Back2school Recipes

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Octopus Sushi (Cooked Sushi Recipe) Recipe

We've been setting up my little sis-in-law’s school lunch menu as she's about to enter 1st grade tomorrow. She participated in the entire process. The little munchkin mentioned that she loves sushi and wanted to have some for lunch this school year. It's a fast and easy way for her to have a quick lunch, so I was happy to oblige. She also mentioned she loves baby octopus but she doesn't want to scare her friends away with weird food so I coarsely chopped them and used them as the filling along with other vegetables. I cooked each ingredient separately, let them cool completely and then combined then into sushi rolls. The sushi got an “A” from my sis-in-law, so I'll definitely be packing them for her this school year.

Involving children in preparing their own food encourages them to eat with more enthusiasm. Cooking in a fun environment is also a way to learn. If your kids aren’t adventurous enough for octopus, you can try some of my other school lunch recipe ideas.


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Back to School Lunch Ideas: Fig Cheese Appetizer Recipe Recipe

My husband's youngest sister is starting 1st grade next Wednesday. We just met her new teacher and classmates during a lovely potluck picnic this week. Our first "homework" is to prepare a menu for her lunch box. She's very excited about what we will pack for her.

Our family friend Chú Quân had kindly just brought us humongous fist-sized figs from his garden. I immediately thought of a snack my little sis-in-law wouldn't be able to resist. This fig and cheese sandwich recipe is ultra simple. I pack separate containers of the ingredients (fresh figs, fig jam, camembert and pizelle anise cookies) and let her assemble the snack!

I'll be posting more B2S recipes next week as my little munchkin starts school, so stay tuned!


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Turkey and Cheese Sandwich Recipe Recipe

Since I arrived in America 5 years ago, I've been searching for the best deli-sliced turkey and I think I've found my favorite one of all. My little munchkin is home from school until next week as she will attend summer school. She only eats turkey and cheese sandwiches, so that's what we had today for lunch, with a pack of potato chips.

I think I've spoiled her a little too much, as she prefers hot turkey sandwiches so the cheese is melted. For today’s turkey sandwich, I made a Mornay sauce, which is a white sauce made of flour, butter, mustard and milk. I also add a pinch of nutmeg to enhance the flavor. I smothered the bread with the sauce, stacked many layers of greens adn the turkey slices and voilà, lunch was ready.

For the vegetarians in the family, I made the exact same version using tofurkey slices. It's the perfect meal when you're in a hurry!

Note: The sandwiches pictured on the left are made with tofurkey and the ones on the right with real turkey slices.


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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-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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