Getting Kids to Eat

Those of us who have kids in the house, or have had kids in the house over the years know how tiring it can be to get them to eat what you  have spent time preparing! We all know how important it is for our children to eat well-balanced meals and to get proper nutrition for their growing bodies.

Unfortunately, those precious children, whom we dearly love, don’t always love the food that we put in front of them. During dinner, they will just push the food around on their plates making it look like they are eating at least some of it. Ya’ll know what I’m talking about.

When our kids were young, we always had family dinner together each evening. The children were required to eat at the table with us…no cell phones, toys, books or other distractions were allowed. And they were required to at least try a bite of everything that was served. If I served up their plates, I tried to give them small servings so that finishing dinner was not a terrible trial in the event they didn’t care for the meal. However, if they served themselves they had to eat what they had taken.

I am sure you all have fun stories to tell of your children and their eating habits. One of mine would walk by the stove as I was preparing dinner. He would stretch tall to see what I was cooking in the pan or pot. “What’s for dinner, Mom?” was the question. If he didn’t like the answer, I heard, “I’m not hungry.”  We decided that it was perfectly fine if he was not hungry. He had to sit at the table anyway. And if he didn’t eat, he got nothing as a snack in the evening when his siblings did.

One of my other children hated casseroles. There was something wrong about having different foods touching each other on the plate! And of course, there were always the vegetable battles.  “Eat your peas, Louise” was a story that we had read one time, and it became a phrase said often at our supper table!

Today I read a blog post about getting kids to eat. Holly, over at Home Sweet Home with Holly, shares a great idea that she has used in her family. I can see how Rating the Recipe would work well with older children. Wish I had thought of it years ago!

If you still have kids at home, give it a try!

Breakfast Casserole, THM style!

Things have been pretty quiet around here this week. My little grand darling and her parents are away for a week of family vacation with her other grandparents. I miss that little girl like crazy!! I can’t believe she is almost 2 years old! It won’t be long until she is in “First Day of School” pictures like I’ve been seeing on my Face Book news feed this week. Those children are so adorable!

This is also the time of year for colleges to begin again. It is hard for me to believe that my Citadel grad is starting his second year out of college! I have remained a member of some of the Citadel parent pages on Face Book in order to encourage parents who are new to the 4th class system of a military college. Back when Ben was a knob, I wrote this blog post about mailing packages to him. It is my most viewed post…over 2500 clicks on that post alone! I am amazed!

And of course, my heart misses my newest bundle of love! I can’t wait to see him (and his mommy!) again in September!

13938268_1838122063077882_9167072504601669609_o

Last week I saw this recipe come through my news feed and realized that I could make it low-carb with no trouble at all. The original recipe called for 1 lb. of hash brown potatoes. I switched that out for finely chopped cauliflower, and it worked great! The hubby even took seconds! This recipe makes 6 large portions.

001

Mix these ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

  • 1 lb. chopped cauliflower
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika

Cut  7 slices of bacon into bite-sized pieces and fry them in a skillet. Drain on paper towels.

Mix these ingredients together in another bowl.

  • 6-7 eggs
  • 1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
  • the fried bacon pieces

Lightly oil a baking pan. I used one that is 7 x 11 inches. Press the cauliflower mixture into the pan on the bottom and part way up the sides. Pour the egg mixture on top of the cauliflower. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and 1 tbsp of  chopped, fresh chives.

Bake at 350* for about 40 minutes or until the eggs are firm. Serve with a spoonful of fresh salsa. Enjoy!

 

Fresh Salsa…and a new Grand Baby!

So here we are in August again! We have been having a very hot, very dry summer. We had at least 6 weeks of daily temperatures above 90 degrees!  The hubby has been needing to water not only his garden but also his bees! I have learned much about bee keeping since he has started this particular hobby. One thing I have learned is that bees need a water source just like dogs, cats, and other animals do. If there is no water available for the bees, they will go searching for a water source. And since a neighborhood pool was built behind our property several years ago, we certainly do not want our bees to make their way over there when they get thirsty!

Last Friday my daughter, the other Mrs. G of this blog, gave birth to her first baby…our first grandson!  I was blessed to be able to make it to the hospital several hours after he arrived. He is a sweet little bundle of joy!! I miss him like crazy! Mommy, Daddy, and Sammy, III are doing well and adjusting to each other! I am so so proud of Barbi and her man! It is really quite amazing to see your firstborn holding her own firstborn!! Barbi is a great mom, and my son-in-law is a great dad!! I loved watching him be a hands-on new daddy!

Now to that fresh salsa recipe! Even though we’ve had to water the garden quite a bit this summer, we’ve been blessed with fresh veggies! When I made this recipe yesterday, I used our own tomatoes, green onions, garlic, and hot peppers! My hubby loves this salsa fresh, but it is also good cooked. If I make extra, I usually just simmer it for several minutes and let it cool. Once cooled, I put it into freezer bags and freeze it to have the fresh summery taste during the winter months!

  • 10 medium tomatoes
  • 1 lg. bunch cilantro (I use half)
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 medium/large red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper (yellow, red, or orange bells work, too)
  • 8-10 hot chili peppers (or whatever variety of hot pepper you enjoy)
  • 1 lemon
  • pickling salt to taste–about 2 tbsp.

Process all vegetables coarsely in food processor. Mix together in large mixing bowl.  Squeeze the juice of the lemon over mixture and add the salt.  Stir together.   Makes about 2 quarts.   Keep refrigerated and use within a week or so.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Wow! It’s been several days since I’ve been here on the blog! I just checked the views and we are at 20,998! Almost to 21,000. I know that is just small stuff to those who are really into the blogging world. But for little old me, that is amazing!

Last weekend we had all the family together again!!!! I was so glad that it worked out for my girl and her man to come as well as son #2 and his favorite lady friend. It has been since last Labor Day that we were all together, and with one of my Blue Stars heading overseas for several months, and another one of my Blue Stars also leaving soon, it will be a while before we can all be together again. I cherish the times we can all be under my roof and around my supper table!

We decided to have our 4th of July celebration on Saturday since my girl and her hubby would have to travel home on the 4th. Saturday was such a fun day!! While some of the guys went for a run, the girls and I  went shopping! Seriously, what else would we do, right?  In the afternoon  and evening we played some bocci out in the yard, played several very loud rounds of Scattergories, ate some amazing food, set off some fireworks, and laughed–a lot!

FullSizeRender (10)

FullSizeRender (9)

In addition to grilled steaks, we had potato salad, baked beans, tomatoes, hummus and salsa with chips, watermelon, etc. You know, all the good stuff that goes along with 4th of July! For dessert I had gotten a birthday cake for Barbi, but she decided that it would be better to celebrate all the July birthdays instead of just hers. Our combined ages equal 106!

FullSizeRender (8)

On the spur of the moment I decided to put together some jalapeno poppers to add to the meal. These are very easy to make, and all the guys loved them! I really don’t have a recipe that I follow, but I will try to give close estimates on the amounts. They are THM-friendly, too!

The jalapeno peppers that I used were huge! Our local Aldi had them in a package of 5 for less than 75 cents! The bigger peppers are much easier to work with than smaller ones.

5 jalapeno peppers

2-3 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 wedge of garlic and herb cheese (got mine at Aldi)

Sprinkles of onion powder, garlic powder, salt (to taste)

5 slices of bacon

Cut the peppers in half length-wise and remove the seeds. Combine the cheeses and spices and mix well. Spoon the cheese mixture into each pepper half, using all of it.

Wrap each stuffed pepper half with a slice of bacon and place on a jelly roll pan.

Bake in 350* oven for about 15-20 minutes. The bacon should be getting crispy. Enjoy!

 

Honey Bees, the Hubby’s New Hobby

I can’t believe that it has been a month since I last posted here on the blog! Where in the world has the time gone? I know that I’ve been busy, but seriously? A month? I do hope that I can do better in the coming days!!

During this last month, the hubby has been researching honey bees, purchasing needed equipment, and actually setting up hives. He planned to start with 2 hives, but last week, he decided that 2 were not enough. He now has 5 hives set up–complete with bees! This picture is of hives 1 and 2.

004

While I am not a fan of bees of any kind, I am a firm believer of local honey helping with allergy issues. (I know that some people think that this is just crazy, and others are adamant that it does work.) About 3 years ago I began a regimen of 1 tbsp. of local honey a day (in my morning tea) so that I could wean myself off of OTC allergy medicines. I never had allergy issues while I was growing up; however, as an adult, I have had lots of issues with seasonal allergies. Several friends told me to take local honey to help with the allergies. One told me that I wouldn’t see it helping for about a year, but to take it anyway. I have done so, and no longer take the OTC allergy meds. So, I look forward to having our  very own local honey…hopefully by next year!

I promise to try some new recipes and share them with you here. Thanks for your patience with me!

Looking ahead–my girl should be having her baby near the end of July!! Can’t wait to meet my grandson!

Happy Birthday to Us!

This week is the 6th year mark for the blog! Over these last 6 years, we’ve written 383 posts and have had over 20,500 views. I guess that’s not too bad for a middle-aged mom! Ha!

I am thankful for each of you who have stayed with us and have faithfully been reading my posts. I do hope that you have found some recipes that your family enjoys!

A friend shared this picture the other day, and I thought it very appropriate for us. We love sharing recipes, and most of them come with stories!

13151695_618350681651136_7206364267627726697_n (1)

“There is no construction zone.”

Story first, then recipe. It was rather crazy.

Last weekend we had the opportunity to travel to FL to see our 2Lt. Since we were to be leaving early in the morning, I was looking forward to snoozing in the car on the way there. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I ended up being a driver on the trip. The 2Lt was in need of a new-to-him car (the reason is another story for another day), and he had purchased one from a friend. A friend in NC. And of course, since we were already planning a trip to see him, he asked us to bring the car down for him. This meant a trip to NC to get the car and then the trip to FL. Thankfully son #3 made that drive with his dad.

Although we tried to stay together for the most part, we didn’t attempt to while we went through Atlanta which we hit during  the early morning rush hour. I knew that we would come to the highway split where we would go to the right while lots of other holiday travelers would go to the left. I was watching very carefully for that split. Soon the traffic had thinned out and I was happily driving along looking forward to breakfast when my phone rang. The hubby had decided to stop a little earlier and needed to tell me where to meet him. “Oh, good,” I said. “How much farther is it after the construction zone?”  After a pause, he replied, “Jan, there is no construction zone.” Sigh…I had totally missed that split in the highway even though I was carefully watching for it!! It took me 45 minutes to turn around and drive back to that split and finally make it to the restaurant! Thankfully, the traffic was not nearly as bad as it had been 45 minutes earlier!

Now for the recipe. Tonight for hubby’s dinner I decided to try something new. It truly was an experiment since I just created as I went along. It ended up being Skillet Pizza. I guess you could also call it Pizza in a Bowl. It tastes just like a pizza but without the crust, so it is low-carb!

002

1 lb. ground turkey

1 jalapeno pepper, diced

1 small onion, diced

several mushrooms, sliced

1/3 cup or so of pizza sauce (just a guess since I didn’t measure)

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/3 c. Parmesan cheese

1-1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown the meat in a large skillet. Add the pepper, onion, and mushroom pieces and let them cook as the meat browns. Drain off any fat.

Add the pizza sauce, seasonings, and Parmesan cheese and stir well. Spread the mixture in the pan and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let sit until the cheese melts. Enjoy with a green leafy salad.  Makes 2-4 depending on how hungry you are!

Strawberry Cheesecake Fat Bombs and Overnight Oatmeal

I haven’t felt very creative lately, so coming up with new recipes has not been high on the priority list. Maybe it is because I am feeling the summer slump (no road trip planning going on like last summer) or maybe it is because it is July. July has become a bittersweet month for me over the years. Many of my family members and friends have birthdays in July which make it a fun month, and my parents’ anniversary was July 3, 1956! I just love this picture of them!

Image (54)Back in July of 1972, my parents moved our family and our farm (about 15 goats, 2 horses, 3 dogs, and several rabbits!) from NJ to SC. We often say it was the best thing that they did for us!

July also has its sad memories for me including the death of my dad in 1989, and the loss of our 3rd child mid-pregnancy in 1992. I often find myself a wee bit melancholy during July. I am so very thankful to have the love of my God who does all things well. He is good all the time! All the time He is good.

Today I am sharing 2 recipes that I discovered over on the THM Face Book page. I’m telling you…the ladies on that page are amazing creators when it comes to on-plan recipes! I have a notebook full of recipes that I printed from that page!

The Strawberry Cheesecake Fat Bombs recipe comes from lowcarbsosimple.com. I made these last night and they were a big hit with everyone who tried them! The only change I made was that I used about 1-1/2 tbsp of Truvia as my sweetener instead of the erythritol or liquid stevia since I don’t have either of those ingredients. I also used the coconut oil option instead of the butter. I also used my mini muffin pan since I don’t have candy molds. You can find the recipe here. Give them a try! you will be glad you did!

The other recipe I’m sharing is also delicious! It is called Peaches and Cream Oatmeal and you can find it here. I made the recipe exactly as written except for switching out the peaches for diced strawberries. It is sooo good! I think that the strawberry version can do without the nutmeg, though. Next time I will leave that out.  I also gave mine about 65 seconds in the  microwave to warm it up a bit since I don’t like my oatmeal cold. If you are often rushed in the morning, you definitely want to give this a try! It is great making it up the night before so it is all set for breakfast in the morning!

Smile Makers

Every now and then we need to get away from the mundane events of our lives that often get us down and think upon blessings and what makes us smile. I’ve been thinking of this recently and decided to share a few pictures that make me smile. I hope that they make you smile, too!

1.  Brilliant hibiscus blooms!

003

2. Volunteer sunflowers from the winter bird seed I put out in January.

013

3. Sweet puppy!

016

4. Smiling granddaughter

11146557_10206663086644802_3743702963398030394_n

5. The amazing great-niece, Ava!

IMG_9572

Update on the THM Journey

We got home the other night after a wonderful weekend seeing our son commission and graduate! I can’t believe his 4 years of college are now over! It took a lot of grace, prayers, and miracles, but he is finished and well-prepared to do the job ahead of him.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you will know that the hubby has been following the Trim Healthy Mama (Man) eating plan since September. His first goal was to fit into uniform so that he could give Ben his first salute. I am pleased to tell you that he made it!! He went from 268 lbs. down to 220 lbs!  Of course, being away for a weekend caused both of us to get off the plan and eat poorly for a few days. I felt it mostly in my joints. I also got a terrible headache on Mother’s Day. Now that we are home, we are right back on track, and already I am feeling better! This eating plan is so forgiving! It is easy to hop right back into it when you make a mistake!

The hubby has come a long way since last September! He still wants to lose another 30 pounds, and I think he will do it!

Here are a few before and after pictures. The first picture was last August. The other 2 were just this last weekend.

449

266

006