My Purple Smoothie Breakfast (Yummy?)


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Darling Daughter: You’re going to start eating healthier. You don’t sleep. Skip meals. Aren’t exercising enough. You’re tired. Me: Yes. Darling Daughter: You’re sick. AGAIN. Wasn’t much I could fire back with. I’ve been sick since early October… So Darling … Continue reading

What’s for Lunch Today?

It’s a beautiful thing.

Daughter has taken to cooking this past year. Not only does she make her own meals. She makes mine. (And her brothers)

Or at least offers to make enough for all of us.

Yesterdays lunch…


Fresh spinach, strawberries and pecans. Dried cranberries and golden raisins. A hint of vinaigrette dressing. Perfect.

Daughter is making homemade, creamy asparagus soup this evening. We got fresh asparagus at the farmers market yesterday. Somebody will probably throw a salad together.

And I’m making a lemon icebox pie. Found the recipe in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. (Aug 2012) It’s made with a 32 oz tub of vanilla greek yogurt and graham cracker crust. We’ll see how it turns out…

The best part of Daughters newfound hobby?

She makes the grocery lists and plans the menus, with Son and my input. Both kids often grocery shop with me. They load the cart, bag the food and help put it away. They also wash the fruit, lettuce, etc.

I know teenagers are supposed to be awful. But so far, I’ve enjoyed most every minute of raising them. I LOVE the teenage years.

The only bad part?

My grocery bill has increased some. Okay, A LOT.  

A small price to pay for spending time with the kids. Time with them I wouldn’t have if I was in charge of ALL the food planning for the family.

Plus, its fun. Fun to shop with them. To cook with them. Even if they pull up a bar stool to chat with me while I cook, or vice versa. We’ve always sat down to dinner together, but now we often ‘hang out’ while somebody is cooking.

Lets face it, teenagers are busy. Too busy to be around that much.

And I’m busy. Working, (single) parenting, maintaining our home, paying bills and making time to have a social life. Then there’s the dogs…

If we didn’t spend time together doing mundane tasks, we’d spend far less time together. And the more I turn over to the kids, the more responsible they become. I’m confident they can figure things out–And they always do. Maybe not the way I would have done it. But what does it matter, so long as the task gets done?

Both kids tend to do their own laundry, empty the dishwasher, cook when they are hungry. Son rides his bike to work out, to friends houses. They are slowly evolving into adults. And I’m happy to let them…

Instead of being sad they are growing up, I’m embracing it. If I continued to do everything for them, I suppose I would have control. I’d hold all the cards.

There would be no mad dash for towels to wave at the smoke detectors when the latest ‘culinary experiment’ failed. Just last weekend, we opened windows. Doors. Waved towels. The Little Black Neurotic Dog howled like a banshee. (She howls at sirens) The Red Dog ran in circles. He wanted to hide, but didn’t know where to bury his head.

It was chaos for a few minutes. Then Daughter and I pulled a meal together from the mess. Son closed the windows. Dogs settled down. And we sat down to dinner…

All this talk of food has me wondering whats for lunch today?

If somebody is kind enough to make lunch, I‘ll happily do the dishes.

There’s just one small problem. I sold the dining table. Again.

Technically, we don’t have a place to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner today.

But I’m sure I’ll find another dining table soon…

Grocery Shopping for Teenagers (Ugh.)

Darling Daughter: Are we going grocery shopping today?

Me: Sigh…

Not my favorite activity. One I happily handed over to my teenagers last winter, when my daughter started cooking. (A huge treat for me.) And it’s better when the ‘chef’ makes the grocery list, right?

Me: How about if you and your brother make the list and go?

Son: Okay. I’ll go.

Darling Daughter: You really DON’T want to go?

Me: No.

Daughter whipped out a pen and paper. And they put their heads together, got started on the list. I turned around and saw Aunt Kate was there. Stunned.

Me:  What?

Aunt Kate didn’t say anything…

Me: Really, I don’t know how to shop for Squirrel Food. The kids eat squirrel food these days…

Aunt Kate lost it, laughing.

Me: It’s true. Look in the pantry snack bin. Nothing but nuts, berries and sh#%.

The jar (photo left) has the trail mix my daughter makes with dried fruit, walnuts–and not exactly sure what else?

But she loves it. I’ve seen her pack it in Ziplock bags to snack on, sprinkle it in her yogurt…

And really, this shift in eating habits hasn’t happened overnight. Its more a series of gradual changes. A slow progression of cutting out ‘junk’ food for two children who mostly ate well anyway.

They have been active since they were born. No surprise that they both play sports. That they work out year around. Or even that they have realized that when they ate poorly, they felt like crap. Son enters high school this fall and committed to getting stronger to prepare for high school sports. Daughter has always eaten mostly healthy foods–but has gotten more adventurous and interested in cooking and baking. (With whole wheat flour, flaxseed, oat bran and other such ingredients…)

So…they are dedicated. Both fit. Both eating to feel good. To be healthy.


But grocery shopping for Rabbit and Squirrel Food is tricky for me.


Strawberries Spinach & Zucchini (fresh)
Watermelon Lettuce
Apples Vine Tomatoes (fresh)
Bananas Carrots
Cantaloupe Sweet Potatoes (fresh)
Powerade Zero Brown Rice
Black Beans Strawberries
Garbanzo Beans Tofu
Great Northern Beans Greek Yogurt
hummus Chicken
Walnuts Chicken
Almonds and more Chicken
Dried Apricots & Berries Corn on the Cob (fresh)
Redskin Potatoes (fresh) Green Beans (fresh)

As I write this, I’m dipping whole wheat pita chips into hummus. Tastes good, but I can only eat small amounts of it. Probably because the hummus dip is filling?

Or because it seems like smashed up bean goo spread on thin air…

Honestly, I don’t mind the changes.

Especially when the children are doing the legwork, making lists, chopping vegetables, making fruit salads and preparing much of the food. Daughter finds the recipes, takes charge of the grocery list. And somebody shops for food with me, or they do the grocery shopping…

As long nothing goes to waste, I’ll buy whatever the kids want–within reason. Even if I have to eat it.

Though I will pass on the protein powder.

My cousin strolled into our kitchen last week, as Son mixed up his concoction. Son had the powder, skim milk, whisker out…

Cousin: Yeah. I worked out in high school, but didn’t go that far.

Me: He needs to get his protein.

Cousin:Have fun with THAT…

Anyways…I’ve been going to the farmers market since the kids were babies. They’ve always eaten fresh fruit and vegetables. And I’ve never used canned sauces or boxed foods to prepare meals. (Always kind of cooked how my mom cooked…)

So dinners haven’t changed much. Lots of chicken, fresh vegetables, salads, homemade spaghetti sauce with whole wheat noodles. With some new recipes tossed into the mix.

The biggest change is the snacking–and their breakfast and lunch choices. They snack on almonds, walnuts, dried fruits and fresh berries. (SQUIRREL FOOD)

I never thought I’d see the day Son ate piles of lettuce…

At the grocery store, I’m the ‘nice’ lady paging through magazines while her kids whip around the store loading the cart.

The one who brings the money. And remembers the toilet paper, garbage bags, laundry detergent and other essentials.

Daughter has a summer babysitting job, working 8 to 5 three days per week. Which means I’ll make dinner tonight.

But I’ll be making the recipe she left out for me.

Which all in all isn’t a bad deal.

And it isn’t like they are storing nuts in their cheeks. (Yet.)