Adult Bento Lunch Box

First off, I’ll explain what a Bento box is incase you are unaware like I was.

Courtesy of Merian Webster:

Definition of bento box: a multicompartment box used for containing the different courses of a usually Japanese lunch

Here is a cute bento box I found at Albertsons locally in Baton Rouge

The first item I have chosen is:

Bagel Chips from RRR 3, pg. 258

Ingredients:

  • 6 bagels
  • Non-stick butter flavored cooking spray

Instructions:

Slice bagels as thin as possible, approximately 6 slices per bagel. Places slices on ungreased cookie sheet. Spray moderately with cooking spray. Add salt, onion, garlic, etc, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Makes 18 servings of 2 chips.

I have selected cinnamon sugar mini bagels and here is a picture of my bagels.


To pair with the bagel chips, I have selected:

Sweet cream cheese with peanuts

RRR 3, pg. 30

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of light cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/3 cup of chopped dry roasted peanuts
  • 3 or more apples, cut into wedges

Instructions:

Combine first three ingredients and mix together well. Gold in peanuts. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with slices of apple as a spread.

Serving size: 25 servings of 1 apple wedge and 1 tablespoon dip

Here is a picture of the spread.


The last item I have chosen for the box is:

Asian Chicken Wraps, RRR 4, pg 265

Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked red pepper

Wraps:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup chow Mein noodles
  • 1/2 cup shredded almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds toasted
  • 4-6 large tortilla wraps

Instructions:

For the dressing, combine the canola oil, vinegar, ginger root, soy sauce, garlic, sugar and red pepper in a bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves.

I have added pictures of the ingredients below.

Here is the minced ginger root.

Here is the dressing mixed together.

Now for the wraps, chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces, discarding the skin and bones. Combine the chicken, cabbage, noodles, almonds, bell peppers, green onions, and sesame seeds in a bowl and mix well. Add the dressing to the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Spread the cabbage mixture over the tortillas and roll to enclose the filling. Wrap each roll individually in baking parchment paper and secure with tape. Cut each wrap diagonally into halves.

Serves 4-6

Here are the almonds and sesame seeds toasting. Be careful because the almonds are easy to burn! They should be light brown.

This is what the mix should look like.

Add the mix to the tortilla then close up the wrap!

Here is the finished wrap.

Here’s a few pictures of the bento box put together!

Cheese Straws


Cheese straws are perfect party snacks. My family always makes them for Christmas so I though I would try out the River Road recipe! This was a straight forward, easy snack to bring to a party, tailgate, anything! With school starting soon, you could make this as an after school snack for the kids!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup butter- make sure you get real butter
  • 2 cups hand grated sharp cheddar
  • 2 2/3 cups sifted flour
  • Dash red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Rolling pin, cheese grater, mat – not listed in book

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • First hand grate the cheese. I used Cracker Barrel cheese
  • Mix ingredients together well. I melted the cheese and butter before adding the other ingredients and it made a great dough!
  • Roll thin and cut into narrow strips.
  • Bake in slow oven, 275 degrees, until light brown.
  • 25 minutes in the oven was plenty of time!
  • Makes about 4 dozen

This is what your dough cut up should look like.

Here is the final product!


Paint it Forward Event


River Roads Recipes hosted an event with Painting and Pinot (off Perkins) for a Paint it Forward event a few weeks back. This was a fun event to create some art work for your home and give back to River Roads. Painting and Pinot also allows you to bring your own drinks and food in. Some ladies drank wine and River Roads provided the snacks and a drink too! I hope to see this event come back next year! I have a couple photos courtesy of Ashley Rasco from the event. There were many tasty snacks as well!


Painting before pictures:


Final product for the crawfish painting


Here are pictures of the snacks as well as the full recipes:

This would also be great for Thanksgiving or a fall tailgate!

SPARKING CRANBERRY PUNCH, RRR1, p 11


Ingredients:

  • 1 large can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups ginger ale
  • Clove-stuffed lemon slices*
  • Mint

Instructions:

Crush cranberry sauce in can with fork and empty into saucepan. Beat with rotary beater. Add water and beat until sauce is melted. Add sugar and cool. Stir in lemon juice, extract and 1 cup of ginger ale, and serve well iced in frosted glasses. Garnish with mint and clove studded lemon circles. Serves 12 punch cups.

* to make the clove stuffed lemon: purchase a whole lemon and whole cloves. Then press the cloves into the lemon in rows. Lastly, after the lemon is filled with cloves, cut into slices.


COWBOY COOKIES, RRR2, p. 217


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups quick rolled oats
  • One 6-ounce package butterscotch chips or chocolate chips

Instructions:

Sift the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt together. Cream the butter with the sugars. Add eggs to the creamed mixture. Beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture gradually to the creamed ingredients. Now add the vanilla, rolled oats and the chips. Drop by spoonful on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees approximately 15 minutes. Makes four dozen cookies.


BOURBON PECAN TART-LETS, RRR4, p. 61


Ingredients:

  • 36 frozen miniature phyllo pastry shells
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

There is a note that states these can be frozen

Instructions:

Arrange the pastry shells in a single layer on a lightly greased 10 by 15 Inch baking sheet. Spoon the chocolate chips evenly into the shells. Combine the pecans, brown sugar, butter, bourbon, and egg in a bowl and mix well. Spoon the pecan mixture into the prepared shells. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to one month.

Makes 3 dozen tartlets

Citrus Glazed Smoked Sausage

Citrus Glazed Smoked Sausage, RRR IV, p.60. Photo by Meghan Poole.

Here in Louisiana, sausage is not only used as an ingredient in dishes, but it also can be the featured dish itself.  Here is a easy, yet tasty recipe that is a party favorite, Citrus Glazed Smoked Sausage from River Road Recipes IV: Warm Welcomes, page 60.

There are many types of local brands of smoked sausage available here. Choose the sausage that is your favorite or perhaps ask your friends and coworkers for recommendations and try something new. During hunting season you could try the recipe with a variation of venison sausage, too. I am sure the huntsman or huntswoman would be proud to showcase their deer sausage in a featured dish.

This recipe is easily doubled and can be made in advance! That is a big plus when planning a party. You could also do the first 2 steps in the directions the day before the gathering or party and complete steps 3 and 4, right before serving.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound smoked sausage, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine the sausage and green onions in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, covered, on High for 2 minutes; stir. Microwave for 1 minute longer.
  2. Whisk the oil, lemon juice, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl until blended.
  3. Add the oil mixture to the sausage mixture and mix well.
  4. Microwave until just heated through.
  5. Serve with wooden picks. You may prepare in advance and reheat just before serving.

Serves 12

Low-Cal Bread Pudding

Low-Cal Bread Pudding, RRR III, page 231, Photo by Teresa Day

Bread Pudding. So, so yummy. Deep in history as a frugal way of making use of stale bread so there was no waste. That is part of our Creole and Cajun heritage here in Louisiana; make use of everything our bounty has to offer. The outcome are wonderful dishes such as: Gumbo, Jambalaya, Boudin, and Bread Pudding.

Though Bread Pudding recipes date back centuries world wide, Louisiana is renown for its ever so many varieties of the dish. You would be hard pressed to find a restaurant here that doesn’t serve it as a dessert. The variations are endless with fruits, nuts, fruit cocktail, many different sauces, and other spices and indulgences.

In River Road Recipes III: A Healthy Collection, we have a recipe for Low-Cal Bread Pudding, on page 231. It is tempting and delicious without the guilt with only 249 calories per serving! Try our recipe. We are sure that your family and guests will love having a touch of our Louisiana culture served to them with our healthy twist.

We would like to extend a special thanks to the Photographer and Food Blogger, Teresa B. Day, http://www.ieatlouisiana.wordpress.com, for the beautiful pictures.

Low-Cal Bread Pudding, RRR III, page 231, Photo by Teresa Day

Low-Cal Bread Pudding, RRR III, page 231, Photo by Teresa Day

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 slices thin light white bread
  • 1 stick light margarine, melted
  • 1 cup egg substitute
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • Two 12-ounce cans evaporated skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Toast bread on both sides and crumble into small pieces. Put the crumbled bread into a 9×13-inch glass baking dish. Pour melted margarine over the crumbs. Beat together egg substitute and sugar; add milk and spices. Pour milk mixture over the crumbs; let stand until crumbs absorb some of the liquid. Stir in raisins and extract. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until light brown and set in the middle. Serve warm with a scoop of light whipped topping or top with a scoop of vanilla yogurt.

Per Serving     249 Cal     5.3 Fat(g)     18% Fat Cal     1 Sat Fat(g)     3 Chol(mg)     218 Sod(mg)

Yields 12 servings

 

Sugar and Spice Pecans

Sugar and Spice Pecans, RRR IV, page 255, Photo by Jessica McVea

Here is a quick and easy recipe that you can keep on hand as a snack, to serve to your guests, or give as a gift, too!

Louisiana pecans. We LOVE them! This recipe is a wonderful mix of our beloved pecans, two kinds of sweet sugars, a sass of seasoning blends, and then a kick of curry to top it off. It is just the right blend to excite all your taste buds.

These Sugar and Spice Pecans from River Road Recipes IV: Warm Welcomes, page 255, will make a lovely gift for a hostess, teacher, or neighbor. Be creative with packaging:  mason jars, cello bags with ribbons, pretty tins, or maybe a antique candy dish. Just use your imagination. You could also pair the gift with a pretty tea towel like in the picture below.

Sugar and Spice Pecans, RRR IV, page 255, Photo by Jessica McVea

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (white)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of Morton Nature’s Season’s  Seasoning Blend
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

DIRECTIONS

Toss the pecans with the butter in a bowl. Add the mixture of the sugar,  brown sugar, seasoning blend and curry powder to the pecan mixture and mix well. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast at 275 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring at 15-minute intervals. Remove the pecans to a plate and let stand until cool. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 4 cups

 

 

Crawfish Supreme

Crawfish Supreme, RRR IV, p. 58. Photo by Meghan Poole.

As crawfish season continues here in South Louisiana, here is another dish that is wonderful for leftover crawfish tails. Crawfish Supreme from River Road Recipes IV: Warm Welcomes, page 58. This appetizer recipe is served over cream cheese. You could prepare the cream cheese spread on the tray ahead of time. Cover the cream cheese spread on the tray with wax paper and chill until ready to serve.

The recipe is versatile. Shrimp can be substituted for the crawfish. Perhaps use both crawfish and shrimp. Why not try with crabmeat, as well? Let us know how your recipe variation turns out.

The recipe uses fresh sliced and toasted French baquette bread (this is Louisana, after all!), but melba toast rounds can be used.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 baguette French bread, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil to taste
  • 1 pound crawfish tails
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon white Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/.2 cup remoulade sauce
  • 1/2 cup reduced calorie Italian salad dressing
  • 12 ounces cream cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil.
  2. Toast at 500° until light brown.
  3. Saute the crawfish tails and green onions in a skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
  6. Stir in the remoulade sauce and salad dressing.
  7. Microwave the cream cheese until slightly softened. Place the cream cheese on a serving platter and top with waxed paper or plastic wrap. (can be done ahead of time and chill until ready).
  8. Roll or pat the cream cheese to cover the platter (can be done ahead of time and chilled until ready).
  9. Discard the waxed paper and spread with the crawfish mixture.
  10. Serve with the toasted bread slices.

Serves 10-12

 

 

 

Spinach Con Queso

Spinach Con Queso, RRR III, p. 16.

Here in Baton Rouge, we just LOVE hot spinach dip! There are many variations on restaurant menus throughout the city. Some are served with warm tortilla chips, some with buttered toast points, and yet others may be accompanied by fried bowtie pasta.

From River Road Recipes III (page  16), this is River Road Recipes own version of hot spinach dip called Spinach Con Queso. It is a delightful, fresh version that is sure to please. This recipe makes 2 cups or 16 servings. Using the light version of the Velveeta cheese and low fat ricotta, it is only 56 calories a serving. It is versitale dish. You can  choose from a variety of different crackers, chips, pita chips, bagel bites, etc to use and they would all work well. Depending on your choices, you can keep the dish gluten free, low fat, and/or vegetarian.

INGREDIENTS

  • One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 8 ounces low fat ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons milk, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 pound light Velveeta, cubed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped

DIRECTIONS

Place spinach in a large strainer. With back of spoon, press out as much liquid as possible. Place ricotta cheese in a food processor, gradually add 2 tablespoons of milk blending until very smooth. Blend in paprika. Combine Velveeta, remaining milk, and onion. Heat until cheese is melted, stirring occasionally (can microwave this step). Add ricotta cheese mixture to the cheese and heat. Stir in spinach, jalapeno peppers and tomato.

Serve warm with tortilla chips or home toasted tortilla wedges. Can also be served with Bagel Chips recipe on page 258 RRR III.

Yields 2 cups, 16 servings

This Weekend, Sunday April 8, 2018: Farmers Market at Alexander’s Highland Market

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Members of the River Road Recipes cookbook committee will be on hand sharing cookbook knowledge and offering samples of some of our favorite recipes from the River Road Recipes selections Sunday, April 8, 2018 at the Pop-Up Farmers Market at Alexander’s Highland Market.

Come join us from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Alexander’s is located at 18111 Highland Market Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. All 4 of our cookbooks will also be available for sale!