Foodie Friday: October Menu

Does anyone else feel like September has been going for 5 years? Just me, then? Seriously, September has been a long month but we have eaten good! I am ready for October. It’s going to be just as busy as September was, but *hopefully* won’t be as hot.

October brings so many exciting things in my life: fall leaves, six birthdays (including my own and my twin sister’s) cooler weather (eventually) and Halloween (my official kick off to the holiday season.)

In my long September I was blessed to attend a conference in San Antonio, TX sponsored and hosted by DairyMax Inc. It was such a good experience learning about the health benefits of dairy foods and how to incorporate more dairy foods into the diet without just drinking more milk. And the food…. So. Much. Food. And all of it delicious! I really enjoyed the fact that there were Chef/Registered Dietitians who spoke and presented cooking demonstrations. I had to include a couple recipes on my October menu that I got to sample at the conference. The creamy chicken tortilla soup with guacamole  and the Indian Dahi aloo with Chicken were both presented by Chef Todd Seyfarth from Johnson & Wales University. They are so good. I hope you’ll step out of your comfort zone and try those.

Here is my October Menu:

October 2019 Menu

Recipes collected on my October 2019 Menu Pinterest board.

And here’s one you can print: October 2019 Menu.jpg Please feel free to print and use these menus. Use your white-out and replace any foods you don’t like or won’t eat. I share these menus on my blog so that people can use them because I know how difficult it can be sometimes to decide “what’s for dinner.”

Happy cooking!

QuickTip Tuesday: Dairy in the Diet

Leading nutrition authorities, as well as MyPlate, recommend that all Americans over 9 years of age enjoy 3 daily servings of dairy. Find it hard to work in that much dairy? Try this easy smoothie bowl! Click the picture to go to the recipe by DairyMax.

three pomegranate cherry smoothie bowls on a blue background

Co-Parenting: Having a Vision For Your Child

having a vision

Meaning of Resilience / Having a Vision for Your Child

Help your child bounce back and have a bright future! 

Divorce can be a traumatic experience for children. Children’s old routines and rituals have been disrupted and new routines and rituals must be created to help ease the transition for your child. As a parent, it’s important to be aware of your child’s emotions and how they are responding to these changes. Children respond differently to their parents divorce.  You and your co-parent know your child best!  Stay attuned to their needs and help them overcome the challenges they face. The trauma from divorce can produce bad things for children, but you can help them overcome these challenges and be resilient by bouncing back and overcoming this difficulty.

What does resilience mean to you?

  • Speedy recovery
  • Bouncing back
  • Overcoming problems and challenges

Divorce doesn’t have to be a death sentence. There are things you can do to lessen the impact of divorce on your child to help them bounce back and have a bright future. However, there are also things you can do that will cause your child to have a much more difficult time.

Keep in mind your vision for your child. Having a vision and setting goals will allow you to take control of your situation and lead you and your children on the path you desire. You can’t control your co-parent, but knowing where you are going will allow you to respond to some of the challenges you face and help you relate to your co-parent through this vision for your children.

Child success is predicted by how parents parent after the divorce. Stress from the divorce can often change the way you parent. Remember to use a balanced style of parenting which is high on emotional expression, love, and support for the child’s needs and best interests. Establish new routines and rituals to help your child adjust to the divorce. Be there for your child when he or she needs to talk and let them externalize their emotions and feelings about the divorce. Although it may be hard to hear, allowing them to share what they are feeling is key to helping them bounce back and have a bright future.

Balanced parenting also involves firm but appropriate discipline and open conversations about why the child is being disciplined.

When parents use balanced parenting, children tend to be:

  • Respectful
  • Able to make their own decisions
  • Responsible
  • Secure
  • Confident
  • Generous
  • Happy

QuickTip Tuesday: Family Meals

family meals

September is “National Family Meals Month” and I want to take this opportunity to encourage you to eat with your families! Not just in September, but all  year round. I know how hard it can be when you’ve got kids and all their activities. Schedules get hectic, so let me ease your mind on the subject. A family meal is at least 2 people from the same family sitting down to eat a meal together, without watching TV or playing on devices the whole time. If you can get the whole family together, that’s great! If you can get one parent and one child, that’s good too! Do not over-complicate the idea of family meals. Just try to sit down and eat with each other as often as possible.

Foodie Friday: September Menu

School has started and so have all the activities. It’s a good thing to have a plan for dinner. Maybe a full month of meals is not doable for all families, but it’s the way I like to do it. I hope this menu inspires you to cook a few more dinners in September than you did in August. Cooking and eating at home as a family has many psychological and physical health benefits!

Here’s my menu for the new month:

September 2019 Menu

And here’s one you can print:

September 2019 Menu

And as always, here is my collection of recipes on the September 2019 Menu Pinterest Board.

QuickTip Tuesday: Re-framing Your Reasons

I was running this morning and decided to do a “guided run” through my running app. A guided run has a recorded coach who will talk you through your run and give you instructions or things to focus on to help make stronger, more confident runners. Today’s workout included a quote that really struck me. The coach said “Start your run by thinking of what you will gain, not what you will lose.” He went on to explain that some people might have a weight loss goal, but thinking about losing things (even weight) has a negative undertone. Instead, he suggested that those people re-frame their thought process to be about gaining health and fitness. I thought that was such great advice! And it can be relevant in almost any context. Any change we make for the better means giving something up, but it’s important to our success to focus on what we get, not what we lose.

Foodie Friday: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

pineapple upsidedown cakeI am going to tell you a secret. I love boxed cake mixes. I almost never bake cakes from scratch, or brownies for that matter. The cake and brownie mixes on the market today are just too good a deal to bother with baking from scratch. The mixes are extremely economical compared to buying specialty flours and are almost fail proof. I will occasionally doctor the mixes up a bit to be more creative, interesting, or indulgent. Sometimes I put peanut butter and chocolate chips into a plain fudge brownie mix. Sometimes I put different flavored pudding mixes into cake batter to create a flavor that is not on my grocery store shelf. Sometimes, like with my pineapple upside-down cake, I replace the water with fruit juice.

So, for this cake I used a boxed yellow cake mix and added in all of the juice from a can of pineapple rings plus a little water. I poured the juice into my liquid measuring cup and it measured about 3/4 cups. The cake mix needs 1 cup of liquid so I topped the juice off with water until I had 1 full cup of liquid. I added in 1/2 cup canola oil and 3 eggs. Mixed with an electric hand-mixer for the time specified on the cake mix box (I think it was 2 minutes). I also sprayed my cast iron skillet with non-stick spray and heated it up on the stove top. I threw in some butter- 6 tablespoons should do the trick- and about half a cup of brown sugar. I let that cook for a minute or two before arranging my pineapple rings and cherries. Pour in the cake batter and bake at 325 for about 40-50 minutes. The cake mix directions do not have a bake time for the cast iron skillet, so I had to just keep an eye on it after about 35 minutes. You can check the doneness of your cake by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out goopy, the cake isn’t done. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready to come out of the oven. Once out, let the cake cool for about 5-10 minutes, then turn it over onto your cake stand or cutting board. Remember, the cast-iron is still hot and very heavy. I actually  had to get my husband to do this part because my cutting board is also heavy.

So easy, so good!