Posts Tagged ‘Honey’

Don’t Get Saucy With Me… Mini Dippers are in!

Monday, September 10th, 2012
 

You may have guessed that I like reusable lunch containers? Yet often they hide my secret shame… those darn disposable sauce cups. Every time I use one I feel like I killed a flower or tree somewhere on this earth. I’m not getting preachy, I just feel bad! However, I like to keep sauces, dips and dressing tightly covered so I don’t have to worry if the lunch container gets tossed around in the lunch bag. Tossing around is guaranteed to happen with kids and if the sauce gets everywhere it is guaranteed the kids won’t eat the lunch.

Finally Kelly over at Easylunchboxes has solved my dilemma with her new Mini Dippers. Thank you Kelly! A dip container, with a cover easy for kids to handle, that is dishwasher safe, leak resistant and BPA free. Here is the important one… it fits inside most reusable lunch containers! Hooray! It is also just the right size to hold the perfect amount of dip. If you like extra dip then take 2 because 8 come in a package! I ordered mine the day they came out!

Buh bye disposable sauce cups! Since I still have a small stack in my cabinet, you’ll make special appearances for field trips where disposable lunches are required!

For the record I was NOT compensated for that opinion!

So to put my Mini Dippers into action I decided to make pretzel bites. I have been toying around with soft pretzels for awhile. I have tried a few different recipes and this one I really like. I am also a super fan of their super blog… Super Healthy Kids! If your an instant gratification person then making pretzels is probably not for you. Go get frozen ones or hit the mall! If you don’t mind the wait which I assure you is worth it, then proceed… it’s not hard I promise!

Go get the recipe here: Pretzel Bites (Thank you Super Healthy Kids!)

Here are the ingredients for your quick reference:

  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda

Here are some of my special notes…

1. The timing is really critical so do let your yeast activate, do knead as instructed, do let it rise and let it rise again. Yes, it is all necessary! Geez I know…

2. Use whatever type of cutter you want. Super Healthy Kids used stars. I don’t have a small star cutter so I used a small biscuit cutter. You could try hearts or heck why not shape them like pretzels, right? Just adjust your baking times accordingly! Smaller shapes will cook faster.

3. I brushed mine with egg white and sprinkled lightly with kosher salt before baking which the recipe does not call for but I like a salted pretzel!

4. If you don’t know your oven and how accurate your temperature is then check them a minute or two earlier then suggested baking time. Even sooner if your shapes are small. Oh and darker pans will cook the bottoms faster!

5. Note I changed my oven over to broil for the last minute to brown the top a little. The bottom started cooking quickly and the top still needed browning!

6. Finally make sure they are 100% cool before you store them otherwise they will get soggy!

Now I am not a baking expert but I do enjoy it and I learn something every time I bake! So if I can do this, you can too! Now go put your keys down, you don’t need to go to the mall!

Sincerely,

Deb

Here are the pretzel bites and mini dippers making their appearance in the grown up lunches today!

  • Pretzel bites
  • Pizza sauce
  • Ham cubes
  • Plumcot
  • Carrots (hidden), Cucumbers, Tomatoes
  • Colby Jack cheese

 

 

And for Trevor my toddler:

  • Cucumbers (with cut out)
  • Choco Granola Clusters
  • Colby Jack cheese
  • Banana
  • Chicken Nuggets

Just Had to Do It…

Friday, September 7th, 2012
 

 

I had to make these No-Bake Energy Bites…

 

 

Why? Well I had it mentioned to me by two different people (thank you Sarah and Erin), who don’t even know one another, on the same day! So they must be good, right? So I wandered on over to Gimme Some Oven’s Blog to check out this No-bake Energy Bite recipe. It looked pretty simple. I even banged it out after I had travelled all day for work, come home, cooked dinner and went about the rest of our nightly rituals. Then, once everyone was settled, into the kitchen I went maybe about 8:30-9:00pm. You certainly don’t want to bake at that hour but that is the beauty of this, it is “no-bake”!

So I dumped all the ingredients (peanut butter, honey, oats, ground flax seed, coconut, chocolate chips and vanilla) into my bowl. I almost always tweak a recipe a little bit when I make it and every time there after until I am happy with it. So for this batch I increased the coconut to 1 cup, I decreased the honey just a smidge and I stuck with just plain chocolate chips although the writer suggested trying alternates such as dried fruits, nuts etc. To be honest it is what I had in my house! Next time though I’ll try a mix of chocolate chips, pistachios and dried cranberries.

I had been warned that they could be crumbly but I didn’t have this issue. You do have to make sure your ingredients are VERY well incorporated. Then I thought I could try to shape them because well that is what I do! So I pulled out a small heart shaped cookie cutter. I pressed some of the mixture into the cutter and then pushed it though to release. It made a lovely heart. It shaped really well but admittedly it was a bit of work. After I had done about half the batch or so as hearts I decided to finish the rest as the recipe suggested… ball shaped.

Here is a little tip for you. Squeeze the mixture a bit first then just use a real light touch when you roll it. The heat from your hands is enough to make it ball up well. If you apply too much pressure it wants to fall apart. Once I had the whole batch shaped and lined up on my plate I decided I needed to do one more tweak. The bites still had quite a bit of stickiness on the outside so I wanted to fix that as I knew my kids wouldn’t like that. So I ground up some oatmeal in my food processor then I rolled and sprinkled the bites in the oatmeal to lightly coat them (powdered sugar would likely become pasty). I covered the plate in plastic wrap and popped them in the fridge as the writer suggested. This recipe does not have to be refrigerated but the bites will be firmer if cold. I preferred them cold.

I will call this one a success since the kids and the hubs enjoyed it… and well I did too! Of course I did put them in everybody’s lunch, why not? ;)

 

Lunches for the grown ups (in Easylunchboxes container) included:

  • Leftover baked chicken, rice and carrots
  • 2 Strawberries
  • Pretzels and green bean chips
  • and of course one heart shaped energy bite

 

 

Trevor’s toddler lunch included today:

  • A fish shaped sandwich (Nutella greek yogurt spread) cut with a cookie cutter
  • Pretzels
  • Snap pea crisps
  • Grapes (yes, on food picks)
  • Strawberries
  • Cheese flowers
  • A couple of gold fish
  • and yes, 2 energy bites

 

So I hope you get a chance to try them and enjoy the energy bites as much as we did!

Sincerely,

Deb

 

 

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