Fruit, Peeps, Spring Break!

lunch on 24 Mar 2016: yogurt with berries, jam, oats and coconut, carrot sticks, apples, peanut butter filled pretzels and a Peep!
lunch on 23 Mar 2016: orange slices, raspberries, peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches, peanut butter filled pretzels and crunchy cinnamon apple sticks
lunch on 23 Mar 2016: orange slices, raspberries, peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches, peanut butter filled pretzels and crunchy cinnamon apple sticks
lunch on 24 Mar 2016: yogurt with berries, jam, oats and coconut, carrot sticks, apples, peanut butter filled pretzels and a Peep!
lunch on 24 Mar 2016: yogurt with berries, jam, oats and coconut, carrot sticks, apples, peanut butter filled pretzels and a Peep!

The kids are officially on spring break: yeah for them. We’ll be kicking off Easter weekend with elaborate egg dying and some Peep sushi making. Have you heard of Peepshi? Evidently, it’s a thing (of course it is) and Lily can’t wait to make it. Happy Easter!

Sweet, Vegetarian and Yummy

lunch on 22 Mar 2016: berry yogurt with oats, mini peanut butter and Nutella sandwich, veggies and crunchy cinnamon apple sticks
lunch on 21 Mar 2016: rice cakes with Nutella and jam, banana, veggies and crunchy cinnamon apple sticks
lunch on 21 Mar 2016: rice cakes with Nutella and jam, banana, veggies and crunchy cinnamon apple sticks
lunch on 22 Mar 2016: berry yogurt with oats, mini peanut butter and Nutella sandwich, veggies and crunchy cinnamon apple sticks
lunch on 22 Mar 2016: berry yogurt with oats, mini peanut butter and Nutella sandwich, veggies, raisins and crunchy cinnamon apple sticks

We’ve started this week off with two delicious, kid-approved lunches. On Monday, it was a couple of rice cakes with Nutella and jam in the middle, half a banana, some carrots, cherry tomatoes and the kids’ current obsession: Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Apple Sticks. Today’s lunch had a nice yogurt bowl made with plain yogurt, strawberry preserves, oats and fresh raspberries. On the side: a little peanut butter and Nutella sandwich, raisins, tomatoes, cucumbers, and more of those sweet and crunchy cinnamon apple sticks.

Green Tea Yogurt with Honey and Strawberries

lunch on 18 Mar 2016: green tea yogurt with honey and strawberries, carrots, tomatoes, soda bread and crunchy rice roll
lunch on 18 Mar 2016: green tea yogurt with honey and strawberries, carrots, tomatoes, soda bread and crunchy rice roll
lunch on 18 Mar 2016: green tea yogurt with honey and strawberries, carrots, tomatoes, soda bread and crunchy rice roll

We’re keeping the green theme alive after St. Paddy’s Day. Iain loved the matcha chia pudding I made for yesterday’s lunch and requested it again. Unfortunately, we ran out of chia seeds, so I suggested a green tea yogurt combination: plain yogurt + a little match powder + honey. Delicious! Why didn’t I think of this combo sooner. A few strawberries on top makes this yogurt extra pretty. I also packed some veggies, a crispy rice roll (we have tons of these from Costco) and a piece of nontraditional Irish soda bread that I made yesterday (adapted from this excellent recipe). Happy weekend.

soda bread made with coconut oil and yogurt
soda bread made with coconut oil and yogurt

St Patrick’s Day Green Tea Pudding

lunch on 17 Mar 2016: green tea chia pudding, edamame, peanut butter and Nutella sandwich, and peanut butter filled pretzels
lunch on 17 Mar 2016: green tea chia pudding, edamame, peanut butter and Nutella sandwich, and peanut butter filled pretzels

Today’s green-themed St. Paddy’s Day lunch has a matcha green tea chia seed pudding made with almond milk, bananas, matcha powder, chia seeds, and a drizzle of honey. Mmm. For even more green, I threw in some edamame. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any ripe avocados, so I couldn’t make a green sandwich.

What’s in my Crock-Pot?

St. Paddy's Day Crockpot: corned beef and herbs
St. Paddy's Day Crockpot: corned beef and herbs
St. Paddy’s Day Crock-Pot: corned beef and herbs

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya. It’s St. Paddy’s Day, so naturally my Crock-Pot has a gorgeous hunk o’ corned beef brisket in it. In about 8 or 9 hours, it should be cooked to perfection. I think I might do something radical for dinner: serve the corned beef with roasted veggies (cauliflower, sweet potatoes and carrots), sautéed greens (kale and spinach, instead of cabbage), and mashed potatoes (perhaps with some parmesan and a teensy bit of yogurt for tartness). It’s not exactly traditional, but I’m not super crazy about the boiled veggie part of boiled dinner. There I said it. Sorry, Mom.

Salami, Cheese and Pickles on Fresh Egg Bread

lunch on 16 Mar 2016: salami, cheese and pickle sandwich with carrots, orange slides, cherry tomatoes and crackers
lunch on 16 Mar 2016: salami, cheese and pickle sandwich with carrots, orange slides, cherry tomatoes and crackers
lunch on 16 Mar 2016: salami, cheese and pickle sandwich with carrots, orange slides, cherry tomatoes and crackers

For today’s lunch I made salami and cheese sandwiches on that delicious egg bread that the bread machine made yesterday. Yummers! I also added some nice, colorful fruits and veg: baby carrots, oranges from our tree, little tomatoes and the ever popular Goldfish.

Bread Machine Update

glorious loaf of egg bread
glorious loaf of egg bread
glorious loaf of egg bread

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I made the rather extravagant purchase of a crazy kitchen unitasker: a bread machine. Since the big beast arrived, I have been using that bad boy like crazy to make: wheat bread, white bread, pizza dough, focaccia, carrot spice bread and the beautiful loaf of egg bread above. So far, every loaf has turned out perfectly. The proportions of a bread machine loaf are a little insane (quite tall), but this is a minor price to pay for ultimate bread-making convenience.

A Yogurt Bowl and Loads of Mango

lunch on 14 Mar 2016: chia seed vanilla yogurt with bananas and strawberries, peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches, dried apricots and sweet rice roll
lunch on 14 Mar 2016: chia seed vanilla yogurt with bananas and strawberries, peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches, dried apricots and sweet rice roll
lunch on 14 Mar 2016: chia seed vanilla yogurt with bananas and strawberries, peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches, dried apricots and sweet rice roll

I got a little spoiled last week when the kids had short days and packed their own little snacks. This week, it’s back to lunch packing and full days of school. We started the week with some sweet chia yogurt loaded with strawberries, bananas and honey. I also made peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches on homemade carrot spice bread.

lunch on 15 Mar 2016: mango with ham, cheese, carrots and peanut butter filled pretzels
lunch on 15 Mar 2016: mango with ham, cheese, carrots and peanut butter filled pretzels

For lunch today, I cut up loads of mango and packed assorted nibbles: a roll of ham, some Irish cheddar cheese, carrot sticks and peanut butter filled pretzels.

A Lunch Date

Iain enjoying a turkey club sandwich at Urbane Cafe
Iain enjoying a turkey club sandwich at Urbane Cafe
Iain enjoying a turkey club sandwich at Urbane Cafe

This week has been parent-teacher conference week at the kids’ school, so they’ve had early release days. When school gets out at 1:01pm, it seems ridiculous to pack a full lunch, so the kids have just been taking little snacks and eating lunch at home. Today, I was able to pick the kids up from school and take them out to lunch to celebrate some stellar report cards. We started with delicious sandwiches at Urbane Cafe and finished with big cups of frozen yogurt at Yogurtland.

Lily and her big cup of fro-yo
Lily and her big cup of fro-yo

Lunch Roundup and Bread-Making Extravaganza

lunch on 2 Mar 2016: applesauce with a peanut butter and Nutella sammie
lunch on 2 Mar 2016: applesauce with a peanut butter and Nutella sammie
lunch on 2 Mar 2016: applesauce with a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich, veggies and Goldfish

Lunch making just got a little more fun here at Love and Lunch, because—BIG NEWS—we just got a bread machine. I love to make bread and was raised in a house of homemade bread made by my Mom (and expert baker) who learned how to make bread from her Mom (and expert baker), my amazing Nanny Yetman. Well, both Mom and Nanny are probably having a heavenly tête-à-tête right about now—enjoying a nice cuppa and discussing what a hopeless Yankie (this is the Newfoundland term for us ‘Mericans) I am with my newfangled bread machine. Now, I never even considered buying a bread machine until a good friend, neighbor, expert baker and all around superDad extolled the incredible convenience of a bread machine. I thought about it, did some research and then thought about it some more. Then I asked our wonderful neighbor to make us a loaf, which the kids promptly declared the “best bread ever.” Sold.

The bread maker arrived last Thursday, and since then I’ve made three loaves of white bread, one loaf of whole wheat bread and a focaccia (by using the pizza dough setting). This bread is not artisanal or crusty or complex: it’s super soft, amazing sandwich bread. The process is ridiculously easy: measure ingredients, put in pan, press start. A loaf of white bread takes four hours start to finish. Wheat bread takes longer: five hours. Dough whips up in about 45 minutes. Amazing. I’m in love with this newfangled contraption.