Okay, I have a confession to make. Yeah, yeah, I’m all Miss I-Do-This-Whole-Food-Blogging-Thing and I really do love to cook. But I hate, hate, hate (I’m THRICE using the word “hate” here) figuring out what to feed my kids for lunch.

I found out I was pregnant with my son right after I graduated from college, so up until that point, I had always either taken leftovers to school/work for lunch or I just got something to eat on campus. So after he was born and particularly once he started eating, like, REAL people food, lunch became something I dreaded, particularly since he was (and still is, but not as bad as he used to be) an extremely picky eater. PB&J, mac and cheese, and the occasional chicken nuggets made me feel really guilty, and since I usually eat what my kids are eating, I got really sick of the usual toddler rotation.
Well, I was asked to bring a snack for his class at church. Because they ate their snacks at kind of an awkward time, I wanted to make sure they were getting enough “good stuff” to last them another couple of hours until lunchtime, but I also wanted it to be kid-friendly. I set out to make filled breadsticks, but they actually came out more like Hot Pockets. And since I find the idea of Hot Pockets ingenious, but the actual Hot Pockets themselves vile and unfit for human consumption, I fell in love with the idea of having these in my freezer and then being able to heat them up for a quick lunch. And Mr. Pickypants? He loves these, too.
I filled these ones with ham and cheddar, but you could do any other kid-friendly combo. For grown-ups, you could do steamed broccoli, Italian dressing-marinated and grilled chicken, and mozzarella cheese or roast beef and Swiss. You can also add salad dressings in there for flavor but quite honestly, I’ve tried it a couple of times and the dressing seems to get lost in the sandwich somewhere. If you love the idea of using some kind of dressing or condiment, I think you’re better off dipping the sandwich after it’s been baked.
Now…the OTHER thing I love (but didn’t have a chance to make) is breakfast pockets. They’re pretty much individual servings of Sara’s Easy Breakfast Crescent Braid, only you roll it up the way I’ll show you here. Basically, instead of ham and cheese, layer some almost-completely cooked scrambled eggs, cooked bacon or sausage, shredded cheddar, and then bake it up. I can’t tell you HOW many times I made a PB&J for my son to eat for breakfast (shut it…he can’t take cereal in the car! :) ) on the way to preschool only to find that he’d pulled the bread apart, licked the peanut butter off, and had jam all over his hands and peanut butter all over his face. The breakfast pockets, on the other hand, can’t be quite so easily dissembled so the tastiest portions can be removed.
Homemade Hot Pockets
Desired fillings (I used about 6-8 oz. of ham and 4-6 oz. sharp cheddar)
Prepare dough through the first rise. After dough has risen the first time, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle, probably about 16×8 inches big (16 inches long, 8 inches tall). Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into 8 equal portions.

Leaving a little bit of a “margin” on the right and left sides, add toppings with the cheese going on last. Stretch the dough out a little to give yourself a bit more dough to work with. Fold the left side over the middle and then the right side over that. Starting at the bottom of the “mummy,” tightly roll the filled dough, stretching it very gently as you go to make sure you’re getting a tight seal. Place on a sprayed cookie sheet and repeat with remaining dough. When finished, cover the pan with a clean cloth and preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
When oven has heated, bake pockets for about 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. For shine, you could brush the tops with a bit of egg white mixed with water during the last 5 minutes of baking, or you could rub a little butter on top of the rolls while they’re still hot.

And honestly, these are just as good not-hot as they are straight from the oven, so if you or your honey are looking for something to take to work and eat for lunch but don’t have access to a microwave, these will still be pretty darn good!

Bake according to directions and allow to cool. Place in a Ziploc freezer bag, squeezing out all the air. When ready to serve, just pop in the microwave for 2-3 minutes (depending on how fast your microwave cooks).

Other Posts from Kids Week:
Hand-Tossed Ice Cream
Frozen Pudding Pops
Edible Playdough and Finger Paint

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