Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back to School Lunch Dinner Night

I've always wanted to do a Back to School Lunch Dinner Night. We did it yesterday and it was a blast. I let the kids pick out a new sandwich to try, and then we made a sample of everyone's picks as our Friday night supper.

The clear winner, with the entire house agreeing 'I'd eat that', was a variation of the peanut butter berry-wich:

Two slices whole-grain bread
1 Tablespoon almond butter
1 Tablespoon neufchatel cream cheese, softened
Handful of semi-frozen raspberries
Drizzle of honey

My oldest and I loved these roast beef and spicy tomato chutney rolls. The chutney is absolutely worth making: the red pepper flakes give it a kick, and the vinegar and sugar keep it well-balanced. A perfect use for tomatoes and sweet peppers. Highly recommended.

We were inspired by this recipe, and made a roll-up with cocktail shrimp, tails removed, tossed in a bottled light Asian dressing with a little lime and red pepper flakes, topped with a chiffonade of butter lettuce and fresh basil. My husband liked this one best.

Those three filled us up, so we saved these waffled ham & cheese sandwiches for our second breakfast this morning. Our bread needed to be a little thinner to get the dish picture-perfect, but regardless of their unphotogenic-ness, they were delicious hot. We'll see how they fare after a bit of time in the fridge.

We picked out some snacks to make, too, and we'll be doing that later in the week.

I'd love to know: what are your favorite portable lunch foods?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Zucchini Muffins

I love zucchini, but by August, it is the summer equivalent of fruitcake: passed around, handed out, abandoned on porches accompanied by the sound of spinning tires.  

This recipe is for those of you so blessed. It's spicy and sweet and makes good use of whole wheat, as well as brown rice flour. But the best endorsement? Boys will walk away from Battlefront to find the source of the smell.

Zucchini Muffins
(This makes 14 regular-sized muffins. So I make a 12-tin pan plus a mini bundt cake OR 7 mini bundt cakes. Can also be baked in a loaf pan for quick bread: 350º F, greased 9”x5” pan, about 1 hour, or until tester comes out clean.)
In advance:
  • Grate and squeeze (wring some water out of) zucchini: you’ll need one cup, loosely packed.
  • Melt ¼ cup butter or margarine and allow to cool.
  • Grease muffin cups (baker’s joy works well here too)
  • Preheat oven to 400º F

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup brown rice flour
(if you don’t have these specialty flours, try some others, or more regular flour)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
Pinch of allspice
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ¼ cup milk
¼ cup margarine or butter, melted
1 cup shredded, squeezed zucchini 
Sugar in the raw for garnish, optional
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix milk, eggs and melted butter or margarine. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and pour in the liquids plus the zucchini. Stir until just combined: do not overmix. Scoop into greased muffin tins or mini bundt cake pans. Sprinkle with sugar in the raw, if desired. Bake at 400º F for 12-15 minutes or until tester comes out clean.