Starting school can be a scary time, and that’s why I have always tried to do every little thing I can to lessen my kids’ angst! Writing notes on napkins, buying fancy little straws for their milk cartons and fancy plates on which to “place” their sandwiches, and putting the sandwiches in seasonal storage bags were just a few of the ways I tried to brighten up my kids’ days. It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone, then, that my desire to make my girls feel special included food preparation as well….and that’s where the idea for “Make New Friends” sandwiches came from! A gloomy day can become bright again when opening the lunch box and finding a new friend, and these friends are oh, so easy to make!
1. Gathering your supplies together ahead of time ensures that you have everything you need front and center.
2. Using a cookie cutter of a child (a gingerbread boy cookie cutter works nicely), cut out a stack of new ‘friends’ from a loaf of bread. My girls preferred white bread but any bread will work. I usually cut out a whole stack of ‘friends’ so that I can make a bunch in advance. (Oh, and for those who don’t like to be wasteful, throw all the extra bread crusts into a freezer bag to save for Thanksgiving stuffing!)
3. Prepare your filling. Fillings can be as simple as peanut butter and jelly but my kids’ favorites were:
pizza sauce and pepperoni
peanut butter and honey
tuna salad with chopped apples
cream cheese with green olives
cream cheese with strawberry jam
cucumbers and salad dressing with a sprinkle of fresh dill
mashed bananas and honey
4. Spread (or place) the filling on one cutout bread friend and then top it with a second cutout.
5. Here’s where the fun comes in. After making your ‘friend’ sandwich, decorate it! Ideas for faces and/or clothing for the friend include:
drawing eyes and a mouth with a tube of frosting
cutting a triangle from a cheese slice for a skirt
placing small candies on the friend as buttons
pushing in mini chocolate chips for eyes and a nose
sprinkling the entire sandwich with powdered sugar OR a mix of cinnamon and white sugar
sprinkling with “fairy dust” (edible glitter)
A little bit of effort goes a long way for making our kids’ days special. Who wouldn’t get excited about seeing a plateful of deliciousness and fun!!
Note: After making these a few times for my girls, they decided they wanted to get in on the action. My kitchen turned into a fun place on a Sunday afternoon as together we thought up new fillings and ways to decorate our “friends”. Great memories!