The First Week of School
Tomorrow is Labor Day. Tuesday, it will be the second week of school and after the week of excitement and hurrying and rushing into our school year routine, Tuesday will feel strangely common place for us, as I load the Princess into her dress uniform and taxi her off to school for the sixth day.
As August opened a month ago, the Princess had begun to complain about boredom and I began to exclaim, cheerily (and much to her disgust) that it was time for school! (hooray! hooray!). I’m not one of those moms who laments summer (and the extra time she has to spend with her kids) nor one that gets weepy as as the third grader stomps happily up the walk way, towards school and away from the Mom-mobile. I fall, probably like a lot of people, in the middle. I miss the Princess during the day, but I admit that it’s time for her to go.
And I wonder how much Littlebit misses her, if at all. I’m sure it must feel like a great luxury to her that toys don’t have to be shared (the term applied loosely, of course).
The first day of school feels like New Years Day to me. Littlebit and I return to our pre-summer schedules. We eat dinner earlier. The house is cleaner. There’s more laundry, but I feel as though I can devote nap time to crafty pursuits or junky movies without serving lunch and Popsicles to the Princess and the neighborhood crowd. I feel the need, as the school year begins, to organize the house. I rip things out of cupboards and off of shelves. I buy new things and toss out the old. It’s a fresh start for me every year as the Princess marches, happily, off to school; the school supplies in her backpack sounding like a percussion instrument as she skips down the sidewalk into the car.
What’s For Dinner?
My mantra for this week is to NEVER underestimate quiche. Really. Don’t do it. I know it sounds kind of hoity toity, but it’s a great go-to meal and here’s why.
1) You can pretty much throw anything you have at home in it. I used chicken, bell peppers and asparagus but you can just raid the freezer of the produce drawer. Have picky kids? Add in what they like. Add your favorite spices. It’s totally customizable, which is great for busy moms
2) It’s easy to prepare ahead. In fact, if you make a double batch, you can freeze the uncooked mixture to serve another night.
3) All you have to do to make a meal is to serve some fruit. That’s it. You’re done
4) You can prepare it in the early afternoon and toss it in the oven once the kids get home, freeing up your time to oversee homework, unpack backpacks or just blow off some after school steam.
Chicken Asparagus Crustless Quiche
2 cups asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces (I totally cheated and used Trader Joe’s frozen asparagus. The stalks are thin and I snapped them with my hands while frozen and thawed in a strainer)
2 tbsp flour
.5 tsp salt
.25 tsp pepper
1 cup chicken breast, cooked and cubed (You could also use leftover rotisserie chicken or even the tyson packaged pre-cooked chicken)
2 tsp olive oil
.5 c bell peppers chopped fine
.5 c onions, choped fine
1 c skim milk
3 eggs ( or 1 cup of egg substitue)
4 oz reduced fat grated cheese
Cook Asparagus until tender (unless you do the above Trader Joe’s method, then skip this step). In skillet, heat oil over high heat. Cook pepper, onions and asparagus until soft. Remove from heat and stir in the chicken and spices. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs and flour until frothy. Strid in chicken and veggie mix along with the cheese. Pour into a quiche pan or 9″ pie plan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.
If you choose to freeze this, mix it up, but don’t bake it. Pour it into a freezer bag and thaw and bake when you’re ready. It’s easy to make in a double batch too.