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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

An early October lunch round-up

So, I think it's helpful to do an audit on my routines, to see if making a couple of changes could streamline my work, or simplify aspects of other work. So I took a minute to think about how I prepare lunch items for the brown-baggers each week.

It had been feeling like my Mondays were out-of-control busy every week. And I had to scramble to find enough to put into Monday's lunches, on Sunday afternoon, anyway. So, why not get a jump start on preparing a couple of the lunch items for the week, by making them on Sunday.

I'll try this for a few weeks, and see how it goes. This past Sunday afternoon, I made a large batch of pumpkin muffins, a pot of curried pumpkin-peanut soup (thanks, live and learn, for the recipe), and extra mustard-glazed carrots for dinner, to pack into small containers to add to lunches. The rest of the lunch items I prepared on Monday.

Here's the full menu:
  • pumpkin muffins
  • curried pumpkin-peanut soup
  • mustard glazed carrot slices
  • carrot sticks (while peeling those carrots for the glazed ones I figured I mght as well peel a bunch more for carrot sticks)
  • fresh apples
  • apple-cranberry sauce
  • peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (made a bunch of sandwiches to try out some new Dollar Tree sandwich containers, they're super slim, and just fit a sandwich)
  • toasted pizza sandwiches (these make great breakfasts as well as lunches, at least so says my daughter!) (instructions here, if you don't know what I'm talking about)
  • mixed nuts
My daughters get a free lunch, if they want, on Tuesdays. There's a chapel service, followed by a lunch for commuter students. It's a great way to connect with other commuter students on campus, and they don't need to pack lunch for that day!


  1. Yes, I find I have to periodically look at my routines to see if there is a better way of doing things, as well. Life changes and we moms need to be flexible. :) Hope it goes well for you.

    1. Hi Kris,
      And just changing things up relieves boredom from doing the same thing over and over each week.

  2. I'm currently looking at a few of my homemaking routines to see if I can make my life a little less hectic. I too have found that I periodically need to change my game plan to try and keep my stress levels low.

    I love your autumnal all sounds so yummy! The mustard glazed carrots sound appealing to me. Are there other ingredients in the mustard glaze, or is it only mustard?

    At my house, we are still really enjoying the snack style lunches. This week we are all mix and matching from these choices:

    * Fresh apples
    * Bananas
    * Almonds or mixed nuts
    * Yogurt
    * Celery sticks
    * Carrot sticks
    * Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
    * Peanut butter and crackers
    * Sliced cheddar cheese and crackers

    Your post today has me craving pumpkin bread or muffins. I think I will make some over the weekend. One of my co-workers had a baby girl and is coming back from maternity leave on Monday. Last year I brought in my pumpkin bread and she asked for the recipe stating it was her favorite. I think I will bake some to bring in to work to surprise her on Monday and double or triple the batch to have some at home for lunches too. Yummy...I can't wait!

    Have a good day!

    1. Hi Angie,
      Your lunch menu sounds delicious! It sounds like a good plan to bake up some pumpkin bread in a double or triple batch -- your co-worker will be thrilled, and so will your family!

      For the mustard glazed carrots, I add some butter, brown sugar, pinch of salt and prepared mustard to the pan when the carrots are about cooked. It's something my mom used to do -- very simple, but makes the carrots interesting.

    2. Oh, yummy! I will definitely be trying the mustard glazed carrots.


  3. You have such great variety! I am really struggling with the school lunch thing right now. My older four all need a lunch every day without microwave access. The older two were old enough to be tested for Gifted and Talented and both got in, which is great (we were homeschooling previously, hence the test since they weren't returning students), but now the 10 YO is bussed to a different school some days and that school is completely nut-free. Argh! I am just hoping this doesn't become a district policy in the near future.

    1. Hi Cat,
      Oh I can sympathize with the lack of microwave. We go through this during the summer months when my daughters work cleaning old dorm buildings on campus. And now, no nuts at one of the schools. That does put a crimp in lunch-planning.

      A couple of suggestions for the nut-free student
      -bean-spread sandwiches, black bean/salsa combo, or garbanzo beans pureed with marinara-type sauce.
      here's the black bean one:
      here's the garbanzo one:

      I often just use whatever beans I have on hand, usually pintos as they're fairly inexpensive, so I always keep them around

      Also, cold pizza, or pizza sandwiches, or, the usual egg salad

      Congratulations on your kids being accepted into the gifted program! That's awesome!

    2. Thank you for the ideas. I have done soup some days (they each have a thermal container) and pasta concoctions or leftover spaghetti some. Always on the lookout for new ideas, though.

  4. Your feeds still aren't coming regularly. I check here every once in a while if I haven't seen a post in a while and usually find one. Oh, Blogger. I guess I get what I pay for.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      the only thing I can think of trying is unsubscribing, then resubscribing to the feed for my blog. Sorry, I wish I could settle Blogger's issues! :(


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