Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tuesday and Wednesday's Bentos

 I'm terribly sorry for the delay in getting these up, but I've been battling an infection and only just got back from the doctor yesterday. I'm supposed to take things slowly, drink lots of fluid and rest. Good thing we're having a 4 day weekend, right?

Without further ado, here are the meals we had on Tuesday morning and Wednesday, with the addition of our Wednesday dinner. :)

I was feeling rather unimaginative on Tuesday. Basically I questioned what I could put together quickly because I had overslept. Voilá, Breakfast.

I apologize for the quality of the photos in this post. I really could have done a lot better than this.

Breakfast Bento, Left to right: Applesauce, Yogurt, Gherkins

Then I had lunch to contend with. No time to make it, so I just threw together what I could while I ran around thinking I had no time. I had forgotten that I had moved the clock ahead almost fifteen minutes in the kitchen so I could keep us on time all the time. Whoops.
Cut up Bratwurst with organic ketchup
Ketchup, Yogurt Dressing, Salad with sprouts and potatoes

Packed Breakfast and Lunch
 Not bad for a quickly packed lunch, eh?  This is how it all turned out packed. The thicker looking bag has everything wrapped in a towel. Since they are thermal bags, this kept the meal warm until lunch time.

Wednesday's Breakfast: Chocolate Cupcakes for a party, cheese, applesauce
Gherkins, Boiled Egg. Lunch: Rice and Carrots, Southern Sausage and Monte

Wednesday was a bit more difficult. The children were having a going away party for a classmate whose mother is soon to give birth. She'll be SAHM'ing both her little one and the new baby for the next year.  Benefits are better here, and life would be much easier doing that so quickly after birth.

So, we have some cupcakes packed along. This is unusual since the kindergarten likes to keep things low sugar.

Packed Lunch and Breakfast

This is how it all ended up packed. Breakfast in the blue box, Lunch in the larger purse. It's just easier to hand one off to the children to carry, rather than having to carry both down the steps and into the car, as well as out of the car and to the classroom. I wasn't sure if I trusted them entirely carrying the lunch bag though. My youngest has a habit of wanting to drag it rather than carry. We're working on that. 

Now for the recipe portion of today's post. I wasn't feeling good and I was really having a hankerin' for a meal I haven't had since I have gone gluten free. I asked my mom to send along the recipe, and my husband was nice enough to make it all up from scratch for me. He didn't think we would end up eating everything all at once, or within two days. Um, it is that good. It's gone as of 4pm today.

Chicken Pockets

Since I live in Germany and do not have US Base access, I don't have the ability to get a gluten free packet of American Ranch Dressing. So, I had to make my ranch dressing before we moved forward. This means we had to get two spices that were not already included in our spice rack. I'm not entirely sure where all of these recipes are from other than my mom. If these look familiar to you or you know where they came from, please do let me know and I'll be more than happy to give credit where credit is due.

Ranch Dressing and Dip Mix
This versatile mix can be used to make a dressing for salads, a dip for fresh veggies, or topping for baked potatoes.
1 1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley           
1/2 Tbsp. dried chives
1/4 Tbsp. dried tarragon           
1/2 Tbsp. lemon pepper
1 Tbsp. Salt                   
1/4 Tbsp. oregano
1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients. Store in an airtight container.
Attach this to the Jar:  Ranch Dressing Makes 1 cup
1/2 cup mayonnaise           
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. Ranch Pressing & Dip Mix
In a large bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk and dressing & dip mix. Refrigerate for one hour before serving.

 So, we had the dry mix made up and put in a small Lock & Lock container ready and waiting. My husband went ahead and made a whole chicken breast up on the stove, and began to mix the following recipe for yeast rolls. Instead of cooking these as directed, you'll do something else with them.

Mock Angel Biscuit Rolls
1 packet yeast               
1/8 cup warm water
3/4 cups lukewarm milk (scald then cool)               
1/8 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt                   
1 egg
3 Tbs shortening               
1 1/2 cups Gluten Free flour mix (up to 1 cup reserved if needed - we needed it)
1 1/2 tsps guar gum               

Combine 1 cup flour with guar gum, set aside. Dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar . In a 2 1/2-quart bowl add milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 1 1/2 cup of flour with guar gum mixed. Beat on low speed scraping bowl constantly (30 seconds). Beat on medium speed scraping bowl occasionally (2 minutes). Stir in remaining flour until smooth. Turn dough onto well (use out of the reserved flour) floured surface.  Roll around lightly to coat with flour. Gently roll dough 1/2 inch thick with floured rolling pin. Cut with a floured biscuit  cutter. Cover and let rise until doubled (40-50 minutes).  Bake in a preheated oven 450 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.  
*You can roll into balls and make divided rolls in a muffin tin. Brush tops with melted butter before baking.

**Roll out into a circle and cut into wedge pieces.  Roll up like crescent rolls and bake after rising time.  Make sure to have a well floured surface to roll these out on or they will stick and be messy.  You might want to brush them with melted butter before rolling and after rising.

***For sweet crescents, brush with melted butter.  Sprinkle with cinnimon and sugar before rolling into shape.  Brush tops with melted butter.

So, instead of making these into biscuits/rolls,  you'll roll these out into about 10-12 rectangles. These will be your base for the pockets.

In your food mixer, you will want to mix the following:

2 cups cooked boneless chicken
1TBS chopped chives
salt to taste
1 Cup crushed seasoned bread crumbs (I would just put a little of the Ranch with that too)
3 oz cream cheese
2T milk
1/2 c melted butter

 Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Carefully spoon out this mixture onto the rectangles and fold shut. Brush the outsides with butter and roll both sides into bread crumbs prior to placing onto a pan with a baking sheet. Bake these for 20 minutes.

This should be your end result:

Chicken Pockets

Happy baking!

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