Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 83

What's for Lunch Wednesday

Welcome to "What's for Lunch" Wednesday!!!

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 (please, just one bento or post or link) 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!


Monday, December 26, 2011

Hormel - Christmas Leftover Meal Ideas

December's Hormel questions are all about Christmas, holiday food, and one of my favorite things, what to do with the leftovers!

Since we are not actually home for Christmas, I'm a little sad to say that we are not going to have a plethora of leftover ham at our house to cook with, as we did after Thanksgiving with our 14lb bacon covered turkey monstrosity. However, the kind folks at Hormel did send samples of their diced ham, so I have ham to cook with (and honestly, their bagged, cubed ham is preferable to dicing up my own ham)!


So, what can one do with a whole lot of leftover ham?

For bentos, of course, I have to recommend mini quiches or ham and cheese stuffed muffins, or a batch of each. Just make and freeze for quick and easy lunches! The quiche recipe is also great for make ahead dinners. I usually have a pan or two of quiche in my freezer, just make it but freeze before baking. I also want to make a batch of breakfast burritos to freeze individually for Shaun & the kids.

Freezing your leftover ham for later on is always an option. You can freeze leftover ham for up to six months, but the National Food and Safety Database recommends two months for the best quality. Chop and freeze ham in meal-sized portions for easier access when you're looking to cook a quick, last-minute meal.

For an easy and elegant appetizer, top toasted French bread slices with diced ham, thinly sliced pear, and thinly sliced Fontina cheese. Broil 1 to 3 minutes to melt the cheese and serve. These are lovely with a cup of soup for lunch, as well as an appetizer.

Since I plan to make a few ham dishes (come January 1st, we are back into full-fledged meal planning, since life will have calmed down), I've been browsing the Hormel site for ideas. A few of my "we're going to try them" items include:
So share with me, any other brilliant ham ideas, utilizing leftover or diced ham? I could use a few more suggestions, that don't involved ham slices or a whole ham.

Disclosure: I have received product and information from Hormel Foods in exchange for being a Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger. All opinions expressed within the post are my own.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

From Our Family to Yours

Merry Christmas!!!


(This was our Christmas card photo this year,
taken at Keystone, CO, a few weeks ago)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Featured Friday

And some more awesome Christmas ideas, coming to my rescue!

Gingerbread Friends bento from Family Fresh Meals

I CAN Catch the Gingerbread Man! from Biting the Hand that Feeds You

A Christmas Lunch from Crazy? ... Maybe!

Fun Christmas Pancake Art from A Pocket Full of Buttons

As always, all pictures belong to their blog owners, click on them or their attached links to see the full posts on the original sites. (If you would prefer your link not featured, please let me know and I will remove it.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Featured Friday, the prequel

So, what do you do when you realize you're supposed to be leaving for Christmas vacation and managed to lose all the pictures you saved to feature?

You depend on some awesome bento friends to come to your rescue!

I asked a few sweet friends if they mind helping out by sharing a favorite Christmas bento or post and I was overwhelmed with the response, enough for two days worth! Just click on the pictures of links to see the awesome posts with more detail!

Up on the Housetop bento from Keeley McGuire

Welcome Jack Frost muffin cup meal from Bent On Better Lunches

The Nutcracker Suite bento from Happy Little Bento

And a great idea from Kelly at EasyLunchboxes for reusable cookie exchange containers!
Want to buy EasyLunchboxes? You can order through our affiliate link on Easy Lunchboxes or on Amazon)!

As always, all pictures belong to their blog owners, click on them or their attached links to see the full posts on the original sites. (If you would prefer your link not featured, please let me know and I will remove it.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 82

What's for Lunch Wednesday

Welcome to "What's for Lunch" Wednesday!!!

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 (please, just one bento or post or link) 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!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Random Bento, from who knows when!

Well, I found one of the bentos I saved for the holiday weeks! Still not the one I was hoping for (it was a really cute lunchable-style one), but at least I have something to share!


What can I tell you about this bento? Well, it appears to be a ham and cheese sandwich on a fluffy roll, which means we likely had BBQ sandwiches around that time (since that's the only time I buy fluffy rolls. Below that are some kind of crisps, blueberry or apple more than likely. On the upper right, there's a pasta salad with ham and peas and probably a ranch style dressing, and below that, it's honeydew!

And obviously, because of the pink box? It's Faith's!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Kids Cook Monday - Christmas Cookies


In a moment of utter genius, I managed to delete the bentos I had saved to fill in this Christmas week with at least a couple of posts. So much for that plan. So plan two involves some of my other cooking adventures. This week, for The Kids Cook Monday, F&B and I have been making Christmas cookies.

Now I've made several other kinds, including sherbet macaroons, almond fudge, jam filled sugar cookies and chocolate peppermint ones, but these two were the most kid friendly.

iPhone picture, the real camera was drying out from a water incident.

Zebra nibbles aren't exactly cookies. Use grid pretzels and top each with a Hershey's Hug, or we used Peppermint Kisses. Bake for about 5 minutes on whatever your oven is on, until the kisses get soft, but not melted. Remove from the oven and top each with an M&M, pressing down so the the kiss spreads out a bit. Other than the oven, F&B do these on their own.

Gingerbread reindeer were more cookie-ish. Use your favorite gingerbread recipe (or in a pinch, the Pillsbury refrigerated gingerbread is pretty good). Roll it out, cut circles, decorate with pretzel antlers and M&M eyes and noses, bake per the recipe. For these, I did the cutting, F&B did the decorating.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 81

What's for Lunch Wednesday

Welcome to "What's for Lunch" Wednesday!!!

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 (please, just one bento or post or link) 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!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Reindeer Cookie Bento

I was trying to figure out what kind of holiday bento to make F&B this morning when Ben said to me "You know, I would like a reindeer cookie in my lunch, that could be the decoration."

While I think that was his not-so-subtle way of getting his current cookie of choice, I didn't see a problem with the logic. One cute cookie = one decoration!


So the boy had a ham and cheese sandwich on multigrain rounds, topped with the coveted reindeer cookie. These are gingerbread reindeer, cut into circles, with M&M eyes and noses and pretzel antlers. To the right, he had blackberries and cantaloupe (a few of the blackberries are still frozen, not dusty). It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon), since the reindeer cookies don't fit in most of our boxes.

Monday, December 12, 2011

More Christmas Bento, This Time with Cookies!

We started doing a little Christmas baking yesterday! So far, we made Zebra Nibbles (pretzels with Candy Cane Kisses and M&Ms), orange sherbet macaroons, chocolate almond fudge, and gingerbread reindeer (pretzel antlers and M&M eyes and noses). Of course, there's no sense in making these if a couple don't make it into lunches!


Ben had a ham and cheese sandwich on multigrain rounds, quartered to fit in his container and topped with a sugar reindeer. For sides, he had a couple of the macaroons and a couple of the zebra nibbles, plus cantaloupe and blackberries, all packed in a 4-square Lock & Lock. The stupid refrigerator froze my cucumber, so I need to buy more veggies.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Santa Goldfish Bento

I'm really enjoying the holiday themed bentos, but I also really needed to finish out the last two Goldfish breads we had in the fridge. With a little bit of ingenuity, some cheese, and my kitchen shears, we have Santa Fishie!


Santa Fishie is made from Goldfish bread, filled with turkey and cheese, and topped with a Santa Fishie hat (marble cheese with swiss trim) and a happy fishie sugar eye. To go with him, we have pretzels, a granola bar and some cantaloupe. Santa Fishie is riding to school in style in his Easy Lunchboxes sleigh (also available on Amazon).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Frosty the Snowman Bento

Of course, since Ben had to have a cute Santa bento the other day, I couldn't leave out my girl. She said she would take a Santa too, but it's more fun to have two different themes (which of course means 2 different posts).


Faith had a similar sandwich to Ben (roast beef), but decorated with a Frosty the Snowman! He's made from swiss cheese, with cheddar hat and nose, and bits of cucumber peel for eyes and buttons. I forgot carrots at the grocery store or he would had had stick arms too. To the right, she has some pretzels and M&Ms trail mix, and cantaloupe, since she doesn't like blackberries.

Lunch is packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon). These are perfect for sandwich creations since there's more space, and Faith (unlike Ben) does not swing her box around.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 80

What's for Lunch Wednesday

Welcome to "What's for Lunch" Wednesday!!!

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 (please, just one bento or post or link) 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!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Santa Bento for Ben

Ben doesn't typically request anything specific for his bento, the occasional item, but not really a theme. However, the other day, he told me that he really wanted a Santa bento, so I had to fill the request for my little guy.


Santa started out with a roast beef sandwich on multigrain rounds to provide the base. No cheese in the sandwich because I needed to use quite a bit to construct Santa. His beard is swiss, cut out with kitchen sheers, as is the trim on his hat and the pompom ball. The hat itself is cheddar because I had no idea what could be red other than fruit leather (which I don't have). His nose is a bit of pepperoni and some cucumber peel makes the rest of his eyes. To go with that, Ben has blackberries (on sale this week, 10 for $10, so we bought 6) and some pretzel and holiday M&M trail mix.

Lunch is packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon), in order to get Santa to keep his shape. Shaun dropped the kids off at school today and said Santa would be lucky to make lunch the way Ben was swinging his bag around. Oops. ;o)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Snowy Weekend Bento

We decided to take advantage of Colorado living and headed out to ski this weekend. We have season passes for Keystone and A-Basin, since they are both drivable for day trips, and they seemed like a good place to teach F&B to ski.

That was Saturday. Sunday, we were tired, cold, and it started to snow, so Monday lunches were made from what was in the fridge. However, grocery shopping is imperative, so that's where we are going after school.


Faith had a cream cheese and jelly sandwich on goldfish bread, complete with a sugar eye. To go with it, she had some pretzels, some cucumber snowflakes and an apple. Have you seen the puzzle apple on Pinterest yet? Cut it, piece it back together, rubber band it, and it will keep without browning! Perfect for the kids lunches. It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon), as it was the only container I could smush the apple into.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Snowman Bento for Ben

Today, the weather in Colorado Springs was calling for snow, so I opted for a bento in that theme. However, while it is cold outside, it's quite sunny and clear today, so gathering that the weatherman was just a little bit wrong! On the plus side, Ben liked the snowmen decorations this morning.


Ben has a turkey & ham sandwich two kinds of cheese (cheddar & provolone) on sandwich thins, topped with a little sugar snowman. To go with that, he has carrots, cantaloupe, and some pretzels, accented with an extra snowman pick. It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon), so the sandwich could lay flat.
 

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