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.