So, maybe there actually IS something new under the sun – I’ve always heard that everything “new” is actually a little bit different twist on an “old” idea, and that probably is pretty close to the truth. BUT, with the invention of Pinterest (is that a NEW or an OLD idea?), we have so many resources to inspire us to try something new and different. I decided to check out some new ideas for back-to-school lunches, and of course I discovered about a million ways to make a turkey sandwich among other things. But I did come up with a few ideas that might work for our family, and since both of my girls have been saving “cool” ideas to Pinterest boards all summer, it just seemed like something I ought to consider.
In addition to my collection of foodie ideas in the “If I Ever Cook Again” category, I now have a few quick, easy, and (hopefully) inexpensive ideas pinned for this autumn. That’s a pretty big accomplishment for me, since I’m oblivious to food most of the time. Every time one of my girls asks, “Hey Mom, what’s for dinner?” my eyes glaze over and my head starts to pound. “You mean we have to eat AGAIN??? Didn’t we just do that yesterday?” So you can see that I have a very bad attitude about food in general.
Kind of the same way I feel about fashion and math. I know, kind of a strange combination, but when it comes to fashion, food, and math . . . I just don’t get it. If you are hungry, make a peanut butter sandwich and get on with the business of living. That’s my philosophy about eating. If you don’t have anything to wear (really? who does that?), grab something that covers you up and keep on moving. That’s my philosophy about fashion.
And then there’s my lifelong nemesis, MATH! Really, when do I need to know that E = MC2? Or that velocity is measured . . . . ummmmm . . . . somehow using a gazillion little squiggly lines divided by a bunch of other squiggly lines. Well, that is unless I’m a genius like those amazing women in the movie “Hidden Figures.” Did you see that movie? It is an amazing testament to the incredible determination and brilliance of a few women in the face of ignorance and arrogance . . . but I digress. I just have no use for all those formulas and equations in my daily life, but I’m certainly glad that there are some people who understand it and can actually do something with it all.
So, when it comes back to cooking, I just don’t want to. Pretty simple, but like many other things in life that we don’t want to do, we still have to do it. Some days it will still be peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and macaroni and cheese for supper, but I’m trying. I really am trying, but I still might melt into a puddle of whining and whimpering the next time one of my kids asks me “Hey Mom, what’s for dinner?” Here’s what I discovered on my journey through Back-to-School Lunches on Pinterest – just in case you hate cooking as much as I do!
Actually I’ve made apples with peanut butter and granola on them for my kids for a lot of years, but I never occurred to me that I could make them into little sandwiches to put in their lunch boxes. The way I always did it was just to mix up the peanut butter and granola in a little dish and spread it on apples slices. Works just fine that way, but kind of messy to try to send in a lunch box. This is definitely going to be one at the top of my school lunch ideas list!
Chicken Salad and Crackers in a Mason Jar
Well, what do you know? I’ve seen little packages of chicken or tuna salad and crackers all put together nice and tidy at the grocery story, but I’m not going to pay to have someone else put stuff in containers. I didn’t know that those empty plastic fruit cups (OK so I actually will pay to have someone put stuff in little containers after all) fit perfectly on top of a small Mason jar. I have saved a few of those plastic cups and we already have a few small Mason jars, so I’m going to try this idea, too.
Cute! I’m thinking my girls would be delighted to find something like this in their lunch boxes this school year. They probably would even make them (so I can do something else!) and we could have them ready to pop into the lunch box in the morning.
Those Mason jars are really versatile! My girls love taco salad (and chicken Caesar salad, too, which would work in a jar as well), but it always seems so messy to try to pack a salad for lunch. This way we could have all of the ingredients in the fridge, and layer it in the jar in the morning. Chips on the side so they don’t get all mushy, add a bit of sour cream and you’re good to go. On the list!
My girls really do love mac ‘n cheese but sending it for lunch can be challenging. These cute little mac ‘n cheese bites, however, could be made ahead and popped in the freezer – perfect to drop into a Ziploc bag and toss into the lunch box. Now that’s my idea of lunch!
And since we are in the reorganization process here in our house, this looks like a great idea, too. Right now everything is in complete chaos from moving everything from one room to another so we can paint, but we are making progress on getting rid of accumulated junk, painting the walls and the insides of closets, and rearranging lots of stuff to create an uncluttered, light, and open feel to all of our rooms.
All of that takes time, and money, and energy, all of which we have in limited supply. So we are doing a little bit at a time, as we are able, but in the meantime there are lots of unfinished projects just waiting for our time, money, and energy to get them finished. I hope to have a few pictures of our living room painting project by next week, but for now, I’m going to focus on the positives and make plans for an organized kitchen so that as soon as school starts, we’ll be ready with the lunches. Looking for great breakfast ideas, too, so let me know your favorites!