Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pizza Portabellos

This is an insanely easy recipe.

It looks super fancy and tastes super yummy.

My BJ's sells 9 packs of portabellos.  This is one of the moments where I'm glad one of the four boys don't like mushrooms.  More for me!!

The first time I made this recipe I only used this cheese.

I made it tonight with ooey gooey cheese.  You can really use any cheese you like.  I had a stack of veggie Farmer's cheese. Mozzarella would work great.

Grab a tomato or two and slice them up.

Drizzle the baking dish with olive oil.
Place the caps into the dish.
You'll need one slice of tomato per mushroom.
Top the tomato with cheese.

I sprinkled each one with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and on top of the cheese; italian seasoning.

 Pop them in the oven at 400 degrees (F) for 20 minutes till hot and melted.

Pizza Portabellos
Portabello caps
Assemble and Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

It's pure melt in your mouth goodness.

The Lunch Lady

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spooky Food - Mexican Dip

I saw a version of this while looking for food ideas for Lucas' Halloween party.

It's super easy.

1 can of black beans, sour cream, salsa, cheese, and lettuce.

The variation possibilities are endless; ground beef, refried beans, mexican cheese, chilies, corn, name it.

I stuck to the basics.

First layer a rinsed can of organic black beans.

Top with a bit of salsa.

I mixed some homemade salsa in with the sour cream.

A layer of cheddar cheese...

Sprinkle on some chili powder.

 Finely chop some organic romaine...

 Layer it on top of the dish...

Place some sour cream in a baggie, snip a tiny corner....

Make a spider cobweb out of the sour cream.

If you are really creative, make a spider out of some pretzels or black olives.

Add a side of organic tortilla chips and enjoy!

Happy Dipping!
The Lunch Lady

Spooky Food - Brown Rice Crispy Surprises

Okay.  It's not really spooky. But it's fun food to serve at a spooky party.

Since we are a whole grain kinda family, I decided to use brown rice crispies.  Brown is in brown rice, not cocoa. Nice try!

I like Erewhon brand rice cereal. It's a bit pricey but really yummy.  Since we cut out wheat, it's been a bit tougher find cereals for my guys. They eat Honey Rice Puffins, Trader Joe's Oh's, Cascadian Farms Fruity Cheerios, and Erewhon.  (Sometimes Gorilla Munch)

Rabbit trails. Where were we?

Ah yes.  I confess I used regular old Jet Puff Marshmallows. Can't beat them. So, we join them.

I used organic butter to melt those delicious puffs of nothingness. Does that count?

Probably not.

 Once you make the rice crispies, following the marshmallow package directions, grease up your hands with some cooking spray and roll the mixture into balls.

My trusty sidekick, aka Lukie (8), helped me with the surprise. He put an M&M inside each ball while I was rolling them.  Serious teamwork here folks.  It was his party after all.

We topped each one with a candy corn and placed the balls inside some spooky-ish paper wrappers.

Fun stuff.

I like to enjoy this time of year.
The Lunch Lady

Friday, October 28, 2011

Spooky Food - Dirt & Worms

These were a bit more embellished than when I made them for the party.

I believe the boys made these for a lunch "dessert" in their restaurant. Long story for another time.

It's a simple fun dessert.

These happen to be gluten free.

Yay for Trader Joe's Gluten Free Brownie Mix!

Lukie wanted to make them. It was his first try at baking. He's eight.  He wants to be a chef.

I love him.

He really enjoyed it.

I'm going to wean him from mixes into the real baking world soon.

Crumble up the brownies into a small bowl and top with a gummy worm.


The Lunch Lady

Spooky Food - Frozen Hands

It's not that cold here.  It's the frozen hands you make.

A food grade glove and a bit of juice.

Easy Peasy. It's how I roll.

Pour the juice into the glove, tie, and prop in the freezer for 1-2 hours.

Don't forget it.

Remove the glove carefully.

If the fingers fall off, that's okay. Now everyone has their own finger shaped  ice cube.

Spooky decor.

Kid inspired.

I just love their ingenuity.

The Lunch Lady

Spooky Food - Jello Eyeballs

We aren't huge Halloween fans.  I mean, we dress up every year and go trick or treating, but we don't do the whole ghost and goblin thing.

So when Lukie (8) really really really wanted to have a party. I couldn't resist.

It was just for our family and he wanted to host it. 

I couldn't help but join in the fun with some spooky inspired treats. (There are more spooky food posts to come)

We also aren't big jello people.  I don't like all the sugar.  But I love gelatin.  I still had a box of plain gelatin in my cabinet.  Last year I remember making jello with juice.

I grabbed a bottle of 100% grape juice and went to work.

Just follow the directions on the box.


Put the grapes in before it sets.


Don't be like me.

Cut them up, jiggler's style.

Flip them over so the grape is trapped beneath the gelatinous goo...

Gross eyeballs.

Juicy Eyeballs.

Get it?

The Lunch Lady

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Organic Spelt Cinnamon Buns

This recipe has been revised and updated here!

These are based the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls recipe. I don't get in the habit of fixing what ain't broke, but I tweak.

We don't eat wheat (unless I cave and buy the Organic Artisan Breads from BJs, yum yum yum) at home and have been using spelt flour instead.  I can make this recipe entirely out of organic ingredients. It somehow makes me feel better.  Somehow.

It's a lovely  and simple recipe really.

(Oops, didn't mix the frosting enough. I was hungry and impatient okay?)


  • 1 quart raw organic milk
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • 3/4 cup organic sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets, or 4 1/2 teaspoons.
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) sea salt
  • Plenty Of Melted Organic Butter
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Organic Cinnamon

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.
After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle (as much as you dare of the) melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle (as much as you dare of the) sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.
 Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.
Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in your dish. I use a 13x9 inch glass baking dish.  
Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Cool slightly and top with frosting of your choice.

(* All the instructions are taken directly from PW's site.  Giving credit where credit is due.  Any changes I made to her original recipe are in bold.)

My family doesn't complain.

This recipe makes a lot.

My family doesn't complain.

Did I mention my family doesn't complain?
The Lunch Lady