This week on Catching up with the Kelnhofers, I’m sharing how Ben’s very first day of school went! Plus, some great sandwich recipes for the busy days ahead and a kitchen tool you need in your life.
September always feels like a ‘here we go, let’s do this’ excited starting anew energy, if that makes sense.
I felt it more than ever this year in our household because Ben officially started school (4K)! Now we are navigating pick-ups/drop-offs and new routines. Quick meals at the end of a long day or meals I’ve had enough energy to plan ahead/freezer meals are of utmost importance!! A few things that have really been helping me:
- Quick meal planning – we put out a weekly meal plan every week on Saturday (which includes 5 days of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and a treat). The plans also include a shopping list. You can select the meals you want to make and then create a shopping list. I use them personally, even if I’m not cooking every single meal every single day, it helps give me ideas!!
- My 5 Ingredient Cookbook! Listen, even though I wrote and tested and photographed the book, I open it for inspiration every other day!!! I love having something in print to look at and flip through. There are SO MANY AMAZING RECIPES that are truly easy. They’re a great starting point. You can either follow the recipe exactly or there’s room to expand. For example there’s an amazing recipe for sloppy joes in there. I add a bell pepper or chopped zucchini! When I run out of taco seasoning, I open the seasonings page and boom, there’s a recipe to make your own. There are over 100 recipes and I truly use this book constantly.
I caved. I’ve been trying to move to an electronic-only calendar where I could email whomever involved and we’d both have the ‘thing’ on our calendar. With all the back and forths and different things happening on different days, I just bought a cheap wall calendar (under $10) and it’s been GREAT and so helpful to be able to walk by and see an ‘at a glance’ view.
Sharing the latest posts up on Sweetphi.com:
- 5 ingredient short pan pork chops – we love a good sheet pan meal and one with pork is even better
- Meal Plan – sharing an easy way to prep recipes for the week ahead
- Chickpea zucchini burgers – an easy vegetarian recipe for any day of the week
- Qdoba queso dip – seriously an amazing recipe re-creation!
- Love List – weekly finds from around the web
- Instant Pot Hungarian Goulash – a family favorite recipe we’ve made for years
- Did you see this sandwich I made? I’ll be making it ALL summer long (well, what’s left of it at least!).
- Lemon zest
- Maldon sea salt
- Ben helped me make some of Nick’s favorite chicken salad with Greek yogurt and then asked to try it…and then proceeded to eat a whole big portion for dinner!
- So happy I had some beef and zucchini burritos in the freezer, they were my lunch twice this week!
School started for us this past week and that means I’m relying on freezer meals even more than normal. Check out this comment from a reader on my roundup of some of my fave freezer meals:
- “I just had a baby and a friend gave me the sesame chicken and lemon pork meals as freezer meals. They were both great and now I’m on here to get the recipes for the other meals in this post. I love the idea of making freezer meals that require no advance cooking and can be served quickly for dinner. Thanks again!”
One of my favorite recipes – garden veggie quiche – was made by one of my readers and it sure looks tasty!
It’s school time so I’m all about making sandwiches everyday – easy lunches are what I’m all about:
- Vegetarian sandwich – a great non-meat option
- Sweet potato chickpea sandwich – use this as a spread or even a dip
- Chicken cordon bleu sandwich – a great way to enjoy classic cordon bleu flavors
- Ham & Swiss with maple mustard – the maple mustard makes all of the difference
- Pesto chicken salad on a bagel – one of our family favorites
- Also, if you’re looking for school lunches for kids – don’t forget we have a great resource (with a printable list!)
For those of you that struggle with cutting onions, this is the best tool to add to your kitchen! It’s fast and easy and worth every penny. Plus, you can cut/dice/chop in a variety of ways.
- Reading Seven Days in June and it’s SO SO GOOD! I’m only ¼ way in and it might already be my favorite book I read all summer (well, except People We Meet on Vacation because I just LOVED that one too.) The story follows Shane and Eva who “meet” at an event, but have met before, and shares more of their love story (past and present) . It’s so good!
- I made boats with the kids out of recycled ½ gallon milk containers, we even weighed them down with pennies, we truly had a blast, and they were easy (and they floated!)
- We got the kids a little treat – a happy meal from McDonalds, Ben put the boxes on his head and was chasing around Freddie and it was honestly the funniest thing ever.
- Frankie was being really cute, “talking” into her very own cell phone (lol). Then she spotted the carrier which I had sitting in my office and now she runs in and ‘hides’ in it and says ‘I baby’ and giggles.
- We made Ben’s first day of school school cone!! It’s a German tradition, the first day of school kids get a little cone of treats/things.
- He had a great first day!!
- If you’re looking for back to school snacks, don’t forget about this post filled with ideas!
- The Chair on Netflix. It’s about the new (first female and female of color) chair of a failing English department. What I love is that this one is a nice watch, a little drama, a little romance, but it’s a nice slower-ish pace to relax with.
- Universal Yums is snack boxes from around the world (they’ll send you a box of snacks to try from a different country each month). I had heard about it from a friend and wanted to try it but forgot, then I came across the post-it note I had written it on and decided to try it. Our first box showed up, Taiwan was the country. I didn’t know if the kids would try anything, but they tried EVERY SINGLE SNACK and LOVED IT!!!!!! I’m talking everything. Bubble tea flavored popcorn, kimchi flavored crackers, weird gummy candies, truffle flavored ‘fries’ (Freddie’s fave) /……….everything! It was such a fun experience and I cannot wait for next month. This would also make an amazing holiday gift for someone!!
Have you ever tried weird/cool snacks from another Country? I’d love to know, so just leave a comment below and let me know.