Food Feed

Back in the Swing of Things....

First week - 1 (1)Well, we survived the first week of school!

We hit the ground running with a 9th grader, 6th grader, 4th grader and 2nd grader.   This mama started her 19th year of teaching.    

It is always a big transition, for me especially, as my responsibilities and care of children increases exponentially with the onset of the school year, but we are all getting back into the swing of things.

This year I am continuing to work on self-care and stress management strategies and I also have a goal of "working smarter, not harder."

Here are three things I am focusing on to start the school year:

Drinking More Water.    On our summer vacation to the Pacific Northwest I got a new Hydroflask Water Bottle as a souvenir.  I am trying to drink two full 32 ounce bottles during the day.   I have been adding Nuun Immunity Tablets to give me a little boost as well.

Yoga.  I am continuing to incorporate yoga into my life.   I am aiming for one session a day.  My go-to home practice is a video from Yoga with Adrienne.  This week I have done her Sunrise Yoga, Stress Melt, and Yoga for Neck, Shoulders and Upper Back.   These free, quick videos have really helped me feel better.

Getting Help with Meal Planning.    Meal planning is a huge chore in my life.  Last school year I had a whole series of meal planning posts. where I created a collection of posts with weekly family meal plans.   This school year I am trying out a recipe meal planning service called emeals.   I subscribed to the "Kid Friendly" plan and every Wednesday I get an email with dinner recipe ideas and grocery lists for a whole week of meals.  I have been trying this out for a couple of weeks and I like it so far.  It is making this big responsibility in my life a little bit easier.  

There are several different meal planning menu theme options (ex. Quick and Healthy, Vegetarian, Budget Friendly and Clean Eating to name a few).   If you are interested in trying checking it out, try it free for two weeks using my referral link:   http://emeals.com/invite/megan-devine.    

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I hope your school year/September is off to a good start.   If you have some strategies that you are using that are working for you to get back into the swing of things I'd love to hear about them!  

 


Meal Plan Monday


Meal Plan Monday - 1 (1)Last week I shared some ramblings about my weekly chore and challenge of meal planning.   I know so many of you are in the same arena, trying to prepare nutritious weeknight meals that already before your kids fill up on after school snacks.  

My Sanity Saving Strategy for Weeknight Meals: Here's How

I had some good feedback from my last post, so I am going to continue to share my meal plan for the upcoming week so that you might get some inspirations - or better yet, maybe you can give me some good ideas!  (Thank you to those of you who posted comments or sent me an email last week!)

Here we go:

Monday:  Steak and Chicken Sheet Pan Fajitas with Spanish Rice

(inspired from Jo's comment on my last post and from this recipe feature that I wrote for Minnesota Parent magazine last April)

need:  peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, steak, Spanish rice mix

Tuesday:  Meatloaf Muffins,  Mashed Potatoes & Garden Green Beans

I am going to try an adaption of this highly rated recipe this week.  Using some of the herbs that I have dried and stored from our summer garden and some store bought pork/hamburger grind and some venison

need:   carrots, onion, pork/beef grind,  saltines, potatoes

Wednesday:   Pasta Bar

Twisting a recommendation for "pasta boats" from Jo's comment on my last post to a pasta bar idea.

need:  ham, mushrooms, bacon, broccoli, chicken, red sauce, alfredo sauce, broccoli, parmesan cheese, pesto, noodles

Thursday:   Crescent Bacon Breakfast Ring

Using up eggs is always a great option when we have laying hens.  I am going to try this recipe this week: https://www.jocooks.com/recipes/crescent-bacon-breakfast-ring/

I have a great go-t0 recipe for homemade crescent dough from this book that I will use for the dough.

need:  eggs, bacon, green onions, peppers, cheese, crescent dough

Friday:   Mini Sub Sandwiches

need:  Sarah Lee Center Cut Hoagie Rolls, lunch meat, cheese, lettuce, and extras

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I would love to hear what you are cooking too!  

Post a comment or shoot me an email.

Have a great week!

 


Meal Plan Monday

November - 1Meal planning is not my favorite thing to do.   

Our family eats a lot, more than the average anyway.   High metabolism combined with active, growing children make a chore out of planning and preparing enough food (without restocking at the grocery store several times a week).  

It is a daily challenge to prepare a nutritious meal that it is ready before my kids fill up on after school snacks.  I have shared some ramblings on this topic in this piece I wrote for mothering.com:

My Sanity Saving Strategy for Weeknight Meals: Here's How

I know you may be facing similar challenges so I thought I might as well start sharing a little bit about what I will be cooking at our house from week to week, so that you could get some inspiration - or better yet maybe you can give me some good ideas!

Here's what I am planning on cooking this week:

Monday:  Rice Bowls

brown rice, a can of chili beans, pan fried steak strips, lettuce, cilantro, guacamole, tomato, cheese & chips

Tuesday:  Burgers & Salad

frozen chicken burgers, frozen turkey burgers, buns, pickles, & green salad

Wednesday:   Pasta & Salad

rigatoni noodles, crumbled Italian sausage, parmesan cheese, garden pasta sauce, frozen breadsticks, & green salad

Thursday:   Fish Tacos

baked Alaskan cod fish, tortilla wraps, coleslaw, & tomatoes

Friday:   Fried Rice

brown rice, frozen peas and carrots, scrambled eggs, orange chicken, & cream cheese wontons

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I would love to hear what you are cooking too!  

 


Apples to Applesauce

October - 1 (2)
October - 1 (2)

Earlier in the week I took a walking field trip to an apple tree a couple blocks away from the school.  Each of my kindergarten students got to pick a couple of apples from the tree and we brought them back to the school to make applesauce right in our classroom during the school day.   

Click on the image below to read a post where I share the simple instructions to do this at home or in your classroom.   

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As I mention in the post, I am not sharing this because it is new concept or even a unique, creative recipe.  I am sharing this today just as a reminder how easy this is!

Every child should share in the experience making applesauce in the fall!

Let me know how yours turns out if you find opportunity to make some yourself.


Around Here....

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Around here...

The seasons are starting to shift.   The landscape of my lush green summer trail runs is changing to where I am seeing yellows, browns and even an occasional red leaf making its appearance.  Although we are in summer mode subtle changes are hinting of the onset of fall.   

The rhythms of our activities are changing as well as we are gradually gearing up for the start of the new school year.   I have been in school, getting my classroom ready for my new students.  This year will mark my 18th year of teaching!

The cross-country running season has also started.   Our eighth grader is training hard, gearing up for the first meet next week.  I am helping with the team as an assistant coach, as I have been doing the past couple of years.  We have both been running and doing some other cross training all summer long.  I am working through a running injury (plantar fasciitis), but still on track to complete a half-marathon in late September.   My daughter and I have been inspired by the newly published book:  Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.: Quick-Fix Recipes for Hangry Athletes by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky.  There are lots of great recipes, tips and training advise including the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (pictured above) that my daughter has been making from the "Power Snacks" section of the book.  

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Around here - 4

 Around here...

I have been keeping up with our bountiful garden and lining my pantry shelves with canned goods.  Lately, I have been busy pickling cucumbers and beans.   We are having a great year for tomatoes as well!   We're eating a lot of garden suppers (BLT's, salads, and quick pasta dishes celebrating and savoring the gifts of the garden.

Around here - 1 (1)Around here...

I am still working on new and different avenues of publication.   I recently received the exciting news (and payment!) from Highlights for Children that two of my submissions will be published in upcoming issues of Highlights High Five. 

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Around here - 2
Around here...

We are making progress with our sauna building!  James is working hard and the rest of us are pitching in when we can. We have the slab poured and we just started framing up the walls.   We will be slowing down just a bit as we wait for our trusses order.   We are so excited about this new addition to our homestead. 


Minnesota Parent Magazine - August

The August Issue issue of Minnesota Parent Magazine is available throughout Minnesota and online now.

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My School Days Column, for this back to school issue, is titled: "Getting Ready for K".

Megan Devine - Minnesota Parent Magazine

This month I also wrote a recipe feature, sharing my mom's recipe for zucchini chocolate cake for the "In the Kitchen" column.  Be sure to check it out!

Megan Devine - Minnesota Parent Recipe

Pick up a print copy, or read the full issue by clicking --> HERE.

Find the online link to my article ---> HERE.

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If you like what you see, social media 'shares' are appreciated!

As always - thanks for reading!


Minnesota Parent Column - School Days - April

The April Issue issue of Minnesota Parent Magazine is available throughout Minnesota and online now.

MNP 0418_Cover

My School Days Column this month is "The Family Dinner."  Megan Devine - Minnesota Parent - April 2018

Pick up a print copy, or read the full issue by clicking --> HERE.

Find the online link to my article ---> HERE.

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If you like what you see, social media 'shares' are appreciated!

As always - thanks for reading!


Around Here

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Outside:

Although we are experiencing some sub zero temperatures, we are finding our way outdoors.    We have a solid base of snow for cross country skiing and between after-school ski practices, MYSL and weekend outings, we're logging a fair amount of kilometers on the trail.

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Coffee shop 2

Duct tape crafts
Duct tape crafts
Duct tape crafts

Inside:  

We are staying warm, even given our recent sub-zero temperature cold snap.   We recently tried out a new coffee shop in town with a welcoming atmosphere after a cold and snowy ski.  We have been keeping ourselves busy inside, the kids experimenting with duct tape crafts, the mama with some knitting projects.  On these winter days we are also savoring summer blueberries and backyard maple syrup with pancake breakfasts.

Wishing you a great start to your week!


North House Folk School

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As part of our weekend getaway to the North Shore we took part in several events at the Family & Intergenerational Learning Weekend at the North House Folk School.  Friday evening we participated in the Contra Dance, Saturday my daughter and I took an afternoon knitting class (where she learned the craft and I worked out all of my bad habits) and Saturday evening we joined in a wood-fired pizza bake with other families that participated in classes and offerings over the weekend. We had a lot of fun connecting as a family, meeting some new people and participating in these fun events at the North House Folk School.


pumpkining in kindergarten

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Here are a few snapshots from short, busy and fun week in kindergarten.  

In the lesson plans were:  pumpkin investigations!

Monday:  Pumpkin seeds (My garden was generous this year I grew 16 pie pumpkins - and I had a couple donations - so each student was able to investigate their own pumpkin.  I brought home one 5 gallon bucket of pumpkin "guts" for the chickens - and two 5 gallon buckets of cut and seeded pumpkins.

Monday night:  The kindergarten teacher (and husband) roasted pumpkin seeds, the kindergarten teacher also bandaged the blisters that she got from slicing and cutting the tops off of 18 pumpkins.

Tuesday:  Roasting pumpkins.   In class we roasted a crockpot full of sliced and seeded pumpkins throughout the day, sharing with the kiddos one way pumpkins can be cooked.

Tuesday night:  Roasting pumpkins - I had two crock pots going at home roasting pumpkins overnight and during the daytime to make the most of our harvest.

Wednesday: Pumpkin puree and pumpkin smoothies.  In class I showed the kids what part of the pumpkin that we make into pumpkin puree and we celebrated our efforts by making (and enjoying) pumpkin smoothies.

Wednesday night:  Before we went out and celebrated our anniversary, I finished up making pumpkin puree from all of the baked pumpkins.  I was able to put up over 26 cups of fresh pumpkin.  (I freeze it in 2 cup servings in quart freezer bags.)

Another successful year of pumpkining at home and school - done!

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Now I just need to make it through a Halloween on a Monday night.

If you are looking for some pumpkin inspired ideas, check out my recent post on mothering.com:

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