Posts Tagged ‘friday’


Our second Family Friday theme was much more successful than the previous version!

Our pint sized pirates swabbed the deck and hoisted the sails for adventure first thing in the morning….


We started the day with Cannonballs & Monkey Fruit – yum! I made the cannonballs by cutting the tops off of six banana nut muffins and “gluing” them together with peanut butter. I kept this one super simple by using Simply Organic’s Banana Bread Mix. We loved it! I added a little extra banana, cinnamon, raisins, and some chopped pecans. The “cannonballs” were surrounded by slices of “monkey fruit” and drizzled with honey. The kids, of course, found it hilarious that I called the bananas Monkey Fruit.


What else for lunch but pirate ship sandwiches? This idea comes from Family Fun’s Cookbook. I have an older edition of this great book, and it is definitely a go to recipe collection around here. There are some really cute ideas! To make these ships, I cut a section from the top of a sandwich roll and removed some of the bread inside. I spread the inside of the rolls with mayonnaise and our favorite Boar’s Head Honey Mustard, then filled them with a slice of tomato, butter lettuce, and Boar’s Head Ovengold Turkey. To make the sails, I used slices of Boar’s Head White American cheese that I’d had thick sliced at the deli counter. To make the sails stand up, I inserted plastic cocktail swords into them and stood them up in the sandwiches.

To round out their lunch, they also had “Pirate Punch” (papaya, pineapple, and coconut juices mixed) dried tropical fruit and Pirate’s Booty. Arrrrr!


Our little pirates dressed up in their seaworthy garb, provided by Gramma who came to visit with us again. It was time to decorate maps to their booty. We used poster board, foam stickers, markers, scrapbooking stickers, and some brewed tea for the antique effect. My map showed them the way to a real cache of chocolate coins!


Our crew dined on Meatloaf Treasure Chests!

I used my Grama’s Meat Loaf recipe, pressing the mixture onto the bottom and sides of disposable foil mini loaf pans. I filled the centers of the loaves with baby carrots (the tiny microwaveable size) cut into coins, baby green peas, and white corn. I put a pat of butter on top, then covered the veggie “treasure” with more of the meatloaf mixture, mounding it up slightly to make it look like a treasure chest. It was so much fun to cut open the leaf and watch the treasure spill out!

For dessert, I served Floating Chocolate Chip Meringue Islands. Melted vanilla Haagen Dazs ice cream was the ocean, and I planted some plastic palm trees into the meringue islands. Soooo good!

Next Family Friday….Halloween! Boo!


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I got the idea for this extremely fun tradition from a book called Friday Night Bites: Kick Off the Weekend with Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family, by Karen Berman. I can’t say I’m excited by the recipes in this book (I may end up using one or two), but I love the format and the ideas! I read through it and decided to modify it to suit my family and what I wanted to get out of this new tradition, namely family time that creates memories for the kids.

For our first Family Friday, I chose the Under the Sea theme because I wanted to see how everything worked out with a relatively simple concept to plan. Besides, I had pretty much everything I might need on hand – perfect in case of potential hiccups in the idea.

I used an old, blue bed sheet for our tablecloth. On the table, I placed a vase with pretty, blue, wavelike swirls and gave one of our betta fish a new home inside. On either side of that, I put the two dolphin snow globes that Kaitie & Gracie’s Nanny & Granddaddy gave them. Scattered on the table were the seashells that I found on my scuba adventures (pre-kid years). On the walls, I hung some lithographs from when I’d pre-purchased “Finding Nemo” at the Disney Store years ago. I even hung balloon “bubbles” from the chandelier!

We were even lucky enough to have my parents over for dinner! Here’s how the day went down…


Breakfast ~ seaweed omelets with apple boatsuts turtle breakfast

uts breakfastTo make the seaweed omelets, saute about 2 cups (or more, depending on how many people will be eating) of chopped baby spinach in butter, then add 1 1/2 beaten eggs per person. Cook gently on medium low heat until the eggs are almost done, then add 1 slice of muenster cheese per person.

The apple boats are just slices made with and apple corer/slicer. I serve the kids breakfast most days with Carnation Instant Breakfast (either chocolate or vanilla) mixed with our local raw milk.

Lunch ~ peanut butter and jellyfish puzzle sandwiches with goldfish crackers

Simple, but super fun! I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, then pressed a fish shaped cookie cutter into the middle of each sandwich. Then, I cut through the middle of all four sides to make it look like puzzle pieces.

Goldfish crackers (a mix of pretzel and original flavors – two of the only ones that don’t have artificial colors or MSG!) are a natural match!

Dinner ~ Publix Apron Meals Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce and Angel Hair Fresca with puff pastry sea stars

uts pbandj fishI love this tilapia recipe! It is so easy to make, and the ingredients are delicious. Here are my substitutions… I used Emeril’s Fish Rub instead of the seasoned salt called for in the recipe, substituted medium sized pasta shells for the angel hair, and used olive oil in place of the butter this time because Caroline’s tiny tummy is very anti-dairy.

The puff pastry sea stars idea came from the Friday Night Bites book. I used a star shaped cookie cutter to make the star shapes, re-rolling the dough until it was used up. Then, I brushed the tops of the stars with olive oil and sprinkled them with sea salt. The stars baked in a 350° oven until they were golden brown and puffy good!

Dessert ~ shipwrecked fruit salad in canteloupe boats

So easy! I washed the outside of the canteloupe and cut it into eight crescent shaped slices. I used the small side ofa melon baller to scoop out balls from the middles of the slices, creating “boats”. I mixed the melon balls with diced pineapple and mandarin oranges. Each boat went into a bowl, surrounded by the mixed fruit. In each boat, I placed a scoop of strawberry sorbet, then sprinkled the tops of each with shredded coconut.uts dinner 2

Craft ~

I had originally planned a craft to be done after dinner, but we completely ran out of time after dinner. I had a hunch things would not go exactly as planned! The craft was going to be an octopus made from cut-outs of their traced hands on construction paper, pasted on a blue background and decorated. I’m sure I’ll be able to re-use that idea later!

In the future, I hope to be able to incorporate some learning activities into the theme, such as learning about sea animals on National Geographic Kids online. All in all, though, I think it was a great start!

Next up…Pirates!!! Arrrrrrrr!!!!!

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