Corndog Muffins

Since we stopped eating pork nearly 10 years ago there have been several food items that we just don’t eat anymore. One of them being the corn dog. Now, I won’t lie and say I’ve particularly missed this food, though it was a favorite at carnivals (sooo greasy and delicious!) However, now that nitrate-free, all-natural hotdogs made of beef and turkey are more readily available, I don’t see why we can’t indulge in a corn dog or two. And since I’ve been working on some great lunchbox ideas for the boys, this muffin version seemed pretty perfect.

*I made these ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The next day  packed them into lunch containers with a side of ketchup. No reheating necessary and by the time lunch came around the muffins were warmed up a little and a bit softer.

corndog muffins

Corndog Muffins

1 1/3 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup sugar

1 T baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup flour (I used my 1/2 & 1/2 mix)

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup milk

1/3 cup butter, melted

3 hotdogs, sliced thin

1. Preheat oven to 425*

2. In medium bowl combine cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and flour.

3. In another bowl whisk together milk, eggs, and butter.

4. Stir milk mixture into cornmeal mixture just until moistened.

5. Stir in hotdog slices.

6. Spoon corn dog mixture into muffin tins (foil liners work best) 2/3 full.

7. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Cast Party Wednesday, Lovely Ladies Linky, Wake Up Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Thursday’s Treasures, Weekend Potluck, Friday Flash, Foodie Friday, TGIF, Saturday Spotlight, Strut Your Stuff, Your Great Idea, Show & Tell, Creative Linky, Show Stopper, Serenity You,

Advertisements

BBQ Chicken Pizza Pinwheels

These were super easy to throw together while I was preparing dinner one night.  All you need is a prepared pizza crust (I used whole wheat) and a little bit of prep- or some leftover chicken, or hey, even chicken from a can would work.  Bake it up and put in the refrigerator. Then pack it in your lunch, or the kiddos- which is what I did- and you’ve got a great meal on the go.

BBQpinwheels1

BBQ Chicken Pizza Pinwheels

1 pkg pizza dough

1/2 cup BBQ sauce

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

2/3 cup cooked chicken, shredded

1/4 red onion, finely diced

3 T cilantro, minced

BBQpinwheel2

1. Preheat oven to 400* and roll out the pizza dough into a 1/2-inch thick square on a floured surface.

2. Spread BBQ sauce evenly over the dough. Top with cheddar, chicken, onion, and cilantro.

3. Carefully roll the dough up lengthwise.  Cut3/4-inch wide slices and place on lined baking sheet.

4. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until lightly golden.

5. Serve with extra BBQ sauce for dipping.

Wednesday Extravaganza, Lovely Ladies, Cast Party Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesdays, Thursdays Treasures, Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday, Get Him Fed, Weekend Potluck,Friday Flash, Feed Me Fridays, TGIF, Saturday Spotlight, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Super Saturday, Super Sunday, Random Recipe Roundup, Melt in Your Mouth, Marvelous Mondays, What’d You Do This Wknd?Tuesday’s Table, Tasty Tuesday, In & Out of the Kitchen, Wine’d Down Wednesday

FEATURED AT RANDOM RECIPE ROUNDUP#18!

FEATURED AT THURSDAY’S TREASURES #106!

FEATURED AT GET HIM FED FRIDAY #11!

Pizza Tarts

Is it silly for me to say how excited I am about these little pizza tarts? Seriously, I am.

First of all, they are one of my newest lunch box recipes and I am positive they have been a HUGE hit with the boys. And secondly, they were simple to make and smelled amazing coming out of the oven. It was super hard not to gobble them up right then!

It’s too bad blogs don’t offer scratch and sniff screens…..

pizza tarts

Pizza Tarts

1 sheet refrigerated pie crust, rolled out to desired thickness

turkey pepperoni

shredded mozzarella cheese

pizza or marinara sauce

WARNING: While I did get the idea from a magazine, I do not have specific measurements so hopefully my directions won’t be too scattered for you. But really, this wasn’t hard at all. Just eyeball it, have fun, and use your imagination.

1. Preheat oven to 375*

2. Lightly grease a muffin tin and place circle cut-outs of pie crust that are about 1/4 inch in diameter larger than the bottom of the muffin tin. I used a glass with a wide mouth (about 3 – 3.5 inches) which made a good sized circle to fit in the bottom of a regular sized muffin tin.

3. Cut up veggies or meat of choice and place in the bottom of the pie crusts. I used turkey pepperoni, about 2 little slices for each tart.

4. Spoon on some pizza or marinara sauce. It won’t take much, about 1.5 – 2 T of sauce.

5. Sprinkle about 1 tsp of Parmesan cheese on top of the sauce.

6. Now for the mozzarella cheese. I’d guess about 1 T of shredded cheese. I didn’t have any on hand, only slices, so it came out to about 1/4 slice per tart, cut up.

7. Bake for 15 minutes.

You can enjoy these right away or refrigerate and pack for lunches the next day. Enjoy!

Wednesday Extravaganza, Cast Party Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesdays, Lovely Ladies Linky, Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Treasures, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, TGIF, Friday Flash, Saturday Spotlight, Strut Your Stuff, Feed Me Friday, Super Saturday, Super Sunday, Random Recipe Roundup, Marvelous Mondays, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, What’d You Do This Weekend?, Simple Supper Tuesday, Tuesday’s Table, In & Out of the Kitchen,

Pizza Sushi & Healthy, Fun Lunch Box Ideas

This year I am trying to make the boys’ lunches more interesting and fun while maintaining a degree of health and nutrition. I absolutely love all the great bento lunch ideas I see all over the net, and even though my kids are (almost) 12 and 16, they can still appreciate and tote gourmet lunches in school without feeling like a little kid.

My lunch ideas are not all that original so I’m sure you’ve seen a million other blogs posting lunch box ideas. But I will say this- if you haven’t gotten on the bento wagon yet all it takes is a little bit of prep time and you can do it. Here are a few tips for preparing and packing awesome lunches for anyone in your family.

1) Cook extra at dinner and use leftovers for lunch. This could mean extra rice or potatoes or pasta, which you could make salads from, or extra meat. I like to cook extra chicken to make chicken salad with.

2) Get the kids involved. Number One is easy to please so I just ask him what he’s in the mood for (I don’t always pack the same thing for the boys), but for Number Two it’s best if he’s got an interest in what’s coming in his lunch box. Some things I know he’ll like, other things I know he’ll like more if he helps prepare it. I also ask him ahead of time what he’d like the next day (if there are options. If not I just go by the meal plan.)

3. Skip “kid” foods. There is no such thing when looking at your grocers options in terms of nutrition. I’m talking about Lunchables (you can easily make your own), Crustables, and pudding cups, etc. These conveniences are the absolute worst things you could be feeding your kids. Give them real food. They will eat it.

4. Pick your battles. If your child says he/she didn’t like something you packed, trust them and move on. I love the idea of my kid happily munching away on bell pepper sticks at lunch, but I know that’s not going to happen. It’s better to save the veggie battle for dinner time when you can be there to model good eating habits and encouragement.

5. You might get “But he gets lunches like….” complaining. Just stick with your plan, use the great lunchbox ideas that are everywhere, and get your kid(s) involved. You’ll see the struggle wane soon enough when your child realizes that other kids want what he’s got.

6. Menu plan. If you work outside the home this may seem like extra work for you, and I agree. But in the event you are planning your dinners already (as you should be. Trust me, your life will get so much easier!) it really won’t take too much extra time to plan a few extra things. This could include baking a batch of muffins or breakfast cookies while you’re already in the kitchen preparing a meal, or perhaps just taking a little time over the weekend to prepare and freeze some things. Other things like wraps, veggies, fruit, chips, and trail mix can be pre-bagged for the week ahead so they’re all ready to go.

pizza sushi

Ready for the pizza sushi? I adapted this idea found in a Rachael Ray magazine, as well as many of the tips above. It’s a fun lunch for the kiddos and super easy to prepare. Below is also a few options for mixing and matching simple roll-ups and dips.

Pizza Sushi

6 inch tortillas

turkey pepperoni

cream cheese

marinara or pizza sauce

Other options: Mozzarella cheese, roasted red pepper, olives, etc.

Assembly is pretty basic.  Just spread the desired amount of cream cheese onto the tortilla (you can even mix a bit of ranch mix into the cream cheese!) and top with pepperoni slices and anything else you’d like. Roll it up and slice into even sizes. Pack it up in your lunch box with a smaller container of dipping sauce on the side.

Other roll-up options: Really, you can take any kind of sandwich concept and put into a roll-up- though I usually leave out the condiments because I’ll put a dipper on the side. You see it all the time now with all the wrap options offered in restaurants. For example, Number One isn’t going to want pizza sushi in his lunch so he gets a more manly wrap with hummus, lettuce, roast beef, turkey meat, and two kinds of cheeses. Also I use a larger tortilla for those kinds of sammies. Number Two likes all kinds of roll-ups so I can take any kind of meat and cheese combo and simply roll it up, and either leave it whole or cut into sushi-style pieces. He likes the smaller pieces best so he can dip them into ranch, honey mustard, salsa, pizza sauce, etc.

lunch box rollups

I especially love the all natural-nitrate free bologna from Trader Joe’s.

Lunch box sides: One of Two’s favorite things to snack on are carrot sticks dipped in peanut butter. Now you can buy easy to pack  peanut butter to go cups. They are single serving size and perfect for lunches. Even better now is an all natural option. So to round out a healthy lunch I like to add carrots or snap peas, grapes, blueberries, or some other fruit or veggie I know he likes and maybe add a dip if there’s one that’ll go with it well. Dips include hummus, ranch, peanut butter, or chocolate flavored peanut butter (those are available in single size too). Other sides can simply be a pickle or some olives. Whatever you like- there are no limits.

Additional dip options are salsa, ketchup, soy sauce, BBQ sauce, pizza sauce, or any kind of dressing.

Additional dip options are salsa, ketchup, soy sauce, BBQ sauce, pizza sauce, or any kind of dressing.

Another option are salads such as pasta or potato. Number Two has a thermos and likes to have macaroni and cheese sometimes. I buy Annie’s organic microwaveable single serving mac & cheese and just whip it up real quick and put it in the thermos. Lunch is ready in three minutes!

Lastly are the “chips” and “desserts”. This doesn’t mean I include something from every category in every lunch. It really just depends on what I’m packing for that day. But these are some other things I will put in their lunches because sometimes you really want the crunch of a chip. I don’t buy regular chips because personally I think they’re junk, but I do buy and eat pita chips (Stacy’s naked chips are awesome and go great with my hummus!), corn tortilla chips, pretzels, pretzel chips, Veggie Smart chips and straws, and popcorn chips. Also making your own crackers is super easy (I’ll be posting a recipe soon), and it’s way better alternative to buying prepackaged crackers that are full of chemicals.

I know it was a long post- I hope you read through it all and enjoyed it anyway. Stay tuned for my healthy, energy-packed trail mix! It’s a perfect addition for any lunch box, picnic, or snack 🙂

Foodie Friday, Weekend Potluck, TGIF, Get Him Fed, Saturday SpotlightStrut Your Stuff, Super Sunday, Random Recipe Roundup, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Marvelous Mondays, Simple Supper Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays, In & Out of the Kitchen, Tuesday’s Table, Cast Party Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza,  Wake Up Wednesday, Two Girls & a Party, Full Plate Thursday, Thursday’s Treasures, Project Lunchbox, Food on Friday

Back to School: Breakfast & Lunch Menu Aug. 26th – 30th

back to school

School is definitely back in session. For many others across the country it has already started, but for us this is our first week back. I can’t complain (even though the summer flew by too quickly) although I still don’t get why they can’t just push it back until after Labor Day like they did in the good ol’ days. Right?

lunch bag

But alas, here we are again. So in an effort to make things easier on myself, and to ensure my kiddos eat healthy, I have come up with some new breakfast and bagged lunch ideas. I will still pull from my older recipes, but I have some great new ones, too.

Red links will be added as the recipe is posted, so stay tuned for those.

Monday, August 26th

Breakfast:  Bacon & Egg Puffs

Lunch:  Turkey & Cheese Rolls, Pretzels, Fruit Gummies, Juice or bottled water

Tuesday, August 27th

Breakfast:  Granola Bars (with dried fruit added), Yogurt, Juice

Lunch:  Macaroni & Cheese in thermos, Carrots & Peanut Butter, Juice or bottled water

Wednesday, August 28th

Breakfast:  Hard-Boiled/Scrambled Egg Wraps

Lunch:  CornDog Muffins with ketchup, Veggie Chips, Trail Mix, Juice or bottled water

Thursday, August 29th

Breakfast:  Breakfast Cookies, Yogurt, Milk

Lunch:  Pizza Sushi with Marinara, Granola, Juice or bottled water

Friday, August 30th

Breakfast:  Breakfast Bagel Sandwich, Milk

Lunch:  Mini Quiche, Pretzels, Fruit Gummies, Juice or bottled water