Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Daddy's Lunch: 7.27.10 & Mommy & Daddy's Lunch: 7.28.10

A couple day's worth of lunches in our Easy Lunch Boxes.

Yesterday's lunch for Daddy was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, microwave potato chips (crinkle cut on my new mandoline!), and some of my rosemary chocolate chip shortbread cookies.  Not the healthiest lunch, but it was yummy (and we need groceries!).

Verdict on the microwave potato chips in the fridge overnight?  Crispy enough, and Daddy really enjoyed them.  Hooray!

For Wednesday's lunches, Daddy and I have leftovers from Tuesday's dinner - a crockpot Mexican chicken and veggie thing I threw together, lentils and rice, and a sundried tomato tortilla.  Yum!

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Recipe: Microwave Beet Chips

I got a new toy (free!) - a friend of mine gave me a really cool Oxo Mandoline Slicer.  And my parents gave me some beets from their garden.

So, I decided to make beet chips in the microwave.

They were delicious!  I have made potato chips and sweet potato chips in the same manner.  They would be GREAT in a lunch, though I worry they might get a little soggy if they weren't separate from other things, or if they were put in the fridge overnight for instance.  I will try this with some microwave potato chips maybe for Daddy's lunch for tomorrow, and test it out.

I ate two beet's worth of chips all on my own... Mmmmmm!  I sliced them on my mandoline using a crinkle cut, but you could cut them with a knife if you can cut them thinly enough, or a cheaper mandoline (I have this one, too!  I'm a bit of a kitchen gadget addict.  I admit it freely.

Microwave Beet Chips

1 lg beet, peeled as thinly and evenly as you can
Cooking spray
sprinkle of salt

Spray a dinner plate with the cooking spray and lay beet slices on the plate without overlapping. Sprinkle with salt.

Microwave on HIGH for 6-8 minutes or until beets are just starting to get crunchy. They will continue to cook a bit after you take them out of the microwave.

Note: Check the beets while they are cooking to make sure you don't burn them - and they may get a white foam on them. If you overcook them, they can catch on fire!  So don't do it.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mommy & Daddy's Lunch: 7.26.10

Happy Monday, with lunches packed in our Easy Lunch Boxes!

Daddy has half a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, some leftover dill potatoes, a leftover hot dog, and some watermelon.

I have watermelon, carrots, pork cutlet, and some dill potatoes.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mommy & Daddy's Lunch: 7.23.10

Leftover lunches today (and I shared this on What's For Lunch Wednesdays at What's For Lunch at Our House)!

Daddy has leftover pasta from dinner with some fresh mozzarella, a couple Caprese Tartlets, and some carrots.

I have leftover pasta with some fresh mozzarella, a couple Caprese Tartlets, and some blueberries

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Recipe: Caprese Tartlets (from Melissa d'Arabian)

Oh my.  Another great recipe from Melissa d'Arabian!  I saw this on her show this past weekend, and I just knew it was something that would be a winner in a lunch.

Of course, I had them with dinner first.  Along with pasta.  And the family gobbled them right up.

I used some hamburger buns that I had in the freezer, and I cut the tops off of them to make them akin to crustless white bread.  I used neufchatel cheese instead of full fat cream cheese.  I made a couple of them using wheat bread (because I ran out of the hamburger buns).

Seriously.  Yum.  I want to try them in mini muffin tins.  Because I love things in mini muffin tins.

Caprese Tartlets
(Courtesy Melissa d'Arabian)

8 slices white bread
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 ounces fresh mozzarella (approximately 2-inch ball), thinly sliced
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling, optional
8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the crusts from the bread and using a large spoon or rolling pin, gently press the slices of bread down flat until they are thin and almost doughy. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Press the slices in the muffin tin, to form tartlet shells. Set aside.

In a small bowl, using a fork to combine, mix together the cream cheese, garlic powder, dried basil, salt, and pepper until smooth and creamy. Drop about a teaspoon of the cream cheese into the bottom of each muffin tin. Bake the tartlets until golden and crusty, 12 to 13 minutes.

Meanwhile, liberally salt the tomato slices. Once the tartlet shells are golden, remove them from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Place a slice of mozzarella on top of the cream cheese, then layer on a tomato slice or two. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, if using. Garnish with basil chiffonade.

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Lunches for an Outing: 7.22.10

My brother and I are going on an outing today, with my two kids and with his three.  So - lunches all around!

We all have blueberries and watermelon, a small piece of ogre bread, two small rosemary chocolate chip shortbread cookies, a couple thin slices of pork cutlet, a couple pieces of dilled potatoes, a piece of homemade bread (from my brother!), and a piece of cheddar cheese.

All stacked up and ready to go, packed in our Easy LunchBoxes!

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Daddy's Lunch: 7.22.10

Daddy has leftovers from dinner - parmesan crusted pork cutlet, dilled potatoes, lemon dill sauce, and some more Ogre Bread. 

(I am going on an outing with the kids and my brother and his kids - we'll pack lunch, and I'll post that tomorrow)

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Recipe: Rosemary Chocolate Chip Shortbread (from Melissa D'Arabian)

I saw this recipe on Melissa D'Arabian's Ten Dollar Dinners this weekend, and just had to make it.  I didn't make any changes, except I cut them with my new pastry cutter press (I got four of them!  So cute!  I can't wait to use them for things!) As a result, mine were much smaller, and I got about 32 cookies out of the batch.  I also only had full sized chocolate chips.  Mini would have been better, but I'm not complaining about the bigger ones.

The rosemary is an unexpected and absolutely lovely flavor in these!  Don't leave it out!

Rosemary Chocolate Chip Shortbread
(Courtesy Melissa D'Arabian)

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened to room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Cream the butter with sugar using a handheld mixer. Mix in the rosemary, salt, and flour, 1/4 cup at a time. Sprinkle in the chocolate chips, and stir by hand until well-distributed. Gather the dough into a ball. Cook's Note: If the dough begins to soften or feel greasy, chill the dough for 15 minutes.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle of 1/2-inch thickness and cut into rectangles about 1/2-inch by 2-inch. Place the dough on a cold ungreased baking sheet. Prick the top with a fork. Bake the shortbread for 25 minutes, or until the dough starts to turn a golden color. Remove the shortbread from the baking sheet and let cool completely on a rack.

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Giveaway: Back to School Lunch Boxes for Kids - Easy LunchBox Winner!

The winner, chosen by Random.org (and I can't figure out how to do a screen shot, so you'll just have to trust me!) is #40!

Megan White said...
I love all of the food ideas that they have posted online... I also love how these boxes are safe in the dishwasher so warping isn't an issue.

Congratulations, Megan!  I'll be sending your contact information to Kelly at Easy LunchBoxes!  Thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks again to Kelly!

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mommy & Daddy's Lunch: 7.21.10

Here are some more lunches for Daddy and I  packed in our Easy Lunch Boxes!  Don't miss my giveaway - the winner will be chosen Wednesday evening (7/21/10).

Daddy has a ham sandwich on wheat bread, some watermelon, and some carrots.

I have leftover tuna stuffed cucumbers, a ham and cheese roll-up, blueberries, and some crackers.  I'm excited for my lunch!

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Recipe: Tuna Stuffed Cucumber

I made these fun stuffed cucumbers tonight, to mixed reviews from the kids... the girl ate nothing but the tuna salad, the boy ate nothing but the cucumbers, and I joyfully ate the whole thing (and packed leftovers in my lunch!).

I thought I would share the recipe, though, because they are so very lunch box worthy.

Tuna Stuffed Cucumber

1 cucumber
1 can tuna, packed in water
4 Tbsp ranch dressing (I used low fat)
1 Tbsp fresh dill (you could use dry, but fresh is so delicious)
Sesame seeds (optional)

Cut the cucumber in half width-wise, and scoop out the seeds carefully with a spoon, so you are left with a hollow tube of cucumber.  Peel carefully.

Mix drained tuna, ranch dressing, and dill together, breaking up the tuna into small pieces.

Fill the cucumber halves tightly with tuna salad.

Roll the cucumber halves in sesame seeds, if desired, and then cut into rounds.

I served on pieces of toast with some cheddar cheese.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Mommy & Daddy's Lunch: 7.20.10

Another couple delicious lunches packed in our Easy Lunch Boxes!  Don't miss my giveaway!  The winner will be chosen Wednesday evening.

Daddy has a ham and cheese sandwich on Ogre Bread, a nutrigrain bar, carrots, and watermelon.

I have a ham and cheese sandwich on Ogre Bread, a nutrigrain bar, cucumber, mango, and mint salad, and blueberries.

(Shared on What's For Lunch at Our House)

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Recipe: Ogre Quick Bread

This bread sounds a little weird... spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, and feta in a quick bread?  Believe me, it is close to transcendent.  And the kids loved it.  But, only after I called it "Ogre Quick Bread."

We had it with ham and cheese for sandwiches for dinner, but it would be fantastic just plain.  Honestly.  Amazing.  (If I do say so myself!) It's moist and dense, like zucchini bread, with layers of savory flavors hitting the palate one after another.  I will be making it again - that's for sure.

Update: 9.5.11 - As written, if the loaf is cut into 20 slices, it is ~100 calories a slice and about 10g carbs per slice.

Ogre Quick Bread

1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large onion (I used Vidalia), sliced thinly
1/2 tsp salt
1 10-oz box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil, drained)
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 c evaporated skim milk (could use regular milk)
2/3 c olive oil
1/2 c reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion to the pan, and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the onions are golden brown, about 10 additional minutes.

Chop onions, thawed and drained spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes finely (I used a food processor).

Whisk together dry ingredients, and in a separate bowl, the eggs, milk, and olive oil.

Mix the dry ingredients with the chopped vegetables and then stir in wet ingredients until combined.  Don't overmix, or the bread could become tough.  Stir in the feta cheese.

Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray with flour (like Baker's Joy), or grease and flour the pan.  Put the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

Bake until the top is light golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out dry, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan, and cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mommy & Daddy's Lunch: 7.18.10

We barbecued for dinner and have leftovers for lunch.  They are packed in our Easy Lunch Boxes, and there is still time to enter my Giveaway!

Daddy has some bbq chicken, a bbq baked potato, some strawberries, and some carrots.

I have some bbq chicken, a bbq baked potato, cucumber feta salad, and some blueberries.

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Recipe: Strawberry Blueberry Mini Muffins

It's definitely summer, full of berries!

These little muffins are like a bite full of summer.  They are not overly sweet, which is nice.

(I'm sure you could do the same thing with frozen berries, but of course fresh is yummier)

Strawberry Blueberry Mini Muffins

1 c all purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 c oil
1 egg
1/3 c skim milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 c blueberries
3/4 c sliced strawberries

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Chop strawberries and blueberries into small pieces (I use a food processor).   Mix milk, eggs, vanilla, and oil together with sugar until creamed.  Stir in dry ingredients until well combined.  Fold in chopped berries.  Scoop into papered or well greased mini muffin tins, and bake for ~15 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Giveaway: Back to School Lunch Boxes for Kids - Easy LunchBox: CLOSED

UPDATE: The winner has been chosen.

Kelly from Easy LunchBoxes has generously offered to sponsor another giveaway for my readers, and this time, it's in good time to get your prize before Back to School!

(I know, I'm not prepared to think about it either. And I know it's a month away at least for most people, but these great lunch boxes for kids are wonderful for summer outings, too!)

In my original review of Easy Lunchboxes, I wasn't sure I would use them every day. I didn't think they were "cute" enough for the girl's lunch. I have totally changed my mind. I have used them (for mostly my own lunches) since I got them, and have bought a couple more sets of containers for summer use with my brother and his kids, and gave some to my mother-in-law for her outings with the kids, and she also uses them for my father-in-law's lunches. They clean up so easily, and are totally dishwasher safe. That makes life a whole lot easier. None of my other containers are really dishwasher safe. The containers are also very sturdy. That's a huge plus.

The Details of the Giveaway:

One lucky winner will receive a set of Easy LunchBox containers, along with an insulated lunch bag in the color of the winner's choice (black, dark red, olive, aqua, or purple). (Retail value $21.90)

(Images courtesy EasyLunchBoxes.com)

What do you have to do to enter?


Visit Easy LunchBoxes and post a comment below of something that you learned from your visit. What would you pack for your kid in your new Easy Lunchbox container?

Winner will be chosen at random next Wednesday, July 21st, at about 6 PM.  One entry per person, please.  Please leave an email address (with spaces if desired ie email at email dot com) so I can contact you when you win.  Anonymous entries will be disregarded.  If I can't contact you, you can't win.  I at least need a name and some way to get in contact with you.

Good luck!  And, thank you to Kelly for sponsoring another giveaway!

This giveaway is offered to US & Canadian residents only.

Please do not enter this giveaway if have won or received free product from 
EasyLunchboxes within the past 3 months.

Disclaimer:  While I am an EasyLunchBox Affiliate, I was not in any way compensated for this Giveaway and updated review.   

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Mommy & Daddy's Lunch: 7.15.10

I made our lunches using leftover Whole Wheat Slider Buns.  They fit perfectly into the Easy Lunch Box containers.

Daddy has ham on slider rolls, with mustard, and some caramelized onions leftover from our burgers last night in the yellow container, along with some strawberries, and a couple peanut butter oreos for a treat.

I have a couple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on slider rolls, a biscotti, steamed snap peas, and some strawberries.  (Note - I'll be saving this for lunch for tomorrow, because I made it and then realized that we are going out to lunch for my work today)

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Recipe: Whole Wheat Slider Buns

My brother made these for me, but he was kind enough to write down the ingredients for me, and we baked them at my house. 

We cut them with the bun cutter from my slider set, but you could shape them by hand or with a small circle cookie cutter.

Whole Wheat Slider Buns

2 c water
3 c wheat flour
3 c white flour
1/4 c molasses
1/4 c oil
1 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 Tbsp yeast
1 tsp salt

Put ingredients in your bread machine in the order recommended by your manufacturer (this may be too much dough for some bread machines), or mix in a stand mixer (hoping my brother will edit the instructions for me for this part!).  Allow to go through the first rise, punch down, and let rise again.  Punch down a final time and roll out to about an inch to two inches thick. 
Preheat oven to 400 F.  Cut dough into circles (I got 28 out of this recipe) and place on baking sheets.  Without an additional rise, bake for ~15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

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Recipe: Chicky Beef Sliders

I had my brother and his three children over for dinner.  I had a little over a pound of ground beef thawed.  In order to stretch it, I mixed it with pureed chick peas, and you couldn't even tell!  It was a great way to stretch the meat, and to add an extra punch of nutrition.

(I used my fun Slider Grill Set, but you could make them by hand, or make full sized burgers)

Chicky Beef Sliders

1 lb lean ground beef
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp dried minced onion
2 Tbsp Montreal Steak seasoning

Puree the chickpeas in a foodprocessor, or mash evenly.  Mix with ground beef and seasonings.  Form into mini-burgers (aka sliders) and grill until desired level of doneness is reached.  This makes about 24 sliders.

(Served in Whole Wheat Slider Buns)

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mommy & Daddy's Lunch: 7.12.10

Daddy has a ham and cheese sandwich on a Arnold Fill'em, strawberries, a couple mini banana blueberry muffins, and some crackers, in one of our Easy LunchBoxes.

I have some Chicken MomNuggets, some strawberries, a mini banana, and some crackers, in another Easy LunchBox container.

(Shared on What's For Lunch At Our House)

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Recipe: Chicken MomNuggets

The boy doesn't usually eat much meat.  I really wanted to have chicken for dinner.  So, I decided to make some nuggets from scratch.  They turned out super well and he ate a bunch of them!

(Served with steamed peas with some parmesan cheese, oven roasted red skinned potato wedges, and ketchup)

Chicken MomNuggets

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small (~1 inch) chunks

2 c corn flakes (I used wheat & rice flakes)
3 Tbsp parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp dried onion flakes (or ~1 tsp onion powder)

4 Tbsp light ranch dressing

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Process cereal into crumbs (I used a food processor and made them nice and fine, but you could crush them with a rolling pin in a bag or the like).  Stir in cheese, curry powder, and onion flakes or powder.

Dip chicken pieces in ranch dressing, and then coat evenly in cereal crumbs.  

Place nuggets on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Spray the tops of the nuggets lightly with cooking spray.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until baked through.  Serve with preferred dipping sauce.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Recipe: Breakfast Banana Split

This is a simple, delicious, and healthy breakfast, full of fruit and goodness.

I got myself some cute banana split dishes, but you could do it in a bowl or a on a plain plate. 

Breakfast Banana Split

1 banana
Greek yogurt (storebought or homemade, I used vanilla, but you could use any flavor)
blueberries (or raspberries, or strawberries)

Split banana down the middle.  Using an ice cream scoop, scoop some yogurt on top of the banana.  Sprinkle with blueberries and top with granola.  If desired, drizzle with a little maple syrup.


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Mommy & Daddy's Lunch: 7.12.10

A couple more lunches in our Easy Lunch Boxes.  You can really fit a lot of food in these guys!

Daddy has a ham sandwich with mustard in an Arnold Fill'em, strawberries, triscuits, and a couple of my Banana Blueberry Mini Muffins.

I have a piece of leftover thin crust pizza loaded with veggies (from Dominos), a ham sandwich with mustard in an Arnold Fill'em, strawberries, and a couple Banana Blueberry Muffins.

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