the baker upstairs

9.22.2016

13 School Lunches to Pack This Fall

Yum
Easy, healthy, and delicious lunchbox ideas from wraps to granola bars!

Hey-yo, Cort here celebrating fall with 13 tasty lunches to pack the kiddos this fall! Last week I set you up with enough after-school snack ideas to keep the kids full from now until Christmas. But this week, oh, this week I've got some delicious lunch ideas so that the lunchbox or paper bag stays exciting, knowwhatImean...

I remember making my own lunches as early as first grade. Lunch typically included:
  1. a room-temperature Capri Sun 
  2. a Carl Budding ham or turkey sandwich with probably 1/4 cup of mustard and no mayo (which was crazy, because I knew I put too much mustard and was anti-mayo because my brother liked mayo and whatever he liked, I couldn't like because I'm ornery like that, so I just kept eating that nasty sandwich)
  3. a sliced orange, which leaked orange juice all over my overly mustardy sandwich
  4. a fruit snack (Farleys Ninja Turtle variety), or a Swiss Cake Roll
Props to my mom for getting us to make our own lunches at the tender age of 6! Really though! That is amazing! The longer I'm a mom, the more incredible my mom becomes. 

Given my nearly 30 years of experience, I've learned a few things about lunches. They can be so much more than sandwiches! Make peanut butter the main course with graham crackers, celery, and apples for dipping. Use hummus the same way. Try a wrap. Top banana or zucchini bread with cream cheese for a sweet/savory sandwich. Leftover sliders are great cold. Pack yogurt with granola and fruit. Can I also say that we love a good Thermos at our house? Fall is the perfect time to fill them up with delicious leftover casseroles, stews, and chili. More about that in the future...

But back to these lunches. They rock. I've rounded up some entrees and snacks so good the rest of the kids from all across the lunchroom will be begging to trade you for their Twinkies and PBJ. You can prep stuff the night before, or let the kids make lunch themselves in the morning. Remember, brown bagging it isn't just for kids! Pack a lunch for work, or even if you are staying home, and save the money for something worthwhile, like a great new sweater or a trip to Bora Bora. It can happen! 

Bake the bread. Share the slices. 

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps from The Baker Upstairs

Easy, healthy, and delicious lunchbox ideas from wraps to granola bars!

Ham and Cheese Biscuits from Barefeet in the Kitchen

Easy, healthy, and delicious lunchbox ideas from wraps to granola bars!

Homemade Cheez-its from The Baker Upstairs

Easy, healthy, and delicious lunchbox ideas from wraps to granola bars!

Apple Snack Sandwiches from Like Mother Like Daughter

Easy, healthy, and delicious lunchbox ideas from wraps to granola bars!

Chicken Fajita Bowls from i heart naptime

Easy, healthy, and delicious lunchbox ideas from wraps to granola bars!

Chickpea and Bean Pesto Pita Wraps from Cook with Manali

Easy, healthy, and delicious lunchbox ideas from wraps to granola bars!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Granola Bars from The Baker Upstairs

Easy, healthy, and delicious lunchbox ideas from wraps to granola bars!

Pennsylvania Dutch Pies from The Little Red Hen

Easy, healthy, and delicious lunchbox ideas from wraps to granola bars!

Cheeseburger Burrito Wraps from The Kitchenarium

Easy, healthy, and delicious lunchbox ideas from wraps to granola bars!

Healthy Homemade Lunchables from Don't Waste the Crumbs

Easy, healthy, and delicious lunchbox ideas from wraps to granola bars!

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies from Somewhat Simple

Easy, healthy, and delicious lunchbox ideas from wraps to granola bars!

Bean, Rice, and Cheese Burritos from The Baker Upstairs

Easy, healthy, and delicious lunchbox ideas from wraps to granola bars!

Monster Bars from The Little Red Hen

Easy, healthy, and delicious lunchbox ideas from wraps to granola bars!

Easy, healthy, and delicious lunchbox ideas from wraps to granola bars!

9.19.2016

Instant Pot Boiled Eggs

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These instant pot boiled eggs are ready in 15 minutes and come out perfectly every time!

Okay, here is my deep dark cooking secret: I can't boil an egg to save my life. I have tried every recipe, every favorite trick, every "absolutely no fail, can't possibly mess this up" recipe on Pinterest, and still the perfect boiled egg has eluded me. It really can't be that hard, right? And yet every single time, my eggs are impossible to peel, or overcooked, or undercooked. Plus so many of the recipes are so fussy and irritating that it just doesn't seem worth it. They're just eggs, people!

Since I've been experimenting with my Instant Pot this week, I decided it was high time to try boiled eggs in the pot. And guess what? They turned out absolutely perfect. The yolks were perfectly cooked (with no gray ring), and the shells pretty much just slid off in one piece! They were also unbelievably easy, which suits my laziness perfectly. This is definitely the way to go from here on out!
Instant Pot Boiled Eggs

8-12 eggs
1 cup water
ice bath

Add the water to the instant pot. Place the trivet in the pot and the eggs on the trivet. Cook 5 minutes on high pressure, then let sit for 5 minutes. Quick release the pressure and place the eggs in an ice bath for five minutes. Peel and enjoy!

9.16.2016

14 Easy After-School Snacks

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14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!

Hey friends! This is Cort after a long hiatus. I took the summer off because I sold my house and moved and it pretty much consumed my summer...and my life. BUT! We are settled in a completely different part of the valley I call home, and our kitchen is operational, so we are essentially moved in. Not really, but when the kitchen is operational the house starts to feel like home. I christened my oven with chocolate chip cookie bars with salted carmel wafers, or was it dark chocolate chip cookies with mint chips? Or did the bread come first? I've been baking a bit to cope with the chaos...

Really, let's get to the point. You're not here to talk about my move! You're here to talk after-school snacks bcause school has been in long enough that you may be running out of ideas, but it isn't May so you haven't given up on caring about after-school snacks yet. (Or is that just me?)

Snacks need to be tasty, easy, and satisfying. None of this munching until dinner and then not eating your spaghetti stuff! (Or is that just me?) At our house, we usually have apples, carrots, and peppers available for crunching. Fruits and veggies paired with a protein like cheese or deli meat are always simple, healthy, and delicious choices.

But, if you are looking to change it up, this list goes beyond the standard snack supply! These easy fall after-school snacks are yummy and kid friendly. Way beyond just cookies and milk, but there are a few of those as well! It'll be chilly soon, so there are some Cheese Stuffed Buns that'll warm your kiddos right up, and even some kids friendly Ranch Hummus Dip to eat with those fall veggies.  Plus, if you try a new after-school snack each week, you'll find I've given you enough fun to keep things fresh from now until Christmas! Wait, what?! I don't know what is more astonishing- the recipes, or the fact that Christmas is just 14 weeks away! Let's just stick to the snacks and save Santa for later, shall we?

(Or is that just me?)

Bake the bread. Share the slices.

Homemade Movie Theater Popcorn from The Baker Upstairs

14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!

S'mores Bars from The Baker Upstairs

14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!

Healthy Apple Nachos from A Healthy Life for Me

14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!

Cheese Stuffed Buns from The Baker Upstairs

14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!

Ranch Hummus Dip from Yummy Healthy Easy

14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!

Watermelon Popsicles from Somewhat Simple

14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!

Spicy Nacho Cheese Dip from Yellow Bliss Road

14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!

Lemon Zucchini Muffins from I Heart Naptime

14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!

No Bake Monster Cookie Bites from Like Mother Like Daughter

14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!

Healthy Chocolate Banana Bread from Little Red Hen

14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!

Skinny Fruit and Nut Granola from The Baker Upstairs

14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!

Pizza Pinwheels from Yellow Bliss Road

14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!

Easy Low-Fat Veggie Squares from Family Favorite Recipes

14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies from Little Red Hen

14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!

14 easy after-school snacks your kids will love!
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