Monday, November 24, 2014

Dave's Killer Bread - a review

It has always been fascinating to me how different cultures view food differently. What is a daily oft eaten food in one country could very possibly be a luxury in others. And so it was with sliced bread when I was growing up in India in the 80s and 90s. It wasn't a luxury, per se, but we definitely didn't eat it everyday. It was available in all the mom and pop grocery stores that are so common in India, but my mother cooked traditional Indian food most of the the times and bread didn't show up regularly on the menu.
It was only after I came to the United States in 2003 that I realized how pervasive the humble bread was in American diets. I was also stunned at the variety of breads available here, such as I had never seen, let alone eaten before. Whole wheat, white, honey, oat, English muffins, rye, boules, sourdough and what have you!

                                                                        Picture - courtesy of Dave's Killer Bread.
Although I have followed in my mother's footsteps and cook traditional Indian food on a regular basis, my family and I also indulge in breads much more frequently than my husband or I ever did when we were children. We generally have a couple of loaves of bread at home and I have even tried my hand at baking bread at home with good results.
As I became more and more aware of the ingredients in bread, I realized that not all loaves were made equal. In an effort to reduce the amount of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives in bread, I try to purchase only whole wheat or whole grain bread, without HFCS and other additives. Reading labels has become a norm and finding a good brand that is healthy, versatile and delicious and also has a short ingredient list has become a challenge.
That's why when I realized that I had been selected by Moms Meet to review Dave's Killer Bread for my blog, I was pleasantly surprised. I had seen the loaves at the stores where I shop, but had never purchased them because they were slightly outside my budget.
I received two loaves to review - Dave's 21 whole grains and seeds and Dave's Thinly sliced Good Seed.
                                                                                               Picture - courtesy of Dave's Killer Bread.
Even before I sampled the bread, the following points stood out for me:
* All the breads were made using organic ingredients.
* Most were vegan with high levels of protein and fiber.
* They are also certified non-GMO
* The breads contain no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

When I looked at the ingredient list on the breads that I had received, I was able to read, pronounce and recognize all of them! The sheer variety of the grains and seeds used in the bread amazed me.
I used the bread to make sandwiches for myself and my kids. I also used them to make croutons.
Both the varieties were hearty, filling and stayed fresh tasting even without preservatives of any kind.
I like having seeds and grains in my bread, I like the contrast in the textures. The breads made good toast too. Also, the thinly sliced Good Seed bread had only about 70 calories.

I have seen the loaves available at Costco and Sprouts Farmers market. For stores that sell this bread in your area, you can visit the store locator on the website and find out. The breads generally retail at 4 - 6$ per loaf.

On the website, I read about the history of the company and the concept of second chances that were offered to the employees of the company and was even more impressed. A company that makes amazing bread and also offers people with a past
a chance to turn their lives around - I can get behind that!

Read more about Dave's Killer Bread here
Visit the following links for more information about Dave's Killer bread.

If you eat bread regularly and are looking for a good, natural bread without unnecessary ingredients, do give Dave's Killer Bread a try.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Eggless Applesauce Loaf

We are a month into the new school year and so far we are doing well in the lunch and snack department. Admittedly, we rotate quite a few of the main 'entree' potion of the meal and I change up the sides quite a bit. That's one of the reasons I haven't started posting my Week in Bentos section. I am planning on incorporating a new set of lunch main dishes, so hopefully I will be able to restart that section again.
Every weekend, I try to bake at least two different types of muffins or quick breads so that I can use them liberally in the kids' lunch and snack boxes. LG8 has a really late lunch time this year and needs a hearty snack to tide him over till then. We cant afford to have hungry stomachs interfere with learning minds :). Rather than just sliced apples or pretzels, I try including something slightly more filling. A baked snack bar, or a couple of mini muffins, sandwiches too. Flavorful, healthy quick breads made with multi grain flour and studded with dried fruits lend themselves to interesting sandwiches.


I was browsing around for recipes when I came across this one at Williams Sonoma. It looked very adaptable and pretty easy to assemble quickly. It would probably have been healthier to make my own applesauce, but store bought organic applesauce, with no added sugar was a good substitute!

1 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 C amaranth flour
1/4 C stoneground corn meal
1/4 C spelt flour
1 C walnuts, coarsely chopped, or 1 cup dark or golden raisins (I used raisins)
2/3 C sugar (I used a mix of regular sugar and coconut palm sugar)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/3 C neutral tasting oil (you could also use coconut oil for a nice change)
1/4 C sour cream or yogurt
1 heaping cup applesauce 
1 tsp corn starch or arrowroot powder


1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease a standard 9 X 5 loaf pan liberally with softened butter or oil.
2. In a bowl, stir together the dry ingredients - flours, nuts or dried fruits, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices and the arrowroot or corn starch. Whisk thoroughly.
3. In another bowl, whisk the oil, sour cream and apple sauce to get a smooth homogeneous mixture.
4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until it is evenly moistened. Mix with a light hand so that the bread doesn't end up as a dense block.
4. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 55 minutes. Keep checking for doneness after 50 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
6. Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack until it cools completely.
7. If possible, do not slice into the bread until it has completely cooled down. It makes such a big difference to the texture and the crumb of the bread!
8. Slice evenly with a serrated knife and serve with butter, jam, peanut butter or even cream cheese for a yummy snack!

1. The original recipe called for 2 C of all purpose flour. I replaced half of it with various other flours that I had on hand. Use whatever you have available.
2. The original recipe also called for 1 egg that I replaced with sour cream. You could use yogurt, commercial egg replacers or any other substitute of choice.
3. I sprinkled the top of the bread with some rolled oats before baking for visual appeal!
4. The apple loaf turned out pretty tasty. I sent this in snack boxes, sandwiched with some cream cheese and jelly. It tastes delicious even plain with some soft butter.
5. You could also make mini or regular sized muffins with the same batter. Mini muffins take around 15 - 17 minutes and regular sized muffins need around 22 -24 minutes. If you use smaller loaf pans, adjust the time accordingly.
6. You could add other add-ins such as chopped apples, mini chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, etc. for a variation on the same bread.

Do give it a try!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Danish Pastry - Eggless Baking Challenge

Visit any bakery or avail your self of any continental breakfast in a hotel / motel and you will definitely have either seen or eaten a danish pastry. Flaky layers of  dough with sweet fillings like jam or savory ones like cheese, these pastries are rich, indulgent and are definitely on my "have once in a blue moon" list. When I saw that the next thing that the Baking Eggless group was going to attempt, was Danish pastry, I was apprehensive to say the least. I had seen cooking shows where the method of making the dough had been demonstrated and "easy" had most certainly not been the key word. But what's the fun in being a part of a challenge group, if one doesn't attempt any challenges? Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things definitely expands your knowledge and your confidence. So attempt I did.
As usual, I left things until the end of the month. Given that we also had a major Hindu festival to celebrate at around the same time, it wasn't until the first weekend in September that I was finally able to make the dough and bake off the pastries the next day.

Recipe source : Joe Pastry

For Pastry Dough:
2/3 c milk (I used whole milk)
2 Tbsp sugar
11/2 tsp instant yeast
2 C unbleached all purpose flour + more as required
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C yogurt (replaces 1 egg)

For the butter slab:
8 ounces of unsalted butter
3 Tbsp flour

1.I followed a slightly different order of making the dough. The original recipe had us making the dough first and then refrigerating it. I made the butter slab first and refrigerated that. I followed a youtube video that made the dough this way.
2.I brought the butter sticks to room temperature and then creamed it along with the flour until everything was well incorporated.
3. Using a butter knife, spread the butter - flour mixture into a roughly square shape on a parchment paper. Scrape off all the butter from the bowl onto the paper. You dont want to waste any butter after all!
4. Cover the butter square with another parchment paper, smooth it with your hands and then place it onto a flat cookie sheet and refrigerate for a few hours or even overnight.
5. For the dough: Warm the milk slightly. Add all the ingredients to the same bowl and knead lightly until a smooth and slightly sticky dough is formed. Add about 1 3/4 C of the flour first and then if needed, add by the tablespoon to make a dough that is easily kneaded. This dough doesnt require as long or as vigorous kneading as a bread dough. Once the dough came together, I kneaded lightly for about 3 minutes.
6. Place the dough back in the bowl. Cover it with a clean tea towel and place it in a warm area for the dough to rise.(about 2 hours)
7. After about 90 minutes, remove the butter slab from the refrigerator.
8. Now begins the fun part of laminating the dough!
9. Roll out the dough, using extra flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the counter, into a shape that is slightly larger then the butter slab. It should be big enough to just cover the butter slab from all sides.
10. Once the dough is rolled out, peel the butter slab from the parchment paper and place it in the middle of the dough. Bring up the sides of the dough to cover the butter and encase it from all sides.
11. Keeping the seam side down, roll the dough gently but quickly into a rectangular shape.
12. Brush any residual flour that might be on the dough and then fold the dough like an envelope. The original site has very detailed pictures and referring to it will be very useful.
13. At this time, the butter in my dough started melting. It is the middle of summer here in North Dallas and temperatures are quite high. Not a very good time to be making laminated dough for the very first time, but still. So I quickly transferred the folded dough onto the cookie sheet and chilled it for 25 minutes.
14. Repeat the process two more times, rolling into a rectangular shape, folding into an envelope and then refrigerating for about 20 minutes.
15. Once the final folding was done, wrap the dough in plastic wrap, plunk it down on the baking sheet and send it back to the refrigerator. You can chill it overnight or you can start baking after about 3 hours.
16. When you are ready to bake the pastries, take the dough out from the fridge.
17. Using enough flour, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. The exact dimensions don't matter. Try to get it as thin as you can get it. The butter might start melting and oozing out again. You can either patch up using flour or cooling it again.
18. Then proceed to cut and shape the dough according to whichever style you have chosen.
Here are a few options to make with danish pastry dough. 
I made the pinwheels. Cut the dough into rough square shapes. With a pair of kitchen scissors, cut from the 4 corners stopping just before the center. Take the right edge of each of the resulting triangles and secure it at the center to form a pinwheel shape. Form a depression in the center and then spoon in some jam into the center.
19. Once all the pastries are shaped, place them on a parchment paper on a cookie sheet, cover with the previously used parchment paper and let rise for about 45 minutes.
20. Preheat the oven to 375 deg. Once the dough is risen and the over preheated, bake the pastries for about 15 - 20 minutes, until they are puffed and golden brown.
21. Cool for a little while before enjoying the rich and flaky pastries.

1. Like I mentioned previously, the heat made it slightly difficult for me to roll out the pastry as thinly as I would have liked. Though the pastries were flaky and crispy, they were not as delicate as I would have liked. They were slightly bigger and thicker.
2. The quality of the butter matters because you can taste a lot of the butter in the layers. So use a good quality butter.
3. A lot of patience is required to make the dough and to roll it out. So give your self enough time for the preparation.
4. We all liked the pastries, but they are too full of fat and calories to be had frequently, much less made on a frequent basis.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

SweetLeaf Sweet Drops Cola - Review

I have never been a big soda drinker. Yes, I do enjoy the occasional chilled Pepsi or a Coke with a piping hot pizza or a spicy dish. The tart, almost bitter taste of the cola somehow complements a hot, spicy meal and I might indulge myself with one. The key word being indulge, because in my humble opinion, a soda - it doesn't matter what brand is it, doesn't qualify as an everyday consumable item. Other than the fact that soda has absolutely no nutritional value, some brands have about 40 grams of sugar in each serving, that's almost 8 teaspoons of sugar !! Add in the caffeine content and you have an addictive drink that replaces real nutrition with empty calories. Even if you go in for the diet varieties, they almost always use sugar substitutes which are no nutrition powerhouses themselves!

That is just for adults, I shudder every time I see kids guzzling these sodas down. Just think about childhood obesity, nutrition deficiency, dental decay and you will understand why! That's why, when I got the opportunity to review SweetLeaf Cola flavored sweet drops through Moms Meet, I was a little intrigued and a little curious as well. I had of course heard of stevia sugar substitute, I knew that it was plant based and was considered safer amongst all the sugar substitutes on the market, but I had never tried it myself. I always get a bitter aftertaste in my mouth, no matter the brand of the sugar substitute and I just end up using real sugar in lesser amounts.

A few facts about the SweetLeaf cola drops that I came across are:
  • SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops Cola is a healthy alternative to traditional sodas.
  • All you need to do to enjoy a refreshing beverage is to add 2 - 3 drops of the Cola sweet drops to every ounce of sparkling water.
  • These drops are portable and very convenient.
  • SweetLeaf Sweet Drops contain no carbohydrates, sugar alcohols, calories, methanol, aspartame or sucralose. They are all-natural and gluten-free.
  • They are made with USDA certified organic stevia.

I bought a bottle of sparkling water from my local grocery store and immediately refrigerated it so that I could have a cool base for my cola drops. You could also use ice cubes, if you preferred that.
I then added about 8 - 10 drops of the liquid cola drops, stirred it well. I was pleasantly surprised when I could not detect the metallic aftertaste that I usually experience with all sugar substitutes. The taste was refreshing and the drink was fizzy due to the sparkling water. I could see how it could be used as a substitute for traditional sodas, especially by those who consume caffeinated beverages throughout the day, instead of water. I wouldnt say that using these cola drops would give you a beverage that would taste exactly like traditional soda. It doesnt. But, given that it contains 0 calories, no chemicals and is all natural, it would be worth it to just try and see for yourself.

The retail price is $4.39 for 37 servings and $14.99 for 100 servings. You could also visit SweetLeaf online and use the coupon code ColaMD at checkout to take 30% off your online order. You would also get free shipping with this deal.

Please visit the following links for more information about SweetLeaf.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Swedish Tea Ring - Eggless Baking Challenge

Do you ever feel that time is slipping like sand through your fingers ?? I get that feeling now and again, when I look at my kids, expecting to see my little babies, but actually seeing little persons, growing and maturing too quickly, right in front of my eyes ! Ever since I started working, I have had less time to spend with them during weekdays, but the job was my choice and so there is nothing for me to complain about :) I have to shift and slide my tasks and schedules around, so that I get to maximize the time and fun that I can have with my little darlings.
For July, the Baking Eggless challenge was to make a Swedish Tea Ring. It is very similar to cinnamon rolls, a rich yeast bread with a filling of cinnamon sugar, nuts and raisins, except it is baked in a circular form, usually in an intriguing design. This delicious bread originated in the Scandinavian region, which can now be separated into the countries of Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. Most recipes seem to have been handed down by sweet grandmothers and continue to be relished in all parts of the world !

There are several recipes and creative designs floating merrily on the internet. Take your pick, but definitely give it a try !
The recipe we adapted is here.

For the dough:
1/2 C milk
1/4 C ricotta cheese(substituting for 1 egg)
1/2 Tbs butter at room temperature
11/2 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
11/2 C + 2 Tbs bread flour
3/4 tsp active dry yeast

For the Filling: 
1 Tbsp softened butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 C packed light brown sugar
4 Tbsp almond slivers (optional)


1. Put the milk, ricotta cheese, butter, sugar, salt and bread flour in a bowl.
2. Proof the yeast with a tablespoon of warm water and add to the bowl as well.
3. Mix all the ingredients well, until a smooth and slightly sticky dough is formed.
4. Knead well for about 5 - 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
5. If you find that the dough is too sticky, then add a tablespoon of dough at a time, until desired texture is obtained.


6. Oil a bowl and place the kneaded dough in it. You can use the same bowl in which you mixed the dough.
7. Cover loosely with a clean cloth and place in a warm area to let the dough rise.
8. After about 1.5 - 2 hours, the dough should have risen to double its original volume.
9. In the meantime, prepare the filling by combining the cinnamon, cardamom and sugar.
10. Punch the dough slightly to deflate the air. Roll it out into a 12 X 16 rectangle (approximately)
11. Brush the softened butter over the rolled dough. Leave about half an inch all around so that you can seal the ring properly.
12. Sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the slivered almonds over the sugar and press slightly into the dough. You could use raisins instead of the nuts or you could use both !
13. Starting at the longer edge, roll the dough tightly into a log. Place the log, seam side down, stretching it with a gentle hand and then joining the two edges together to form a circle.
14. Place the circle on a greased baking tray. I lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
15. Using sharp kitchen scissors, cut 2/3 of the way through the loaf , at 1 inch intervals. Spread the cut pieces lightly.
16. At this point, I covered the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerated it. It was late in the evening and I didnt want to bake it at that time.
17. I couldnt bake it until the evening of the next day. The sugar and butter had combined to make a syrup of sorts which had oozed out of the dough. I was hoping that my bread wouldnt turn out to be a soggy mess !
18. If your dough is refrigerated, warm it up on the counter top for about 40 minutes. Do the same even if you intend to bake the bread on the same day. The second rise will yield a nice texture to the bread.
19. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush the tea ring with milk.
20. Bake the tea ring for about 20 minutes, until the top is golden and the filling seems bubbly.
21. Drizzle lightly with icing when the tea ring is still warm and serve immediately to all the family members who would have trickled into the kitchen following the delicious aromas emanating from there !

Notes :
1. The tea ring was delicious. The covering was flaky and rich and buttery and the filling was sweet and spicy and crunchy.
2. Kids and hubby both loved it and polished it off in a day !
3. The dough came together very easily and I had no difficulty with it at all.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Review : good2grow juices and veggie blends !

The days when juices were an occasional treat are long gone. Nowadays, parents all over have an inordinate number of choices when it comes to these ubiquitous treats. Picnics, birthday parties, casual gatherings, school lunches, summer camps...there is just no end to where juice boxes will make an appearance. For all their omnipresence and choice, the challenge lies in choosing a product that is not laden with artificial flavors, colors and added sweeteners. When you eliminate these culprits from the ingredient list, then there isn't too much of a choice.
When I got the opportunity to try fruit juices from the good2grow line of healthy beverages, I was curious. Since I am always on the lookout for food and drink items that I can serve my kids without any qualms, I was intrigued by the information that I had about good2grow.

The packaging was pretty unique in that a single serve bottle came with a character top which utilizes a patented spill proof design. These tops could then be reused if you purchased a refill pack of juice bottles. The 'SippaTops' come in dozens of character options such as Disney, Pixar, Nickelodeon, Marvel, etc.
I purchased a single serve bottle with a character from 'Cars' and also a refill pack. My kids were as intrigued and thrilled as I was to see this product and couldn't wait to try it out ! They loved the flavor and I loved that it was spill proof ! This way, as long as the top was tightened properly, I didnt have to worry about my kids taking their juice bottles into the living areas and inadvertently spilling the juice all over the carpet !

The good points of this juice are :
  • These juices are made from 100% fruit juice, as well as fruit and veggie blends. They do not contain added sugar, HFCS or any artificial additives or preservatives.
  • The juices come in 6 delicious varieties to suit all palettes.
  • They are sold in 3 different sizes ( 4 oz., 6 oz., and 8 oz.). Choosing the right size for your child becomes much easier.
  • As I mentioned above, the various 'SippaTop' character tops give a uniqueness to the juice bottles. The caps are also reusable and dishwasher safe.
  • All the bottles are BPA-free, non-GMO and recyclable.
  • The veggie blends contain less sugar than traditional juices and also contain one combined serving of fruits and vegetables.
  • These products are easily available at grocery stores, mass retailers and drug stores including Kroger, Safeway, H-E-B, Walmart, Kmart, Walgreens, CVS, Toys"R"Us, etc.
  • It would be convenient to send these single serve bottles as part of a school lunch, occasionally.
The aspects of this product that I didn't like so much:
  • Although I get that the character tops are attractive to kids, I think its a lot of unnecessary packaging. I have never had to bribe my kids to drink juice and in an age where people are trying to be more conscious about their carbon footprint, single serve juice bottles create a lot of landfill.
  • As a parent of two school going boys, I have come to realize that even the best fruit juices, without any additional sugars and artificial additives, are not the best drinks to offer to our kids on a daily basis. Juices have almost no fiber, a lot of sugar(even if its natural) and just add calories without providing the best nutrients. 
But I believe that all treats are permissible in moderation and I make no exception when it comes to juices. So in that regard, I would feel pretty good about offering the good2grow line of juices to my kids when it is accompanied by healthy food choices which include protein and healthy fats.
Other notes:
  • The retail price for a single serve is $2.49 to $2.99. Refill packs range from $2.99 to $3.49. As a conscientious food shopper, I would not pay for single serve juice boxes on a regular basis because buying a big bottle of natural fruit juice is much more economical and "green" ! 
  • Refrigeration of the products is not required but is recommended for better taste.
For more information, please visit the following resources: 
If you would like to receive a free refill pack with the purchase of a single serve beverage, visit and enter to win a themed birthday party for your children.
Also be sure to check out the social media experience StoryStictcher at and enter to win a $5000 scholarship and free coupons.

Disclaimer : I received free vouchers for this product from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to review this product and post my opinions on my blog. My opinions are completely my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Hungarian Kipfels - Baking Eggless Challenge

For the Baking Eggless Challenge for the month of June, the recipe chosen was Hungarian Kipfels. These are traditional eastern European delicacies and are always made for special occasions such as weddings or birthday celebrations. Basically, for any occasion where family members could gather, create memories and share delicious food ! Sounds familiar ?
In any case, these sweet morsels are made with a rich dough and the filling could be prune or apricot butter, poppy seeds or even cream cheese and walnuts. I definitely wanted to make these because they looked delectable. The original recipe would definitely feed a crowd, but since I was only making it for 4, I had to scale the recipe down.

Original Recipe can be found here - June Meyer's Hungarian Kiffles
2 C unbleached all purpose flour
1 stick / 8 tbsp butter , room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C + 2 Tbsp warm sour cream
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp grated orange zest

4 Tbsp walnuts , chopped finely
4 Tbsp granulated sugar


1. Add the yeast to 2 Tbsp of warm water and set aside for 5 minutes to proof.
2. Meanwhile, mix the softened butter into the flour mixture until it resembles bread crumbs.
3. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Knead well until everything is incorporated and the dough turns smooth and soft. If required, add a little lemon juice to bring the dough together. I didnt need to add any extra liquid.
4. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume. (about 2 hours). In a separate bowl, mix the ground walnuts and sugar and keep aside.
5. Once the dough has risen, pinch off lemon sized balls and using your palms and fingers, pat the dough into a circle. You can use a cutting board, or a flat plate to help you enlarge the dough circle.
6. Place a teaspoon of your filling mixture in the middle of the circle. I used homemade apricot butter.
7. Staring from one edge, roll the dough such that the filling is covered.
8. Roll the pastry in the walnut sugar mixture and place seam side down on a greased cookie sheet.
9. Form similar dough packets and place on the prepared sheets.
10. Keep aside in a warm place for about 45 minutes to let the dough rise again.
11. Preheat the oven to 350.
12. Bake the rolls for about 30 minutes until lightly brown.
13. Remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack and then store in an airtight container when completely cooled. Remember to let the pastries cool completely before storing, else the pastry will sweat and make the rolls soggy. Not good eats.

1.  These little rolled up dumplings were seriously delicious. The buttery, flaky crust, the nutty and slightly sweet topping and the sweet and tart apricot butter filling provided a plethora of tastes and textures.
2. It is a very rich sweet, even without using eggs, so I would recommend that they be consumed in moderation!
3. Kids and hubby liked them, so it does appeal to quite a broad palette !
4. For the apricot butter, I essentially followed this recipe , but also added some freshly ground cardamom to lend an Indian touch. The apricot butter can also be used instead of regular jam. It was pretty easy to make and was quite good.

1. I could have used a combination of whole wheat pastry flour and all purpose flour to increase the whole grains in the recipe.
2. Also, I think my active dry yeast was past its prime. The dough didnt rise as much as I expected. Please check the expiration date on your yeasts because more often than not, recipes using yeast depend largely on the yeast for the texture and taste of the end product !

Friday, June 27, 2014

36 random things about me and my experiences :)

1. I feel the same today as I felt exactly a year ago on my last birthday :)
2. Children will surprise you with their perception, reasoning skills and sense of humor.
Laughing uproriously along with your children will give you a sense of wonder and hope like nothing else.
3. If you smile at somebody, they will smile back at you.....mostly. I have had people look blankly at and through me when
I smile at them,
which used to leave me feeling very foolish indeed, but I dont let it bother me now !
4. Read and teach to children to read. It would also be wondeful if they enjoyed it :)
5. Learning to cook and bake from scratch and then serving it to friends and family gives me joy and a sense of accomplishment. I think its a very important skill to learn..I dont have to be a gourmet chef or know hundreds of recipes to enjoy my kitchen !
6. I was never a collector - I didnt buy hoards of clothes or own 20 different purses and 20 pairs of shoes (!!!?!). The only thing I did buy was books and even that has reduced after I subscribed to the excellent libraries in the US. But in recent years I have noticed that I have absolutely no interest in starting up that hobby after all. Doesnt mean I plan on living like a hermit, but I find that I am very easily satisfied with minimal purchases !
7. I speak 4 languages, one dialect. I can also read and write in all those 4 languages. Mind you, three of those are languages spoken in the Indian sub continent, but they still count ! I would love to learn more languages, because however beautiful and melodious a language is, its basic function is to help us to communicate with another human being. I think we should not forget that.
8. The sound of water, the presence of lakes and ponds calms and soothes me. The best memory I have of Jackson, Mississippi is sipping hot coffee on the shores of the Barnett Reservoir on a cool evening ! 
9. I love the smell of the earth after a rainy day and after the lawn is mowed. There is just something so earthy and elemental about it..I wish I could bottle those smells and use them as room fresheners or mood enhancers !
10. Being across the proverbial seven seas from my family makes me realize how much I miss them and would enjoy having them nearby. American holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, centered as they are around family, make me feel very homesick.
11. Having close friends nearby is the next best thing to having family around.
12. I have found that books provide me with an inexpensive and exhilarating way of reenergising myself. I can lose myself in a good book and emerge feeling refreshed and happy.
13. As a mother of two active boys under the age of 10, I have found that taking a little time for myself everyday, be it with a book, or a cup of tea or even gardening, gives me the patience and enthusiasm to listen to everything that my little ones have to share, irrespective of how tiring my day has been.
14. On the same note, gardening gives me a lot of pleasure. There is something life-affirming in seeing new buds,leaves and flowers sprout on the branches of a shrub or a tree after the long dormancy of winter. That in itself is a metaphor for life - alternate periods of bounty and scarcity, life following death and happiness always following despair.
15. The best relationship that you can work on ( and it is one that you will always need to work on) is the one with your spouse. Your spouse is literally your life partner, another human being with thoughts, values, feelings, emotions and opinions with whom you will hopefully live out your entire life. It is in the best interest of everybody involved to make this relationship the most important in your life.
16. Playing with my children and being silly with them is good for me, and for them :)
17. Planting a vegetable garden and visiting it everyday with my kids is worth all the time and effort that I put in it, even if all I ever harvest is a few bunches of greens and a few tomatoes. Thankfully I always have more than that, but I feel good about growing veggies myself. It connects me in a small way to my ancestors who lived off the land and it shows my children where food comes from.
18. I like grocery shopping (my husband doesnt). I like looking at all the fresh produce, all the raw ingredients that could be used to put a healthy and delicious meal on my table.
19. I have become very careful about avoiding processed food. I try to avoid packaged food with mile long ingredient lists because I have come to firmly believe that you are what you eat. I think most of the health problems that people are facing world wide are due to lack of nutritious food.
20. I try to avoid going to the doctor's office. I believe and I have experienced that small ailments like a cold or a cough or even slight fever can be easily treated at home with ingredients found in your kitchen.
My Daily drive to and from work - the quality of the picture is not very good, plus it was slightly drizzling when I took it !

21. I love driving on empty tree lined roads with my favorite music playing on the radio. The only hindrance to this is finding that empty, tree lined road and err...gas prices and the fact that unnecessary usgae of the car is not very environmentally friendly (ahem).
22. Music is a balm to my soul. Whatever my mood, I know I can improve it and enhance it with music !
23. I have realized that if you love what you do - whether its a job or tasks at home, it never seems like a burden or a compulsion !
24. A deep breath and a moment of holding my tongue have helped diffuse many a tense situations !
25. Over the past few years, I have realized that I was pretty naive about a lot of things..I wouldnt say that I am necessarily wiser, but I have learnt to think from another perspective which has opened my mind quite a bit :)
26. Talking to my mother and father always puts a smile on my face. Always.
27. I adore long and thick hair. Alas, mine doesnt come close to this description. I usually dont bother too much about appearance and the like, but if there was one beauty wish that I could have been granted, I would have wished for thick , black and long hair :)
28. I am creatively challenged - I am extremely left brained and when it comes to come up with creative ideas or do some craft, I am all thumbs. I admire those people who whip up amazing scarves, shawls and jewelry in a jiffy !
29. For as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a doctor. Many people who grew up in India will say the same thing because parents in India are slightly obsessed with having their children become doctors and engineers. I couldnt become one and hence I now compensate by trying out natural remedies at home !
30. I am slightly obsessive about spellings. It irks me no end to see words spelt incorrectly. I mean, how difficult is it for editors of news print, books and ads to run copy through a spell checker ???
31. I didnt have a mobile / cell phone for a very long time even though everybody around me at that time (in 2000 - 2003) proudly sported the latest. It was only after I got married in 2003 and my husband wanted to be able to get ahold of me from the US that I got one. I was working in India at the time.
32. I love a good murder mystery. Be it books or movies or series, anything that can keep you guessing till the end satisfies me immensely. Agatha Christie, any one ?
33. When I was of school going age, I loved the freedom that riding my bicycle gave me. I rode it to school, to my friend's house, to nearby grocery stores :) Then when I turned 16, my dad bought a Scooty for me. Its a lightweight scooter that could easily manage on the busy streets of the city !! I was thrilled ! I rode it everywhere !! I miss it now !
34. I am a software developer by profession. I took breaks when my children were born, 2 years the first time and then a longer gap of three years the second time. Although I realize that the breaks affected my career, I do not regret my decisions and I would do the same thing again if I had a do-over !
35. I was very introverted as a child. Books were my friends. I am still quiet as a rule now, but I am better at reaching out to people and making conversation. I think the major reason for this were the first few years after I started working when I was a part of a boisterous and wonderful group of trainees in a software company. I had no option but to come out of my shell :)
36. And last but not the least, I love to write. Not that you would know by the sporadic amount of writing that I do on the blog. But I dream of writing more and hopefully can motivate myself to do just that soon :)

I know this was a long, rambling post. Hope it wasn't too boring to go through, but it did give me a good insight into
myself ! Maybe you ought to do it too !

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Eggless Mexican Sweet Rolls / Conchas - a Baking Eggless Challenge

Last year, in a spurt of motivation, I joined the Baking Eggless group, spearheaded by the wonderfully talented Gayathri of Gayathri's Cookspot.
Each month, the members selected a challenging recipe, tried the recipes out in their kitchen by replacing the eggs and then posting it on their blogs at the end of the month. It was amazing to see the innovative ways in which each member replaced the eggs and to see how creative they all got.
I got to learn quite a few new recipes and my family was able to enjoy delicious goodies !
Then, I started work after a gap of three years and all bets were off. My routines went helter-skelter, I was hip deep in trying to keep the household as calm as possible, while getting everything done at the same time. As a result, I wasn't able to participate in the baking challenge for a few months. Every month I would see the inspired creations of so many and would feel a little regret, some disappointment. I didn't want to let go in the face of hectic work schedules. So when Gayathri announced the May challenge, I had made up my mind to try the recipe, come what may.
Try I did, although it took me a while to do so and get it posted ! I will admit that its not my best effort and although I am creatively challenged, I could still do better, but on the other hand I am glad that at least I tried !
Onto the recipe  ! This month's challenge was the Mexican Conchas or shell bread.
I decided to make a quarter of the recipe provided and struggled a little to get the measurements right. The original recipe had the ingredients listed by weight, which incidentally is the best way to ensure that your baked goods come out perfect. But, having learnt to bake in the US, I am more used to cups and tablespoons ! Anyhow, I did the math and adjusted a little here and approximated a tough there.
The original recipe can be found here - Wild Yeast

For Sponge :
1/8 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 T warm water
1 tsp egg replacer powder

For Final Dough:
1/2 - 1 C all purpose flour
3 T granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 T softened butter
1/4 C yogurt
2 T water
1 tsp instant yeast
the sponge

For topping:
2 T all purpose flour
2 T sugar
3 T soft butter
flavorings and colors of choice.
(I used a combination of cocoa powder and cinnamon)

1. Mix all the ingredients for the sponge in a medium bowl.
2. Keep in a warm place for about an hour.
3. Then mix in all the remaining ingredients, except for 1 T of sugar.
4. Knead well. My sponge was thinner in consistency, as a result I needed to add slightly more flour to get the correct consistency for the final dough. If you do need to add more flour, add in small increments, until you get a dough that is slightly sticky and soft.
5. Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes and then refrigerate for 8 - 16 hours.
6. Since I made this during the week and had to go to work the next day, my dough sat in the refrigerator for more than 16 hours.
7. When you are ready to bake the bread, prepare the topping first. Mix all the ingredients for the topping. If you plan to have multiple colors, then divide the dough and then mix in the colors and flavors. Knead lightly.
8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Deflate slightly and divide into 4 portions.
9. Roll each piece on the countertop using your palm to form balls.
10. Pinch off a small ball of the topping dough. Flatten it on your hand and cover the dough ball. Flatten it slightly with your hand.
11. Score the top of the topping with a sharp knife, creating designs of your choice.
12. The topping might crack and separate during proofing or baking.
13. Place the bread dough balls on a greased cookie sheet or a baking sheet and let rise in a warm place for about 2.5 to 3 hours.
14. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
15. Bake the breads for about 20 minutes
16. The topping should feel set and the bread should be slightly browned. Cool on a rack and enjoy !

The butter and cinnamon topping gave off a very enticing fragrance while still in the oven.
Taste wise, when eaten while warm, the bread was slightkly sweet and slightly chewy, with the buttery sweet topping a nice contrast.
I am not sure why, but my topping broke and seperated quite a lot when the bread was proofing and baking. Either the consistency was not correct
or I got the thickness incorrect. {sigh} But, again..I realize that I need to put in more time and effort to plan out and execute the recipe, which I month !

Monday, June 02, 2014

The week in Bentos : May 28 - May 31 2014

Here I am again, with a lapse of a few weeks in between. I have noticed that although I religiously click pictures for all of the lunches that I pack for LG7, I don't feel the same compulsion to post them online. I think its because I feel the lack of new and varied recipes or lunch ideas. Thankfully this coming week is the last week of school in my neck of the woods. Summer break is just around the corner ! I have almost 3 months to come up with a plethora of new and exciting lunch recipes and ideas !!

In any case, here were the lunches for last week :

On Tuesday, I packed a simple PB and J sandwich, strawberries with a froggie pick and stir fried potatoes with an airplane pick.

On Wednesday , I made Annie's Mac and Cheese, strawberries and cheese crackers.

On Thursday, I packed LG7 a homemade banana waffle sandwich, raspberries, carrot sticks and store bought crackers.

On Friday, I made a quick pasta dish with peas and nutritional yeast, sliced up some strawberries, added some raspberries, a chocolate chip cookie and some cheese crackers.

That was it for this week, since Monday was a holiday on account of Memorial Day.
Are your children already home for the summer or do you have another week to go ?
Its started getting hotter and hotter here in North Dallas and I am looking forward to bringing out my ice cream maker !
Have a great week !

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Week in Bentos - May 05 : May 09 2014

Did you all have a good weekend ? Was it filled to the brim with fun activities for the entire family, or did you finally get to relax for a bit and unwind from a week's worth of stress and busyness ? Did you celebrate the mothers in your lives and if you are a mother, did you get to spend the day in a special way ?
I went out to lunch with my guys and had fun chatting and eating good food ! By the way, did you know that Mother's Day was first celebrated way back in 1908 when a woman named Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother, who had been a peace activist and had nursed wounded soldiers in the Civil war. Anna wanted to honor her mother and mothers around the world because " [a mother ] is the one person who has done more for you than any one else in the world !" Isn't that a lovely thought ? Maybe I am biased, but I think mothers are the loveliest of beings in this world :)
On other mundane matters, I am slightly late with last week's post. Here are the lunches that we made :

On Monday, we had an odd mix of items for lunch. I made some chow mein noodles and a pancake sandwich with peanut butter and jelly, apple slices and a chocolate chip cookie.

On Tuesday, I made dosa rollups ( rice and lentil crepes, slathered with PB and grape jelly), cheese crackers, carrot sticks and apple slices.

On Wednesday, lunch consisted of avocado sandwiches, olives and strawberries.

On Thursday, I made Mac and Cheese and paired it up with a side container of apples and strawberries.
I didnt have time to take a picture ! 

On Friday, I made cheese toasts, with whole wheat bread slices, tomato ketchup, sliced olives and cheddar cheese, apples and strawberries and a sandwich cookie.

LG7 has started playing basketball and I have to start increasing the calories he consumes, both quantity and quality..Hopefully the lunches in the coming weeks will reflect that ! Check back in !

Have a great week and keep packing those nutritious lunches :)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Week in Bentos : Apr 21 2014 - Apr 25 2014

The past few weeks have gone by in a blur. Even though each day seems interminable, the weeks themselves seem to run by so fast. This weekend, we headed north to the Eisenhower State park for a short camping trip with close friends and had a really nice time. The pleasure of like minded company, the satiety provided by delicious home cooked food and the serenity afforded by the peaceful green surroundings have recharged us for the weeks ahead !
Here were last week's lunches -

On Monday, lunch was Annie's organic mac and Cheese, steamed broccoli and red grapes.

On Tuesday, LG7 took a peanut butter strawberry jelly sandwich, strawberries, caramel rice cake and a couple of vanilla cream cookies.

On Wednesday, the EasyLunchBox had tri color penne pasta in tomato sauce, apples, carrot slices, potato fry and a couple of pretzel thins. Lesson learned from this lunch is - if you pack hot or warm food with crispy items like pretzel thins, they get soggy when the lid is closed and hence come back uneaten !!

On Thursday, I made spicy vermicelli noodles, apple slices, almonds and raisins and a coconut shortbread cookie.

On Friday, I packed a couple of cheese toasts, apple slices and whole grain crackers spread with peanut butter.

Hope you all have had a great fun filled or relaxing weekend. have a great week ahead and keep packing healthy lunches !


Friday, April 18, 2014

Healthy Applesauce Oatmeal Bread

With both my sons staying in after school care for a couple of hours, I have been wracking my brains over healthy and varied snacks that I can pack for them. Snacks should be portable, reasonably healthy, appealing to kids and easy to make. I am really trying hard to reduce the amount of processed food that we consume, so buying granola bars or chips or crackers is something that I don't want to do a lot.
I usually try and bake over the weekend - muffins , snack cakes , etc ..goodies that will satisfy most of my criteria for snacks. In searching for said recipes, I stumbled onto an applesauce bread here that was pretty intriguing.
I tried it last week and it turned out really well, Take a look !


Applesauce Oatmeal Bread

¾ C whole wheat pastry flour
¾ C unbleached all purpose flour
¼ C brown sugar
¼ C granulated sugar
2 flax eggs or egg replacer of choice
½ C oil
2 tsp vanilla
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
½ C  rolled oats
¾ C applesauce


1. Mix the sugar, the egg replacer, vanilla , oil and the applesauce in a big mixing bowl. Combine thoroughly until sugars are completely dissolved.
2. Mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices in a smaller bowl.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix gently. Add the rolled oats and combine with a spatula.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 °.
5. Pour the batter in a greased 9 X 5 loaf pan. Smooth the top with the spatula and sprinkle 3 Tbs of oats on the top.
6. Bake for about 55 - 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack before cutting into slices.
8. Serve plain or toasted.

1. The bread turned out really well, it was not overly sweet, was pretty moist and was pretty filling as a snack.
2. The original recipe had a full cup of sugar. I halved it and used only 1/2 C, which I found was sweet enough.
3. I covered the cooled bread in foil and stored it in the refrigerator in the pan.
4. My kids like it toasted and spread with peanut butter or jelly.
5. I have sent it in their snack boxes a couple of times and it has worked well.

Do try this bread recipe, it is pretty quick to whip up, it stays well in the refrigerator, you can add dried fruits or nuts for a variety and the kids really liked it!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Week in Bentos : Mar 24 - Mar 28 2014

The past few weeks have gotten away from me again...Weekdays are hectic enough...I dont seem to have enough hours on the weekends either! But I do get a lot of chores and a lot of baking and prepping over the weekend, so I am satisfied with that. I just have to find a little time to finish writing the posts !

 On Monday, lunch consisted of chocolate chip waffles, cheese slices, apples and blackberries and carrot sticks.
On Tuesday, LG7 asked for mac and cheese. So along with that, he got apple slices, blackberries, carrot sticks and a few sugar snap peas.

On Wednesday, I gave a grilled cheese sandwich, blackberries and a peanut butter cracker sandwich.

On Thursday, lunch consisted of tortilla rolls, cheese slices, olives, apples and blackberries, carrot sticks and sugar snap peas.

On Friday, I made tri-colored rotini pasta, olives, multigrain crackers, apples and some granola.

Since I started working, my older son has started attending an afterschool program at his school, conducted by the YMCA. Although they do provide him with a snack, I am not very happy with the kind of snacks they provide, so I have started giving LG7 an additional snack that he can choose to eat if he is hungry.
Some of the things that I give him are - apple slices, sliced or chopped fruits, sandwiches, crackers and dry cereal, trail mix.
What are some things that you give your kids in their snack box ?

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Week in Bentos : Mar 17 - Mar 21 2014

So, I am into my fourth week of full time employment and things are kind of settling into a routine that works for us..kind of ...most of the days :) My admiration for working women everywhere, which was generally high to begin with, has reached the zenith now !! This includes all the stay at home moms who manage everything at home and multitask like its nobody's business !

Now, getting down to business, this is what we had for lunch last week :)

On Monday, I packed Mac and Cheese in a large silicone cup, a half peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich, apple slices and a Biscoff cookie for a treat.

On Tuesday, lunch consisted of a grilled cheese sandwiches, apple slices and some Frito corn chips.

On Wednesday, it was a peanut butter jelly sandwich again, with some veggie pasta salad, apple slices, strawberries and a cookie.

 On Thursday, I made Mac and Cheese again with some steamed broccoli drizzled with a little peanut butter. Apple slices and some chips and a cookie completed the lunch.

This is the exact same lunch that I packed for my 3 year old which he eats at his Montessori. I am not going to start posting the lunches that I pack for him but I just wanted to show off the cute 4 compartment Lock and Lock lunch box that I got for him :-) LG3 loves it, more food fits into it and he eats all of it with pleasure!

On Friday, I packed spicy Indian vermicelli noodles, apple slices, a Biscoff cookie and some potato chips.
Now I very rarely buy chips as a snack, but we happened to have some at home this week and so I let the kids have some with their lunch. Everything in moderation, thats what I say !

Hope you are seeing signs of the beginning of Spring and here's looking forward to the wonderful weather that's just around the corner!! Have a great week !

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Week in Bentos : Mar 03 - Mar 07 2014

So, Spring Break is here and that tells me that the end of this academic year is almost here..there are still more than 3 months to go...true, but I am also pretty certain that those three months are going to zip by very fast ! News of the week is that after exactly 3 years, I am back at work..I started my new job last week and its been quite hectic, to say the least..We are all still trying to come to a routine that is more organized and that will let us get through the day without feeling breathless at the end of it :)

On Monday, LG7 took a grilled peanut butter and apple sandwich, a homemade banana muffin, pineapples and strawberries.

On Tuesday, lunch consisted of spicy vermicelli noodles with peanuts and peas, cheddar cheese cubes, crackers, apples and strawberries.

On Wednesday, I packed two whole wheat tortilla rollups with peanut butter and jelly, cheese slices, crackers, pineapples and apple slices.

On Thursday, I packed a PB and J sandwich on whole wheat bread, a piece of chocolate brownie bar, some veggie chips and strawberries.

I seem to have forgotten to click a picture of Friday's lunch !
Trying to get everybody showered and ready and 4 lunches packed by 8.00 am will do that to you !
I hope to continue jotting down our lunch adventures. Maybe I could even share my own lunches once in a while, if they seem interesting. Only time will tell !
Hope you are having a wonderful Spring Break!

Monday, March 03, 2014

The Week in Bentos : Feb 24 - Feb 28

The weather gods are playing again - After a beautiful Saturday with temperatures at a pleasant 75, its back to 20 degrees on Monday. There was freezing rain and snow flurries, slick roads and predictably, closed schools in a city unused to such drastic vagaries of nature !
So housebound we are , yet again :)

Last week, we had a good lunch week.

On Monday, LG7 took a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wheat buns, a homemade oatmeal pumpkin bar, a cutie orange and apple slices.

On Tuesday, lunch was rotini pasta with store bought marinara sauce, cheddar cheese cubes, apple slices and another piece of the oatmeal chocolate chip pumpkin bar. Some of the pasta came back home because " he was busy talking to his friend and didnt have time to finish his lunch. " That earned him a lecture !

On Wednesday, I made quesadillas with chopped broccoli, crumbled paneer and shredded cheddar. It was accompanied by ketchup, some potato chips , an orange and strawberries.

On Thursday, LG7 got a grilled cheese sandwich, goldfish, oranges and strawberries.

LG7 went on  a field trip on Friday with his class and was required to take a packed lunch which could be disposed. So that translated into another sandwich, with some strawberries and goldfish crackers in ziploc bags and a small bottle of water. Basically a repeat of Thursday.

Overall, it was a good week.
Hope you stay warm and have a wonderful week ahead !!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Week in Bentos : Feb 17 - Feb 21

Irrespective of whether my weekend has been hectic ( filled with outside activities, cooking and baking sprees ) or sedentary , the end of said weekend always comes as a surprise. As in "Is it Sunday night already ? Where did my weekend go ? " Does it ever happen to you ? Its the same right now, sitting as I am on my sofa at 9.45 pm on a Sunday night, surrounded by silence and kept company only by the relentless ticking of the clock :)
Wonder what the week ahead has in store for me !!
Here are the lunches that we packed this past week.

On Monday, LG7 had a holiday from school on account of President's Day. So, no bento lunch packed that day. Instead, we had a quiet day at home and celebrated LG3's third birthday at home by baking a simple eggless chocolate cake. LG3 was, unfortunately a little sick, so it was a pretty quiet affair.

On Tuesday, LG7 took a waffle sandwich with almond butter and jelly, carrot sticks, strawberries and blackberries and a piece of chocolate cake for a treat.

On Wednesday, I tried a pasta recipe with a white sauce, an orange, apple slice and carrot sticks. For some reason, LG7 didnt like the white sauce and brought back almost half the pasta back. I will have to tinker with the sauce recipe to get it to his liking.

On Thursday, the Easy Lunch Box contained spinach and corn quesadillas with ketchup, an orange, strawberries and a chocolate chip cookie.

On Friday, as per request, I sent Annie's Mac and cheese, carrot sticks, strawberries and an orange and heaved a sigh of relief when everything came back empty.

I have been observing that LG7 is almost emptying the contents of both his water bottles. Thats probably a sign that winter is bidding adieu !

Hope you have a wonderful week ahead !