Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lunch Box Ideas:
Apple Cinnamon Muffins and a little info on Bento Boxes

My son informed me last week that his favorite things to do in life are eating, sleeping and snuggling. Then he quickly added laughing. I was a little taken aback by the lack of physical activity involved in his favorite things, unless you want to include chewing as a physical activity. I have decided to take comfort in my son's apparent evolving self awarness and not worry that sports are not included on his list. My ability to do so stems from the fact that he is a thin as a rail and bouncing off the walls with energy most of the time. I am trying to push out of my mind what will take the place of a good snuggle for my son as a favorite thing when he reaches manhood...Yes I am a worrier, but I do not want to be a grandmother before 60 please! I can certainely relate to all his favorites (most anyone can), especially eating.

I have been whipping together some satisfactory lunches for my little guy. Muffins are such an easy addtion to a lunch. I make a batch, let them cool, then individually freeze them wrapped in plastic wrap. This can be done with slices of quick breads (such as banana), as well. I throw them in his lunch box and they are always defrosted by the time he eats them. Although my little weirdo likes them frozen at home so I have finally stopped insisting I warm them up for him. The recipe I am offering here was made twice because the first time they were not a hit...not terrible but kinda blah. And who wants to create dirty dishes for those kind of results? The taste of baking powder was evident and they needed more cinnamon and more apples. The second batch are very good with only a slight hint of lemon. They are moist and packed full of apples.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

250 ml / 1 cup Sugar
500 ml / 2 cups All purpose flour
10 ml / 2 t Baking soda
10 ml / 2 t Lemon zest
15 ml / 1 T ground Cinamon
2.5 ml / 1/2 t Salt
750 ml / 3 cups peeled, cored Apples, in small cubes (can be very rough or even through them in food processor)
2 large Eggs
125 ml / 1/2 cup plain Yogourt

125 ml / 1/2 cup whole Milk
125 ml / 1/2 cup melted Butter
1/2 apple, cored, peel on

demerara sugar to sprinkle on top*optional

For Bento Box inspired muffins:
Make a face on the muffins with raisins for eyes, an apple piece for the nose or raisins again. Currants can also be used

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Line muffin tin with baking cups.
  • Whisk together in a bowl sugar, flour, baking soda, lemon zest, cinnamon, and salt. Pour in apples and toss to coat.
  • In a seperate bowl whisk together eggs, yogourt, milk and butter.
  • Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients gently with a spatula until just blended. Scoop batter into muffin tray using 2 spoons or a ice cream scoop. I used a 47ml scoop that yielded 24 muffins. The perfect size for little guys. If you do not have a scoop fill the baking cups half way.
  • Slice the halved apple thinly and decorate the batter with the slices as you like. Sprinkle with demerara sugar.
  • Cook in oven for 15-20 minutes until tester comes out clean or are springy to the touch. Smaller muffins will take less time so do check at 13 minutes.

Bento boxes

I am trying to squeeze in some recipe development and have been checking out Bento boxes. For a food stylist they are such a treat to research...they are so cute! I will try to put together some ideas with pics soon for more Lunch Box ideas. You really do not need a lot of culinary skills to put a Bento Boxes together , you just need to be neat and organized. I do squirm a little at the amount of processed meats included in child's Bento Box lunch, but on the other hand how adorable can a lunch get? I wish someone would make me one.

Click here to check out some Bento Box lunches.

By the way where did my spell check function go? I am quiet dependant on it as I am sure you have already noted.

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