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As we look ahead to the final weeks of preparing school lunches, let’s try to keep things fresh and fun. Here’s a little roundup of easy surprises you can add to your child’s lunchbox or after school snack time routine. Who knows, maybe your kid will try a new piece of fruit if presented with a little humor?

Have fun with these adorable lunchbox ideas!

Cute lunchbox orange

1. Happy little orange snail. (Use a food safe pen.)

Grape caterpillar for lunch

 

2. Line them up! Grape caterpillars.

Cute apple turtle for lunch

3. Sneak in some apple turtles.

Chicks and the mama eggs

4. What came first? The chicken or the egg?

Owl lunch design

5. Give a hoot for this fun owl lunch surprise.

Healthy kids bento lunch

6. Skip the work and just stick with a fun bento box for the kid’s lunch. The Yumbox is still a favorite since it’s lightweight, easy to clean and spill-proof. Pack them for a summer picnic or a car trip. These will make the cut for us on our Toronto road trip in August!

If you want ALL of my easy smoothie recipes in one handy printable recipe book, click here. All recipes are kid-approved!

Enjoy the last few weeks of packing school lunch. Then on to camp lunches…

Sources 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Which one is your favorite adorable lunchbox idea?

 

Pineapple Delight dessert for summer

Pineapple Delight is the recipe that always make me think of summer and my Grammy. Summer is often a nostalgic time. People have strong memories of vacations, family gatherings and lazy summer evenings. They want to repeat this pattern year after year. Food often plays an important role in recreating these memories. Both of my parents grew up in large families so I remember going to family parties all the time. Each family had their own favorites and today I’m sharing on of my favorite summer desserts my Grammy would make, Pineapple Delight.

Grammy had eight children. Yes, eight. So you can imagine that our families were always loud and crowded. Grammy didn’t have a lot of free time to spend in the kitchen, but she had a few tricks up her sleeve. This Pineapple Delight is a perfect summer recipe since it’s no-bake, and can be made ahead. I can totally see myself making it this summer at our little red cottage in the morning and having it ready to go for a cookout in evening.

Pineapple Delight Dessert Recipe

It’s funny how some things never change. Even what my Grammy and I use in our kitchen is mostly the same. We both use our Pyrex®, a World Kitchen brand, measuring cup to put together most of the recipes we make. Pyrex is celebrating it’s 100th anniversary this year. It’s pretty cool to see certain kitchen tools have withstood the test of time.

See the giveaway link below and share your favorite recipe of all time. Win a set of Pyrex 100 classic kitchenware!

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I think it’s amusing to see old recipes and how they are written. I had to Google what a #2 can means in today’s world. I updated the recipe to reflect our standard measurements.

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Best way to crush wafers or other crumb toppings? Toss them in a zip top bag and grab your rolling pin. This rolling pin I found in an antique store in Essex. I also love these neat-os bags instead of plastic ones. I’ve been reusing this gallon storage bag for well over a year.
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This recipe is a no-bake recipe. Super easy, but it also contains eggs. Choose wisely.

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I grease my pans with coconut oil. You can also use butter, coconut oil spray, or ghee.

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I just love pineapple. Maybe this is why this recipe has stuck in my mind for so many years.

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Whipped cream really is easy, if you have the time. Plan on letting it whip for no less than 5 minutes to get it stiff.

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I went for pecans in this recipe. You could also make it with walnuts.

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Please arm your kitchen with an offset spatula. It makes spreading or frosting anything so much easier!

Serve this in small glass mason jars to complete the vintage effect. I also love to reuse the Bonne Maman glass jars, they are the perfect size for dessert in jars.

Pineapple Delight

A delicious no-bake summer dessert, perfect to make ahead and bring to a party or BBQ.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Emily Roach

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package vanilla wafers
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 20 oz cans crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Grease a 9x11 pan with coconut oil.
  • Crush wafers. Put 1/2 wafers in the bottom of the pan and reserve the other 1/2.
  • Cream butter, eggs and sugar and beat until fluffy.
  • Pour mixture on top of wafers.
  • Drain pineapple and put on top of egg mixture.
  • Whip cream until stiff. Mix with nuts and put on top of pineapple.
  • Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top.
  • Refrigerate approximately 8 hours.
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

Pyrex 100

Peapod grocery delivery.

Grocery shopping takes on new meaning once you have a child. You have to plan your trips around naps and you may not be able to go as often as you once did. You also need a lot more stuff. Switching to home delivery of your groceries can free up so much time, and money. No more buying incidental items, no more adding things the kids are asking for. I have used Peapod grocery delivery for a long time, going back to my Boston College days. We had a dorm room with a kitchen, but no one had a car. I still remember getting groceries delivered and I thought it was the coolest thing.

Peapod is actually turning 25 this year. They were ahead of the trend on home delivery. New this year is the expanded Pick-Up Service, which means you can order groceries and pick them up at the store when you are out and about. No need to stay home during the delivery window. You can learn more about my experience with the Stop and Shop/Peapod pick-up service here.

As you head into the holiday baking season, here’s a quick tip. There are huge sales on staple baking ingredients coming up the weeks before Thanksgiving. It’s the best time of year to stock up on flours, sugars and baking supplies. Even spices that never go on sale can be found at a discount. Getting a large ordered delivered is so much easier than trying to do it with multiple children in tow. I also remember to add in other heavy items when I do online orders, like seltzer cans and distilled water.

Peapod 25th Anniversary Celebration. Switch to getting groceries delivered to your door step!

Want to try out online ordering? Peapod is offering one of my readers a $25 gift card. Who doesn’t like free groceries?! Did you know they have over 15,000 items in their online shopping site?

Please use the Rafflecopter to enter below. Contest will close November 21st at midnight. US Residents only. Winner will be notified via email and have 48 hours to claim their prize.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy shopping!

Disclosure: Peapod provided gift cards to me to facilitate this review. All opinions shared here are my own.

How many of you eat pizza at home at least once a week? Do you tend to make it yourself or buy it? If you are a regular reader here, you know we have pizza every Friday night on our weekly meal plan. For a long time, we made our pizzas at home using the dough from Trader Joe’s. It’s cheap and fairly easy to roll out ourselves. When I got my bread machine this year, I decided to come up with a pizza dough recipe that will make two pizzas. It’s a great way to save some money and the kids like to help out with this easy project.

Pizza Dough Bread Machine Recipe

Homemade Pizza Dough With A Bread Machine

Easy pizza dough recipe using a bread machine.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 -8
Author: Emily

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 3/4 bread flour I also sub in some white whole wheat
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active yeast

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients into a bread machine in the order listed above.
  • Set machine to pizza dough. (Mine takes about 50 minutes.)
  • Dough will be ready to use when the machine cycle is complete.
  • Makes two pizza pies.
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

Do you have a pizza night in your family?

I’m sharing this over at The 36th Avenue.

Green Smoothie Recipes Your Kids will Love

I pulled together our list of green smoothies your kids will love. My kid’s favorite snack lately is a smoothie, always with a dose of greens. My two year old runs into the kitchen saying “moothie” until I make him one. Smoothies are a great way to sneak additional vegetables and fruits into your kids diet, and your own if needed. We usually make one large smoothie and split it up between the three of us in the afternoon. Both kids like the green smoothies and I’ll share today some super simple recipes that are kid-approved.

The good news is both kids drink green smoothies. The bad news is they often want them before I get dinner on the table so I find it can affect how much they eat when we sit at the table. I’m slowly trying to find a balance between offering them healthy vegetable-filled snacks and not take away from eating vegetables on the plate. The fiber isn’t lost when you make a smoothie, but I do think it’s important for kids to continue to experience the different textures of cooked or raw vegetables on their dinner plate.

Did you grab your Free Smoothie Guide?

I could talk all day about how just one smoothie a day can help boost your energy, clear up your skin, and help your digestion.

    We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

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    We are using the Blendtec blender that I received as part of a Stonyfield yogurt campaign. The blender really is amazing and I think I’ll always have one of these high speed blenders from now on. We are using the Wildside Blendtec Blender.

    Green Smoothie ingredients

    There are a few key ingredients I use when I make smoothies for us:

    • Spinach
    • Coconut Milk
    • Yogurt
    • Frozen Fruit
    • Bananas
    • Oranges
    • Melon
    • Chia seeds (optional)

    I generally never add any sweetener (like honey or agave) as I don’t want to give the kids a taste of a sweeter option. If something tastes too “green” I can soften the taste with the addition of more citrus or an apple. Yes, there is still sugar in the fruit but there are also a ton of vitamins that are beneficial.

    Wondering how we serve our smoothies? I use our pint size mason jars and these glass smoothie straws (only one has broken in 3 years of using glass straws with the little kids). JJ loves his blue one and Madison has pink! If we are on the go, I also serve the smoothie in our favorite reusable squeeze pouch.

    Here are just a few of our favorite recipes. Combine in the order listed and blend well.

    If you want ALL of my smoothie recipes in one handy printable recipe book, click here. All recipes are kid-approved!

    Green Monkey Smoothie

    Green Smoothies Your Kids Will Love

    *where it says water, you can sub in coconut milk to make it creamy, almond, oat, cashew or your favorite type of milk.

    Mango Monkey

    1/2 cup coconut milk

    2 cups spinach

    1 banana

    1 cup frozen mango

    Alligator Surprise

    1/2 cup water

    1/2 a medium avocado scooped out (we make this to use up leftover avocado)

    2 cups spinach

    2 cups frozen pineapple

     

    Green Queen

    1/2 cup of water

    2 tablespoons of flaxseeds (or chia seeds)

    2 clementines, peeled

    1 banana

    2 cups spinach

    1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks

    Berries and Spinach smoothie

    The Blue One

    (which really comes out more purple than blue)

    1/2 cup water

    1 cup yogurt (we use our homemade yogurt)

    1 cup spinach

    2 cups frozen berries

    Head over here for one more bonus green smoothie: Coconut Kale Smoothie!

    Did you grab your Free Smoothie Guide?

    I could talk all day about how just one smoothie a day can help boost your energy, clear up your skin, and help your digestion.

      We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

      Powered By ConvertKit

      If the kids are not into anything green, you can also try my Paleo Pumpkin Pie Smoothie recipe.  Happy blending! I hope these green smoothies your kids will love helps make getting more vegetables into them a lot easier for you.

      Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt

      We are big peanut butter fans in our house. We go through tons of it on sandwiches, on bananas, in smoothies or on apples. I’m also a big fan of chocolate so I decided to combine the two and create a Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt recipe.  I was given some greek yogurt samples from Stonyfield and peanut butter samples from Peanut Butter & Co. Both are yummy on their own, but even better together.

      Frozen Yogurt Ingredients

      I had my little helper’s with me to make our first frozen yogurt, ever. The ice cream maker had been put away for the winter but now it’s going to stay handy for the warm summer months. The Cuisinart ice cream maker we use is actually 43% off from Amazon right now.

      How to Make Frozen Yogurt

      When you add the cocoa powder, stir it in gently so it doesn’t blow up in your face.

       

      Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt

      Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt

      Course: Dessert
      Keyword: Frozen Yogurt

      Ingredients

      • 2 cups Stonyfield Greek Yogurt Plain
      • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter & Co Smooth Operator Peanut Butter
      • 1/2 cup 1% milk
      • 1 can 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder
      • 1/2 cup chocolate chips optional

      Instructions

      • Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips into a large bowl using a hand mixer.
      • Add to ice cream maker machine. Churn for 25 minutes.
      • Add chocolate chips and churn for 2 additional minutes or until well blended.
      • Enjoy!
      Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

      What’s your favorite way to enjoy Peanut Butter?

      Disclosure: I am a Stonyfield Clean Plate Club Ambassador and was offered yogurt and peanut butter to help facilitate this project. All opinions shared here are my own. I’m sharing this post with Melt in Your Mouth Monday.

      Swordfish Kebab for toddlers Random Recycling

      We recently found ourselves in a little eating rut. The kids were being picky, which is a bit unlike them. Time for a secret tool~ the skewer. Both kids are old enough to manage them with some adult supervision. At lunch, we included small bites of a deli roll-ups, fruits, veggies, pastas and beans. Both kids loved it.

      She looked at it questioningly, but only for a moment before she polished it off.

      I decided to test out the skewer theory at dinner. We made swordfish kabobs with green and red peppers. It had a mild marinade that pulled it all together. It was a hit. I choose swordfish, a fish that both kids (generally) like. You can also make this recipe with halibut, scrod, salmon or tuna steak.

      WHY DO KIDS LOVE FOOD SERVED ON SKEWERS?

      Course: Appetizer
      Keyword: Kabob

      Ingredients

      • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
      • 2 tablespoons lime juice
      • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
      • 1 pound fresh fish halibut, swordfish, salmon or tuna steak, cut into 1" pieces
      • 1/2 green pepper cut into 1" pieces
      • 1/2 red pepper cut into 1" pieces
      • Optional: 1/2 red onion cut into 1" wedges
      • 4 cherry tomatoes

      Instructions

      • Combine oil, juice and mustard into a small glass baking dish. Stir to combine. Add chopped fish and stir. Marinate fish for about 8-10 minutes in the refrigerator.
      • Preheat broiler on high. Thread the fish and vegetables on four skewers, alternating with your choice of vegetables. (I soak my wood skewers for at least 10 minutes in water to prevent burning.)
      • Place skewers on a broiler pan and broil 4" away from the heat for about 3 minutes.
      • Turn kabobs and brush with remaining marinade. Broil for an additional 4 minutes or until fish is cooked through. (lightly flaky.)
      • Serve immediately.
      Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

      What food accessories keep your kids engaged in eating?  Please share in the comments. 

      This is shared with Frugally Sustainable.

      I started making homemade granola bars about a year ago and have been tweaking the original recipe ever since.  It’s finally ready to share with all of you.  Our whole family enjoys them and it’s a healthy, hearty snack for mid-afternoon to hold us over till dinner. I usually make the granola bars while I’m making my weekly batch of granola.  The ingredients are already out so I just need a second large bowl and a couple additional items.

      Healthy Homemade Granola Bars

      Healthy Homemade Granola Bars

      The best part of making granola bars in your own kitchen is you know exactly what inside each one. No scary ingredients you can’t pronounce. No strange preservatives and no high fructose corn syrup. This recipe uses only natural ingredients and you can doctor it up with your favorite add-ins like cranberries (our favorite), nuts, chocolate chips and other dried fruits. We also make them nut free sometimes so I can pack them in school lunches. I’ll add in pepitas instead of nuts to keep it protein heavy.

      Homemade Granola Bars

      Homemade Granola Bars

      Kid friendly healthy granola bars
      Course: Snack
      Cuisine: American
      Servings: 16
      Author: Emily

      Ingredients

      • 1/2 cup butter
      • 1/2 cup honey
      • 1/2 cup applesauce
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla
      • 4 1/2 cups oats
      • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
      • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
      • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
      • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1 cup cranberries or other add ins

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 pan with parchment paper, or grease well.
      • Melt first four ingredients in a medium saucepan.
      • Mix balance of ingredients in a large bowl.
      • Add melted butter mixture to the oatmeal mixture. Stir until well mixed.
      • Pour mixture into prepared pan. Press down on the mixture to ensure bars stick together.
      • Bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
      • Let cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container.

      Notes

      If you bake this at 300 degrees with granola, bake for 22 minutes.
      Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

       

      Homemade Basil Pesto Recipe

      The basil in the garden is growing like crazy.  Combined with the rain and the heat everything exploded over the past week.  Finally I could make some pesto.

      I generally don’t measure anything when I am making it but I’ll assign some easy measurements as a guideline.  Usually it’s more like I harvest as much basil that is ready and go from there.

      I tend to serve the pesto with fresh bread as an appetizer.  Even the kids love it.  Once our spinach is in, we can switch out the basil for spinach to encourage more healthy green eating.

      Basil Pesto and Garlic Scapes

      Homemade Basil Pesto Recipe

      Homemade Basil Pesto

      Course: Sauce
      Keyword: pesto

      Ingredients

      • 2 cups basil leaves packed. remove any hard stems
      • 1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts, which I never have on hand
      • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese not the Kraft powdery stuff
      • 1/2 cup olive oil
      • 3 tablespoons of chopped garlic
      • 2 garlic scapes chopped
      • salt and pepper to taste

      Instructions

      • Pulse the walnuts in the food processor first to a finely chopped consistency.
      • Add basil, cheese, garlic and scapes to processor and blend well.
      • While machine is running, pour olive oil in slowly.
      • Add salt and pepper to taste and pulse well after each addition.
      Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

      Garlic Scape and Pesto

      The garlic scape was a new addition this week.  They come in lots of different varieties and the spiciness varies greatly.  Adjust the amount of garlic you add to the pesto if you have very spicy garlic scapes.  I used the Keith garlic scape this week and it wasn’t super spicy so I still used about 3 tablespoons of garlic.

      Enjoy!

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      Did you know today is pie day?  I thought I would share my Strawberry Rhubarb galette, which is essentially a pie but sounds so much fancier.  Shhh, don’t tell anyone it’s even easier to make than a pie.

      I have made the Martha Stewart Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, as seen here. Lattice pies are lovely but not something you can whip up in 15 minutes.  Yes, you can make pie in 15 minutes.  Yes, that includes making your own crust.

      I make my pie crust from an old Betty Crocker recipe using flour, milk, vegetable oil (it’s the only thing I still use vegetable oil for!) and a little salt.

      For this recipe, I made a 9″ pie shell mixing together 1 1/3 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup vegetable oil and 3 tablespoons of milk.

      Roll out and transferred to a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.

      For the filling, I used 2 stalks of rhubarb cut 3/4” thick.  Add 1/2 cup sugar, 2 cups roughly chopped strawberries, 1/8″ teaspoon of salt, 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and about 1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice.  Mix together and pour in the middle of the pie crust.

      Fold the sides in towards the middle, overlapping slowly.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about one hour.  Let cool and transfer to a cake stand and serve.  Goes great with a little strawberry ice cream.

      Enjoy!

       strawberry rhubarb galette spring dessert