Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Snack Station, Smoothies, & Smores

I feel like I got a lot done today. Maybe because I did. I didn't vacuum or do laundry one little bit. Priorities, people.

Kaelyn helped me with some more cooking today. (Ignore the mess. Focus on the kid.) I'll show you what we made a little bit later. Jared seemed a little surprised.

One thing I got done today was grocery shopping. Among my purchases were two of these baskets. One medium size and the other was smaller. I wasn't sure which one would work best and knew I'd find a purpose for the other. I don't know if I would have gotten this brand initially, but I forgot to see what Meijers had and so I got these at Walmart (since I was there picking up something else there that Meijers apparently doesn't carry). Walmart gives me the hives.

One thing that is cool about these baskets is that the handles flip in so that you can stack them on top of each other. I have some green ones (different brand) for our recycling. Although we wish they had a scooped front for easy access to the bottom basket, I like using up the vertical space.

Oh! I guess you want to know what I used the basket for. I made a snack station! I've seen them around but never really thought about having one for us. I mean, no kids are in school and I only have the one anyway. But Kaelyn eats constantly and I have lately found myself getting tired of having to prep something else for her to eat. Sometimes I would feed her the same thing several times and I really don't like that in terms of nutrition. SO. Snack station it is.

I've used lemon juice to keep apples from browning in the past but never really liked the taste afterwards. I ran across a tip that said to try ginger ale or any lemon-lime soda. Soak them for 10 minutes. So I got Meijer (cheapest) diet (no HFCS) lemon-lime soda. And six pounds of apples. I may have gotten a little bit too much for our little family of three especially since Kimmi is no longer staying with us. Oh well. :) We like apples.

Three cans of soda soaked all six pounds of apples. I even had to do them in two batches because my bowl wasn't big enough. I used the same soda for the second batch as the first and it still worked.

Best of all, they still taste like apples afterwards. I didn't detect any soda-type taste or anything kinda funky like that.

Grapes were washed & de-stemmed. Everything was bagged up into snack-size baggies. Except for the string cheese since those are already easy grabs. String cheese, grapes, apples, carrots. The only thing Kaelyn can't eat are the carrots. She LOVES the grapes and recently has been liking apples (especially with peanut butter). She also LOVES string cheese.

I now have a place in my fridge for this easy quick grab snack. This will really be handy for Jared's snacky moods and additions to his work lunches. (I already warned him that he'd better not eat all the string cheese.)

Something else I did was create smoothie packets. I froze plain yogurt (homemade with powdered milk) into cubes. In each packet are two cubes (which I think is somewhere around 3 Tbsp) of yogurt and 1 1/2 - 2 cups of frozen fruit. We already had all of these ingredients so I didn't have to purchase anything. Although, we are now fairly low on frozen fruit but since they were mostly for smoothies anyway, I'm okay. Each packet makes one nicely-sized smoothie or two small-ish but probably more *accurate* serving size (8 oz). It is the perfect amount for Kaelyn and I to share.

All you have to do is stick it in your blender (our blender is horrid--truly) and add a little milk until it is the consistency you like. If you want peanut butter or flax seed or anything like that, now is also when you want to add it.

Remember that picture at the beginning with Kaelyn? We made cookie wrapped s'mores. Oh my heavens, they were huge! They looked like baked potatoes. Seriously. Here's a picture of one next to an avocado.

If you want something sweet, you should try having just a half of one of these babies. It is a basic cookie dough recipe. You make a smore and wrap the cookie dough around it. I got the recipe from here (via Pinterest).

When Jared came down to help Kaelyn (since I needed both my hands to wrap), he sounded surprised that I was making s'mores AND cookies. When I informed him that they go together, he didn't really know what to say. I guess I really don't make dessert all that often. But at least when I do, I go all out.

We ate two cookies between the three of us. And that was stretching it. But it was soooooo good! SO GOOD. I can't even describe the gooey, delicious, awesomeness of it. The marshmallow is a nice addition to the chocolate chip cookie but then you get the graham cracker and it's a little unexpected but works so well.

And because I want to brag more, I also put a pork shoulder in the crock pot. I just shredded it and it was so easy. And so delish. I can't wait to eat it for reals.

Tomorrow I plan on finishing meal preparations. I think it's easier to spread them out over a few days because of Kaelyn. I can work on it during her naps. I am excited about this venture of mine. I even kept up on dishes today since I was in the kitchen so much.

My craft area looks better too but not good enough to take a picture. Yet.


  1. look at you- showing off your mad skills- trying to make the rest of us look bad...... ;D

    That is an awesome idea to make the smoothie baggies! :)

  2. Cute, cute ideas, Suki! I will have to copy some of them, if you don't mind.

  3. Amazing job with the craft station... and the cookies that look like they're good enough to die for! I love that idea, also think the snack station is incredible, I'm afraid if I did something like that it'd work amazing for the first week and then the kids would whine that there are no new snacks in it.

  4. It all looks very, very yummy! Great idea! Thanks for linking up with LTC today!