Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lunch: 9.1.11

The Girl has a clementine and a couple school bus animal crackers for snack, along with a juice.

For lunch, she has sugar snap peas with ranch, strawberries and grapes, an English muffin sandwich with ham and cheese, a hard boiled egg, and a couple chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, in an Easy Lunchbox.

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Lunch for the Boy: 9.1.11

Bus animal crackers - 5g each (x3), grapes - 10g
Snack is a three school bus "animal" crackers and some grapes.

Sandwich - 25g.  Granola bar - 18g.  Feta cheese - 1g.  Cucumber - 1g. Ranch - 3g.  Watermelon - 6g
Lunch is watermelon, cucumber pieces with ranch dressing, ham and cheese on an english muffin, herbed feta cheese cubes (The Boy loves feta cheese!) and a homemade chewy granola bar, all packed in our favorite Easy Lunchbox container.

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Recipe: My Mom's Biscuity Cinnamon Rolls

I cannot believe I have not posted these on the blog before!

When I was a kid, my mom would make these cinnamon rolls every so often for a special breakfast... I actually had no clue that most people think of cinnamon rolls as the yeasted rolls until I was in high school.  True story.

I love these rolls because they are easy and quick.  I told the kids that I would make them a surprise breakfast for the first day of school, and these cinnamon rolls were ready within half a hour of waking up.  And, everyone loved them.
Couldn't resist taking a bite...

My Mom's Biscuity Cinnamon Rolls

1 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 c skim mik

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

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Put the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a food processor.  Add the butter and pulse until it is combined with the dry ingredients.  Add the milk and turn the food processor on until the dough forms a ball.  You may need to add a little more milk.

Turn the dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper.  Roll into a rectangle, about 1/4" thick.  Spread the melted butter on top of the dough.  Top with the brown sugar evenly, and sprinkle with the cinnamon.  Roll up carefully and tightly.

Cut into about 1" slices.  Place onto a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

I got 16 rolls out of this recipe, and that makes for about 100 calories and about 20g carbs per roll.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lunch: 8.31.11

A note: So as to keep with how I've labeled lunches before, The Girl's lunches will simply be "Lunch," and the boys will be "Lunch for the Boy."  Any lunches for Daddy and I will be labeled as such.

The Girl starts 3rd grade!  She chose her lunch today and helped to pack it.

Her snack is a homemade chewy granola bar and a few dried plums, along with a juice.

For lunch, she has bananas (with some Ball Fruit Fresh sprinkled on), strawberries, carrot sticks with ranch, a roll up on a tortilla with homemade mayonnaise, ham, and cheddar cheese, along with some mini cookie bites, packed in our handy Easy Lunchbox container.

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Lunch for the Boy: 8.31.11

First day of Kindergarten for my Boy!

A note, for new readers, The Boy is a Type 1 Diabetic, so I will be including carbohydrate counts with his food.
Yogurt: 8g carbs, Strawberries: 6g carbs
For snack, he has some strawberries, and some homemade Greek yogurt with some pureed blueberries and peach (which I used the other day when I made polka-dotted fruit leather), which I put into a silicone ice pop mold so that it would be like gogurt ... the jury is out on these it seems rather precarious to put these in lunch and expect them not to pop by the time snack time comes... I saw another idea on making homemade "gogurt" in food saver bags, and I've got one of those gizmos, so I might try that if this explodes.
Sandwich: ~25g, banana: 23g, cucumber: 1g, carrots: 2g, Ranch dressing: 2g, bus crackers: 15g total (5g each), milk: 22g
For lunch, he has a ham and cheddar sandwich on homemade pain de mie (cut into letter shapes, per the boy's request, the C got a bit squished), a small banana, some cucumber and carrot pieces with ranch dressing, and a school bus "animal" crackers.  This lunch is packed in my trusty Easy Lunchbox container.

He also has a vanilla Horizon milk, but I don't know that those will be a staple, because I couldn't get them at Costco, and at the regular store they are too expensive.  I was also hoping to get some non-flavored ones at Costco, but all they had for box milk was soy and chocolate.  Not interested in either, thanks.  If The Boy ends up wanting milk with his lunch, I may just let him buy it at school.  Time will tell.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Recipe: Beet Cheddar Crackers with Flax

I found this recipe a while ago, but I haven't had a chance to make it until now.  Since I've been baking up a storm through the storm (winds raging outside, lots of rain, but we still have power - so far), I had time!

Mine didn't turn as lovely red in color as the original recipe - I think this is because I didn't use orange cheddar, but extra sharp Cabot cheddar instead.  So... I remain convinced that while my crackers are more of a pale pink/orange color than the original recipe's lovely red, they have the wonderful benefit of having Cabot Cheddar in them!

I made my crackers round with scalloped edges like Ritz crackers, and poked some holes in them before baking because they puff up.

They really are totally wonderful, and very easy.  I used canned beets and measured out 2 oz of the puree (about 1/4 c).  I bet it would be better with fresh beets, but that's all I had.  I made about 47 crackers, and they end up being about 35 calories and 2 g of carbs a piece.

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Recipe: Simple Mayonnaise

What do I do when I'm stuck at home?  I cook and bake.  Cleaning?  Bah.  That can wait.

The kids wanted sandwiches for lunch.  The Girl asked if we had any mayonnaise or Miracle Whip for her ham & cheese.  We had neither.  But!  I can make mayonnaise. 

This is a very simple mayo recipe.  You could fancy it up quite easily by adding other spices, different mustard, a little vinegar (or fancy vinegar even!), olive oil.  Possibilities abound.  I used my food processor, but you could use your blender or immersion blender, or if you are very industrious, a hand whisk.

Simple Mayonnaise

1 egg (or pasteurized egg - this is raw egg, be aware)
2 tsp mustard
1 Tbsp lemon juice
200 ml (a little more than 3/4 c) canola oil

Put the egg, mustard, and lemon juice in the food processor.  Turn on, and drizzle in oil.  Mix until the mayonnaise is emulsified and spreadable.  Store in a jar in the fridge, but not for more than a week, since the egg is raw.

Enjoy on sandwiches or how you would regular store bought mayo.

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Recipe Revisited: Cookie Bites

Last September, I made these tiny Vanilla Cookie Bites.

Today, I am stuck in my house and it's raining hard outside... we may lose power later when the wind picks up due to Hurricane Irene.  We are only getting the very edge of the storm, but it's still enough to keep us home.

What better to do than bake (and hope that the power doesn't go out while the cookies are in the oven)?

I made the dough just as before (with the addition of a tiny bit of almond extract), but I took about a quarter of it and added some cocoa powder and a tiny bit of Espresso Powder (to deepen the chocolate flavor).  I put them both in pastry bags and went to town.

I really wanted to make happy faces.  That was more work that it was worth..

And some of them came out looking demented.

So, I switched to star tips and we made "flowers," or a bigger vanilla-almond star with a tiny chocolate star in the middle.

The Girl helped.  I was actually surprised that she did so well with the pastry bag.

For some reason, this made about 190 cookies, as opposed to the 330 cookies I made last time.  I must have made them much bigger this time.  I still baked them for 10 minutes, and they were perfect.

They ended up being about 10 calories and 2g carbs per cookie.  And they are totally adorable.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Recipe: School Bus "Animal" Crackers

You can still enter to win my brother's novel, The Prize!

The other day, I decided it would be fun to make school bus shaped cookies or crackers for the start of school.  I started doing a search for small school bus cookie cutters...

And then I realized I already had one.

I bought this set of transportation sandwich cutters from AllThingsForSale recently, and hadn't played with them yet, but lookie - a school bus!!

I wanted to make an animal cracker type cookie - not too sweet, not too savory.  The previous recipe I used for animal crackers tasted good, but was a bit of a pain to work with.

This recipe is much easier to work with, if not as healthy... I will try replacing some of the flour with whole wheat next time, adding in some flax seeds..  But for now, I just have some lovely school bus "animal" crackers!  The Girl adores them.  They would be lovely with some jelly or nutella or peanut butter sandwiched between them.

These School Bus Crackers have about 45 calories each, and 5 g carbs.  (For new readers, The Boy is a Type 1 Diabetic, so I'll be keeping track of carb counts on his lunches.  These will be going into a lunch for sure.)

School Bus "Animal" Crackers

1 c rolled oats
4 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c buttermilk (or milk with a splash of vinegar, let sit for a minute or two)
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Put oats in a blender and grind into a fine powder.  Add the remaining ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the dough forms a ball.

Roll out to about 1/2" or 1/4" thick.  Cut with your favorite cookie cutter - I used this sweet school bus.

Put on a parchment lined cookie sheet and put in the freezer for 5 minutes.  This will keep the cut-outs from losing their shape.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on wire racks and enjoy.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

An Off-Topic Giveaway: The Prize by (my brother) Lars D.H. Hedbor

What's Back to School without a good book to read?

If you have been on my Facebook Page, you've probably seen my very proud announcements... my big brother, Lars D. H. Hedbor, has published a book!

The book is called The Prize, and it is the first in his series of tales from the American Revolution.  He has a second book at the publisher as we speak!

It is available in e-book format (for only $3.99) for Kindle, Nook, and others, and has just become available in paperback!

Here's the synopsis from Amazon:
Caleb's father is serving with Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys as the long-anticipated open war against the British rages up and down the length of Lake Champlain. Between his duties on the family farm and constant worry about his father's safety, the young man's attentions are already fully occupied when a fateful encounter with an unlikely neighbor changes everything. Pulled into new intrigues and new friendships, Caleb finds himself on a path that changes his life - and which will affect the outcome of the whole war.

Because I want to share my brother's wonderful talent with you, I have decided to give away one copy of The Prize in paperback to one lucky reader!  To enter, just leave a comment below about your favorite historical period to read about.

If you are on Facebook, I encourage you to "like" his author page (Lars D.H. Hedbor), and the book page (The Prize).  This is not necessary to enter the contest, but it's cool to keep up on news from him (and to look out for new books to come!)

As always, I need a way to contact you.  Anonymous commenters, with no contact information, cannot win.  If I can't contact you, I can't get your address to send you your prize of The Prize.  Simple as that.  US entries only, please.

One comment per person, please.

I will choose a winner, using, on Friday, September 2nd at 6 PMish, EST.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Recipe: Mini Meatloaves

The Hubby made some burgers this weekend, and there was some ground beef leftover... so I made some mini meatloaves!

I threw in some great veggies, which you could do according to what you have on hand.
Whoops, forgot to take a picture before I started eating!

I served it alongside some mashed potatoes, and it could have used some green veggie, to tell the truth.

Mini Meatloaves

1 1/2 lb ground beef (or turkey)
1 c baby carrots
1 large onion
1 small yellow squash
1 c rolled oats
1 Tbsp pizza seasoning (or your favorite spice mix)
1 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1/2 c ketchup
3 Tbsp brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Put veggies in a food processor and chop finely.  Mix together with meat and oats.

Add in the seasoning and Worchestershire sauce.

Form into mini loaves and put into 6 mini loaf pans.  Mix the ketchup and brown sugar together and brush on top of the loaves.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the loaf is about 160 F.

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Lunch for Mommy: 8.22.11

I am trying to get better about packing my own lunch, and blogging it.  I've been supplementing my lunches with food from the work cafeteria, because it is delicious.  And cheap.  But I really want to be better...

So, today I have a cheddar sandwich on pain de mie, half a peach, and some Emerald Breakfast on the Go mix.  (I will absolutely make something like this myself... it looks pretty easy!)

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Lunch for an Outing: 8.22.11

The Girl is going to spend the day with a good friend, so I packed her lunch.

I got some new fun sandwich cutters from and I wanted to play with them.  Super fun!  I can't wait to do other things with them.

The Girl has a couple clementines, a cheddar sandwich on pain de mie (cut into cute shapes), some Emerald Breakfast on the Go (I want to make some of this myself... it's a good mix), and a couple WhoNu cookies for dessert, all packed in my handy Easy LunchBox.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back to School Giveaway: Lunchbox Love Note Winner!

Thank you to all who entered!  I hope that those of you who did not win will consider picking up some Lunchbox Love Notes in any case - I have mine all set for most of the school year!

As chosen by, the winner is... #12 - Christine!

Christine said:  I discovered Say Please and Lunchbox Love last school year and I have to say my favorite thing is the Lunchbox Love notes for kids. I introduced this with my daughter last year and I loved getting to choose the perfect card for the day (Wether encouraging for a test, thanking her for helping me around the house, or putting in a sweet sentiment when we had a rough morning) and she really looked forward to lunch time! She even saved all of them, didn't want to throw them away. It is a great concept and I look forward to buying more as I only had 4 volumes last year.

BTW, I just found your blog/facebook through the Lunchbox Love facebook recently and wanted to say hi and you do a great job -- I am always looking for new ways to do my daughters lunches.

I will send your email address over to the good folks at SayPlease, and they will get in touch with you as to how to redeem your prize. 

Thank you again to all who entered, and I hope to have another giveaway soon!

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Recipe: Paneer Butter Masala

Don't miss your chance to enter my Lunchbox Love Note Giveaway!

The Girl and I made Indian Paneer yesterday, and wanted to make a recipe with it tonight.  Enter my own version of Paneer Butter Masala.  I used a combination of three spice mixes from Teeny Tiny Spice Company, but you could use your own spices.

The Girl adored it, mostly because she helped make the cheese!  She couldn't get enough of it.  The Boy ... well, he just wanted ranch dressing.  Can't win them all.

Paneer Butter Masala

2 onions
1 batch paneer (~250 g)
2 Tbsp oil (or ghee if you have it)
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp Teeny Tiny Spice Tandoori Masala
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ginger powder
3 Tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp curry powder
1 can tomato puree
2 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp Vadavan
1/2 c water
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp cream

Heat a pot of water, skin the onions, and blanch for 2 minutes.  Remove from the water, cut into quarters, and puree.  Reserve blanching liquid.
Paneer in a pan

Nicely browned

See?  All browned
Cube paneer. Heat oil in a nonstick saute pan over medium high heat, and brown the paneer on one side.  Paneer will not melt when heated. 
Yummy marinated paneer
In a small bowl, combine about a cup of the onion blanching liquid along with tumeric, tandoori masala, and salt.  Remove the browned paneer from the pan and soak in the spiced water for about 10 minutes. Drain and reserve the paneer.

Meanwhile, in the same sautee pan that was used earlier, melt 2 Tbsp butter.  Stir in the onion puree and sautee until lightly browned.  Stir in garlic powder and dried ginger and fry for about 3 minutes.  Add peanut butter and curry powder and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Whisk in the can of tomato puree, along with the Garam Masala and Vadavan.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the soaked paneer, along with about 1/2 c water.  Simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
Melting butter

Just a little cream
To finish, add an additional 3 Tbsp butter to the pan and stir until melted.  Whisk in the cream and serve with basmati rice and a vegetable.

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