A panini is one of my favorite quick meal ideas for both lunch and dinner. I love this vegetarian panini recipe because not only is it healthy, but it is loaded with Italian flavors, provolone cheese and basil pesto. This sandwich is especially delicious if you happen to have some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes on hand!
As a momma to six kiddos, I am sharing my tips, recipes and anecdotes related to bringing out every kid’s culinary potential.
Every Saturday for the past few months, this little guy has made lunch for himself and his little sister, at his own request to do so. The whole time he is doing it, the pride is radiating from his little being. Especially when his little sister thanks him for making her lunch. I love this age because kids get so excited as they master new skills that helps them become more independent.
Of course, now that two of my babies are all grown up and have deserted me, I understand that this growing independence eventually results in them leaving to begin lives of their own. I’m not a fan. I like having our big family of 8 all together under one roof.
My gap-toothed dude’s lunch of choice is always a sandwich of some type. PB&J is his most frequent creation, but I have been getting him to expand his sandwich dictionary to include some more exciting options. This weekend, it was this phenomenal Avocado & Bacon Grilled Cheese. He wasn’t so sure about putting “whac-a-mole” on his grilled cheese, but he loved it, as did both of his sisters.
Feel free to use prepared guacamole or make your own from a fresh avocado, as we did. I also used precooked bacon pieces….the REAL stuff only here my friend! No fakin’ bacon bits allowed in this heavenly sandwich!
- Sliced sourdough bread
- Bacon slices or pieces, cooked
- Colby-jack cheese, sliced
- Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Spread the guacamole on one slice of bread, top with the cooked bacon and a couple slices of cheese. Top with the second piece of bread and butter the top of the bread.
- Place on the grill, butter side down and grill until golden brown. Before flipping to cook the other side, don't forget to butter that side of the sandwich! Serve hot.
As a momma to six kiddos, every Tuesday I am sharing my tips, recipes and anecdotes related to bringing out every kid’s culinary potential.
As I mentioned last week, I was the camp cook for a week long girls camp for our church and it was a wonderful experience. It was an overwhelming amount of work, but now that it is over, I can honestly say it was fun 🙂
This experience had me pulling out all my best catering experiences and skills to menu plan the best I could, but we did end up with some leftover food at the end of the week. In my opinion, it it is always better to have a bit more food than not enough….especially when we are talking about hungry teenage girls!
The majority of the leftover food was given to a few families who could use a little extra love and attention right now in their lives and they were all very grateful. After all that food was given out, I was left a few small parts of camp meals still in my fridge. Hmmmmm…..It was time to let my kids get creative with the panini press. Hands down, it is their favorite small kitchen appliance.
These California Chicken Wraps took some leftovers that were quite boring all on their own and turned them into something magical! My 10 year old made a bunch of them for dinner and even got my pickiest eater (my 4 year old) to give them a taste. Once that initial battle of “just taking a bite” was conquered, she willingly ate the rest of her dinner on her own. Whew!Kids in the Kitchen Secret #10 – Teach your kids to be creative with leftovers! They can be so much more than something to just stick in the microwave to reheat!
- Flour tortillas
- Leftover chicken, chopped
- Shredded cheese
- Real bacon bits (please no fake stuff!)
- Avocado, sliced
- Chopped green onion
- Ranch dressing
- Preheat your panini press or just a flat electric griddle. Spread 1 Tb of ranch dressing on one side of the tortilla and lay the chopped chicken evenly down the center. Top with the remaining ingredients and then tightly wrap up all the ingredients inside the tortilla. Grill until golden brown and slice in half to serve.
I love being organized and planned out. My days are much less hectic and frantic. Last week during game night, a friend of mine made fun of this personality trait, but he can mock all he wants. Running a family of 8, most of the time on my own while my hubby travels, takes A LOT of planning and organization. Our family would fall to pieces without it. A bit obsessive-compulsive, yes. A complete necessity, yes!
Crock Pot Chicken Caesar Sandwiches
(adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything)
3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs *You can use breasts, but the thighs have more flavor!!! And they are cheaper!
seasonings (salt, pepper, 1 bay leaf, garlic and onion powder)
1 C quality Caesar dressing
1/2 fresh parmesan cheese *Yes, use fresh!
1/4 C fresh chopped italian parsley *Yes, use fresh!
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1. Place chicken in your slow cooker and season with listed seasonings. Use enough water to come just shy of covering the chicken thighs. They should be sticking out slightly. Cook on low for 6 hours.
2. Remove the chicken from the cooker and drain away the water. Pull in the chicken into shreds, discarding any fat pieces.
3. Place the chicken back in the cooker and pour on the dressing, fresh parmesan cheese, parsley and pepper. Mix completely and cook on high until mixture is hot, about 30 minutes.
**For low-carb and gluten free, serve wrapped in large lettuce leaves or gluten-free buns.