For the sweet toothed!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

First let me get this out of the way: We are gonna cream the Argies in today's game!

Anyone who thinks I have lost it ... I am referring to the quarter finals in the soccer game today. Germany faces Argentina and we all are crossing our fingers that the Argies will be boarding that plane back home tonight!

At yesterday's birthday party Soeren and his buddies Jeremy and Justine were playing soccer as if they were supposed to win the World Cup. It was sooooo amazingly cute to watch these three little cuties run around with the ball screaming and shouting.

By the way just a word of warning to any girls out there: these three boys are gonna break a few hearts when they get older. Watching them yesterday we mummies were talking about how the little girls were so enamored by them already. Jeremy with his gorgeous green eyes, Justine with his blonde hair and blue eyes and Soeren with his cheeky grin and big brown eyes. Oh boy! I'll have to get a pic of these three together for you to show you what I mean!

Today's is for the sweet toothed! The jam I made here fills the rye toastie. On the right another type of Wasa crispbread spread with butter and honey. A juicy and sweet peach. And for Jessica and Liz here is another variety of the Kinder selection - Penguin. Oh and in the back there that is the most amazing cracker. made from organic stuff, it has cheesem pumpkin seeds, sesame seed, flax seeds and other great stuff in and on it.
And since we are all in soccer madness here a Soccer Babybel cheese chunk.

Adult Variation:
I have something gorgeous for your lunchbox today. Check this out and tell me you want me to suggest something else! Enjoy!

Pretzel & Pineapple

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

Got an email for a loyal blog reader yesterday evening. She mentioned that she watched a very interesting report about Germany on TV. They talked about the great places to visit and of course the food. Although I have admitted this in the past before, I do like some German dishes but I do not count the German cuisine really as my favorite. However, what I do LOVE is the German bread. In the comments from yesterday's tiffin there was pure happiness as HN found a German bakery in DC. I hope you come back and tell us where it is just in case there are a few others out there in the DC area.

We also talked about doing a little review on German bread. Well, I have been playing with the idea for a while and think now is the time to stop playing and get into action. I will spend the next few weeks taking pictures and writing notes about the breads i use at home and sometime in the future will do a post about it. What do you think?

So, when we talk about German breads, we cannot forget the Pretzel. That is what Soeren got in his lunchbox today. Honestly, I only managed to fit half in there but for the picture took the whole ;-) It is spread with cream cheese and with that a "Knacker" which is a nice thin salami. A container full of pineapple so juicy and refreshing and a wonderful (half) organic banana. When you have tasted an organic banana you never want to go back to the other stuff. Today' treat a soft spongy chocolate cake.

Adult Variation:What withe the pretzel and salami this is such a lovely and almost traditional German lunchbox I would not want to change a thing. Just in case you want something more filling. Did you know that you can fill the pretzel like any sandwich? Give it a go and let me know what ideas you came up with.

Happy lunching!

Melon & Chicken Salad

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

The days seem to rush by so fast and the week is so busy lately. Soeren has been invited to two birthday parties and he so excited about the whole thing. These are his first official birthday parties. You know the ones I mean ... with actual birthday invite cards from the kid's mums and the ones that make you feel like you are part of the "in" group! When I picked him up from the KIGA he came rushing to me and whispered,

"I have been invited to two birthday parties mum!"
"WOW!" I exclaimed
"Shhhh! Not so loud .... they'll think this is my first one. That's not cool!"

I swear he is not even four years old (in August) so two questions:
1. How does he know what is cool and what is not?
2. Does it matter at almost four to be cool?

I really wanted to crack up but hey ... that's not cool, right!

Today's lunchbox is filled with some great stuff! The Finnish bread is packed with a mediterranean chicken salad. Carrots to crunch and juicy honey melon. The "Wasa" crisp bread is spread with yummy Nutella. Today's treat yoghurt muesli pops.

Adult Variation:
The chicken salad is really a breeze to make. Cut up some leftover grilled chicken breasts or if you have a rotisserie near you buy some there. Dice it up. Add some sour cream mediterranean tomato pasta sauce (just a few spoonfuls) and cream cheese. Mix well. Cut up some onion, bell peppers and any other vegies you like. Add this to the chicken and mix. You can use this to fill anything you like - wraps, rolls etc. The Wasa crispbread with the Nutella is completely delicious and I too can't resist this snack. So, make yourself a few too. Hope you enjoy your lunch!

Apricots and Schnitzel!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

The weather is just gorgeous here and we're having a grand time just relaxing and hanging out in our hammock or strolling through our local fruit and vegie market. There is so much variety and the colors are splendid.

That is also why the lunch box is packed with a variety of fruit, which are fresh, ripe and juicy.

Today, I cut up a Schnitzel in smaller slices. What is a Schnitzel? Well I will be telling the Schnitzel story on What's for lunch, Honey? and how I made it sometime next week so check back then! I know there are some clever ones out there, so for those who know you are always welcome to comment on this, however the story (and the schnitzel) has a little twist to it!

Anyway with this Soeri wanted his all time favorite rye bread with cream cheese. Notice that his sandwiches do not have crusts ... why is it that kids have a thing about crusts?

Now, enter the lovely fruit - juicy organic grapes and wonderfully sweet apricots that make your mouth water. The milk crescent is spread with butter and some lavender honey we bought at the market. The treat today: some great raisins!

Adult Variation:
The schnitzel is great cold and you use this to fill any roll or bread. OK I am being unfair because some of you might not know what a schnitzel is. As soon as I have posted the recipe you will ;-) Take a light salad and your favorite dressing and trust me you will have a great European type lunch. Don't forget to take an assortment of fruit. Whatever you do, just make sure you take it easy on your lunch break. Hope you enjoy it!

New start - Active start

Monday, June 26, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

Phew! What a hectic and eventful week the last week was. On Thursday, after Soeri's surgery both Tom and I were so mentally exhausted that we were unable to communicate with each other. We just kind of nodded or shook our heads or even grunted at each other. Friday, was also a little exhausting running back and forth to the doctors for the check-up et. Soeri, however was top fit. Nothing seems to really knock him over - touch wood! On Saturday he was so fit that he wanted to go to his pals birthday party and then to the KIGA summer festival. Of course all were really happy to see him so fit ... one mum actually asked "Did he really have the surgery on Thursday?" At the festival the kids could ride horses and a little pony. As me and Tom headed for the queue at the pony, Soeren looked at us and said "I am not a baby mum, I think I can ride the horse!"

As he sat on that horse, the jockey helmet larger than his little head, he looked so proud. I cursed myself for having forgot my camera.

Anyway, I am glad this is a new week, with a new start!

Once again thanks to all who were so kind to think of him. I did tell him that there were so many out there rooting for him.

We picked strawberries from a strawberry field again and this is part of the bounty. The Finnish bread is spread with some yummy egg salad and added vitamins are given with the yellow kiwi. Today's treat a chocolate chip mini cake.

Adult Variation: Egg salad is great. Use sour cream and cream cheese instead of the mayo. It is lighter and tastes better. Add a lot of nice fresh herbs and few chopped onions. A refreshing yogurt would go well with the fresh cut strawberries on top. Or if you prefer make a milkshake out the yoghurt and fruit.
I hope you enjoy your lunch and of course have a great start to your week.

Kisses to you all!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

You all are so fantastic it is really amazing. Last night I read all your comments and well wishes going out to Soeren. Keeping him in your thoughts and prayers is what touched me.

The surgery went really well. What amazed me is how strong this little guy is. He said to me just before they rolled him off "Hey mum! Don't worry I'm gonna be fine!" This is actually after he got some syrup that made him a little ... well behave like he had a few shots of tequilla ;-)

It took just half an hour and before we knew it he was out again. Sure there were a few tears, but on the whole he looked great, considering what they had just done. Anyway, we stayed in the clinic for a few hours, as he slept for a bit and got a final check up. But as soon as he was fit again he was hungry.

I was under the impression he would not want to even think about food but hey he is a Foodie's son right? After a strawberry yoghurt and two ice lollies ( he was only supposed to eat these kind of things) he told the doc that he was craving for a big cheeseburger. She cracked up!

We broguht him home and he was such a happy trooper ... slept for 2 hours and wanted more to eat.

Finally at dinner he got a huge portion of pasta with meatballs and tomato sauce. The beam on his face would light up the darkest of place.

We both thank you for your support and would like to send you huge hugs and these Strawberry Kisses.

See you Monday with a new tiffin idea!

Field Trip day

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

Today it's Soeren's first field trip ever with the KIGA. So, you can imagine the excitement today! We were told today to pack something simple that they can pick up in their hands and enjoy.

I had made a great zucchini fennel fritatta and a strawberry almond muffin called "Strawberry Kisses" (Recipes here soon). So he got to take some along with him. He also got a simple rye bread with spread with herby cream cheese a couple of cherry tomatoes and a container full of green apples. I packed a nice little picnic napkin and the cutlery that comes along with the laptop lunchbox too. He also got a bottle of chilled homemade fruity ice tea.

I am so keen to hear what happened today. Will update you folks too.

There will be no lunchbox for the next few days as Soeri is going into the clinic tomorrow. Cross your fingers for him please!

Adult Variation
: the idea with a picnic was great so I thought I would suggest this to you for your lunch break. If you can take a small picnic blanket and spend your lunch break in a park or somewhere green. Make yourself a huge portion of this fritatta and just lay back and relax.

Watermelon and Leberwurst

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

There are times in a kids life when they crave for the simplest of foods. Yesterday I was at the butcher's and picked up some real home made Leberwurst. We had some for dinner and it was just too delicious to be true. There were bits of apples inside and .... well delicious.

Of course Soeri wanted to take some with him and I spread it on fresh pumpkin seeds rye bread. With that. a Bonbel cheese chunk and a few cooling and refreshing cucumbers. A container full of plain yoghurt with chocolate bits and juicy, fresh and crunchy watermelon.

Tomorrow Soeren is going on his first field trip with his KIGA. So he is excited. Let's see what I can come up with for the lunchbox!

Adult Variation: An alternative to the leberwurst is some good liver paté you can chop up some finely chopped apple in it yourself to enjoy the same taste. I would also suggest taking a few pickled gurkins because it tastes great together with the fresh leberwurst. You can make yourself a cooling milkshake with the yoghurt. Make sure you sit back and enjoy the great weather though.

Strawberry fields forever

Monday, June 19, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

We spent our weekend over at my in-laws. they live in a lovely part of Germany and have a fantastic place with a huge garden. It#s just great to play, relax and have great family barbecues. As you can imagine Soeri loves it there.

On the way there we stopped at "Erdbeerland" which is Strawberry Land literally translated! A strawberry field where you can pick your own strawberries. Yes, this is one of my favorite seasons. We love picking the fresh juicy strawberries, without pesticide and naturally grown. As you can see from the picture below they were gone really fast. So, on the way back home we stopped there again for another 3 1/2 kg of strawberries!

Yes, the lunchbox today revolves around the great fruit! The toastie is filled withe my homemade Strawberry Mango Jam and the container is filled with pick me strawberries from the field. Besides that a container filled with peach and apricot mousse. In the back a few Tuc crackers filled with cream cheese. Treat today: A chocolate muesli bar!

Adult Variation: Have breakfast for lunch today and try out the jam. It's refreshing when the temperatures are rising outside. Nothing compared to fresh strawberries in any form! So a must for the lunchbox. A savory snack with the Tuc crackers are great. Just enjoy the start of the week and your lunch!

Peaches & Pears

Friday, June 16, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

Just like to say thanks to all those fantastic people who sent me such kind mails and comments for Soeri yesterday. I was really touched. You all are just great!

Yesterday, Tom and I had a discussion about getting Soeren signed up for some proper sport. At present he goes to a kiddie sport group at the gym with me. But I want him to join up with a proper sport club and a team. I personally think Soeri would enjoy soccer. It is a boys sport and he desperately needs to get out there and rough and tough it out with other boys. Furthermore, learning about team spirit is a great advantage. We have some great soccer clubs in our area and I called one or two yesterday. Tom, on the other hand thinks light athletic sport is better for him at this age. The sport that we did at the gym was a kind of tamed down version of this and he is loosing the interest in doing things as a single person. Now, just for the record, it is not what we want but it is what we noticed Soeren has a certain bit of interest. He loves soccer and is always playing with the kids in the KIGA. At home he wants to go out to the playground and see if the older boys will play with him.

Do you understand what I mean? He seems to really enjoy being with a group and pulling his part in the team. He looks like he would be a good leader as he seems to take the initiative. He gets people to follow his lead but can also go along with others too. I notice that when he is left to do things for himself alone he gets bored very easily and starts to day dream!

Anyway, both of us have not made the final decision as yet. I will check out the soccer clubs and he wants to check out the athletic clubs. We'll talk with the trainers and see where Soeri feels comfortable. At least he is able to take part in a few test training sessions.

What are your opinions on this? I would love to hear your ideas, thoughts and comments.

The lunch box is peachy today. A container full of fresh organic peaces and some peach and apricot fruit mousse covers the vitamins for the day. Another one of those great rolls with pumpkin seeds spread with Kiri cream cheese and filled with herby meatballs goes into the box. With this a nice little Bonbel cheese chunk. The chocolate cake in the back there has some wonderful Canadian pears as a topping. Something I really wanted to eat myself! But schucks! What a mother does not do for her kid! Today's treat is an organic almond bar.

Adult Variation:
I like the idea of the lunch box today. Even the meatball sandwich is great. You can add the fruit mousse to a bit of yoghurt if you like but as it is so hot a the moment I find plain fruit mousse makes a great dessert.
Have a great lunch and ... a great weekend. See you on Monday!

Vegie Melt

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

OOOHHH! Today's picture is somewhat blurry ... I do apologize for that. I was in a bit of a hurry today and guess forgot to focus properly! :-( Sorry about that!

Soeri and me were at the clinic yesterday. As some of you might remember he has been having trouble with a constant stuffed nose, snores a little while sleeping and on many occasions breathes out of his mouth when he needs extra air. This has been causing Soeren many bouts of little infections around the nose/ear/throat area. The doctor has been trying to treat this without surgery for the past 4 months. Yesterday she said that it would be best if we removed the adenoid as they were pretty large and the reason Soeren was getting all these little infects. Furthermore, fluid has been gathered behind his ear drum which causes him to hear sort of bluntly. The doc described it yesterday "He hears as if it were under-water!" Which to me was well described. So, he will be getting tiny slits in his ear drums to allow the fluid to flow out.

All this sounds so dramatic, but it is for the best. We have been having trouble with the hearing bit as it was a little tedious when Soeren was in a crowd and there were other sounds from around him, we really needed to shout for him to pick out our voices in the crowd.

Well he will be operated next week on the 22nd. In early morning and out afternoon! Folks, cross your fingers for him!

The lunchbox today is really scrumptious! I made a vegie melt to die for. Even Soeri's mouth watered and he wanted to get to KIGA so fast this morning to tuck into it. I just sauteed a few finely chopped vegetables and added this to two slices of toast bread that were spread with butter and covered with cheese slices (on both toasts to keep the vegetables nicely sealed) and then roasted the sandwich in a pan until golden. With this he gets some crunchy carrots and some yoghurt dressing to dip. Fruity, juicy, organic and lovely German strawberries in the fruit corner. In the yellow container we have a nice flaky chocolate croissant and the treat of the day are some nice fig shortcakes.

Adult Variation: The Vegie melt is so delicious, I have to recommend this to you. Just make sure you make a larger melt. You will regret it if you don't. A light mixed salad with the dressing goes great. Otherwise everything else is perfect. Enjoy your lunch today ;-)


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

It's amazingly warm here at the moment and both Soeri and me are really enjoying the sunny weather. After the KIGA yesterday we met up with some friends (his buddies and my girlfriends) and decided to to for ice cream. Unfortunately I did not have my camera but it was fantastic seeing three little people stand tall in front of the huge selection of ice creams. All talking at once:

"I want the Nutella one!"
"No, I want Mango!"
"Look that's soooo green ... is that Kiwi ice cream?"
"Kiwi ... no way you can't make ice cream out of kiwis!"

As you can imagine they were the entertainment of the whole Gelateria!

Today we decided to pep up the lunchbix. It is either the great weather or the lunchbox but I am feeling very creative at the moment! Soeri and me enjoyed putting this one together. I cut up the fruit and Soeri (tried) to put them on little toothpicks. Looks neat eh?

On the savory skewers we put each half of a meatball, cherry tomato, Babybell cheese and a chunk of a hot dog. The fruity skewer has strawberries, yellow kiwi (can we make ice cream from yellow kiwis?) and grapes.
This gorgeous pumpkin seed roll is spread with cream cheese and cucumber slices. The raspberry yoghurt has a few granola and oats to sprinkle on the top. Today's treat: Minty and chocolate Oreos from our US vacation!

Adult Variation:
I liked the skewer idea so try out something more spicy. Like hot tandoori chicken. You can add some roasted bell peppers and small onions. Maybe a portion of this lovely couscous would go along with it. I know Soeren wanted to take some with him too. I was a little reluctant due to the garlicky taste so early in the morning!
Hope you like putting this one together just as much as we did!

Chicken, cheese, broccoli and cake

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

One thing that I really missed in the USA and was looking forward to coming back to was all our fantastic types of bread.

Now that both Soeri and me are running on somewhat normal routine I went out and lavished us with bread. Our baker also was happy to us and said he was in the middle of conjuring a new type of bread ..... ssshhhh! It was a secret. I wonder how many of his customers are in on this exclusive secret ;-)

Anyway, we bought our favorite fresh bread called "Bernd" and it is crammed with lovely flax, sunflower and sesame seeds, tastes light and delicious. With that I spread Soeri's favorite "Kiri" cream cheese. A small piece of chicken filet coated with bread crumbs and a few cherry tomatoes accompanies that. Soeri is on a broccoli trip at the moment. Over the weekend I had made a broccoli gratin and he just wanted to take a few broccoli sprouts today. So I steamed a few for just a few minutes. I have never seen a kid smiling when they get broccoli dished up ... you?
The baker was so happy to see Soeren that he got to pick out anything he wanted from his assortment of cakes. Soeren went for a mini marble loaf, which I cut half of in slices. They looked so cute and I think I will have to get myself one of these mini loaf forms.
Two types of fruit to pick from today: Sweet and succulent melon and ripe and juicy grapes.

How am I doing with the new lunchbox so far?

Adult Variation:
For lunch yesterday I made myself a fantastic sandwich. I had a few of the roasted peppers I used for this and decided to use some of it up. I spread some cream cheese on the bread and added a few slices of turkey breast and a couple of the roasted peppers. It was simple and delicious. So, I would suggest trying this out. You can substitute the turkey with the chicken filet if you want and add a slight shot of chili sauce. Broccoli is a great side and you can always take along your favorite dip. The rest is perfect. Enjoy your lunch!

Back with a bang!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

It's been a while! Just about 4 weeks if I am not mistaken, but it really does feel good to be back to the regular routine again.

The vacation was great. It was fantastic seeing the entire family again and of course it did them good to see Soeren.

Soeren mastered the journey to the States extremely well and also our travels within the USA. We were in St. Louis, San Francisco and Detroit, crossed 4 time zones and covered plenty of miles. Sometimes a little tedious but mostly plain old fun!

I hope you folks are still around and I have not lost you while I was gone. You will certainly notice our new lunchbox. The Laptop Lunchbox which we are rather proud of in theory. Let's see how it works in practice.

Today we filled it with a soft pita bread packed with lettuce, cream cheese and cucumbers. Along with this a German speciality Leberkaese fortified with calcium. Juicy, sweet and ripe cherries as the fruity pick of the day and some raisins as the treat of the day. The raisin slice is spread with butter and the yoghurt has a few chunks of peaches.

Adult Variation: Try filling the pita with this speciality I brought back from my vacation. It is succulent and certainly will be a great pita filler. Add a few nuts to the raisins and you have a nice snack for in between. The rest looks great the way it is.

Nice to be back ;-)

A test run!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

I thought I would give this a test run and see how would work out if I used just the one for both snacks. Well it is looking good!

In my write up I will not be differeniating between morning and afternoon snack as I have decided to let Soeri pick what he wants to eat when. I think with almost 4 he is grown up enough to make the choice. I had actually thought of starting with little tags for the KIGA teacher "Morning" "Afternoon", but thought better of it.

This is a new level for Soeri too as he was kind of surprised to be getting just the one and excited when I told him it was up to him what to eat and when.

This box contains a great dark German "Beer" bread made with malt, flax, sesame and sunflower seeds. I added some margerine and a slice of cream cheese. With this he has the nice wiener that I cut up to fit and a few crunchy baby carrots. In the yellow container is his favorite youghurt with chocolate biscuit bits. The fruit container has some gorgeous black grapes. Furthermore, a nice and nutty "nussecke".

Adult Variation:
I thought we could go for a salad with the wiener. In Germany this is called a "Wurst" salad - sausage salad. It isn't normally made with the hot dog but it would be a great variation. So, simply cut up the wiener in slices and chop up half an onion. Add a bit of corn and some grated carrot. Now, just pour some of your favorite dressing, or rather take it in the separate container. This tastes great with any nice roll and cheese. The rest of the box is great the way it is. Of course instead of the chocolate biscuits in the youghurt you can add a handful of granola or some frozen berries.

You, know what as I am on my way to Cologne for a business trip I took this lunch box with me on the train. Soeri will be staying and relaxing at home this week. I am looking forward to the regular daily post and I hope you will join me once again prepare the daily tiffin.

A closer look!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

Well we are back in Germany! We had a great time in the US, enjoying spending time with the family.

As both Soeri and me are suffering from jet lag we have decided to take it easy. Today we just chilled at home. It was a cold and rainy day anyway here and just the right type of weather to stay indoors in our pajamas!

I did want to get a closer look at the Laptop Lunchbox we got from Cali. So, I thought I would share this with you too. This is what it looks like. A larger box holding smaller containers and even a place for cutlery! Looks great and well organized. For those who don't know, this is great and environment friendly way to pack lunches from Obentec and I had my eyes on it for a while.

After looking at it a little closer I had a few thoughts. Maybe there are already a few laptop lunchbox users out there who could kindly give me their advice.
There is only one box that has a airtight cover. This, I take it, would be for more liquidy type of things like yoghurt. Does it really cover such things without leakage? What about the others, I have often seen the other "open" containers contain juicy fruit like melon, pineapple etc., do they not leak out?

Another point that struck me was that I normally pack two snacks for Soeri, the morning one and the afternoon one. I have not yet decided of how to do this. I have two options at present.
1. I try and get both snacks into one box. Which might make it tight as I often have things like pancakes or a brioche etc. also in the afternoon that requires proper space.
2. I pack the afternoon snack in a separate box. One of my previous ones. This way I am free to pack as I please, however, it also means more to carry for Soeri as the Laptop Lunchbox is bulkier than my other one.

I will be trying out this and that the coming week, so I hope you bear with me. I would not mind any feedback or suggestions if you have any good ideas.

Here's to great snack in your lunchboxes