Friday, February 23, 2018

school lunch ideas 22-28

School Lunch #22

PB&J sandwich !! (He finally let me send him with one!)
Tortilla chips
Peach yogurt

School Lunch #23

Pizza Cups
Cucumber with ranch
Fresh blueberries
and a teensy treat :)

School Lunch #24

Mini bagel with cream cheese
Celery with peanut butter and fishy crackers (for "going fishing")
Boiled egg
and a little treat

School Lunch #25

Bacon Pancake Dippers
Homemade syrup
Greek yogurt

School Lunch #26

Cheese quesadilla
Boiled egg

School Lunch #27

This lunch isn't super pretty (Cling Wrap, while handy, is not the most delicious-looking stuff), but it was yum.

Saltine crackers
Tuna sandwich spread
Yogurt + berry delight

School Lunch #28

Nutella sandwich
Cheddar cheese

Easy peasy.

school lunch ideas 15-21

School Lunch #15: HALLOWEEEEEN Edition!

Meat and cheese sandwich transformed into a pumpkin, bat and several moons
Mandarin oranges turned jack-o-lantern
Key lime Greek yogurt transformed into scary goo with eyeballs and sprinkles
Roasted pumpkin seeds

With a side of apple juice... in a mummy costume, of course! :)

Happy Halloween!

School Lunch #16

Blueberry muffins
Lunch meat
String cheese
Baby tomatoes

School Lunch #17

Plain bagel lightly toasted, with cream cheese
Baby tomatoes with s&p
Fresh blueberries

School Lunch #18

German Pancakes, cut into bite-size pieces
Homemade maple syrup
Yogurt with granola

School Lunch #19

Leftover $5 pizza, cut into strips
Yogurt with granola

School Lunch #20

Hot dog - on a bun with condiments
Fresh fruit x2
Potato chips

School Lunch #21

From Scratch Pancakes - made using whole wheat flour and added flax seed meal, etc.
Homemade syrup
Fresh strawberries

school lunch ideas 8-14

School Lunch #8

Today's school lunch is brought to you by the color BLUE! ;)

Blueberry bagel with cream cheese
Blue Jello
Fresh blueberries

I miss the color variation, but he's gonna love it!

School Lunch #9

BLT kabobs
Oreos (a Friday treat)

School Lunch #10


Quesadilla Roll-Ups
Veggies with Humus

School Lunch #11

Apple Ring Sandwiches* (filled with pb & granola)
String cheese
Fresh blueberries
Oreos (a Friday treat)

*See tip.

School Lunch #12

Meat and cheese sandwich
Yogurt with sprinkles
Fresh blueberries
Bit of brownie

School Lunch #13

Cheese Quesadilla
Cherry Tomatoes
Treat - random Halloween candies + mallows

School Lunch #14

Sandwich (meat and cheese)
Yogurt with {Halloween} sprinkles
Mandarin oranges -- made spoooky using a permanent marker ;)

school lunch ideas 1-7

I had all these school lunches posted individually, but they started taking over my blog (and my life, if we're honest). So I've put them together into a few MEGA posts so things are easier to navigate. We'll see if this was better... 

School Lunch #1 / Trial Run

James starts school next week, and I'm going to have to start packing his lunches. I've stressed a ton about this, but thanks to friends and Pinterest, I'm feeling a lot more prepared. Today I decided to do a trial run. It took me 10ish minutes max to get everything gathered and prepared, and I set the timer for 30 minutes to see if he could comfortably eat in that amount of time. I also wanted to see if x amount of food would be enough to fill him up. The trial run was a success! We did change a couple of things, though. Here's the "recipe" for future reference.

Note: the above photo is of the actual first-day-of-school lunch.

     12 Ritz crackers (Low Sodium preferred)
     3 slices (with our slicer), cut in half
     2 (1 1/2, really, as I made them for Jolie too) pieces lunch meat, cut with spice lid to get 4 circles out of each
1/3 c ish yogurt
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
(Opt) Treat: 2 Oreos


This was plenty of food and very much enjoyed. I had to add to the original number of crackers as he wanted two for each little sandwich. He also wished for more fruit, so I made it a whole piece. Besides that, it went really well! He was full in the end, and he was able to eat start to finish in less than 20 minutes! Trial run success! Yay! I'll be much less anxious about my boy eating big kid lunch without me now. Yeesh, growing up is hard for mom!

School Lunch #2

This lunch was made on the fly, as the meal I'd intended didn't work out at the last minute (who runs out of tuna?!). I'm nervous there isn't enough there to keep my kiddo full throughout the day. I sure hope there is! 

This meal is best prepared the night before-- what with the egg boiling and such. Just keep eggs and crackers separate and put the rest in the lunch box (in the fridge). Put them all together in the morning. 

Boiled egg(s)
Ants on a log
Dried fruit
Yogurt with sprinkles
Saltine crackers


School Lunch #3

Nice and filling and "very delicious!" :) The crackers and celery were ignored, as they apparently got tuna on them. Everything else, though, was absolutely gobbled up!

Tuna sandwich, Dino-shaped
     Sweet relish
     Whole-wheat bread
Yogurt - with sprinkles


School Lunch #4

Pizza Rollups 
     Flour tortilla (1)
     Pizza sauce
          Tomato sauce
          Garlic powder
          Italian seasoning
     Shredded mozzarella cheese
Yogurt with sprinkles


*Note: I made this the night before and in the morning, worried the pizza rollups were too dry (had absorbed the sauce). So I spooned a little dollop of extra sauce on each.

Also, when I picked James up he claimed I had forgotten to pack a spoon, which meant he couldn't eat his applesauce or yogurt and was consequently "so hungry." This crushed my heart, as it's one of the things I worry most about with him away from me all day. I felt so bad. But later, as I was cleaning out his lunch box, I found the spoon! It was there all along; he just hadn't noticed it somehow! I still felt bad, but less guilty for sure! Moral of this story: pack a spoon IN the bento container! He's sure to notice it then. Oy...

School Lunch #5

Meat and cheese kabobs
     Lunch meat (2 pieces)
     String cheese, cut (1)
     ^^ skewered on toothpicks (6)
Mandarin oranges
Celery with ranch dressing
Saltine crackers (8)

Root beer milk

Anything's funner on a stick, right?! :)

School Lunch #6

Peanut-butter 'sandwiches' on crackers
Yogurt with sprinkles

School Lunch #7

Zucchini bread muffins
Yogurt with sprinkles
Lunch meat
Dried blueberries

Saturday, February 25, 2017

cream puff pie

The amazing Christa of Orrin-and-Christa made this for us once, and I was absolutely blown away. So easy. So fancy. So good. Instead of needing to ask her for the recipe yet again, I decided to record it here. Try it; you'll be glad you did.

RECIPE: Cream Puff Pie

Yield: 24 servings
Calories: 193 ea

1 c. water
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 c. flour
4 eggs

1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding (large)
2 1/2 c. cold milk
2 tubs cool whip
Toffee bits 

Preheat oven to 350F.

Bring to boil the water, butter and salt in a med saucepan. Remove from heat and add the flour all at once. Stir until a ball forms. **Let cool for 10 minutes.** Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well before adding another.

Spread dough on greased cookie sheet and bake for 30ish min at 350F. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, mix together a large pkg of instant vanilla pudding and less milk than it calls for, about 2 1/2 cups. Chill. Layer on top of chilled cream puff. Then top with cool whip and toffee bits. Serve cool.

Note: For the "good stuff" on top, Christa says: "You can do any kind of pudding and top with nuts or candies or chocolate syrup. It's the best dessert because it can be whatever you want!" When we had it the first time, she had put vanilla pudding on one half and chocolate on the other. Pretty yummy! She also recommends adding toffee bits or chocolate syrup- or both! Yum. You're welcome. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

almond joy cookies

My friend Rose and I went out for a quick dinner the other night at Great Harvest, a local soup and sandwich kind of place. As part of our meals, we could pick a cookie. They were specialing a new cookie that they called an Almond Joy Cookie. We thought they were pretty scrumptious, and I thought I could easily duplicate the idea. So I did. And they were yummy. I took them to a work party, and they were quite a hit. Hooray! This recipe's a keeper.

It's basically just an oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips, almonds and coconut added in.  Any yummy oatmeal cookie recipe should work.  But for my own benefit and for future reference, this is the recipe I used. 

RECIPE: Almond Joy Cookies

3 dozen cookies

3/4 c. butter, soft
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. water
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 c. uncooked oats
1 bag (2 c?) chocolate chips
1 c. slivered almonds
4 oz shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375F. Beat together butter, sugars, egg, water and vanilla until creamy. Add flour, salt and soda. Mix well. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, almonds and coconut. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet/stone. Bake at 375F for 12-15 minutes. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

guava cake

I stole this recipe from my Hawaii-loving friend Aubrey, and I'm so glad I did. It's soooo scrumptious! Creamy and moist and cold and scrumptious. Mmm. I'd make this everyday if health weren't an issue. Ha. Try it; you'll like it. Promise.

RECIPE: Guava Cake

Yield: 18
Calories: 227

1 pkg yellow cake mix
1 c guava juice/nectar
1/3 c vegetable oil
3 eggs
3-5 drops red food coloring (opt)

1 8-oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 8-oz pkg Cool Whip

2 c guava juice/nectar
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
3-5 drops red food coloring

Cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Mix cake according to package directions substituting guava juice for water. Add a few drops of red food coloring to tint it a bit (opt). Pour into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake.

Cream: In a med. mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Add sugar and vanilla, beat in. Slowly fold in cool whip. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Glaze: In a med saucepan, bring guava juice and sugar to a boil. Make a paste out of cornstarch and a small amount of cold water. Remove guava/sugar from heat and stir in cornstarch mixture. Add some red food coloring. Return to heat and bring back to a boil for one minute. Cool in fridge.

Assemble: Ice the cake with cream cheese mixture. Then glaze the top with guava gel. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Monday, August 8, 2016

easy empanadas

My good friend Krista shared this idea with our bookclub when we were discussing easy, inexpensive recipes. And she hit the nail on the head with this one! It is perfectly easy and inexpensive - and absolutely yummy to boot! Her version included simply meat, onions, and cheese - kind of cheeseburger-esque. I wanted a little different flavor and changed it up a bit. But really, it'd be easy and scrumptious to change it up with any number of ingredients. Pizza pocket, breakfast scramble, you name it! Love this. Thanks, Krista. 

RECIPE: Easy Empanadas

2 pkg canned biscuits 
1 lb ground beef
1 med onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 Hatch chilis, seeded and diced
Garlic powder, to taste 
Pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

Preheat oven to 400F. 

In a large skillet, brown the beef and onion over med-high heat. Add tomato, green chili, and spices. Cook until chilis are slightly soft, just a few more min. Remove from heat.

Roll out biscuit dough individually into circles. Fill circles with a Tbsp or so of filling then fold over and pinch edges (with a fork if you're feeling fancy). Cut a slit or two in the tops and brush with the egg wash. 

Then bake at 400F for 12ish minutes or until golden brown! Enjoy!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

funeral potatoes

These are a perfect dish to make in large quantities for a community gathering, such as a funeral. Hence the name. Or perhaps they were dubbed Funeral Potatoes because they make one think of Heaven (they're that good). Whichever the reason, Funeral Potatoes is how they are known to us. And they're amazing. In fact, they are my husband's favorite food. Comfort food at its finest. And this is the best recipe I've found for them -- from my sis-in-law Mindy, who got it from her Aunt Connie. Now I give it to you. You can thank me later.

RECIPE: Funeral Potatoes

1 can cream of celery soup
4 1/2 c. frozen hashbrowns (cooked, shredded potatoes)
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. chopped green onions
2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 c. crushed corn flakes
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Melt 1/4 c. butter. Add soup, green onions, sour cream and cheese. Stir until blended well. Put potatoes in casserole dish and layer with sauce. 

Mix corn flakes and 2 Tbsp. butter. Spread on top of potatoes. 

Bake until heated through, 30 min at 350F. 

Note: This is best if made the night before or earlier in the day and then heated.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

penne pasta bake

I got this recipe from our local grocery store, when they were doing this awesome Family Value Meal, all-ingredients-in-a-bag-and-ready-for-you program. Super cool. I've altered it a bit to make it even easier (I'm super lazy, ha), but the flavor is all there. Anyway, it's become a total staple in our household. Everyone loves it. Assuming you're not dairy-intolerant (ha), give this nummy recipe a try. You won't regret it.

RECIPE: Penne Pasta Bake

1 (16-oz) pkg penne pasta
2 c. sour cream
6 oz provolone cheese slices
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1 lb ground beef
1 med yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (26-oz) jars marinara sauce

2-3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Set aside a 9x13 casserole dish (or two 8x8s).

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add penne pasta and cook until al dente; drain. Mix in sour cream and parm. Set aside.

In a large skillet, brown diced onion, garlic, and ground beef over medium-high heat. Add spaghetti sauce and warm through.

Layer as follows: pasta, sauce, provolone, pasta, sauce. Then top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake uncovered for 25 min at 350F or until cheese melts and bubbles/browns.

**Note: This freezes wonderfully!  Bake one 8x8 and save the other. Two meals in one! Bam! Or better yet, eat one and give one to a friend! :) Also, making earlier in the day and refrigerating works great. Just keep in mind that you'll have to bake it a little longer.