Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Filling the Lunch Pail

"Lunch meat is the protein of the devil."
- City Girl

If you follow us at Country Girl/City Girl, you know that instead of one full-time job with a full-time commute, I'm now working two part-time jobs...basically from home.

How wonderful it is to - and this sounds crazy - eat breakfast. Sitting down. At a table, not in the car. Tea and toast (and a fried egg, truth be told) have been elevated to "sit down meal" status!

Hub's only request when I signed on for this new odd work situation was that I put breakfast together for him in the morning and pack him a lunch. I can do that. I used to do that...a decade ago.

Apparently he has finally - thank you, sweet jeebus - reached The McDonald's Tolerance Threshold and is ready to begin eating real food during daylight hours.

So Saturday I scoured cooking websites and magazines (see Food and Wine post below) for cold lunch ideas, but didn't find anything I really liked, so I got ::cue the spooky music:: - creative.

First I roast (roasted?) a loin of pork for sandwiches, because:

I. Hate. Cold Cuts. Except for salami, lunch meat is the protein of the devil. Ugh. Gah. I can't even THINK about what they do to a perfectly good turkey breast to get it shaped like that.

Ahem. Sorry. Then I made a barley salad with toasted walnuts, feta and a vinaigrette - wasn't sure how that'd work out, but it is de-lish, hot or cold. (Recipe to follow if I can remember what I put in it).

Finally, I cut up a pineapple, half a dozen oranges, a quart of strawberries and mixed in a $5 thimble full of blueberries then dished the salad into individual containers.

And then I baked brownies.

Ya gotta balance all that good with something bad.

The result? A pretty kick-ass lunch menu, if I do say so myself. Today I added leftover asparagus and roast carrots to the barley. Vegetables. For lunch. Hubster's system might not be able to take it.

Oh, as for breakfast? Biscuits and gravy. Not exactly healthy, but at least I know what's in it, since I made it.

CityGirl's Half-Cheater Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

1 Box of Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix (I used the Target store brand)
+ The Eggs, Water, Oil, etc. called for on the box

Random Butter

2 8 oz. Blocks of Cream Cheese, at room temp
1 Cup of Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 tsps. Lemon Juice (fresh, pleaseandthankyou)
1/2 tsp. Salt
4 Tblsps. All-purpose Flour

1/2 Cup Raspberry Jam

Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking dish.

Preheat oven according to brownie box instructions.

Prepare brownie mix according to instructions on box for "cake-like" brownies, not "chewy" brownies. Spread brownie batter in prepared dish.

(This dessert, she is easy, no?)

Combine cream cheese and sugar - it would probably be best to use a mixer, but I just use a wooden spoon - add eggs and combine. Add vanilla and lemon - combine. Finally, add salt and flour - combine.

Spread cream cheese mixture on top of brownie batter in pan.

There is no benefit to being neat here, as a matter of fact, it is better if you let the two batters mix it up a bit.

Think Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.

Lastly, dollop teaspoonfuls of jam in 1" increments on top of cheesecake/brownie goodness. It will melt and spread a bit when baked.

Throw the whole thing into the preheated oven and bake according to - what? - that's right: brownie box instructions plus 10 minutes. Check when the timer goes off.

If the middle of the mix jiggles when you shake it, pop it back into the oven for another 10 minutes. Check every 5-10 minutes after that.


Doodles said...

oh lordy that lunch meat pic looks scary....I'm with you on that subject.

Country Girl said...

Oh my Lord...you should have been stayin home a LOONNGG time ago. I'm just sayin.