And, it is even more so if you add in preparing lunches for everyone, getting breakfast ready and, yes, cleaning up (again!) after all those meals. So, when the folks at Panera Bread offered to send me and a reader a gift certificate, I jumped at the chance. Because, Panera actually works for us. No, the meats aren't organic. But the kids' meal comes with organic yogurt and cheese and I can order sandwiches on wheat bread. And the counter service means my kids can sit and play and get their food quickly. (Though on a recent visit, their highlight was the pager to know when your food is ready!) I've long been a fan of their Frontega chicken panini, oozing with chipotle mayo. But I also recently discovered the Turkey Panini with smoked cheddar and bacon. There is always the salad and half sandwich option. Or I have been known to get their asiago cheese bread and just nibble away at that. And in the winter, the vegetarian soups in a bread bowl are satisfying enough. And, nope, no clean up. (See a theme here?)
As readers of this blog know, I am not a chain-restaurant (or chain-anything for that matter) kind-of-mom. I also prefer to cook dinner at home rather than experience the stress of wondering if my toddlers will make it through a restaurant meal before melt-downs occur. However, I am now a single mom. And I am returning to work as a teacher. In other words, the idea of preparing (and cleaning up!) dinner for my kids each night is overwhelming.
So, lucky readers, now it is your chance to have at least one meal before you hit the ground running (with toddlers in tow.) To enter the chance to receive a $20 gift certificate to Panera, just leave a comment before Monday, August 30th. Make sure to include your e-mail so I can contact you if you are the winner. I will choose the random at random, contact you for your snail mail, and send that gift certificate to you as soon as I can.
Best of luck!
Panera Bread is located throughout the U.S. Just check out their website.