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Monthly Archives: September 2012

  • What do your kids eat for lunch?

    Last year, my oldest daughter began pre-K.  Along with the fear of my babies growing up came the cafeteria food fear.  I knew I would have to come up with a plan on how to make their lunches fun and healthy.  I got some ideas from lunchinabox.net, but lets face it, I’m not that talented.  However, I knew that I could set some time aside to make her lunch every morning.  Fast forward to this August, when both girls began attending elementary school. Yikes!  I’d have two lunches to make now.

     

     

    Now, mind you, their lunches are fairly simple.  They usually consist of one protein: boiled egg, ham, turkey, cheese or peanut butter.  Carbs are usually bread, pretzels, crackers and fruit.  I’ll surprise them with an Oreo once in a while.  They are kids after all!  But the most fun is the fresh fruits and vegetables.

     

     

    The girls love grapes, strawberries, pineapples, apples, watermelons or cantaloupe in their lunches.  And I love seeing them “eat their colors”.  It wouldn’t be strange to see me cutting up a pineapple at 5 am to pack in their lunches.  But once it’s cut, I put it in little Ziploc bags for the rest of the week.  The same goes for the watermelons or cantaloupe.  Grapes and strawberries are the easiest because you can just grab and go.  If you are worried about the apples browning, just drizzle some lime juice over them to prevent browning.

     

     

    The girls definitively have their favorites.  Zoe loves grape tomatoes.  Piper loves cucumbers.  I’ll try to sneak other veggies in their lunch box like carrots or broccoli.  It doesn’t always work, but at least they’ll try a few.   For me, it really comes down to introducing your kids to different foods and allowing them to make some choices.

     

     

    As Zoe gets older, she wants to be like her other friends who buy their school lunch in the cafeteria.  We’ve compromised and allowed her to buy her lunch on Fridays if she gets green marks all week.  So far, even on her own, she tends to choose the “healthy items”.  And that is why I make her lunch every day. I enjoy teaching her about a healthy lifestyle.

    I recently came across lunchboxblues.  It's about a dad who refuses to pack Lunchables for his son's lunch.  Check it out for more ideas!  That's my next goal, if I can only figure out how to keep their food warm until lunch.

     

    Do you or did you make your kids lunches?

     

     

     

     

     

  • Rachel Ray's Chicken Vesuvio

    I'll admit, I'm a bit behind reading magazines lately.  On Sundays, I like to write out what I plan on cooking that week.  I may or may not always follow through, but I find that if I take the time to write it out ahead of time it helps prevent the what's for dinner scramble at 5:30 every night.  I found this Quick Chicken Vesuvio recipe in the April issue of EveryDay with Rachel Ray and thought it was worth a try.  The ingredient list was short and sweet. Plus it involved some oven cooking, which meant I could play with the girls.  Score!

    Like I said, short ingredient list:

    2 baking potatoes. peeled and sliced 1/4 in thick

    6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

    1 tsp dried oregano

    Salt and Pepper

    2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into chunks

    Flour, for coating

    1/2 cup dry white wine

    1/2 cup chicken stock

    1/2 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas

    1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley

     

    Peas are a tricky vegetable at home, and that's a good way of putting it.  I think everyone, except me, would rather eat broccoli that eat peas!  I did not add them to the dish.  Also, if you would rather not cook with wine, just double up on the chicken stock.

    You end up with two dirty pans, which for my husband that's grounds for celebration!  First you cook the potatoes until browned.  In a separate pan, brown the chicken until golden.  Use the chicken stock and wine to deglaze the pan and mix everything together.

    Into the oven it goes to finish cooking the chicken for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees F.  Top with the fresh parsley, I had the curly kind so that's what I used.

    Serve with a big green salad and you are done!  The chicken and the potatoes were super tasty.  This recipe was easy and quick, but most importantly it was a crowd pleaser.

     

    Do you have veggies your family refuse to eat?

    What's your go-to chicken recipe?

  • Parkesdale begins planting Radiance strawberries

    End of September is an interesting month around the farm/market.  All the preparations for planting the berries are almost completed and its now time to start planting.

    Customers have already begun calling wanting to know when they can come by to purchase our bare root strawberry plants.  Other folks will ask us to ship the bare root strawberry plants.  Unfortunately we cannot ship the live bare root strawberry plants.  They are just too sensitive and need to be kept refrigerated.  At the market, we will have the strawberry bare root plans ready for sale in bunches of 25 very soon.

    The market will be open 7 days a week starting October 1st.  No more Mondays off until May.  That’s how we now strawberry season has begun!

     

    This year we’ve started planting our very own Radiance strawberries grown in our Georgia facility.  The Radiance berries made their debut last season and they were phenomenal.  Bright, elongated strawberry, red all the way through and sweet as can be!

     

    As a child, I remember driving by pineapple and sugar cane fields.  In fact, I remember stopping on side of the road stands selling pineapples, coconuts or sugar cane.  While I attended UF, as part of the soil science program, we visited a mushroom and carrot farm in North Central Florida.  These are my early memories of farming.  It seems funny to me to have ended up in a farming family.

     

     

    But for now, we wait…hope and pray for sunny days and cool nights, no droughts and no freezes.  That’s the life of a farmer.

     

    How many of you have ever been to a strawberry field?  Or for that matter any type of agricultural land.

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