Dec 29, 2009

fruit kabobs

No brain science on this one: slice up small chunks of fruit and put on toothpicks or small skewers. Feel free to add a little container of yogurt for dipping. (If it is an after school snack, melt a little chocolate for your fruit-dipping).

Fruits for skewers:

  • strawberries
  • apples
  • tangerines
  • grapes
  • blueberries
  • pineapples
  • kiwi
  • melon: watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew

Dec 26, 2009

deviled eggs

I think eggs are a great idea.

My boys love eggs: scrambled, poached, over-easy. Having hard-boiled eggs at lunch with a dash of salt and pepper is a treat.

But if you want to take it to yet another level, one that you can serve at a party or tuck into a lunch box, you can also make deviled eggs.

I can vaguely remember the first time I tried them. I was four. It was Thanksgiving. Relatives were mulling all about, conversing, standing around in cocktail-style. I was underfoot, a little kid where out of sight and out of mind came in handy. Usually, when it came to Thanksgiving thievery, I would find myself an accomplice. My nearest grabs were my cousin or my brother. And when it came to deviled eggs, no other thief was more perfect than my brother Kerry.

EggsHe loved deviled eggs---even more than I did. We would scramble through the conversation, the adult legs, the above-head chatter and steal passes at the nearby table. Buffet style? Even easier. Slide through, slide the egg in mouth, slide away. We were quite competent at egg inhaling. (A precursor to oyster-slurping)?

Adults wouldn't notice until almost no eggs were left. Maybe they caught us, maybe they didn't. Either way, it was too late. We had enjoyed these eggy jewels that belonged to holiday tables. Why not make your little thief's day? Add some deviled eggs to his/her lunch.

Dec 23, 2009

Peanut Butter and Apple Sandwiches

This is a great resource: All Recipes has a section dedicated to lunch box recipes:

One idea is to give peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a makeover. How about Peanut Butter and Apples? Here are more tips they---and I---suggest:

  • Because apples get brown, spritz them with citrus/water mixture (I use limes, All Recipes suggested lemon)
  • Substitute bananas for apples. Try almond or cashew butter instead of peanut butter, or chunky peanut butter instead of smooth. 
  • Wrap sandwich ingredients in whole wheat tortillas instead of using bread.
  • Freeze a small carton of milk or bottle of water to keep lunches nicely chilled until ready to eat.
  • Use crispy apples! Have your kids try different apple varieties, so they become 'apple experts.' They will feel super lucky and smart when they find their favorite Pink Lady or Granny Smith layered in their sandwich.
  • Have a PB&J taste party: try different nut butters, different apple varieties and of course different combinations. Do they prefer the Golden Delicious with Hazelnut Butter? Let them decide---your lunches will be that much more successful.
I am a big fan of letting kids have ownership in the food tasting, deciding and vote-giving. At the end of the day, they vote anyway: by eating or not eating. If you can't beat them, join them!

Dec 20, 2009

brown bag returns... with panettone!

I am back!

I am learning so much about blogging and online communities and I could not resist reinstating Brown Bag Blues. I think it has so much to offer, and is an important niche in the vortex of food-kids-parents. So many rich resources are out there, studded with lunch ideas, health updates, new snack ideas and products. Newsletters are flying all over the web, bloggers are multiplying, and companies keep trying their hand at filling our kids' lunches with the best of the best.

And ever is my goal to fill your brain---and mine---with good ideas for better lunches. To arm us with a marching food band: a regular, ticking supply of variety and honesty and interest to our kids' palates.

So here I am, ready to nab ideas from the web, share with you the lunch-rich blogs and sites that are ever popular, and of course extract recipes and inspiration from my own brown-bag-blues-beating brain. If ever there is a chance to educate our kids about quality versus quantity, about making good choices and about being open to novel flavors and textures: brown bags are the best.

And what a treat to be in Italy, exploring a whole new realm of snacks and seasonal foods. [In case you find me on this blog, you should know I blog at familyfrolics about living abroad for a year in Florence, Italy. And in case that isn't enough: I blog on talkoftomatoes about the other meal: dinner. Well, more than that. But you get the idea].

My boys are now 13 and 14, and hungry all the time. They are growing like crazy, their palates are evolving (they are growing out of the 'limited palate syndrome' that I think exists from around age 4 - 10), and snacks are of the utmost. School schedules here a bit different: they come home for lunch 3x a week, and eat lunch at school 2x a week. At home lunches are frequently focaccia sliced and filled with meat and cheese. And every day I send them to school with a snack; last week I sent them with slices of Panettone---a classic Italian dried-fruit studded bread (by the way, Panettone is fabulous toasted with butter and heavenly as french toast...).

Feb 12, 2008

bye-bye brown bag blues.

Now, don't be sad.

I am not; authoring this blog has been a lovely endeavor, and has kept me on my toes.

The only problem is, my toes are tired. Instead of maintaining two blogs, I have decided to focus on just one, my original blog:

Another reason to downsize my blogging commitments: there is a good chance I will be starting culinary school in the next few months. Something I will no doubt talk and talk about on my blog Talk of Tomatoes.

I still love the idea of Brown Bag Blues. I had a blast coming up with the idea and filling up this humble little blog with tiny size solutions for the lunch hour. All is not lost. If you enjoy this blog, note that:

  1. At least for now, I will leave this blog and all of its' ideas intact. So even though I won't be posting regularly, the ideas will live on.
  2. I have implemented a Brown Bag Blues category on my Talk of Tomatoes blog. Because I love to play around with food, a lot of recipes are developed for entertaining and dinners, but that doesn't mean I leave lunch out. I will post ideas for lunches in this new category; often it will include a recipe.
  3. This idea for Brown Bag Blues will stay with me; if it finds its feet again---elsewhere---I will let you know.
  4. THANK YOU for reading this blog; it warms my heart. Blogging is not about listening to oneself ramble, it is about reaching readers. You made it meaningful; please join me on my other blog!
Cheers, and thank you!


Related Posts with Thumbnails