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?
I have to say that I was very intrigued with the “frozen” part of this Frozen Raspberry Lemon Muffin recipe. Frozen Muffins, really? Do these looks frozen to you?
This week I am trying to cram in as many summer activities as I can before my kids start school. I took them to a local farm called You Pick Berries to pick raspberries at the peak of their season. The raspberries were big, beautiful and plentiful. We even tasted a few along the way.
Last night I couldn’t wait to bake something with our fresh raspberries, but I usually like to have my kids work with me. So I made these muffins all the way up until the point of baking them and popped them in the freezer overnight.
Frozen Raspberry Lemon Muffins
2 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 C buttermilk (* see kitchen tip)
1/3 C canola oil
2/3 C granulated sugar
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 TB lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C fresh or frozen raspberries, plus more for topping
* Kitchen Tip – if you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can mix 1 C milk with 1 TB white vinegar or lemon juice and let it stand for 5 minutes. Then measure out what you need for your recipe.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and salt. In another large bowl, beat the eggs and whisk in the buttermilk, oil, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined and then fold in the raspberries. Fill 12 muffin cups just below the rim and place 3 raspberries on top.
The muffins are ready to bake or the muffin tin can be placed in a freezer until the batter is frozen (at least 3 hours). The frozen muffins can be transferred and stored in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Do you ever get a sudden craving for homemade muffins with no work other than popping them in the oven?
When you are ready to bake, the frozen muffin cups should be placed back into a muffin tin and baked at 350° for 30 minutes. Test the muffins with a toothpick until it comes out clean.
My kids woke up to the smell of homemade muffins and they were pretty excited to find out that they were made with the farm fresh raspberries that they picked.