Monday, July 28, 2008

The Three C's

Ok there are more than three things here, and some don't start with C, but c'mon, just go with, ok?

Contents of the children's snack this afternoon:
cheese crackers, cashews, canteloupe, cookies (animal crackers), carrots, chocolate milk, and citrus beverage (lemonade).

I just noticed that everything is green and orange too, so it's color coordinated! Ok, I obviously need some therapy.

By the way, no waste. I gave them reusable forks for the canteloupe. They were green too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Birthday Picnic Lunch

No food pictures pictures, so put your thinking caps on and use your imagination.

Last week, before the fabulous birthday torte cake, we took the kids to a kiddie amusement park near us called The Land of Make Believe that has an amazing water park called Pirate's Cove geared to the under 10 set and their parents. In the interest of both healthy food choices and budget consciousness, I hastily packed a picnic lunch for all four of us that consisted of some of my standbys from packing lunches for the kids. My friend commented, "I'm sure they were all in bento boxes," but I was in a rush and family style sufficed considering we are, by most descriptions, a family.

I packed three sandwiches: one smoked turkey with white American cheese, one maple ham and turkey with baby Swiss cheese, and one baked ham with baby Swiss, all on standard grocery store variety whole wheat bread. I cut the sandwiches into square quarters since my kids usually only eat about one quarter each. They were cute and the right size for little hands. Also in our lunch were two kinds of fruit, strawberries and green grapes, carrot and green pepper slices, goldfish crackers and pretzels, and chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies. To drink I packed two different flavors of Gatorade and some plastic cups.
While our lunch itself was kind of run of the mill, I am quite proud of the fact that there was very little waste. The two containers of Gatorade were the only disposables, which we recycled. I calculated the total cost of our lunch and it was a total of about $13.00. That's what I call ECO! I have to confess, however, that ended up buying french fries only because they are so darn good at this place, but otherwise, we didn't spend anything more than the cost of admission.

Believe it or not, the kids didn't really complain about the packed lunch as much as I would have thought. The fact that there were at least a hundred (no exaggeration) coolers there besides ours reinforced the concept of bringing your own lunch, so I think they felt that they were in good company with lunch from home. At the first signs of whining, I reminded them that we were going out to dinner in the evening for the birthday celebration and that we are going to the Jersey Shore in two weeks where they can gorge themselves on junk since my mother-in-law is in charge.

Since I don't have a picture of the food, I thought I would include this shot. They are on a pirate ship in the middle of a massive kiddie pool. It was so much fun!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Ok, this post is not about lunch, nothing to do with anything Indian, definitely not economical, and it's not even healthy.

It was my daughter's 5th birthday yesterday and we had a lovely dinner in her honor at the restaurant where dh is the manager. He asked the pastry chef to make a birthday cake for her and this was the result.

Dh asked for a vanilla cake with raspberry and white chocolate mousse filling. What we got was this beautiful confection. Apparently the signage is all edible, though according to the waiter, we would not want to eat it. The outside is coated with crushed candied walnuts. The flowers were made of gumpaste and airbrushed and the leaves were marzipan. The puffy scallops around the perimeter were white chocolate mousse. This is much more than I expected from a restaurant and Mackenzie was thrilled.

After the requisite singing, wishing, and candle extinguishing, the waiter whisked the cake off to the kitchen for serving. Expecting a vanilla cake with raspberry and white chocolate mousse filling, I mindlessly plunged my fork into the slice on my plate expecting cake, mousse, and raspberry, which I got, but not in the proportions I expected. I stopped mid-sentence to inspect the cake and figured out that it was more like a white chocolate mousse torte which was frosted in white chocolate mousse. Oh my goodness was it good!

The remains of the torte cake are in my refrigerator, but not nearly as pretty as they were last night. Fortunately for me, the kids were not as fond of it as dh and I were, so we'll be having some of that later tonight.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Summer Camp

This week my kids are in summer day camps for the week for the first time so I have been packing their lunches. On Monday they both got maple ham and swiss on whole wheat bread, animal crackers, chips, raisins, lemonade and watermelon. I had a typical summer picnic lunch in mind for them, so that's what they got. Of course my son got his Transformers napkin in lieu of Tinkerbell and a drink container with a blue lid instead of purple. Normally I wouldn't give them chips, but they have them so rarely that it's ok. Plus, I can't imagine having a ham sandwich without chips!

The only garbage generated was their toothpicks for the watermelon, which they ended up eating with their fingers anyway. (I included mini bottles of Germ-X in their lunch boxes).

As for the day camps, this is a new experience for them. The little one, who is turning five in one week, is in our town's rec department camp along with some of her preschool pals. She came home the first day dirty, exhausted, but with the biggest smile on her face. They rode the bus to camp like big kids, played games, ran around, had "icicle" pops. The older one is in a science camp for geeky little tech heads along with his friend and the brother of one of their friends. The activities in this camp range from exploring technology, discussing jet propulsion and rocket motion, learning about how to solve environmental issues, all disguised as fun and games. My friend drove carpool yesterday and said that the three little scientists sat in the back discussing technology, robotics, and physics (frisbee motion) on the whole ride home. They were all so happy being geeky with one another. Maybe this will encourage them to solve the world's real problems.