Friday, June 29, 2012

Hormel June - Summer Staycation

We're going to be doing a lot of stay-cationing this summer. We surprised the kids with a trip to California at the end of May/early June, to take them to Disneyland, but the rest of the summer is going to be hanging out in Colorado, our first summer here in the Springs.

Both kids spend their mornings at swim team, then Ben had Cub Scout camp last week  We found some great hiking trails over at the park it was at, so I took the Dante pup for several morning hikes.  We are really hoping the smoke from the wildfires clears up soon, there's so many awesome outdoor activities here and we would love to try some of them out!

We're also loving Colorado weather for grilling.  If you haven't checked out the Summer Food Love post, you'll see why.  It's all about yummy food and veggie co-ops and my grill.

We also hit a *major* sale at the commissary and stocked upon tons of the Hormel pork loins and beef loins.  One of the guys in the husband's unit gave me the perfect tip for barbecuing them.  Cut them in half (or thirds if you buy bigger ones) and place each half in a brown paper lunch sack.  Poor any extra marinade into the bags.  Roll up the bags and wrap each bag in plastic wrap, then wrap again with an outer layer of tinfoil.  Place on the grill and until the wrappers puff up and the internal temperature reads right.

This is seriously the best pork tenderloin I have had.  We used the Hormel Honey Mustard Tenderloin the other night, but I've got an Apple-Bourbon, Mesquite BBQ, teriyaki, and lemon garlic to try out this way, along with a beef teriyaki tenderloin, it's going to be yummy around here.

I'd love to hear your favorite barbecue tips too, if you'd like to share!

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. 

Fourth of July Bento Ideas

Well, to be fair, it's not really a bento. The ideas are perfectly useful for a bento, but at the time of making it, I had a dishwasher I forgot to turn on (so full of dirty dishes) and a sink also full of dirty dishes. That thwarted my plan of empty dishwasher and reload, so instead, I'm using a plate which is much easier than a hand washable only bento.

The other part that amused me is that, short of the silicone cup, all the accessories are from the Dollar Tree, so it's bento ideas on the cheap! The star cookie cutter came from a bag of Christmas cutters from the Dollar Tree, the heart shaped picks came in a box of 100, and the flag pick is from a set of cupcake wrappers and picks.

So what is for lunch? A triple decker ham and cheese sandwich on 12-grain bread, all cut into stars (hint, cut all the pieces first, then assemble).  It's topped with a paper flag and mini cheese stars from the scraps.  There's blueberry and raspberry kebabs and some whipped cream in the blue star to dip them in, some extra cheese stars, and the letters USA cut from cherry fruit leather from Stretch Island Fruit Company.  I rather liked it.

Since it's holiday themed, there's also a great blog hop to follow for more ideas.  Click here to check out Molly's Lunch Box for another great meal idea.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Food Love


I think I mentioned before that the kids and I were planning to use summer as a chance to really experiment in the kitchen, not just with bentos, but with yummy food and ideas that might have bento potential at a later date. So far? So good. We're having a great time and eating a ton of yummy things!


My SIL got me a quesadilla maker for Christmas and it is now up there on my top favorite kitchen gadgets (along with my mini-chopper and my boiled egg slicer). Couple minutes to heat up, fill tortillas, close and seal for 5 minutes and perfect quesadillas.

Ben and I figured out a great dessert fruit quesadilla too--just mix a bit of cream cheese with a wee bit of sugar (I used maybe a 1/2 teaspoon). Spread it on a tortilla, top with thin slices of berries then another quesadilla, and cook. Sooooooo good!


Since Colorado is generally cooler than Texas (well, minus the wildfire part), we've been taking advantage of the grilling weather.  These kebabs were from a few days ago and to die for--yellow squash, zucchini, onion, tomato and mushrooms, basted with garlic butter and grilled.  As you can tell, the zucchini and squash are big favorites, hence the extra kebab stick with just those two.


And if you haven't heard of Bountiful Baskets, you need to look it up (or at least find a fruit & veggie co-op in your area).  The above was last week's basket for us--2 lbs of cherries, 8 bananas, 2 mango, a cantaloupe, 4 nectarines, a shell of blueberries, 2 onions, celery, a head of romaine, 4 tomatoes, and a 5 lb bag of potatoes--all for $15!  I find the product really expensive here.  The cherries would have cost me nearly $6 at the commissary, add in the blueberries and cantaloupe and I would have been over $10 (I comparison shopped to show the husband the deal).  I am definitely ordering another one next week.

All photos were taken via Instagram, hence the funky filters. I've got my account linked up in the buttons on the top left if you're on it, or you can find me at "bourriquet76". It's not just food, you'll get lots of really cute puppy pictures too.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 109


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, June 25, 2012

Day Camp Day 4 Puzzle Bento

Ben's last day of Cub Scout Day Camp was on Thursday. We got to go at the end for a little end of camp ceremony with skits and the boys got their camp patches.

 Thursday *night* was another story, when after dinner, Ben showed us a splinter he got on Day 2 of camp and never mentioned till he couldn't bend his finger. We ended up going to the ER on post, where the doctor had to give him lidocaine, slice the splinter out, then superglue the wound together. A fun evening was not had by all.

But back to the bento ...


Ben had a ham sandwich on 12 grain bread, cut into puzzle pieces with a LunchPunch.  Since 12 grain bread doesn't always cut amazingly well, I topped it with baby swiss puzzle pieces to show off the look better.  On the right, he had kiwi, blueberry and cantaloupe, and for a sweet, he had blueberry pomegranate crisps.  Lunch is packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day Camp Day 3 Turtle Bento

Cub Scout camp is going awesome for Mr. Ben. He loves archery, they've made some awesome kites and snakes, and he fell asleep on the way home today. Of course, my goal is that he always has the coolest lunches, so today we went with turtles.


Ben has a turkey & cheese sandwich on multigrain rounds, cut in four and flipped to fit the corners of his box.  (The dot picks were from our California trip, so cute!)  The middle was cleared enough to fit in our turtle silicone cup, he's filled with some vanilla creme brûlée crisps.  To the right, there are pretzels, strawberries and blueberries with a turtle pick.  Lunch is packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).  I tried to use different boxes throughout camp, in the hopes of sharing ideas with the people around him. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 108

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, June 19, 2012

Second Day of Summer Camp Bento

Day 2 of summer camp and Mr. Ben is having a blast. Yesterday, they got to shoot BB guns and today, they got to shoot bows and arrows. For the almost 7 year old boy set, this is simply awesome.

Since we were thinking of camp themes for lunches, the boy and I came up with a bear.  Bears just go with camping, and in Colorado, apparently, we do have bears.  Since his camp is in the middle of the day, in the middle of the city, my assumption is that he won't see real bears, so a cheese one will have to do.


Ben has a cream cheese and jelly sandwich on multi-grain rounds, topped with a cute little bear, designed by yours truly with circle cutters.  He's made of muenster cheese, except for his muzzle (swiss) and accented with cucumber bits.  Around the sandwich, he has carrots and veggies straws, then the bottom tier is all fruits--kiwi, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.  He also had a Yoda cookie in the part of the bento that should hold chopsticks.  Snacks were similar to yesterday--cheese and crackers, fruits and yogurt.

And it's blog hop time again, summer themed!  Click here to visit Cristi at BentOnBetterLunches to see what she is cooking up!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Ben's First Day of Cub Scout Camp Bento

The boy is off to Cub Scout this week. This past year was his first year in Scouts and he got his Tiger badge. In the fall, he starts as a Wolf Cub (and the husband has agreed to be one of the troop leaders). However, out of everything, I think he was most excited about day camp.

I was too--in the initial email, it was asked to bring lunch in reusable containers, to cut down on the trash generated. I can DO reusable containers! It's the disposable ones I have problems with.


This is one of the bentos I bought on our California trip--it's three tiered, but none of the layers are huge. It's great for separating out the fruit with no leakage. Faith has one in pink as well.

Ben has:
Top layer--ham and cheese sandwich on Nature's Own sandwich rounds, topped with an American flag pick and "Cub Scouts" cut out of cheese to decorate it
Middle layer--strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe and raspberries with chocolate chips inside
Bottom layer--veggie straws and a Darth Vader cookie

They also had to bring snacks, so I used several individual containers that I normally use for yogurt/granola.  One held strawberry yogurt, one had a sliced kiwi and some more blueberries, and the third had Triscuit crisps and some cheese.  He ate everything.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Featured Friday - It's All About Cars!

Since it's summer, I've decided it's also a good time to go back to Featured Friday posts to share some of my favorite things I've seen online, and this week, it's all about cars!

Ben's always been a car fan and there are so many cute ways to incorporate them into lunches.  What little guy wouldn't be thrilled to open up his lunch and find some cute little vehicles?  (Side note: Ben and I are both really disappointed that we missed the opening of Carsland at CA Adventure by only a week.  I did, however, get to go to Toyota headquarters as part of their women's blogging network;  I think I may want a Prius now or a Rav4.)


This car-themed bento is actually one of mine, from our MO road trip last summer.  The car is a perfectly sized cookie cutter, and the wheels match my circle fondant cutter to make the tires stand out.


The car shaped egg-mold is a long time favorite of Ben's (you can buy one here on Amazon, get a bunny/bear pack too, they are so cute).  This was a preschool snack bento, with a lack of fruit, because that morning Ben ate half a cantaloupe.  It was a safer choice to avoid more fruit.


This race car driver from Bento Monsters is absolutely darling!  There are 4 different car themed bentos in her post, you have to see them all.


I love these cute apple and grape cars from Cristi at BentOnBetterLunches, and they are easy to make too! Wouldn't these be an awesome classroom snack? 


I saw this car bento from Nina at Mamabelly's Lunches with Love the other day and have since decided that I *need* those sandwich presses and probably a few others.  They are too cute!


Jenn at Bento for Kidlet's cheese artwork always amazes me.  Check out this awesome car themed bento to celebrate her son's Pinewood Derby races.

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.)


Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of Toyota.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fish Bento for My Little Swimmers

Swim team has started up again for F&B which means they are both tired and ravenous.  They loved swim team last summer in TX and I managed to find a team near where we live in CO which makes driving there not too bad.  I can drop them off, run errands or come home and hang out with the puppy, then just pick them up an hour later.

 

Today, the kids are having ham and cheese sandwiches on Nature's Own multigrain sandwich rounds, along with strawberry yogurt, strawberries, raspberries with chocolate chips inside (Pinterest find, yum), and Beanfield's Rice & Bean Nacho chips (these are awesome, top-8 allergen free and with 4 grams of protein in them).

Lunch is packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 107



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, June 11, 2012

Summertime Non Bento - Asian Chicken Salad, Curried Corn Muffins & Recipes


It's rather officially summer now. We're home from vacation, swim team started today, and it's a gorgeous sunny day in Colorado.

As for lunch, there was an executive decision made to alternate bento and non-bento lunches, depending on the food and mood, as I had some recipes to try out that may lend themselves to bento at a future date. Today, however, we decided to use my pretty sushi plates, because we can. (They are dishwasher safe which makes them amazing.)


Today, the kids had an Asian chicken salad, curried corn muffins, carrots, cucumber flowers, sliced strawberries and raspberries with chocolate chips inside them. I loved the way the plate looked afterwards, so you'll be seeing more of the sushi plates soon.

Recipes below:

Asian Chicken Salad 
2 cans, canned chicken, or 1 large chicken breast (I cook mine in the mini-crockpot)
2-3 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup toasted sesame salad dressing
1/4 cup toasted almonds
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • Drain the chicken and place in batches in a mini-chopper to finely dice, set aside.
  • Place toasted almonds in the mini-chopper and run till roughly chopped.
  • Combine almonds, chicken, green onion and sesame seeds till mixed well.
  • Add mayonnaise and salad dressing and stir till blended.
  • Refrigerate immediately.
Curried Corn Muffins
My favorite base corn muffin recipe:
1 c flour
1 c cornmeal
3 tblsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 c milk
1 stick melted butter or margarine
1 large egg

PLUS 1/2 Tbsp yellow curry powder
  • Preheat oven to 400, spray muffin cups thoroughly with baking spray.
  • Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, whisk the milk, butter and egg together.
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones and gently stir until the batter is evenly moistened.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.
  • Cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Another Older Bento for Faith

We're home from vacation, we've got food and should have some new material for this coming week.  And I'm also thinking of blogging out some new recipes we try along the way, bentos or not).  I also bought some awesome new bento stuff for me while in LA and was very thrilled to get a note from Cub Scout Day Camp requesting reusable lunches to cut down on their trash footprint. I am *more* than happy to comply.  (I'd actually be having more trouble with disposable lunches, I used all my saved containers for end of the year field trips.)

But for now, I still have a bento from the school year that I can share. By the pink box and background, this one was obviously for Faith.


She had a stuffed muffin, although at this point, I have no idea what it was.  From the color, it's likely chili, but there's a chance of taco as well.  To the right is a mini cupcake, probably pink lemonade because I don't remember making any other mini cupcakes in recent months, strawberries, grapes and carrots.

It's kind of weird because even a simple, non-embellished lunch looks so much nicer when it's all set out neatly in a box.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 106

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, June 5, 2012

Mini-Sandwich Bento

Well, we are on vacation (still), but the internet at our last hotel was less than ideal. As in, it didn't work. So I gave up over the weekend, enjoyed Disneyland with F&B, did some bento shopping in California, then we moved to a new hotel this morning. Now we have internet again!!!

As mentioned, I saved some old bentos to blog while we were away, and in keeping with our obsession with all things miniature, we have mini-sandwiches!


This is obviously a Faith bento, as I know it's her box, and well, it's got a pink bunny pick and pink paper.  She had mini-cream cheese and jelly sandwiches on pumpernickel, along with carrots, grapes and strawberries.  Despite how small the box looks, it hold a fair amount of food for her, especially if you add in something like a yogurt to go with.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Yoda Pop Bento

Happy Summer Everyone!

We're actually in California right now, enjoying a bit of vacation now that school is out in Colorado. We took the kids to LA since they have never been to Disneyland, then we'll hit the beach, maybe San Diego and SeaWorld, and my awesome husband drove me all over LA to do some bento shopping on Wednesday.

I did save a few bentos from school to blog while we were gone, since I hate just not posting for a week (and figured you all didn't want to see vacation pictures).


In this bento, Ben had a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat rounds, accented with a Yoda pop.  We made the Yoda pops for Star Wars Day, so saved a picture to blog in the future.  Yoda is actually made from my favorite sugar cookie dough (I'll post that when we get home, forgot to bring the recipe with me), colored with a bit of green food coloring.  I thought he turned out pretty awesome.  To the right, Ben has carrots, pretzels, blackberries and strawberries ... and a fork to eat them with.  It's all packed in our Easy Lunchboxes, the only one the Yoda pop fits into.
 

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