Here I am! I’m still here, I promise! I am slowly getting back on track (#famouslastwords #dontquoteme) and hope to pack normal, blog-worthy lunches for my deserving boys. For my NOW GREAT BIG FIRST GRADE SON (when did this happen, I only blinked), I went with an updated homemade Lunchables. One of his best friends loves salami so much, and we always joke about how much she loves her cured meat. Well, it influenced my Bigs and he asked for salami this time. I also added cheddar and crackers, dried fruit (coconut chips, apricot, date, and cranberries), midnight black grapes, and two homemade chocolate chip cookies.
So, a funny thing happened this week – I made pizza for dinner. Because pizza (I don’t need no stinkin’ excuse). I put the leftovers in a Tupperware that looks a lot like the one above. The next day, when I went to pull out the leftovers for lunch for my Smalls, I pulled out Bigs’ lunch! That meant that HE got a bajillion pieces of leftover pizza for lunch at school! I texted his awesome teacher and she sent me a picture of his smiling face and said he loved his lunch! He won Kindergarten that day. 😀
Between that pizza lunch and this one above, I’d say I’m on top of things (but only according to my Kindergartener; to the rest of the world, I’m slowly unraveling!)
For this particular lunch, I made a cheese sandwich, shaped like a heart. I also packed cheese crackers (everything’s better with Cheddar! – it’s my life’s motto), blueberries, red grapes, and a strawberry truffle cookie. I used plastic Valentine’s rings to decorate.
HAPPY FRIDAY! I am so glad it’s Friday. Forrealz. I made squirrel shaped apple butter sandwiches for my boys. I also packed dried cranberries (Bigs), corn, cheese (two different kinds for two different tastes), mandarin orange (Bigs), grapes, and a cranberry cookie (Smalls).
I am a southern girl. I’ve got sweet tea running through my veins. I’m pretty sure I’ve also got fried chicken and greens in place of some other vital organs (clearly, vestigial). I spent every Thanksgiving of my youth in South Georgia, where I learned a lot about southern cooking, baking, and good ol’ southern hospitality from my darling Grandma and Granddaddy. The other side of my family resides in North Florida, which may as well be South Georgia, if their food and accents have anything to do with it. My precious Grandmother (she chose that name for us grandkids to call her because she didn’t want to sound “old” 😀 ) also had an abundance of southern recipes for me to learn – Perfect Macaroni and Cheese, Cranberry Cream Cheese Salad… Needless to say, it’s in my blood. It might just be my blood. And I’m so glad. Southern food makes me ridiculously and deliriously happy (see: food related memories).
My family went to a church potluck a few weeks back and I couldn’t think of anything other than a southern casserole to take. That’s what I always looked forward to at my Sunday church potlucks, growing up. I’d beeline straight for those casseroles. Those were (and are) always the best. I know not everyone is on the Casserole Train (choo choooo), but I am the Conductor, and I’m am hoping they’ll change their mind after trying this recipe.
I got this Hot Chicken Salad recipe from my Mom, who got it from my Grandmother. My Mom told me that this was one of my Grandmother’s go-to recipes for her Ladies Luncheons. I love picturing my beautiful Grandmother in the 1940’s, with her beautifully made up face and coiffed hair, in one of her fancy dresses, and serving up this delicious casserole to her gal pals.
This casserole is filled with tender chicken, crunchy celery and bell peppers, salty potato chips, melty cheese, toasty almonds. I meannnnnnn… I have seen this recipe with mushrooms and water chestnuts (blech!), but I love sticking to what my Grandmother did. It’s a link between me and her past. I did make a few changes, but it didn’t alter the integrity of the original recipe.
Hot Chicken Salad
1 pkg. dressing (some of you may call this “stuffing”)
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (I cooked them in my crockpot and shredded them)
2 C chopped celery
1/2 t salt
2 T grated onion (I chopped mine and added a bit more)
1/2 C green bell pepper
1 C mayonnaise
2 T lemon juice
dash Worcestershire sauce
1/2 C shredded sharp cheddar
3 C crushed potato chips
1/2 C toasted almonds
Preheat the oven to 325F. Put the dressing into a bowl and add enough broth to moisten it all the way through. Combine all the ingredients from dressing to Worcestershire sauce together and place in greased 9×13 pan. Top with the cheddar, potato chips, and almonds.
Bake for 30 minutes. Leftovers are even better!
This is best enjoyed with a Mason jar full of sweet tea. And probably some kind of cobbler, fresh out of the oven, or freshly churned peach ice cream for dessert. Just a friendly suggestion. 😀
I love giving him kebabs. It’s a great way to cut some carbs and it’s a fun way to serve lunch. I found mini skewers at my Publix. I used Applegate Naturals ham and cheese on the skewers. I also packed Trader Joe’s honey wheat pretzels, a whole mandarin orange, TJ’s assorted jumbo raisins, an applesauce cup, and an oatmeal cream pie, because #littledebbieforlife.
Today is Mickey Mouse Lunch Day. Unofficially. And, maybe never again. Just depends on how I feel. You know. So, probably not again. ‘Cuz, I don’t feel like keeping up with that ish (Is “ish” still relevant? I also guess I don’t care if it isn’t relevant, I’ve never been one to conform to what society thinks is such. Existential much?).
I made a Mickey shaped (these cutters can be found in Disney stores, worldwide I’m sure) PB&J (my vultures ate the crusts while I was making this lunch). I also packed colby jack cheese cubes, Trader Joe’s honey wheat pretzel rods (that phrase “pretzel rods” always makes me feel weird #immature), a mandarin orange, and a chocolate chip cookie (homemade and cut into quarters). I also used Mickey Mouse cupcake wrappers and picks for decoration (found this set at the Dollar Tree!).
So…who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me?
I used to love Lunchables. I am not sure if it was the compartmentalized container (for which I am a shoe-in), or the make-it-yourself situation. Either way, they were so fun for me. Unfortunately, they aren’t too healthy for you, which is why I like to make a homemade version for my buddy. Sure, it would be healthier if I made the crackers from scratch, but I can only do so much, ya feel? So, for today’s lunch for my Bigs, I made a Lunchable. He told me that he loved it and finished every bite.
I packed a few Ritz crackers, some honey maple ham (rolled up and cut), colby jack cheese, raisins, yogurt covered raisins, some seasoned corn, a mandarin orange, and a chocolate chip cookie.
And for my Smalls:
I packed a PB&J, assorted raisins, peanuts, an apple, and a chocolate chip cookie. I think there may be some dried fruit in there too, but I can’t remember (even though it was less than 12 hours ago that I packed it #Mommybrain).
His teacher told me he was very excited about his cookie. I can relate.
My Bigs loved his Mummy Dog lunch today so much that he asked for another one. And, since I made 8 of them (as there were 8 crescent rolls in the canister), I said, “Sure!”. I doubt this is the last day I’ll be making a Mummy Dog lunch, so get ready.
I packed said Mummy Dog, some red grapes, good quality cheese, cut into candy corn shapes, some raisins, a little packet of ketchup (not labeled blood!) for the Mummy, some cantaloupe, and a teeny slice of my Pumpkin Cake with chocolate bark for his dessert.