Even though I posted the kids back-to-school pictures, it is never officially the start for me until we have some sort of get-together. We have many, many obstacles in our way these days-schedules just keep getting crazier-but I usually hold out and in the end, we find a way to make it work. This year was no exception.
Even though I would rather have the kids here for a day to do some crafts and cooking/baking, I will be happy with what I can get. And so, this year, I did the decorating, cooking and baking myself.
I used a lot of my old stand-bys again this year. I love the red, black and school bus yellow color theme...and, of course, apples, notebooks, pencils, crayons flash cards and "book worms".
I wanted something on the menu that I could make ahead...I would rather be visiting than cooking when everyone is here. But, I also wanted to try something new. I started with this chicken dumpling casserole. Because it is done with layers and not all mixed together and has a dough batter as one of the layers, I wasn't sure if I could assemble it too much earlier than when it was oven ready. I did do all of the prep on each of the steps ahead and because it bakes for almost an hour, it worked out well. I must say, this was delicious and I will make it again!
I also made steamed broccoli and cauliflower, a huge salad and cheesey garlic pull-apart bread. The bread tasted good but I don't think it was worth the effort of all of the steps that it took to make. I thought it looked better than just garlic bread, but I don't think I will make it again. I think by the end of the prep for this meal, every kitchen appliance and lots of pots and pans had been put to use!
It was kind of nice doing this this year after school had already started. We got to hear all about the kids' new classes, teachers and changes-this year's biggest change being NO HOMEWORK in elementary schools. The new superintendent did lots of research and doesn't see the benefits of it. She would rather the kids read at night. I must say, I have not met many upset parents either as trying to get kids homework done after they have had football practice, riding lesson and some semblance of a family dinner can be nerve wracking-not to mention then baths and getting stuff ready for the next day. I guess we shall see where this leads.
Normally the kids would be making the dessert but with this year's schedule-and the "need" to get into the pool", I baked this cookie pizza ahead. Then, I just gave Presley the necessary equipment and she got going on this.
I love how our "one smart cookie" turned out! We served it up with moose tracks ice-cream and dessert was a hit!
Meet the newest member of the Holland clan. This guy is a golden doodle but his father was a standard size black poodle and I guess he is going to lean way more in that direction. He is about 18 months old and tall! His head can get right onto any table in the house so a food sentry is needed once you start serving. But, he truly is a gentle giant and gets along so well with his much smaller golden doodle sister.
So, of course, you know what this means. In my head, if the kids are back in school, summer is over!! Yep, I couldn't stand it another minute...I have started bringing out the fall. I figured if I didn't do it soon, it wouldn't even be out a month before I start getting out the Halloween. Boy, time sure goes quickly in the life of a holiday and season obsessed crazy lady. Stay tuned.