School Lunch Recipes

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Back To School Lunch Menu Ideas Recipe

Back To School Lunch Menu Ideas

08.28.14 by Jackie

 We call our daughter baby Aria but she's already a "big girl". It's hard to believe she's starting preschool today. It's something my husband Lulu and I have been discussing for a while. We were unsure whether we wait another year for her to go to school and start socializing with children her age on a daily basis. So we finally made the move and Aria is ready and seems excited about school. 

I've been proactive about getting her mutiple classes such as gymnastics, toddler reading club and swimming lessons, but I've always been there by her side. And even though I'm looking forward to sending our child off to preschool for the first time, Aria is my first baby and I know this transition is going to make me very emotional. I promised myself that I'd contain my tears; we'll see how it goes.

So without further ado, here's a list of back-to-school items that I hope will inspire you to create a wide variety of meals for your little ones. 


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Bresaola and Cucumber Finger Sandwiches Recipe

These charming finger sandwiches were probably the only thing I could have prepared in the tiny kitchen of the Roman apartment we rented while in the capital city of Italy last week. But it didn't stop me for preparing yummy sandwiches for Aria and me, using local products such as ricotta pannarella and black Angus bresaola meat.

Bresaola is salted lean and succulent beef that is air-dried until the meat turns dark red. It originated from the Lombardy region in Northern Italy. And I first discovered out-of-this-world ricotta pannarella while ordering a cheese platter in a restaurant in Rome. We asked the waiter to give us his best selection and I have to admit it sure was!  Now I'm just hoping I'll be able to find some back in the US!

I prepared the finger sandwiches with crust-free, sliced white bread, a mixture of caramelized fennel and ricotta, sliced cucumbers and of course, freshly-made mozzarella cheese and delicious bresaola meat. 


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Mac and Cheese Shepherd's Pie Recipe Recipe

We've been experiencing rainy days in the Bay Area and I thought a little comfort food would warm us up. I couldn't decide between a shepherd's pie or mac and cheese, so I went for a combination of the two.

To keep the dish vegetarian, I prepared the bottom layer with a mixture of vegetarian protein crumble, tomatoes and onions; you could opt for regular ground beef if you prefer. Instead of topping the dish with mashed potatoes as you would in a standard shepherd's pie recipe, I added creamy mac and cheese. Needless to say, the richness of the dish was a huge hit even baby Aria asked for more!


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Tuna Melt Recipe Recipe

Tuna Melt Recipe

01.22.13 by Jackie

Yesterday was a day filled with special events. As you may know, it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Inauguration Day and I made sure the entire festivities were recorded on my DVR. But if you’re involved in the specialty food business, yesterday was important for another reason. It was the second day of the Winter Fancy Food Show at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

It's the second year in a row I’ve attended this event, and I've had so much fun discovering what the latest food trends are. I can't wait to share with you what I've learned! I also met the manufacturers of some of my favorite products, such as California Lavash. They are a bread company that just went through a beautiful design makeover in which I participated.

It was great to see Lilea and the California Lavash team at booth #503 (you can still see them today), and I was so proud of how the backdrop turned out. I food-styled all the dishes and the photos were my contribution to the new look of this delicious product.

It seemed only fitting to share one of the delicious sandwiches featured at the California Lavash booth. I selected the tuna melt, which is perfect choice for the season. A combination of tuna, artichoke, olives and cheese is the filling of the delicious warm sandwich. Give this a try with California Lavash Sangak bread and you won't be disappointed! Sangak bread is a sesame-studded Persian bread that is part of their new flatbread product line. You'll be able to see the new packaging design in stores in a few months.

California Lavash Picture


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Caterpillar Roll (Avocado Sushi Recipe) Recipe

Lulu and I recently went to a Japanese sushi bar and enjoyed platters of delicious rolls. When I came home, I was determined to serve the same gorgeous-looking sushi for the family. I reinterpreted the caterpillar sushi with a combination of hoisin sauce and kaffir lime sauce. The caterpillar outer layer is imitated with thinly sliced avocados. Unlike most of the "fancy" sushi rolls you'll find at restaurants, this one's vegetarian.

I have to admit I was very proud of how they turned out. And to my surprise, it wasn't that complicated. Sometimes, improvisation ends up with beautiful results!

Don't forget to enter your name and email address to be able to participate in my Haute Potato Cookbook contest. I will pick one winner next Monday. And if you already have a copy, I would greatly appreciate it if you could leave a review on Amazon. Thank you!


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