Friday, March 30, 2012

Hormel March - Final Four Challenge

March's Hormel Challenge was to create a recipe, perfect for snacking on during the Final Four. BBQ sandwiches sounded wonderful, but BBQ is so messy when you are trying to watch tv that I just had to fix it.

Instead of BBQ sandwiches, I tweaked a few of my favorite recipes and came up with a BBQ Pork Pie. (Or, as my husband put it, "You made meat bread?") However, BBQ Pork Pie sounds so much more appealing than meat-bread, so I am going with that.


The recipe is simple, versatile, and seems to go great with a variety of toppings. My mom preferred horseradish sauce, the kids and I liked cheese, and it was also suggested that some kind of a spicy jalapeƱo blend might go well for those who like spicy BBQ. Alternatively, you could chop jalapeƱos into the batter, but I had to feed F&B so no spicy peppers.

BBQ Pork Pie:
1 cup baking mix
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan
2 eggs
1 cup Lloyd's Barbecue Pork in Original Sauce (this is the red containers)
2 tbsp minced onion flakes
1 tsp oregano (or basil-orgeano blend)

In a bowl, combine baking mix, parmesan and spices.
Beat in oil and eggs.
Mix in barbecue pork until well blended.
In a well greased pie pan, spread the mixture evenly.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool for 5 minutes, slice and serve!


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. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 96

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!



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 95

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, March 20, 2012

Bunny Bento for Faith

When Faith was really little, we went to a playdate at a friend of a friend's house. The hostess has little mini finger sandwiches with teeny breads, an herb cream cheese, and thinly sliced cucumber. Faith was enamored with those little breads, but I haven't bought them since we lived in our first house. While at King Sooper's (Colorado's answer to Kroger), they had a loaf of mini pumpernickel bread on sale, and I had to buy it.


Today, Faith had two mini sandwiches (I think ham & cheddar) on the mini pumpernickel bread, topped with bunny picks for the cute factor. To go with it, she had carrots, caramel vanilla crisps, strawberry yogurt, strawberries and grapes. It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chili Muffins, Lemonade Cupcakes, and Bento, Oh My!

Taking requests for ideas from the kids and these were two of the winners. Faith has been wanting pink lemonade cupcakes since last week when we made Thin Mint ones for Girl Scouts (lemonade was the runner-up), and Ben wanted stuffed muffins, so we went with chili cornbread muffins. The nice part? I have a bunch of stuff for my freezer stash since Spring Break is next week.



Both kids had similar lunches today--a chili cornbread muffin, two mini pink lemonade cupcakes, a cutie orange, grapes, and carrots. Snack was cheese and crackers, in a separate container.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Bento with Ben's Help

Another bento from earlier this week, with a little design help from Mr. Ben, who wanted his name written in ham. Why ham, I have no idea, but you want ham? You get ham around here.


Ben had a cheese quesadilla with his BEN in ham on top. To go with that, he had strawberries, blueberries, a cutie orange, and a brownie bite. He's also been on a yogurt and granola kick, so he had that in a different container for snack. We are packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon), I've been on a dishwasher kick lately, so using lots of dishwasher safe containers.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Another Homemade Lunchable Bento

After a small mishap where I couldn't find my camera card reader, it has been recovered (from the drawer that I likely put it in so I'd remember where it was). Thankfully, I took pictures all week long, so I have some bento backlog to share with you all.

But first, a St. Patrick's bento story--on Thursdays, I have lunch with F&B after I help out at their school. One of the little girls in Ben's class came up to me yesterday and said "I really love Ben's lunches, he always has the coolest stuff. The shamrock lunch yesterday? The lunch teacher even took a picture of it!" The first graders are adorable.



The other day, Ben wanted a lunchable-style lunch, but only with food he liked in it, so we made our own.  This one is actually Faith's, but his would be the same with a few blueberries too.  They had sharp cheddar cheese cubes, some rolled turkey, Ritz crackers, carrot sticks, and strawberries.  Not picture, they had yogurt and granola.  I've been buying yogurt and packaging it separately for them, so I can have a weeks worth of grab&go yogurt just waiting in the fridge for lunches, in reusable containers of course!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 94

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, March 13, 2012

An Early St. Patrick's Day Bento!

Much like Valentine's Day and Dr. Seuss's birthday, some bento friends and I decided to pick a day and formulate a blog hop to share off some awesome St. Patrick's Day ideas, before the holiday occurs!

I couldn't decide between one of two ways, so thought I would showcase both. Both kids have cream cheese and jelly sandwiches (the formations vary), key lime yogurt with shamrock sprinkles, a Thin Mint cupcake from the 100th birthday at Girl Scouts last night, some carrots, some strawberries, and both have a cutie orange in a separate container for a snack. The main lunches are packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon). On to the sandwich options ...


This option works well if you don't have a shamrock cutter. The odds are much greater that you have hearts and 4 hearts pointed in the middle make a rather nice 4 leaf clover! The stem was just trimmed quickly with a knife to make it a little more shamrock-like.


This option showcases my shamrock cutter and led me to discover one more option for what to do with the extra bread. Now typically, I try to cram as many sandwich pieces onto one slice of bread, then save the crusts for croutons, but this time, I cut through the center and saved the pieces for egg in a hole this morning! No waste whatsoever.


As for the blog hop, I'd highly recommend hopping over to visit Astrid at Lunches Fit for a Kid to see what she is cooking up, the follow the links around to some other awesome blogs!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Fried Noodle Bento

On Thursdays, I helped out at F&B's school around 10am. Faith has lunch at 11am and Ben's is right after hers. Since I'm coming in later, they just take a snack and I've been trying to bring them a warmer lunch since I can cook it or heat it right before I go there.

This week, we did fried noodles with chicken. Pretty simple really--cook ramen noodles with the seasonings, let them sit and soften, then drain the broth. Fry them in a wee bit of oil, some seasonings, and add some diced chicken (we had leftover chicken tenders, so already cooked too). As usual, nothing too fancy, but a nice trade from the typical cold lunches. The husband figures it would make a good cold noodle dish too.


Ben had his fried noodles, along with strawberries, blueberries, a cutie orange (their new obsession) and two Girl Scout Savannah Smiles cookies. (FYI, the cookies are awesome, very lemon-y.) It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 93

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, March 5, 2012

A Quick Dino Bento with new Gluten Free, Allergy Free Treat

As I've mentioned in other posts regarding gluten-free bentos, I am NOT the expert in this area, especially since no one in my house has issues with gluten or with food allergies in general. Hence, the need to have some friends share ideas regarding school lunches, bento, and GF alternatives.

But sometimes, I do find things that catch my eye and remember that I've had blog questions about GF or allergy free foods. We were given packages of Bee Nut Free products in a Christmas basket this year and had to share. Bee Nut Free is a local Colorado company that produces a line of gluten free treats that are also nut and dairy free. As well, most of their treats are free from the top 8 allergens, except for ones with chocolate that do contain soy.

ETA: The people from Bee Nut Free just contacted me--the chocolate is now soy-free as well, so all products are free of the top 8 allergens!

One more ETA: From Bee Nut Free again - We do not use a dedicated line for the sunflower seed spread cookies therefore, I cannot claim to be "free of soy" - SunButter is manufactured on equipment that processes soy.

Now, if you want true reviews of something like this, it's from F&B, considering they both can eat regular foods as well. Today, in their bentos, they had the Bee Nut Free granola bars and the Sunny Honey Cookie Bites. They both loved the granola bars and Ben also liked the cookies. Shaun sampled Faith's cookies too and pronounced them good (high praise from the guy who bought and froze half a dozen boxes of Thin Mints). So definitely, we'd recommend these, and in finding the website for you, I discovered they are located right by where we go skiing!


Back to the bento, Ben had a turkey and muenster sandwich on multigrain rounds, topped with a cheddar dinosaur. On top of that are his aforementioned cookies and granola bar. To the right, he has strawberry yogurt, kiwi and some frozen blackberries (because I ran out of non-frozen fruits). It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Today you are You, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is Youer than You

Today is Dr. Seuss's birthday and we had to have a celebratory bento. Narrowing down a choice was hard, but F&B saw the Green Eggs and Ham ideas and immediately decided that was what they had to have. I'm also partial to Ten Apples Up on Top, as this was the first book Ben read independently without having seen it before (it was at my mom's house a couple of summers ago). I was going to make apple chips to go along with that, but halfway through the first batch, the microwave blew and well, we had to switch to another idea.


Ben has green eggs, of course, and ham, in the shape of a ham salad pocket, with SEUSS cutouts on top. To the upper right, we have some candied green eggs (another story in and of itself, I forgot to buy M&Ms) on top of the still yummy, but not great looking, apple chips. To the lower right, there are strawberries, which have no Seussical significance, just the need to be eaten today. It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).

After the fun we had with the Valentine's Blog Hop, some bento friends and I decided on a Seuss themed one today as well. Check out Astrid at Lunches Fit for a Kid and her awesome Yertle the Turtle bread!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Spaghetti & Meatball Cupcake Bento! Now with garlic toast

Of course, we couldn't make spaghetti & meatball cupcakes without also making a bento featuring them!

I helped out at the kids' school this morning, so I told them I'd bring their lunches with me, which gave me a chance to cook up a quick slice of garlic bread. It's nothing exciting, just buttered bread, sprinkled with garlic powder and fried till a bit crispy, then melted cheese, but they both love it!


Ben had two spaghetti & meatball cupcakes, a slice of garlic bread, strawberry yogurt, a kiwi and strawberry slices. Faith had the same, but no kiwi. She doesn't like kiwi. It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).

I just noticed the main course side kind of looks like a smiley face! I may have to plan that better next time and shape the garlic bread.
 

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