Attention Moms with school aged kids!
Preparing school lunches turns into a dreaded chore for Moms, especially during the morning rush. A couple of years ago, one of my Mom friends mentioned that they freeze sandwiches. Pull a sandwich out of the freezer when packing lunches in the morning and by lunch time the sandwich is perfectly thawed. At the time I didn’t think much of it, but I also only had one lunch to prepare. Now that I have two kids in school – I totally get this idea! Of course I have two kids that have their own preferences – one like cheese, the other doesn’t – one likes mayo, the other prefers mustard. How can I keep track??!!
This is a great way to save time preparing your kid’s lunch box! Now I make it part of our Sunday night routine. The kids prepare clothes and backpacks and I make sandwiches for the week. Sandwiches can be stored in plastic storage bags or plastic wrap, but I am trying to make an effort to reduce waste and especially at school. I use an air-tight food storage container that will fit sandwiches in layers, using a Sweet Stackers tray to separate each kids lunch. One kid’s sandwiches are layered on the bottom and the other’s layered on top – this way I can keep track when I am packing them. Since, I am not storing the sandwiches for a long period of time, there are no problems with freezer burn or the bread drying out. The kids love them and they do not get soggy. Plus I like that the sandwiches are kept colder longer preventing deli meat or spreads to spoil.
Many Moms have asked, “What type of sandwiches do you make?”. I do prefer to use whole grain breads, but I noticed that my kids get bored with the same sandwich. All kids are different, but changing up the “traditional PB&J” can be fun and a good change for them! This week I am making ham and cheese sandwiches using Hawaiian dinner rolls and peanut butter and Nutella on whole grain Raisin Bread.
A couple of tips:
- Do not freeze lettuce, tomatoes or other similar toppings on the sandwich. Pack these items separately on the side.
- When making PB&J, smear peanut butter on both sides of the bread (at least a thin layer) to prevent the jelly from touching the bread. Jelly will make the sandwich soggy.
- Bento style storage containers (with dividers) are fun for the kids to store sides, dips, crackers, fruits & veggies. (We found some neat ones in the dollar section at Target!)
- Make your own Uncrustables – there are tools that will seal and cut the crust off.
- Shaped sandwich cutters (or cookie cutters) are a fun way to remove crust and cut into cute shapes.
Do you have any great tips to share?
It’s totally a delicious-homemade-soup-kind-of-day being snowed in during the deep freeze of 2014. Most likely you will have all the ingredients without having to run to the grocery store to pick something up. Plus it is a very forgiving soup if you don’t have one of the ingredients.
This soup was inspired by a recipe that appeared on Facebook via the Back For Seconds Blog. I actually didn’t have any chicken on hand, but I did have some left-over cooked turkey from the holidays.
Kitchen Tip: A container of chicken base is something that I always have on hand in my pantry. First, I can control the amount of sodium in my broth. Plus I don’t need to worry about having enough cans or cartons of broth for large batches of soup.
Creamy Turkey and Rice Crockpot Soup
- 6 cups of chicken broth
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4 cup long grain rice
- 1 to 2 cups of diced cooked turkey (or chicken)
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 1 cup of frozen corn
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup milk
Add broth, onion, carrots, bay leaves, garlic, pepper, cumin to crockpot. Cook on high for 2 hours. Add rice and cook for remaining 2 hours. When rice is cooked and expanded, add turkey, peas and corn. In a small mixing bowl add flour and milk and whisk until smooth. Slowly add the paste to the soup to thicken.
Enjoy a hot bowl of soup and stay warm!!
Deviled Eggs are a classic appetizer summer picnics or barbeques. Did you ever have a difficult time trying to store or transport an appetizer like this? There are special containers and glass platters made specifically for deviled eggs…but seriously, where do you have room to store a container or large platter that you may only use once in a while and ONLY for deviled eggs?
Sweet Stackers stackable trays can create two layers of deviled eggs in one 3″ deep air-tight container. This is perfect for transporting an appetizer like this to party or picnic. Plus Sweet Stackers trays can be used for so much more!
In order to prevent the eggs from sliding around, I placed curly parsley in the bottom of the container and on one of the trays, The eggs perfectly nested in between the parsley which made them easy to fill. The parsley was not only there to hold them, but also made a pretty presentation.
Classic Deviled Eggs
8 eggs; hard-boiled and peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
paprika for garnish
Hard boil the eggs, cool and peel. Slice eggs lengthwise in half, reserve the yellow yolk in a bowl. Mash the yolk with a fork, then mix with mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, S&P until creamy.
Scoop a spoonful or pipe the mixture into each egg white until full. Sprinkle with paprika for garnish.
One container with two layers of devilled eggs…pretty and easy to store or transport to your next party!
Visit sweetstackers.com for more information about our product and where you can buy it or visit our gallery to get more ideas.
Happy Spring! Well at least we finally had some sign of spring for a few days and now have drifted back to a touch of winter. But it sure makes me happy to see my garden has started to show a sign of spring because the asparagus is just starting to pop out of the ground. I am hoping to get a decent harvest finally this year, since it takes are few years to produce. Asparagus is my favorite vegetable and aside from the bulbs blooming, that is probably my favorite part about this time of year. Plus, finally good bunches of asparagus are available in the grocery store. So until I can harvest them myself…
This asparagus soup recipe was in my local newspaper and I can honestly say I never had this type of soup before. It was perfect comfort food to make for the rainy and chilly temps that arrived and reminds me that warmer temps are on the way!
Plus, I enhanced it to make it a healthier creamy soup. It was so easy and quite yummy!
2 lbs. asparagus, woody ends trimmed, reserve 8 spear tips
1 chopped onion
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 clove of garlic
3 TB olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Kitchen tip: I like to control sodium by using chicken soup base because I can add more water and reduce the measurement of the base. Use 5 cups of water and 3 teaspoons chicken soup base. I think the flavor is still good.
It a heavy stockpot, add olive oil and sautee onion, celery, carrot. Cook for 3 minutes, then add garlic, salt and pepper. Add asparagus and cook for 5 more minutes. Add chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Blanch the reserved asparagus tips in water for 3 minutes. Once the soup is done simmering, use an immersion blender or puree the soup in batches in a blender. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the plain yogurt.
Garnish with the asparagus tips.
This is one of my “go to” recipes when I need to bring an appetizer to a party, especially in the winter. I have been making this for a Superbowl party for the past few years and everyone seems to get pretty excited about it. This bread is seriously gone in minutes….so it must be good!!
Vienna Swiss Cheese Bread
1 Loaf Vienna Bread
1 lb. brick swiss cheese – cut in 1/4″ slices
3/4 C melted butter (or use half margarine)
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1 TB minced onion
1 TB dry mustard
1 TB lemon juice
4 oz sliced canned mushrooms (I used fresh too, and I liked it better)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut bread on a diagonal, 1/2″ apart, making sure not to cut through bottom on loaf. Cut bread the same way in the other diagonal direction. Place bread on heavy duty foil.
Insert pieces on cheese into every little slot of the bread. Mix melted butter and the rest of the seasonings. Pour over the top of bread. Sprinkle with mushrooms. Wrap up to create a tent and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.
Kitchen Tip: Bake for 1/2 hour and transport to the party house, then bake for an extra 1/2 hour so it comes out of the oven hot.