And Just Like That, It’s Another School Year

lunch on 24 Aug 2017: ham and guacamole pocket with pea sprouts and red pepper, peanut butter filled pretzels, plums and apples

I can’t believe that the lazy days of summer are over and the kids have been in school for a full week. I am full of optimism for this new school year. I now have a 4th grader and a 7th grader (first time middle schooler!), so I feel like an old pro at lunch making.

Here is how the first week went:

lunch on 21 Aug 2017: peanut butter, Nutella and banana sandwich with carrots, lipstick peppers, and an apple
lunch on 21 Aug 2017: peanut butter, Nutella and banana sandwich with carrots, lipstick peppers, and an apple

I’ll admit that the first day of school snuck up on me. It was the day after my daughter’s dance recital and it coincided with the epic solar eclipse (which wasn’t so epic here), so there was a lot going on. For lunch, I stuck to a classic combination: peanut butter, Nutella and banana (quite possibly the greatest sandwich ever) with some crunchy veggies and a little farmers market apple.

lunch on 22 Aug 2017: ham, cheese and sprouts sandwich with carrots and plums
lunch on 22 Aug 2017: ham, cheese and sprouts sandwich with carrots and plums

On Tuesday, my son actually tried school lunch for the first time ever. He was underwhelmed by the “street tacos” so I’m not sure if he will by buying lunch at the middle school too often. For Lily’s lunch, I made a ham and cheese sandwich with butter and pea sprouts.

lunch on 23 Aug 2017: edamame hummus and sprouts sandwich with salami, lipstick pepper, plums, nectarines, Goldfish and almonds.
lunch on 23 Aug 2017: edamame hummus and sprouts sandwich with salami, lipstick pepper, plums, nectarines, Goldfish and almonds

My kids are crazy about these salami sticks that come in two-pack at Trader Joe’s, so I typically throw them into a lunch at least once a week. On Wednesday, I also included a little sandwich with edamame and hummus, half a super sweet lipstick pepper, some plums and nectarines and parmesan Goldfish with almonds.

lunch on 24 Aug 2017: ham and guacamole pocket with pea sprouts and red pepper, peanut butter filled pretzels, plums and apples
lunch on 24 Aug 2017: ham and guacamole pocket with pea sprouts and red pepper, peanut butter filled pretzels, plums and apples

I was motivated to try something a little different for lunch on Thursday. I folded a tortilla around some sliced ham and guacamole to make a little pocket of yumminess (a little cheese glues the edges together). These were a big hit with the kids, so I think I’ll be making more tortilla pockets in the future.

lunch on 25 Aug 2017: pretzel bread with sprouts and grilled fish, carrots, plums, Goldfish and almonds
lunch on 25 Aug 2017: pretzel bread with sprouts and grilled fish, carrots, plums, Goldfish and almonds

On Friday, the lucky kiddos got sandwiches made on pretzel bread filled with leftover grilled cod fish and sprouts. How yummy does that sound? Whew, we survived the first week of school.

 

Crunchy Veggies, Kiwifruit and Assorted Breads

lunch on 6 Dec 2016: homemade roll with butter and jam, salami sticks, carrots, kiwi, and a satsuma

We’ve started out the school week with assorted featured breads. On Monday, I had some leftover French toast, which made some nice little Nutella and jam sandwiches. While I had the Nutella out, I spread some on a tortilla and rolled it up with a banana inside. Yum!

lunch on 5 Dec 2016: French toast with Nutella and jam, banana and Nutella roll up, kiwi, carrots, radishes and candy cane pretzel treats
lunch on 5 Dec 2016: French toast with Nutella and jam, banana and Nutella roll up, kiwi, carrots, radishes and candy cane pretzel treats

Yesterday, I made some delicious rolls using my trusty bread machine to mix and knead the dough. Aren’t they lovely?

homemade dinner rolls
homemade dinner rolls

So, naturally, the kids wanted some rolls in today’s lunch. I went with my favorite way to eat a fresh roll: with butter and raspberry jam. Total comfort food.

lunch on 6 Dec 2016: homemade roll with butter and jam, salami sticks, carrots, kiwi, and a satsuma
lunch on 6 Dec 2016: homemade roll with butter and jam, salami sticks, carrots, kiwi, and a satsuma

A Friday Snacky Lunch

lunch on 9 Sept 2016: crackers, hard-boiled egg, salami sticks, cheddar cheese, carrots, strawberries, and a little chocolate
lunch on 9 Sept 2016: crackers, hard-boiled egg, salami sticks, cheddar cheese, carrots, strawberries, and a little chocolate
lunch on 9 Sept 2016: crackers, hard-boiled egg, salami sticks, cheddar cheese, carrots, strawberries, and a little chocolate

Today the kids get their favorite kind of lunch: snacky finger food. There are lots of yummy little bites in this lunch: a hard-boiled egg with salt and pepper (technically a hard-steamed egg since America’s Test Kitchen has taught me that steaming is preferable to boiling eggs), crackers, salami sticks, cheddar cheese, carrots, and strawberries.

How to Make the Perfect “Boiled” Egg

Choose a pot based on the number of eggs you want to cook: the eggs should fit comfortably in one layer on the bottom of the pan or in a steamer basket. Put about an inch of water in the pan and heat it until it’s nicely bubbling. Carefully lower your eggs into the hot water (if you have lots of eggs to cook, it’s easier to put them in a steamer basket and lower them all at once). Put a lid on the pot and lower the heat so that it continues to simmer. Cook for 6-1/2 minutes for the perfect soft-boiled egg. And when I say perfect, I mean perfect: the whites will be set and the yolk will be gloriously runny in the center. Cook for 13–14 minutes for the perfect hard-boiled egg. Experiment with the time until you find your version of the perfect hard-boiled egg. I like mine with the yellows just a little soft and darker in the very center. Run the eggs under cold water for about 30 seconds, peel and enjoy your perfectly “boiled” egg.

Thanks to those geniuses at ATK for doing all the work to discover the perfect way to boil eggs.