Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Recipe Tuesday-Back to School Recipes

With everyone back to school, the question on your mind might be, "What do I feed my hungry hoard?"  NEVER fear, Mami Thyme is here! I have found some tasty, easy to put together recipes for you that you can get even the pickiest of eaters to eat: breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Let's start with breakfast.

Quick Dish by has a wonderful Breakfast Fondue idea. This recipe calls for cinnamon rolls and crushed Trix , which may not be your idea of a nutritious breakfast, but the idea is a brilliant one.  Instead of cinnamon rolls, use cut up muffins.  Instead of Trix, try crushed Honey Nut Cheerios

I also like this recipe, also from Tablespoon.comBacon And Potato Breakfast Pizza uses Pillsbury Crescents and Green Giant® Frozen Roasted Potatoes with Garlic & Herbs.  This recipe is quick and easy and to save a little of time you can precook the bacon and defrost the potatoes in the fridge overnight.

How about lunch?

These Spaghetti Nests from would be a fantastic surprise in your kiddo's lunch box.  This site also has Project Lunch Box with many clever ideas for fun, exciting, healthy meals your little angel will be proud to tote to school. had these wonderful recipes for Kiddie Kabobs that I thought were BRILLIANT!

They also had a wonderful list of delicious Fun Finger Foods that were all easily portable.
Personalizing your child's lunch was another sweet idea I found that might brighten up you little one's day. had these really cute  Printable Lunch Stickers , best of all they are free of charge!

Now for dinner?

By the time you get back from picking the kids up, running them here or there from one activity to another, who wants to make dinner, right?  But we also don't want our kiddos to eat anything less than a healthy meal. So, what a busy Mami to do?

Cooking Light had these wonderful Chicken Recipes, I especially liked the Quick Chicken Corn Chowder and the Three Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine.  I love that you can prepare it the night before and then all you have to do it pop it into the oven and 25 minutes later, DINNER!
What about surprising your kids with this colorful pasta recipe from Quick-Dish at

The possibilities are endless. For ever more ideas, you can take the Eating Healthy Start for Back to School Challenge.  It has seven days of healthy recipes for lunch and dinner that are yummy and easy to make.

Hope you found this post helpful.  Go forth and COOK!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Manic Monday- Back to School Organization

It's the most wonderful time of the year, again!  Boys and girls are getting up early, wiping the sleep from their eyes and getting ready to board the school bus.

I just love this commercial, it always marked the beginning of the school year for me.  All too soon this will be me and the prospect is daunting.  But just when I was ready to lose hope, I found that there were many tools to help organize any Mami, literally at my fingertips.

If you're a Mami looking to stay organized, my friend Leticia at Tech Savvy Mama  recommends the momAgenda Spiral Refill and has a wonderful giveaway you can enter now until September 10th.

This planner not only allows you to keep your own schedule but also four others as well.  WONDERFUL! has a wonderful line of age appropriate printable charts ranging from preschool through the 8th grade.  These are wonderful to keep the kiddos on track in the morning, evening and all during the week.

We all want our children to be successful and to help them in any way we can. has a wonderfully helpful check list of school supplies that you should have at home to help you child tackle their homework.  I especially love that it suggests you have 2-3 pieces of poster board in the house.  How many of you have had to run out to the office supply store right before closing because your little angel had a project due the next day they forgot to tell you about????

Last but not least, my favorite thing was on . They suggested making a back to school celebration.  Ingenious idea!  I especially liked the Kindergarten Time Capsule and I will definitely be doing this for my boys.

Hope you enjoyed this post, I really enjoyed putting it together.  I also hope that you found something useful.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Manic Monday-Getting Back on Track...Again

Hi Friends, I've missed you!  I have been working hard.  Working my zones and routines and focusing on specific areas to get them into tip top shape.  And most importantly, I have been focusing on getting the boys on a good routine.  That has been the real challenge.  The baby is walking now and that is all he wants to do, even when he is so tired that his legs can no longer support him.  My oldest had a little regression issue with his potty training, he actually told me he was a baby and he NEEDED to wear diapers.  And my middle son has been so great, I have been working extra hard to make sure he doesn't get lost in the shuffle. SO where do I find time to write?  The short answer is that I don't.

But there is GOOD news!  I'm back! At least for now.  So let's get started with our MANIC MONDAY!

Mondays are always crazy at our house (I may have mentioned this before).  We're trying to get back on track from the weekend, we love when Daddy is home but it changes up our routine a bit and we need Mondays to get back on it.  

Monday is also trash day.  Now that has been our issue the past couple of weeks.  Two weeks ago the trash men came earlier than they ever have before.  We were caught collecting our garbage and even though I ran down my driveway yelling, "Please wait!!!!", off they went, never to return.  Now I think I have mentioned before that I live in a VERY rural place.  We're talking deer and bears, rural.  Putting our trash out the night before is not an option, so what is our alternative?  Getting up before 7 am to get the trash to the curb before they arrive, but this week the trash men were here an hour before they came last week.  Urgh!  There is good news!  Hubby put the trash out before he left for work at 6 am so all was good.  Thanks to the LORD! 

So my question for all of you is, do you have a relationship with your trash men and how do you avoid getting caught with trash cans full of trash for two weeks?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Recipe Tuesday-Jicama Citrus Salad

For many Jicama, known as the Mexican potato, may be an unknown vegetable with a unique taste.  One of my favorite things about Jicama is its wonderful crunch and ability to soak in any flavor you add to it.  For those of you who have never tried Jicama before, it's a crunchy and juicy tuber and I believe that it's flavor is a cross between an apple (though not as sweet) and a potato (though not as starchy).  It's texture also resembles an Asian pear.
I found my Jicama in the grocery store with a wax covering.  Apparently, Jicama has a very tender skin that can bruise easily and they can dry out quickly so many growers cover them with a coating of food grade paraffin for protection.
To prepare the Jicama first peel the skin being careful to also peel away the fibrous layer just beneath the skin.

 Then thinly slice and them cut into 2-inch strips. Set aside.
Next, prepare the Pineapple.  For many, a fresh Pineapple may seem intimidating to tackle, but if you follow these quick easy steps, I assure you, there is nothing to worry about and you'll never go back to canned Pineapple again!
First, trim off the top.  Next if the Pineapple does not sit level, trim a bit off the bottom too.
Once it is standing steadily upright, begin trimming off the skin from to bottom, around the entire fruit, being careful to catch all the eyes.
Then, slice the Pineapple in 1-inch circles.
Next trim the flesh away from the core.
Then cut the pieces in bite size cubes
and set aside.
Next prepare the segmented oranges.  I always begin by trimming away the top and the bottom so the orange sits level.
Then I trim away the skin, being careful to trim away all the bitter pith.
Then I take the orange in my hand and cut out the segments using the natural lines in the orange as my guide. Cut away the segments from all 3 oranges and set aside.
Next, prepare the dressing.  Unfortunately, this is the only photo I took of the dressing.  Juice one lime and add 3T Olive Oil, 1/4t Cayenne (or less according to taste, I used 1/8t), 1/2t Chili Powder, 1/4t Cumin, 1/4t Salt, 2T Honey, 1 Garlic Clove, minced and 3T Orange Juice. Set aside.
Now it's time to assemble the salad.  Combine the Jicama strips with orange segments .
Then add Pineapple chunks, 
 thinly sliced red onion, 1/2C chopped Cilantro and dressing.
 Toss gently and chill until serving.

Buen Provecho!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Manic Monday-Organizing For Travel

Hi Friends!  A Mami's work is never done and although the list is long on a Monday, it is even longer when you have to add preparing to travel to your already mile long "To Do" list.  All things through Christ, right?

When I get ready to travel I like to start with a list of all the things I need while I am away and if I am traveling with the family, I will make a list by person.  Of course, in this day and age, we are never too far away from department or all night pharmacy chain stores; but who wants to spend money on things you already have and clutter up your home with containers of half used body wash?
Next, I pack all necessary medications into a zip bag so that everything is easily accessible and can be tossed into my car travel bag at the very last minute.  Then I check on everyone's clothing list and make sure that all the items are clean leaving plenty of time for a load of laundry (or two). Lastly, I put together little travel bags for the boys with their favorite toys (trucks & trains), a book & snacks.

A day or two before any trip I like to put together my car travel bag.  It has a change of clothes for each child,  diapering kit, anti-bacterial gel, sanitary wipes, small first aid kit, snacks, juice cup refill container and the necessary medication bag. Inevitably the morning of any trip there are always last minute things to pack and I make a list for those items too so that I can check them off as we pack up the car.

This is my plan, is it fool proof? NO.  Our last road trip was to the beach and the boys' life vests stayed behind.  Oh well, nearly had everything we needed. :)  Every trip is a bit different but I am glad to have a basic plan in place.

Please leave a comment and let me know how you prepare for travel.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party-Black Bean Chicken Salad

Today is Foodie Friends Friday and you know what that means?  I will be joining Walking on Sunshine for her Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party.

Thanks to everyone that checked out my recipe from last week, BBQ Pulled Chicken, it got a special shot out and that's one step closer to my goal of winning most votes and most clicks.  

This week I will be submitting my Black Bean Chicken Salad with Cilantro Pesto, so check it out and give us some Mami Thyme love! Visit the sites mentioned above and then return on Sunday to vote for your favorite.

Enjoy! Buen Provecho!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Random Thoughts-Breast Feeding

This sculpture located in Nami Island, Korea is of a smiling and happy nursing mother. This sculpture represents the full balancing act of maternity.  Shared from Mamas Lactantes (Mom's Milk) Facebook page.

Breast feeding is such a hot topic lately and has really raised some heated discussions in the media.

Everyone remembers this cover and the hoopla it caused.  The LA Times has this to say about the photo, "A Time magazine cover with L.A. mom Jamie Lynne Grumet breast-feeding her strapping, almost 4-year-old son promises to be the head-snapping checkout-stand stopper of the season, based on the fevered reaction provoked by the magazine's pre-Mother's Daylanding." The Washington Post stayed away from the controversy entirely by focusing on the art history of the shot and what makes a good cover.  While Fox News takes the more extreme view (surprised) that Grumet is a narcissist, who psychologically abuses her son and disguises ugliness as something beautiful.
Here are some photos of famous paintings of breastfeeding women that were behind the scenes at the above photo shoot.

But really, what is all the controversy about?  The fact that there is a woman nursing her 3 year old on the cover of a national magazine, that the child is 3 years old, or that she is bearing her breast?  I won't even attempt to touch on the topics of sexuality, our country's obsession with nudity or my opinion that nursing should not be considered sexual or nudity.  Breastfeeding is a very personal decision.  I for one think that it is a no brainer, I mean, have you seen the cost of a can of baby formula? No, seriously, when I heard the health benefits my babies would receive by my breastfeeding them, they far outweighed any discomfort, inconvenience, or effects on the shape of my body I have ever encountered by not using the more conventional method of feeding my infants.

Breastfeeding in public is another controversial topic.  I feel that as long as I am covered, I should have the prerogative to feed my child wherever I like and that nursing should not be viewed any differently than bottle feeding.  Would you banish a bottle feeding mother to a public restroom? 

Lastly, how long should you breast feed is also a very personal decision yet has caused many heated discussions. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that "Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child....Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother....There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychological or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer."  While The World Health Organization  recommends, "Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to six months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond."  It continues to say in it's 10 Facts on Breastfeeding that "Beyond the immediate benefits for children, breastfeeding contributes to a lifetime of good health. Adults who were breastfed as babies often have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol, as well as lower rates of overweight, obesity and type-2 diabetes. There is evidence that people who were breastfed perform better in intelligence tests."  

This article by, sites many studies about nutritional content of breast milk beyond 12 months.  My personal favorite is a study done by Dewey 2001, In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
  • 29% of energy requirements
  • 43% of protein requirements
  • 36% of calcium requirements
  • 75% of vitamin A requirements
  • 76% of folate requirements
  • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
  • 60% of vitamin C requirements
Wow!  Again, a no brainer!  So remember, if you see a mama nursing in public, don't judge, support her personal decisions and keep walking.  She is doing the best thing for her and her baby.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Recipe Tuesday-Black Bean Chicken Salad

Even though the temperatures here on the mountain have cooled a bit, it still can be too warm in the afternoon to put the stove on, so I have found some wonderful "put together ahead of time" recipes to keep me out of the kitchen during the heat of the day.

This recipe is especially easy because I made extra chicken last night and all I really had to prepare was the dressing and the pasta.

First the dressing, combine 1 1/2 C Chopped Cilantro with, 1/2 C Shredded Parmesan Cheese, 1/3 C Pine Nuts, 1/3 C Olive or Vegetable Oil, 1/4 C Heavy Cream, 1 t Lemon Zest, 1 T Lemon Juice, 1/8 t Cayenne Pepper, and 2 Clove Garlic, Minced.

Chop or shred 1 LB. of Cooked Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts and set aside.

Then prepare 6 oz. pasta of your choice according to package directions, I used Mini Rotini but we also like to use Bow Tie or Orecchiette.

Then rinse 1 15 oz. can of Black Beans and set aside.

Combine Pasta, Chicken, Beans and Dressing with 1 Large Tomato (1C), 1 t Chili Powder, and 1/4 t Garlic Salt.  Toss well and refrigerate until serving.

I waited to add the tomatoes to each individual plate and them topped each plate with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese.  Absolute YUM!

This recipe is featured on Walking on Sunshine and Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party.