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Snacks for Teachers' Lounge

Next week is my week to provide snacks for the teachers at my daughter's elementary school. Here are the parameters:
-I need to be able to drop it off in the morning and leave it all day.
-I need to leave about 3 dozen items.
-It is the dead of winter where I live.

A lot of people do bagels and cream cheese, doughnuts, etc. Any interesting ideas out there? Sweet or savory is fine.

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  1. How about scones? Here's a recipe for whole grain cranberry apple scones that looked good that I'm thinking about trying for my co-workers. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

    I made some with rosemary and polenta to take on a limo trip with some friends recently - those were definitely on the savory side and were a big hit. If I can find the recipe I'll post it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: farmersdaughter

      I was thinking about scones. They would be a little different than the norm, I'm sure.

      1. re: shannoninstlouis

        I'll second the scones! At my wife's school (she teaches the Gr. 1/2 kiddoes) the teachers rotate bringing treats, and I usually bake up a couple of batches of scones (e.g. cheddar, chocolate chip/orange, rosemary, etc.) and it seems to be a nice change from the bagels/cream cheese. Not many baking types on her staff, so the homemade stuff is usually appreciated! :) You probably have a recipe already, but in case you don't (or are looking to compare notes) let me know. In any case, no matter what recipe I use I always add a bit of plain yogurt to make the scones nice and moist--this allows me to make them the night before without drying out too much by morning.

        In any case, whatever you make/bring I'm sure will be great.

        Oh, and I also recommend Suzy Q's fruit suggestion, if it's not too inconvenient for you to transport.

      2. re: farmersdaughter

        We have a new bakery in town that does terrific parmesan and pesto scones...I am trying to figure out a recipe that imitates these so I can bring them for my turn at 'snack' time in the office (but we only do this on Fridays-your fellow teachers must have great self-restraint!)

      3. How about a bowl of whole fresh fruit or some sausage and cheese biscuit balls?

        1. These are pretty sweet but good for the sweet-and-salty crowd. Large pretzel rods spread about two-thirds up with melted chocolate (semi-sweet chips work fine), then rolled in a mixture of mini M&M's, raisins, chopped cashews, and sunflower seeds. Lay on waxed paper to set up. By the time you get everything stuck on, these are very hefty. Perfect at room temp.

          On a slightly healthier note, bags of granola (maybe about 1/2 cup measures) and individual cups of yoghurt (if you have fridge capability). They can make their own parfaits.

          Unpeeled pears, apples and bananas and a several jars of Nutella. Maybe some plastic knives and spoons and plates. They'll figure it out!

          1. I've been snacking all week on a batch of jelly-donut cupcakes I made this weekend. They're from Veganomicon, but you can do non-vegan ones easily. The key is twofold: make sure you use a good grating of fresh nutmeg, and let the muffins sit overnight somewhere cool so the top gets dry and crackly.

            Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and they'll be lovely and tasty all day.

            1 Reply
            1. re: corgette

              Corgette, your post reminds me of muffins my mom used to make when I was a girl. They were called Peanut Butter and Jelly muffins - if I recall, the batter was sweet and had crushed Frosted Flakes cereal, and there was a dollop of PB and jelly baked into the center of the muffin. Sounds atrocious, doesn't it? It was really good though!

              Another good idea might be applesauce muffins. They're good in the morning or afternoon, with coffee or tea. If I can find my mom's recipe, I'll post that, but in the meantime, this recipe for applesauce cake sounds really similar. http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

            2. i'm all about the savory, so i'd suggest one of the following:

              -bacon, cheddar, onion and chive muffins
              -savory tomato roll (like a cinnamon roll, but w/ tomato, cheese and herbs in lieu of the cinnamon, sugar and icing)
              -crescent rolls stuffed w/ ham, tomato, mozzarella, and basil
              -vegetable spring rolls (w/ bean threads, carrots, tofu, mushrooms and onions)

              1. homemade granola bars

                14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
                2 1/2 cups oats
                2/3 cup dried fruit i.e. craisins, apricot pieces
                1/3 cup chopped nuts
                1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
                1/2 teaspoon vanilla

                Heat condensed milk in saucepan. combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. Pour condensed milk over ingredients and mix well. Pour into greased 11 x 7 inch baking pan. Bake in preheated 250 degree oven for 60 minutes. Cool completely and cut into small squares.

                my blog http://www.dinnersforayear.blogspot.com

                1. A few good cheeses from Costco or Trader Joe's, & crackers.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SusieS

                    Depending on the kind of cheese, it might get a little funky if it's left out all day long, though.

                    Love the homemade granola bars idea. I'll have to try those too!

                  2. French toast -recipe by Paula Deen
                    Apple slices with caramel dip
                    mini quiches
                    croissants with meat and cheese platter
                    coffee cake
                    Chex mix
                    Cereal
                    sausages or meatballs in a crock pot
                    sinful but nacho cheese in a crock pot with all the toppings
                    egg and potato breakfast casserole
                    fruit tarts
                    assorted dips-spinach-artichoke with bread slices
                    sushi
                    These are some of the things that our parents and teachers bring to share.

                    1. I highly recommend David Lebovitz's recipe for Caramelized Matzoh Crunch with Chocolate. It has been talked about on this board in the past, especially during Passover season, but it's so beloved that I make it year-round. The recipe is easy, tastes amazing (don't skip the salt) and keeps well. Here's a link:

                      http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives...

                      1. i did something last weekend that went over really well--
                        filo dough ( a few layers)
                        cinnamon butter (i mashed cinnamon sugar into butter and let reset)
                        i wrapped squares of filo around a tablespoon or so of the cinn butter, then sealed them to look like little dumplings, and baked them off for 10 min or so, til browned and puffy... then butter and cinnamon melted into the dough, and people raved about them

                        would roasted veggies and some bruschetta be too odd, and would it last the day?

                        it's probably overextending, but if you were in possession of a large enough crockpot, you could send a crock of chili and some cornbread on the side.

                        a veggie terrine w/ breads or crackers

                        how long can frittata sit

                        a cheeseless pizza topped w/ pesto and grilled veggies

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Emme

                          I was thinking of something nice and warm in a crockpot, too, especially in the cold of winter. Chili or soup w/ some good bread on the side.

                          Or maybe a muffeletta that would taste better as it sits.

                        2. I want to know where you live and why are parents obligated to provide the teachers snack? Pretty absurd IMHO.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: MeffaBabe

                            MeffaBabe- I concur, although it's a nice gesture.

                            Shannoninstlouis, are you part of the PTA?

                            1. re: dbug31

                              If the parents volunteer to do it and it fosters good feelings between the teachers and the parents who need to work together, how can it be bad? Only good things can come from it.

                              1. re: karykat

                                Karykat---
                                As I said, it is a nice gesture. Upon first reading it, I did however think it was out of the ordinary...

                                I do agree that it would foster good feelings between the two which could only help these days!

                                1. re: karykat

                                  I was PTSA President for 4 years at my daughter's high school. We sponsored a welcome back luncheon, Teacher Appreciation Week and many other "food" related activities for the kids as well as the staff and teachers. There is nothing like a gathering of people eating together to foster appreciation and gratitude to those people that help our kids get a great education. It is not obligatory, but out of appreciation to the staff. Ours were all volunteer and potluck. The staff and teachers appreciated the effort on the parents part. Makes for happy people. We have a once a month potluck at my school that is called MAAT-Monthly Attitude Adjustment Therapy- we eat and enjoy each other's goodies. Fun.

                            2. Is that something the parents do for the teachers? What a nice idea!

                              1. In the last issue of Cooking Light there was a recipe for Potato-Leek-Butternut Squash soup (Cover recipe) that would be great for a crock pot soup. It's pureed so could be served in a cup - no need for a spoon.
                                Liked all the savory scone ideas. For a little something sweet, I like vanilla-cinnamon roasted pecans.
                                Nice things you are doing for the teachers. Food always seems to bring people together.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Pampatz

                                  Okay. I am the OP here and it seems a bit of clarification is in order. At my daughter's elementary school, parents voluntarily sign up at the beginning of the school year to supply treats to teachers. You can sign up for one week during the year and provide snacks for as many days in that week as you wish. You just drop the snacks off in the teachers' lounge. It is organized through the PTA. We also do an entire staff appreciation luncheon in the spring.

                                  1. re: shannoninstlouis

                                    Wow! I am a veteran teacher and I must say I would have loved any parent showing any appreciation. so often we work in a vacuum, especially those of us in the inner city. That said, teachers are overwhelmingly women and we watch our weight like everyone else. Try to include some lower calorie and lower carb snacks. Low fat cheese, like the individually wrapped chunks and sticks, with fiber rich crackers along with dried or fresh fruit would be my choice. Humus can stay out without refrigeration for a while and is great with baby carrots and celery sticks.
                                    Thank you for caring.

                                    1. re: lucyis

                                      In that vein, you can easily make frittatas w/ skim milk, egg whites, and a variety of veggies... brocc, spin, mush, etc.

                                      Low-fat bran muffins

                                      Pate/Veggie spread made from cooked chilled veggies (really well done, like brocc, spin and mush and tomatoes) blended w/ just a touch of skim sour cream and fat free cream cheese or fat free ricotta and a little Lipton's onion soup mix... provide ak-mok and ryvita crackers.

                                      Veggie/Bean salad blends w/ a vinegarette provided on the side for teachers to dress as they see fit

                                      In the vein of hummus, tabbouleh might be another nice more fibrous option.

                                2. shannoninstlouis, great that you are doing this. I have been "Staff Appreciation" chair at our school for the last two years. One thing that I have done at the begining of the week is to have fruit baskets (make my self from Costco selection of fruit, bananas, oranges, grapes, apples) in the lounge, along with some bakery goods (scones would be great). I also have an assortment of Teas, from Calming to Morning Buzz teas. The staff really likes that the fruit and teas last pretty much the whole week, and there is a selection of healthy choices. Fruit may be a nice change of pace from bakery goods and a "I am sick if winter" pick me up. I have also had some trail mix in containers.

                                  Knowing some schools, things can turn into a contest. Whatever you do will be good and appreciated.
                                  Best of luck!

                                  1. Little savory quiche, like spinach and cheddar, bacon or prosciutto.

                                    1. Thank you for brightening up the day...our school does similar events throughout the year as well and knowing that we are appreciated makes a hard day of teaching a little easier. At my school we have Catholics who have given up chocolate and meat for Lent, Jews who keep kosher and Vegetarians, so when we bring in foods we try to bring in non-meat based foods year-round and stick to what can be picked up on the run in between classes or eaten with one hand.
                                      Foods that have gone well this year at my school have mostly been donuts, which are always a pleaser, but get old week after week and homemade trail and snack-mixes -keeps us going all day long, my personal fav.
                                      We do a lunch-time pot-luck at our school once a month, so that tends to be where the creativity comes out.

                                      I love the idea of the scones! Can you come to my school? We would love some home-baked TLC.