Saturday, July 31, 2010

Polka Dot Muffin Bento!

The polka dot flowers really really amused me today.

We made chicken & cheese stuffed biscuits (à la Hawaii's Bento Box), but I felt like decorating them a bit. I only have heart shaped mini silicone muffin cups, so the shape was a bit odd to come up with a design. Hence, polka dots!



Faith has two of the chicken/cheese biscuits with polka dot flowers (white cheddar, orange cheddar & luncheon meat). To go with it, she has nectarine slices, carrot sticks, cucumber flowers and a bit of dip for the veggies.

She has a birthday party later today, so I didn't want her stuffed before swimming.


Don't forget! Our Lunch Punch giveaway ends tomorrow! There's still time to enter. :o)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ben's Taco Muffin Bento

Miss Faith was out with Grandma this morning, leaving Ben home with me. He is usually very lonely without his sister, so I told him that we would bake. I actually needed some stuff for my freezer stash, so we made taco muffins.

He's a great little helper and very serious about his job. ;o)



Of course, we had to have a taco muffin bento when we were done. He has a taco muffin topped with a cheese bunny (sugar eyes and a tiny luncheon meat nose), some honeydew and cantaloupe chunks, and cubes of banana bread (I had to cut them to fit in the box).

Simple, but he loved it! And I have a bunch of muffins for my freezer.

Vrooooooom! Ben's Car Bento

You know how when you have two kids, everything absolutely must be equal.

Well, Faith got a ballerina bento, so Ben had to have something equally special. And he wasn't having his own ballerina. ;o)



Instead, Ben picked the car cookie cutter, so he had a ham & turkey sandwich on Nature's Own Honey Wheat with a cheddar car with luncheon meat wheels (really, this one wasn't nearly that bad to make, the wheels were the same size as my little circle fondant cutter, so it only took a moment to cut & swap them). He had some grapes with a couple of his favorite picks, some plum slices topped with a cheese star, and some carrot & celery sticks with dip in the little yellow container.

The box is actually a Tupperware sandwich box with KungFu Panda on the lid. Ben went through a Kung Fu Panda phase, so I had to get him that one. :o)

He also told me "Mommy, you have to take a picture of me *with* my lunch!" So I did.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Faith's Ballerina Bento

I needed something simple & sweet for Miss Faith yesterday because we were going out to dinner with Shaun's family. I didn't want a huge lunch for her, to make sure she'd be hungry for dinner. I must have picked the perfect amount, she had a ton of pesto with grilled chicken & proscuitto, yum!



Anyhow, for lunch, she had half of a ham & turkey sandwich on Nature's Own Honey Wheat bread and decorated with a ballerina. The ballerina is a white cheddar base with an orange cheddar top and the skirt is made with a bit of luncheon meat.

On the right, she has half a purple plum, strawberry slices, grapes, carrots, cucumber (topped with a cheese heart), and a little pink container with dip for the veggies.

She was quite enthralled with her ballerina, as was I. :o)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Something Fishy for Mr. Ben

You didn't think I'd make something as cute as a tea party for Faith & leave out Ben, did you?

Ben wasn't quite interested in a tea party, so he had something just a little bit fishy.



The actual contents aren't excessively different from Faith's, more the design. To the left, Ben had a turkey/ham/cheese fish shaped sandwich. It's topped with a cheese fish in the exact same shape to cover the top bread, and decorated with a sugar eye and a few cheese spots of a different color. He has banana-zucchini bread (cut into triangles to fit the spot) and a few blackberries to hold the fish in place. To the right, he has honeydew & cantaloupe, then carrot & celery sticks with a bit of dip in the yellow container. I'm really liking Mr. Fish there!

Did you enter our Lunch Punch giveaway yet? You should, it's open until Sunday evening!

ETA: I thought I said this in the post originally, but I think I only wrote it in my head. This is another of my "Inspired by Susan & Hawaii Bento Box Cookbook" creations! I absolutely love the ideas in this book!

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 9



Welcome to "What's for Lunch" Wednesday, Week 9!!!

Thanks so much for joining in last week if you did and looking forward to seeing all the fun lunches this week!

Want to join in?

Just choose a bento you've made from the last week you want to share, copy the URL of that post from your blog (you may need to click on the title to get it), and enter it into the linky below.

Click on the "Add Your Link" button to add yours and follow the steps, it's simple, I promise!

Please add a link back here:
http://bentolunch.blogspot.com/search/label/what%27s%20for%20lunch%20wednesday
so that others can join in and see/share their bentos too.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Teatime for Faith Bento

Every little girl needs a tea party, right?

Faith had the perfect one today, complete with little finger sandwiches, bite sized fruit, crudites & dip (sounds more elegant)! It's actually her after-taekwondo bento, so after she spends an hour kicking & punching things, she can have her delicate little dinner.



Faith has 2 finger sandwiches with turkey, ham & cheese, topped with a cheese teapot & cup and decorated with tiny little cheese flowers. She has carrots, celery & cucumber halves along with dip in the little pink container. The bottom layer holds a small piece of our banana-zucchini bread, and some fresh honeydew & cantaloupe.

And yes, the girl does like to play tea party. This is her latest party attendee, my mom's sweet collie girl. :o)



My mom wanted the pictures for something and Faith was happy to pose, along with Sunny. She's the sweetest girl and loves Faith (and vice versa).

Simple Snacks for Taekwondo

It's nothing terribly exciting, but the kids still needed to eat after martial arts.

I had a pot of lentil soup simmering, so they each took a thermos of fresh soup with them.



To that, we added a slice of homemade banana-zucchini bread that we also made on Monday, and some freshly sliced cantaloupe and honeydew. I added a couple of picks for at least a little cuteness. :o)

Someone asked about the lentil soup. I kind of make it up as I go along, but the gist of it is:

Bring a kettle of water to a boil, add 1 cup lentils, some diced onion and a heaping spoonful of minced garlic.
Let it boil for a bit, then add--diced tomatoes, diced zucchini, peas, carrots, green beans, basically any veggies you want.
Add a couple of teaspoons of soup bouillon to taste, then let the whole thing simmer for a few hours, stirring occasionally.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Kids Cook Monday - Banana/Zucchini Bread (with Chocolate Chips!)



It's time for our weekly The Kids Cook Monday project. Shaun had chicken marinating in the fridge, so we didn't really need a main course, and I had veggie lentil soup (a kid fave) simmering on the stove. It was decided we need some sort of a dessert item, so we chose banana bread.



Now, I had a half a zucchini left over from soup making, so I grated it and we added that to our banana bread to make zucchini-banana bread. It worked well as I only had two bananas (I like three in this recipe). And, I had a bit of chocolate chips left and everything is better with chocolate, so we added that too.

It's my typical base banana bread recipe, found here, with the addition of about a half a grated zucchini and a 1/2 cup or so of chocolate chips. I kept everything else the same.

Lots of opportunities for F&B to help out--pouring & mixing:



Faith loves cracking eggs, so that was one of her jobs, Ben did the breaking the yolks with the spoon part:



And of course, adding all the fixings. I did opt to grate the zucchini myself since I use a small hand grater and I didn't really want anyone bleeding in my banana bread. Faith poured the zucchini for me:



As for pictures of the finished product? All I've got is the first picture where it's already sliced. F&B got to it before I even had a chance to take the pictures. Banana bread is really good right out of the oven!

Muffin Tin Monday - "Random" theme

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth


Random can be a theme, right? It's been a busy week and while I had it together enough to do Muffin Tin Monday, I didn't quite have it together enough to do a themed Muffin Tin Monday.



Judging by the airplane, this was Ben's tin. He had a tuna salad sandwich on honey wheat bread, topped with a cheese airplane, some blackberries, two mini chocolate chip muffin bites, watermelon, grapes, and celery/carrot sticks with a bit of ranch dip.

If you figure out *a* theme for this, leave it in the comments! I've looked at it for awhile and can't seem to come up with one. ;o)

Check out Muffin Tin Monday for more fun tins!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Lunch Punch Review & Giveaway

Back in June, we received an awesome package from the Lunch Punch. Kiersten, the awesome owner, sent us a two sets of Lunch Punches to try out & review for the blog.

We received a set of the Match & Munch puzzle shapes and a set of the Critter Cutters animals shapes.




Read more ...

Sunday Afternoon Snack Bento

Yesterday morning, I got the opportunity to teach a bento class. Pics & details soon, it was so much fun to do!

This morning, we headed to church, then home where my little angels were appropriately starving. I'm sure the 1.5 hours at church without food must be terrible. ;o)

I saw a cute idea on Lunches Fit for a Kid that used cucumber as a wrap for tuna salad. Faith loves cucumber and tuna salad, so I had to try it! Shaun came in the kitchen and commented how it was sort of a tuna roll, which amused me greatly.



Faith had three of the "tuna rolls", but I placed each on a flower shaped piece of Nature's Own Honey Wheat, so they reminded me a bit of a finger sandwich. They were topped with a cheese star for color and because Faith likes cheese. She had a couple of the last strawberries (we turned most of this batch into jam, some carrot sticks, grapes, and two extra-mini chocolate chip muffin bites. She added some celery and dip to the mix, but that was just on the side. ;o)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Taekwondo Dinner Bentos

We had taekwondo last night since we are finally back home, so I decided to take along some dinner for the kids.

I've missed being able to use all my different supplies--all my cute teeny cutters & punches & boxes!

After perusing my cabinet for a very long time, I decided I wanted to use my Easy Lunchboxes and my new Lunch Punches (which I will be doing a giveaway for, starting tomorrow!).



Faith has a cream cheese & jelly butterfly sandwich, made with the Lunch Punch, and decorated with cheese decorations (various cutters), a cucumber sliver smile and pink sugar eyes. I also made a fresh pasta salad with carrot stars, strawberry-blueberry granola bars from my freezer, and added grapes & watermelon.



Ben's is quite similar--a cream cheese & jelly sandwich, made with the Lunch Punch, but with the dog in a house punch, and decorated with cheese decorations puppy and a sugar eye. He also has pasta salad with carrot stars, strawberry-blueberry granola bars, grapes & watermelon, but he wanted blackberries too.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cute Little Froggie Snack!

So far today, the kids had two breakfasts, their own cereal & fruit, then bagels & cream cheese while Shaun & I were having our coffee & bagels. They, of course, still wanted lunch, but I had a feeling that a huge lunch wouldn't be eaten.

Instead, I borrowed and idea from Pikko @ Yum Yum Bento Box that I had bookmarked & used my bear rice mold to make a frog face! I did make it a sandwich instead of rice. F&B like their rice warm out of the rice cooker.



Ben has a triple decker froggie face sandwich--Nature's Own Honey Wheat, turkey, ham & cheese. Lest you think it's huge, I got three froggie face breads out of one slice. The eyes are white cheddar with a bit of baby spinach for the pupils and a baby spinach mouth. The tongue is a tiny bit of extra ham.

Underneath the sandwich is a homemade strawberry-blueberry granola bar from my freezer stash and a couple of carrot & celery sticks. The other half features a combo of yellow & purple plums and a few green grapes to keep things in place. It's packed in his Shinkansen shaped box which I love, we haven't used it in a bit and it is so cute.

Cool New Review Coming Soon!

I was contacted by CSN stores again after our last giveaway and offered a review as one of their preferred bloggers.

Pretty cool, imho. ;o)

Want to guess what I'm getting?

It's not an actual bento (though I do love their Mr. Bento tiffins, but I did just get a tiffin yesterday).

It's not a bedroom vanity or a living room sofa or computer gadgets.

It is however, something that will be very very useful for bentos, I hope!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday's Biscuit Bento!

As I've mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of Susan and the Hawaii's Bento Box Cookbook. Her bentos are super cute and her recipe ideas are amazing yet practical. She's been on a biscuit-related theme lately and I've been waiting to get home so I could try out some of her ideas.

I opted to try one can of biscuits only to see what F&B thought. I stuffed 6 of them with chicken & cheese, then decided that I wanted to try PB&J ones, so made the last four like that. It's not my fault I'm the only one who likes PB&J. On the plus side, I did not have to share mine. ;o)



Ben had one of the chicken & cheese biscuits, with carrot ears, cucumber nose & mouth, and 2 little sugar eyes. He had carrot sticks and cucumber flowers, a fresh strawberry, a couple of slices of yellow plum, green grapes & blackberries. He ate that and had another biscuit as well.

I think we'll be making these again--they have the makings of a great freezer item!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's in Your Veggie Drawer?

There was a great post today by Mrs. Q on Fed Up With Lunch (love that blog btw, you should check it out if you don't read it) asking about what is in your refrigerator, with specific reference to the veggie drawers.

Now since we just got home, I had to go restock today anyhow, but this is a fairly normal food run for us.



In the drawer: 1 bunch of celery, 1 lb-ish green grapes, 2 bags of baby carrots, 2 cucumbers, 3 zucchini, 2 nectarine, 2 peaches, 3 plums, 1 apple, 1 onion and unfortunately, 1 head of cabbage b/c I was talking on the phone & grabbed that instead of lettuce (OK, seriously, what am I supposed to do with cabbage????)

Now on the shelf above that drawer, which I couldn't get a good picture of, we have: 2 containers of already sliced watermelon, 2 containers of strawberries, 2 containers of blackberries, 1 contained of mini cherry tomatoes and a bowl of black olives.

On the counter, also not pictured, I have: 1 cantaloupe, 1 honeydew, about a dozen yellow plums, and 2 bananas.

I also have a ton of containers of frozen blackberries, raspberries, blueberries & strawberries for emergency off season use. ;o)

I still need to wash & preslice the melon and clean the strawberries for the kids. I keep it cut in containers in the fridge so they can get their own snacks easily.

Back Home Bentos!

And we're back in Texas!!!

We made a quick stop to SuperTarget once we got close to Dallas to pick up a little bit of fruit, some milk, and other necessities. This, of course, gave me a chance to actually feed the kids today, rather than relying on our friendly neighborhood drive-thru.



Ben had skull & crossbone shaped quesadillas with chicken & cheese inside. I kind of forgot to defrost bread until this morning, and the tortillas weren't frozen. With that, he has some grapes, some watermelon, some yellow plums, and some cucumbers.

I still need to do more grocery shopping but thought that was a good start at least!

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 8



Welcome to "What's for Lunch" Wednesday, Week 8!!!

Thanks so much for joining in last week if you did and looking forward to seeing all the fun lunches this week!

Want to join in?

Just choose a bento you've made from the last week you want to share, copy the URL of that post from your blog (you may need to click on the title to get it), and enter it into the linky below.

Click on the "Add Your Link" button to add yours and follow the steps, it's simple, I promise!

Please add a link back here:
http://bentolunch.blogspot.com/search/label/what%27s%20for%20lunch%20wednesday
so that others can join in and see/share their bentos too.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On the Road - Lunch Bento

We need lunch on the road too. Again, we're trying to keep the stops minimal, so lunches had to come along too.

Honestly, I'm out of ideas for good on-the-road food and I'm also supply limited. I opted to keep it simple, easy, and hopefully not too crumby. I shop-vacced my car on Sunday before we left. ;o)



Faith has a turkey & cheese sandwich on whole grain flat bread with a couple of cheddar stars on top (I couldn't have no single cute thing in the box!). She has some carrot sticks, homemade strawberry-blueberry granola bars and diced pineapple.

We also have plenty of loose snacks for on the road, including two large containers of diced watermelon (too watery to go in with the rest of the food).

On the Road Bentos - Breakfast First!

I was very happy with how our on-the-road bentos turned out on our trip to Canada. It was much healthier, much cheaper, and much for efficient to just pull out bentos for the kids when it was time to eat instead of pulling over, stopping & getting food in whatever little town we were hopefully passing.

Since we are en route back to Texas, we are doing more bentos, but I decided on breakfast and lunch ones this time.



This one is Ben's but picture this times two. He has half a whole grain bagel with strawberry cream cheese, half a boiled egg, some chunks of white cheddar cheese, purple grapes, blueberries and slices of yellow plum. In the middle, he has peach yogurt. Faith's is almost identical, but she has raspberry yogurt. :o)

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Kids Cook Monday - Chicken Pasta Salad



We are really enjoying The Kids Cook Monday project, Nana even got into it this week and suggested a chicken pasta salad as a great dish the kids could help with. We had had a roast chicken the day before and it was a great way to use the leftovers out.

Nana boiled the pasta while the kids were still in the swimming pool, so no pictures of that.


Ben set to work chopping the chicken (so much easier to use the leftovers, it sliced well for his little hands).


Faith's job was to dice the red pepper (more tricky than the chicken).


Ben added the peas to the bowl.


And voila! Just needs some mayo (Mommy or Nana's job since we picked the smaller bowl) and the kids had a great fresh salad for our BBQ.

Muffin Tin Monday - Rainbows!

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth


In honor of our "Eating a Rainbow" review and our rainbow bento, we also had a rainbow-themed muffin tin.

I only had the 12 cup tins handy (still at my parents' house), so we did one tin to share.



The kids had:
Red watermelon
Orange carrots
Yellow pineapple
Green celery & cucumber
Blue blueberries
And some lovely zesty ranch dip from a local deli.

Check out Muffin Tin Monday for more fun tins!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Leftover Lunch for Ben

We had some odds & ends to finish up food-wise and I hated to see it go to waste. At our BBQ, we had a lovely honey-garlic sausage, except they were very very large sausages. Since Ben is a rather little boy, he insisted on one, then only ate half. I decided to wrap it and save it as I thought it might have a few bento possibilities.



In this bento, Ben has the half sausage on half an Italian bread bun, topped with a few white cheddar cheese stars. In the middle compartment, he has blackberries, carrots and a bit of pound cake. On the right, he has fresh pineapple.

This is packed in his (Canadian dollar store) Diego box, but I added the divider from Faith's Dora box to make it 3 comparments. I thought it worked out pretty well!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

And a Rainbow Bento for Miss Faith

Faith, of course, is really intrigued with the whole "eating the rainbow" concept. I am too, but wasn't really paying a whole lot of attention when I made this bento, till we looked at the pictures afterwards. As Faith said, "Look, we've got a whole rainbow in the box!"



Faith has half a grilled chicken sandwich on Italian rolls (leftover from a BBQ the night before), some cheese flowers, and a little bit of pound cake.

Then there is her rainbow of fruits & veggies--a ripe red strawberry, orange carrots, yellow pineapple, green cucumbers, and blue/purple blackberries!

The box is one of my Canadian dollar store ones. The interior compartment is perfect for dip (what the package said) but also yogurt, applesauce or really juicy fruits!

Today I Ate a Rainbow Review

Since we're still in Canada, it only seems appropriate to share an awesome Canadian product--the Today I Ate a Rainbow chart & book.




Read more ...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Puppy Dog Themed Snack Bento!

Still in Canada for a few more days, but I was getting bored with the same old lunch patterns. I went digging in the drawer in my mom's kitchen and found a plethora of doggie themed items! My parents have collie dogs, so we decided on a puppy themed snackbento for the day.




I think this was Faith's as Ben isn't a big cucumber fan. She has 2 bones shaped sandwiches on fresh Italian bread with turkey & cheese. There are some carrot sticks, kitty shaped cucumbers, and a fire hydrant shaped piece of marble cheddar. Under that are some fresh blackberries & strawberries (unshaped) and two little pieces of pound cake, one dog house & one dog!

And to answer the age old question, do doggies eat bento too? Collies do, especially if the bento contains sausage and is being shared by a 4 year old boy.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tuesday Snack Bento for Faith

Still on vacation mode, but tonight, we are heading out for a BBQ at our friends' house. F&B won't make it till tonight of course, but I don't want them eating a huge meal mid-afternoon either. I prepped snack boxes to get them through till dinner. ;o)



Faith has a turkey & cheese sandwich on one of the cute little mini sliders that I'm so fascinated with, topped with a cheese flower and a fishie flag. She has fresh jumbo blackberries and a fresh strawberry, a little bit of homemade granola bar, and some carrot sticks. Nana also had some Girl Scout cookies saved, so she has one of her favorite lemon ones tucked in the back.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 7



Welcome to "What's for Lunch" Wednesday, Week 7!!!

Thanks so much for joining in last week if you did and looking forward to seeing all the fun lunches this week!

Want to join in?

Just choose a bento you've made from the last week you want to share, copy the URL of that post from your blog (you may need to click on the title to get it), and enter it into the linky below.

Click on the "Add Your Link" button to add yours and follow the steps, it's simple, I promise!

Please add a link back here:
http://bentolunch.blogspot.com/search/label/what%27s%20for%20lunch%20wednesday
so that others can join in and see/share their bentos too.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Yum Yum Bento Box - Review



I was recently contacted to see if I'd be interested in receiving a copy of Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches to review on my blog. Being that I absolutely adore both Pikko's and Maki's blogs, I ,of course, had to say yes!

Read more ...

Another Simple Snack Bento

We're needing simple & easy bentos for out by the pool. Neither of the kids actually wants to stop swimming or playing long enough to eat, so portable is the way to go right now.

My mom stopped at a local bakery and bought what she called "pizza bread". It's fresh from the oven, sort of roll-like, topped with cheese & Italian seasonings, so good! I had to quarter it (they are huge) and turned it into pizza sandwiches for the kids with a bit of pepperoni & mozzarella cheese.



Each kid has a pizza sandwich of course, topped with one of the little picks we made for decoration, a bit of strawberry-blueberry granola bar, carrot sticks, fresh from the garden cucumber, and local fresh strawberries & blueberries. Yum!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Kids Cook Monday - Strawberry/Blueberry Granola Bars



After having so much fun last week with our The Kids Cook Monday project, we opted to do it again.



This time, Faith & I wanted to make more granola bars since we ran out of the ones I brought with us. We used my default recipe, but this time added dried blueberries and strawberries! The fruit was naturally dehydrated with no additives, and coupled with organic oats and local honey. It is seriously a great recipe and the kids love this version too.

It's also the perfect recipe for kids to help with, lots of opportunities for them to help in this recipe. Faith got to chop the dried strawberries into smaller pieces so they were nice & small for the bars.



And plenty of stirring. Actually, a whole lot of stirring once the honey was added in. Since we're still at my mom's, the big wooden spoon she is using was actually my great-grandmother's!



And of course, lots of spredding & pressing the dough into the pan before we baked it.


As always, this was followed by plenty of sampling. Another successful granola bar combination.
 

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