Cheesy taco sticks

My son started fifth-grade this week, which was kind of a big deal for me.

My family moved to Hillsboro from Wimbledon, N.D., right before the start of my fifth-grade year. I remember everything so clearly, especially how quickly the rest of my school years flew by. It’s shocking to me that my little baby – whom I’ve been writing about in this column since he was 2 years old – now has just a couple years of elementary school remaining.

I probably remember that year so clearly because moving to a new town and starting at a new school were such momentous changes for me. There were new kids to meet, a new building to navigate and new school lunches to figure out. (This may come as a shock, but we never had toastie dogs and crispitos where I came from.)

Another big difference was the after-school routine.

In Wimbledon, a town of about 350 at that time, my house was a half-block from school and my parents owned a business. We would either be home 6.5 seconds after the school day ended or we’d run to the family’s lumberyard and raid the store’s candy stash. I never had to wait long for an after-school snack.

In Hillsboro, our first home was about a 20-minute walk from the school. By the time I got home I was monumentally starving from a long day, too few toastie dogs at lunch and the ensuing walk. So my mom started freezing hearty little snacks that my siblings and I could reheat in the microwave. One of her favorites was mini English muffin pizzas, and I remember how great it was to have a warm snack after school – and one that was just filling enough to get us through until supper.

These taco sticks are a play on that concept: Little homemade goodies I can stash in the freezer fully baked and that the kiddo can reheat in the microwave for an after-school bite. Because like his mom, my kiddo doesn’t like to wait long for his after-school snack.

Notes: These are sort of like small Hot Pockets and, like Hot Pockets, you can vary up the filling – maybe cheese and pepperoni with Italian seasoning and parmesan brushed on the outside, or ham and cheese with some sesame seeds.

For the recipe, please subscribe to the Banner's online or print edition.