are the four major food groups!  I came across this recipe for tortellini totem poles the other day and I am so excited to try it out.  My plan is to place all the ingredients out in bowls on the counter and then let my kids make thier own.  I think they will have a blast making them and because they did it all themselves they will hopefully be more likely to eat and enjoy it.  I will probably leave out some of the ingredients that aren’t as kid friendly and substitute others according to what I have on hand.

Here is what you need:

  • 2 cups tortellini (cheese, meat, vegetable – your choice!), cooked, drained and cooled
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese (bocconcini or cut into 1-inch cubes) — I will probably use whatever cheese I have on hand.
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup black olives, pitted
  • 1/2 cup cucumber peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pepperoni slices
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing — I will probably use ranch dressing instead.

Here is the link to the tutorial -> Tortellini Totem Poles

Photo Credit:  Food Network

Tasty Treat Tuesday: Monkey Bread

Eating monkey bread is a huge tradition in my husband’s family.  When we got married it was important for me to find a good recipe so I could carry on that tradition.  I don’t have the best of luck when it comes to baking breads so I needed a recipe that required as little effort from me as possible.  Seriously, if it requires yeast then I am going to find a way to ruin it… even with an automatic bread machine.  This recipe is both super yummy and super easy.  My kids love taking turns putting the dough into place and any time I can get them involved in the cooking process and learning, I feel like I am succeeding as a mom.

Here is what you will need:

4 cans refrigerated biscuits
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks
butter (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup
raisins (these are optional, it’s great with or without them)

Here is a link to the recipe -> Monkey Bread Recipe

NOTE:  This awesome recipe is brought to you by my sister Melinda, who will be bringing us even more great recipe and craft ideas as well as grocery store match-ups and the nightly round-up!  I also have to tell you that my family loves monkey bread, too!

Photo Credit:  MomsWhoThink