Back To School 2017: Recipes


With students in the central Virginia area going back to school in the next two weeks, there is no better time than now to share our favorite lunch ideas for the kids. These are the go-to’s for making lunch packing a breeze and can be done in advance saving you time in the morning. If you have any recipes you’d like to share we’d love to hear all about them. Please reach out to us here, Facebook, or Twitter.


Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes                       Pumpkin-Macaroni-Cheese-Muffins            

What You’ll Need:

1/2 lb uncooked elbow macaroni

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup milk

2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (8 oz)

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

  • Heat oven to 425°F. Place foil muffin liner in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups. Spray liners with cooking spray. Cook macaroni as directed on package; drain, and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in 4-quart saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add flour, salt, and pepper; cook and beat with whisk 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Slowly beat in milk. Heat just to boiling, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese. Stir in macaroni. Divide mixture evenly among cups.
  • In medium microwavable bowl, microwave remaining 2 tablespoons butter uncovered on High 60 to 90 seconds or until melted. Stir in breadcrumbs and parsley. Spoon on top of mixture in cups. Gently press.
  • Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until bread crumb mixture is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving
  • You can add any meat or vegetables that you’d like to give these baked macaroni and cheese cupcakes an extra punch!

*Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker

* Makes 12 servings


Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi Rolls


What You’ll Need:

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

2 tablespoons jam or jelly

2 slices bread

  • Remove crusts from bread. With a rolling pin or large soup can, completely flatten bread.
  • Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of fruit spread on each slice of bread.
  • Roll each slice into a tight spiral. Cut each spiral into 4 pieces.

*Recipe courtesy of

* Makes 1 serving


Mini Corn Dog Muffins


What You’ll Need:

1 ear yellow corn

One 8.5-ounce box corn muffin mix

1 large egg

1/3 cup whole milk

1 cup grated sharp Cheddar

4 hot dogs, each cut into six 1-inch pieces

Oil, for greasing the muffin tin

Ketchup, mustard, and relish, for serving

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Remove the kernels from the ear of corn by slicing off the end of the ear to create a flat surface and then slicing down the cob from top to bottom. Put the kernels into a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the corn muffin mix, egg, and milk. Stir to combine (the batter will be lumpy). Add the corn kernels and Cheddar, stirring once again to fully incorporate. Allow the batter to sit for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Grease a 24-cup mini muffin tin. Pour 1 tablespoon batter into each mini muffin cup. Place a single hot dog piece in the center of each cup standing straight up. Bake until cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes. Allow to rest in the pan before unmolding.

*Recipe courtesy of

* Makes 24 servings


Pizza Quesadillas

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What You’ll Need:

2 -8 inches flour tortillas (small size to fit in lunchbox)

3 tablespoons spaghetti sauce or 3 tablespoons pizza sauce

1⁄4 cup shredded cheese (I like Monterey Jack, but use what you like)

8 slices pepperoni

  • Spray the bottom of a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and preheat.
  • When the pan is fairly hot place 1 Flour Tortilla in the pan.
  • Fairly quickly spread on a few tablespoons of sauce.
  • Then add a layer of Pepperoni (and anything else you like).
  • Then top with shredded cheese.
  • Top it off with the 2nd Flour Tortilla.
  • Just like any other quesadilla or grilled cheese let it brown then flip it over. If all of the cooking sprays was absorbed you can spray on a little more, but you usually don’t need to.
  • After both sides are browned and the insides are hot and melted take the “pizzas” out to cool.
  • Once cooled slice in 1/4 like a pizza and wrap snugly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

*Recipe courtesy of

* Makes 1 serving


We hope your children have an amazing first day back to school and that they have the opportunity to try all of these delicious lunch options we’ve compiled. The Ellen Clark Team wishes your kids and you the best back to school season yet!