November’s Family Foodies challenge: lunchbox ideas


Hot on the heels of The Spice Trail, today I bring you news of a second blog event I am hosting here on Bangers & Mash this month.

Family Foodies is the brain child of Lou at Eat Your Veg and I was thrilled when she invited me to co-host this recipe-sharing challenge with her. October was the inaugural month and the Weekend Slowies theme attracted a fantastic array of tempting recipes, providing lots of ideas for delicious family food to cook when you have a little more time to spend in the kitchen.

Now it’s my turn to host the challenge and for November the theme is Lunchbox Ideas.

Every parent and carer knows how easy it is to get stuck in a rut when it comes to thinking up tasty and appealing fillers for packed lunches. So come on fellow food bloggers – let’s get together and pool our ideas for easy, healthy ways to fill our children’s tummies, make sure they get their five-a-day, tickle and tantalize their taste buds, all while giving them a loving, foodie ‘hug from home’.

Whether it’s suggestions for nutritious sandwich fillings or different types of homemade bread or wraps, new takes on salads or dips, or inspiring twists on muffins, flapjacks or other home-baked goodies – we want to know what your children love to eat in their lunchboxes and how to give them them the energy boost and brain power they need for the afternoon ahead.

Oh, and there just might be a prize for the best lunchbox idea at the end of the month too!

Family Foodie Entry Guidelines:

  • You may submit any recipe on your blog that fits this month’s theme, new or from the archive, and feel free to enter as many times as you wish. You’re also welcome to submit the post to other challenges too. If the recipe is not your own, please give the appropriate credit.
  • Send your recipe URL to me at vanesther-at-reescommunications-dot-co-dot-uk, including your own email address and the title of your recipe or post. The closing date this month is Thursday 28 November 2013.
  • Display the Family Foodies badge (above) on your recipe post, with a link back to both Eat Your Veg and Bangers & Mash, as well as details of this month’s challenge.
  • If you’re on Twitter, then please tweet your post to myself @BangerMashChat and Lou @Eat_Your_Veg and include the hashtag #FamilyFoodies. We’ll retweet all that we see.
  • You may enter from anywhere in the blogosphere, and we’ll happily post out any prizes.
  • At the end of the month a guest judge will choose a winning recipe. The winner will be announced in a monthly round-up of all the entries. Winners will get to display a Family Foodie Winner annotated badge on their blog if they wish and their recipe will go through to the Family Foodies Hall of Fame on each of our sites.
  • All entries will be added to the Family Foodies Pinterest Group Board.

I’m really looking forward to seeing your entries!

November’s entries:

  1. Bread Pudding from The Crazy Kitchen
  2. Savoury Vegetable Cake from Allotment 2 Kitchen
  3. Apple & Smoked Cheese Pasties from The Garden Deli
  4. Chocolate, Orange & Cranberry Cookies from Utterly Scrummy
  5. Bento Sushi Rice Shapes from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
  6. Super-Fruity Banana Loaf Cake from Eat Your Veg
  7. Spiced Muesli Cake from The Crazy Kitchen
  8. Soul-Cakes from Lavender & Lovage
  9. Honey Mustard Sausage Plaits from Mint Custard
  10. Gluten Free Sausage, Bacon and Apple Rolls from the Gluten Free Alchemist
  11. Cheesy Pumpkin Scones from Eat Your Veg
  12. Easy Iced Lime Cake from Fab Food 4 All
  13. Mini Lunchbox Pasties and Tarts from Bangers & Mash
  14. Spiced Pumpkin and Chocolate Muffins from Leeks & Limoni
  15. Chilli Corn Chocolate Muffins from Chocolate Log Blog
  16. Luchito Honey Glazed Ham from Eat Your Veg
  17. Pumpkin, Walnut & Poppy Seed Muffins with Cheddar Cheese from Lavender & Lovage
  18. Cheddar Cheese, Apple & Sage Scones from Bangers & Mash
  19. Hedgehog Rolls from Eat Your Veg
  20. Dried Fruit & Nut Balls from Bangers & Mash

Courgette and cheese scones

With both of my girls now at school and with me working away from home most of the week, keeping the contents of our lunch boxes vaguely interesting is an ongoing challenge. Normally I go for set staples like rolls, pasta or rice salads, pitta bread and hummus – that kind of thing. From time to time though I do like to bake something a little bit different, but something which isn’t too much of a departure from the norm that the kids leave it untouched.

These courgette and cheese scones fit the bill perfectly. Tasty and moist, they are the ideal finger food and are packed full of goodness. Ideal served cold from a lunch box or warm straight from the oven. And they aren’t too much of a faff to make. A definite winner in my book.

Courgette and cheese scones

Makes 12

225g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
45g soft butter
115g Cheddar cheese, grated
1 courgette, grated
1 carrot, grated
2 spring onions, finely chopped
handful of fresh herbs, chopped (I used thyme and oregano)
salt and pepper
2 tbsp creme fraiche
60ml milk

Preheat the oven to 200°C / gas mark 6 and grease a baking sheet with a little butter.

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter in the flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.

Add the cheese, carrot, courgette, spring onion, herbs, salt and pepper. Combine and form a well in the middle. Pour in the creme fraiche and milk and mix together to create a sticky dough.

Lightly knead the dough on a floured surface and then form into 12 scone shapes and place on the baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Cool a little on a wire rack before serving.

These scones can be frozen, or can be kept  in an airtight container for up to five days.