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Archive for the ‘Lunch’ Category

While this dish is technically “real food” the amount of butter used is what keeps it from showing up on our table on a weekly basis. I personally love baked potatoes, and this variation with the slightly crispy skin on the bottom is just the bomb. And my husband and kids love them, too. You can play around with the toppings by trying grated cheese, green onions, sour cream, bacon (we were out of bacon so pictured is proscuitto), and/or butter. The end result works great as an appetizer, snack, side item, or tailgating dish!

Some recipes request that you scoop out most of the cooked potato before pan-frying them, but we do not think that is necessary. In our opinion the more potato there is, the better things are balanced out between the rich toppings and buttery, crispy crust. They turn out best with small to medium sized potatoes (which are currently in season here in N.C.!) although any size will work. (more…)

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It is apple season here in the Carolinas! Making homemade applesauce is somewhat of a special occasion around here since a healthy store-bought alternative (with no sugar added) can easily be found. I am not saying the store-bought stuff is nearly as good as the homemade version…just more convenient of course. Let’s just say that my husband and I do not regularly consume the little store-bought containers of applesauce, but all four of us fight over the last few drops if it is homemade! Plus making it yourself can be a fun activity (especially with kids), and luckily you can freeze the leftovers.

It is especially quick and easy to make this dish at home if you have one of these handy dandy apple slicers. You can find these inexpensive tools at most grocery stores (or Target), and they will easily cut your prep time in half. Not to mention they come in handy for just slicing apples for a snack (or even pears too!). (more…)

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This easy-to-make cold soup recipe is a twist on traditional gazpacho (which is made with tomatoes). We happen to love this version, and it is the perfect dish for a hot summer day. Cucumbers are still in season here in the Carolinas, and you certainly can’t beat using fresh local ingredients! (more…)

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Hummus is an incredibly versatile dish that can be used as a spread on crackers, in a wrap, on a sandwich, or as a dip for veggies and pretzels. I am so thankful that both of my girls like it because it is the perfect way for me to ensure they’re getting protein at lunchtime. They especially like when I put hummus and cheese on a whole-wheat tortilla and wrap it up (we call it a roll-up). I also sometimes add extras like carrots (for my 5-year-old), pieces of leftover bacon (for my 3-year-old), and chopped homegrown tomatoes or cucumbers (for me).

You can buy hummus (that will surely have preservatives in it) at the store or you can try this homemade version, which is very fresh tasting and has ingredients that you can adjust depending on your preferences. You can store it in the fridge for about a week or make a big batch and freeze some for another day! (more…)

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All I have to say about this sandwich is OMG! It is so incredibly good that my husband and I almost could not believe it. I was momentarily in shock that my kids didn’t like it, but then I said oh well – more for us! It certainly would be more convenient if they liked it too, but this is one of those things that we like so much that it’s worth it to make something different for them (like a plain grilled cheese). Don’t let us stop you from trying it on your kids though!

You can also eat this pimento cheese cold on plain bread, which is still good too. But once we discovered the cooked version (which is like a grilled cheese sandwich with a kick) we were hooked! Just imagine the soft pimento cream cheese mixture melted between two pieces of crispy bread that are grilled to perfection. Need I say more? (more…)

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This is a perfect dish for all of those fresh tomatoes and cobs of corn that are now in season. One word of caution though, freshly harvested corn does not have to be cooked long at all. I used to buy corn from the grocery store and boil it for 10 – 12 minutes, which seemed to be adequate. I totally ruined our first batch of local corn by overcooking it by a long shot. I only boiled the second batch for 3 minutes and it was still overdone! I guess the third time really is a charm because I finally decided to boil the corn for 1 short minute and it was perfect. So keep a close eye on that pot if you use fresh corn too.

I also want to mention a little something about the beans in this recipe (or any recipe that calls for beans). I used to always buy canned beans and think nothing of it. Now that I am actually reading the ingredients I have realized the advantage of dried beans – no added salt! Isn’t it odd that a bag of dried beans has 0 mg of sodium, but a can of the very same beans would have hundreds of grams of sodium in it? I will be the first to tell you that it doesn’t always work out for me to remember to soak the beans the night before, so I like to have a back-up can on hand (since it is a whopping 99 cents extra) just in case I forget. I am happy to report though, I just learned that the Earthfare brand of canned organic beans have incredibly low sodium (maybe only 15 mgs…but don’t quote me on that) so next time you are there stock up on some of those for sure! (more…)

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Here is a recipe that offers a little twist on the classic BLT sandwich…if you so desire. With some fresh locally grown or homegrown tomatoes you cannot go wrong whether you decide to include the crabmeat or not. I do admit this is not an entrée my kids will dig into, but they do like bacon and the bread so I just gave them some of that along with a few other kid-friendly items. (more…)

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