Whether it's for a picnic, a fun lunch at home or something to make that school lunch a little more exciting, try mixing it up with the sandwiches. Just a little extra time is well worth the smiles.
COOKIE CUTTER SANDWICHES
A simple way to make special days more special. Look for holiday shaped cookie cutters in the baking pan aisle at most department stores or at specialty shops like Nutters- hearts for Valentine's Day and "just because", a shamrock for St. Patrick's Day, a tree for Christmas... Little shaped sandwiches are an easy way to make lunch more fun.
Several ways to make cookie cutter sandwiches:
-make soft filling sandwiches (jam, honey, processed cheese spread, peanut butter, egg salad, etc.,) and then punch out shapes with the cookie cutters. Either discard the edges, save them for your lunch, or cut them into little "mini-sandwich bites" for a snack for the kids.
-use the cookie cutter to punch the bread and the harder fillings (luncheon meat, cheese, etc.,) into shapes and then assemble them after the shapes are cut out.
-use the cookie cutter to punch the bread into shapes, and then spread the filling of your choice on the cut out shapes. This way saves on filling wastage. The bread edges can be used to make a bread pudding or to dry out for bread crumbs or croutons.
You can also try cookie cutter toast shapes for breakfast with the porridge, or fun-shaped "egg in a hole" to start the holiday off first thing! Use your imagination to turn any day into a celebration.
ROLLED OUT SANDWICHES
This was a favourite at our house. The kids used to like making their own. I also found that the kids ate more lunch when the sandwiches were rolled ones- the child who had a hard time eating a whole, two slices of bread sandwich could eat four or five rolled ones.
Simply take a slice of bread and trim off the outer crusts. Using a rolling pin, roll the bread flat. Now just spread the bread with your child's favourite filling, and roll the flattened bread into a "jelly-roll" sandwich.
Try: jam, peanut butter, cheese spread, honey, luncheon meat and cheese slices, banana spears with peanut butter or pickle spears with cheese spread.
Anything goes, really, as long as you can roll it up with the bread, and the filling's not too thick so it doesn't ooze out the ends.
For lunch boxes, I'd wrap each one in a bit of plastic wrap or put them tightly in a sandwich bag with the air carefully pressed out.
These were my favourite Tupperware party leftovers when I was a kid. It's just a stacked sandwich cut into strips. For the more adventurous types.
Use a combination of white and brown bread to make more contrasting "ribbons" if you like. Basically make a 3-5 decker sandwich with different fillings for each layer. I always like a layer of egg salad, a layer of cheese spread and one of "flakes of ham" spread. You could turn peanut butter and jam into a ribbon sandwich, or make it peanut butter, honey and banana.
Make your triple or quadruple decker sandwich, different fillings between each layer of bread. Trim off the crusts if you like. Cut the sandwich into three or four strips. That's it. Not for children who like all their flavours separate.
I would suggest filling combinations of jam, peanut butter and jam; peanut butter, banana and chocolate chips or chocolate sprinkles; cheese spread, ham flakes (mixed with mayonnaise a bit of green relish and a squirt of mustard) or ham slices and bread and butter pickles; strawberry jam, strawberry cream cheese and strawberry jam; egg salad, cheese spread and bread and butter pickles.