Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tip: Mini Sandwiches

** sandwiches are much more mini than they appear in photo

A few days ago my 5th grader, my baby, my sweetest of sweetest of children, informed me that although she loved her sandwich that I packed in her lunch box (a whipped pb&j), that by the end, she was just plain tired of it. She said no matter the sandwich, she may start out thinking, 'Yum! This is SO good!' but by the end she is thinking, 'I am soooo bored with this sandwich, I can't take one....more....bite!'

According to my children one of my jobs as the momma is to be the boredom buster. Therefor I made this for her lunch today, in an attempt to do my job.

I found these mini sandwich thins at my local grocers. I sent in each child's lunch box a Turkey and Cheese, a Whipped PB&J, and a Cheesy Tuna Sandwich, all in mini form.  Of course this same concept could be done with a regular sandwich loaf of bread by making a variety of sandwiches and quartering them.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Maple Syrup and Toasted Walnuts over Yogurt

Yogurt is such a good healthy side for the lunch box and adding fresh fruit is not the only possible healthy addition.

Pure Maple Syrup has many health benefits. Pure maple syrup has manganese, which disarms free radicals. Pure maple syrup is good for your heart (thanks to the zinc),  and it is good for the immune system (also due to zinc and the manganese).

This yogurt side would be tasty with any toasted nut but I chose walnuts because... well, I was out of pecans. But walnuts is the go-to nut when you want to most nutritious option. Walnuts are rich in the B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants. Walnuts also lower bad cholesterol. I have heard that raw nuts are healthiest but OH how toasting nuts brings out the yummiest of flavors! The walnuts can be toasted the night before, cooled, and placed in an airtight container. But it doesn't take too long to toast them and cool them off.
(tips on toasting walnuts here

Maple Syrup and Toasted Walnuts over Yogurt

Vanilla yogurt (light, fat free, Greek)
toasted walnuts
1 tsp. Pure Maple Syrup

Spoon yogurt into small container with a tight lid. This can be done the night before placed in freezer. Top with toasted walnuts (to taste) and pour Pure Maple Syrup atop.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Apple Pie Snack Mix

November most definitely screams Apple Pie and this crunchy snack mix would go perfect in the lunch box and it's sooooo good!

Apple Pie Snack Mix

3 cups Cinnamon Chex (if generic existed, I would have used it)
3 cups Rice Chex (I did actually use generic here)
1 cup toasted walnut pieces
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 T. molasses
3 T. butter
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups freeze dried apples, coarsely chopped if needed
8 oz. vanilla yogurt raisins

In a large bowl mix cereals and walnuts. Set aside.

In a small bowl combine sugar, butter, molasses and spices. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, then microwave for 30 more seconds.

Pour over cereal mix and toss until evenly coated. (or as best as you can, I never feel like I can toss quickly enough for a good coating)

Microwave for 4 minutes but stop every minute to toss. After 4 minutes of cooking, spread on cookie sheet to cool. When cool add apples and yogurt raisins and toss one last time.

Store in airtight container.

**recipe adapted from this recipe

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Banana Dog with PB&J and Strawberry Relish

Easy, convenient, healthy, delicious, and colorful. That's how I would explain this Banana Dog. The kids love it and so do I. (I devoured mine while waiting for this picture to load)

Banana Dog with PB&J and Strawberry Relish

  • whole wheat hot dog bun
  • banana
  • PB and J, mixed (I used Simply Fruit Black Raspberry) about 1 T. each
  • 1-2 diced strawberries

Smear PB&J mix on both sides of hot dog bun. Add banana and diced strawberries on top. Wrap tight in plastic wrap and then foil.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Triple Decker

I am not thinking this picture is showing off the three slices of bread, but that is what this Triple Decker sandwich has. Does it make a difference? I say, YES!

I used Pepperidge Farm Very Thin 100% whole wheat. If I were packing lunch for my boys, I would probably do a regular bread, but since this sandwich was for my girls, I went very thin.

The Triple Decker

3 slices of bread
(and then you choose), I used:
sliced turkey
turkey bacon

Layer it up, wrap it up, and pack it! (because you don't really need directions on how to put it together, do you?)


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sides: Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Rice Crispy Treats

 I adore Fall and I adore Fall treats, especially pumpkin flavored goodies. I am having a hard time giving a hoot about what sandwich I am stickin' in the lunch boxes because I can't take my focus off the goodies.

I was so excited to see Pumpkin Spice Mallows at my local grocery store, which I hear is not in all areas. (I couldn't even find the product on Kraft's website) If you are anxious to try some pumpkin in your rice crispy treats, I have seen this recipe that I haven't tried yet, but will, and I have high hopes for it)

Here goes-

Pumpkin Spice Crispy Treats

1/2 stick of butter
1 10 oz bag of Jet-Puffed PumpknSpice Mallows
6 cups rice crisp cereal
6 oz dark chocolate chips (their recipe called for candy corn)

Over medium heat in a large pot, melt butter and marshmallows, stirring constantly. As soon as the marshmallows melt, remove from heat and add cereal. After fully incorporating, add chocolate chips. Add to 8 x 10 pan that is lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Pat down. Let cool for about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tip: Using left over Frosting

My mother did this when me and my 10 brothers and sisters were growing up and we loved it. Lucky for my kids, we recently attended a surprise birthday party for my sister and my other sister made too much frosting and sent me home with a bunch. (woops!! I may have been the one that influenced her to double her recipe. Not on purpose, I promise!)

But when you have left over frosting and don't want it to go to waste, you can make delicious and sweet snacks or sides in the lunch box by making a Graham Sandwich. Frosting too soft? Then use it as a dip with Graham Snack Stix.