Happy Day After Halloween

halloween lunch with mini mummy pizzas

My favorite Halloween treats to make for the kiddos are these adorable mini mummy pizzas. They take a few more minutes to make than the standard sandwich, but they’re well worth the effort. I typically use sweet, soft King’s Hawaiian rolls, which are sliced in half and layered with marinara sauce, string cheese and sliced black olives for the eyes. Aren’t they adorable?

mini mummy pizza

Why Sliders Are the Best

turkey slider with cheese

When I was in high school, I loved to eat a plate of sliders and fries at this place in Omaha called The Diner. It was, well, a charming little diner with classic diner food. Ever since I discovered those mini burgers, I’ve been obsessed with sliders. I don’t even know where the term “sliders” originated. I should do some research on the internets.

In the meantime, I’ll just continue to have fun making different types of sliders. I love a straightforward beef and American cheese slider loaded with pickles, lettuce and Thousand Island (secret sauce) dressing. Sometimes, I’ll mix it up with turkey or pork or even salmon. The other day, I made turkey sliders with sautéed kale and mushrooms incorporated into the burgers. They were fantastic. I always try to make a few extra burgers, so I have some leftover for lunches. They’re actually delicious cold.

grownup lunch with turkey and cheese sliders served with a green salad
grownup lunch with turkey and cheese sliders served with a green salad
a kid lunch with a turkey and cheese slider, veggies, apple slices, Goldfish crackers, almonds and a chocolate eyeball treat
a kid lunch with a turkey and cheese slider, veggies, apple slices, Goldfish crackers, almonds and a chocolate eyeball treat

 

Getting Kids in the Kitchen, or, Outside of the Kitchen

learning the proper way to remove a slider from the grill

I’m continually trying to come up with ways to get my kids interested in food prep and cooking. Some days it’s easier than others and I don’t try to force it if they’re not feeling it. A few days ago, my husband decided to give Iain, who is almost 12, a little grilling lesson. This kid LOVES burgers. And, he also loves fire, so it was a perfect combination. We made sliders, which are especially kid-friendly in terms of both flipping and eating.

Iain gets slightly smoked out while grilling
Iain gets slightly smoked out while grilling
Iain gets an audience
Iain gets an audience
learning the proper way to remove a slider from the grill
learning the proper way to remove a slider from the grill

The best part about making sliders: serving them for lunch the next day. The kids said they were delicious cold. Too bad there weren’t enough leftovers for me to have some for my lunch.

lunch with fruit, carrots, pretzel thins and a mini cheeseburger
lunch with fruit, carrots, pretzel thins and a mini cheeseburger

Lunches with Variety

lunch on 7 Nov 2016: quesadilla with carrots, sweet peppers, and watermelon

Here is a roundup of last week’s lunches. You can see certain recurring motifs: watermelon, big green grapes, and colorful carrots (we all love little dark purple carrots). And, cheese, lots of cheese.

lunch on 7 Nov 2016: quesadilla with carrots, sweet peppers, and watermelon
lunch on 7 Nov 2016: quesadilla with kale, lettuce, carrots, sweet peppers, and watermelon
lunch on 8 Nov 2016: cheese and crackers, trail mix, grapes, banana, and persimmon slices
lunch on 8 Nov 2016: cheese and crackers, trail mix, grapes, banana, and persimmon slices
lunch on 9 Nov 2016: peanut butter and Nutella sandwich with Goldfish, watermelon and grapes
lunch on 9 Nov 2016: peanut butter and Nutella sandwich with Goldfish, watermelon and grapes
lunch on 10 Nov 2016: cheese and butter on whole wheat pitas, salami sticks, sliced radish, carrots, and grapes
lunch on 10 Nov 2016: cheese and butter on whole wheat pitas, kale, salami sticks, sliced radish, carrots, and grapes

You Know You Want One: Pizza Bagel

lunch on 7 Sept 2016: cheese pizza bagel with strawberries, raspberries and colorful carrots
lunch on 7 Sept 2016: cheese pizza bagel with strawberries, raspberries and colorful carrots
lunch on 7 Sept 2016: cheese pizza bagel with strawberries, raspberries and colorful carrots

I just love a good pizza bagel: mmm, cheesy carbilicious. Unfortunately, this was not my lunch, but the kiddos’ and they definitely enjoyed it. Clean plates all around.

A Bagel, Two Ways

lunch on 16 Feb 2016: cheese pizza bagel with tomatoes, pretzels, mango and blackberries
lunch on 16 Feb 2016: cheese pizza bagel with tomatoes, pretzels, mango and blackberries
lunch on 16 Feb 2016: cheese pizza bagel with tomatoes, pretzels, mango and blackberries

The kids have another short week thanks to the President’s Day holiday. That’s two four-day weeks in a row; they’re getting spoiled.

As far as lunches go, we’re on a bit of a bagel kick. Lily had bagels and berry cream cheese for her class Valentine’s Day party Friday and came home raving about how good bagels and cream cheese are. No argument here—although bagels seem like such an indulgence in these days of gluten-free everything. For lunch yesterday, I made cheese pizza bagels. For today’s lunch, I made a raspberry chia tapioca pudding (it tastes way better than it looks) which I served with a banana, carrot sticks, and half a bagel filled with strawberry cream cheese. Mmm, bagels and cream cheese.

raspberry chia tapioca pudding with strawberry cream cheese bagel, banana, and carrots
raspberry chia tapioca pudding with strawberry cream cheese bagel, banana, and carrots

Lunch Round-up: Surviving Week 1

lunch on 5 Jan 2016: pizza bread with tangerines, kiwi, pretzels and blackberries

We’re getting through the first week on the new year and surviving being back in the school/work routine. I’ve been mixing it up with the lunches this week: lots of variety. On Tuesday, it was pizza bread, Wednesday was loaded with fruit, and Thursday’s lunch has quesadillas because the kids like quesadillas and, we’re out of bread.

lunch on 5 Jan 2016: pizza bread with tangerines, kiwi, pretzels and blackberries
lunch on 5 Jan 2016: pizza bread with tangerines, kiwi, pretzels and blackberries
lunch on 6 Jan 2016: mixed berry yogurt with chia seeds, fruit salad, granola bar and trail mix
lunch on 6 Jan 2016: mixed berry yogurt with chia seeds, fruit salad, granola bar and trail mix
lunch on 7 Jan 2016: quesadilla with apple slices, cherry tomatoes and pretzels
lunch on 7 Jan 2016: quesadilla with apple slices, cherry tomatoes and pretzels

 

Two Ways with Smoked Turkey

lunch on 18 Nov 2015: smoked turkey and cheese slider with carrots, tomatoes, cucumber slices, tangerine, apple slices and crunchy lentil curls
lunch on 18 Nov 2015: smoked turkey and cheese slider with carrots, tomatoes, cucumber slices, tangerine, apple slices and crunchy lentil curls
lunch on 18 Nov 2015: smoked turkey and cheese slider with carrots, tomatoes, cucumber slices, tangerine, apple slices and crunchy lentil curls

This cute and colorful lunch has a little bit of everything: different bites of fruits and veggies, crunchy snacks and a smoked turkey and cheese mini sandwich.

lunch on 19 Nov 2015: smoked turkey quesadilla with crunchy lentil curls, tangerine and carrots
lunch on 19 Nov 2015: smoked turkey quesadilla with crunchy lentil curls, tangerine and carrots

And here’s another variation on the smoked turkey theme: a quesadilla with mozzarella, cheddar and smoked turkey served with more crunchy snacks (lentil curls from Trader Joe’s—surprisingly yummy) a tangerine and some baby carrots.

Pizza Bread, Extra Cheesy

lunch on 17 Nov 2015: pizza bread with parmesan Goldfish, tomatoes, carrots, persimmon and apple slices
lunch on 17 Nov 2015: pizza bread with parmesan Goldfish, tomatoes, carrots, persimmon and apple slices
lunch on 17 Nov 2015: pizza bread with parmesan Goldfish, tomatoes, carrots, persimmon and apple slices

I just love pizza bread. It’s so satisfying, especially when made on little rosemary parmesan rolls. In keeping with the parmesan theme in this lunch, I also included the favorite Goldfish flavor of the house: parmesan, of course. Sides are particularly pretty fruits and veggies: sweet grape tomatoes, crunchy baby carrots, crisp persimmon slices and tart Pink Lady apples.

A Spooktacular Lunch

lunch on 30 Oct 2015: ghostadilla with persimmons, carrots, red pepper slices and crispy pea snacks
lunch on 30 Oct 2015: ghostadilla with persimmons, carrots, red pepper slices and crispy pea snacks
lunch on 30 Oct 2015: ghostadilla with persimmons, carrots, red pepper slices and crispy pea snacks

Last night I was in my typical Thursday—What am I gonna make for dinner? I’m really tired. What’s in the fridge? What am I gonna make for lunch—frame of mind. I was THIS close to slacking off and not preparing a Halloween-themed lunch. But, then I rallied and mustered the energy to make really dead ghost-shaped quesadillas—ghostadillas if you will. Aren’t they cute?

Happy Trick or Treating. Happy Halloween. Happy Fun Weekend!

Chili + Cheese Quesadillas

lunch on 28 Oct 2015: chili cheese quesadillas, carrots, sweet red peppers, Goldfish and pumpkin bread
lunch on 28 Oct 2015: chili cheese quesadillas, carrots, sweet red peppers, Goldfish and pumpkin bread
lunch on 28 Oct 2015: chili cheese quesadillas, carrots, sweet red peppers, Goldfish and pumpkin bread

On Monday I made a big pot of chili. Some of that chili went into these tortillas, along with some shredded cheese, to make delicious chili quesadillas. For veggies, I sliced up some sweet farmers market carrots and red bell peppers. I also include a few parmesan Goldfish and two small slices of pumpkin bread.

Quesadilla with Egg + Cheese, or: Eggadilla

lunch on 19 Oct 2015: quesadilla with egg, persimmons, applies, kiwi, and pumpkin bar
lunch on 19 Oct 2015: quesadilla with egg, persimmons, applies, kiwi, and pumpkin bar
lunch on 19 Oct 2015: quesadilla with egg, persimmons, applies, kiwi, and pumpkin bar

I love quesadillas with eggs. A little scrambled egg makes the humble quesadilla so much more satisfying. And, it’s easy. Just lightly scramble an egg, pour it in a cast iron pan, sprinkle some cheese and salsa on top, press a tortilla onto this delicious gooey mess, and fold it over to crisp up both sides of the tortilla. Then serve it with some yummies like: persimmon slices, apple slices, half a kiwi and a small piece of pumpkin bar (made with Trader Joe’s delicious pumpkin bar mix).