Things I Love – Kidfresh Meals

Ever have one of those days (or weeks) where nothing seems to be going right?  You’re running late from work, errands or school and your kids are so hungry that they are turning into little savages right in front of you?  The last thing you need or want to do with cranky, hungry kids is start cooking them a healthy and balanced meal from scratch.  You need to something to satisfy their hunger quick!  I’m not a big fan of drive-thru since those meals are usually loaded with trans fat, salt and sugar, a triple dietary whammy for kidlets, so it was a good thing I found Kidfresh.

Kidfresh is a healthy, convenient and affordable brand of kids’ meals that are available in the frozen food aisle of the supermarket.  Now, usually when I say the words “frozen dinner,” the last thing that comes to my mind is healthy, but Kidfresh meals really are!

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The “Grill-More” Girls – Cedar Plank Salmon & Asparagus

This week, this “Grill-More Girl” decided to get a little adventurous and tried her hand at making Cedar Plank Salmon & Asparagus.  If you’ve never tried wood plank grilling, don’t be intimidated-it’s is a great and easy way to infuse food with a smoky aromatic flavor.

Salmon and asparagus grilling on a cedar plank

Grilling with a plank is a lot like using a pan.  In addition adding extra flavor and moisture to your food, it’s a good method to use when grilling veggies or something delicate like fish fillets because it provides a good, stable surface to put your food on (plus it keeps things like asparagus from rolling off the grill and into the fire!).  Basically, it works like this: as you grill your food, the wood plank starts to char from the heat and the smoke from the plank subtly flavors your food.  There are different wood planks you can use to give your foods different flavors, like cherry, maple, oak and apple. The most common type of plank, and the one I used for this recipe, is cedar. Grilling planks are no longer regulated to gourmet shops and high-end food stores. You can find them in your local grocery store, or even in big-box hardware stores, in the outdoor aisles. They come in packs ranging from 2 to 8 planks and cost anywhere from $10-20.

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I’m Not A Barbie Girl, In The Barbie World

Last week I went to the toy store to buy a birthday present for my son to take to a classmate’s party.  Normally, buying a present isn’t an issue.  If it’s for a boy, I usually get something my son is obsessed with such as Lego Hero Factory or Matchbox cars, because more times than not, his friends are just as obsessed too.  However, this present was for a five-year-old girl. Uh-oh!

I have to say I was a bit stumped as what to get this little girl.  She’s a girly girl, something I know nothing about, since I was a bit of a tomboy growing up.  When I asked my son what I should get her, he told me that she “liked that Barbie girl.”

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The Grill-More Girls: Grilled Surf & Turf

This week, this “Grill-More Girl” is serving up a classic meal – Grilled Surf & Turf, inspired by my favorite kind of date night with The Hubs.

On the rare occasion that the two of us get a babysitter, we usually wind up going to restaurant where someone else is doing the cooking and serving us a great meal.   Although we enjoy Italian and Mexican food as well as sushi, more times than not, we find ourselves sitting across from each other at a steakhouse for some good old meat-and-potatoes.  In my opinion, those fancy meals are too few and far between… and it’s a good thing because our bank account would be dramatically decreasing while my waistline would be seriously increasing.

This weekend we stayed home, but I was seriously craving one of my favorite steakhouse orders – Surf & Turf.  So I decided that I’d try to re-create that meal on my grill.

Surf & Turf for two with French green beans as a side

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Bronx Zoo’s Animal Tales Extravaganza – Fun For The Whole Family

My kidlets love animals, all different kinds and the more exotic, the better.  Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!  So it’s a good thing that we live near the world’s largest metropolitan zoo, the Bronx Zoo, which is run by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).  The Hubs and I take the kids there several times a year.  It’s a great way to spend the day, see animals and learn about animal conservation efforts both in our country and around the world.

Starting this Saturday, April 21, the Bronx Zoo kicks off its third annual Animal Tales Extravaganza that will run every weekend through Sunday, June 30.  This special spring program is packed with elephant-sized fun featuring a full schedule of live family entertainment including interactive attractions, music, performances, character meet and greets, arts & crafts, author readings and even a Rainforest Creature Parade!

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Things I Love – Gutzy Gear

Every now and again I come across products, toys, activities or accessories that I really enjoy or find useful and I like to share them with other moms and families out there. My latest “find” is Gutzy Gear.

Gutzy Gear is a fun new accessory that transforms your kids’ backpacks, allowing them to personalize them and make them just as unique as they are.  Gutzy Gear consists of two easy-to-use backpack strap covers that you slip onto your bag and then attach an array of Velcro patches, called Gutzies.  There are hundreds of Gutzies to choose from, which allow children to express their own personality – the patches feature animals, sports, food, shapes and even words.

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The Grill-More Girls: Grilled Spoon Roast With Grilled Balsamic Veggies

This week, this Grill-More Girl is featuring Rotisserie Spoon Roast with Balsamic Grilled Veggies. Family came over last weekend for Easter, and cooking it was a real family effort!  I say this because although I prepped it, The Hubs is the actual griller for this meal.  So I guess it was a tag-team effort! This is a great meal for any dinner party, holiday meal or even just a regular Sunday supper.

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Earning My Stripes As “The Harried Mom”

For the past two weeks, I’ve totally earned my moniker of “The Harried Mom!”  It’s been a busy time on both the home and work fronts. Luckily, the chaos is slated to end (somewhat) later this week.

First and foremost is family stuff, of course! The Hubs and I are starting to prepare our son, and ourselves, to transition from pre-school to kindergarten.  We’re very lucky that our school system offers a full-day program, because many other systems in our area do not.  Our district initiated their program 28 years ago and it’s still going strong.   Our very first step in this journey was to pre-register our son back in January.  Yes, I said pre-register.  You can read all about that HERE.  Then came orientation night a couple of weeks back, held in the gymnasium of our town’s intermediate school.    It had definitely been a long time since I’d been in an elementary school gym, but amazingly it all came back to me — parquet floors with enough shellac gooped on top that my non-regulation shoes left scuff marks all the way to our seats! The gym had a stage area for choral concerts, school plays and graduation ceremonies, and it was decorated with both an American and school flag that probably both have been there since the place originally opened.  It looked kind of small to me, but of course if you were the size of a kindergartener, the place would look pretty enormous.

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Impromptu Tea Party

Our rainy weekend concluded with a lazy Sunday afternoon of watching cartoons with the kidlets. Bored with the antics of Woody Woodpecker, my two-year old daughter got up and broke out her various tea sets for an impromptu tea party. Who am I to argue when lovely little cups and an attractive array of plastic petit fours are laid out before me? I immediately accepted my invitation and was glad to see that The Hubs and my son were also on the RSVP list. Our dog Bailey was not officially invited but, like any time there is food involved (even pretend food, it seems) she invited herself anyway.

Tea party is just starting to get out of hand, what started as a party for four suddenly spiraled into a house party!

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“Tackle It Tuesday” – Toy Organization

Today, I’m honored to be guest posting today over at 5 Minutes for Mom as part of their “Tackle It Tuesday” feature where I get to show off my toy organization prowess!  You can check it out by clicking here or on the logo below!

Tackle It Tuesday5 Minutes for Mom is the essential, go-to site for moms that entertains and informs, while promoting the online mom community.