pretzel collage

My children really get bored with sandwiches and every night I’m scratching my head trying to figure out what to do for lunch.  I’ve started to get the boys more involved in packing their own lunch and rather than just a sandwich, I have a variety of items available.   I separate the items into different bins and label the bins – i.e. – chips /crackers,  snacks/ fruit  yogurt / cheese or miscellaneous.  The bins are either in my pantry or in the refrigerator depending on the item.  The bins kind of look like the picture below except the tags shown are far fancier thanlunch mine  – My labels are hand-written on a plain piece of paper and taped onto the bins.  Every morning I take all the bins out and put them on the counter and the boys pick items from each bin and put the item in their lunch bag.  I am surprised how much smoother my morning is with this simple organization tip.   Yesterday I had some extra time on my hands so I made some pizza dough in my bread machine and baked some pizza pretzels for this week’s lunches.  This recipe comes from an oldie but goodie recipe book called Canadian Bread Machine Baking with Roxanne McQuilkin.  When I first bought my bread machine I learned that there is a difference between Canadian and American flour and most bread machine recipe books are written with US measurements that doesn’t always work with Canadian flour.  Roxanne wrote this book with that thought in mind and all of her recipes are tested with Canadian flour.  Below is the recipe from Roxanne’s book for Pizza Pretzels.  The dough for this recipe is made with both whole wheat and white flour making it a healthier choice.   If you have any pizza sauce around, put some in a small container so your child can dip the pretzels in pizza sauce making it a complete snack!

15 – 20 pretzels


All-Purpose flour            1 1/2 cups

Whole wheat flour        1 1/2 cups

Chopped Pepperoni    1/3 cup

Salt                                     1 1/2 tsp

Dried Oregano               1 tsp

Garlic powder                 1/2 tsp

Margarine or oil             2 tbsp

Water                                1 1/4 cups

Yeast                                 2 tsp

(Yeast for bread machines)



Egg white                                    1

Water                                           1 tsp

Cut up Mozzarella Cheese   1 1/2 cups


Prepare dough using the dough ingredients.  I always start with the water and work my way up to the top of the ingredients ending with the yeast.

Grease baking sheets, cut cheese in thin pieces, small enough to fit on the narrow pretzel surface.

Knead dough a few times.  Flour large chef’s knife and cut dough in 10 or 15 equal pieces.  Shape each piece in log  (8″) long, by rolling between floured hands or on floured surface.  Twist logs in pretzel shape and place on baking sheet(s).

Brush pretzels with oil, cover and let rise in warm place until double in size, about 40 minutes.  Brush tops of pretzels with beaten egg and water.  spread cheese over the tops.

Bake in preheated 400 F oven for 10 to 12 minutes until brown.  Watch them as thinner pretzels cook more quickly and the cheese can make them burn easily.

Fill them in one of your lunch bins and voila there is plenty of variety to choose from for an exciting lunch!

Picture of bins comes from:

Get Organized: Make Packing School Lunch Easy

You can still purchase this book on Amazon:

If you ever see this book at a thrift store or at a garage sale – grab it – the book is  a great resource for bread machines and the book contains wonderful recipes from bread, dough, sweet rolls and even dog biscuits!