Well, today is MLK Jr day and the kids have a half day. What to do, what to do? I decided to take them to the zoo right after school gets out, so that means I need to feed them lunch.  I also have to think about what I'm going to bring and all the "What ifs....".  So, this is what I did to get ready.
    Things to pack:   diapers, wipes, camera, extra batteries, mini first aid kid, my medicine, portable dvd player (double checked that it was charged), and two movies (it takes us 45 to 50 mins to get to the zoo and I'd rather have them watch the movie than screaming and hollering!)  I also double checked my phone to see if it was charged, and it wasn't, so I plugged it in. I put this bag by the front door, then worked on lunch.
     For lunch, I planned on the following:
            Cheese sandwhiches
            Apple Fries
            Carrot Sticks
            Chocolate Cupcakes
I baked the cupcakes while I was packing the first bag. While the cupcakes were cooling, I made the apple fries and carrot sticks. I then made the cheese sandwhiches and cut them in half diagonally.  I frosted the cupcakes and added sprinkles. I packed everything in glad containers, put them in a softsided cooler, along with plates, forks, and napkins. then I put that by the front door.

I then filled a water bottle for everyone, put them in a plastic grocery bag, then scooped up the bags by the door and put them into the van.

When we got to the zoo, I just made plates up for each kid.  So we had a fun time at the zoo AND got to eat lunch.

So why did I go through all this? We're short of money, but I still wanted to make this day special. And I didn't have time to eat at home before we went to the zoo, since the zoo closed at 2:30 and Eva's doctor's appt was at 2. Yeah, it was a tight schedule, but I knew I could do it. And yup, it happened. We got to the zoo, had our lunch in the Big Cat House, got Eva to the Doctor's, went home and watched a movie on the couch. Whew! What a day!

For dinner, I just did macaroni & cheese with hot dogs. I was too tired to cook, lol!
Well it's Thursday and I don't have spaghetti sauce - GASP!! In any other household, I'd just make something else. But when you have a person with Asperger's in your home, even a mild case, not sticking to the routine has the potential of becoming a nuclear meltdown. I kid you not! So I started digging through the cupboards and found: 1 large can of whole tomatoes, 1 can of carrots, and one large can of pizza sauce. And VOILA! Desperation Spaghetti sauce was born!  And everybody loved it (whew!)  Next shopping trip, have to make sure I have an extra can of spaghetti sauce, or maybe just these ingredients. :)

Desperation Spaghetti Sauce
  served 6
1 large can whole tomatoes
1 large can carrots
1 large can pizza sauce
2 T garlic
1 T basil*

Open the cans and dump them into your pot. Use your immersion blender to puree the tomatoes and carrots (or use your blender first, then dump them into the pot).  Add seasonings.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the sauce simmers. Put the lid back on and let cook for at least 2 hours.

Cook your favorite pasta and Enjoy!
(* or oregano, italian seasoning, etc.)

Quick Italian Chicken
     About an hour before we were to eat, I placed 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a 13x9 pan, put a little of the sauce on top, topped with mozzerella cheese, covered the pan with tinfoil, and put in the oven.  About 15 mins before we were to eat, I uncovered the chicken.

So we had spagetti, italian chicken, and pillsbury breadsticks for dinner. Very yummy, very easy, very quick,

Chicken Fricassee for the Crockpot                                    
Makes 6 servings
4 to 5 pounds chicken, stewing, cut into serving pieces *
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
2 onions, sliced
1 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, pared and sliced
1 bay leaf
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup water
Parsley, chopped

Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry. Season with salt and paprika. Place sliced vegetables and bay leaf in crock pot. Place chicken on top of vegetables. Pour in chicken broth. Cover and cook on LOW setting for 7 to 12 hours.
One hour before serving; turn to HIGH setting. Remove chicken pieces**; bone and return meat to the crock pot. Make a smooth paste of flour and water and stir into liquid in crock pot. Cover and cook until
thickened. Serve over hot mashed potatoes; sprinkle with chopped parsley.

* I used 6 legs, 2 thighs, and 2 breasts.  **I KNOW my kids won't eat this, so I took out 4 legs, wrapped them in foil and placed them in the oven on "Keep Warm". The rest of the parts I took off the meat, shredded it, and put it back in the crockpot.
So the kids had: 1 chicken leg, raw crinkle cut carrots, and mashed potatoes.  Dad & I had this over mashed potatoes and it was VERY yummy!! The picture above is actually leftovers that I heated up and poured over a baked potato. Still was VERY yummy!