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August 2005 | Recipe Notes #180
Allrecipes - Recipe Notes
Tuesday, August 30, 2005, Issue No. 180
Back to School Meals Made Easy
bag lunch
Summer has flown by once again, and it's time to start thinking about those structured meals again: quick breakfasts, nourishing lunches they'll actually eat, and simple weeknight dinners that will get everyone to the table. We're here with all the ideas and recipes you need to pull off three meals a day in style.
In this Issue

Visit Allrecipes to see our complete collection of recipes and meal ideas.
Food Lovers' Trivia
Q: What is garam masala?
Rave Review!
" Stuffed Shells IV is a great recipe--my 5 year old asks for seconds and even thirds every time I make it (which absolutely shocked me the first time!). I've discovered it makes WAY too much for my 3-member family, so I learned to stuff my shells (or manicotti), and freeze about 2/3 of them without the sauce or cheese. Then they make a pretty quick meal later--just toss them in a dish like the recipe says, cover with marinara sauce and mozzarella, cover and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the mozzarella is melted and bubbly. Very no-fuss at that point. My family loves this recipe." - MELS MARTINEZ

Fast, Fun Food for School Days
Feed the whole family -- fast!

Morning Muffins. Once every couple of weeks, let the kids help you bake a big batch of muffins or quick bread loaves. When they've cooled, wrap them in individual portions and freeze them. Each morning, you can toss as many servings as you need into the microwave, and voila!--fresh, warm bread!

Fun Lunches. For little kids, remember that small is fun. A sandwich cut into pieces is more likely to get eaten than a whole sandwich. Chunks of melon, orange wedges or grapes go over better than a whole apple. Two or three teeny-tiny cookies or brownies are more satisfying than one big one.

Contain Yourself. Save small plastic containers from yogurt, sour cream, deli salads, etc. for packing individual portions of hummus, pasta salad, or veggie dip in lunchboxes. The kids will get a break from the sandwich routine and you won't have to worry about the containers coming home.

Be Prepared. Preparation is key when you want to get dinner on the table without resorting to fast food. Make extra food when you do have time to cook: leftovers from Sunday's dinner of grilled chicken and baked potatoes can be a quick start to Monday's chicken burritos and Tuesday's chili-stuffed potatoes. Keep your pantry and freezer stocked with the ingredients for a whole repertoire of quick meals.

Food Lovers' Trivia Tidbit
Garam is the Indian word for "warm" or "hot," and this blend of dry-roasted, ground spices from the colder climes of northern India adds a sense of "warmth" to both palate and spirit. There are as many variations of garam masala (which may contain up to 12 spices) as there are Indian cooks. It can include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chiles, fennel, ginger, mace, and nutmeg. Add it to a curries, vegetable dishes, soups, or stews.
Editors' Recipe Picks!
The family will fall for these easy recipes.

Submitted By: Joe
These pizza bites are a welcome addition to any lunchbox! Add carrot and celery sticks to round out the meal.

Submitted By: A. Friend
The cure for sandwich boredom: chopped ham, cream cheese, and zesty green onions unite in this satisfying spread. Spread on bread or a tortilla, or use for dipping veggies.

Submitted By: Brandy
This recipe couldn't be easier: put a roast in the slow cooker, pour on your favorite bbq sauce and a few seasonings, and dinner's ready when you get home! Makes great sandwiches too.

Whole Wheat Banana Nut Bread
Submitted By: Peggy
Lower in fat and higher in fiber than most banana breads, you can feel good about feeding this to your crew for breakfast and snacks.

  • Yields: 12 servings
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, beat oil and honey together. Add eggs, and mix well. Stir in bananas and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt. Add baking soda to hot water, stir to mix, and then add to batter. Blend in chopped nuts. Spread batter into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  3. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 1/2 hour before slicing.
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