Jam Sandwich Shame

This morning I did what I do most mornings, I packed lunches for Asher, Simeon, Meghan. Lunch during the week for us is a bit of a funny meal. I come home at lunch mainly to scavenge. Ariella gets her lunch supplied at daycare. Asher’s lunch is mainly formula but we send some avocado and banana puree or yogurt too. Simeon and Meghan are the only people in our family that get a true packed lunch.

Today I packed them jam sandwiches, and I hated it.

Jam 1While I know for many the classic jam sandwich is comfort food. And for some it is the only food you are sure your child will eat at lunch. But that is not what it is to me. To me it simply tastes of failure.

Normally I fill our lunchboxes with leftovers from previous suppers. Sometimes that is pizza, but often it is a meal I crafted with my own skill. It is paste and sauce made from my ever changing and evolving recipe. It is baked chicken drumsticks breaded with my own mixture of species with veggies. It is a homemade turkey soup. Failing that I have made packets of pepperoni, cheese, and crackers, egg salad sandwiches, even homemade ‘Egg McMuffins’.

But today as I filled Simeon and Meghan’s lunchboxes I had to reach for the butter and jam. Simeon was more than happy to have it he loves the jam Grammie (my mother-in-law) made. And Meghan has asked from time to time for me to include a simple jam sandwich (she is not as enamored with my homemade soup as I am). I know they will be well be well received.

But like I said to me they are a statement of shame and failure. I only resort to jam sandwiches when we have no leftovers and no other quick to pack lunch options. These two things only coincide when I have been slacking with meal planning and preparation. It means I have not been really thinking through grocery trips, but I have been buying at whim. It means I have not stopped to make good and plentiful meals that produced leftovers, but I have been making quick to eat food, or worse picking up take out.

A jam sandwich tends to mean I have been taking the lazy path for the better part of a week. Jam sandwiches are supposed to be the ultimate comfort food. But I feel no comfort in making them.

What’s in your lunchbox today?

Jam 2

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Make Me Banana Pancakes

Editors Note: For most of August I am on vacation, spending some much needed time recharging my batteries and enjoying time with the family. I knew I was going to be away from my computer for some time so I went out searching for some great guest posters to help keep this blog active while I am away. I am so excited to welcome my good friend Latitia. Latitia has been known to blog from time to time at The Doctor’s Wife. She is a mom of two wonderful girls, a clean eater and easily the best cook and baker I have ever met. I am so thrilled that she is sharing some of her culinary wisdom with us. 

I have a confession to make:

I meal plan.

As in: every week I sit down, plan out my meals for the week, make a grocery list, and then shop for those groceries. Quite honestly, I do not function very well without a meal plan. Quite honestly, it blows my mind that everyone does not meal plan. On the rare occasions that I have rebelled and gone meal plan-less it has been an epic failure. It somehow gets to 5pm without my noticing and then there is nothing left to do but order pizza. Because I can’t think of a single thing I want to make or have ingredients for in the house. Seriously. That’s what happens every time.

And so, because I like variety in our diet, I tend to plan for the following for each week:

  • 1 chicken meal
  • 1 lean beef meal
  • 1 vegetarian (bean) meal
  • 1 pasta meal
  • 1 ground turkey meal
  • 1 seafood meal
  • 1 breakfast for dinner meal

pancakesBreakfast for dinner is one of my favourite things (isn’t it everyone’s?).  I rarely have time to make a big breakfast in the morning, so having a breakfast-type dinner once a week is fun, and somehow seems like less work than a regular dinner. Everyone should do it. Some of our favourite options are: whole wheat waffles or crepes with lots of fresh fruit and real maple syrup, breakfast burritos, or eggs and local sausage with toast.

Today I bring you two of my favourite pancake recipes for your next breakfast-for-dinner occasion:

Oatmeal Pancakes

These are more of a mix between an oatcake and a pancake, and are much more dense and filling than their fluffy cousins.

  • 1 ½ cups oat flour *
  • 1 cup oats
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp oil (I use coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together. Ladle about ¼ cup of the mix at a time over a hot griddle. Serve with fresh berries and real maple syrup. Makes about 8 pancakes.

*Oat flour can be easily made by whirring oats in your food processor (or baby bullet) until the oats are finely ground.

pancake-oatmeal

Banana Pancakes

These are more of a traditional style pancake, and my newest recipe creation. My family thinks they are delicious. I tend to agree. I also have to sing Jack Johnson’s ‘banana pancake’ song every time I make them.

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk (or milk soured with 2 tsp lemon juice)
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana

Mix together eggs, milk, baking soda and baking powder. Add flour and then oil, stirring only until blended. Fold in banana. Ladle onto hot griddle or frying pan. Serve with fresh fruit and real maple syrup. Makes about 12 large pancakes.

pancake-banana

Baked Spiced Donuts

I love donuts. I don’t eat a lot of them mind you because well, they are donuts. But boy could I. A little more than I year ago I tried my hand at making baked donuts without the use of a donut pan. This was a mistake. Even the most solid dough just spread out in the pan and came out of the oven looking all together undonutlike. After a few unsuccessful attempts I shelved the idea of making my own delectable treats. Then came Father’s Day. My lovely wife presented me with silicon donut molds.

My New Equipment

My New Equipment

I am pretty excited to try some pinned recipes again now that I am better armed. My first stop was the Spiced Donuts from allrecipes.com. Here is the recipe;

1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup butter, melted

The site says this recipe will make 12 donuts but I ended up with 24, and I could have had 36 had I made the first batch right.

Step 1-. Preheat the oven to 400 and mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and the wet ingredients in a medium bowl (I think 2 teaspoons of cinnamon is overkill so I went with 1 1/2). Then mix both sets of ingredients together.

DSC_0954

Step 2-. Shape the donuts into the molds. This took me two tries. On my first batch I made the rookie mistake of filling the molds all the way to the top. That produced something that looks like a bizarre cross between a muffin and a donut. The second time I properly filled the molds only about half way up.

DSC_0956

Step 3- Bake the for about 9 minutes or until golden brown. The original recipe called for a baking time of 12 minutes but I assumed since mine were smaller they would need less time. At 9 minutes my donuts came out nice and golden.

DSC_0957Step 4- Enjoy. You might have noticed that the picture above only has 11 donuts. Meghan managed to get one before I snapped my picture.

In the end these donuts came out really well and taste pretty good. I am certain I will make them again. But I can’t help but think that I haven’t found my go to donut recipe just yet. Though Simeon seems pretty taken with them. He has eaten two already and just announced to me that he is a donut monster. Like father like son I suppose.

My Donut Monster

My Donut Monster