All posts in Food

Working Mom’s Devotional: I Am Not The “Snack Mom”

guilt food choice

I was sitting at a soccer game last weekend when a mother on the opposing team lamented,

“I forgot snack.  I can do other things, but I’m not the Snack Mom. In fact, I hate snack duty!”

Been there.  I feel her pain. In fact, I even offered to share some of my pre-packaged Oreos and Nutter Butters. 

No, I’m not proud of my choice of snack.  But after a week of traveling and jet-lag recovery, I was just thankful that my husband (bless him) made a run to the grocery in my absence.  

Even though I wholly embrace healthy eating, I simply don’t have time to make my children healthy food like they deserve. When it comes to snacks, I’m a terrible packer. Most mothers who have nutritional control over their children carry around these coolers filled with fresh fruits, raw vegetables, and purified water. Not me. It’s downright embarrassing.

The other mothers look at me like, “Don’t you have your own cooler?” Actually, I don’t.  But it is on my “to do” list.  One of these days I will take nutritional control and make amends with the Snack Police.

The good news?

God still offers me (and my children) spiritual food.   He’s not even waiting for me to get my act together.  In John Chapter 6, Jesus tells us:

Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval….

Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Just think, I’m worried about the Snack Police, yet God places his “seal of approval” on food that will never spoil!  I just need to “come” and ask.  I don’t even need to bring my own cooler!

Have you struggled being the “Snack Mom”?  Are you in need of some spiritual nutrition? 

The Power Of Eating With Your Coworkers

guilt food choice

I was recently speaking with a business leader about his success in getting a certain group of coworkers to “bond” in his company.  And I asked him, “What’s your secret?”

His response?

“I feed them.” Continue reading →

Why Holiday Feasting Is A Spiritual Act


Credit: Free photos from acobox.com

Are you still feeling guilty about over-indulging at the Thanksgiving table?  And what about the cookies, pie, and chocolates that invade your home, office, and social activities this time of year?

If you’re like me, the holiday feasting has just begun.

Why fight it?  Holiday guilt is for wimps.

Which is why I’m going to manage the feasting.  Physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Will you join me in embracing the spiritual aspect of holiday feasting?  Simply put, God loves a good meal.

I started thinking about this before Thanksgiving.  Pastor Eric set the stage by taking a closer look at Jesus’ infamous miracle – the Feeding of the 5,000.  Did you know that this is the only miracle of Jesus to appear in all four Gospels?

I’ve heard this story dozens of times.  And I’ve always focused on Jesus, the boy with the loaves and fish, the disciples, and the crowd.

Continue reading →

What’s Worse In Restaurants – Small Children or Mean Women?

Let’s face it, loud obnoxious children can ruin a meal.  Your meal.   Which is why we try to take our kids to “family friendly” restaurants. 

On a recent family vacation, my husband and I walked into a poolside grill (highly rated by Trip Advisor) and noticed a sign that read:

“Unattended children will be given free espresso and a puppy.”

Bingo.  Just our kind of place.  Good food and kid friendly.  We crowded around a small table with our three kids and ordered drinks.

Then I saw her.

Evil Eye Woman who obviously can’t stand children. 

I’m used to a few stares, some eye rolling, even a glare or two.  But this was different.  If looks could kill, we’d all be dead.

I quickly concluded several things about Evil Eye Woman.  First, it wasn’t just my kids she didn’t like.  She didn’t like kids period.  She didn’t like people period.  She’s just one of those people who is just plain miserable.

I know, I shouldn’t judge Evil Eye Woman.  But she was really starting to get under my skin.  When my 7-year-old daughter, Anna, scooted her chair and almost bumped into her, Evil Eye Woman even snarled.  At my lovely daughter!

How could I avoid an encounter?  I thought through the possibilities of what I might say. 

  • “What’s your problem lady, this is a kid-friendly restaurant, if you don’t like it, leave!”
  • “I noticed that you seem pretty miserable, did you know that God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life?”
  • “Excuse me, you seem pretty uncomfortable sitting by my children, would you mind if I asked the waitress to put you at a new table?”

None of these options seemed quite right.  Then, it dawned on me.  She didn’t have to ruin my meal.  I could have the last word.

I turned to my husband and said, “Here’s the good news about dinner.  This woman has inspired me to write a blog!”

He just rolled his eyes.  

My Favorite Recipe

Close-up of a bowl of spaghetti


My favorite recipe is my mother’s sauce! I’ve seen her make it so many times that I can make it in my sleep. (Sorry, I never measure.)

Supplies:

· a 16-quart saucepan (the bigger the better — I’ve moved up to the 20-quart pan)
· a wooden spoon
· a kitchen full of children (optional)

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • garlic (the more the better)
  • peppers and onions (optional)
  • 4-5 28-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 4-5 28-ounce cans tomato puree
  • 1-2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • Italian spices (basil, oregano — the fresher the better)
  • 3-4 lbs ground meat
  • Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 2-3 eggs
  • parsley
  • 5-7 links Italian sausage, both hot and mild (I cut them in small pieces after they cook)

10 Steps to perfection:

1. Wash your hands.
2. Make someone else (preferably over the age of 18) open all the cans of sauce.
3. Sautee garlic, onions, and peppers in a liberal amount of olive oil. Don’t burn the garlic!
4. Dump the cans of sauce, puree, and crushed tomatoes into the sauce pan (with the olive oil).
5. Add plenty of water (at least 3-4 empty cans) so the sauce doesn’t burn as it cooks.
6. Make and roll your meatballs (ground meat, parsley, bread crumbs, eggs, and more garlic and Italian spices).
7. Drop the raw meatballs one by one, into the sauce pan.
8. Drop the raw Italian sausage into the sauce pan (if you’re on a diet, boil the fat out first).
9. Add Italian spices.
10. Stir occasionally and cook all day on low (the longer the better — at least 6 hours).

A couple of hints (aka lessons I learned the hard way):

  • Don’t burn the sauce — put it on the simmer burner, and if it sticks to the bottom of the pan, add water.
  • If the meatballs are too mushy, add more bread crumbs. If the meatballs are too hard, add an egg (or some water).
  • The best “job” for kids is making meatballs. Just make sure they wash their hands and try to keep them away from the stove.
  • Making sauce is an art, not a science. If you don’t have a specific ingredient, feel free to improvise. Experimentation is always encouraged.
  • Don’t plan on leftovers. If you’re smart, you’ll freeze over half the pan for individual dinners, before your friends and neighbors smell what you’re up to.

I love this recipe so much that I included it in the Appendix of Chasing Superwoman!

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Bonus for Working Mom Wednesday:

Check out Amy Neiberger-Miller’s new blog and leave her a comment!  I was thrilled to read her review of Chasing Superwoman yesterday.  From one working mom to another, she gets it!