What’s for Lunch?

Easy Mini Focaccias
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt, if desired
Dash pepper
1/4 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1 (12 oz.) can Hungry Jack Refrigerated Biscuits
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Sun-dried tomatoes, or a slice of fresh tomato, or a few pepperoni slices, or a piece of ham or turkey (optional)

Ask an adult to help you preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a blender or food processor bowl with metal blade, combine basil, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and oil. Cover; blend until finely chopped, scraping down sides of container, if necessary.

Separate dough into 10 biscuits. On an ungreased cookie sheet, press or roll each biscuit to a 3-inch circle. Using clean fingers make a few fingerprints in the top of the biscuit. Spread about 1 teaspoon of basil mixture evenly over each biscuit. Sprinkle with a few pine nuts; press in gently. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Serve warm or refrigerate and pack in a school lunch.

Another fun treat with biscuits is to layer two refrigerator biscuits with a square of cheese inside or a teaspoon of jam. Press the edges together and bake.

Crunchy Oat Bars
1 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds or raisins
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds or chopped nuts
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup coconut
A handful chocolate chips or chopped dried apricots (optional)
Peanut butter optional
8 inches square cake pan

Ask an adult to help you preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is heating up, rub the baking pan with a little soft butter on a paper towel. This will help keep the bars from sticking to the pan.

Measure the oats, flour, brown sugar, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds into a large bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

Put the butter and honey into a small saucepan, and put it on the stove on low heat (get an adult to help you if you need it) just until its melted.

Pour the melted butter and honey into the bowl with the oats and stir it well.

Pour the mixture out into the pan and spread it evenly with the wooden spoon. Press it down gently with your fingers so it all sticks together while it cooks.

Ask an adult to put the pan in the oven and take it out when it has cooked for about 20 minutes. It should look light golden brown. While it is still warm, gently cut the mixture with a knife without touching the pan (you might need an adult for this).

Let the bars cool in the pan. Unless, you absolutely can’t wait.

Store in a container with a lid. They’ll last about a week (if you don’t eat them all first). Serves: 9.

Cold Strawberry or Peach Soup
2 pints ripe strawberries, or 4 cups peeled and cut up peaches (very ripe)
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon honey, or more
4 fresh mint or basil leaves
A pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
Ice cubes for your thermos

Wash the strawberries and pinch or cut off the green tops. If you’re using peaches, cut off the peeling with a paring knife, and slice or cut the peach away from the stone. Don’t worry if the slices don’t look that great because it’s all going in the blender anyway. Put the fruit into the top of a blender, then add the yogurt, honey, and herbs. If you’re using the peaches, you should add the juice of ½ a lemon to keep the peaches from turning brown. Then add a little more honey to balance the sour lemon juice. You won’t need the lemon for the strawberry soup.

Ask an adult to help you use the blender. Turn on the blender and blend the mixture until it becomes thick like a milkshake. Taste it and add more honey, or pepper or salt (trust me, you’ll be surprised how good it is, especially if your fruit is in season like our Utah peaches—the soup shouldn’t be too sweet.

If you want to eat it soon, add the ice cubes and put it in bowls to serve. Decorate the top with a sprig of mint or basil.

If you are taking the soup to school, pour the mixture into a thermos, then add an ice cube. Stir or shake it gently before eating. The soup can be stored in a pitcher, tightly covered, overnight in your refrigerator. Serves: 4.

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