It’s that time of year again! Summer vacation is winding down and the kids will be heading back to school. No more summer camp or staying at home playing video games all day. That also means packing lunches with the hopes that your kids will actually eat it. Don’t tell my mom, but when I was in middle school I used to ...
It’s that time of year again! Summer vacation is winding down and the kids will be heading back to school. No more summer camp or staying at home playing video games all day. That also means packing lunches with the hopes that your kids will actually eat it. Don’t tell my mom, but when I was in middle school I used to trade lunches with my friend. Her mom made the most delicious lemon pepper popcorn that I can still taste to this day! Ultimately, I think it was just the excitement of getting something different than the ham sandwich and potato chips I normally ate. So I’ve put together a list of recipes that your kids will not only love, but wouldn’t dare trade.
I’m actually very excited to go back to school myself. I start my second semester of culinary school next week and I will definitely be making these recipes for my lunch. The biggest misconception about culinary school is that we eat all day. Okay, maybe I do eat more than the average student at any other school, but that’s beside the point. After I’ve made everything, presented it to the head chef and hopefully received glowing praise, then I get to eat what I’ve made. In the meantime, over a seven hour period, I’m taking five minute breaks and scarfing down whatever lunch I’ve packed. We don’t get a lunch break, which is kind of backwards at a culinary school I know, but hey what can you do? I can’t wait to pull out my apple and Nutella sandwich while my fellow students look on with longing (LOL!).
In preparation for my first Bellē Babble post I recruited my two little cousins, Taylor and Sienna, to help me. They were so excited to be Chefs-for-a-Day and they could barely wait to eat everything we made. Seriously, I spent half the time shooing them away from the photo shoots before they could eat it all. I was actually surprised at how into it they were. Not only are these recipes easy and yummy but you can get the kids involved to make this a fun family activity. Make them the night before and have everything ready to go in the morning. Good luck, and happy eating!
1/2 cup flour for rolling
pizza dough, thawed
1 jar pizza sauce
2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
Sliced pepperoni or favorite topping
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle cutting board generously with flour and roll the dough into a large rectangle. Layer with pizza sauce, cheese and toppings. For toppings that do not bend easily I found it easier to stuff the toppings in the pizza rolls after they’ve been rolled and cut. Roll the pizza length-wise into a log and slice in two inch pieces.
Place a toothpick in the center of each roll to help it keep its shape as it bakes. Place rolls on wax paper and or non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove rolls and cover with sauce, I used about 2 tablespoons, and cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly. Remove toothpicks.
Recipe slightly adapted from Baked Bree
Apple Nutella Sandwich
Apples, cored and sliced
Core apples with a sharp knife and slice each apple horizontally. Spread as much Nutella as you want on each slice and make a sandwich. Now watch your children devour this in less than one minute.
Recipe adapted from Spicie Foodie
6 slices thinly sliced deli turkey
2 slices cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 slice crumbled bacon
2 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas
Spread each tortilla with Dijon mustard to within ½ inch of the edge. Layer the tortilla with lettuce three slices of turkey, two slices of cheese. Top with crumbled bacon and any other toppings you like. Tomato and avocado would be delicious if your kids are adventurous. Be careful not to pile too much on or your wrap will not stay rolled. Roll tightly and cut in half.
An NCJ Original
Peanut Butter and Jelly Pockets
1 serving of your favorite pie crust
1/4 cup peanut butter, smooth
1/4 cup jelly
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg white
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough to your desired thickness. I actually used the frozen pie crust that comes in a pie tin. Just let it thaw and remove carefully from tin to avoid tearing. Using a round or flower shaped cookie cutter, cut circles out of your dough. Fill each circle with 1 teaspoon peanut butter and 1 teaspoon jelly. Fold in half and pinch off the edges.
Whisk egg whites till they start to foam. Brush each folded hand pie with egg whites and sprinkle with sugar. Bake on a non-stick cookie sheet for about 15 minutes, or until the edges start to slightly turn brown.
Recipe slightly adapted from What Katie’s Baking
Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie
2 tbsp orange juice
½ cup of yogurt
½ cup of pineapple juice
1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
1 packet of artificial sweetener
In the container of a blender, combine the fruit, juice and sweetener; process until smooth. Keep smoothie chilled in a thermos and add a few strawberries to your little ones lunch as an added bonus.
An NCJ Original
About Nina Payne
My name is Nina Payne, the cook/baker/blogger/photographer behind Nina’s Cooking Journey (“NCJ”). By day, I am an Accountant/Financial Analyst, which means I’m very serious (not really) and I wear glasses, but cooking and baking are my passion. I live in the suburbs of Chicago, attend culinary school part-time and have three younger sisters and two wonderful parents who are incredibly supportive.
When I graduated from college I suddenly found myself living on my own and cooking for myself for the first time in my life. I quickly discovered that my arsenal of recipes was limited to what came prepackaged in a box (not good, I know). So I decided to learn as many family recipes as I could and began studying cookbooks like I was cramming for a final. What I discovered was a love for cooking that I never even knew existed. I am even more excited to continue on this journey with Bellē Babble and inspire you to get in the kitchen and try new things. Let’s get cooking!
For more information about me and my cooking journey or for more recipes, visit Nina’s Cooking Journey.