Tag: Back to School

How to Beat the Clock: 10 Back-to-School Breakfasts Ready in 15 Minutes or Less

by in Recipes, August 26th, 2015

In the throes of back-to-school chaos, the meal that’s most often overlooked is breakfast. Assembling an elaborate plate seems like a scene from Mission: Impossible, especially when there are bookbags to pack and buses to catch. Sure, on-the-go breakfasts like yogurt cups and granola bars are reliable in a pinch, but nothing beats a homemade, sit-down meal. If you’ve been saving your favorite classics like pancakes and omelets for weekends at home, there’s no need: With a few helpful tips and the right ingredients on hand, you can have satisfying plates ready in a flash. Make time for the most-important meal of the day with these 10 breakfast dishes ready in 15 minutes or less, from omelets and poached eggs to pancakes and oatmeal.

Eggs Benedict
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Eggs Benedict is the quintessential brunch item — a dish to be savored and not rushed on a leisurely Sunday morning. But there’s no reason this comforting medley of crisp Canadian bacon and soft poached eggs atop toasted English muffins can’t be part of your weekday breakfast routine. Ree Drummond uses her mother’s quick and easy method to ensure the eggs come out right: When the water comes to a gentle simmer, add a little bit of white vinegar to the pan. Then, use a spoon to create a whirlpool before adding the eggs. This spinning motion encourages the whites to wrap around their yolks.

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7 After-School Snacks That Won’t Spoil Dinner

by in Recipes, August 24th, 2015

Light, energizing and easy to prepare: That’s the elusive after-school snack trifecta. When store shelves are lined with chips, sugary fruit snacks and other empty calories, shopping for something that fits the bill can feel a lot like searching for a needle in a haystack. The obvious alternative is to skip store-bought options in favor of something homemade, but few people have time to prepare snacks in addition to dinner. Beat the after-school crunch by preparing healthy foods over the weekend and keeping them on hand for later in the week. Homemade granola bars and trail mixes are a great place to start. Fresh veggies can be washed and cut in mere minutes, and vegetable-based dips such as guacamole or hummus make crudites seem appealing. Here are some more quick, nutritious, kid-friendly snacks to tide your family over till dinner’s ready.

Protein Bars
These nutty bars studded with dried fruit will stave off hunger pangs between lunch and dinner for only 167 calories per serving. Make a batch over the weekend so your family will have them on hand for quick and convenient after-school snacking throughout the week.

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No Fridge Necessary: 5 Ways to a Fresher Lunchbox

by in Recipes, August 19th, 2015

With another summer heading toward its end, it’s time to start thinking about lunchbox-friendly foods — namely, foods that can withstand a morning without refrigeration. Insulated lunchboxes do their part to keep meals fresh, as do ice packs. But ice packs are heavy, and they tend to go missing. A few judiciously frozen items can do double duty, keeping your lunchbox cold while slowly thawing in time to eat. Frozen water bottles, or frozen packs of applesauce or yogurt, should do the trick. But as a general rule, it’s best to steer clear of meat and dairy if you can’t guarantee refrigeration. Just in time for another school year, here are some no-fridge foods that kids — and adults — can look forward to opening.

Nuts, Berries and Seeds
Lunchtime feels eons away without a midmorning snack to hold you over, and trail mixes, granola bars and cereal treats are all tasty fuel sources. Food Network Kitchen’s Honey-Nut Cereal Treats (pictured at top) are loaded with protein and fiber in the form of peanuts and almonds. If your kids appreciate sweet and chewy dried fruits, try Claire Robinson’s easy Pumpkin Seed-Dried Cherry Trail Mix. Alton Brown’s classic rendition of crunchy Granola Bars is another snack you can feel good about packing. This lower-calorie option studded with sliced almonds, dried apricots and berries. Before you pack any of these in your child’s lunchbox, err on the side of caution and make sure no one in the class has a nut allergy.

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12 Sandwiches Your Kids Won’t Swap in the Lunch Room

by in Recipes, August 14th, 2015

When you ship your little ones off to school with well-stocked lunchboxes, the last thing you want to worry about is whether they’re trading in those painstakingly crafted meals for someone else’s puddings. Start the new school year right by making better-than-basic sandwiches that kids will be proud to tote and eager to chow down on come lunchtime. They can even help make some of the recipes — lessening your burden, and ensuring they aren’t subsisting on a boxed meal from some other mom’s pantry.

Pastrami Football Finger Sandwiches (shown above)
Your little athlete will love these bite-size, football-shaped sandwiches filled with pastrami and a cheesy-pepper mixture. You might want to toss some extra finger sandwiches into the lunchbox — his fellow linebackers might intercept a few.

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9 Fresh Ideas for Winter School Lunches

by in Family, January 16th, 2015

Sandwiches on a StickOK, I admit it: I was a little relieved when school started again after the winter break. The house will be quiet again, I thought to myself. The house will be clean again. (In both cases, the “at least for a little while” part is implied, but you parents knew that.) In the midst of all this reflection, though, I forgot about something: packing lunches.

Without the allure of new lunchboxes, packing lunch this time of year can get tedious, so we’re stepping it up. Here are a few of our favorite ideas, including new things to try ourselves.

1. Embrace the Skewer: Chop up your kids’ favorite sub-style sandwich ingredients into big bites, then thread them onto a bamboo skewer, like what’s pictured above.

2. Amp Up Your Cheese and Crackers: Instead of a sandwich, serve cheese and crackers, but do it antipasto style by tucking in a couple of cheeses, one favorite and one new variety. Then add turkey lunchmeat and a couple of slices of salami.

3. Serve Soup: What’s more comforting than a thermos of hot homemade soup? We’re trying this 10-Minute Tomato Soup recipe ourselves. (P.S. Send a few crackers to add on the spot.)

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9 After-School Snacks: From Super Simple to Deliciously Decadent

by in Family, September 22nd, 2014

9 After-School SnacksKids may be ravenous when they come home from school, but not all kids’ snacks are created equal. From easy-to-make treats to more-of-a-commitment (and totally worth it) eats, these are our favorite after-school snacks — not too filling but satisfying enough to hold even the hungriest kids over until dinnertime.

Super Simple:

Oatmeal-Chocolate Snack Cakes: Just sweet enough to satisfy, these cakey bars are full of hearty whole oats. Bonus: The recipe is so simple that kids can make a big batch themselves to enjoy all week long.

Peaches and Creamsicles: Even though school’s back in session, most afternoons are still warm enough to welcome a homemade Popsicle. Our favorite hot-weather treat is made with fresh peaches (or strawberries), pure vanilla and just a bit of rich and creamy half-and-half.

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12 Peanut Butter for Dessert Recipes

by in Recipes, September 16th, 2014

Peanut Butter for DessertIt’s time to pack the kids up for school again, and that means making mounds of school lunches. But PB&J sandwiches can take you only so far. For a new twist on a classic ingredient that kids and adults love, look no further than the Peanut Butter series on FN Dish.

Over the last several weeks, we’ve been giving you inventive recipes that let you incorporate peanut butter into all your meals — from breakfast to dessert — for the entire family, and now it’s time for the final (and best) part of the day: dessert. And don’t forget to check out our breakfast, lunch and dinner posts.

1. These bite-size Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pops (pictured above) are the perfect sweet snacks for that mid-afternoon slump.

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Food-Inspired Notebooks for Back-to-School

by in Product Reviews, September 15th, 2014

Food-Inspired Notebooks for Back-to-SchoolI don’t believe food should be contained in the cafeteria. I think it should be brought to class — in the form of notebooks! So I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite fruit-, sugar- and treat-inspired notebooks (like the ones above from Palas Pandiras) that’ll make you (or your kids) hungry for knowledge.

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7 Lunchbox Accessories to Pack the Best Lunches Ever

by in Family, September 15th, 2014

7 Lunchbox Accessories to Pack the Best Lunches EverPacking a school lunch has a bad reputation, but it doesn’t have to be so hard — and the results can be very sweet. Here are a few of my favorite gadgets that easily make all the difference between a so-so lunch that comes home half-eaten and a special little treat kids can’t resist.

1. Bento Boxes: It’s simple to pack a balanced lunch when you have several compartments to fill with something different. Planet Box is the most-expensive line, but with a stainless-steel box that comes in a cushy (and customizable) case, it’s hard to beat. Our favorite plastic (and more affordable) version is EasyLunchboxes, which are BPA-free and also come with cooler bags in every shade of the rainbow.

2. Our Favorite Water Bottles: Oh, the leaky water bottles. If I could have a refund for all the sippy cups, water bottles and novelty glasses we’ve bought for our brood, college would be paid for already. Along the way I’ve figured it out. This is the only kind of water bottle we’ll buy going forward: The Bubba bottle is made of stainless steel, isn’t overpriced, is dishwasher-safe and hasn’t leaked a drop yet.

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7 Peanut Butter for Dinner Recipes

by in Recipes, September 10th, 2014

Peanut Butter for DinnerIt’s time to pack the kids up for school again, and that means making mounds of school lunches. But PB&J sandwiches can take you only so far. For a new twist on a classic ingredient that kids and adults love, look no further than the Peanut Butter series on FN Dish. For the next two weeks, we’ll be giving you inventive recipes that let you incorporate peanut butter into all your meals — from breakfast to dessert — for the entire family.

Here are some comforting dinner ideas for those cold fall nights. And don’t forget to look back at our breakfast and lunch recipes here.

1. Peanut butter serves as the perfect marinade in this Pork Chops with Pineapple Relish recipe (pictured above).

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