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Category Archives: cooking

So often I am asked if I share recipes…of course I do.  Where would we be if we all chose to keep delectable yummy goodness to ourselves?  So thus begins this new category on my blog entitled “Recipes for my Dear Friend” .  This will hopefully cut down on the amount of times I e-mail or hand write my most coveted and shared delights. I do have a dear friend, in fact several.  We share our hearts, coffee (or tea)  and recipes of course.  Some dear friends I have known for many sweet years, and some for just a while.  So enjoy, and if you ever want any recipe from me just ask me if it is posted for you… my” dear friend”.

layer in baking dish:
1 block cream cheese mixed with 1/2 C parm and some Italian spices
pizza sauce
more mozzarella
bake @350 about 30-40 min

My dear friend Mel has made these cookies for years. She uses them for Christmas, valentines day, and even as a crust for the best fruit pizza you will ever have. I have always loved these cookies, and wondered if it was all in my head…or if these really were the best thing since sliced bread. However, when I started making them, folks threw themselves at the feet of the cookie platter and I realized….yup those are some real good cookies.
I always make a double batch, and they are best when served with the homemade cream cheese frosting (or as the base of a fruit pizza of course). They also get softer as they sit in an airtight container all frosted and beautiful…my favorite

Beat together:
1C softened butter
1C sugar
2 eggs
3C flour
1t baking soda
1t vanilla
1/2t salt

Roll out on a floured surface and cut into shapes…not too thin
bake @ 375 for about 10 min depending on the size of your cookie.

frost with:
mix together with mixer
2C powder sugar
3oz cream cheese
1T butter, soft
1t vanilla

ps..the dough can also be frozen up to 3 months

So, in the past I have not put a whole lot of effort toward the organization of school lunches. However, with three little ones starting this fall, expectations of yummy, healthy, and fun-filled sacks has made us think about becoming more intentional. After all, in the past I myself, being the loving mommy that I am, have prepared lunches for kiddos daily. This means getting out all the bread, choice fillings for the day, baggies, chips, veggies, extra snacks ect. Not to mention the chaos that sometimes erupts when I supply bowl, spoons, milk and evidently an unlimited amount of tasty cereal choices( or so it seems to our children whose eyes are much larger than their tummies at times) on the table for a quick breakfast. This has lead to a mess not to mention waste. My brilliant husband ( and I do not say that with sarcasm) said to me recently “what if we pre- measure the kids cereal for their breakfast” That question completely inspired me to completely transform the way we do lunches around here. My new found system my seem a bit to predictable, or complicated to some of you however, there are 6 cute little mouths to feed. We have done the math, that is about 100 sandwiches a month!!
In the past I have done different lunches every day for the kids, deciding daily what to pack and preparing it all each day. I have found that I waste a ton of time doing it this way.
Our new system is as follows:
We will have 2 lunch options each week, one for Mon., Wed. Fri., the other choice will be given on Tues. and Thurs.
For example one lunch choice could be
Ham and cheese croissant


homemade cereal barsjuice

the coordinating lunch would be
peanut butter on wheat
cheese popcorn
string cheese

homemade granola bars

Now to prep the food, we got the kiddos involved in the process and they loved it. At the start of the line was Gavin(7) he placed the two slices of bread on a small board, and spread one side with jam, then it slid to Jaiden (5),who spread the other side with peanut butter, then on to Maddison(8) who cut and packaged the sandwich. On the opposite side of the table Levi(3) was scooping snacks such as white cheddar popcorn or corn chips into one cup measurements and bagging them, and giving them to Zoe(2) who then put them into snack bins for our cupboards. We then freeze the sandwiches. This weekend we froze 50 meat and cheese sandwiches and 30 peanut butter and jam. That will save tons of time while packing, I also have found that if I just tell myself ahead of time what snacks go with what meal, I waste less time packing. (I use this principle with dinner planning which I do a month in advance as well, I will write about that later) This process only took about one hour for us to do all together.
I do try to be creative with the lunch choices, so we include wraps, filled with veggie cream cheese and lunch meat, and salads. Also warm meals like tacos or pizza, my kids have access to a microwave during lunch.
Our kids attend a “sugar-free” school, so we try to come up with healthy snacks that the kids will enjoy. I love that they never beg for super fatty, sugar-filled treats, because they know they are not allowed to have them at school. We have done a lot of home-made granola bars and home made cereal bars with cheerios and dried cherries ect.

As for breakfast, we will pre-package a “Hill kiddo” sized portion of cereal in plastic bowls with lids.( you can purchase these at gordon food service for about 10.00 for 50, they are deli containers ) Then our little cuties can pick one bowl of choice and pour their milk in and less waste, less mess!

I hope that this has been helpful in your meal prep. We are just excited about being on top of the 100+ lunches we will make this month.  Blessing to you an your family this school year, may you be intentional in what you do for Christ this school year!