Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 48

What's for Lunch Wednesday

Welcome to "What's for Lunch" Wednesday, Week 48!!!

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://www.bentolunch.net/search/label/what%27s%20for%20lunch%20wednesday
so that others can join in and see/share their bentos too.

If you'd like a button to link back with, it's over in the side bar, with the code!

Trouble adding your link? Leave it in the comments & I can add it for you!


Monday, April 25, 2011

The Kids Cook Monday - Bacon Cheddar Deviled Eggs


Welcome to our after-Easter edition of The Kids Cook Monday, aka what else can you do with a million and one boiled eggs. This week, we're making Bacon-Cheddar Deviled Eggs, recipe provided by my mom (aka Nana).



14 hard-cooked eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup crumbled cooked bacon
1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or green onion tops

1.Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks to a medium bowl. Reserve 24 white halves; finely chop remaining 4 white halves.

2.Mash yolks with fork. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, and pepper; mix well. Add chopped egg whites, bacon, cheese, and chives; mix well.

3.Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon yolk mixture into each reserved egg white half. Refrigerate, covered, to blend flavors.

If you have time, check out my thoughts on "The Best Part of Waking Up" and more information on the new Folger's jingle contest, including chances to win!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Egg Ideas for Bento!

While everyone is busy getting ready for Easter, there still lies the age old question--what to do with the rest of the boiled eggs???

Now, we'll probably make egg salad and/or eat them plain, but wanted to share two fun ideas I blogged out last year that are so cute in bentos!



Easter Egg deviled egg chicks! Cut the egg in half across the middle, scoop out the filling, mix it up a bit, then rescoop with a melon baller and put back into the egg white. These ones have carrot beaks and two jimmies as the eyes. Cucumber, raisin, red lettuce, etc, also work great for eyes, I just didn't have it at the time of the original post.



Egg bunnies! These are the ones I made for Ben's preschool picnic last year. Cut the egg in half lengthwise, then decorate with carrot ears and cucumber/red lettuce/spinach faces.



Of course, you could still make egg salad! We liked our bunny wraps with egg salad--make your wrap, then cut two little slits in the top for carrot bunny ears and decorate the face!

In case I don't make lunch tomorrow, Hoppy Easter in advance! :)

If you have time, check out my thoughts on "The Best Part of Waking Up" and more information on the new Folger's jingle contest, including chances to win!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 47

What's for Lunch Wednesday

Welcome to "What's for Lunch" Wednesday, Week 47!!!

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://www.bentolunch.net/search/label/what%27s%20for%20lunch%20wednesday
so that others can join in and see/share their bentos too.

If you'd like a button to link back with, it's over in the side bar, with the code!

Trouble adding your link? Leave it in the comments & I can add it for you!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Accidental Bento

Don't you just love when happy cooking accidents results in delicious results?

These cheesy roll-ups are one of those kinds of happy accidents. I opened the drawer in the fridge to get out sandwich rounds and discovered that one of my crescent roll cans had split at the seam. Since I couldn't bear to waste delicious crescent roll dough, I had to figure out a way to salvage it.

I googled ideas, combined those with my own thoughts and came up with some lovely cheesy crescent roll pinwheels.



The result? Yummy accidental snack bentos. Ben has a cheesy roll up pinwheel, along with cucumbers and cantaloupe, a great after taekwondo snack!

If you're curious as to the pinwheels:

Combine a few teaspoons of mayo, a few teaspoons of Philly Cooking Creme (I used the Italian Herb & Cheese), a pinch of garlic, and a few handfuls of shredded cheese into a bowl.

Mix till combined, then spread over the rolled out crescent dough.

Roll it up, slice into pinwheels and bake per crescent roll directions (I think 375 for about 12 minutes, but double check your package to be sure).

These were divine out of the oven, I think I'm going to make them on purpose tonight, to go with our chicken alfredo. ;o)

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Kids Cook Monday - Faith's Lunch


I had really good intentions for this week's The Kids Cook Monday. Faith and I were going to make our favorite garlic cheddar biscuits. However, Shaun and I ended up working on cleaning out the garage, so dinner ended up being pizza.

While all the garage cleaning was going on, Faith stuck her head outside and asked what was for lunch. I told her I'd be a few minutes, unless she felt like making something for her & Ben. She said they were hungry, so she'd take care of it.

I came in to find this:



She made tossed salads with lettuce, cucumber, carrots and cheese, along with a bit of ranch, cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, veggie chips and diced cantaloupe. I'm very impressed, considering we were outside and the kids had the whole kitchen to themselves!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cut the Rope Bento

I know, I know, Angry Birds is all the rage for the iTouch, iPhone, iPad, whatever. Ben is a wee bit obsessed with it too.

However, I am a much bigger fan of Cut the Rope because of Om Nom. He's the cute little monster that you're trying to feed candy to, and I really wanted him in a bento. So today, Miss Faith has my Om Nom bento!


Om Nom is made from a combo of orange and white cheddars, with a bit of cucumber for his eyes. Technically, he's supposed to be green, but that's just a bad thing when related to cheese. He's sitting on top of a peppered turkey sandwich on multigrain rounds. To go with that, Faith has fresh pineapple, carrots, cucumbers and some veggie chips. It's all packed in one of our EasyLunchboxes, which are perfect to separate out the very juicy pineapple from my very cute Om Nom.

And if you don't know what Cut the Rope is, you really need to download it and partake my obsession with Om Nom.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 46

What's for Lunch Wednesday

Welcome to "What's for Lunch" Wednesday, Week 45!!!

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://www.bentolunch.net/search/label/what%27s%20for%20lunch%20wednesday
so that others can join in and see/share their bentos too.

If you'd like a button to link back with, it's over in the side bar, with the code!

Trouble adding your link? Leave it in the comments & I can add it for you!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

National Grilled Cheese Day Bento!

It's National Grilled Cheese Day! Really! I'm not making this up!

Of course, we had to have grilled cheese for lunch to observe this festive occasion. Personally, I like a blend of yummy cheese on my sandwiches, so I used a medium cheddar, havarti and an old white cheddar for these. Swiss would have been good too, but I'm out of that.



Ben had his grilled cheese sandwich, complete with a cheesy Ben on top, along with carrots, cucumber, fresh pineapple and a couple of mini chocolate chip cookies.

Hope you all had a Happy Grilled Cheese Day too!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Kids Cook Monday - Faith's Favorite Pork Chops


This week, I asked Faith what she thought we should share for The Kids Cook Monday. Her suggestion? Her favorite meal ever--pork chops with cream sauce and maple carrots!

Now, there really isn't a whole lot to this meal, I actually think I got the pork chop recipe from a big company recipe site (wanting to say Kraft). It's not terribly complicated, but Faith absolutely loves it, so that makes it worth sharing. It's also pretty simple, which does make it fun to cook with kids, and you probably have the ingredients in the pantry already.



Faith's Creamy Ranch Pork Chops
4-6 thin pork chops (bone in or boneless, your choice)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can (about 1 cup) milk
1 packet ranch dressing mix

Brown the pork chops in a frying pan, then transfer to a baking dish.
Combine soup, milk and dressing mix till mixed well, pour over pork chops.
Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees till sauce/gravy is bubbling.
**If you don't care for pork, the sauce works well on chicken breast too.

Faith's Maple Carrots
1 package baby carrots or 1 package frozen crinkle cut carrots
2 tsp butter
2-3 tsp pure maple syrup

Place carrots in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil.
Let carrots simmer until very soft/tender.
Remove from heat, drain water.
Add butter and maple syrup to the pot, cover till butter melts, then mix well.

Now, as for the stories behind these recipes?

The first time I ever made the carrots, Faith was maybe 2 and it was the first Easter I cooked dinner for the three of us. She ate nearly the entire pot of carrots on her own and started asking for them daily.

As for the pork chops, the first time we tried this recipe, I made 4 pork chops. Shaun took 1, I took 1, I split one for the kids, with an extra for Shaun later. The kids ate theirs. Then they ate Shaun's second one. And then they ate the rest of mine (I got 2 bites). And then they asked for more. When I make them now, I opt for at least 6 chops, and I still don't have leftovers.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Leftover Bento for Ben

We've been on a goal of cooking a lot more at home, for all meals. For us, this is a huge deal, as we are big "let's go out to dinner" kind of people. However, this means that we now have a ton of leftovers, so I'm experimenting with how to repurpose them, bento-style, for lunch!

Today, I present turkey joe wraps!



Ben has the leftover sloppy joe mix (made from ground turkey), wrapped in butter tortillas and sealed with a cute penguin pick. The penguin is more for functionality than looks, he has trouble with messy wraps still. To go with that, he has blueberry-pomegranate crisps and pretzels, then the entire top tier is filled with fruits. We have sliced strawberries, cantaloupe and grapes right now, so lots of the boy's favorites!

I've discovered that wraps may be one of the best ways of reusing the leftovers with a slightly different twist, and the butter tortillas from the Kroger bakery are awesome!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Side Dish Bento for my Husband

For the kids, it's easy to fit their entire lunch in a bento. For my husband, it's definitely possible, but very dependent on what he's eating. When he wants dinner leftovers, it works better to use other food storage containers as I don't really want him microwaving my good bento stuff. I also really don't want spaghetti sauce stains in my good stuff. ;o)

When that's the case, bentos still happen, they just happen to be side dishes only. I finally took a picture of one of the side dish bentos to share, I think it was on the side of leftover pasta.



Shaun has a spinach salad with onions, cucumbers, carrots and mushrooms, along with a fruit salad (strawberries, pineapple and cantaloupe), and a few mini banana nut muffins. He has salad dressing at the office, so it's just one EasyLunchboxes container that can go in the dishwasher!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 45

What's for Lunch Wednesday

Welcome to "What's for Lunch" Wednesday, Week 45!!!

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://www.bentolunch.net/search/label/what%27s%20for%20lunch%20wednesday
so that others can join in and see/share their bentos too.

If you'd like a button to link back with, it's over in the side bar, with the code!

Trouble adding your link? Leave it in the comments & I can add it for you!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Kids Cook Monday - Homemade Pesto


This week for The Kids Cook Monday, we made pesto.

I've mentioned it multiple times on the blog, we love it as a sandwich spread (mix a bit of pesto with a bit of cream cheese and use in lieu of mayo), and we love it as an addition to chicken or tuna salad (add a tsp or two with the mayo for great flavor), and it works great as a dressing in a cold pasta salad. All of these are awesome for bentos. And of course, we like it just with regular hot pastas too.

We typically make our own, but I'm not against buying it jarred in a pinch. It's a great cooking with kids experiment, you'll just need the ingredients and a good mini food processor/chopper. They can just add the ingredients and pulse till smooth, then stir into the hot pasta.

Simple Pesto for Kids:
3 cups chopped basil
1 cup evoo
2 cloves minced garlic (or a few heaping teaspoons of chopped garlic)
1 cup parmesan
1/2 cup pine nuts

***The most important part is to get the previous ingredients processed smoothly, before adding the next one***
In the chopper, process the basil till smooth & kind of paste-y, add a tsp or so of the oil to help.
Add garlic, process.
Add in parmesan, process.
Add pine nuts, process (watch to get these chopped well).
Mix rest of olive oil and continue to process until smooth.

Serve over hot pasta, refrigerate the rest for later.

Sorry no pics today, camera battery was dead and my iPhone pics did not turn out. Just trust me, it looked like pesto.

Don't forget, bidding for a starter bento kit to benefit earthquake relief in Japan is going on (use keyword bento4japan for all auctions).

And the giveaway for a Tangled dvd set runs through tomorrow.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Needing Bento Supplies?

And want to donate to a good cause while you're at it?

Right now, some bento friends are running a series of auctions on Ebay, with all the proceeds going to Japanese Earthquake Relief funds. F&B and I headed out shopping so we could contribute something too.

We tried to keep things neutral-ish, although Ben did lobby hard for a Peanut-themed box!



Our package features:
  • 1 two-tiered blue box with cute animals (bunny, raccoon & elephant), along with chopsticks & bento band to hold it together
  • 1 two-pack boiled egg molds (star and heart)
  • 1 twenty-pack of lunar new year animal picks (4 each of pink, blue, yellow, green and white with various animals on top)
  • 1 sandwich cutter to make animals and hearts
  • 1 three-pack of fruit cutters in animal shapes (bunny, bear and dog), the small dots on the edges are perfect for cutting eyes and noses!
Everything is new in packages (I used my stash to take pictures because of the wrappers).

It's listed for bids on Ebay here, so feel free to bid on it! :o)

Not quite what you're looking for? Use keywords "bento4Japan" to search for other auctions too!
 

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