Cookbook author and founder of Weelicious.com is our guest blogger today. Coincidentally, today is also the on sale day of her second cookbook, Weelicious Lunches. We know that many of you are moms with school-aged children, so we thought you might be interested in how Catherine gets it all done—manages a website, develops recipes, promotes her book, and cares for and feeds her family! Here’s a glimpse into how she sends her kids out the door with a healthy lunch they’re excited to eat, every day.
I didn't realize it until recently but I've actually been developing recipes for my new book, Weelicious Lunches, for years. It all began in 2009 when my son entered preschool and I started taking a picture every day of what I packed in his school lunch and posting it on the Weelicious Facebook page. Since then, I don't think my kids have ever had the same lunch twice, as I'm always trying to create interesting new recipes for them to enjoy. Still, as excited as I get about lunch, I know it's a meal that can't afford to be too involved -- what you pack in the lunch box definitely needs to be nutritious, but also appealing to eat and easy enough for mom to prepare, either the night before or in the morning prior to everyone rushing out the door to work and school.
Devising the recipes for this book was a combination of observing my family's eating habits, trying to be inventive, and coming up with new ways to invigorate the ordinary. Over the years I kept a journal of each of my family member's favorite lunch time treats and the recipe development grew naturally from there. I also try to build on the classics, be it pressing a regular PB&J in a waffle iron to transform it into the World's Greatest PB&J or rolling out sandwich bread flat, spreading it with a variety of fillings, and cutting it into little wheels to create "sushi" sandwiches. Those kinds of approaches to lunch take the familiar and give it a twist, taking the midday meal to a whole new level. Even veggies that many kids might turn their noses up at, like beets, can instantly become favorites when they're prepared in a new way, cut into different shapes, mixed with a special sauce, or inventively incorporated into a familiar dish.
Finally, I wanted to ensure that Weelicious Lunches was packed with recipes which would appeal to everyone, no matter what their age. Whether you are packing lunch for your child to bring to school, you to enjoy at the office, or the occasional sweet picnic that makes your weekend feel extra special, I developed the recipes for Weelicious Lunches with all those needs in mind. I send my husband to work with the same lunches my kids take to school. When their lunch boxes come home empty every day, it makes me feel like all the hard work has paid off.