Where am I taking Tom for his Birthday?

Friday, March 31, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Here is a little game I am playing on my personal blog, The Family Buzz. Thought the readers here might want to play too.

I am taking Tom somewhere special for his birthday. Over Easter we will be off to this great city. Can you guess by looking at the pic above where this is? Actually, there is a cheat to this, but I hope you are all honest enough to guess without the cheat.

If you do guess right then I will send you a postcard from this place, so make sure you leave your address!

Buttermilk Scones and Frozen Berries

Posted by Meeta K

It was an unusual morning today, as we decided to skip breakfast at home and sleep in a few more minutes. Soeri came over to our bed, snuggled up to us and fell asleep again. So, when we did all get up again it was a little later than usual.

Morning Snack: I decided to make buttermilk scones. I had de-frosted the dough yesterday evening and just had to put it in the oven for a few. Unfortunately it was a few to many, and it turned out a little darker than usual .... ooops! Actually I was distracted with Soeren lecturing me on how he did not want the sprinkle stuff on top of his mousse or yoghurt but on the side instead. On these lovely dark scones (they were fantastic and soft on the inside and did not turn hard on the outside like I thought they would) I spread some margarine and some cranberry jam. In the diary section he got that lovely Italian Straciatella quark. To nibble on I added a few cashew nuts, raisins and an all fruit organic bar.

Afternoon Snack: These fantastic CCWA Muffins were a real hit. Soeren wanted one again today. This time I cut the muffin in half and spread the frosting inside. Some Apple mousse and, as requested by Sir Soeren, the frozen berries on the side, finishes the snack box.

Adult Variation: Scones are really great. You can just about spread anything on them. If you are not the sweet tooth kind of person try out a nice slice of camembert cheese and a few tomato slices. I also encourage you to give the muffins a try. You will never want to bake any other type! If you do not want the apple mouse just put the frozen berries in a blender and add a bit of apple juice. This is a great refreshing drink to take with you.

Pigs in a Blanket, Watermelon and CCWA Muffins

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

I remember when I first moved to Germany 13 years ago, I was anything but a cook. As my mother waved me off at the Doha International Airport she gave me a little present. A cookbook with mostly english recipes. One of the recipes I found cool was "pigs in a blanket". Basically, a sausage wrapped in pastry dough. I believe I have come a long way since then and my mother is extremely surprised and proud that I can cook so well. She loves this blog! So, Mum today's tiffin is dedicated to you!
Morning Snack: I took a normal turkey wiener and wrapped it in some puff pastry I had left over. Before that I spread the puff pastry with a nice helping of cream cheese. A few slices of orange crunchy bell peppers and a all fruit organic bar. I made some apple mouse again and used a few ingredients leftover from baking as toppings - walnuts and coconut flakes.

Afternoon Snack: Ummmmmm! Juicy watermelon! I cut a slice in little wedges. Watermelon really gives that summer feeling doesn't it? Yesterday, I baked these CCWA Muffins and of course Soeri gets one of these in his snack box. I urge everyone to try this muffin recipe. There is nothing like it and every mother will definitely have a good conscious giving these to their children!

Adult Variation I think these are wonderful snack boxes and I would not change anything .... well maybe two muffins instead of one ;-)

Chocolate yoghurt, tomato mozzarella and plums

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

OK, today I wanted to give Soeren a piece of the Rucola Herb Quiche I made last night. However, he was not too impressed. So, I had to change plans.
Morning Snack: I made this yummy chocolate yoghurt on an impulse. I had a little bit of the cocoa powder left over and did not fancy putting it back in the huge container so I just mixed it in some natural organic yoghurt. See there ... Soeren came running over with a spoon in his hand "Let me taste!" Toasted a toastie (biscuit) and spread this with margarin, a slice of mozzarella and some tomatoes. Thirst quencher is a strawberry flavored Actimel.

Afternoon Snack: I was at the market again yesterday and once again bought those juicy tasting plums, this time a few sunny yellow ones as well. With this a très yummy chocolate chip chinois!

Adult Variation Instead of the toastie, go for a nice brown baguette and sprinkle a nice portion of fresh basel before closing the sandwich. Try out the chocolate yogurt I am sure you'll like it. If not make a chocolate frappe to go. Chinois tastes great with a large café au lait so get yourself one of those, kick off the shoes and take a short break.

Broccoli, Fleischkäse and Marble Cake

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Fleischkaese or Leberkaese is a German speciality, especially in Bavaria. It is often eaten with sweet mustard and a roll. Another great way to serve this is with a fried egg and some fried potatoes. I usually buy the fleischkaese made with turkey.

Morning Snack: I find turkey meat a little healthier (don't ask me why ... I just imagine it to be) and the type I buy is fortified with calcium and has no added conservatives. I bought some of our favorite bread "Bernd" and added a nice helping of cream cheese and a thick slice of the fleischkaese. I quickly steamed the broccoli sprouts for 2 minutes in the steamer and then let them cool under cold water. This keeps them nice and green and stops them cooking further. A generous helping of blackberry yoghurt with a few vanilla breakfast squares to sprinkle on top wraps up the snack box.

Afternoon Snack: No, we did not bake again yesterday! This marble cake is a speciality at our bakery. The baker never tells me exactly what he puts into this cake but it is sooooo soft and fluffy. I did bribe him once with some baklava I had brought back from Dubai which prompted him only to tell me this much ... he adds yoghurt to it to make it so smooth. Anyway, Soeri's eyes always light up when I ask for the cake. As there was actually one left over on the shelf I decided to buy it. To this I included a few crunchy organic apples.

Adult Variation: As I mentioned above the fleischkaese is typical German and you just might get this in some good sorted stores. If not use some pastrami and a nice helping of dijon mustard. Add a few slices of red onion and a couple of pickled gurkens and voila! You have a delicious lunch. Instead of plain broccoli you can take this in two ways. If you have a microwave in the office then simply add a generous helping of grated cheddar cheese, a few almond flakes, salt and pepper. At lunch time just "nuke" it until the cheese has melted over the broccoli.
If you do not have the luxury of a microwave then just roast the almond flakes and take a small helping of some blue cheese salad dressing in a separate container. This tastes fantastic. You all by now know I am a yoghurt fan, so if you too enjoy yoghurt then take a nice helping of your favorite type. Now that the weather is getting warmer outside you could even put the yoghurt in the freezer the night before. By lunch the next day it should be nicely chilled and just right.
A slice of you favorite type of cake and a large cappuccino to go is a great way to take a little break in the afternoon. Hope you find a few minutes to sit outside in the park and enjoy the weather while eating this.

Straciatella Quark, Beer Rolls & Cashew Nuts

Monday, March 27, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

We were a little late getting out of bed today due to the fact the time was pushed an hour forward over the weekend. Surprisingly things went quite easily without the usual hectic in the morning. Must be due to the weather. The temperature is rising and we can slowly feel that Spring is on it's way!

Morning Snack: What better way to celebrate warmer temperatures then a nice cool Straciatella quark. Dolce Vita pure! With that he got a nice little "bier brötchen". Literally translated it means beer roll, but before all of you raise your eye brows, no there isn't any beer in it! Instead plenty of really great and healthy stuff, like flax seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds. I asked the baker why they were called that he said because he adds malt to the dough, which gives it this dark color. These "bier" rolls were spread with cream cheese and I added a slice of calcium fortified mortadella. I boiled an egg and cut up a few carrot batons. To be honest, Soeri actually only took half of that egg. When I had taken that picture I left the snack boxes open so that the egg had some time to cool. I went upstairs to get Soeri's rain coat and as I came down he was sitting at the breakfast table eating half of that egg!

Afternoon Snack Sometimes at breakfast I have Swedish crispbread (Knäckebrot) with margarin and honey on it. Last week Soeri seemed to have developed a taste for it so I decided to make him a crispbread honey sandwich. With this I added some fantastic cashew nuts (sent all the way from Dubai) and seedless organic blue grapes.

Adult Variation: Today's variation would be more on the filling. If you can find a nice dark bread roll with so many seeds then please make sure you get a few. Fill it with mortadella if you like, but you can also use a nice ham or some hungarian salami. Instead of the hard boiled you could make a small portion of scrambled egg. Make sure you add a few herbs to the eggs then. I know quark is not easy to find in all parts of the world so simply replace this with natural yoghurt and add a few chocolate chunks to it. It's your own Dolce Vita!
Crispbread is not only healthy but a great alternative to normal bread. So if you get your hands on this then please do try it with honey. If not, you could try a rice cracker spread with honey. It is also very light and with the honey tastes pretty good. Cashew nuts are a great source of very important minerals and vitamins, not to mention they make great "nerve" food. Always great in the office to nibble on in between meetings ;-)! Today's fruit - grapes. Sweet, juicy and refreshing.

Spinach, Fruit Salad and Berries!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

We love spinach and I often serve this wonderful vegie in many different ways. I tend to use mostly frozen spinach as according to the "researchers" it is supposed to be healthier than fresh. Fresh spinach, once it reaches our supermarkets has obtained a high count in nitrate. Different to the frozen variety, which is frozen straight after plucking is healthier and low in nitrate.
Morning Snack: I mixed a sandwich filling with spinach, cottage cheese, corn, diced chicken breast, 2 teaspoons low fat mayo, a pinch of thyme, salt and pepper and a tiny shot of olive oil. Mix this well. I used finnish bread and spread a bit of butter and filled with the filling. The whole thing went into the sandwich maker with the gill plates inserted (the sandwich maker has three different types of removable hot plates - normal one that makes the sandwiches, grill plates and waffle plates). Press the sandwich maker together and let the bread crisp nicely. The fruit salad is a made with plums, apples, strawberries, melon, oranges, kiwis, grapes and some almonds my mum brought from Dubai (thanks mum). Yummy!

Afternoon Snack: A scrumptious pancake filled with blackberry jam and a black berry yoghurt with frozen mixed berries on top. Very berry indeed!
I got an email from a reader asking me why I always (almost always) gave Soeri yoghurt in his box and how did I get him to start eating the yoghurt, as her daughter would not touch anything "yoghurty". The reason Soeri gets a portion of yoghurt in his snack box is because he hardly drinks milk. A bit with his cereal at breakfast or a cup full at the KIGA with the afternoon snack is as far as it will go. I try to supplement this with additional sources of calcium like yoghurt, cheese etc. I used to buy these little kiddies yoghurt that we get in Germany (Frucht Zwerg etc.) and for us the organic yoghurt we get in jars. Soeren always used to eye these up and one day I just put the whole jar and a spoon in front of him and he just felt so proud to be eating "grown up" yoghurt. Ever since then I almost always buy the jars and "fine tune" it a little with fruit/cereal/granola additions. I think kids enjoy just being a part of the ritual with the grown ups. They see us how we eat and they want to be a part of that too.

Adult variation: If you cannot find finnish bread to make these then any other bread will do just fine too. I plan to use the leftover filling in pitta bread for lunch today. The pancake are easily made and you can substitute with any type of jam you have at home. The frozen berries keep the yoghurt fresh and cool until its time to eat.

Club Sandwich Deluxe and Waffles

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Club Sandwiches are probably the most well known sandwiches. I have tried so many different variations from all over the world. Well I thought I would try making my own Club Sandwich.

Morning Snack: Egg salad, cooked ham, cheese and tomatoes makes up my sandwich. The sandwiches are coated in a mixture of egg and milk and quickly fried. I made a batch last night and Soeri wanted to take one today, which was easy as I had some of the ingredients leftover. An organic "Alnatura" (they make a lot of organic food stuff here in Germany) almond bar goes into the box as a treat. I used up the last of the pineapple and passion fruit quark and added a few vanilla cereal squares to sprinkle on top.

Afternoon Snack: Nothing like scrumptious waffles and when they are accompanied with fresh strawberries and maple syrup they would make anyone's day. Soeri was so excited about this that he wanted me to put these in the red snack box (that's the one for the morning snack) I told him he could eat the blue on e first if he preferred. He thought about it and said "No, I'll eat that in the afternoon, then I have something to look forward to the whole day!" Cute!

Adult Variation: This is perfect the way it is. Just make sure you add a double portion of the sandwich. I had made a light green salad with this last night which is great and refreshing. If you opt to take a salad with you, use a light salad dressing, like a vinaigrette as the sandwiches are very filling. Pack the dressing portion separately. The rest of it does not need to be changed. I hope you enjoy it!

Veggie Patties & Nutella Banana Wraps

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

These vegetable patties I made last night are so versatile, they can be eaten just about any way you like.

Morning Snack: I used this to fill a pitta bread. Spread some herb quark, sliced a few ripe tomatoes and filled the pitta with the patties and tomatoes. The patties are crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside and the added sunflower seeds gives it a nice crunch. For the fruit I chose some of the nice juicy organic plums, we all here can't get enough of. A little morning treat is the hanuta chocolate waffle.

Afternoon Snack: I had two tortillas leftover that were using up unnecessary space in my refrigerator so I decided to make a sweet wrap. "Nutella and Banana on a tortilla, mum?" was the comment I got from Soeri as he saw me take his all beloved Nutella jar out of the kitchen cupboard. "Yeah, a new treat ... try it?" Of course he opened his mouth so wide. Well it really did taste great and so we treated ourselves to the second leftover tortilla (I mean it would be senseless leaving ONE tortilla all alone in the refrigerator)! A few dried cranberries and a vanilla yoghurt tops off the snack box.

Adult Variation: The vegetable patty pitta is really great and as they can be eaten hot or cold they can be taken in the lunch boxes. If you can't find the quark you can replace with either cottage cheese or just cream cheese. Besides the tomatoes, you can add lettuce and a few cucumber slices. Plums are nice and refreshing but you can also use peaches. The wraps are great with a large cup of café au lait. You can spoon the yoghurt in between mouthfuls of yummy Nutella wrap!!

Egg Salad and Frankfurter

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

We got a small basket full of eggs from one of our neighbors who has his own chickens. In return I had to lend a sympathetic ear and hear about all the new regulations that are being applied for bird breeders. Anyway I did not mind as the eggs are 100% from happy hens and taste really good.

Morning Snack: I used some of the eggs to make a quick egg salad. Just use a few hard boiled eggs, onions, peas, mushrooms, herbs, a bit of mayonnaise (low-fat) and some yoghurt or quark. On two slices of sunflower seed toast bread (did not get to the bakery in time!) I spread some margarin and some of the egg salad. Turkey frankfurters is something that normally goes against the German food protocol, but I find they not only taste better than the usual pork ones, they are also low on fat. A few sweet cherry tomatoes and a container full of sweet melon to finish.

Afternoon Snack: A milk bread alongside sliced apples and organic white grapes and an organic almond bar. As these bars come in a double pack I took one out of the packet.

Adult Variation: I recommend a nice dark roll with some type of seeds (sunflower, pumpkin etc.) for the egg salad. You can always add a few lettuce leaves and if you are not a fan of frankfurters you could make yourself a ground chicken patty or just add a nice slice of good ham to the roll. A tomato salad is refreshing. Simply cut up the cherry tomatoes in half, add a good shot of olive oil and balsamic vinegar a few chopped red onions and some basel. By lunch time I am sure the tomatoes have soaked up the dressing and it should taste great. Instead of the milk bread you could use a slice of any plain dry cake. Either something you bake yourself or what you buy in the store/bakery. A cup of espresso with it and you are "zinged" for the afternoon!

It's a round up!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Today I am trying something new in Soeren's snack box: the Pumpernickel. After I took the picture I realized that everything was nice and circular shaped!

Morning Snack: The pumpernickel is spread with butter and Leberwurst, Soeren's favorite spread. I added a few cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices for the refreshing taste. The Babybel cheese for extra calcium and the nice juicy yellow kiwi.

Afternoon Snack: See that delicious rich chocolate muffin there? Well I decided to bake these yesterday (without Soeren) as a little surprise. These tasted so great but must be taken with a tall glass of milk as they really are extremely rich in consistency. I'll be posting the recipe on What's For Lunch Honey? soon. I added some of his favorite pineapple and passion fruit quark and a few blue seedless organic grapes.

Adult Variation:
Pumpernickel is hard to find in some parts of the world, especially the US. You could order it from an online German store as it really tastes great with all sorts of toppings. You could use some nice strong cheddar cheese if you are not a big leberwurst fan or even just tomatoes and cucumbers on a bit of butter tastes great. If you can't find any yellow kiwi, use the green variety. They really are a vitamin kick for the day! As I mentioned above - a tall glass of milk should be taken with the muffin. You could even have a nice cool yoghurt frappe!
Whatever you do decide enjoy every bite!

Wrap meets Pretzel

Friday, March 17, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

The clash of the gigantics! The Mexican tortilla wrap and the German Pretzel, both are pretty much the food ambassadors for their countries and are well known across the world. Both are also loved by kids and adults alike.

Morning Snack: We had wraps for dinner last night and I kept a bit of the filling back for today.
The filling is pretty simple: Ready grilled chicken from the rotisserie, cream cheese, sun dried tomato pesto, green bell peppers. Mix these together and that was it. The rest of the fillings are the usual wrap condiments: Lettuce, tomatoes, grated cheese. With this some sweet and succulent pineapple and a few dried cranberries.

Afternoon Snack: The pretzel - always good for any time of day. I spread a bit of butter on it and cut it half as it was so big, it did not fit in the box. The natural yoghurt has a few chocolate crunchy biscuits in them. I am still trying to get Soeri to get to know (and eat) a few more dried fruit. The last time I put some in his box they came back. I'll keep trying until I come up with another idea like sneaking lettuce in sandwiches and wraps!

Adult variation:
Bigger wrap, more filling and some hot salsa to spice it up! Wraps are great as leftovers and even better to take in lunch boxes. The pineapple is refreshing and the cranberries are sweet after the spicy salsa. Pretzels taste great plain or with butter. Get yourself a nice afternoon coffee and then treat yourself to the cool and crunchy yoghurt. The dried fruit are another great nerve food when you're having a hard day at work.

Plums and Almond Vanilla Cake

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Only one snack box today - the afternoon box! I had to take Soeri to the Doc's today so he would be missing the morning snack at the KIGA.

I bought delicious organic plums. They were ripe, juicy and so sweet and so Soeren got one of these with a few organic seedless grapes. We also made this great cake together. This is the easiest recipe: I bought the biscuit base at the bakery and whipped up some vanilla pudding. Spread this on top of the base. We roasted some almond slices and sprinkled these over the pudding. Soeri's fave part: Melting the chocolate and pouring it over the cake (and tasting it several times to see if it was "cooked" well). I put the fruity bar in between to fill the space and stop the smaller containers from sliding in the larger one (I am worried that the cake might not survive the journey in Soeren's backpack).

Adult variation:
I have only one small modification to this box: Cut yourself a larger piece of the cake ;-) and enjoy it!

Green Fritattas

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

What's the difference between a fritatta and an omelet? Well, the Fritatta is Italian ;-) and by now you all know we here love everything Italian.

Morning Snack: On a wholewheat sunflower seed toastie I added a great fluffy fritatta with herbs galore! I toasted the toasties in a toaster (nice tongue twister) and spread a bit of margarine on it. I asked Soeren if he wanted cheese in the fritatta but he said he wanted just the "green fritatta". Which is his way to describe my fritattas with either the herbs or spinach. To this I put 3 little meatballs as they really do taste great with the fritatta. A bit of vanilla yoghurt and some spelt, oat crunchies with dried forest berries topped off the morning lunch box.

Afternoon snack: Nothing like a nice juicy crunchy apple. We bought a few great apples yesterday and Soeri loved these and wanted "plain apples" (without and other fruit addition) in the snack box. A little yummy treat of a delish French chocolate bun always makes him smile, and for that million dollar smile I'd just about do anything. We also bought spelt pretzels yesterday and after munching off almost the whole bag he left a few for the snack box today.

Adult variation: Try the fritatta with some hot and spicy salami. It tastes great and adds a bit of pizazz to the meal. Instead of the toastie you could use a nice brown baguette. Lay a few lettuce leaves and a few slices of tomatoes and you have a filling lunch. The rest of the snack boxes I would just leave the way it is. The pretzels are just great for snacking on when you have a full schedule in front of the computer ;-)

Double Team!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Today was another hectic day and things had to go fast this morning. Tom and me combined forces and produced today's snack boxes as a "Double Team". Tom helped me make the morning snack and I worked on the afternoon snack.

Morning Snack: Tom chose turkey mortadella fortified with extra calcium. He added this to a fresh plain rye bread, spread with some cream cheese. Soeri, got a chunk of cheese and a few cherry tomatoes on the side. On the weekend I had made some Sweet & Sour Fish and had some of the canned pineapple in natural juice left over so he added a touch of the juice to some natural organic yoghurt and cut some pineapples into the yoghurt.

Afternoon Snack: I went for a nice bagel, spread this with some margarine and added sweet beet syrup to it. I am trying to get Soeren to try out different dried fruits so that he can snack on them between the meals or as a treat. Today I put a dried apricot, date and an apple slice. For the fresh fruit I opted for a few orange slices.

Adult Variation:
I think mortadella is something even grown-ups enjoy so here I would not really change anything, except maybe you could add a lettuce leaf and slice the tomatoes add them into the sandwich. If you also prefer you can add another layer to the sandwich (making it what I call a "double decker") and add the sliced cheese to this layer. Fruit and yoghurt is always a great combination so I would leave this the way it is too.
Sweet beet syrup does not suit everyone's tastes buds so the alternative here would be honey. Otherwise the snack box is pretty tasty the way it is.
Hope you enjoy!

This is a man's tiffin!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

As I had to be out early this morning, Tom took over Soeri's snack boxes today. I left this entirely to him without giving any instructions whatsoever. I only requested a picture. I got this with the comment "This is a man's tiffin!" ;-)
So, folks here it is .... a man's tiffin!

Morning Snack: Tom made a sandwich with dark rye bread and butter to this he added Leberkaese in the shape of a bear and with extra calcium. Soeren got a portion of Frucht Zwerg, which is yoghurt for kids also fortified with extra calcium. For the morning fruit portion he got some juicy grapes and strawberries.

Afternoon Snack:
The last of my Cranberry Mandarin Loaf, 2 chocolate cookies and a haselnut pudding.

I won't give any comments on this - I'll leave that to you. I am just thankful that I have a caring guy who does his very best.

Adult variation:
How about a bit of a German snack today? After all leberkaese is very German. So, a nice big brown roll with flax seeds and a thick portion of the leberaese. Add a nice helping of sweet mustard to this and you have a hearty snack. Nothing really for those watching the waistline. A few pickled gurkens taste great to this too. I would leave the fruit the way it is and instead of the yoghurt you could try a nice chilled fruit buttermilk. The cake is also good, to this I would take a chilled cafè latte. A nice way to top off the afternoon.

Nutella

Friday, March 10, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

I made a little mess today while preparing Soeri's snack boxes. So I hope you will learn from my mistake and not do what I did.

Morning Snack: I wanted to make a salami and cheese toastie in the sandwich maker. Normally I would use proper wholemeal toast bread as they are best for this. However, I wanted to try it with the fresh bread from the bakery. I spread a bit of butter (yes, Soeri, gets butter every now and then) and then a nice slice of italian salami and cheese. Well so far so good, I put it in the sandwich maker and the bread was not made for this abuse I guess! It was far too soft and fell apart, leaving me with melted cheese everywhere. BooHoo! Well I decided it serves me right anyway, fresh bread is supposed to be eaten ... fresh and not put into the toaster. So, I spread the sandwich again and left it in its original form. Soeri, was just laughing at me and then probably decided to take pity at me because he helped me arrange the cherry tomatoes and the cucumber batons in the box. To this I added some plain yoghurt and a few crunchy choc. biscuit bits with a small handful of sunflower seeds.

Afternoon snack: On two plain fillinchen (they are great thin crispy wafer like slices) I spread Nutella. Yes, that fantastic hazelnutty, chocolaty spread and yes, not so healthy. But let's be honest a little sin every now and then makes life a little more exciting, even for the kids. With this he got a container crammed with fresh organic strawberries and white grapes.

Adult Variation:
Instead of using the wholemeal bread for the sandwich you could use a nice ciabatta. Put a few layers of italian salami and grate some parmesan or pecorino cheese over the top. Put it in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese has melted and the bread is crispy. To this you could make a nice caprese (tomato mozzarella) style salad. Take the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half. Use the small mozzarella balls and add a few to the tomatoes. Add a generous helping of good olive oil and a nice shot of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle fresh chopped basel and salt and pepper. Once again you can switch the yoghurt over to the fruit container. This time, you could also make a yoghurt smoothie by just throwing all of the fruit and yoghurt into a blender and blend well.
Folks, do you really want me to give you an alternative for the Nutella wafers? ;-) Go, on treat yourself to a bit of fun. Your lunch box looks healthy and you deserve it!
Enjoy!

Meatballs & Cranberry, Mandarin Loaf

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Meatballs are always enjoyed by kids of all ages (even the older ones). I make these on a regular basis. These are made with mince chicken, plenty of herbs, egg and a bit of grated carrot. They can be used in a number of ways, so I always make plenty and freeze the leftovers. I use them in pasta sauce, with salads, in sandwiches or just plain.

Morning Snack: That's the way Soeri likes them. With that, a slice of wholemeal bread from our organic bakery and (what else) cream cheese. I also added a few sunflower seeds on the cheese for the crunch. The carrot slices give also an extra bit of crunch. I found some cereal squares filled with milk cream in the store the other day so I bought a packet and decided to add these to some vanilla yoghurt. A nice and very crunchy morning snack!

Afternoon snack: Soeri & me baked this great Cranberry & Mandarin loaf yesterday afternoon. It is crammed with sweet dried cranberries and juicy mandarines and is not too sweet. I could actually see Soeri's mouth watering when I cut this huge piece for the snack box. With this I cut up some refreshing orange.

Update:
Adult Variation
I had a few comments about my blog and a few mentioned that they pack their boxes for work. Which got me thinking about adding an adult variation to the daily tiffins.
Well for this a nice variation would be to make the meatballs a little bigger more in the form of small patties. Instead of just plain carrots you could make a carrot salad. Grate the carrots and add a little onion, some olive oil and a bit of your favorite dressing - italian is always great. A sprinkle of herbs and a nice handful of sunflower seeds adds a little more flavour.
Instead of the cereal milk squares in the yoghurt you could add a little fruit e.g. fresh strawberries or other frozen berries.

Pasta, Spinach Salad & Papaya

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

How to get kids to eat spinach? Well I don't have that much of trouble with Soeri as he loves spinach. However not all kids are like that, so try out this great Pasta Salad I made last night.

Morning Snack: The pasta salad won a few plus points last night so Soeri got a small portion for his snack box today. With that I made a cheese sandwich with fantastic butter cheese and sunflower seeds. To top the snack off I put in a mandarin and a little chocolate treat - Milka Naps Strawberry. I am not too sure if the morning snack box is too full, so I am expecting part of the sandwich to come back.

Afternoon Snack: Both Soeri and me love Papaya. Unfortunately the papaya we get here are nothing to the great Indian papayas my mum gets in Dubai. They were so delicious and huge one could eat off one papaya for a week. Here in Germany the papayas come mostly from Ecuador and are rather small. It's hard to believe that the container here contains one whole papaya! Accompanying this is a raisin muffin and a few butter cookies in the shape of animals.

Meatloaf & Pancakes

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

How to use up leftover Pizza Meatloaf from the weekend? I used some in Soeri's snack box.

Morning Snack: I cut up a small slice of the Pizza Meatloaf and put this in a freshly toasted dark Finnish bread which was spread with cream cheese. As the Meatloaf already has bell peppers and ripe tomatoes, I skipped adding additional vegies. Instead I opted for a Fruity bar and mango/vanilla yoghurt.

Afternoon snack: I had bought some ready made pancakes yesterday. Although they tasted great, they were very crumbly and I was not able to spread the fruit mousse onto them. So, I just added the pancake pieces separately and put the mousse in a container to dip. I also added a packet of vanilla/cinnamon sugar to sprinkle over the mousse and pancakes. For the fresh fruit I cut up nice organic crunchy apples and grapes.

Pears & Strawberries

Monday, March 06, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Monday again and it's snack box time! Soeri helped me prepare the snack boxes today.

Morning Snack: He wanted just plain rye bread, on which he spread his all beloved cream cheese and added a few slices of chicken breast with herbs. Unfortunately, I was unable to sneak in a leafy salad leaf but he went for some yellow bell peppers instead. He then helped me pureè some fresh strawberries and mix it with some apple mousse. For the crunch in the fruit mousse we decided on almonds and a few rasins.

Afternoon Snack: We bought some ripe and juicy pears over the weekend and I figured that by today he'd have enough of pears, but he really liked them and wanted a couple of slices for his afternoon snack box. To conclude we added a nice soft milk bread with some chocolate drops.

French Toast & Cream Cheese Pastry

Friday, March 03, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

French toast, ummm! Always a favorite and Soeri is no different. French toast for a the snack box? Sure why not?
Morning Snack: I made a little French Toast sandwich and spread sweet beet syrup instead of maple syrup. Cut up some honey melon and strawberries and added this to his snack box.

Afternoon Snack: I wanted to give him a croissant but decided on making this great pastry yesterday evening with croissant dough.
I simply took 2 cans of croissant dough (crescent dough), rolled the dough from one can on a baking tray. The filling is made from cream cheese, vanilla, a bit of brown sugar and a few rasins. Spread this on the dough and cover with the dough from the second can. Melt a bit of butter and add a little more sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. Pour over the pastry and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes. We had this as dessert with vanilla ice cream yesterday evening. Soeri found it so delish that he wanted to take this with him in the snack box.
To this I added mango/vanilla yoghurt and a few chocolate oat crunchies.

Leberwurst Sandwiches & Pineapple & Passion Fruit Quark

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

The sandwiches I spread for Soeri were what he wished for today.

Morning Snack: Leberwurst with butter and a slice of Bernd the bread! He said he had not eaten Leberwurst for so long and that's what he fancied. A few slices of cucumber, a few cherry tomatoes and his favorite roll of cheese accompanied the sandwich. With it I put in slices of yellow Kiwi. We love yellow kiwis as they taste sweeter and completely different to the green ones. These have a taste of something between mangoes and papayas.

Afternoon Snack: Milk bread with a bit of butter and honey. Soeri is a lean and thin kid so I do not mind giving him butter on his bread. I added a few plain unsalted cashew nuts and raisins and a nice creamy low fat pineapple and passion fruit quark.

Refreshing and wholesome!

Tuna Spread & Strawberries

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Todays snack boxes contains some of my favorite snacks.
Morning Snack:
I made my mums famous Tuna spread but instead of the mayonaise I used something a little lighter and friendlier to the waistline - low fat Quark. Ricotta or cottage cheese are good alternatives if you can't find quark.
Chop up some spring onions, and a red bell pepper. Add a can of corn and some grated carrots, tuna (preferably natural instead of in oil) and a squirt of good olive oil. Stir in the quark. I used this spread on the great Bernd the bread and put some crunchy lettuce leaves in between. This way I have been sneaking a few leafy salad stuff into Soeri's sandwiches. He seems to make a huge detour around anything leafy or salad like.
I mixed a teaspoon grape sugar (dextrose) into the natural yoghurt and added some fresh strawberries. I love this little healthy snack. The dextrose gives an added boost of energy. A few crunchy carrots and a little carnival milk chocolate as a treat topped his morning snack off.

Afternoon Snack:
Another one of my favorites, a Nussecke (a little nut cake) in chocolate and a few organic grapes and those yummy dried cranberries.

These were such scrumptious snack boxes today and I am looking forward to Soeri's verdict!