Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Homemade Mini-Corndog Bento

Besides the obsession with bento, have you all noticed that I have a wee bit of a problem with cool kitchen gadgets?

One of my bento friends linked up to a sale on a mini-corndog maker on sale at Perpetual Kid for $5. Shipping was an additional $4 and despite the fact that I need another little machine like I need a hole in the head, I ordered one. The children and I eagerly anticipated its arrival, hoping it would be as cool as we had hoped.

The results??? Just look below!



Ben has three perfectly cooked mini corndogs, made with homemade batter and one of our favorite sausages.  (This is why the machine rocks, I can pick the ingredients!!!)  To go with that, he had carrot sticks, carrot coins, cucumber flowers, strawberries and raspberries with chocolate chips inside, all packed in a Paperchase box.

As for that cool little machine?  It also makes awesome sausage-stuffed pancakes!!!

 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hormel July - Grilling Fun & National Hot Dog Month

We're still loving our summer in Colorado and feeling very thankful that the fires are mostly contained near us. We're also really thankful we bought a gas grill which does not fall under any of the burn ban rules!

One of the fun challenges Hormel sent this month was do try a Grilling Stay-Cation, to incorporate the flavors of where you wish you traveled into what you are grilling at home, a destination themed meal!  That was definitely a challenge we could definitely accept.

My boys grilling in the backyard 
(We live in 60 year old base housing, so no luck on growing a lawn)

One of our favorite items on the grill to begin with is grilled pineapple, so we doctored that up a bit Brazilian-style with a dusting of cinnamon sugar.  I ordered 19lbs of pineapple with my produce basket anyhow, so we enjoyed that taste all month long.

We also tried out and loved Hormel's House of Tsang's Grilling Sauce.  We've also been on a kebab kick lately, so we used it with sausage, beef and chicken, very very yummy.  (I also love the grill because the husband is the one who actually cooks on it, not me!)

The other fun Hormel challenge was that July is National Hot Dog Month!
  • Americans are expected to eat at least 7 billion hot dogs this summer, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. 
  • Ten percent of annual retail hot dog sales occur during July, which is designated as National Hot Dog Month. 
  • Sausage consumption is on the rise with sales reaching $2 billion in 2011.
We had to try out the new offerings from the Hormel Natural Choice® line. Their Smoked Sausages are now available in original, turkey and beef, and Chicken Sausages in spinach asiago, apple gouda, and jalapeño cheddar.  These are also perfect on the grill!

What are your favorite grilling items?  And how do you cook your hot dogs?

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. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Quesadilla Bento for Ben!

Last Christmas, my sister-in-law got me a quesadilla maker.  I'm a little obsessed with kitchen gadgets and trust me, this was a perfect gift.  F&B love quesadillas and I really like how the maker seals the edges.  It also imprints the quesadilla to easily cut it into six slices.  We've done a lot of quesadilla experimenting, from the standard cheeses with extras to peanut butter and jelly (Ben and I love these)!


This time, Ben had bean and cheese quesadillas with a cute little hot pepper pick. After all, actual hot peppers might have poisoned the boy.  To go with it, he has strawberries and raspberries, carrots and cucumbers, along with ranch dip.  This was actually made for an outside picnic, hence no wrapping on the dip.  For school, I would have chosen a container with a lid.  Lunch is packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).

Trying something out, links to what I used to make the bento (oh, and my cake pop maker from the last post), what do you think?


  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 113

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, July 24, 2012

A Bento Full of Leftovers

Since it's summer, we're eating most of our meals at the house, which in turn means we have a ton of leftovers. Of course, it's rare that the leftovers have enough to make another dinner out of it, so I've been trying to repurpose them into lunches instead.


This lunch contains leftover taco meat and cheese, stuffed into half a pita, to make pita tacos (also much easier for small hands than taco shells, the filling stays in better).  There's leftover pesto pasta in the green silicone cup that makes for a lovely cold pasta salad.  Non-leftover items include carrots, grapes and strawberries.  Now the upper corner?  That would be part of my cake ball obsession.  I'm slightly addicted to kitchen gadgets anyhow, and my mom got me a cake ball maker last Christmas.  They are perfect little cake balls, every single time!  These ones are vanilla, with just the top dipped in white and milk chocolates, with sprinkles.

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

Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer Food Love - Instagram Photo Barrage


We are still enjoying our lovely summer with lots of fun food, though not as many bentos. However, F&B will be off to day camp at the end of the month, so I promise there will be actual lunch pictures. Also coming up, several awesome giveaways to celebrate my 5 years of food blogging (I wanted to wait till closer to school starts).

But for now, some more of my favorite summer food goodies pulled from my Instagram feed--if you want to follow me there, my username is "bourriquet76".

Bountiful Baskets haul from two weeks ago,
tons of yummy fruits & veggies

Ben made his own lunch the other day:
cantaloupe, strawberries, sausage muffin and fruit muffin

Cakeballs are my other new obsession.
These ones are vanilla cake with milk or white chocolate dip.
I've also made lemonade ones, they are even better!
Next up, apple cinnamon or red velvet, I think!

Chinese buffet the other night, F&B made dessert plates

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 112

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, July 16, 2012

Kid-made Bento

Last week, the husband and I had an afternoon appointment, so we ended up rushing about after we picked the kids up from swim team. Faith suggested that they could help out by making their own lunches, if they could use bento supplies. She even asked for my camera so she could take pictures of the finished product and I could blog it for her. No objections here!


Faith made herself a cream cheese and jelly sandwich, topped with some mini cheese designs, along with some veggie straws, some cherries and marshmallows, vanilla yogurt with dried berries, and two kinds of crisps (creme brûlée and blueberry-pomegranate).


Ben opted for similar, but cut his sandwich a wee bit too small (he ended up eating the rest anyhow, but  didn't want it in his box.  He made a star topped with a witch's hat, then crisps, veggie straws, marshmallows and yogurt with dried fruit.  According to his sister, he also ate cherries but did not want them in the box.

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

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Beanfields Chips - Review


We always love the chance to sample a new snack or two around our house, so we were thrilled when Beanfields contacted us to try out their new chips. F&B are always up for the challenge of the taste-testing, and this time, we enlisted two of their friends to help us out.


So, what are they?

Beanfields makes yummy snack chips, from black and navy beans and rice, cooked in safflower or sunflower seed oil. Each one ounce servings has 4 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.

Their chips are vegan, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, trans fat-free, preservative-free and free of every one of the FDA's eight most common allergens, along with being verified as non-GMO.

Five varieties are available--Naturally Unsalted, Sea Salt, Sea Salt & Pepper, Pico de Gallo, and Nacho.

The verdict?

Yum.  I absolutely adore the Sea Salt ones.  I may have hidden the second bag of them so I didn't have to share.  The husband liked them all, and they worked well for his salsa addiction (nice sturdy chips for dipping).

The true test, though, came with the kids and their friends.  I asked them to try out the new chips I had, making no mention of the ingredients, and poured out the nacho ones.  They all loved them and finished the entire bag between the four of them.  Besides the healthy aspect, I did love the there was no orange residue on their hands or my house after the fact!  I managed to appropriate a couple of nacho chips for myself and they really do taste like a nacho chip, a huge plus.

Beanfields are available at many natural grocery stores, including many Sunflowers and Sprouts, as well as on their website (click here to find the store closest to you).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 111

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, July 9, 2012

Summer Food Love - Low Carb Stuffed Baked Tomatoes


As mentioned before, this is the summer of foodie experiments, and yummy baskets of produce, and all sorts of good things.  We picked up our second Bountiful Basket on Saturday and were well restocked on all our produce needs--fresh plums, pineapple, romaine, cauliflower, and more.

However, we still had 3 tomatoes leftover from last basket (I had already had some in the fridge when basket #1 came in).  We got 5 more tomatoes.  And our next door neighbor ordered a basket too, and told me to keep her tomatoes because they don't care for them.  She had 6.  That means we had 14 tomatoes in our house and that's a whole lot of tomatoes.

So I thought about it for awhile and realized that there was no reason I couldn't make a nice baked tomato.  With a bit of experimenting, I ended up with stuffed baked tomatoes, and afterwards, we realized they are low carb too.


It's very hard to take a picture inside the oven!

Stuffed Baked Tomatoes
1 lb ground pork
Minced garlic
Italian Seasoning
Shredded cheese
Whole tomatoes
  • Saute the ground pork with a few teaspoons of minced garlic
  • Drain excess fat, season with a few teaspoons of Italian seasoning
  • Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the inside pulp and seed (I saved mine to add to tomato soup)
  • Fill each tomato with enough of the meat mixture to reach the top and place on a baking sheet
  • Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until the skin starts to wrinkle
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle cheese on top, and bake for an extra 2-3 minutes until the cheese melts
Now I did overshoot the amount of ground pork, so I made sausage stuffed muffins with the rest.  Just add the extra ground pork to corn muffin batter, add cheese, and bake as muffins. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 110



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!

 

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