Monday, August 31, 2015

Peanut butter & jelly RITZwiches....

Well, my kidlets have been in school now for 3 weeks. I am still in disbelief that it's already back-to-school time again. We're finally getting back into the swing of things, though. The weather today here in the M-town is gorgeous!! It's the end of August in Memphis, and the high today is 82*. That is unbelievable. The norm is mid 90's. And, the temps are going to be like this for the next week or so. This morning, I could distinctly feel a bit of fall in the was a cool, brisk 58*. Yep...fall is just around the corner. It's my favorite time of the year....snuggly sweatshirts, yummy chili, football, and, of course, all things pumpkin. I'm so ready for......

Anyway, most kids love peanut butter, right? Z is no exception. Z loves it!!! He does not attend a school that bans it, so I serve PB up pretty often. I like to make PB&J rollups, wraps, sushi, and homemade Uncrustables. A favorite snack around here is peanut butter and Ritz crackers, and I make these for Z's snack quite often. Well, the other day, I got a hankering (I love that word) to change up the 'ol PB-Ritz cracker combo. Yes, the PB&J Ritzwich was born. Score one for mom!! (I'm sure this is not my original creation, but my kidlet doesn't know that. LOL) The salty buttery flavor of the Ritz, the creamy peanut butter combined with yummy sweet cherry bubblegum jelly......HOLY MOLEY!!!! That's some yummy goodness there, y'all.

Why, yes, I did say cherry bubblegum jelly. What!!!! You've never heard of cherry bubblegum jelly?? Well, neither had I until my friend recently bought me a jar and turned me on to it. Pioneer Valley makes this unusual jelly combo. It's made with premium ingredients, is sweetened with fresh fruit, and has no fillers, corn syrup, or preservatives. It's particularly popular with the under 10 crowd in my house. Me....I'm a strawberry fruit girl, so this has a somewhat interesting flavor to me. So, if you want to step outside the jelly box, and try something a little different, this cherry bubblegum jelly is just for you.

I included the peanut butter and cherry bubblegum RITZwiches in Z's lunch for today.

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These little delights can be a bit messy, but you can cut down on the mess factor by making these with the mini Ritz crackers......delish AND cute!!! Just pop the whole thing in your mouth at once. You can also up the yumminess factor by adding a thin slice of banana. Peanut butter, jelly and banana RITZwiches.....Oh Yeah!!!!

This lunch is packed in EasyLunchboxes.
  • RITZwiches- Ritz crackers, peanut butter, and Pioneer Valley cherry bubblegum jelly
  • Sargento cheddar cheese cubes
  • Natural Selects Bologna rolls
  • baby carrots and Sungold cherry tomatoes
  • Oikos Greek yogurt with strawberry heart
  • golden raisins in the blue tube- This is an empty mint container....I can repurpose just about anything into a lunch accessory. LOL

Some of the things, or similar things, that I used to make this lunch:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

DIY Pizza Lunchable...

First week of school....DONE!! Well, we survived the first week of school without any major mishaps. We've got our morning routine down, both kids are happy with their classes and teachers, and Z is over the moon that his bestie from last year is in his class this year, too. Yay for besties!! Mama's just about gotten adjusted to a quiet house again. And best of all, Grumpy Bear syndrome has just about passed (see previous post). First week success, I'd say.  I know many of your kidlets are headed back to school very soon.....hang in there, Mamas!!!! It's not long now!! The graphic below says it all, huh!

One of Z's favorite lunches has to be the DIY pizza Lunchable. I can't believe I've never posted a DIY pizza lunch. These are so much healthier than the pre-boxed ones at the know the ones. The boxed pizza Lunchables have ingredients in them that I can't even pronounce. But, kids love these things, don't they? And, mine are no exception. So, in order to maintain my coolness factor with the little guy, I created our own version of the pizza Lunchable with healthier and tastier ingredients. These are fun for kids to eat, and, best of all, homemade pizza Lunchables are super easy to make. My mini pizza crusts came from an online bakery, but you could make your own, use pita bread or English muffins. Give these a try in your kiddos lunch, and you will be the coolest mom on the block!

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This lunch is packed in the Goodbyn Bynto.
  • thin 3 inch pizza crusts- I don't remember the brand I used, but Mazor makes a 3 inch and a 2 inch mini pizza crust.
  • Vermont Smoke and Cure nitrate-free pepperoni
  • Sargento shredded mozzarella cheese
  • carrot rounds and black olives
  • red seedless grapes
  • Kroger yogurt tube- This is their version of the Trix yogurt tubes.
  • Glen Muir organic pizza sauce in the round Sistema cup- This comes in a bottle, and I doctored it up to suit my family's taste.
  • Hershey's cookies and cream miniature

Some of the things, or similar things, that I used to make this lunch:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Grumpy Bear Syndrome has set in......

Well, it's day 3 of the school year, and grumpy bear syndrome has set in with my kids. All summer long, I allowed the boys to stay up a little later at night and sleep a lot later in the morning (this might have included me, as well), and now we are paying for it. Blerg!!!! Getting back in that early morning school routine is a toughy, huh? This morning was a three cup 'o coffee morning. It usually takes my kiddos about two weeks to adjust to the earlier hours and the brain drain of the new school year. Me??? I very quickly get over the "missing my babies" syndrome. I know that many of your kiddos are getting ready to go back to school. So, here's hoping you all have a grumpy bear free start to your school year. This little fun cartoon kind of sums up that first day for us, doesn't it, Moms?

Here's school day #3 lunch for the little guy. He loves these mini DIY sealed sandwiches....kind of like a mini Uncrustables sandwich that you find in the freezer section of the grocery. They are so easy to make, and you can stuff them with any of your kid's favorite fillings. Make them in any size or shape that you like. The best thing about them, though, is that you can make them in batches and freeze them. Toss 'em into the lunchbox, and they will be thawed by lunchtime. To see my original post on how to make these little cuties, click HERE

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This lunch is packed in Easylunchboxes.
  • DIY mini PB&J Uncrustable- I used strawberry all-fruit spread and peanut butter
  • Rold Gold Pretzel Snaps
  • red seedless grapes
  • Green olives
  • sweet green peas with Balsamic dressing in the froggy bottle
  • natural applesauce
  • Hershey's mini milk chocolate bar

Some of the things, or similar things, that I used to make this lunch:

Monday, August 10, 2015

Hello 3rd grade...

Hey Mamas!!!! It's time for the kidlets to go.......

Well, today is the first day of school here in the M-town (insert frowny face), and the little guy is starting 3rd grade. We had a blast this summer (insert happy face)...lots of pool time and a super fun vacation. Z was so excited this morning, bouncing around like Tigger. He couldn't hardly wait to get out the door. It was POURING down rain...I'm talking buckets and buckets, and that didn't squelch (I love that word) his enthusiasm one bit. However, back-to-school time always leaves me a bit melancholy. I know that Z has missed his friends, and I know that I should be overjoyed that he looks forward to school with such gusto. But, I love having my kidlets home with me. I just miss them when school starts. However, I'm pretty sure that the first kid-free grocery shopping trip and lunch with my bestie (insert enormously happy face) will cure me of the back-to-school blues, and I'll be back on track.

Here's our first lunch of the school year: 

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This lunch is packed in Easylunchboxes.
  • Natural Selects hotdog and Vermont Smoke and Cure pepperoni slices- Both are all-natural and are nitrate and additive free.
  • Rold Gold pretzels
  • Babybel cheese
  • Lakeview Farms spinach/artichoke dip with Baby carrots- Sorry, Z's carrots were a bit dry....time for Mama to go to the grocery.
  • red seedless grapes and mandarin orange slices
  • Hershey's cookies and cream miniature bar

Some of the things, or similar things, that I used to make this lunch: