Tag Archives: healthy snacks

Weekly Menus: Week of 2/17/2013

Gentle Readers, three cheers for The Practical Cooks Junior. Not only have they mastered several breakfast items, they are now taking on school lunch, snack, and meal planning with great enthusiasm. This is a great help in not having to guess what they want.

The Practical Cooks Junior at Work: Shake Shack Reviewing

The Practical Cooks Junior at Work: Shake Shack Reviewing

The flipside, I’m raising two strong-willed women with advanced and particular palates. Please send help.

Without further adieu, and before they make additional editorial changes, here are this week’s menus:

Weekly Menus: 2/17/2013

Weekly Menus: 2/17/2013

And the Four-Square Grocery Shopping List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 2/17/2013

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 2/17/2013

Which translates to:

Sunday: Fish and Chips
The Eldest opted to have a slice of bacon at dinner the other night. It’s unclear if this is a change or a one-off. We shall see. Meanwhile, I’m going to try homemade fish and chips again.

Monday: Beans and Rice
Love this meal for simplicity and creating possibility through leftovers.

Black Beans and Rice: Simple and Satisfying for Dinner

Black Beans and Rice: Simple and Satisfying for Dinner

Tuesday: Rustic Veggie Tart
This rustic tart will be caramelized onions, sweet potato, and goat cheese.

Sweet Potato and Bacon Rustic Tart with Goat Cheese

Sweet Potato and Bacon Rustic Tart with Goat Cheese

Wednesday: Pasta and Salad
Probably cheese tortellini, but potentially spaghetti and veggie meatballs.

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
This is so simple and variable I struggle not to serve it daily. Never fails to please the crowd.

Grits go with everything. Especially breakfast for dinner.

Grits go with everything. Especially breakfast for dinner.

Friday: Leftovers
I am thinking either soup or burritos based on the week’s bounty.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Getting ready to travel again, so one last celebration on the way. Probably over a salad. 🙂

Eat the rainbow (salad)!

Eat the rainbow (salad)!

How does your crew feel about cheese sticks/pre-cut cheese? TPCs Jr are firmly against, and have started a movement to make our own. Discuss.

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Coming up Wednesday: Sour Cherries on Top: One Ingredient, Three Ways

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Weekly Menus: Week of 9/2/2012

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook is barely able to recognize her own kitchen. It seems like I haven’t seen it all summer. But school is in, time for school lunch prep, class snack, and quick dinners.

Don't overlook the afterschool snack!

Don’t overlook the afterschool snack!

One quick note. Don’t overlook the power of the post-school snack. I remember well my Granny leaving out a snack every day when I came home from school. It’s a time to unwind, relax, reconnect. Take the time to put something out, or use that time to finish what didn’t get eaten in the lunchbox.

And now, Weekly Menus for this week:

Weekly Menus: 9/2/2012

Weekly Menus: 9/2/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 9/2/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 9/2/2012

Which translates into:

Sunday: Indian Food
We shall see what this is. Probably a simple dal and rice. Potentially some bread or a green.

Monday: Salmon and Greens
Not sure if the Eldest will eat fish, but the Youngest is a fan. Working through how to serve this as a single meal without becoming a short-order cook.

Tuesday: Soup and Salad
Lots of small leftovers. I can make soup for lunchboxes too!

Wednesday: Eggy Pasta
We’ve been relying on pasta with some form of protein added in. The favorite is eggy pasta, a riff on carbonara. I know the purists will shoot me down for the lack of bacon, but so be it.

Thursday: Burritos
Sweet potatoes, black beans, and the inevitable bit of leftover rice.

Friday: Pork Chops, Pierogies, Greens
Theory here is the pierogies and greens (plus applesauce) will be enough of a meal without the pork chop for the Eldest. To be determined.

Saturday: Dine Out!

What’s your go-to weeknight meal? Any vegetarian favorites? Share your comments below!

Send your bacon, your wit, and your legitimate questions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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On Wednesday, The Art of Leftover Surprise.

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An Ode to Flatbread Crackers: The Accidental Baker

Gentle Readers, in the hustle and bustle to accomplish one’s food and eating goals, it can be quite easy to overlook the simple pleasures. Let’s take for instance, cheese and crackers. The combo is delightful, crunchy, salty, and protein-rich. Great snack food in my book.

Pimento cheese on a rosemary flatbread cracker. For the win.

Pimento cheese on a rosemary flatbread cracker. For the win.

Though we have 3 types of crackers from Trader Joe’s we adore, we had simply grown away from this snack staple. Then, along comes Rosemary Flatbread from The Accidental Baker in Hillsborough, NC. A birthday present from a good friend, they are the bomb!

The Practical Cooks Junior loved these rosemary flatbread crackers, accidentally baked or not!

The Practical Cooks Junior loved these rosemary flatbread crackers, accidentally baked or not!

The flatbread is fresh, crisp, bright, and just greasy enough to be completely satisfying. And lest you think this is me just having a moment, note that both The Practical Cooks Junior ask for these things by name. They are just that good.

The package is not huge, but the crackers have tremendous flavor.

The package is not huge, but the crackers have tremendous flavor.

Favorite treatment: slathered with pimento cheese. These crackers elevate the cheap stuff and work really well as a base for a spread. Don’t fret if they aren’t in your local store, check their website and see if you can get one of the mail-order giants to ship some to you. Trust me, it will be worth it.

What’s your favorite type of cracker? Post a comment below, or Tweet my way with #cracker in the tweet.

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Believe it or not, it’s almost time for Sunday’s Weekly Menus again!

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Filed under On the Table, Snacks

Weekly Menus: Week of 2/5/2012

Gentle Readers, it is that time of year again when thoughts turn to snacks and beer. A few thoughts about what to serve that will be both practical and delicious:

1. Nachos. They are always a hit.

Veggie Nachos Perfected! With pickled jalepeno on top, for good measure.

Veggie Nachos Perfected! With pickled jalepeno on top, for good measure.

2. Chili and baked potatoes. Had this recently, and was struck with how tasty the combo is. Go crazy, and you can do Twice-Baked Potatoes in advance, and make some Veggie Chili to go beside or on top of.

Thankful for Twice-Baked Potatoes

Thankful for Twice-Baked Potatoes

3. Pigs in a Blanket. Another classic, and so easy it is truly obnoxious.

Pigs in a Blanket, for the Win!

Pigs in a Blanket, for the Win!

So here is my gameplan for the week, Weekly Menus (in other breaking news, I have new notepaper, I know, an exciting life I lead):

Weekly Menus: 2/5/2012

Weekly Menus: 2/5/2012

Four-Square Shopping List:

Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 2/5/2012

Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 2/5/2012

Which translates to:

Sunday: Indian
Probably dal, rice, and green veg.

Monday: Tortellini and Salad
This will be the butternut squash variety, I may do it as a soup.

Tuesday: Tuna Melts
Can’t beat the classic.

Wednesday: Tacos
Always a crowd pleaser!

Thursday: Leftover Delight
Assuming I’ll have leftover Indian, otherwise, I’ll repurpose the leftover taco stuff.

Friday: Supper Salad!
As above, I’ll combine leftovers. Perhaps Tuna salad on greens, maybe taco salad.

Saturday: Dine Out

Email your questions, suggestions, and deep thoughts to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Tomorrow, Dining in London: A Tourist’s Review.

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Mango and Blackberry Parfait

Gentle Readers, in good faith, The Practical Cook can’t call the following a recipe. But The Practical Cooks Junior were enamored enough of the combination that it warranted a mention. The Eldest said I needed to let you know about it.

Denuded Lime, Blackberries, Trader Joe's Blackberry Juice

Denuded Lime, Blackberries, Trader Joe's Blackberry Juice

And as we eat our weight in apples and citrus in these winter months, it is nice to have a change of pace, a treat from a different climate. So this was our snack the other day, a Mango and Blackberry Parfait. Mango and blackberry pair beautifully, they are gorgeous to look at, and they go with almonds, pecans, or walnuts.

Mango and Blackberry Parfait (not quite a recipe, but lovely nonetheless)

Mango and Blackberry Parfait (not quite a recipe, but lovely nonetheless)

A scoop of granola (Trader Joe’s Mango Passionfruit is an obvious choice) and a dash of maple syrup over the top, plain lowfat yogurt underneath. Done. Winter gloom is banished for a little summer paradise.

What are your favorite fruit combinations? Post a comment below!

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Up next, Weekly Menus, or Wow, It Is Cold Outside.

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Vampire Smiles Snack: Fangs A Lot

Gentle Readers, it was less than a year ago that The Practical Cook was made aware of a simple and fabulous snack, the Apple Smile. Reasonably healthy, extremely fun to make, and endlessly customizable to the teeth at hand. Seeing is believing:

Smile, Apple, Smile!

Smile, Apple, Smile!

And of course, why stop there?

Wife of Bath Apple Smile (the gat-toothed woman)

Wife of Bath Apple Smile (the gat-toothed woman)

Inspired to push the smile genre further, meet Vampire Smiles:

Vampire Smiles with Candy Corn Fangs

Vampire Smiles with Candy Corn Fangs

Here’s the Original Apple Smiles post with simple directions.

Vampire Smile Awaiting Fang Fairy, with Jelly Blood

Vampire Smile Awaiting Fang Fairy, with Jelly Blood

Happy Hunting.

What’s your favorite Halloween Treat? Don’t be scared, post a comment below.

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Tomorrow, Hard-Hitting Review Time: Is Clusterfluff Worth the Hype? We’ll Taste and Report.

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Filed under Recipes, Snacks

Elevating the Ordinary Snack: Apples and Peanut Butter Artfully Done

Thanks to all who voted in yesterday’s poll. There’s still time, Gentle Readers, to vote or to post your thoughts. The Practical Cook is listening. Today’s post is a simple one. Sometimes, a good basic snack can become a great one with a bit of artful placement. Behold apples and peanut butter turned into a flower, with Chocolate Teddy Grahams lurking about in the petals.

Apple Peanut Butter Flower with Hidden Bears

Apple Peanut Butter Flower with Hidden Bears

Naturally, the bears were quickly consumed, but the art was appreciated by The Practical Cooks Junior. Is it wrong that I’m proud that they play with their food? Bring the fun to snacktime sometimes. We all have to sling hash, but don’t forget the magic of presentation when you can.

What’s your go-to snack? Post a comment (I won’t bite, unless you’re an apple with peanut butter) or Tweet away.

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It’s that time again, Sunday means Weekly Menus.

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