School Lunch Recipes

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Panini Sandwich Recipe (Grilled Cheese and Spinach Panini) Recipe

If not made properly, paninis can turn soggy and unappealing. The key is to choose a dense sandwich bread and apply a thin layer of butter to seal the outside and create a nice crust. The filling is up to you. In general, I like to use layers of different colors. I used a parsley-caper flavored cream cheese, roasted bell peppers, sliced mozzarella, sautéed mushrooms, spinach and sweet basil.

The girls have been wanting to have a picnic for quite some time, but the weather here in Northern California has not been very accommodating. They’ve also had a craving for paninis, and luckily the weather this Memorial Day weekend has been spectacular, so it was time to scratch their itch. It was also a great opportunity to teach the girls about the art of making sandwiches. I made a pitcher of saffron lemonade to go with the sandwiches, and we all sat out in our vegetable garden and marveled at how much the fruit trees have grown. It’s been a wet spring, and the trees look unbelievably healthy. It looks like we’re going to have a lot of mulberries and donut peaches in our future!


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Croque Madame Sandwich Recipe Recipe

Croque Madame Sandwich Recipe

08.26.09 by Jackie

My little munchkin loved the croque-monsieur and she asked for the same lunch the next day. I decided to make another version of the same sandwich: the famous croque-madame. The croque-madame is essentially a croque-monsieur topped with a sunny side up egg.  If you ever get confused about which sandwich is which, just remember that the "female" version is just like the "male" version, but with extra flavor .

I added ketchup and flat-leaf parsley to create the face of an angry clown to make the sandwich kid-friendly and more playful. In case you were curious, she loved it!

For those of you who are wondering if the croque-mademoiselle exists, it does! It's supposed to be more delicate like a diet version, with whole wheat bread.

* I want to give a special shout out to Cookie and OysterCulture, who mentioned that they also make croque-madame at home.


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Peanut Butter Caramel Dip with Sliced Apples Recipe

Yesterday, I packed some grapes for the girls when packing their school lunches. I thought I would make something different today. I had a little leftover caramel au beurre salé from the weekend. It's a sweet caramel  sauce with salted butter. We drizzle it over ice cream. I decided to mix a little creamy peanut butter into the caramel, along with some raw honey that I just discovered at the local market.

Peanut butter caramel is a great dip with any fruit, drizzled over ice cream or even on celery. Enjoy!


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Croque-Monsieur: A Perfect Back To School Lunch Recipe Recipe

In France, the croque-monsieur sandwich is as much a staple of school children's lunches as the PB&J is in America. I grew up with them, and they are still the ultimate comfort food for me. 

The girls are going back to school today and I wanted to share with them one of the fondest culinary memories of my childhood. When I was in middle school, I would come home early on Wednesdays. Since I didn't eat lunch at school, I would always make myself a croque-monsieur.

Croque-monsieur is super easy to make. All you need is a few ingredients such as sliced white bread, emmental cheese and ham (I used smoked turkey). To make it fancier, I bind all the ingredients together with a Mornay sauce, which is basically a béchamel with cheese. I use béchamel a lot; it's really just a white sauce made of flour, butter and milk.

 


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Sharbat (Indian Milk Drink made with Rooh Afza Syrup, Cardamom Seeds, Almonds, Cashews and Pistachios) Recipe

Sharbat is a very common drink during our family gatherings. It's a sweet chilled dairy drink mixed with Rooh Afza syrup, cardamom seeds, almonds, cashews and pistachios. Sharbat is a popular ethnic pink drink in India and Pakistan. Sharbat gets its characteristic pink color from Rooh Afza.

I'm still unclear of its composition but here's what I've learned from Lulu's aunt: Rooh Afza is made out of fruit (Watermelon) extracts, coriander seeds, flower petals like Gulab (Rose) and herbs.

It's very good, sweet, very filling and addictive.  The high calorie combination of sugar and nuts is an energy drink by itself.  It's great fuel for an evening with family and friends.

 


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