Monday, November 30, 2009

Lunch: 12.1.09

I am not feeling well, and my daughter announced that she was going to help with making her lunch "so that you don't touch the food and get me sick."  So, I helped, washed my hands first very well, and let her help.

Snack is a Apple Rosemary Jelly sandwich shaped like a gingerbread girl (her choice), craisins & raisins, some homemade graham crackers, and juice.

Lunch is a banana, two cinnamon raisin muffins, a gogurt, a piece of turkey (she rolled that up, kind of), a babybell, and some flip side pretzel crackers.

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Lunch 11.30.09

Back to school today!

Snack is a Rosemary Apple Jelly Sandwich shaped like a snowman, craisins & raisins, and some homemade graham crackers.

Lunch is a banana, a cranberry sauce and turkey roll up, a gogurt, a half a kiwi, a babybell, and a couple flip crackers (pretzel on one side, cracker on the other - they were on sale)

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Award: Happy Mama Blogger Award

Thanks to Angi at Bento Junkie passed on this Happy Mama Blogger Award, which I am proud to accept.
I will pass it on to some of my favorite bloggers soon.  Busy right now, being a happy mama and all...  Thank you, Angi!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lunch: 11.24.09

It's the last day of school this week!

Snack is a frog shaped apple rosemary jelly sandwich, homemade graham crackers, craisins & raisins, and a juice.

Lunch is gogurt, half a kiwi, babybell, ham on skewers, small pieces of applesauce fruit leather (in the container), and a treat from her Halloween goody bag.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Lunch: 11.23.09

Only two days of school this week, because of Thanksgiving.

Snack is a teapot shaped Strawberry Cherry Tea Jelly sandwich, craisins & raisins, homemade graham crackers, and a juice.

Lunch is applesauce (in the covered container), ham on skewers (she loves ham), half a kiwi, a babybell, apple fruit leather in small pieces (she complained the roll was too hard to chew), and a treat from her treat bag from Halloween.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Award: Kreativ Blogger

Thanks to Angi at Bento Junkie for this award!
The rules are to state 7 things about yourself and then to pass this on to 7 other bloggers.
1- I work as a molecular biologist in the biochemistry department at a university, and I love it
2- I have also worked part time at a local kitchen store (Kiss the Cook) for the past 15 years
3- I spent a year living with my father's cousin in Sweden in high school, and as a result, I speak fluent Swedish
4- I am a complete television addict (see my other blog)
5- I love to sing and act
6- I really hate to clean
7- I love to read with my kids, and we are currently working our way through Roald Dahl.
Now time to pick 7 people!

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Recipe: Fruit Leather

I got these fruit leather sheets for my food dehydrator, and decided to put them to use yesterday. 

It couldn't have been simpler - I made apple fruit leather, from homemade applesauce.

All I had to do was lightly coat the sheets with cooking spray, and then spread out applesauce thinly and evenly.  You can use other fruit, too, but I had applesauce on hand.

Then, turn on the dehydrator.  I left it on for about 10 hours and it was perfect.

Peel off the sheet when still warm, then roll up and wrap in saran wrap.  Cut into pieces and enjoy.

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Lunch: 11.20.09

The power went out this morning, so I packed lunch and snack to a kerosene lamp!  Thankfully, it's back on now.

Snack is a squirrel shaped Strawberry Cherry Tea Jelly Sandwich, craisins & raisins, homemade graham crackers, and juice.

Lunch  is gogurt, homemade apple fruit leather, two banana crumb muffins, a cut up hotdog on skewers, babybell, and homemade wheat herb crackers (I ran out of cheese crackers), along with a treat from her Halloween Treat Bag.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lunch 11.19.09

Snack today is a Strawberry Cherry Tea Jelly heart shaped sandwich, craisins & raisins, homemade graham crackers, and a juice.

Lunch is a gogurt, applesauce, fish shaped hard boiled egg, a babybell, homemade cheese crackers, two banana crumb muffins and a treat from her Halloween goody bag.  (That's not pictured, because I put it in afterwards)

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Recipe: Meringue Mushrooms

This is not for the girl's lunch, but I thought it would be appreciated.  These mushrooms are made of meringue and chocolate and are absolutely adorable.

I followed the instructions here, with a couple of changes.  First, I put a touch of almond extract in with the meringue.  I also used regular sugar that I put in the food processor for a couple of seconds, to make it more fine.  They were also done after about 30 minutes, at 250 F.

I also had some extra stems, and I dipped them partially in chocolate.  Yum!

Cute food is fun.

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Lunch: 11.18.09

After a disastrous attempt on more crystallized ginger last night (I completely burned a whole batch, boiled it too long.  I was so sad...And now I am pretty sure my beautiful Le Creuset pan is completely ruined... NOTE: Be careful making the ginger!!!) I didn't make the girl's lunch until this morning.

Snack is a Strawberry Cherry Tea Jelly Sandwich in the shape of a tea cup, with homemade graham crackers, raisins & craisins, and juice.  She told me that the tea jelly sandwich is her favorite thing in snack and she gobbles it up first thing.  This Strawberry Cherry is made out of her favorite tea - Republic of Tea's Panda Berry.  It's really yummy.

Lunch is a gogurt, two banana crumb mini muffins, a babybell, some homemade cheese crackers, turkey on skewers, and a treat from her Halloween Goody Bag.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Recipe: Crystallized Ginger

My kiddos won't eat this delicious stuff, but I sure will!

Notice a trend here? I love ________.  __________ is pricey.  I wonder if I can make _________ myself, cheaper and healthier?

This time it's crystallized ginger.  Spicy and delicious, I think it's the perfect snack.  I'm going to try drying some in my food dehydrator, once I get the sheets I ordered today to make fruit leather.  (Thanks for the inspiration on that one, Foodie Footsteps!)  I am going to try a second batch tomorrow night, too, with much thinner slices.  I used pretty thick slices tonight (1/8"-1/4") and I think thinner slices might be better.  We'll see.
(I'll get some more pictures next time I make it, probably tomorrow)

Crystallized Ginger

1 1/2 c peeled, sliced ginger root
1 1/2 c water
1 1/2 c sugar, plus more for coating

Boil water and sugar in a large, non-reactive pan (I used my Le Creuset), and add in ginger.  Stir to coat, and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for about 15 minutes, then turn heat up and bring to a boil.  Stir occasionally, and boil for about 10-15 minutes.  Strain out ginger and drain on a cooling rack (the grid kind works best) with paper towels under it to catch any drips.  When cool, toss with extra sugar to coat.  Store in an air tight container for up to three months.

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Lunch: 11.17.09

Snack today is an elephant shaped Passionfruit Papaya Tea Jelly sandwich (with a craisin for an eye), homemade graham crackers, craisins & raisins, and juice.

Lunch is Banana Crumb mini muffins, gogurt, half a kiwi, babybell, turkey on skewers, homemade cheese crackers, and a treat from her Halloween Goody Bag.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lunch: 11.16.09

Welcome to a new week!

Snack is a Passionfruit Papaya Tea Jelly Sandwich (heart shaped), homemade graham crackers (I made a new batch), craisins & raisins, and a juice.

Lunch is a gogurt, half a kiwi, a babybell, turkey on skewers, homemade cheese crackers, and a treat from her Halloween goody bag.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Recipe: Banana Crumb Mini Muffins

I had some bananas that needed using, and decided to make these. Delicious!

Banana Crumb Mini Muffins

3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c King Arthur Flour Cinnamon Flav-R-Bites (optional)
1/3 c applesauce (unsweetened)

1/3 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c oats
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375  F.  Line mini muffin cup pans with papers, or spray well. 
Beat together bananas, sugar, vanilla, egg and applesauce. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and flav-r-bites. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
In a small bowl, mix together topping ingredients, except for butter. Cut in  butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
Bake in preheated oven for 10-14 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean. 

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Lunch: 11.13.09

Sadly, no pictures today.  I forgot the camera at my mother-in-law's house.  Oops.

Snack today is a gingerbread girl shaped Passionfruit Papaya Tea Jelly Sandwich, homemade graham crackers, some craisins & raisins, and a juice box.  The rubbermaid juice box I sent her with yesterday leaked, so I have to find a better solution for that, which does not involve me buying another Sigg bottle for her to loose.  Seriously, it's a problem. 

Lunch is turkey lunch meat on skewers, a babybell, applesauce, homemade cheese crackers, some apple chips, and a tootsie roll from her Halloween goody bag.

Pictures next week, I promise!  And maybe some new recipes this weekend. We'll see how motivated I get.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lunch 11.12.09

Snack today is a horse shaped Passionfruit Papaya Tea Jelly sandwich, craisins & raisins, a few homemade graham crackers, along with a juice in a rubbermaid juice box.  She complained that she spilled some of her juice on a book and wanted clear juice.  I can do that. 

Lunch is applesauce, ham on skewers, homemade cheese crackers, a couple pumpkin muffins with raisins, and a treat from her Halloween treat bag.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lunch: 11.11.09

Snack is a teddy bear shaped passionfruit papaya tea jam sandwich, homemade graham crackers, some raisins and craisins, and juice.

Lunch is ham on skewers, homemade cheese crackers, a babybell cheese, applesauce (in the container), three pumpkin muffins with raisins, and a couple whoppers from her Halloween treat bag.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Lunch: 11.10.09

Snack is a butterfly shaped papaya passionfruit tea jelly sandwich on homemade whole wheat bread, some homemade graham crackers, some raisins with craisins, and a juice.

Lunch is a hotdog, homemade applesauce, a banana, some homemade cheddar crackers, a babybell, and a twizzler from her Halloween Goody bag.

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Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Crackers

I visited the King Arthur Flour Factory in Norwich, VT this summer, and it was incredible.  I live in Vermont, but it's still 2 hours away from me.  It's not a leisurely drive, and it's not really on the way to anywhere I want to go.  So, when I came across a recipe for homemade cheese crackers last week and it called for Vermont Cheese Powder from King Arthur Flour, I bit the bullet and placed an online order.  I even paid shipping.  I wanted the cheese powder that much.

I've read that you can do much the same thing using powder from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, and it would result in a much more Cheez-it colored cracker.  You would want to leave out the salt in that case, for sure.  I might throw a touch of that stuff in with my next batch, if the girl complains that her cheese crackers aren't the right color.  They are delicious, though, and were very easy.

As a bonus, you can shape them however you want.  I made most of these quite small - and you really have to watch the bake time because of it.  I also used whole wheat flour and threw in some flax meal.  Because I'm crazy like that.

Go ahead, give them a try!  (I used a food processor, but you could do it by hand)

Cheddar Cheese Crackers

1 c whole wheat flour
1/3 c all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 c Vermont Cheese Powder
1/4 c ground flax seed (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vinegar
3-4 Tbsp water (you may need more)

Combine dry ingredients in food processor.  Add butter in small pats and pulse gently to combine.  Drizzle in vinegar and then water, adding enough to make a solid, but not sticky, dough.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 375.

Roll dough out on well floured parchment paper, or on a silicone baking mat, flouring more as needed.  Roll as thin as possible without getting holes.  Cut into desired shapes (if you have larger shapes, you will need to prick a couple times with a fork to prevent air bubbles). 

Transfer to lightly greased or parchment (or silicone mat) lined baking sheets.  Bake for 8-18 minutes, depending on size, or just until lightly browned. Transfer to cooling racks.  They will get more crisp as they cool.

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Lunch: 11.9.09


Today's snack is homemade crackers, a nut free granola bar (I found a small bag of them in the freezer!), a strawberry, and a juice.

Lunch is a banana, a hot dog, Twizzlers from her Halloween goody bag, applesauce, acorn shaped homemade wheat bread with Mango Ceylon Tea Jelly, a couple homemade graham crackers, and a babybell.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Recipe: Tea Jelly

I've been working on making some jellies and jams and the like this fall, and I thought I would post a recipe for one that my kids really enjoyed - Tea Jelly!

I made this out of Republic of Tea Mango Ceylon Tea.  It is a subtle flavor and it is delicious.


I was busy making graham crackers, and it boiled over.  What a mess.  So, don't let that happen to you.

I got the recipe from Recipezaar: Basic Tea Jelly.

I plan on making it with some other kinds of tea, too.  There are so many kinds to try.  The author of the recipe made it with chai, and I have to think that would be astounding.

Edited to add:  I made Pomegranate Vanilla, Passionfruit Papaya, Strawberry Cherry, and Chai Tea Jellies yesterday.  They all set up beautifully, except for the Chai... I'll let it sit for a while longer and hope that it sets.  If it doesn't, I've got Chai Syrup!

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Recipe: Graham Crackers

I had fun making these little graham crackers.  You could make them in any shape, but I made little flowers.  I also used graham flour, but you could use plain whole wheat.  These used honey, but I can't help but wonder how maple would do in them... the possibilities abound.

Graham Crackers

1 c graham flour or whole wheat flour
1 c all purpose flour
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/4 c honey

~2 to 3 Tbsp skim milk

more milk for glaze
cinnamon-sugar (if desired)

Combine graham flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking powder in a food processor or a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat egg till light, then add oil, honey and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix into dry ingredients until you have a fairly stiff dough, adding additional milk if needed.  Wrap dough in saran wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour or more.

Roll dough out till it's about 1/16-inch thick on a floured surface. Preheat your oven to 375°F.

Cut into desired shapes.  If you do larger shapes, prick with a fork in the middle.  Place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Brush the tops with milk, and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar if you like.  Bake until crackers are lightly browned (My small crackers took about 10 minutes). Remove crackers from oven, transfer to a wire cooling  

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Lunch: 11.6.09

It's Friday!!!

Snack is applesauce, a couple of bone breadsticks, and a juice.

Lunch is strawberries, fruit dip, a hard boiled egg, crackers, a babybell, cream cheese and blueberry jam roll ups on bread, and a mini 3 muskateers from her Halloween goody bag.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lunch: 11.5.09

More leftovers to fill the lunch box!

Snack is two bone bread sticks, a hard boiled egg (fish shaped) and a juice.

Lunch is strawberries and fruit dip, homemade applesauce, wheat rosemary homemade crackers, a babybell, and some raisin/craisins, along with starburst from her Halloween treat bag.

Fruit heavy, but she loves it!

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lunch: 11.4.09

A bit more Halloween Party leftovers...

Snack is a couple of bone bread sticks, raisins and craisins, a babybell and a juice.

Lunch is strawberries and fruit dip, apple chips, a hard boiled egg, homemade crackers, and a special candy bar treat from Halloween stash.

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Recipe: Homemade Wheat Crackers

Homemade crackers?  Sure!  Crackers at the store are ridiculously expensive, and I wanted to try to make them at home.  They turned out to be very simple (although the rolling takes some muscle), I plan on making crackers a lot now!

I have a small rolling pin for rolling fondant, and it works great - a good dowel would work, too.  It would work best if it fits into your baking sheet.

I made one batch with garlic and rosemary, and one plain batch.  I made one batch with Halloween shapes stamped into the center of square crackers (just push gently with mini-cookie cutters), and one that was just plain triangles. The possibilities are endless!!

I combined my dough in a food processor and it was super quick.  You could do it by hand, but it would take a little more time.

Try them - they are fun!

Wheat Crackers

2 cups of white wheat flour (or 1 c white flour, 1 c wheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons softened butter
approximately 1 cup of skim milk
(Herbs and spices, if desired)

Combine flour, salt, and butter in a food processor.  Drizzle in milk until the dough forms a soft, but not sticky, ball.

Preheat oven to 300 F.

Prepare two cookie sheets (jelly roll pans with lips work well) by either spraying with cooking spray or lining with parchment paper.  Divide the dough in half and roll as thin as possible on each tray - paper thin works best.  The thinner they are, the crispier the crackers will be,.

Once the dough is rolled thinly on each tray, cut into desired shapes.  I like using a crinkle edged pasta roller.  If your shapes are larger, prick the centers with a fork so as to keep air pockets from forming.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy.  Let cool on tray for about 5 minutes before breaking apart into separate crackers. 

(Here's my crackers with dip and ham, at my Halloween party)

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Lunch: 11.3.09

There was kind of a hilarious mistake with Evalina's lunch today... she thought that the meatball was a mini muffin.... and slathered it with the fruit dip (fat free cool whip and pudding mix) before realizing how wrong she was!  Ooops!!!!!

I'll tell her tomorrow what her dips are.

Snack is two bone breadsticks, some homemade applesauce, and a juice.

Lunch is a meatball, a babybell, some homemade crackers, veggie dip, carrot fingers, apple chips with fruit dip, tiny package of Diego Jellybeans from her trick or treat loot, and some craisin/raisin mix.

Hopefully, she dips things in the proper condiments this time!

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lunch: 11.2.09

Halloween Party leftovers, so the girl will have to deal with now non-seasonal food.  I don't think she'll complain.

Snack is some carrot fingers, a celery, cream cheese, ham, and craisin "mummy", and a bone bread stick, with juice.

Lunch is pineapple with a fruit dip (in the blue container), a meatball, homemade Halloween crackers (recipe coming), babybell, raisins, apple chips, and teddy grahams from her Trick-or-treating.

Hope that everyone had a good Halloween!

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