Friday, November 12, 2010

A Basket Full of Fall

We are falling for our teachers today with pretty basket lunches.

I hope our elementary and middle school teachers will enjoy skipping the cafeteria today in favor of an autumn-themed menu of pumpkin soup, wheat crackers, turkey-cranberry rolls, autumn fruit salad and seven-layer cookie bars.

Find the recipe for pumpkin soup here. The turkey cranberry rolls are adapted from a Pampered Chef recipe.

Turkey Cranberry Wreath
2 packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated rolls
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 cups cooked turkey, chopped (12 ounces)
1/2 cup celery, diced
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, snipped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1 egg, separated
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll crescent dough; separate into 16 triangles. Arrange triangles into a wreath on a baking stone. Mix mayonnaise, mustard, pepper, turkey, celery, parsley, cranberries and cheese. Scoop filling onto dough, top with nuts and seal. Beat egg white lightly, and brush over dough. Bake 25-30 minutes or until brown. (For individual rolls, unroll crescent roll dough into rectangles. Press perforations between the triangles to seal, and cut each rectangle into two squares. Place a scoop of filling in the center of each square, and pull up corners of dough to center. Sprinkle a few nuts on the roll, and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden.)


Autumn Fruit Salad
My sister, Jennifer, passed this recipe along from her cooking club.
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon apple cider
2 Red Delicious apples, cut into 1" chunks
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into 1" chunks
1 banana, sliced into 1/2" rounds
2 Bartlett pears, cut into 1" chunks
1/2 pound red grapes
1/2 cup toasted almond slivers
Mix yogurt, spices and apple cider. Toss with fruit. (I used Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious apples, green grapes, glazed walnuts and sweetened dried cranberries.)

Magic Cookie Bars
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 cup (6-ounce) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup (6-ounces) butterscotch chips
1 (3 1/2 ounce) can flaked coconut (1 1/3 cups)
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for glass dish). In 9"x13" baking pan, melt margarine in oven. Sprinkle crumbs over margarine; pour Eagle Brand evenly over crumbs. Top with remaining ingredients; press down firmly. Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill if desired. Cut into bars. Store loosely covered at room temperature. Yields 24-36 bars.

Resources: Baskets, cloth napkins, ribbon, small ramekins, Wal-Mart; paper napkins, fall floral picks, Hobby Lobby; plastic cutlery, Costco.

We are so thankful for wonderful teachers who inspire their students every day. I hope today's basket lunches remind our teachers how much we appreciate the work they do.

"Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition." -- Jacques Barzun
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