Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dinner Dilemmas: Chicken Nugget Kabobs

It has been a while since I have written a Dinner Dilemma post. Frankly, I have all but given up. After months of feeding my kids buttered pasta with parmesan cheese and hotdogs, I started feeling guilty and was inspired to prepare more exciting, nutritious and attractive meals for the boys. My recipes have included homemade sloppy joes, ham and cheese pockets, breakfast banana splits and strawberry wraps, all of which have fallen flat. I just don't get it.

kabob deconstructed

A couple of nights ago I tried chicken nugget kabobs. There isn't much of a recipe, but below you will find the instructions, perhaps they will work better for you than they did for me. I have come to the conclusion that my children are simply warped. Evan in particular is a food-hater, a fruitatarian with a passion for milk,dessert and nothing else. Your kids are probably less particular, and this dinner is pretty and easy, thus out of the goodness of my heart I am posting it here.

What you need:

kabob spears
chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
cheese cut into small cubes
cherry tomatoes
pineapple chunks
bell pepper.
shake & bake (I told you this wasn't a real recipe ok? Don't look at me like that.)

Rinse chicken breast to moisten, mix to coat with shake and bake. Do a dance while shaking to entertain your kids, or at least amuse yourself and sing "shake,shake,shake, shake your chicken. Shake your chicken. (I said don't look at me like that.)

Bake chicken in a pan lined with foil at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Arrange nuggets, tomatoes, pinapple, peppers and cheese on spears.

Dinner is served!

The boys were initially amused with the colorful presentation and rated the dish highly. As they made their way through the spears they informed me that the LOVED the kabobs. Except for the chicken. Well of course. So essentially they like fruit and cheese. Duh.

You can't say I didn't try! I get points for that right?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Chuck E. Cheese, Where a kid can be a kid & a grown up can stab their eye out with a (plastic) fork.

My kids see a birthday mecca, the Holy Land of youthful celebrations.

I see a birthday party factory, a generic excuse for us parents too exhausted to host the real deal.

My kids see a kick-ass party table just for them!

I see an overbooked "restaurant" where kids are packed in like rats and sweaty parents keep falling over each other trying to snap a picture of the birthday boy giving a bored teenager in a musty rat costume a high-five.

My kids see delicious pizza served up on colorful Chuck. E. Cheese plates.

I see see a microwaved food product and a great deal of plastic utensil waste.

My kids see awesome games as an opportunity to earn tickets and win killer prizes.

I see the future: a temper-tantrum after they either a) realize that their 800 tickets will only buy them a pencil and a tootsie roll or b) their piece of crap plastic missile launcher breaks in two after the first use.

My kids see their friends having an awesome time.

I see flustered parents wishing they served something a little stronger than Bud Light.

My kids see goodie bags with fabulous gifts. I  forsee a heap of plastic junk on my living room floor, and later in a landfill.

My son sees a mom and dad who gave them just what he wanted for his birthday. He smiles and tells me how great the party was and I....

See a boy who I would do just about anything for, even if that means another party with the rat.

Friday, September 21, 2012

People I want to punch in the face/Hair/Giveaway

Today's post may actually be a complete waste of time. The people I am about to describe probably don't even exist, I mean how could they? Really, they must just be a small handful of over-zealous bloggers and ill-advised marketers who don't understand how the real world works. Nobody actually does this stuff right?

Bento-Box Mommies: Yesterday Zachary told me that he was tired of sandwiches in his lunch box. Let me rephrase that. Upon seeing me packing a PBJ in his bag he stomped his feet, rolled his eyes and barked "NOT ANOTHER SANDWICH! I HATE SANDWICHES!" and then proceeded to make gagging noises. So I did what any good mother would do in this day and age, I turned to the Internet to research "fun lunch box ideas." What I found, horrified me. Bento Boxes. Now the idea of a bento box doesn't bother me in the least. Cut up cheese, veggies, fruit, crackers, it's a good lunch. But no. No. These bento boxes are works of food art. Sandwiches cut in the shapes of bunnies or kitties with thin little celery slices for whiskers and tiny flowers cut from cheese. Delicate speared edamame and  movie scenes reenacted with food. Who the eff does this? Wouldn't your Little Bo Peep bento box get all messed up as it sloshed around your child's backpack? Wouldn't you be dissapointed when you found that you went to all that trouble and your child only ate the raisin noes off of your Peter Rabbit sandwich? Good God it's food, not an art project. It's lunch for a 7 year old, who will barely appreciate it, and your setting him up for a major let down when in eleven years he realizes they don't serve "taco boats" in the dorm cafeteria.Get a life!

People who wear Mommy & Me outfits: I admit, I don't have a daughter, and perhaps if I did I would be overwhelmed by the idea of having a mini me doll to dress up, but I highly doubt it. I believe there should be a distinction between grown-up clothes and little girl clothes. I personally have no desire to dress like a seven year old girl, and I certainly would not want my daughter dressing in skinny jeans and high heels. Beyond that, there is just a whole nerdiness factor that goes along with matchy-matchy, it just sort of screams: YOU ARE TRYING TOO HARD! Now it is fairly unusual that I have actually witnessed such a fashion atrocity, however page through a Hanna Andersson magazine, and someone must be buying this crap right? Hard to believe.

As previously mentioned, it is hard to believe that these sort of people exisit in the real world, but if I ran into a bento box mom I have to say it would be hard to fight the punching urge.

In other news... HAIR UPDATE!!!! It's still growing and looks stupid. See picture. That is all.

DON'T FORGET MY GIVEAWAY!!! I am still giving away $15 to, just click the link below. Tell your friends!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Gift For You!

This has been a long summer of sitting on my tush. With my busted ankle, I have had a lot of time to hang out on Facebook, something my “friends” are brutally aware of.  I have posted no fewer than several hundred “adorable” pictures of my kids and nearly daily updates on the status of my hair transformation project.  Yes.  I am a Facebook junkie.
And guess what? Now I have another reason to spend time on my favorite social networking site. I can send presents to my friends… for FREE. It’s a very cool idea, brought to us by the geniuses at the social gifting service Embly. Because I am so well connected, (play along with me now) I was privileged to be one of the first to try Embly out and I have to say it is pretty slick.
How does it work? Embly finds the important events in your friends’ lives and works with retailers to create free gifts that you can use to celebrate them, Your friend gets a thoughtful gift, the retailer gets a visitor from a valued or new customer, and you get the thanks!
Essentially, I can hop on Embly and send a free gift, buy a gift card, or just send a message to any of my friends via Facebook or email. All it takes is a few clicks of the mouse and I look like I really care. (Because, duh, of course I do.) 
So far I have been really impressed with the retailer selection including Bloom, Diamond Candles, Shutterfly, and ShoeDazzle.  I was gifted a $15 card to Bloom, the leading social beauty network where you can get tips from pros and shop their recommended products, and I bought a lip gloss I adore.  I have given the Bloom gift card to several of my friends for no reason at all, and now my lucky readers, I am giving you a gift card as well! (Okay, those geniuses over at Embly are making this possible.) All you have to do is click my link to get a free $15 at Bloom, and then you too can start in the gifting/shopping fun!  Bonus points for you if you leave a comment and tell me what you picked out.

Happy Shopping!!