Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Lunchbox tips and more
This week's Kitchen Tip Tuesdays is being hosted by Bonnie at Recipes Happen. Head over to Recipes Happen to read her kitchen tip and share yours there!
The kids and I left Seattle last week and flew to Ohio to visit my parents and siblings there. We're having a lovely visit and my mom is making some of her wonderful food for us.
Even though I have many of my mom's recipes, there are a few of her signature creations that I rarely make -- like tapioca pudding (Yehoshua's favorite), energy bars (the kids' favorite breakfast), and beef chop suey (one of my favorites!).
Like last time, my parents (still) don't have internet access at their house. We drove to the local library this evening so I could post this kitchen tip! :)
Just like my husband has, my dad has always taken a packed lunch to work. I learned a couple helpful hints about lunchbox storage from my mom.
Tip #1: Have an easy-to-access storage spot for the lunchbox(es) when they are not in use. My mom uses the top of her fridge for any lunchboxes that are at home.
When more of my siblings lived at home, the top of her fridge was home to numerous lunchboxes. Having a dedicated storage location kept the lunchboxes from cluttering the counters.
Tip #2: Store lunchboxes with the lids open so they can air out. This keeps the lunchbox smelling fresher. If the lunchbox is washable or has a removable/washable insert, wash it at the end of the work week.
Alternately, wipe the inside of the lunch box with a soapy dishcloth after emptying it of dirty containers and then store open to dry/air out.
Bonus tip #1: Keep yogurt cold for on-the-go without using an ice pack
I discovered that it works beautifully to put homemade yogurt or Greek yogurt into a serving-size container and then stir in some frozen berries or other bite-size chunks of frozen fruit.
When you're ready to eat your yogurt a few hours later, the fruit will be thawed and the yogurt will still be cold. (This may not work in super hot climates -- but worked great in our Washington summers.)
Bonus tip #2: Pack your lunch ahead from the freezer
Before I left last week, I cooked and froze serving-size containers of pinto beans for Joshua's lunches at work. He told me it's worked great for him to pack his lunch the night before by pulling a container from the freezer and putting it in his lunch box. It's thawed by lunch time (and then he heats it in the microwave at work).