Kiddo started public school in January so this year I had a whole new adventure: packing lunch. Being seven, he’s terribly busy at lunch doing important things like
gut laughing at fart jokes discussing global economic issues, so I need to send food that packs a nutritional punch and tastes good. I thought peanut butter muffins might be a good way to get some protein in him while being a little bit of a departure from a plain ol’ peanut butter sandwich.
When I went looking for a new recipe to try, I literally looked for the recipe with the most amount of peanut butter. Let’s not fool around here! Kiddo and I (and Peanut, actually) LOVE peanut butter, and we want to taste it! This recipe started with “no such thing as too much peanut butter.” I knew we had a winner! The original recipe was filled with mini Reese’s cups and had a sweet topping. While that sounds freaking amazing, I was going for a lunch food here. 🙂
Peanut butter muffins
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter (that’s 169.6 grams*)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 375 and line or grease a 12-muffin pan
- Beat butter, peanut butter, and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until very well combined.
- Mix in eggs, one at a time, then milk
- Stir together dry ingredients, then mix into wet ingredients until JUST combined — some little lumps are okay, you just don’t want any dry flour
- Bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out dry
*measuring peanut butter is for the birds — much easier to set the mixing bowl on a scale and scoop out what you need!
Second grade isn’t far off! Would love to hear more suggestions for easy-to-pack lunches! What do y’all make?
I am not the world’s best vegetable eater. I know this about myself, but I also know they’re, you know, vegetables; I need to find ways to make them taste good to me.
And friends? I have found the way with carrots. I am in LOVE with these. I’ve eaten them with lunch every day this week. This is HUGE.
I started with bacon, because so many good things start with bacon. I fried it up in a pan, then added some carrots (I used baby carrots because I had them; any kind will do). I poured in some chicken broth I had in the freezer and let them simmer a long time, because I’m Southern and I like my vegetables cooked a long time. I salted them and they were really good, but could maybe use something else, so I was digging around the fridge looking for inspiration and I found it: apricot preserves. Seriously, one tablespoon simmered in with the chicken broth and they were heaven on a plate. Please try it and let me know what you think!
Sweet, savory carrots
- two slices bacon
- half pound carrots, cut however you like them
- 2 cups chicken broth
- salt, to taste
- 1 Tbsp. apricot preserves
- In a shallow pan, fry the bacon till crispy, then add in carrots, chicken broth, and salt; simmer, covered, till the carrots are as soft as you like them
- Add in apricot preserves and simmer with the lid off, stirring periodically, till preserves are all melted in and sauce is slightly thickened
- Serve with a little sauce spooned over the top (these are awesome served over rice so the rice can soak up a little sauce as well)
School is back in (already?!) and Kiddo is off to first grade. And by “off to” I mean “off to the dining room” where we homeschool. 🙂 Since time is a little more of the essence than in the lazy summer mornings, I’ve been trying to think of a quick breakfast that still gets some good protein and fat in us. When Michael Ruhlman posted about baked eggs in a mini-cocotte, I had my answer.
Unfortunately, I don’t own a mini-cocotte (quelle tragedy). I do, however, own this petite pie plate from Le Creuset, and I figured that was just about the right size for what I wanted anyway. Add a couple slices of whole wheat bread, and that’s a pretty healthy breakfast! The best part is how customizable this is — you can add anything you want to it, baked in or as a topping, to keep you from getting bored with it. Here’s my favorite method:
Baked egg sandwiches
- 1 egg
- 1-2 tsp. olive oil
- Salt, pepper
- Hot sauce
- 1 slice cheese
- 2 slices whole wheat bread
- Preheat oven to 350F (I do this in the toaster oven)
- Coat the pie plate with olive oil and crack the egg into the dish. Leave it alone if you like it like a fried egg; I like it more like scrambled so I poke at the yolk a little till it spread out into the whites
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper, hot sauce, or whatever floats your boat
- Bake 5-8 minutes until egg whites are cooked through, then switch to broil for about two minutes until the yolk is as cooked as you like it
- Top with cheese and build your sandwich!
Use butter or bacon grease instead of olive oil
Add in blue cheese crumbles
Top with crispy bacon
Sprinkle in red pepper flakes
Add some chopped veggies
Serve over mashed avocado
Add sliced tomatoes
Top with buffalo sauce
What other variations sound good? We have a steady supply of eggs from a farmer friend of The Yankee’s, so all suggestions welcome. 🙂
Kiddo is not really a huge fan of sweet potatoes (or many other vegetables), but he LOVES this. He calls it “the sweet potatoes with the eggs” and is almost guaranteed to eat it. Peanut loves it too, and this cooks up thick enough that I can cut it and give her little finger-food sized pieces. Honestly, I love it as well! I’ve yet to meet a sweet potato I didn’t like, but these are especially good.
Sweet potato bake
- 3 sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 tbsp butter
- extra cinnamon sugar, optional
- Bake the sweet potatoes (or microwave!) till completely soft; discard the skin
- Use a fork to mash the sweet potatoes, then mix together with sugar, beaten eggs, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla
- Dot the top of the mixture with butter, and sprinkle with extra cinnamon sugar if so desired
- Spoon into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned
After baking, I slice this like a pie and freeze the pieces individually; they warm up beautifully in the microwave and are a great way to add easy veggies to lunch!
Of course sweet potatoes make me think: what is your stance on the mini marshmallows on sweet potatoes? Yay or nay?
This is, no kidding, Peanut’s new favorite lunch. And mine too! It’s one I found on Rumble in the Kitchen a while back, and I can’t believe how long it took me to try it! I’m on my third batch of it in as many weeks.
I doubled the spice level of mine because my heat tolerance is certifiable; otherwise I didn’t adapt it much. Any suggestions for other things to add to this to get some variety going?
Thai peanut noodles
- 1 box spaghetti noodles
- 1/2 cup peanut butter*
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp Thai Red Curry Paste (this makes it SPICY; use more like 1/2 tsp. if you don’t want a lot of heat, or substitute with cayenne pepper to taste)
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- Cook pasta according to package directions
- While the pasta cooks, measure everything but the pasta water into a large serving bowl; mix till well combined (this will make a very thick sauce)
- When the pasta is done, add it along with 1/2 cup of the cooking water to the bowl and stir it all around till everything is well mixed and the noodles are coated
- Serve warm, or store in the fridge and eat it cold!
*That’s 128 grams of peanut butter, if you’re interested; scooping it into a bowl on a scale is easier than smooshing it into a measuring cup!
Add-in suggestions welcome! 🙂