When Ceri and I worked together at FASHION magazine the biggest topic on any given day was always lunch. The Devil Wears Prada we were not. We liked to eat. And, like a family, we liked to do it together. We usually started discussing lunch almost as soon as we arrived in the morning — while sipping our coffees. Conversations went a little like this:
Laura: "Hey Cer, how was the Gucci dinner party last night?"
Ceri: "Good. Except it went late. Cute shoes, new?"
Laura: "Thanks, yes. Do you have a luncheon today or are you around?"
Ceri: "I'm here. What should we have? Do you feel like Mercato?"
Mercato was one of our favorite lunch venues for take out. I still miss the tuna sandwiches with green apple and onion. I also miss the apple cake made by the guy with the little falafel joint. Nowadays, lunch is such a non-event. It's usually my favorite yogurt extravaganza with granola and agave (if I have time to sit down), but mostly it's a muffin I jam in my mouth on-the-go. Scarlett, like most kids, has it made when it comes to lunch. I put a lot of effort into her mid-day meals. With all the fuss on her nutrition, it makes me wonder if she has similar discussions with her friends about their lunches:
Scarlett: "Can I have that crown?"
Allison: "Yes. Wait…NO! What did your mommy make you for lunch?"
Scarlett: "Homemade blueberry spelt muffin cake sammies packed with nutrition, and give me that crown or we're not friends anymore! For real."
As much as I love a good sandwich, my favorite meals are a lot of little noshie things. Scarlett enjoys eating that way too, so I decided to give her a noshie meal. Instead of bread, I used a muffin recipe I have and put the mix in a baking pan rather than a muffin tin. I cut the muffin cake length wise to use as a bread and filled it with her favorite things. Alongside some cut red pepper and a hard boiled egg, she's got a lunch fit for a champion. Or at least someone learning to share.
Blueberry Spelt Muffin Cake
4 tablespoons softened butter, plus more for greasing pan
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup agave sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups spelt flour, plus a teaspoon for berries
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries
Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.
Place berries in a bowl and sprinkle with teaspoon of flour and lightly toss to coat. This keeps them from sinking to the bottom of your mix.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Stir in agave, applesauce, eggs, orange juice and vanilla.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into butter-egg mixture until just combined. Gently stir in blueberries. Pour batter into pan and bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Muffin Cake Bananawich
1 teaspoon almond butter
Use one piece of muffin cake and cut lengthwise. Spread with almond butter and cut banana.
Muffin Cake Applewich
1 green apple, sliced
1 slice of cheddar cheese
Use one piece of muffin cake and cut length wise. Stack with apple slice and cheddar.
I made the muffin cake on the weekend so I could have it for the week. Scarlett helped me assemble the sandwiches one morning. However, they sit so nicely in the refrigerator in an airtight container, you could easily do them the night before. The sweetness of the blueberries with the cheese and apple was so satisfying for me, but Scarlett seemed to like the banana and almond butter combo. Regardless, I liked that she got a nice dose of fruit between the berries and apple/banana as well as some protein.