Tuesday, February 19, 2013

School Lunch Week 4

As you can see I was super super busy last week as I myself started a new course at a College. I am now studying Certificate 2 in Business which is rather boring but I do think I will benefit from it in the end and in the mean time I am making some great new friends!

So yes last week was a bit hectic as I got used to my new schedule and so I missed doing Week 3's school lunches!! But now I am back up and running properly so today I will share with you my menu for the week :)

This week we had:

Monday: Apple - Cinnamon/Choc Brownie - Yoghurt - Capsicum and Corn Tartlets

Tuesday: Nectarine - Brownie - Chips - Capsicum and Corn Tartlets

Wednesday: Apple - Jelly and Pudding - Veg Sticks - Pizza Scrolls

Thursday: Watermelon - Chips - Yoghurt - Ham and salad rolls

Friday: Watermelon - Jelly - Chips - Ham and Salad Roll

We did have a problem this week as I was super excited to try out these Cinnamon and Chocolate Brownies but they had nuts in them! As my youngest doesn't have anyone in his class that is allergic to nuts he was ok but my daughter who is in High School has a best friend who is allergic so she asked not to have them. If you do make these it is probably best as an after school snack and not as a lunch box treat. They are super delicious so you must try them :)

And this week I will share with you the recipe for the Brownies as well as the recipe for the Capsicum and Corn Tartlets:

Cinnamon and Chocolate Brownies

115g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
200g butter, plus extra for greasing
85g pecan nut halves
250g caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
225g plain flour
2tsp ground cinnamon
55g white chocolate, broken into pieces
2tbsp milk
115g icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease a 23cm/9in shallow square cake tin.

2. Melt plain chocolate and 175g of the butter in a heatproof bowl, set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

3.Set 16 pecan halves to one side for decoration and chop the rest. Beat together the caster sugar and eggs with a whsk until thick and creamy. Then fold in the choc mixture, flour, cinnamon and chopped pecans.

4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 35 - 40 minutes, or until firm to touch. Leave to cool in the tin.

5. Melt remaining butter and white chocolate in a heatproof bowl, set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Remove from the heat and beat in the milk and icing sugar. Spread this mixture over the cool brownies. Allow to set for 30minutes then cut into 16 squares and top each with a pecan half. 


Capsicum and Corn Tartlets

3 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
310g frozen corn kernels
150g cheddar cheese grated
1 small red capsicum finely chopped
2 eggs lightly beaten
60ml buttermilk
170ml thick cream
1 tsp dijon mustard

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Lightly grease three 12 hole round based patty pans or mini muffin tins. 

2. Using a 6cm round cutter, cut circles from pastry sheets. Press circles into prepared tins and prick with a fork. 

3. Combine corn, cheese and capsicum in a large bowl and season. Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, cream and mustard in a measuring cup with a pouring lip.

4. Spoon the veg mixture into pastry cases and then top with egg mixture until cases are almost full.

5. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until well risen and set. Serve cold.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

School Lunch Week 2!

Tuesday's Lunch all packed!

Well it is week 2 of back to school!! Which means a new Menu and with the success of the first week of school I am happy to say that my kids are loving all these great foods :D 
Now before we get started I just wanted to share with you this great After School snack I made for my kids today SO simple but so extremely delicious. We found the idea for Fruit Skewers in one of my old Super Food Ideas magazines and had to give it a go......I received lots of "Ooohs and Aaaahs" from the kids and even the Fiance when they saw what we had for snack time. We have Afternoon Snack every day after school and we try and have something different everyday. It could be yoghurt and fruit, an iceblock (on cold days), platter of deli meats and veg, pizza scrolls, sushi (the kids fave) or if they are extra lucky it could even be a chocolate donut......well we have to be naughty sometimes :P

Today's Fruit Skewers were super yummy just grab your favourite fruit and thread them on skewers and then to top it off we also had some sugar and spice yoghurt dip which was just 1/2 cup vanilla yoghurt mixed with a tablespoon of brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon!! Yum Yum Yum!! These were all gone in just a few minutes!!

Ok enough about that.....Let's get back to this weeks menu: 

Monday: Peach - Berry Muffins - Jelly - Chicken Schnitzel Wraps (left over schnitzels from Sunday's dinner) 
Tuesday: Fruit Salad - Berry Muffins - Dried Fruit Pack - Ham & Salad Roll
Wednesday: Apple - Yoghurt - Grain Wave Chips - Ham & Salad Roll
Thursday: Fruit Salad - Veg & dip - Yoghurt - Fried Rice
Friday: Peach - Dried Fruit Pack - Grain Waves - Fried Rice

This week's recipe I am sharing will be the Fried Rice! I absolutely love this Fried Rice as it is but sometimes fro a change I add some prawns (my kids love love love prawns).

Fried Rice

2 eggs
1 large carrot, grated
100g snow peas, sliced
300g frozen corn kernels
4 green shallots, thinly sliced
3 cups cooked rice (1 cup of raw rice makes 3 cups cooked)
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp tomato sauce

1. Beat the egg with a fork. Heat a wok or large frypan and grease with a little oil. Pour beaten egg into the heated wok to form an omelette. Cook until almost set then turn the egg over and cook the other side for 30 seconds. Remove omelette from wok, cool slightly then cut into small pieces.

2. Add the carrot and snow peas to the wok, stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add corn kernels, shallots, chopped omelette and cooked rice, continue stir-frying until ingredients are combined then mix the soy sauce and tomato sauce, stir in and heat through.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lunchbox Madness Begins!

This week it was Back to School for my little munchkins after an awesome 6 weeks holidays!!

It was an extra special event for my kids as my eldest Miss R. started her very first day of High School and my youngest Master M. started year 4 (which means he is now in the 'big kid zone' of his school).

Well we all know that I love to cook and the whole healthy thing we have happening in our palace this year means that I have even more reason to start cooking up a storm for the school lunches.

Ok so along with Back to School lunches comes Organisation which you all know I love immensely!! Lists, Diaries, Planners, Coloour Co-ordinating - you name it!! So I sat down on Saturday and wrote up a school lunch menu (as well as a Mummy and Daddy menu) and I went shopping! I wanted to start fairly easy for the first week so most of this week is basic stuff! Then on Sunday I started baking.

This is the Menu for this week (due to public holiday Monday we started on Tuesday):

Tuesday:  Fruit Salad - Pikelets - Grain Wave Chips - Chicken Pasta
Wednesday: Apple - M&M Bars (recipe here) - Veg sticks and homemade french onion dip - Chicken Pasta
Thursday: Fruit Salad - Pikelets - Veg sticks and french onion dip - homemade sausage rolls
Friday: Apple - M&M Bars - Grain Wave chips - Chicken Caesar Wrap

Wednesday's packed lunch!
Basically my plan is to know exactly what is in my kids lunches! So I try and make everything like dips and snacks etc from scratch and it is amazing how much more delicious food is when you know it is not full of rubbish. I have also started making bread which my kids have been having as toast for breakfast this week. After seeing how long a loaf of bread can last from the shop without going off it creeped me out!! I don't know what they out in bread but when a loaf accidentally got left in the car and a week and a half later we found it still in the same state as when we bought it, I decided maybe homemade bread may be the way to go. Especially seeing as we don't eat much bread in our house so I only have to make it every now and then! 

And the best part?........It is all so damn easy!! I highly encourage everyone to just try filling their kids lunchboxes with homemade yummies! If you don't have much time most of the recipes I use can be frozen and put away for the week or they last for a few days just in the fridge. So grab one afternoon and bake/cook some goodies and then pack them up for the week! 

Every Monday I will be sharing my School meal plan and a recipe or two so that you can give them a try!! so make sure you keep checking back! If you have any school lunch recipes please feel free to share them with me so I can give them a go :) Ok now I will leave you with the french onion dip recipe AND the White bread recipe!! Good Luck........

French Onion Dip!

250g packet Cream Cheese (room temperature) 
40g packet french onion soup mix
2 Tbsp chopped chives

1. Just mix together all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy! You can add less or more french onion depending on how strong you like it) 

White Bread!

1 egg
1 egg yolk
150 - 200ml lukewarm water
500g strong white flour
1 and 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp easy blend dried yeast
25g butter, diced
sunflower oil, for greasing

1. Place egg and egg yolk in a jug and beat lightly. Add enough lukewarm water to make up to 300ml. Stir well. 

2. Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre, add the egg mixture and work to a smooth dough.

3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well for about 10 minutes, or until smooth. Brush a bowl with oil. Shape the dough into a ball, place it in the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Oil a 900g loaf tin. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Roll out the dough the length of the tin and three times the width. Fold the dough into three, lengthways and place it into the tin with the join underneath. Cover and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes or until it has risen above the tin. 

4. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until firm and golden brown. To test that loaf is cooked just tap the base with your knuckles and it should sound hollow. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.