Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tips and Tricks: PB&J for the week

One of the most creative things that someone did for us during our season of party-of-eightness was to bring a whole tray of FROZEN peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I mean, how great is that?  Need to pack a lunch?  Just pull out a sandwich.  Not only that, but she taught us how to make them, too, so we've added this to our regular routine to help with mornings on school days.  This was crucial when there were LOTS of lunches to pack, but we still love doing it with only three!  I know you can buy frozen PB&Js, but these are way cheaper PLUS you get to choose the kind (and amount) of bread, peanut butter, and jelly that you use.  Genius, I tell you...GENIUS.

My handsome assistant KJ will demonstrate this tip for the week...
Making (and freezing) PB&J sandwiches for the week (or two).

The bread.  We like to use one whole loaf and lay it all out on the counter in sandwich pairs.
We put the bread on wax paper to help contain the mess. 
(the many uses of wax paper could probably be a whole tips/tricks post in and of itself...hmmmm)

The peanut butter.  We like Jif creamy.  The key here we learned (from our amazing friend) is to put at least a little pb on both pieces of the bread, which keeps the jelly from seeping through.

which leads to STEP 3-
The Jelly.  We like the Smucker's spreadable with less sugar.  Its easy for little ones to help.

You stack 'em. 
If you are a perfectionist like KJ (and his Momma) this part can be tricky,
getting the crusts lined up just right.

And now for the fun part...
Cut 'em, Seal 'em, Trim 'em.
We have a Pampered Chef sandwich press and it is awesome.  It cuts the sandwiches into perfectly sized rounds, then seals the edges.  And after you peel off the excess you have a perfectly preschool sized sandwich round, sans crust.

Get your rounds ready to freeze by wrapping them individually in press'n seal. 

Put them in a bag.  We've found it easiest to put 4-5 in a quart size freezer bag together. You could also put them in individual ziplocks and then use those bags to pack lunches, too.

Then, let them freeze.  We just pull out what we need in the morning before school, unwrap from the press'n seal, put in a bag or sandwich container and it is thawed by lunchtime.

SO there you have it...frozen PB&Js for a week (or two).  I mean, I know it is not rocket science, and I'm probably the last person on Earth to find out about this amazingness, but had to share just in case someone out there needed a boost on school mornings.  AND its a great idea for a creative way to help a family with young kids, maybe after the arrival of a new baby or when mom is sick.  I know we were blessed by this amazing gesture and we can't wait to share with someone else!

For other posts in the "Tips and Tricks" series, take a look at our Assembly lines and Circle time.  We'd love to hear more from you, too, about creative ideas from your family.  What helps you live intentionally and efficiently?


Anonymous said...

Frozen PB&J sandwiches?! I would have NEVER guessed. Brilliance - thanks for sharing!

Julie Grimsley

Kelly said...

Well this may be the most useful thing I've read today. Heard someone once telling me they did this. But the step-by-step for my cluelessness is perfect. Thanks! :)

Kyla said...

Awesome. I will be doing this!! Need a pampered chef thingy... Haven't looked at your blog in a while...or anyone's for that matter. I'm comin' back! Your kids are completely adorable- can't get over how much your oldest looks like his daddy in that first picture!