It’s back-to-school season and Liz Bushong has some great tips for parents who want to create healthy lunches for their kids.
For example, give your children ownership in the process of making their lunch selections. It will encourage them to eat healthy and teach personal responsibility.
Buy six clear storage containers or baskets. Label each container with these categories; Protein, Whole Grain, Veggies, Fruit, Drinks and Snacks. Kids will select one item from each container to pack in their lunch.
For creative after school snacks, try these fun recipes from Liz:
Back- to- School Cupcakes
24 Baked Lemon Cupcakes
Lemon butter cream frosting tinted with Golden Yellow color paste
24 Red M&M’s- for apples
1 cup Royal Icing– separated- 3/4 white 1 /4 tinted leaf green for apple stems
24 White Good & Plenty candies or a tic tack would work too- as the chalk
24 Fudge covered graham cookies- Keebler Delux Grahams –chalkboards- extra for practicing.
Place royal icing in disposable piping bag, fitted with a # 2 tip OR place white butter cream frosting in plastic bag with a tiny clipped corner of the bag for piping. Pipe letters or numbers on graham cookies, covering only the top 2/3 of cookie. (You will be inserting it into the cupcake later and will eliminate the bottom 1/3). Set aside to dry. To make the leaf on the apple-tint 1/4 white royal icing -or butter cream frosting green and using a toothpick, top each red M&M with the frosting. Cut a 2 inch slit on top of the frosted cupcake then insert the chalkboard cookie, position the apple and the chalk (Good & Plenty) as pictured in the photo.
Serve these on a chalkboard cake pedestal to add to the back- to- school theme.
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Edible Pencils for Back- to -School
Roll of Rollo® candies or Cheddar Cheese Sticks
Golden Yellow, and Pink solid scrapbooking paper- (Candy pencil only)
Wrapped Hersey Kisses for Rolo Candy Pencil or Bugles® for Cheese Stick pencil
Raisins for Cheese Sticks, (point of pencil)
¼ cup peanut or almond butter (Cheese pencil only)
Strips of aluminum foil- folded into ¼ inch pieces. (Candy pencil only)
Measure the length of candy roll to determine the length and width. Cut golden yellow scrapbook paper the diameter and length of the candy roll. Cut pink paper into stripes wide enough and long enough to cover the end of the pencil to resemble an eraser. You can use pinking shears to cut one end of the yellow paper to resemble a sharpened edge. Hot glue or using double sided- tape to attach the golden yellow paper to the roll/stick then tape or glue the pink paper to the end. Hot glue the kiss as the pencil lead. Using about 1/4 inch of alum foil. Wrap this foil around the top of the yellow paper as a pencil band. This will cover any paper ends at the top of the pencil. To assemble Cheese Stick Pencil: Unwrap cheese stick. Fill Bugle with peanut or almond butter. Attach Bugle to one end of cheese stick. Attach raisin to end of Bugle with peanut butter to create pencil lead point. Serve immediately.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Bar Cookies
Recipe adapted : Patty Flowers, Midland, Texas
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 cups peanut butter morsels, divided
1 cup Cherry jam or jelly of choice
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating well. Add peanut butter, egg and vanilla, mix well. Combine flour, soda, baking powder; gradually add to butter mixture, mix well. Reserve one cup of dough. Stir one cup peanut butter morsels into remaining dough, press into bottom of 9 x 13 pan. Spread jam evenly over the dough. Crumble reserved dough over jam, and sprinkle with remaining morsels. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely and cut into bars. Cookies may be frozen.
Yield: 3 dozen- depends on how you cut the bars.
Make a Statement, Make it Sassy and Make it Yours! ®
Liz Bushong is an expert in the three-dimensional art of entertaining. She transforms simple dining occasions into beautiful and memorable moments by adding a touch of her own “sassy” style. She makes elegance easy for her audience and encourages them to add their own Sassy touch to make it unique. Liz is famous for creating her own version of a beautifully presented tablescape – which she calls a Sassyscape ™.
To purchase her cookbooks or find recipes, cooking, and decorating ideas, go to www.lizbushong.com. Like and Share Liz on Facebook, tweet @lizbushong and pin on pinterest.com/lizbushong.