Happy Bank Holiday Weekend

Friday, April 28, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

I've been busy this week taking pictures and having fun with the new camera. Plenty of ideas to realize. If you want to keep tabs on my photographs I have changed the side bar slightly. Under "My Photographs" you will see a selection of my pictures (there are also those taken with the Sony). If you are interested simply click on the picture and you will either be forwarded to the recipe to which the picture belongs or to Flickr where you can comment on individual pictures.

I leave you for the long bank holiday weekend with these scrumptious Buttermilk Ricotta Pancakes. Hope you enjoy these!

Raspberry Kisses

Posted by Meeta K

Well amazingly we have reached another Friday. Phew! I actually realized yesterday evening that our trip to the US is coming up soon - 2 weeks to go! Soeren and I will be off for a 3 week trip to visit family in St. Louis, San Francisco and Michigan!

Golly I have not been to the US since 2000, so you can really imagine how excited I am. A bit nervous as to how Soeri will adapt to the long flight and the massive difference in time zones. We have flown to Dubai several times and each time he took the 6 hour flight with a stride and the time difference is only 2 hours so that was not much of a problem either. That is nothing really to 10 hours in a cramped plane and 7-9 hours time difference!

If anyone has managed the odyssey with an active 3/4 year old I would not mind advice and a few ideas of what one can do to keep em busy. After all it isn't as if he can run wild in that plane.

The good thing is my parents will be flying into Frankfurt from Dubai and we'll fly on together, so that is a huge advantage. We can all take turns in keeping him busy.

Morning Snack: Another fantastic bread from the bakery - a beautiful pumpkin seed rye bread. Amazingly soft and tasty. Soeren helped me today again and he picked plain ham. I had to do a bit of convincing to be allowed to add the lamb's lettuce and he agreed to it without the fuss from yesterday.

Oh yeah! those banana nutella waffles from yesterday? Well what do you know? They were all gone and yes he even admitted to it that they were good!

So, back to today, he packed a Babybel chunk of cheese and wanted a few tomatoes with that. Once again I cajoled him into taking a few green asparagus tips, but I doubt he will eat them. May is coming in big strides and it is a month of almost all my fave fruits and vegies. Besides, strawberries, asparagus, mangoes are available everywhere. Ripe and juicy and we cut up a few chunks for the fruit container.

Afternoon Snack: Raspberry Kisses for my sweetheart. I wanted these to be a little surprise for him so I had made these yesterday and hidden them away. He was thrown back when I showed him the container. I told him I call them raspberry kisses because they were small and sweet. He popped one in his mouth and said "Now, you get a Soeri kiss - the are big and sweeter!" Makes everything worth it doesn't it? With that I gave him his favorite vanilla chocolate custard. He's a happy camper today!

Adult Variation: Do you like the lunch boxes today? Good so do I! So let's keep it the way it is. Just larger portions if you like. Oh and if you do make these raspberry kisses, try also these too as they would make a good snack for the lunch box too!

Banana Nutella Waffles

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Yes, this pic was taken with the new camera. Yes, I know it's not too hot. I still have to practice. However, the photos I took yesterday with the DSLR turned out really good.

It was probably just far too early this morning and I was in a bit of a hurry. But at least the lunch boxes are filled with the good stuff again.

Morning Snack: I had made a salad with lambs lettuce and asparagus yesterday (Recipe on What's For Lunch Honey? later) and wanted to use some for Soeri's sandwich. So it was plain rye toast spread with butter and a slice of Bonbel cheese with sunflower seeds and a few of the lamb's lettuce. Carrot sticks and the most delicious and creamy blueberry yoghurt,

Afternoon Snack: This snack box caused a bit of a fuss this morning. I spread some Nutella on two waffles and decided to add a few slices of the banana. It was ripe and I wanted to use it up before it turned black. Well after I took the picture, Soeri noticed that I had put in the banana slices and he said he did not want any on the waffles. I did not want to pick them out and told him he should try it at the KIGA if he did not like it he could pick them out himself.
Sheesh! Whatever makes 3 year olds tick, or in this case, tick out, I would really like to know. I can't stand these hissy fits and tend to stick to my guns. He went to the KIGA with banana on his waffles and the first thing he told his teacher was that he wanted the bananas off the nutella waffles this afternoon.
Besides that he got a container filled with pineapple. This caused no fits.

Adult Variation: This is pretty good the way it is today. Just take the whole sandwich instead of half and you can fill it a little more then I do for Soeren.
I am sure you folks will have no fits when I suggest banana nutella waffles ... or will you?

Power Potato Cakes & Tuc Sandwiches

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

I feel pretty awful today. I did not sleep well last night as I had some bad stomach cramps, which are still here today. I am trying to relax my cramps by drinking some fennel and anis tea with honey. I also took my mum's remedy for everything "Pudin Haara" a concentrated liquid made from green mint. It is Mint isn't it? If any of my fellow Indians are reading this please do correct me.

Nonetheless, the lunch boxes are due today like everyday. I found todays lunch boxes rather neat, if I may say so myself.

By the way folks, this will be my last picture with my HandyCam (I hope) I am expecting my new camera today ... yooohoo!

Morning Snack: I had made these potato cakes yesterday evening (recipe to be presented on What's For Lunch Honey? soon). They are full of power as the ingredients are not only potatoes but carrots, sesame seeds and flax seeds. I make a large batch of these and freeze them because you can eat them with almost anything. For Soeri, I put a slice of Exquisa cream cheese slice in between two such cakes. Of course, you can use any other soft cheese you have available. A few cucumber sticks go quite well with this. The yoghurt is vanilla flavoured and I added some vanilla cereal squares to sprinkle onto the yoghurt.

Afternoon Snack: Every one knows TUC crackers right? I remember them when I was growing up. I used to spread them with cream cheese and nibble these in front of the TV. That is exactly what I did for Soeri. I spread a bit of herb cream cheese in between two TUC crackers. He also got a handful of dried cranberries and some juicy grapes. I am not sure if you can see it but Tom added a little jelly baby in the shape of a monkey.

Adult Variation: As I mentioned above, these potato cakes are nice and versatile so when you do make these do make a big batch too. You can eat them similarly to how I have presented it here, using any cheese you like. You can also fill them like a real sandwich adding your filling of choice. Or make yourself a thermos full of chili con carne and eat these potato cakes along with it. Instead of cereal squares you can use some granola to sprinkel on the yoghurt.
Are you a TUC cracker fan too? Well take a few with a small container of cream cheese along with you. Spread a helping of the cream cheese on the crackers and lay back and just enjoy. You can also use cubed Gouda cheese. How about this? On a toothpick put one of those grapes and then a cube of cheese. This not only looks great but with the crackers tastes fantastic.

Pretzel & Pears

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

We've been having such fantastic weather here that it is such a pleasure picking up Soeri at the KIGA and meeting up with other friends either in the park or in the city. Yesterday, we decided to get our first ice cream of the season. We have a few ice cream joints here and each one tastes better than the next. With the possibility of sitting out on the pavement of the pedestrian area, it was a joy just watching the happenings and slurping the biggest sundaes ever.

What irritates me however, is that although it is a strictly pedestrian zone, those on bicycles also have to get off and push their bikes. But they don't, instead they zoom past us all at such speed, it is scary. I was quite mad yesterday when one of these nuts almost ran Soeren over. The fact that this is never controlled is another frustrating issue we face. Especially in this weather when everyone is out strolling and several children run around playing, trying to enjoy the benefits of a pedestrian zone, we always have to be on the look out for speed crazy and inconsiderate people on bikes.

Morning Snack: Toasted Finnish bread spread lightly with butter and filled with a few lettuce leaves, Babybel sliced cheese and honey hickory ham. Tasty and crunchy! Juicy cherry tomatoes on the side and afew juicy organic pears for the fruit of the day!

Afternoon Snack: "Let there be pretzels for everyone!" Cut in half and spread with butter. Pretzels only taste good with butter. Strawberry yoghurt today. It was a new sort that I bought and somehow very runny. Not so creamy as the usual type we buy. I hope he manages with it. Maybe I should have packed a straw with it ;-)!

Adult Variation: I think a nice big ham and cheese sandwich is great. With a delicious bread or roll and a few crunchy lettuce leaves, a succulent ham and some nice cheese, it can become one of the best sandwiches ever. Or how about combining a pretzel with the filling. Just cut the pretzel in half and add the ham and cheese filling in it.
The runny strawberry yoghurt sparked a thought in my head. With these temperatures a nice milkshake to go would be just perfect. Throw in a few fresh strawberries in the yoghurt and a large cup of buttermilk. Blend well and fill in your thermos. Oh and don't forget the straw ;-)!

Kiwis, Pineapple and a Frankfurter

Monday, April 24, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Keep it simple, was the way to go this morning. We were in a bit of a rush as each of us had a few appointments and things to do. Even though things a re "simple" today they are by no mean boring. On the contrary, looking at the lunch boxes in the pictures shows me how colorful it is!

Morning Snack: I think nothing beats a sausage, in this case a Frankfurter for kids. Soeri, enjoys the elaborate things he gets in the lunch box, but a Frankfurter is always a winner. Paired with rye bread spread with herb cream cheese and a few carrot batons, I think he will be rather pleased. Green kiwis are in the fruit section this morning. A good portion of extra vitamins is always good!

Afternoon Snack: We cut up the juiciest and sweetest pineapple yesterday for dinner. It was a pretty big pineapple and there is a bit leftover. I packed a container full with some of these lovely pineapple chunks. The honey cake is becoming a big favorite here. I will have to find a recipe to make it myself. It surprises me every time, that things I expect will not do too well at home, becomes a hit. So, it was honey cake again spread with butter.

Adult Variation: OK, Frankfurters might be for kids but what about the grown-ups? Well why not a Frankfurter salad. Easy to make and tastes great. Chop up some onion, slice the Frankfurter sausage, cut up a few bit size chunks of your favorite cheese. Now add some carrot cubes and pour all this with your favorite dressing. A simple baguette is the best companion to this salad. The kiwi stays and so does the pineapple. If you are unable to find a honey cake with the tastes of ginger and cinnamon then go for any other type of dry cake.

Piroshki Filling Sandwich & A Donut

Friday, April 21, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Awful quality of the photo, I know. But the update on the new camera is ... I have finally found something that I like and after talking to many people and after one person in particular (Jörg this one's for you) helped me out immensely and after Tom's subtle help (I do love you baby), I hope to have my new one in the next few days :-))))! Until then I really, really hope that you bear with the quality of these photos. A HandyCam is just not meant to take pictures.

Now to the lunch boxes!

Morning Snack: Since I had a little bit of the filling leftover from the Piroshki I made, I decided to use that as a sandwich filling. I added a bit of herb cream cheese and mixed it together. Spread some margarin on rye toast and added the filling. A bit of lettuce was also snuck into the sandwich. Looked so scrummy that I ate the other half! Cocktail tomatoes on the side and a few green grapes. Soeren loves these "Fruity" bars. This one is with strawberries and lime.

Afternoon Snack: At the bakery yesterday, Soeren saw this donut. With a funny figure on it, it attracted him like a magnet. I was not too keen on the donut, but I admit, I gave in to those huge bambi eyes pleading with me. I told him he should share it with his buddies at the KIGA, so maybe he will not eat the whole thing himself. Soeren will share it, that I know. There's something very generous about him, when someone requests something from him, he almost always gives it up with a huge smiling face. To balance the donut I packed half a banana. Wonder what will come back?

Adult Variation: Keep the sandwich the way it is. Together with the cream cheese it tasted fantastic. Of course you take the whole sandwich ;-). If you prefer you can slice the tomatoes and also add them to the sandwich. Instead of the "Fruity" bar you can take any other type of granola bar or even a few ginger snaps. The grapes are also fine. Now, I am not sure if you are the donut type of person, if you aren't then I would suggest making yourself another great treat. Add a bit of natural yoghurt to the bottom of the container, sprinkle with a few chopped roasted almonds. Spoon a bit of apple mousse over the top. Another layer of yoghurt and to top it all off slice the banana and place over the yoghurt. Over this sprinkle some more roasted almonds. Let it cool overnight. Voila!

Piroshki & Rasin Slice

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

I know what you are thinking, "where is the normal lunch box picture we always see here?" Am I right?

To tell you the truth I thought something similar when I checked my HandyCam a few minutes ago. I took the picture and when Soeri and Tom left came up here to transfer it on the notebook. Well it seems the picture has disappeared somewhere into the nirvana of my HandyCam!

Folks, my frustration has no ends at the moment. Ever since my camera got stolen in London I seem to be facing large walls that I need to break through first.

Today, I will tell you what was in the lunch box and you will have to use your imagination for the picture part.

Morning Snack: I made these Piroshki extra for Soeri's lunch box yesterday. They are great with any kind of filling, I chose a mushroom potato filling. With this I put a few cherry tomatoes that are juicy and sweet. I bought some fresh strawberries and cut these and added just a sprinkle of grape sugar. The reason I add grape sugar is simply because it gives a extra energy kick for Soeri for the day. Especially when he has a eventful day like today. Music, sport and a spring walk in the park.

Afternoon Snack: A slice of a raisin toast, spread with butter and a bit of honey is just the right kind of snack for the afternoon. Soeren loves this and with this I added a container full on vanilla LC1 yoghurt. On the side a few cereal squares to add to the yoghurt.

Adult Variation: I find the snack boxes today pretty good even for us adults. The Piroshki can be stuffed with your favorite filling, if you do not like the mushroom filling. The tomatoes add a bit of freshness. You can also simply make a tomato salad, by sprinkling cut cherry tomatoes with some extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a nice handful of chopped basel. The strawberries are currently the best spring fruit and you can enjoy the luxurious taste with a few mint leaves added to this.
A slice of a raisin loaf or a raisin bun with the butter and honey really is a great way to enjoy the afternoon snack. With a cup of steaming herbal tea it makes it perfect.
Hope you enjoy it!

Italian Sandwich Filling & Honey Cake

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Still reviewing cameras after mine got stolen in London (read the story here). It really is the weirdest feeling taking pictures with the Handycam, but I am glad to have it so I can continue my posts.

I went to the supermarket yesterday and bought the whole store out! Now everything is filled back to the rims and I am a happy mum!

Morning Snack: I made an Italian sandwich spread. Just playing around with a few ingredients and testing some different tastes. The reason I called it Italian is because I used some Italian mortadella ... oh and some olive oil.

Mortadella, chopped up. Peas, carrots, corn, pickled gurkens, white beetroot and red pickled bell peppers all cut up (where necessary). Mix this in a bowl with the mortadella, add a shot of the olive oil. Natural quark or yoghurt and a tablespoon of low-fat mayo. Mix well and cool.

I used this to fill a bier brötchen, a beer roll (see here). Crunchy cucumber batons are really refreshing and Soeri always enjoys them. With this a nice natural yoghurt with small chocolate biscuit balls. He saw me adding the yoghurt this morning and wanted straight away to taste "Mummy, let me try if you added enough of those biscuit balls. It has to be perfect for your blog!" This from a 3 year old!

Afternoon Snack: I bought this organic spongy honey cake yesterday and it tastes really fantastic. We had tried some sometime 2 weeks ago at Soeren' music school. A mum had bought this along and it was spread lightly with butter and covered with another slice of the cake. Soeren seemed to take a real liking to it, which surprised me. It tastes of honey but also a bit of ginger and cinnamon. Soeren is not such a ginger fan and I normally use small doses when I cook so that he does not discover the taste and strike out on me! This cake, however, seemed to have made the eat all you can list.
I decided to add this just the way he liked it at the music school. Lightly spread with butter and covered with another slice. I also added a few cashew nuts and today's fruit container has a yellow plum and half an apple.

Adult Variation: I know the Bier Brötchen is not available everywhere in the world. So, you can substitute a ciabatta roll here. It is an italian spread after all. For us adults I recommend always adding a few lettuce leaves. Argula, rock or a lollo mix are great and crunchy. Instead of just cutting up the cucumbers you can make a nice cucumber salad. Simple slice up the cucumbers finely and salt these so that the liquid comes out of them. Drain all access fluids and chop up an onion. Mix this with a yoghurt salad dressing and take a few croutons on the side. I want to make a honey cake like this on my own soon. When I do I will definitely pass on the recipe. In the meantime check out your bakeries and supermarkets for something similar. I think this will taste fantastic with a nice cup of green tea. You can certainly use any other dry cake in the meantime!

Back to KIGA!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Easter break is over and it's back to KIGA and packing lunch boxes. Tom and I had a great time in LONDON (yes some of you got it right and a postcard from the pulsating city is on it's way!). I have quite a bit to report so tune in to The Family Buzz (my personal blog) later tonight. I was a little handicapped (and still am) so don't expect too many photos. That's right my beautiful Sony DSC F 717 got stolen!!

The pictures you see here are taken with my Sony Handycam, so please forgive the quality. But I cannot leave you all and the show must go on, right folks?

Since our refrigerator and pantry was a huge empty gapping hole I pretty much scavengered what I had left. Here in Germany stores and supermarkets were all closed during Easter break and if you did not shop on Thursday you were left with rests like I was until today. Being in London over the break and Soeri at his grandparents I did not feel the need to buy anything, as it would not be fresh when we got back.

Morning Snack:I think I managed quite well. I had made a few vegetable/beef mince frikadellen (that's German for a flat meatball or hamburger) before we left and froze these. They are filled with finely chopped carrots, broccoli and cauliflower and taste amazing hot or cold. On toasted Finnish bread I spread a thick layer of herb cream cheese. On the side a few carrots sticks and half a juicy papaya.

Afternoon Snack: A soft french chocolate croissant baked in the oven. A fresh juicy tangerine and a cool passion fruit and peach yogurt! Not bad eh?

Adult Variation: I would suggest that you fill the Finnish bread or a dark bread roll with the hamburger, add a fresh leaf of lettuce and a few slices of chopped tomatoes, pickled gurken and spread some dijon mustard for a tangy taste. The papaya is just perfect as a light fruit dessert. As I always say, kick back and enjoy the afternoon snack. When the weather allows go out into a park and with the chocolate croissant get yourself a frothy latte. This little break will give the right kick to go that extra mile sometimes needed.

I say old boy, this appears to be a charming tiffin!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Charming indeed! Reminds one of afternoon tea at The Orangery Tea House in .... and sets the mood for our trip to .....!
I think the tiffin today is a huge hint. No idea what I am talking about. See this).

The last post for this week as we head off on our Easter break. We'll be back next week and until then Soeri and I wish you a very Happy Easter!

Morning Snack: A soft rye sunflower toast with the edges cut off (naturally) spread with herb cream cheese and thin slices of fresh cucumbers. A few crunchy orange bell peppers to accompany the sandwiches and a Easter egg - hard boiled of course. The fruit for today are juicy white grapes and a few apple chunks. Of course I included a little Easter treat.

Afternoon Snack: The delish Chunky Chocolate Chip Scone was a must again today and he wanted to take the last piece. A few slices of canned juicy mandarin slices. Not in syrup but in own juice and so fantastically refreshing. Yes, another Easter treat!

Adult Variation: Cucumber sandwiches taste really great. They are light and one can eat more than just one ;-). So try this out. The egg is also lovely with it. One bit of the sandwich one of the egg ... ummm! Try this out for dessert. Keep the grapes and apples and just pour some custard over the top. Leave to cool overnight and by lunch you will have a superb fresh fruit and custard dessert.
The scones are a must. As I said yesterday enjoy these with some cream, clotted cream and a cuppa!

Happy Easter!

Scones & Tuna

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

I think yesterday I out did myself in the kitchen. After making some delicious Tuna Tacos, Soeren and me spent the afternoon making some gorgeous chocolate scones (Recipe here). The whole house had this fantastic fragrance of baking. When Tom came home the first thing he asked "Smells good, what's for dinner, honey?"

Morning Snack: I reserved some of the filling from the Tuna Tacos for today. Then I spread some herb cream cheese on a lightly toasted Finnish bread and filled it with the tuna filling. I know he will be picking the kidney beans out because yesterday evening he decided he did not like kidney beans! The fruit container is crammed with sweet organic grapes.

Afternoon Snack: The scones turned out so luscious that we really had to stop ourselves from eating them all yesterday. Therefore Soeri wanted two today. I know he will manage to eat both these. Hopefully he'll have room for the yummy peach yoghurt too!

Adult Variation: The lunch box is just great the way it is today folks! Just one thing though a bit of lettuce and a splash of salsa in the tuna sandwich adds a bit of crunch and spice. The scones can be taken with a bit of cream or the very British clotted cream! Enjoy. So, I think I'll go down and get myself a cup of coffee and one of these scones ;-)

Teenage memories - Cottage Cheese Honey Pitta

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Do you know that feeling when you bite into something and the taste throws you back years to some memory of your younger years? You can picture every detail of that memory. If the memory was a good one, your lips turn up into a slight smirk and your eyes get a light sheen to it. Well that's what happened to me as I prepared Soeri's snack box today.

Morning Snack: The cottage cheese pitta spread with honey was something I used to fix myself as breakfast on the way to school back when I was about 15/16. We were in Doha, Qatar at the time and I was going to the Doha College. I'd quickly make myself this little sandwich, grab myself a chocolate milk and run downstairs to wait for my best friend Shima. She too would come with some kind of breakfast in her hand and together we would sit on the wall of our compound, munching away and waiting for our parents to take us to school. Once in the car we would hit the car stereo and sing to Madonna, Duran Duran and A-Ha all the way to school (thanks parents for putting up with that!).
I had a huge smile on my face this morning as I fixed this for Soeri. I think he too will like the combination. As I mentioned yesterday, I have fruit en masse at the moment. So, he also got a few juicy chunks of watermelon along with it.

Afternoon Snack: A lovely fresh pancake filled with cranberry jam is something that is not only quick to fix but tastes great. I added a little Easter treat and the fruit container has a yellow plum and a few dried cranberries.

Adult Variation: Go ahead and try out my cottage cheese honey pitta combination. The smooth cheese combined with the sweetness of the honey in the bread is something you will remember for a while too. If you are not the sweet tooth type of person then keep the cottage cheese in the pitta and add a few pieces of chicken breast. Add a nice mustard, a few herbs and a fresh lettuce leaf. I am sure this will fill you up. The watermelon is light and refreshing after such a filling sandwich.
If you do not want to make the cranberry jam pancakes then get yourself a cranberry/blueberry muffin. I would definitely recommend the pancake though. It tastes great with a frothy cappuccino.

Fruits galore!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Over the weekend I bought so much of fruit that my refrigerator is overflowing. It is, therefor no surprise that the snack boxes are crammed with fruits today, in my special edition of "Fruits Galore!"

Morning Snack: On the menu today for the morning snack, Sir Soeren will be eating a fine rye bread, spread with a smooth layer of cream cheese. With this he will enjoy light and herby meatballs accompanied with a few cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes. For dessert, a ripe and succulent papaya.

Afternoon Snack An exquisite creation by Chef Mum, is this light Forest Berry Mascarpone Tart. Furthermore, some soft and luscious slivered pears top off the afternoon snack.

Adult Variation: No, I have not lost my marbles ;-). Just getting myself in the mood for our trip over Easter. Where, you ask? Guess!.
Back to your lunch! Make a bit of pasta, like penne, and add a tomato pasta sauce to it. Throw in a few of the meatballs and you have a nice pasta dish that can be eaten cold or warm. You can even chop up a zucchini and a carrot and quickly steam these. Add together with the pasta sauce. Papaya are absolutely delicious and so nourishing so make sure you take a huge slice.
If you do make this tart (when I post the recipe) I hope you enjoy it. The combination of ginger and cinnamon in the mascarpone is really tantalizing. Cut yourself a big slice and enjoy this with a nice Latte Macchiato.
Toodle-loo my jolly ole fellows!

Guest Blogger at Chef Michele's

Posted by Meeta K

Hi Folks,

Don't forget today, I am guest blogging on Michele's Weekly Guest Blogger Event.

I am honored to have this opportunity and hope you all will join me at Chef Michele's today. I'll be telling a little story and presenting a recipe that I picked just for the event. As it always is on What's for lunch, Honey?, it has been tried and tested by my jury prior to the presentation.

Hope to see you there!

Ham & Cheese Croissant

Friday, April 07, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Croissants .... love them in every form and with every filling. When the French "invented" this flaky pastry did they know they would be creating a cult around the world? Probably not!
I have even used croissants as a base for a quiche type dish!!
Morning Snack: Nothing so fancy for the lunch box today though. These croissants we bought this morning were so fresh and flaky that I had some trouble cutting them and filling them. It looks sort of dilapidated in the picture doesn't it? I spread this one for Soeri's lunch box with cream cheese, a slice of turkey breast and some lovely butter cheese with sunflower seeds. I was going to slice the tomatoes and place them on the croissant too but decided it might get too soggy by the time he actually eats this so I just put a few Italian cherry tomatoes on the side instead. The fruit department today contains chunks of chilled juicy melon.

Afternoon Snack: Fresh milk bread from the baker this morning (by the way, on some days the baker comes door to door with his van and delivers his goods fresh, nice eh?). These are filled with chocolate chips. A fruity strawberry lime bar and a little Easter treat goes into the box too. Today's yoghurt is actually my favorite ... natural yoghurt with a bit of grape sugar, raisins and oat flakes. It's the first time that I am giving Soeri this yoghurt so let's see what he thinks.

Adult Variation: Keep the croissant the way it is. Nice change from the usual roll or bread. The flakiness is just too tempting to substitute. How about taking a soup along with this? You can try out the Spinach Coconut soup I made. I think it is just perfect for this April weather. Instead of the milk bread make yourself a large container full of Fruit Salad and you have a perfect lunch box with all the necessary goodness for the day. Have a happy weekend!

Egg & Beef a la Pret and a Nussecke

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Every now and then I travel to London on business. It is such an invigorating and pulsating city and I enjoy spending my free (always little to spare) time taking in all the sights and sounds London offers.

There is one other reason I like to visit London - Pret A Manger (Pret). The sandwiches taste great and the whole concept behind it is exceptional. Everything is made daily, from natural ingredients and at the end of the day the leftovers go to the homeless.

A while back I had the opportunity to meet one of the people behind the scenes pulling one or two strings. We chatted for a long time and I mentioned that it would be "awesome" (he found that word "so typical American") if we could get some of the recipes to be able to make these great sandwiches at home. Well, on their website they now have a "Pret DIY" section where a few of the recipes are available.

Morning Snack: I took the Pret All Day Breakfast as an inspiration and made it with my own variations. A nice and just a tad bit spicey merguez, which I cut up in slices and fried it in a pan. Beat up an egg and added it to the pan, scrambling it together with the merquez. On a sunflower seed toast spread cream cheese. When you take the egg/merguez out of the pan allow to cool and then add a teaspoon of Miracle Whip. Spread this on the toast and press gently together. Not exactly the real Pret All Day Breakfast but you can see the similarities. I also added a few cucumber slices to crunch along with the sandwiches. The refreshing chocolate yoghurt has a few of the cereal squares and dried cranberries to sprinkle on top.

Afternoon Snack: A nussecke is pastry made from shortcrust dough and spread with a variety of nuts and honey and one side is covered in chocolate. It really is so delicious that both me and Soeren can never resist going past our bakery without getting some of these. With this I cut up some juicy Pink Lady apples and added a few organic grapes.

Adult Variation: You could do the Pret All Day Breakfast (you'll find how here). It really is a huge thing and quite filling. So, I think the yoghurt makes a light dessert to this.
I am not sure if everyone will be able to find the "nussecke" but you can also take a slice of the Cranberry Mandarin Loaf. As this already contains fruit you can treat yourself to a nice espresso

Bagels & Waffles

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

Phew! After the hectic, but good b-day celebration yesterday (it was only the 3 of us!), it's back to the lunch box. Yesterday's birthday menu was received well by my jury. I had made up a delicious Tart Ratatouille with warm goat's cheese and scrumptious Mousse au Chocolat. As a matter of fact I was hoping to use a piece of the tart in Soeri's lunch box today, but there was nothing left over (only one portion of the mousse but sssshhhhhh!).

Morning Snack: I decided to go for bagels this morning. Lightly toasted a sesame bagel and spread a thick layer of cream cheese. Added a slice of juicy turkey breast and snuck in a lettuce leaf (I expect it to be picked out and brought back home - with a comment or two from Sir Soeren!). A few italian cherry tomatoes I got at the organic market keeps it all nice and succulent. Refreshing organic plain yoghurt with a helping of fresh strawberries is what we had for breakfast today and Soeren wanted to take more to the KIGA. I added a little sprinkle of grape sugar which tastes great, plus keeps the energy flowing for those wild play days at the KIGA.

Afternoon Snack: Nutella Waffle sandwich! Soeren did not see me making this so I expect him to have a smile on his face when he opens the snack box this afternoon. On the fruit side we have two juicy yellow plums.

Adult Variation: Bagels can be filled in a variety of ways, so go for what you like best. Pastrami, roast beef or salami. A few lettuce leaves, tomatoes and cucumbers adds the necessary vitamins (that we as adults also forget about ;-)). I hope you like the yoghurt with fresh strawberry combination because it is fantastically refreshing and a great low-fat dessert.
So, now you can throw that low-fat outta the window and add up the cals. I think we deserve to sin. So, go ahead and make yourself that nutella waffle sandwich too. If you really can't get your conscious to do it, then I suggest a fruit mousse to accompany the waffles. If you find yellow plums then please do buy them and try them out. They really taste succulent.

Meatball Sandwich

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

I think kids love meatballs in every form and in every dish. When I make meatballs I make a truckload and freeze them. This way I can use them in all the forms Soeri likes them.

Morning Snack: Today I tried something new. I decided to make a meatball sandwich. I spread some cream cheese on a bread roll cut a few meatballs in half and placed them on top of a slice of cheese. A little shot of ketchup holds everything in place. Crunchy carrot batons go well with these. The organic grapes in the fruit department are juicy and sweet.

Afternoon Snack: Soeren loves raisin buns, spread with a little butter and honey is something that he devours anytime of the day. A few cashew nuts give the snack the crunchiness and lovely watermelon a nice refreshment.

Adult Variation: Meatball Sandwich for us adults should be a little different. Try this out: Sliced red onion, a few jalepeno pepppers and hot salsa sauce. Yum! A few baked potato wedges and lunch is ready to go. Don't forget those grapes!
Try out the raisin bun the way Soeri likes them and get yourself a nice hot chocolat to go with it. Ever heard of watermelon sprinkled with a bit of black pepper on top? No? Try it ... it's an amazing tingle of tastes! Let me know what you think.

Ham, Egg, Cheese & Rice crackers

Monday, April 03, 2006

Posted by Meeta K

A favorite sandwich at our place is definitely the ole' ham, egg and cheese trio. Something about the combination of all three that really makes it a filler for all types of breads.

Morning Snack: So, as I did not want my boiled egg for breakfast yesterday I had it leftover today. I chopped it up added a teaspoon of Miracle Whip Balance (mayo), a few herbs and used this as a sandwich spread. I put a thin slice of ham and a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of a nice fresh rye bread. The red bell peppers are the juiciest and sweetest and they are great to crunch on, on the side. That melon you see there .... ummmm! It is so juicy and as it came fresh from the refrigerator was nice and chilled.

Afternoon Snack: On Saturday we went for a little hiking trip nearby the place we live. I bought a few of these rice crackers to munch on as a little snack. Soeri and his little girlfriend took a liking to these straight away, so I decided to pack two in his snack box today. I love eating them with the dried cranberries as there is something about the combination that tastes great. I also gave him a small chocolate chip mini cake and a cool forest berry yoghurt.

Adult Variation: The filling would go really well in a French crispy baguette. So, you could try that out. Instead of the mozzarella you could try a stronger cheese like gruyere or maybe even a camembert. I would suggest taking a bell pepper salad along with this. It is easy to make. Cut up the peppers in slices. Add some slices red onion and a handful of sweet corn. Sprinkle with extra-virgin olive oil and some white balsamic vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste and a few nice basel leaves to top it off. It makes a great side dish to the baguette. The melon is a must and instead of just one mini cake you can always take two! I also recommend the rice cracker/cranberry combination - great to snack on and not all that fattening!