It’s that time of the year again when summer starts winding down; cool nights signal autumn is on the way, days slowly begin to get shorter, and school starts back up again. Summer vacation in our house is filled with lots of relaxation and pretty much anything goes. So, when school starts up again, it’s not only hard on the kids but hard on Dave and I as well. After 3 months of non-routine we all have to get back into the swing of things which means, waking up early, getting to the bus stop on time, making sure all school work and homework is completed, house has food for lunches, etc. I am always meet with mixed emotions when this time of year, especially once school begins. These are some of the emotions I feel:
a. Happy…After having the kids lounging around the house all summer, doing whatever they want, going to bed at all hours of the night (or day), eating at all hours of the day (or night), playing video games relentlessly, asking me what’s for dinner after working all day, I am ready for them to get out of the house and into a routine.
b. Sad…Another year of school means another year older. Each year seems to go by faster and faster and I know this year will go by just as fast as the others. Time, please slow down!!!
c. Excited…It’s another school year, which means the possibilities are endless! Expectations have not been set, new friends can be made, and really anything is possible!
d. Frustrated…I don’t want to work on homework. I don’t want to make sure my kids are doing their homework. I hate homework.
e. Nostalgic…I always think about the years past and how quickly they have grown. I remember when they got on the school bus for the first time, the cute outfits I used to dress them in, how excited they were to see me when they got home from school, and how in just a couple, short years we will be done with back to school.
As you can see my emotions are all over the place, which I think (I hope) most moms and dads can relate too. To make the transition into school and routine again, I try to make things a little easier for me and my family. One way I make our weeknights a little less stressful is by finding and cooking easy recipes that are not only simple to prepare and cook but can be packed for lunch the next day (we love leftovers in our house).
One of those recipes and one of our families favorites is Asian Pasta Salad. I have made this for years and it is so simple to whip together and is super delicious. This recipe is great to make ahead of time, I think it actually tastes better after sitting in the fridge for a couple of days. I suggest making a double batch of this so that there is plenty left over for school or work lunches. Another thing I love about this recipe is that your protein, starch, and vegetables are all in one dish so you can feel confident that the kids are getting all food groups in one meal! I like to serve a side of spring rolls or dumplings to have a little something else with our meal. Recipe included below!
What do you and your family do to make the transition from summer to back to school easier? I would love to know any tips and tricks you have for back to school or if you try this recipe! To find the links to (most) products featured in this blog post click here: LIKEtoKNOW.it
Xoxo ~ Heidi
Asian Pasta Salad
3 c Cooked & Cubed Chicken Breast
1/3 c Scallions
1/3 c Julienned Spinach
1/3 c Shredded Carrots
16 oz Tri-Color Rotini
1/3 c Light Soy Sauce
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 c Toasted Sesame Seeds
3 tbsp White Sugar
1/3 c Rice Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1/2 Vegetable Oil
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water until cool. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. In a bowl, combine vegetable oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds, and pepper. Mix well, until combined.
3. Add spinach, carrots, scallions, chicken, and cooked pasta to bowl with dressing. Stir until well combined. Best served at room temperature or cold.