Sunday, September 7, 2014

Days 11-14

The days are going by too fast.  Here's a recap for last week's lunches.

Monday: Labor Day, no school

Tuesday: hot lunch - mini cheeseburgers (success!)

Wednesday: Mac & cheese with peas & meatballs (always a favorite)

Thursday: fried rice (another fave)

Friday: hot lunch - bean & cheese burrito (success)

Tomorrow will be another hot lunch day - grilled cheese sandwich.  It's probably time to add more money to his lunch account.  I have to admit, hot lunch is awfully convenient!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Days 9&10

Day 9: hot lunch - teriyaki beef dippers, rice, strawberries, milk
Verdict: Success!

Day 10: TJ creamy tomato soup with meatballs, peas, & corn, garlic cheese bread (hot dog bun)

Verdict: success!  This was a last minute scramble but turned out to be quite good.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Days 6-8

Day 6: hot lunch
Cheese calzone, applesauce, celery, milk
- fail: did not like the cheese calzone or celery

Day 7: cold lunch
Hot dog with cheese & ketchup, 2 clementines, steamed carrots & cauliflower
- success: only a couple cauliflower florets and the end of the bun was left

Day 8: thermos
Fried rice
- success: less than a spoonful left

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Day 4&5

Day 4 was leftover pasta from my one pot wonder (which A didn't eat the night before).  He didn't eat much, but everything else was gone.  It's hard for me to tell how much I'm packing in the thermos.  Maybe I should start measuring?

Day 5, I'm taking it easy.  Ham & cheese sandwich and fruit.  I'm betting the carrots come back but everything else will be gone.  Am I jinxing myself?

Update:  after... I have to say I'm a bit surprised!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Day 3

Bummer.  Forgot the photos.

Mac & cheese in the thermos.

Snack: cup of grapes and some veggie sticks & oat cereal

Verdict: success!  Everything was eaten. :)

Tonight's dinner was inspired by Damn Delicious' one pot wonders <>. It actually was quite tasty.  This picture, I realize, doesn't seem so.  :(

One pot wonder

1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
1 small eggplant, cubed
1 c carrots, diced
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 26 oz jar marinara or spaghetti sauce
1/2 lb pasta
1 1/2 c water

Brown ground beef.  Drain excess fat.  Add onions, cook until translucent.  Add veggies.  I used what I had on hand - eggplant, carrots, and mushrooms.  Add 1 jar of marinara or spaghetti sauce, 1/2 lb of pasta, and 1 1/2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until pasta is to desired softness.

Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Day 2

Chicken soup with square crackers (aka saltines), 6 tater tots, and a Pluto (no, pluot!  DYAC)

I even drew an arrow on the thermos to help A know which way to turn and open.  I thought that was pretty clever.

Verdict: Bust!  For snack, I sent a container of grapes, and stuck in the remainder of his breakfast, probably about a third of a whole wheat cinnamon roll with sunbutter.  I guess he ate all of that at 11:00 for snack so when lunch rolled around and 12:30, he wasn't all that hungry.  The soup was virtually untouched, the crackers had been added to the soup for a lovely congealed mess, but the tater tots were gone as well as half of the pluot.  Tragically, A did not close his thermos all the way so it leaked out all over his lunchbox and into his backpack.  Ugh.

So now I'm rethinking, maybe it is good to send a hearty snack and a lighter lunch.  I'll have to think about that.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Day 1

Lunch verdict:  All the meatballs & peas were gone and just a few pineapples left.  2 breadsticks was too much.  Next time, 1 will suffice.  Good lunch!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Lunch test run

2 Ham & cheese sandwiches
Carrots, microwaved 30 sec in a sandwich bag to semi-steam
Blueberries & pluots

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Another waffle recipe

Another waffle recipe

I added tofu and banana in this one and also added some whole wheat flour, which muddled up the pretty yellow color of the cornmeal.  :(  But I wanted to go back to adding more protein and nutrition in this batch.  I also reduced to 1 egg so Mr A could eat more without being worried about consuming too much egg.

The waffles turned out kind of heavy and also not very crispy, probably because of the extra water from the tofu and banana.  Bummer, soggy waffles.  But since they're just going into the freezer and will be crisped up in toaster before eating, not really a big deal. :)

 Another waffle recipe

1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 brick of tofu, mashed
1 egg
2 T vegetable oil
1 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2  Tbsp granulated sugar
1 c cornmeal
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c Trader Joe's multi grain baking mix

Mix until combined.  Cook in waffle iron until brown & crispy.  (Or just brown and fully cooked.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cornbread waffles

Cornbread waffles seem to be a good breakfast for us lately.

Today's recipe comes from the back of my cornmeal bag.  It's actually a recipe for muffins, but I just cut the flour down to 1/2 cup and it looked like a pretty good consistency for waffles.  I also used 1/2 buttermilk and 1/2 whole milk. The waffles are not very doughy, a little grainy, but I think I'm ok with that.  I think next time I will use vegetable oil to see if that will help increase the crispiness.

1. Melt butter.  Cool slightly.  Whisk in 1 egg at a time.

2. Add 1/4 cup of sugar.

3. Whisk in 1 cup of cornmeal.

4. Whisk in 1/2 cup buttermilk and 1/2 cup whole milk.

5. Add 3 teaspoons for baking powder and...

1/2 cup of AP flour.

6.  Whisk until combined.

7. Add 2 big scoops into the waffle iron.  Cook until brown and crispy.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Across the street from our old place was a fantastic Mexican grocery store with the best nachos and burritos.  I miss that place so much that I go back at a least once a month (twice in the last week to make up for missed times!) because I crave it.  It's a guilty pleasure.

Anyway, around the holidays, there are always big bags of prepared masa and corn husks on display.  It's always got me thinking of making tamales.  I know it's a big, time intensive thing so it's great to do when family's around.  Well, I don't have family around now, but I just made a batch of carnitas and we were there, so we got masa and corn husks.

I spent some time googling  and YouTubing "how to make tamales".  Then, I decided to just go for it.

1. Soak corn husks in hot water.

2. Prepare filling.  I had carnitas that I shredded.  It was in the fridge so that juice and fat were a bit congealed, which turned out to be a good thing - it made the filling juicier and not dry. 

 I also had some leftover turkey so I mixed that with some salsa verde and even though it's not very authentic, a couple tablespoons of cheddar cheese.  Shredded rotisserie chicken would be good too.

3. Spread masa on corn husks (about 1/4" thick).  What I read was use the back of a spoon.  I tried this but found pressing it out with the heel of my hand worked better.    Rolling it into a ball...

then into a fat log...

then pressing it out worked even better.

4. Put a tablespoon of filling in the center, then roll the corn husk from one edge to the other.  

Tuck in the sides.  You can tie the tamale with a thin strip of the corn husk.  From what I read, one side is typically open, so you want to steam that side up.  I decided to tuck both sides in and ended up tying both ends.  A little more work, but since I don't have a steamer to stand the tamales up, I figured this was a good idea for me.

5.  Steam for one hour.  Apparently, there are actual vessels out there for tamale steaming.  I suppose a pasta pot with strainer type thing would work too.  But the closest I have is my big sauce pan and a wire rack from my toaster oven.  

I could only fit 7 at a time, but maybe I could fit them on top of each other too?  To do list: get a steamer thing.

The result? Probably not the most authentic tamales but pretty tasty.  I think the key is the masa, which I bought pre-made.  My trouble has been that the masa comes in a 5 pound bag and I can't seem to make enough tamales to use it up.  Maybe it's time to have a tamale making party!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


You know how when you make burgers, they end up being half the size they started out as?  Like how you made a patty and then it's shrunk to half the size of the bun?  Frustrating, right?  My solution - sliders!  Make mini burger patties for mini burger buns.  Genius.

1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, grated
2 shakes of worcestershire or steak sauce
1/8 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper

1. Combine all ingredients.  Do not over mix.

2. Form approximately 8 patties.  Slightly push down the center of the patty to make an indentation.  This will help the patty cook more evenly.

3. Heat a large pan.  Place patties in pan, leaving approximately 1 inch space around each.  Cook for 2-3 minutes per side.

4. Remove from pan and let patties rest on a plate.

5. Serve with favorite toppings.  (I went with pepper jack and guacamole.)