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
cheese
turkey bacon
lettuce
tomato
mayo
mustard

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

Enjoy!


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.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Life of the Lunchroom



After a birthday that involved cupcakes with Mustache Pops, I couldn't resist...



The next day the chocolate mustaches on a stick went in the lunchboxes.

It was a hit!

Score 1 for the mom.

Molds found here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sides: Banana Snack Cake




This snack cake is so simple, so few ingredients, so moist. Frosting is not even required!

This is another great after-school snack or side to stick in a lunch box. Or both! Since it's made in a 9 x 13 cake pan, you'll have enough for a couple of days, easy.

I found this recipe on www.allrecipes.com but made some changes according to reviews.

Banana Snack Cake

  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp baking soda
Mix all three ingredients well. Pour mix into a 9x13 pan that has been spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350° for about 35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. May be served as is or topped with whipped cream.

The frosting pictured is 4 oz. cream cheese (softened), 8 oz. whipping cream and 1 box of sugar free banana pudding. Can use regular pudding. Whipped together until creamy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Egg Salad, Salsa and Cheddar Sandwich


I made this for my high schooler because eggs, salsa and cheddar cheese are her 3 favorite foods. When she came home she said, "I opened my lunch box and looked at the sandwich, everyone at the lunch table looked at it in disgust and I told them that 'I think my mom has pushed it too far this time'. But then I took a bite... and boy was it good!"

If you or your kids love eggs, salsa and cheese too, I hope you'll give this one a try. I don't even love those foods (but I like them a lot) and I enjoyed this sandwich.

Egg Salad, Salsa and Cheddar Sandwich

  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 1-2 tsp mayo (just enough for the egg to bind)
  • a spoonful of salsa
  • 1 slice of cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • whole wheat or multi-grain hamburger bun
Take a fork to the boiled eggs and mash. Add just enough mayo for the eggs to bind. Add salt and pepper. Put slice of cheese on bread. Add about half the egg mixture, then top with salsa, then add the rest of the egg. This is to prevent the salsa from making the bread soggy.



sandwich tip-  actually 2 eggs make this quite a bit of filling and 1 egg isn't quite enough, so three eggs should make 2 sandwiches perfectly. but that may be a matter of preference.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall Snack Mix



Happy Fall, Ya'll!

I recently saw this right here and I just had to share it here on Lorinda's Lunch Box Lowdown.

What a sweet side for the lunch box. A side and a treat, all in one. What I love is that like all things trail mix, you mix and match as you please. Don't like it? Leave it out. Have a better idea? Add it in. Mine is a tad bit different than her's, who got the idea here, but she didn't make it exactly the same either.

Here is what I added, no measurements here-
Fall Snack Mix

pretzels
candy corn
semi-sweet chocolate chips
raisins
baby Goldfish

I would love to hear what YOU would add (or take away) from this Fall Snack Mix.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

5 Layer Dip


A 5 Layer Dip (or a 7 Layer Dip, if that's how many layers your recipe has) can easily take the place of a sandwich in a lunch box. Especially if you have the right sized container to make the right amount of dip. My containers hold 8 ounces which is "a gracious plenty" (as my mother-in-law says) for my children.

A 5 Layer Dip for a lunch box is a great thing to make when you are already making the dip for an event but it's also easy to make after any Mexican dinner night, when you already have these ingredients on hand.

If you don't already have your own favorite recipe and would like to try my simplified version, here goes-

5 Layer Dip

refried beans
guacamole
sour cream, with a little taco seasoning mixed in
shredded cheese
salsa

Evenly spread each item in order on a container. Serve with chips.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Sides: Sweet and Salty Peanuts


I have been putting nuts in my childrens lunch boxes for quite some time but I am telling you, since buying these cute tins, I am enjoying it even more.

 Cute tins + healthy + tastey = what-are-you-waiting-for??

(p.s. My older boys were home when I was baking them and the spices had the house smelling so good they were about to go crazy.)

Sweet and Salt Peanuts

1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp salt (if using unsalted nuts)
1 egg white
3 cups peanuts (other nuts would work), divided

Preheat oven to 250°F. Mix sugar, cinnamon, allspice and salt (if using) in a small bowl. Beat egg white in large bowl until foamy. Add 2 cups nuts. Toss to coat well. Add spice mixture. Toss to coat nuts evenly. Spread nuts in single layer on lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake 1 hour, stirring once half way through. Cool slightly and break apart. Cool completely. Add the 1 cup of peanuts that were reserved. You can store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pumpkin Snack Cake


Fall is so close I can taste it! No really, I can, because I decided I was baking something Pumpkin, even if we aren't technically there!

This recipe is so easy and yet so delicious. You can stick it in a lunch box or have as an after-school snack. It will be a winner either way.

And know that you are serving something with great health benefits!

Pumpkin is low in fat and calories and rich in disease-fighting nutrients such as:
  • Alpha-carotene
  • Beta-carotene
  • Fiber
  • Vitamins C and E
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Pantothenic acid
Make sure to use dark chocolate, to add even more health benefits.

Pumpkin Snack Cake

1 box of Spice Cake Mix
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. In large mixing bowl add Spice Cake mix and add can of pumpkin. Stir until well incorporated. Add chocolate chips and stir. Spray a 9 X 9 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Crustables

Have you seen the Uncrustables in the freezer section at your grocery store and thought, 'By golly, that's just a PB&J without the crust...frozen...' and it's true, that is all it is. No secret recipe there.

But I say, don't waist any part of the sandwich, leave the crust on! Removing the crust can leave the child still hungry after lunch.

Making and freezing a PB& J is a wonderful idea though. I like to come home on grocery shopping day and use a whole loaf of bread to make PB&J's to stick in the freezer. It's wonderful to know that you have sandwiches already made for those days that you just don't have time, just snag from the freezer and toss into the lunch box. Of course, making your own (as opposed to buying Uncrustables) saves money and even better, you have the wheat or white option and can pick your own jelly; We always use an all fruit jelly but even better, I can choose raspberry, black cherry, etc. I don't think you get those options using the pre-made kind.

Oh, I just must write it out in recipe form. :)

Crustables

  • Make a PB&J
  • Place in ziplock sandwich bag
  • Freeze
Viola!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cucumber Sandwich


 I recently was putting together basic turkey sandwiches for my kids when I realized that I was out of my typical green addition, which is usually spinach and sometimes lettuce. While staring dumbfounded in the fridge, I spotted some cucumbers and went with it. After school my littlest one told me several times that she just loved cucumbers on her sandwich. So a Cucumber Sandwiches it is!

The original Cucumber Sandwich comes from Great Britain and comes on very thin bread that has a very thin layer of butter to prevent the bread from getting soggy by the cucumber. The inspiration for this sandwich is the American version which uses cream cheese instead of butter and crusts may remain on, because America can be rebellious like that. I am even going so far as to use a bagel because I am rebellious like that. Sometimes I love traditions, and sometimes I love to break tradition.

Cucumber Sandwich

  • 2 pickling cucumbers, shredded and squeezed dry using paper towels
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened (I use light)
  • 1/2 onion powder
  • 1 T mayo
Zip all 4 ingredients in a blender until smooth, place in a small container and return to refrigerator until ready to use.

Sandwich-
per sandwich
  • Whole Wheat Bagel Thins
  • 2 T. Benedictine spread
  • 1 pickling cucumber
  • pinch of dill weed
  • salt and pepper
Spread Benedictine spread on both sides of bagel, top with sliced cucumber, then dill weed and salt and pepper. Best results when made the night before and refrigerated over night.



** Because this sandwich is so light, I like to add a boiled egg to the lunch box on Cucumber Sandwich days.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sides: Granola Bars


Granola Bars make a great addition to the lunch box or can be a filling after school snack. I think I finally found the recipe, the one that will get ingrained into my brain, the go-to recipe that I have memorized for all of our Granola Bar needs. I found this recipe just a few weeks ago in the local newspaper and I have made it several times already. This one is a keeper and can be easily played with, swapping one nut for another, one fruit for another, etc.

I use fat free sweetened condensed milk which changes the calories and fat, but just a smidgen. But the taste is the same. I also usually love to use mini chocolate chips but in this case I think a burst of chocolate is better than barely there.

Granola Bars

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried berries
  • 1 can (14 oz) fat free sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 325. Line 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper, sides and all.
Mix all ingredients in bowl. Put in pan and pat down until firmly packed. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature. When bar is firm, remove from pan and slice into 16 1X4 inch bars. Can be frozen or stored in air right container for up to a week.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Jalapeño Popper Sandwich


I am so excited to share this tastey sandwich. Obviously this one might not be for the young ones but the cream cheese tames the jalapeño so it's not too spicey for my family. And the bacon... oh the bacon. The moderation... why do we have to moderate? Using light cream cheese and only 2 slices of bacon makes this sandwich come in at 8 grams of fat and 190 calories. On days like this, the rest of the space in the lunch box is filled with fruits and veggies only.



Jalapeño Popper Sandwich

  • 8 oz light spreadable cream cheese
  • Jalapeño, 3-4 to taste, canned or roasted, diced
  •  bacon
  • whole wheat bagel thin
Make the cream cheese spread in advance by dicing jalapeño's and stirring into cream cheese and returning the mix to the cream cheese container and returning to the refridgerator. This will make enough jalapeño cream cheese for about 8 sandwiches. Per sandwich, spread about 2 Tablespoons cream cheese mix on bagel, top with 2 slices of bacon, top and wrap to send off to lunch.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Peanut Butter and Black Grape Bagel


My husband goes through food phases, as I assume we all do. His latest is Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and black grapes. Not together though, just so you know. But hmmmm... I'll have to ponder that one.

This sandwich just makes sense. If peanut butter and grape jelly works, why not peanut butter and grapes?

Grapes are quite nutritious.  Grapes contain a large variety of nutrients, and are particularly rich in minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium, as well as vitamin C. In addition, grapes are very rich in antioxidants, one particularly beneficial antioxidant is resveratrol, which helps prevent a number of dangerous health conditions but most importantly it slows down the aging process.

Please pass the black grapes!

Peanut Butter and Black Grape Bagel
makes 1, easily multiplied

1 bagel (I used whole wheat bagel thins)
Peanut butter, or any nut butter of choice
7-8 black grapes, halved

Spread peanut butter on both sides of the bagel, top with halved grapes and combine.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lunch Box Mishaps. They happen.


 Do you remember these cute tins? The ones you can buy here?

They have come in handy and have been quite the addition to our lunch boxes.

The other day as I unloaded and cleaned out lunch boxes, in 2 out of 3 lunch boxes I could still hear the nuts rattling around in the tin, so I set them aside assuming they just didn't get to their nuts before lunch was over. It happens. The next morning I put them back in lunch boxes.

After school both children let me know that they were disappointed when they opened their tins and only had shells.


Woops!

Do you have a lunch box mishap? I'd love to hear about it!



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sides: Triple Berry Fruit Leather


I have shared a tip before about having fruit strips on hand for those mornings that you realize that the fruit in the fruit basket has gone bad but you still need the health benefits of fruit in the lunch box. Dried fruits retain most of the nutritional value of fresh fruits and so are included with fresh fruit in dietary recommendations by U.S., according to MyPyramid.gov.

I used this recipe for these Triple Berry Fruit Leather. The kids love them. I love them. Husband does too.


Triple Berry Fruit Leather 
  • 1 cup strawberries, stems removed, sliced
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1/8 cup 100% fruit juice
Add berries to blender with fruit juice and blend until smooth. Cover baking sheet with plastic wrap (I tried parchment paper and it does not work) and spread puree evenly over plastic wrap, staying away from the edge. Set oven to the very lowest setting. Remember, you are not baking the fruit, just drying it out. Leave in oven for 6-8 hours. (fruit leather will peel easily and cleanly off plastic when it's dry) When cool, use pizza cutter to slice. Keep stored in air-tight container or zip lock bag.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chopped Veggie Roll Ups


What inspired me to make these roll ups is this pizza that my children love, it is served cold with a cream cheese spread and chopped veggies on top. Anything they love for dinner is something I consider to tweak for their lunch box. I'd say this tweak absolutely worked and it filled my children up with good veggies, just like I try to do.

You will want to use the vegetables your child will eat. I used zucchini, red bell pepper, carrots, yellow squash, cucumber and broccoli and my kids said it was missing cauliflower. I mix a tub of the cream cheese spread to use now and later, you can spread plain cream cheese on the wrap and top with the dill weed and garlic powder, instead of mixing all at one.


Chopped Veggie Roll Ups

8 oz. tub of spreadable light cream cheese
1 tsp. dill weed
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
Whole wheat tortilla or Flat Out bread
a handful of your child's favorite veggies, chopped

Mix cream cheese, dill weed ad garlic powder in cream cheese container. Save rest for later. Spread onto spread (about 2 Tbsp. if using Flat Out), then top with chopped vegetables. Roll up and wrap up.






Monday, August 15, 2011

Tip: Fun Shaped Fruit


Fruit salad is one of my kids favorites. Although it's true that fruit salad is pretty enough with all the different colors of fruit. And there are different shapes as is, with strawberries and the round grapes (and lets not forget the fun pattern a kiwi has).... using mini cookie cutters seems to make the extra special a little more extra special. 

I used a spring set of cookie cutters for the fruit salad pictured above, but my mini heart shaped cookie cutters are fun too, and will be great in February. I think the number cookie cutters would be a special way to celebrate a birthday in a lunch box.

Oh, the possibilities are endless!!

I like to make my fruit salad the day before, so the fruit can mingle overnight in the fridge. I think that a fruit salad that is already stunning and tastey gets kicked up a notch that way.


Friday, August 12, 2011

AND THE WINNER IS.......


Cindy Howard

Congratulations Cindy, you are the new owner of a fabulous lunch box and lotsa goodies!!!

Contact me with your info and I will get it in the mail to you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

And the Giveaway Will Also Include...



Last school year popcorn was a popular lunch box item for my family. It's a healthier alternative to potato chips in the lunch box and a great after school snack.

Whoever wins this giveaway will get a free sample of this popcorn (or two, if I can get two to fit). 

Just click HERE and enter to win.

 Giveaway ends Friday, August 12th, and winner will be announced at about 9am.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Giveaway Gets BETTER


When I announced the Giveaway yesterday, I said that I was waiting for a little something to come in the mail, a little something that is a part of the Giveaway. Well, they have arrived!


These darling tins come from AlmondBoard.com. How cute are they???




So perfect for the lunch box! Or your purse.

The winner of The Lunch Box Giveaway doesn't only get to pick either the green or the floral lunch box, but they also get to pick an almond tin from the choices pictured above.

Of course if you are wanting one and wanting one now, you can order your very own here for only
 a buck 87.

The pot has been sweetened, has it not?!

Don't enter your comment here, go here to enter to win. Winner will be announced Friday and recipes, tips and so forth will continue on Monday.

Come back tomorrow to see the packaged snack that will be a part of the Giveaway. It's a good one!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Giveaway!


My kids are back in school. (already?!? already.)

To kick start the new school year with new lunch box recipes, tips and idears..... (I have relatives that would pronounce idea as idears) let's have a lunch box giveaway!

If you win, you get to choose between the green lunch box or the flower power lunch box. Inside the winning lunch box I will stuff a few goodies--- post-it notes for notes from mom to the lunch-box-eater, some small containers for the little things AND MORE.

(maybe a edible lunch box favorite from my house and maybe a cool little find that I just found, and ordered online, and it is suppose to arrive in my mail box any day now)

You have a chance to enter this fabulous giveaway multiple times.

1. Enter once by leaving a comment saying, "Count me in!" (or something along those lines)

2. Enter again for sharing the giveaway on your blog.

3. Enter another time for following this blog.

4. Lastly, you could enter a 4th time by sharing this giveaway on facebook.

the fine print::: You must live within the U.S. to enter.

Giveaway ends Friday, Aug. 12




Thursday, June 23, 2011

SO: Grilled Tomato, Basil and Cheese Sandwich


Today I am starting a new section of recipes, SO stands for School's Out.

When school is out, lunch still must be made, but there are more options. Case and point: Grilled Cheese. But this isn't your ordinary Grilled Cheese, this tastes garden fresh. Inspired by one of my favorite sandwiches on Lorinda's Lunch Box Lowdown that was inspired by one of my favorite salads, the Caprese Salad- The Grilled Tomato Basil and Cheese Sandwich.

Grilled Tomato Basil and Cheese Sandwich

2 slices of whole wheat bread
2 slices of mozzarella cheese
2-3 slices of tomato
3-4  chiffonadebasil leaves
cooking spray

Spray griddle, add slice of bread, then cheese, tomato and basil. Top with other slice of cheese. Toast until bread is golden brown, then flip sandwich. Toast other side. Enjoy warm off the griddle!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Oh, That Blogger!

Blogger is acting up. I can't post pictures and I can't log out.

But while we are all here, I'd love to share this lunch box story with you. 

Just the other day, my daughter that is in elementary school said, "Mom, do you know what I would love to have for lunch before the school year is over?" I thought for sure that I had this answer. "Cafeteria food?" And she said "no- Lunchables".

About an hour my middle schooler walked in the door and said, "Mom, I wish that before the school year was over I could just once have Lunchables for lunch." My daughter in elementary said, "Heeeeeey, I just said that!" That was quite a coincidence!

So on the last day of school, I had to oblige just this once, so I sent them to school with their lunch box packed with a Lunchable. I added carrot sticks for good measure.

They both came home and said, "That wasn't as good as I thought it would be."

Moral of the story: Go with it. It won't hurt to cave in on something you don't agree with on occasion. And maybe, just maybe, they will appreciate what you have been sending with them all along.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap


I love Caeser Salad for it's simplicity and yet bold taste. I have not yet made my own dressing from scratch but as I was preparing this wrap I decided I must do so and soon. It is so simple to assemble your own salad and now you can buy a kit and add your own chicken. All of these reasons is why it's such a great idea for a lunch box.

Chicken Caeser Salad Wrap
  • romaine lettuce
  • parmesan cheese
  • chicken, diced or sliced
  • caesar dressing
  • Flat Out
Layer each ingredient in the middle of the wrap and roll and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Breakfast English Muffin Sandwich


We all love Breakfast for Dinner, so why not some Breakfast for Lunch? Am I right or am I right?

The store bought English Muffins of today (such as Thomas' brand) are so moist and delicious, they don't have to be toasted, they taste great right out of the package. And because a fried egg hardly seems an option for a lunch box I used a boiled egg in it's place. I would prefer ham to make this more Egg McMuffin like, but my high schooler always chooses turkey over ham.


Breakfast English Muffin Sandwich

  • 1 English Muffin (I used Thomas' wheat)
  • 1 slice sharp cheddar
  • 2-3 slices ham or turkey
  • 1 boiled egg
  • mayo and/or mustard
  • pepper
Layer cheese, meat and egg on mustard and/or mayo smothered English muffin. Dust with a little pepper, the meat should have plenty of salt. Enjoy!




Monday, May 16, 2011

Tips: Give Them What They Want (within reason, of course)

Today's tip may sound like a no brainer, but I know first hand that some people (my husband) needs this reminder. Case and point: My husband thinks that he only needs to say "but it's good for you" and whoever he is saying it to will magically like the food he is mentioning. That may work for my husband (with the exception of peas) but I don't know if it works for anyone else I know.

So find out what fruits and veggies your child likes, and serve them that. I do occasionally try to reintroduce something my children haven't liked in the past because it can change, but my middle schooler doesn't like nuts, my high schooler likes a big honkin' salad (pictured above), my daughter in elementary doesn't like yogurt with chunks of fruit- so all of these things are considered while making their lunch. And that makes for happier children and a happier mom, because wasting food frustrates me more than slight pickiness.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hawaiian Sandwich


Aloha!

(that is a lonely pineapple piece at the bottom of the bread on the left)

I just polished off one of these sandwiches and it is a keeper! The cream cheese (pineapple flavored) makes it perfect for a lunch box. It prevents soggy bread which between the pineapple and bbq sauce, is bound to happen otherwise.

I do add spinach to the sandwich because I add it to everything. Except maybe a pb&j.

Hawaiian Sandwich

what you need:
  • Sandwich Thins
  • grilled chicken breast, cut into strips
  • bbq sauce
  • provolone cheese
  • pineapple cream cheese (you can make your own using this recipe)
  • spinach (optional)
what you do:

Spread cream cheese on both slices of bread. Sandwich Thins work best but it's worth a try with your favorite bread choice. Place spinach, if using, on one side. Add provolone. Toss chicken in bbq sauce, use just enough to coat chicken, but not too much. About 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons. Top with other bread slice that has also been spread with pineapple cream cheese. Wrap it up.
 (I like to wrap these types of busier sandwiches with plastic wrap and then foil) and toss it in the lunch box.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cheesy Tuna Sandwich


Tuna is a great source of the infamous OMEGA 3. Omega 3 can help with a list of things. As a matter of fact, here is a list from this site.

* They can help to increase your energy level.
* Might prevent certain types of cancer
* Improve your sleep
* Reduce inflammation
* Improve muscle recovery from trauma
* Help with arthritis.
* Provide lubrication to the skin, arteries, veins and intestinal tract.
* Help to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
* Help to improve concentration
* Benefit for diseases like: Alzheimer’s, depression and many other cognitively impaired situations.
* Reduces high blood pressure and lowers cholesterol.
* Might improve the healing capability for various health problems.
* Can improve constipation.
In other words, tuna fish sandwiches are a great lunch box choice. Here is a tuna fish sandwich recipe that's a little different from the basic. Switching things up a bit is always fun and keeps things from being ho-hum.


 Cheesy Tuna Sandwich
makes 2-3 sandwiches, depending
  •  2 5oz. cans of tuna, in water
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I use colby jack)
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons of mayo (I used light)
  • bread
  • Spinach (optional)
In a bowl, add drained tuna, cheese, mayo and salt and pepper. Mix well. Can be used on almost any bread choice or even placed in small container with lid and sent to school with crackers.   

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Onion Sandwiches


Oh yes I did!

I grew up believing that I didn't like onions because my family didn't, but turns out I love them. But that is not why I had to try this tasty sandwich, because frankly I'd never heard of it until I read this beautiful book called Heaven to Betsy. May I share with you the part in the book about the Onion Sandwich?

  Sunday Night Lunch was an institution at the Ray house. They never called it supper; and they scorned folks who called it tea. The drink of the evening was coffee, which Mrs. Ray loved, and although Betsy and Margaret still took cocoa, their loyalty was to coffee for her sake.

The meal was prepared by Mr Ray. This was a custom of many years standing. No one else was allowed in the kitchen except in the role of admiring audience. He didn't object when Anna (the hired girl) or Mrs. Ray made a cake earlier in the day; he didn't mind the girls putting cloth on the dining room table. But in the kitchen on Sunday evenings he was supreme.First he put the coffee on..... He got a wooden bread board, and a sharp knife which he always proceeded to sharpen further. He sliced the bread in sensibly thick slices and he never cut off the crusts. Mr. Ray's opinion of sandwiches without crusts matched Mrs. Ray's opinion of tea on Sunday nights. The butter had been put to soften, and now around the breadboard he ranged everything he could find in the ice box. Sometimes there was a cold roast beef, sometimes chicken, sometimes cheese. If nothing else was available he made his sandwiches of onions. He used slices of mild Bermuda onions, sprinkled with vinegar and dusted with pepper and salt. About the use of pepper and salt Mr Ray had very positive ideas. He used his condiments with the care and precision of a gourmet. Not too much! Not too little! And spread so evenly that each bite had the heavenly seasoning of the one before.

"I'm not," he used to say with sedate pride, "the sort of sandwich maker who puts salt and pepper all in one place with a shovel. No, siree!" And then he would add, for emphasis, "No siree, BOB!"
The onion sandwiches were most popular of all with the boys who flocked to the Ray house.

Mr. Ray didn't mind company for Sunday Night Lunch; in fact, he liked it. The larger the audience, the more skill and ingenuity he displayed in his sandwich combinations. Tall, black haired, big-nosed, benevolent, an apron tied around his widening middle, he perched on a stool in the pantry with assorted guests all around the house.
The guests were of all ages...... Old and young gathered in the dining room around the table beneath the hanging lamp. The big platter of sandwiches was placed in the center. A cake sat on one side, a dish of pickles on the other. There was a simmering pot of steaming coffee, of course; but the sandwiches were king of the meal.


Without further ado- may I share with you this Heavens to Betsy/James Beard inspired Onion Sandwich-

(because the vinegar added in Mr Ray's sandwich wouldn't hold out too well in a lunch box, and neither would James Beard's parsley rimmed sandwiches)

Onion Sandwich

1 sandwich thin
thinly sliced onion (I always prefer Vidalia)
mayo
dried parsley
salt and pepper

Spread both bread slices with mayo. Sprinkle parsley on both sides. Add thinly sliced onion and add salt and pepper but not all in one place with a shovel, as Mr Ray warned!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Huevos Rancheros Wrap


I still have about a dozen dyed eggs left to use. How about you?

Once upon a time there was a real big egg scare. They blamed the yolk for causing high cholesterol. All of a sudden it was the food to avoid. I am so glad that fad is over. (and don't get me started on my food fad frustrations) Now it is said that you can have 1 whole egg without any cholesterol issues.

And they are good for you.

This wrap was listed as a breakfast idea here and is another great way to use those Easter eggs and fill the those lunch boxes. I made one minor change.

Huevos Rancheros Wrap
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla (fajita sized)
  • 1 Laughing Cow wedge (I used the Queso Fresco & Chipotle)
  • 1 slice of ham
  • 1 boiled egg sliced
  • 1 T salsa
Layer ham, cheese, egg and salsa on tortilla. Roll up and wrap. Would be even better with guacamole and refried beans added.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Boiled Egg Dogs


This recipe has all the ingredients as an egg salad sandwich- boiled egg, relish, mayo and bread, but (as I always say) these easy changes does switch up the taste a lot. (It's a ratio thing)

Boiled Egg Dog
serves 1
  • 1 boiled egg
  • relish
  • mayo
  • salt & pepper
  • hot dog bun
Peel and quarter boiled egg. Spread mayo on bun, add egg and relish to taste and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

The first time I sent this in my children's lunch boxes, my high schooler came home and said, "I don't know what that was in my lunch box, but it was good!"

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bacon & Boiled Egg Sandwich


This sandwich makes me speechless. I don't know what to say other than, bacon and boiled egg? It had to be done.


Bacon & Boiled Egg Sandwich
makes 1

  • 2 boiled eggs (or 1 egg plus 1 egg white)
  • 2 t. mayo (I always use light)
  • 1/4 t. bacon salt
  • 1 T. bacon crumbles (you choose- turkey bacon, veggie bacon or regular)
  • 2 slices bread
Crumble eggs with a fork and add mayo, bacon salt and bacon. Place between 2 slices of bread.

Be prepared for your kids to come home and say, "My friend was wondering if you would make them a sandwich tomorrow."

It really happens. Especially after a sandwich like this.

Would you like to join me in trying homemade dyes for your Easter Eggs this year? Click HERE.

Would you like to know which egg boiling trick I have had the most success with? Click HERE.