Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lunch: 11.1.10

It's a new month! Hope that everyone had a great Halloween!

Snack is apple slices, a chocolate chip mini muffin, and a juice.

Lunch includes a couple treats from her Trick-or-Treating bag.  She has a maple leaf shaped ham sandwich, some pomegranate seeds, a piece of string cheese, a peppermint patty, a small piece of candy corn bark (the Girl declared that it was her favorite thing from my entire Halloween party!), some grapes, and some cheddar pringles (also from her Trick-or-Treat bag), in an EasyLunchbox.

Remember, the free cooler bag offer from Easylunchboxes is valid until 11/10!

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Recipe: Brownies with Chocolate Clay Toppers

If you aren't following me on Facebook, you may not have seen the photos from my Halloween Party.. (let me know if that link does not work for you). 

Back for The Girl's birthday, I did some playing with chocolate clay.  It was fun.  It is workable like fondant, but easier to make, and tastes significantly better, in my mind.

So, I decided to use my cool new cookie stamps to make chocolate clay toppers for brownies.

They are so cute!

(unfortunately, the stamps are not available anywhere except for ebay that I can find right now...)

To make chocolate clay, melt 10 oz of chocolate (I used white chocolate candy coating, you could use any color), then stir in 1/3 c light corn syrup.  Knead it until it's solid and forms a clay-like consistency.  Wrap in saran wrap and let sit for at least 2 hours.

 Brownies with Chocolate Clay Toppers

1 batch brownies, prepared (your favorite recipe)
1 batch chocolate clay (see above)

Cut brownies into desired shape with a cookie cutter.  You can smoosh the remaining bits together and re-use them like you would regular cookie dough.

Roll chocolate clay out as thin as possible between two pieces of parchment paper.  (You may need to knead it slightly before you can roll it).  Cut the chocolate clay with the same cookie cutter you used to cut the brownie shapes.  (If you have a cool spring loaded cookie stamp, press it down to leave an indentation).

Cover the brownie with the chocolate clay cut out.  Continue with the rest of the brownies.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Recipe: Chocolate Meringue Bones

Another bone shaped treat - because, honestly?  I can't find my pastry bags.  And bones are the easiest thing to shape from a clipped off corner of a baggie.  I wanted to do spiders, but without frosting tips, I didn't see it happening.

They would be yummy with almond flavoring, but I have someone coming to my party who is allergic to nuts, so I didn't want to risk even artificial almond flavoring.

If you aren't making them for Halloween, you could always make them just in the classic "kiss" shape.

I did two batches - one batch, I cooked for 1 1/2 hours at 250 F and then removed to wire racks.  The other batch, I cooked for 1 hour at 200 F, then shut the oven off, left it closed, and left them in all night.  I think the 200 F worked better, so that's the instructions I'll put below, but if you are in a hurry, you could use the other method.

Chocolate Meringue Bones

3 egg whites (room temp works best)
dash of salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c sugar
dash cinnamon

Sift together cocoa powder, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl using your electric mixer, beat egg whites until foamy/frothy. While beating to the frothy stage, add salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract. After reaching the frothy stage, add the cocoa/sugar mixture (1 tablespoons at a time) while continuing beating until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.

Place mixture in a piping bag and pipe into desired shape onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats.  I did bone shapes.

Preheat oven to 200 F, and bake for 1 hour.  Then, without opening oven, turn the heat off and let the meringues dry out in the oven - I did overnight, about 6 hours.  You could also bake for 1 1/2 hours at 250 F, and place them on wire racks to cool.  Store in an airtight container.

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Recipe: Bone Bread Sticks (with or without pepperoni marrow)

I made these for my Halloween party this weekend, and some have made their way into lunches... some have "marrow" - chopped mini turkey pepperoni - and some do not.

I have some vegetarian friends.

They are very easy and fun.

Bone Bread Sticks (with optional "marrow")

1 1/3 c water or liquid whey
3 Tbsp butter, softened
2 c whole wheat flour
2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar
2 Tbsp dry milk powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Optional "Marrow" filling:
1/2 c mini turkey pepperoni, finely chopped

Parmesan cheese or Italian seasoning for topping.

Place ingredients (except for "marrow" and topping) in a bread machine in the order specified by your machine, and set on dough cycle.

Once dough cycle is complete, separate into about 40 equal pieces.
Mine end up being about 4"-5" long
To form bones without marrow - roll pieces of dough into thin log shapes, then cut the ends with a knife and form into balls at the ends, to look like bones.

To form into bones with marrow - roll into a flat rectangle, about 10" wide.  Cover half with pepperoni bits, and then fold the rectangle over the filling.  Pinch edges to seal, and then cut into strips.

For each bone, pinch the sides of each strip to seal in the marrow, and then form into bone shapes as directed above.

Allow to rise for about 20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375.  Spray the tops of the breadsticks with butter flavored cooking spray (or brush with butter) and top with parmesan cheese or italian seasoning.  Bake for about 15 minutes.

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Lunch: 10.29.10

Here's the problem with super cute lunches... she plays with them more than she eats them.  So, today is less cute, but hopefully will be more eaten...

Snack is two chocolate chip mini muffins (I didn't make them - they were in the day old  bakery section at the grocery store, and I have been busy readying for my Halloween party, so they looked like a good idea.  I think she'll agree) and a juice.

Lunch is a couple bone bread sticks (recipe forthcoming), ham on Halloween skewers, apple slices, a couple chocolate meringue bones (recipe also coming), and a chewy granola bar with pumpkin.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lunch: 10.28.10

Another Halloween-a-riffic snack and lunch!  I made some bone bread sticks for my Halloween party this weekend, and put a couple in Evalina's lunch.. recipes coming soon!

Snack is a peanut butter and honey jack-o-lantern on orange colored pain de mie (with a chocolate decorated face and some green glitter gel on the stem), along with a pumpkin oatmeal cookie, along with a juice.

Lunch is bone bread stick mummies, wrapped in ham, pomegranate seeds in the little green container, carrot fingers, jack-o-lantern babybell, a chewy pumpkin granola bar monster, and some apple fangs with an apple victim (with eyes).

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Lunch: 10.27.10

Made some new bread, and some new chewy granola bars with pumpkin!  And, also... cute little chocolate eyeball decorations.

I love Halloween.

Snack is a pumpkin shortbread cookie, apple slices, and a juice.

Lunch is apple-cinnamon mini rice cakes, a chewy granola bar with pumpkin (with eyes!  It looks a bit like an owl to me), pomegranate seeds, a ghost ham sandwich (with eyes!) on pain de mie, and a baby bell with a bat cut into it, in an EasyLunchbox...

Don't miss your chance to get  the free cooler bag offer from Easylunchboxes -valid until 11/10!

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Lunch: 10.26.10

I really need to make a loaf of pain de mie... maybe tomorrow.

Snack is some pomegranate seeds (in a container underneath), and some applesauce, along with a juice.

Lunch is chicken apple sausage skewers with apples, carrots with some cheese powder in the little container, homemade Greek yogurt with pomegranate seeds and vanilla syrup stirred in, and some more apple slices, packed in an EasyLunchbox...

And, FYI, the free cooler bag offer from Easylunchboxes is valid until 11/10 - if you want to read the saga of why they have been back ordered so long, go read about it on their FB page... but in the meantime, place your order to get a free cooler bag!

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Lunch: 10.25.10

I need to make some more bread, and I was super tired last night, so I didn't go all out on the Halloween thing... BUT - Pomegranates are back in stock at the grocery store, and The Girl couldn't be more excited!  She adores pomegranates.  And, they make great "monster eyes."

Snack is some apple slices and a chewy granola bar with pumpkin, along with a juice.

Lunch is a ham wrap with Miracle Whip on a whole wheat tortilla, with Autumn leaf picks, pomegranate seeds, homemade Greek yogurt with vanilla (I told her to stir the pomegranate seeds right into the yogurt.  Mmmm) and carrots with ranch dressing, in an  Easy Lunchbox.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Recipe: Twice Baked Potatoes with Feta and Chickpeas

I am so happy with this recipe!  I made little balls out of the leftover filling, and they are totally lunch-boxable.  The Girl loved LOVED them.

(I cannot load pictures right now, but I will later - or check on my Facebook page!)

 A note: I cooked my potatoes (before the stuffing) in the microwave.  I have a great microwave that has a "potato sensor cook" button, so it was simple and fool proof.  You could also bake them in the oven.

Twice Baked Potatoes with Feta and Chickpeas

4 potatoes, skins washed well
1/4 c feta cheese crumbles (I used low fat)
2/3 c plain yogurt (I used homemade non-fat Greek Style)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp garlic powder

Poke potatoes with a fork several times and place on a paper towel in your microwave.  Cook on high for about 8-10 minutes, then let sit in the microwave for a couple of minutes.  If they don't seem done, keep baking for a couple more minutes.

Slice potatoes in half and carefully scoop out their innards, leaving some of the flesh so that the skins don't break.  Combine the scooped out flesh into a bowl.  Add in cheese, yogurt, chickpeas, and garlic powder.  Mash well with a fork or a potato masher.  Scoop the filling back into the potato shells.

If there is any filling leftover, scoop into balls and put on a baking sheet with the filled potatoes.  Turn on your broiler and when it is heated, broil for 5-7 minutes.  Enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Recipe: Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies

And she's at it again!  Pumpkin mania continues!

I recently got this set of discontinued Halloween cookie cutters from ebay.  They are beautiful.  I plan on having lots of fun with them.  Lots more fun with them, that is, because I've already used the Jack-o-lantern one to make these fun Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies.

Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies

1/3 c butter
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 300 F.  Combine the butter and pumpkin puree until well blended.  Add in sugar, flour, and spices.  (You may need to add more or less flour, depending on your butter and pumpkin...)  Roll dough out between two sheets of parchment paper until about 1/2" thick.  Cut out with cookie cutters or cookie presses and bake for about 20-25 minutes.  If dough becomes sticky or hard to work with, you may need to refrigerate it, or sprinkle with a little flour or confectioner's sugar.

If desired, sprinkle with decorative sugars before baking.

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Lunch: 10.20.10

Snack today is a witches hat nutella sandwich on orange colored pain de mie, a babybell, some raisins, and a juice.

Lunch is a monster dog....

Which I did not come up with, it's been around the blogosphere for a very long time...

... a monster dog with some ketchup, homemade Greek style yogurt with strawberry jam stirred in, a chewy granola bar with pumpkin (not pictured), some apple slices, and a couple pumpkin shortbread cookies, in our Easy Lunchbox.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Lunch: 10.19.10

Today's lunch features a haunted house ham sandwich on orange colored pain de mie (pictures don't do it justice)!

But first, snack. She asked for a smaller snack, because apparently they are doing some sort of fun project after snack and she just wants it to be quick.  So, she has a couple pumpkin cranberry mini muffins and some apple cinnamon mini rice cakes, along with a juice.

And for lunch, to go with her haunted house ham sandwich on orange pain de mie, she has some homemade greek yogurt with strawberry jam mixed in, some apple slices, a chewy granola bar with pumpkin, and a babybell with a tiny apple in the wax, along with a couple pumpkin shortbread cookies (recipe to be posted soon), all packed in an  Easy Lunchbox!

This lunch is shared on What's For Lunch at Our House.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lunch: 10.18.10

It's a Halloween-a-riffic food day!

Snack is some of a new batch of homemade Greek yogurt with strawberry jelly stirred in, some strawberries (with a bone pick), and some juice.

Lunch is a Jack-o-lantern ham sandwich on orange colored (not flavored) pain de mie, a chewy granola bar with pumpkin, Halloween pretzels, a babybell jack-o-lantern, apple slices, and a couple jack-o-lantern pumpkin shortbread cookies (recipe coming), all in our Easy Lunchbox container (and there's still time to get a free cooler bag from Easy Lunchboxes, if you can wait for the back ordered containers to get back in stock - should be soon!)

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Lunch: 10.15.10


Snack is some apple cinnamon mini rice cakes, some strawberries, and a juice.

Lunch is ghost shaped ham stacks on a whole wheat tortilla, Halloween pretzels, a babybell, a pumpkin oatmeal cookie, a chewy granola bar with pumpkin, and an apple, in an Easy Lunchbox.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lunch: 10.14.10

Snack is again strawberries, a babybell, and a juice.

Lunch is a ham sandwich on a mini bagel, Halloween pretzels, a chewy granola bar with pumpkin, apple slices, and a couple pumpkin oatmeal cookies, packed up in her Easy Lunchbox.

By the way, there's still time to order the (currently back ordered) Easy Lunchbox containers and get a free cooler bag for your patience!  It looks like they'll be back in stock by the end of the month, so the wait won't be too long.  It's a great deal!

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lunch: 10.13.10

Snack is strawberries, a babybell, and a juice.

Lunch is a ham sandwich on pumpkin swirl cinnamon pain de mie (hope that she likes it), Halloween pretzels, apple slices, and a chewy granola bar with pumpkin, in her Easy Lunchbox.

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Lunch: 10.12.10

No cute snack box today - just a chewy granola bar with pumpkin and some strawberries, and a juice.

Lunch is a ham sandwich on a mini bagel, Halloween pretzels, a couple pumpkin oatmeal cookies, apple slices, and a babybell, all packed in an EasyLunchbox.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lunch: 10.11.10

Happy Monday!

Snack is some strawberries, a chewy granola bar with pumpkin, and a juice.

Lunch is some pumpkin swirl cinnamon raisin bread, with a little butter on it, Halloween shaped pretzels, a couple pumpkin oatmeal cookies, slices of apple, a babybell with a jack-o-lantern carved into it, and a mini bell pepper stuffed with a piece of ham, also with a face carved into it.  Not sure if she'll eat that, but I wanted to give it a try.  This is all packed in one of our Easy Lunchboxes.

This lunch is shared on What's For Lunch at Our House.

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Recipe: Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Again pumpkin?

Yeah... I love the stuff.  I hope you do, too.  Happy Fall.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

1 c butter, softened
3/4 c brown sugar
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 Tbsp honey
1 c pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
2 1/3 c oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Cream together egg, butter, pumpkin, and sugars.  Stir in dry ingredients.  Chill dough for about half an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Scoop chilled dough onto cookie sheets (I use a cookie scoop) and bake for about 12-14 minutes.  Cool on wire racks and enjoy.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Recipe: Pumpkin Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Yeast Bread

Have you noticed that I really love pumpkin yet?

I do.  And so do the kids.

And this one?  A winner.  I separated the dough into two and colored half orange, and then spread the cinnamon/butter/brown sugar in between the layers and on top before rolling the loaf up.  Really pretty effect, but optional. 

I used my Pain de Mie pan, but you could use a regular loaf pan if you don't have a pain de mie pan.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Yeast Bread

3/4 c water
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1/3 c applesauce and oil (to 1/3 c total)
1 egg
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 c wheat flour
1 c oats
1/3 c brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 oz (~1 Tbsp) yeast
1/4 c raisins
orange food coloring (optional)

2 Tbsp melted butter
1/4-1/2 c brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Combine ingredients for dough (except raisins) in the order specified by your bread machine (or make in a stand mixer).  Set to dough setting, adding raisins at the last kneading.  When dough is done, split into two equal parts and color half with orange food coloring if desired.

Roll each half of dough out into large rectangles (just long enough to fit into your bread pan).  Spread melted butter over the rectangle, then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Cover the first rectangle with the second rolled out rectangle and cover with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in the same way.

Fold sides of dough to cover the ends of the roll, then roll up cinnamon-roll style tightly.  Pinch the seam shut and transfer, seam side down, to your bread pan.

Cover the pan with a towel and let rise until about doubled in bulk.  Preheat oven to 350, and if using a pain de mie pan, place cover on the pan.  Bake for ~25 minutes, then remove cover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Brush hot bread with butter, then wrap in a kitchen towel and then in a plastic grocery bag and allow to cool.

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