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Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping If you plan out your meals, grocery shopping bills can be sliced and diced!

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 11-06-2002, 03:34 PM
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With this use discretion.....depending on who you are sending with this (child v.s. adult)...pour hot water in the thermos to keep the hot dog warm.

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 11-06-2002, 04:48 PM
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Let's Pack Lunch

Let's Pack Lunch

It's back to school time and back to packing lunches five days a week.
But how do you find a variety of things that are nutritious, satisfying, keep well, and appealing to the kids? Here are some suggestions:

1. Something Different: Rolled Ham and Cheese Sandwich
2. Dessert is Important: Peanut-Butter Slices
3. Ten Tips for Packing Lunches
4. On the Web Site: Hearty Pasta for Fall Suppers

__________________________________________________ ___________________

1. Something Different: Rolled Ham and Cheese Sandwich

This easy-to-make sandwich has unlimited variations. Select the spreads
And fillings you like best and be creative.

Rolled Ham and Cheese Sandwich
Makes 6 Servings

1 12-inch wide fresh lahvash (Armenian cracker bread)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 to 2 tablespoons prepared mustard of your choice
1/2 pound sliced ham
1/2 pound sliced cheddar or American cheese
1 cup very well drained prepared cole slaw

1) Stir together cream cheese and mustard. Spread out lahvash on work
surface and spread with cream cheese mixture.
2) Arrange ham and cheese evenly over lahvash. Top with cole slaw.
3) Starting with one short end, roll bread up like a jelly roll. Cut
roll crosswise into 6 slices. Wrap each individually and place in a plastic sandwich bag just in case the cole slaw still contains some moisture. Refrigerate until ready to pack.

2. Dessert is Important: Peanut-Butter Slices

The extra little touch of homemade cookies makes it worth opening your
Lunch box. It's like a note from Mom that says, "I Love You!" And it's not that difficult to do if you plan ahead and prepare and freeze rolls of cookie dough on a quiet weekend afternoon. Just bake, cool, and wrap after dinner and they are ready to pop into lunches in the morning. This one's a favorite.

Peanut-Butter Slices
Makes About 80 Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup firmly-packed light-brown sugar
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted

1) In a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter,
sugar, and peanut butter until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
2) Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat on low speed just until
3) Divide dough in half. Between sheets of wax paper, roll each half to
make a 10- by 8-inch rectangle. Spread each with half of the chocolate,
leaving a 3/4-inch strip along one 10-inch side without chocolate.
4) From other 10-inch side, roll up dough to make a log. Chocolate will
flow slightly to cover area where there was none. Roll each log in wax paper and then in freezer wrap. Dough may be frozen for up to 3 months.
5) To bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease one or more baking
sheets. Slice desired number of 1/4-inch thick slices from log. Place about 1 inch apart on baking sheet and bake until lightly browned--6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks and wrap for packing or store in an airtight container.

3. Ten Tips for Packing Lunches

* For menu variety, plan ahead and purchase several different kinds of
luncheon meat, then freeze in single sandwich servings. To prepare
sandwiches, cut frozen meat in half and tuck into sandwiches, still
frozen, before adding the top slice of bread.

* Prepare extra grilled meat or vegetables and salads when making
dinner. Package and refrigerate until ready to pack lunches in the morning.

* Cook twice as much pasta, rice, or beans as needed when making
dinner, then add dressing and fresh vegetables for a lunchbox salad the next day.

* Rinse and slice vegetable sticks the night before; refrigerate in ice
water, then drain and pack in plastic bags in the morning. Pack a small
container of salsa for dipping.

* Most lunch box sandwiches are best if prepared in the morning.
However, you can slice, wrap, and refrigerate meats, cheese, or tomatoes and rinse, separate, and crisp greens the evening before.

* If packing lunches for more than one person, prepare different kinds
of sandwiches and pack half of each kind in each lunch.

* Prepare and freeze a variety of cookie doughs ahead. If drop cookie
dough, freeze individual mounds on baking sheet, then transfer them to a resealable plastic freezer bag. Or, go ahead and bake the cookies and freeze wrapped in small servings ready to put into lunch boxes.

* Make sandwiches on rolls, flat breads, biscuits, vertically sliced
muffins, and tortillas for variety.

* Don't forget the fresh fruit. It is naturally sweet, requires little
preparation, and travels well.

* Always include a cold pack or a frozen juice box to keep lunches
cold. Tuck cold pack or juice box into a plastic bag to keep moisture away from other items in the lunch.

4. On the Web Site: Hearty Pasta for Fall Suppers

No matter what you pack for lunch, the kids will be ravenous by dinner.
And you'll want to get a hot, filling meal on the table as quickly as
possible. Try 1 of these easy pasta dishes when the evenings get cooler:

For Rosy Macaroni and Cheese click on
<a href=" >"
minutemeals/pages/recipes/pasta/pg0047 </a>

For Spaghetti Carbonara click on
<a href=" >"
minutemeals/pages/recipes/pasta/pg0059b </a>

For Orecchiette with Sausage, Tomatoes and White Beans click on
<a href=" ">
minutemeals/pages/recipes/pasta/pg27 </a>
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 11-06-2002, 04:50 PM
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Brown Bag Lunches

Brown Bag Lunches
Note from Cheri:Whether you're looking for a way to make your child's school lunch more palatable or trying to save some bucks by carting your own lunch to the office, we've got some wonderful ideas for you. Why settle for the same boring sandwich everyday when you can have a Fabulous Brown Bag lunch. The trick to making it special is not to think of a packed lunch as a chore that must be done, but rather as a chance to have a picnic each and every day. Now doesn't a picnic sound more appealing than lunch at the cafeteria or a fast food burger? Of course it does.

Before you pack your lunch, be sure to read our Food Safety Tips, because food poisoning is never fun!Brown Bag Tips · If you have to make a lot of sandwiches, try the assembly line method: Lay out slices of bread, spread each slice with butter, mustard, mayo or any other spread you are using. Go down the line and add toppings, finish with top slice of bread, then wrap. · For easier spreading, freeze breads first, then make your sandwiches. This can also help keep foods chilled and it will be thawed in time for lunch. · Use frozen ice packs to help keep cold foods cold. Freezing drinks like juices and iced teas can also help keep foods cold, and who doesn't prefer a cold drink (keep in mind that the containers are likely to sweat while thawing, so wrap you food well so it doesn't get soggy). · For a nutritious and low calorie lunch, pack some raw, or lightly steamed (then chilled) vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower or carrots. Add a small container of dip (or individual package of salad dressing) and you've got a great snack or lunch addition. · Hummus, whether used as a dip or a sandwich spread is a great addition to any lunchbox. · Don't forget stuffed tomatoes! Stuff with tuna or egg salad or even potato, pasta or rice salad. · A thermos can keep things hot as well as cold, which opens up a host of lunchtime possibilities. How about soups, or pastas or even stir-frys? A wide mouthed thermos container can be the brown bagger's best friend. Just fill with piping hot food and seal. It will stay hot until lunchtime. · Tired of the same old sandwich? How about cold pizza for lunch? Don't forget salads instead of sandwiches (perfect for those cutting carbs). · What's exotic for us in normal fare in Japan. Sushi Rolls make terrific lunchbox fare. · Frittatas are great served cold and are perfect for packing in a lunchbox. · Savory tarts, pies and quiches can often be served at room temperature and add an elegant touch to any box lunch. · If you and your co-workers bring your lunches to work, why not start a Brown Bag Club? Divide the week up between 5 co-workers, each day a different person brings brown bag lunches for the group! Tired of the same old boring lunch? Try these recipes instead! · Hummus · Sushi Rolls · Caprese Sandwich · Eggless Egg Salad · Ultimate Tuna Sandwich · Tuna Sandwich with Capers & Fresh Basil · Tote Along Tuna Sandwich · Veggie Tortilla Wraps · Ham & Cheese Roll-ups · Chopped BLT Sandwich · Cobb Sandwich · Cobb Salad · Southwest Cobb Salad · Goat Cheese Sandwich with Roasted Peppers & Fresh Basil · Chopped Veggie, Almond & Feta Sandwich or Salad · South Western Frittata · Vegetable & Swiss Frittata · Crustless Florentine Tart · Double Cheese Potato Tart · Deep Dish Artichoke & Red Pepper Quiche · Flaky Salmon & Asparagus Tart · Goat Cheese, Pepper & Bacon Tart · Low Carb Turkey Salad · Stuffed Tomato with Vegetables & Rice · Egg Salad Stuffed Tomato · Pickled Eggs · Beet Pickled Eggs · Scotch Eggs · Pesto Pasta Salad · Cilantro Tomato Pasta Salad · Tuna Pasta Salad · Chilled Cucumber Soup · Spicy Cajun Gumbo · Vegetarian Lentil Stew · First State Vichysoise Lunchbox Treats!· Peanut Butter & Jelly Granola Bars · Whoppee Pies/Devil Dogs · Easy Chocolate Brownies · Low Fat Brownies · Almond Joy Cookies · Oatmeal Date Cookies · Snickerdoodles · Backpacker Bars · Baby Ruth Bars · Nanaimo Bars· Sweet Potato Buttermilk Bars · Chocolate Rugalach · Pumpkin Cranberry Cookies · The Ultimate Lemon Bars · The Ultimate CookiesFor more lunchable recipes, be sure to check out our feature on Picnics.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 11-06-2002, 04:51 PM
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Back to School Lunch Ideas

Back to School Lunch Ideas

(523 total words in this text)
(571 reads)

By Brandie Valenzuela

It is that time of the year again - back to school! While some are returning this next week, others have been back for quite a own children returned to school over a month ago. However, it go without saying, that no matter if your children have been back for a while or if they are just now starting to get ready for the big day, you can never have too many lunch ideas!
1) Save your yogurt containers! After eating the yogurt, wash them thoroughly and fill with liquid Jell-O or pudding mixture (before it sets), cap, and refrigerate. This gives you individual snack-sized Jell-O or pudding at a fraction of the cost.
2) Take leftover cooked chicken and make chicken strips. Pack dippers such as salsa, ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, ketchup, honey mustard, or pizza sauce.
3) Use a variety of breads. Try Italian varieties, sourdough, different grains, Hawaiian bread, and different rolls.
4) Pack string cheese or cheese cubes. Send along bread sticks or crackers to eat with them. Or pack a prepared cheese spread with breadsticks for dipping.
5) Cut fresh fruit into bite-sized pieces and use fruit-flavored yogurt or pudding as a dip. Or mix the fruit with your prepared Jell-O (see Jell-O tip).
6) Each day include a short note to your child. Anything that shows them you love them and you are thinking of them will show your child you care.
7) Layer creamy peanut butter on a flour tortilla with jelly or fruit spread and roll up "wrap" or "jellyroll" style. Slice crosswise into pieces. Select the size tortilla depending on your child's appetite.
8) Heat frozen waffles and make a sandwich with them, using peanut butter and jelly. Or cut them into bite-sized pieces or sticks and send syrup for dipping.
9) Add fun to your child's lunch by using colored plastic wraps. Or during the holiday's, use special prints that are usually for plastic wrap, zipper-type bags, and napkins.
10) Cut open a bagel and spread each side with cream cheese. Lay several slices of lunchean meat on top of cream cheese and make into a sandwich.
11) Kids love to dip! Send baby carrots, celery sticks, or broccoli trees with their favorite dip or dressing. Or send peanut butter as a dip, and include some sliced apples.
12) Create your own "Lunchables"...cut meat slices and cheese into pieces that will fit on crackers. Pack the meat, cheese, and crackers together. Have extra mustard or mayo packets from your take-out? Pack those along for condiments.
13) If your child loves sandwiches and won't let you try anything new, have fun with the sandwiches - cut the sandwich into interesting shapes or cut with cookie cutters.
14) It doesn't have to be jelly everyday! Some other ideas for sandwiches using with traditional peanut butter are: sliced bananas, honey, butter/margerine, raisins, and thinly sliced apples.
15) Did you know you can create "wraps" with bread? Simply take a slice of your favorite bread (softer breads work better), and lay a slice or two of your favorite lunch meat and cheese on it. Roll up the bread tightly, making sure to press the edges of the bread together to seal.
About The Author: ©2001 Brandie Valenzuela is a freelance writing mother of three children. She is also the editor of the Family First Newsletter and The Creative Scrappers Newsletter.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 11-06-2002, 04:56 PM
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10 Super-Yummy Lunches

Ready for 10 super-yummy and super-quick lunches that'll awaken your taste buds and put to rest your view of boring brown bag meals? Smith recommends you check out these 10 gourmet on-the-run lunches.

1. Cheese Quesadillas
Sprinkle 2 ounces shredded part-skim cheddar cheese on a fat-free whole-wheat tortilla. Add peppers, tomatoes and/or mushrooms, if desired. Drizzle with salsa. Fold and brown in a nonstick skillet until cheese melts. Serve with melon slices.

2. Baked Spaghetti
Spread cooked whole-wheat angel hair pasta into a sheet pan. Top with one jar of Classico Tomato Basil Sauce and sprinkle with one pound of shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes on 375 degrees. One serving is index card size (about 3"x5"). Freeze the remaining servings for up to 6 weeks. Serve with "Salad in a Bag" with low-fat vinaigrette dressing.

3. Vegetable Tortilla Pizza
Brush a large whole-wheat flour tortilla with Classico's Tomato Basil Sauce and top with chopped veggies of choice. Sprinkle with grated mozzarella. Bake until lightly brown and crisp (about 5 minutes on 450 degrees). Serve with baby carrots.

4. Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Grill a marinated chicken breast (you can grab one from your freezer!). Serve on a whole-grain bun with lettuce, tomato, salsa or Dijon mustard. Add a side of fresh fruit.

5. Turkey and White Bean Soup
Add pre-cooked smoked turkey breast to chicken stock, tomato and Cannellini Beans. Serve with raw veggies and fresh fruit.

6. Quick Taco Salad
Rinse off canned black beans. Season with Creole seasoning and sprinkle shredded part-skim cheddar cheese. Heat and serve over mixed greens. Top with crumbled baked Tostitos and salsa. Serve with sliced oranges.

7. Even Quicker Greek Salad
Top mixed greens (from a bag!) with crumbled feta cheese, shredded Boar’s Head turkey or ham, and drizzle with low-fat vinaigrette dressing. Serve with toasted petite whole-wheat pita and a piece of fruit.

8. Cheese Baked Potato
Microwave potato for four minutes. Cut in two and top both halves with cooked broccoli florets and Laughing Cow cheese wedges (2 per potato) or other part-skim milk or soy cheese. Microwave until cheese melts. Top with nonfat sour cream. Serve with salad and low-fat vinaigrette dressing.

9. Turkey Tortilla Roll
Spread a whole-wheat flour tortilla with Dijon mustard. Top with sliced Boar’s Head turkey, shredded lettuce, diced tomato and shredded part-skimmed cheddar cheese. Roll up burrito-style and serve with seasonal berries.

10. Tuna or Salmon Salad Pita
Mix 1 small can of water-packed salmon or tuna with 1 tablespoon lite mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, chopped red pepper, 1/2 diced apple, and salt and pepper to taste. Stuff into whole- wheat pita lined with lettuce leaves. Serve with remaining sliced apple.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 11-07-2002, 09:31 AM
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Momszoo -

If you fill the thermos the night before with boiling water and put lid on and let sit all night - the next morning dump water out and put food inside it. This should help keep it warmer until lunch. My dh does this with his coffee thermos and says it works great.
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Old 11-11-2002, 04:11 AM
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bbkimberly--Thanks! I have actually thought about keeping the hot water in the thermos, but my kids would have it spilled all over them. I don't send the hotdog with my 8 year old anymore, just my six year old. He doesn't complain. As long as it isn't too hot he will eat it!
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Old 11-11-2002, 02:49 PM
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LOL...sounds like my kids. My 9 y.o. is picky about things being warm enough but I think I can trust with the water (although I wouldn't use water any hotter than he could drink) and my 5 y.o. isn't picky - he is so warped he likes cold mac 'n' cheese.....

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Old 11-11-2002, 02:59 PM
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Dinsky, your sandwiches of baby swiss cheese, tomatoes and lettuce sounded so good I went right to the store and bought the ingredients and that is what my husband and I had for lunch yesterday after church!!
Sometimes the simplest of ingredients make the best lunches!!!
And, sometimes, it takes someone else to make a good suggestion when we get in a rut of eating the same thing all the time!
You sound like a very health conscience person. I am too, for the most part...I have a sweet tooth,tho, that I don't think I will ever be able to get rid of.....
"I'd rather be riding the train"
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