Saturday, September 14, 2013

It's Baaaaaack!

Yesterday we got back to tradition at College Hills Elementary and began our weekly Lunch Bunch.

The theme for the week was Taco Salad
Here is how it works:  We have divided the 18 people on our hallway into 4 groups and rotate the opportunity to cook lunch for the group.  I must say it is something I (we all?) look forward to every week.

warm queso, seasoned ground beef, and shredded spiced chicken
The food is always great (not having to make anything for yourself that day if it's not your week is great), but the fellowship is the best.  Sometimes we get so busy with our responsibilities that we don't take the time to seek out our coworkers and say "good morning" (and really mean it), or ask about kids and family.  Our lunch bunch slows us down a little.

Home baked taco bowls, guacamole, green chilies, pico, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa
It's so nice to see the staggered parade of friends come through our door from 11:00 to 1:30 with plates and forks in hand to get a home cooked meal and say hello.  Some stay and chat if they can, some need to get back to their rooms (working lunch, boo), but everyone smiles and says hi.

black beans
We had a +1 visitor this week.  Our principal was passing down the hall and followed her nose to our door. She was smiling, ushered a warm greeting and told us how wonderful she thought our tradition of serving lunch to each other was.  We offered her a plate, of course, which she declined graciously having brought her own lunch.  Our group has also been called out by an administrator from the main office at a district meeting as doing a great job as a team using our Friday luncheons as an example.  It goes to show you never know the impression you may be making on others.

Apple Cheesecake Bars
I don't know how long the 600 hallway has been doing Lunch Bunch, but for the 4 years I have been here it has been a treat.

Shredded Mexican Chicken
4 lbs chicken breast
1/2 cup chicken broth   . . . but next time 1/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin    . . . but next time 2 tsp cumin
1 tbs chili powder   . . . but next time 2 tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp paprika
handful of cilantro (with stems)
2 limes (just the juice)
1 jalapeno, chopped   . . . but next time 2 jalapenos
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
 . . . but next time 1 onion, sliced

Everything went into the crock pot and cooked on low for 5 hours.  Then I removed the cilantro and let it cool, drained but saved the juice, and used my Kitchen Aid to shred the meat.  I returned the juice and shredded chicken to the crock pot to keep warm for serving.  Next time I will alter the seasoning as I listed above and remove the onion slices when I take out the cilantro stems and leaves.

The Apple Cheesecake Bars were a big hit and really easy to make.  Dorothy's recipe and directions at Crazy for Crust were really easy to follow and the prep time was very short.  I had the whole thing crumbled, tossed, blended, and baked in an hour.  Don't tell any of the ladies, but for the next Lunch Bunch I think I am going to make another recipe from Dorothy's blog called Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars. Shhhhh.

Just one more quick thing.  I thought a lot yesterday about others that have come and gone from our hallway and participated with our lunches.  One in particular is especially in my thoughts and prayers lately.  Shannon, you are missed, and we are all lifting you up this week and for the weeks to come.  Know you are welcome and we would love to have you visit on any Friday to share a meal with us.  I think of you every time I use your recipe for Ramen Salad and miss your fabulous desserts.  God Bless.