asian salad

September 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last week for our school’s staff appreciation luncheon the theme was salads, and I had the perfect recipe. Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE salad and that it’s one of my favorite foods. My girls also know it, and in first grade Bella made sure to tell her teacher this on a school report. (Of course, to be fully forthcoming, she also reported that my favorite drink is wine – a proud parenting moment to be sure!) This asian salad recipe came to me from my friend Stacy and is a wonderful combination of sweet and savory; and the crunchy topping – a mix of uncooked ramen noodles, sesame seeds and almonds – gives great texture. It is the perfect addition to any salad-making repertoire, and I love surprising people with its unique and delicious taste.

Asian Salad

1 whole shredded green cabbage
chopped spinach (about 6 ounces)
chopped green onion

2 packages oriental flavored ramen noodles (mashed)
1 pack of dry oriental seasoning from ramen noodles
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons butter (melted)

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Combine cabbage, spinach and green onions in salad bowl. For topping, mix together 2 packages of uncooked ramen noodles (I break mine up with a wooden spoon before opening package), 1 pack of the dry seasoning mix that comes with the noodles, the sesame seeds, and the sliced and slivered almonds. Melt butter and pour over mixture. Broil in the oven on a cookie sheet until toasted. Add toasted topping to lettuces, coat with dressing and mix well.

bento lunches

March 7, 2012 § 6 Comments

I had two goals when I started to get more creative with our school day lunches a few weeks ago: first, to find another little way to show the girls that I’m thinking about them during the day and second – more immediately – to get my sweet Sophie to actually eat her lunch. Almost everything I made seemed to be coming home untouched.

Bento is a single-portion, boxed meal popularized in Japan that has really taken off in the kid-food arena. There are thousands of great ideas on the Internet, and some of them are visually amazing. I’ve stuck with simple and pretty food that I know my girls will eat. Sistema makes perfect little containers for bento lunches; I bought their lunch cubes which allow the girls to see all the choices at once. The key is to keep the portions small and varied.

My plan is working. The buzz generated in the mornings around the lunches makes me smile. The girls enjoy watching me put it together, and I love hearing them say: “What’s in the lunch today?” or “I can’t wait for lunch!” And the kicker is that my picky little one is actually eating. This morning Sophie yelled out, “Bella, guess what we get to have for lunch?!?” That made me a happy girl.

lunch box love notes

April 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

Sending my girlies off to school was really hard for me. I miss their sweet faces all day long and have been working to find myself again without my once constant companions. Lunch box notes have become both a creative outlet and one of the little things in my day that I cherish most.

Each morning while my girls are eating breakfast, I pack their lunch and put together a little love note. I have a happy stash of stickers, papers, cards and markers in my kitchen cabinet. On some days, I take my time and carefully craft a work of art or a message with special meaning. On others, the note may just be a quick “I love you.” Cosmo Cricket makes a line of scrapbook papers that can be cut into mini-cards, perfect for quick notes and so adorable! I love looking for new supplies. And now my girls have started to keep some of their favorite notes taped up on the bathroom mirror. Ahh, the joy lives on!!!

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