Pizza Pasta Salad

So, let’s talk about school. Are you going back? Distance learning? Homeschooling? Something else? It is, for sure, an emotional minefield for so many people. If you’re still figuring things out, I’m sending you big, virtual hugs.

One thing I’ve been hearing a lot is about lunch – some schools are requiring packed lunches, some are sending the kids home early so there will be no lunch served. Lunch so often feels like an overlooked meal – but I believe it’s one we’re all going to be thinking about this year.

I’m a huge fan of make-ahead lunches. Something I can whip together in a big batch and serve all week – and this pizza-inspired pasta salad is just that.

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Peach Panzanella Salad

We put in a big garden this spring. It’s something we’ve had plans for but with quarantine, we finally made the jump and did it. We knew it would be a learning year – and it is. I’m having more fails than successes.

One huge success? Our tomatoes.

This simple salad is one of my favorite ways to use up our tomatoes. If you’re going to make this, I highly suggest using tomatoes from a farm or your garden – they’re just so good right now!

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Marinated Vegetable Sandwiches

If there’s one thing I could eat all summer, it would be sandwiches loaded with vegetables. All the vegetables. Usually toasted and loaded up with some melty cheese.

These sandwiches are one of my favorite variations – the veggies are marinated in a sweet-but-savory marinade for a few hours before being cooked, which gives them a really nice extra layer of flavor.

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Strawberry Chicken Chopped Salad

Lettuce has been in our CSA share every week. And it’s not a little bit – it’s always a big ‘ole head. We’ve also got some in our own garden. As such, salads are a staple. We have side salads nearly every night with dinner – and big, bountiful salads for lunch.

This salad was one I whipped up for dinner one night. Full of produce from our farm share and topped with a homemade dressing, it’s summer in a bowl.

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Kids in the Kitchen: 5-Minute Pad Thai

If you’ve watched any of our live kitchen play dates, you know that my time in the kitchen with the kids is anything but polished. We make a mess, the kids fight, and sometimes they end up not liking what we make.

That’s okay, though, because in the end they’re learning to cook.

Sometimes, cooking feels like a bit of lost art – but it’s absolutely something I want my kids to know and be comfortable with when they strike out on their own. Sometimes, that looks like a really fun dessert… and sometimes it’s just learning how to dress up your ramen.

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Kids in the Kitchen: Pizza Waffles

Despite being great eaters and willing to try almost anything, my kids will still always pick pizza – which means we end up infusing pizza flavors into many different forms in our kitchen!

These pizza waffles first entered into our regular rotation when we were redoing the kitchen in our first home and needed meals that didn’t require the oven. Many years and two kids later, they’re still a favorite.

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Kids in the Kitchen: Unicorn Grilled Cheese

One of the most requested lunches in our house? Grilled cheese. I always try to encourage the kids to help out when I’m making simple meals – but throwing some sliced cheese on bread just wasn’t holding their interest. How do you make grilled cheese more fun? Make it colorful, of course!

This rainbow version – dubbed Unicorn Grilled Cheese in our house, because of course unicorns have rainbow manes – only takes a few extra minutes to make but the extra fun helps keep the kids engaged!

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