Back to school, snack to school
Well, school starts in just a few days and today we offer back-to-school recipes. Kids get tired of the PB&J sandwiches so it is time to expand our list of lunch box items.
- 2 packages puff pastry sheets, 2 sheets per package
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 tablespoon water
- 1 1⁄2 pounds ground beef
- 1⁄2 cup green pepper, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup white onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1⁄2 cup ketchup
- 1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro or 1⁄4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1⁄2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded or 1 1⁄2 cups Monterey Jack pepper cheese, shredded for a spicier result or 1 1⁄2 cups colby cheese, shredded, any similar cheese will work
- Remove pastry from freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes or until they are easy to handle.
- Meanwhile, add the beef, onion and green pepper to a large skillet and cook until beef is browned and vegetables begin to soften. Stir occasionally to break meat up and prevent scorching.
- Add garlic and cook for one more minute, stirring constantly.
- Drain all the grease from the pan and return to the heat.
- Add tomato, ketchup, cilantro or parsley, cumin, chili powder, oregano and cinnamon. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. You want a pretty dry mixture so your filling stays put in the pastry.
- Remove from the heat. Stir in the cheese and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Work with one pastry sheet at a time, keeping the others covered so they do not dry out.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out a pastry sheet to a rectangle about 16 x 12 inches and then cut into 8 even pieces.
- Put a heaping teaspoonful of meat mixture in the center of the pastry. (I always seem to over fill them no matter how carefully I measure so you may want to start with less than you think you should use and add a little more if needed. Voice of experience!).
- Mix the egg and water together and brush pastry edges with it.
- Grab one corner of a pastry and fold over to form a triangle. Press edges with a fork to seal and brush the tops with more egg mixture.
- Repeat until all ingredients are used.
- Place the pastries on a sprayed or greased baking sheet. You could also use parchment paper or a silicone liner.
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.
- 4 cups Crispix cereal
- 2 cups Cheerios toasted oat cereal
- 1 1⁄2 cups lightly salted peanuts
- 1 1⁄2 cups broken pretzels
- 1 1⁄2 cups M&Ms plain chocolate candy
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine cereals, peanuts, and pretzels in a large bowl.
- Combine corn syrup, brown sugar, and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat; boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla.
- Immediately pour sugar mixture over cereal mixture, and stir well to coat; stir in M&Ms.
- Using a greased spatula, press mixture tightly into a greased jellyroll pan (approximately 15-by-10-inches) and cool at room temperature. (I spread it as evenly as I can, then cover with a sheet of non-stick aluminum foil and pressed it out firmly and evenly.).
- Cut into bars when completely cooled.
Pizza Roll Ups
- 1⁄2 small red bell pepper, chopped finely
- ½ cup ham or salami, chopped fine
- 1⁄2 cup cheese, grated
- 1⁄4 cup pizza sauce
- 2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine the chopped pepper, ham and cheese in bowl.
- Spread the sauce onto each sheet of pastry, leaving a 1-inch border along one side, and sprinkle the pepper mixture over the top.
- Roll up the pastry to enclose the filling (like a swiss roll), leaving the plain edge until last.
- Brush the edge lightly with water and fold to seal.
- Cut each roll into half-inch rounds (use serrated bread knife) and place on lined oven trays.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
Granola Bars- No Bake
- 2 cups puffed brown rice cereal (unsweetened)
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1⁄4 cup roasted almonds, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
- 1⁄2 cup shredded coconut
- 1⁄2 cup dried fruit, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup peanut butter
- 1⁄2 cup brown rice syrup or 1⁄2 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
- Combine cereal, oats, nuts, seeds, coconut and fruit in a large mixing bowl.
- Heat the peanut butter, syrup, and vanilla in a small saucepan until warm. Do not boil.
- Pour the peanut butter mixture over the cereal mixture. Mix well while syrup is still warm. I use my hands as they are the best tool for this mixing job.
- Pour mixture into a 9-by-13-inch pan.
- Pack the mixture down firmly with moist fingers or the bottom of another 9-by-13-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray.
- The chocolate lover should sprinkle on the mini chocolate chips at this point and press them in firmly.
- Cover with plastic wrap.
- Cool completely.
- Cut into 24 bars.
- Wrap individually and store in fridge.