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What to pack when school is peanut-free

Post-Tribune (IN) August 2, 2008 | SARA NOEL THIS ELECTRONIC VERSION MAY DIFFER SLIGHTLY FROM PRINTED VERSION Many schools are now peanut-free environments, which can present a dilemma for parents who want to send their children to school with a brown bag lunch. Here are some ways to handle the restrictions: Dear Sara — I have a son in full-day school (snack and lunch needed) and one son in morning preschool (only snack needed). Both are in peanut-free schools. I just found out that they can’t bring anything that has even a generic peanut warning that says it “may” contain nuts. This warning is on everything. I can no longer send granola bars, commercial cookies and crackers, etc. Do you have any ideas?

Dear Nicki — You can find soy butter and sunflower butter in health-food stores. You can also include food items such as yogurt, pudding, applesauce, homemade muffins, fruit, raw veggies and dip, string cheese, chicken nuggets, luncheon meats, pizza, hard-boiled eggs, breadsticks, cottage cheese, macaroni and cheese, soups, popcorn and hummus. Ask the school and other parents for suggestions, too. I realize this can be frustrating, but peanut-free options outweigh the restrictions. Check your local library for peanut-free cookbooks, too. in our site chicken salad sandwich recipe

Dear Lukesmama — Here’s a list of ideas for you to try whenever you are either bored with white rice or have leftover rice.

Cheesey rice: Add butter and Parmesan cheese.

Sweet rice: Add cinnamon, sugar and butter.

Little bit country: Add gravy.

Room for a ‘shroom: Add mushrooms and a sauteed garlic.

Gardener’s pick: Add chopped fresh basil, chopped tomatoes and corn.

Meaty barbecue: Add kielbasa sausage or hot dogs and barbecue sauce.

Italian flair: Add tomato-basil sauce or your favorite red sauce, cooked zucchini and Italian sausage to hot or reheated rice. Top with cheese such as mozzarella or Parmesan.

South of the border: Add diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, shredded cheese, diced cooked carrots, peas and red-pepper sauce, or add cooked beans, salsa and shredded cheese to hot or reheated rice.

In love with rice: Add marinated artichoke hearts and grated Parmesan cheese to hot or reheated rice.

Beef it up: Cook rice in beef broth. Add sauteed onions and mushrooms.

Golden rice: Cook rice in chicken stock. Add sauteed onions and mixed vegetables, such as peas and carrots.

Dear Sara — I’m looking for a new chicken salad sandwich recipe. I’d like to try something different, but I am not interested in anything that has grapes or raisins in it. I love the crunch in my sandwich, but don’t want fruit added. — Cherrie, New York Dear Cherrie — I like the following recipe when I want a crunchy chicken salad sandwich. see here chicken salad sandwich recipe

Crunchy Chicken Salad Servings: 6 * 3 cups diced chicken * 1 medium cucumber, chopped * 1 celery stalk, chopped * 1 small onion, diced * 3 radishes, chopped * 1/2 carrot, chopped * 3/4 cup mayonnaise * 1/4 cup ranch dressing * Lettuce * Salt and pepper Combine all ingredients. Split croissant in half. Place lettuce leaf on half a croissant. Spread chicken salad on the other croissant half and assemble sandwich.

SARA NOEL

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