Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hormel September - Better Breakfast Month

September is Better Breakfast month, and with the start of school, it's a great time to be focusing on healthier breakfasts for the whole family.  We have so many mornings that feel rushed that I've actually started preparing breakfast in advance.  Two of our favorites are homemade McMuffins and quick breakfast casseroles.

For the muffins, spray a muffin pan with bake spray, then crack an egg into each cup.  Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until the eggs are set.  Pop out of the muffin pans and let cool.  Split open 12 English muffins.  Set out the bottoms, a piece of Hormel deli ham, one of the baked eggs, a piece of cheese, and the top of the muffin.  Wrap individually and freeze.  To serve, wrap loosely in a paper towel and microwave for 2.5 minutes or until warm.  I prefer to take two of these out the night before so they defrost a bit before cooking.

Slightly bad iPhone photo, but look, baked eggs for muffins!

For the breakfast casserole, spray a pan and layer half a bag of shredded hash browns on the bottom.  Top with a half package of Hormel diced ham.  In a separate bowl, beat 6 eggs with a half cup of milk till well mixed, then slowly pour over the ham and hash browns.  Top with cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 or until the eggs are well set.  This also freezes well, just defrost before cooking!

Hormel offers several ideas to get you thinking about healthier breakfast options too.
  • Hormel Canadian Bacon Breakfast Pizza: combining chopped Hormel® Canadian style bacon, your favorite cheeses, mushrooms and other veggies of your choice, kids will love this fun dish that allows them to eat pizza first thing in the morning!
  • Ham Scramble: this simple recipe encourages you to sprinkle Hormel® Cure 81® diced ham in with scrambled eggs and serve over English Muffins. Perfect for a hurried morning, this recipe can be prepared in less than 15 minutes!
  • Huveos Rancheros with Bacon: Add a little bit of ethnic flair to your breakfast with this dish that features CHI-CHI'S® thick & chunky salsa mild and Hormel® Natural Choice® original bacon. As a reminder, all Hormel® Natural Choice® products contain no preservatives, no added nitrates or nitrites, and no artificial colors or flavors!
How often do you eat breakfast? Do you have a go-to dish when you are in a time crunch? Do your kids have a favorite breakfast dish?  Feel free to share in the comments!

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. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

New CuteZCute Bentos with Frogs & Pandas

I got the cutest new toy in the mail Wednesday, a CuteZCute cutter from JeeJee at All Things for Sale! The cutter sets the initial shape, then one of four different face plates make the design--panda, frog, kitty and pig.

Since yesterday was Faith's birthday and we went to eat lunch with her at school, our creations had to wait till today, but they were simply too cute!


Both kids actually had the same lunch--cream cheese and raspberry jam on multigrain rounds, carrots, two mini brownie bites and watermelon, but they each had different designs.  Ben had the frog, which was accented with some cute new picks from my friend Kendra at Biting the Hand that Feeds You.


Faith had trouble deciding between the panda and the kitty, but the panda won out since we had new panda picks from Kendra too.  I love it!  I think we're going to try a batch of my favorite sugar cookies to make some new designs too.

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

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 122


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, September 25, 2012

Tuesday's Happy Elephants Bento

Since we were in an elephant kind of mood yesterday, I saw no reason to vary from it today.  If I feel inspired enough, it might be a whole elephant week (or I'll get fed up by Friday and send soup, it's also a distinct possibility).


Ben had a cream cheese and jelly sandwich on 12-grain bread, cut with a LunchPunch elephant cutter and decorated with a sugar eye.  I found my mini-sugar eyes for the baby elephant after I took the picture, of course.  To go with it, he has carrots, strawberries and a pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese icing.  Looking back, I should have added an elephant design to the cupcake too.  It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's Always Elephants Bento for Ben

Even at 7, Ben still loves his elephant patterned lunches.  A few online bento friends did some elephant decoration shopping for me and we now own a few more awesome elephant items.  Actually, we have a lot more elephant items, because everyone knows Ben. :)


Ben had a ham salad pocket, topped with a cheddar elephant, provolone ear and sugar eye.  He has a bit of homemade brownie with an elephant pick, kiwis and blueberries with other elephant picks, and a mini orange.  It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).

Even better, EasyLunchboxes are back in stock on Amazon.  Pair a set up with a cooler and the mini-dippers and you've got everything you need for lunch, along with free shipping.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Talk Like a Pirate Day Bento & Blog Hop


Arrrrr matey! It's Talk Like a Pirate Day today!  It's also unofficially "Make a Pirate Lunch Day" today too.  And there's more, a pirate lunch blog hop with a treasure at the end!  Follow through the hop, unscramble the map pieces (don't worry, they are numbered) for a chance to win some pretty cool bento booty!


So what is for lunch?  Ben has a pirate sandwich, made from multigrain rounds with cream cheese and cantaloupe jam, topped with a cheese pirate.  He's easy to make too--circle cutter for the face and hat, smaller circle for the eye, nose and polka dots, a triangle for the knot, and a hear for the mustache and eyepatch.  In keeping with the pirate theme, we've got blueberries on swords, carrot coin pieces of eight, and cookies, which are just cookies.  It's all packed in a PlanetBox today.

Now onto that blog hop ...

Every blog in the hop has a piece of the map to the bento booty treasure - a giveaway! As you go through the hop, collect the pieces and put them in the right order to find out where to enter! You'll probably need something to write with, because there are 39 blogs to visit, so 39 pieces to collect! 37 pieces will spell the URL, and 2 bonus pieces with words on them will get you 2 entries to win!


Click on the Jolly Roger to visit Alexandra at Lunch with Eyeness next!  And good luck!

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 121


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, September 18, 2012

Shooting Star Bento

I probably should have made this lunch last year. Faith's class was always Mrs. S's Super Stars, but the idea just came to me last week.  I've been playing around with simpler designs, along with freehand cutting, so the star was cutters and the tail was just free arcs.  I think it was kind of cute.


Faith has a turkey and cheese sandwich on multigrain rounds, topped with a shooting star.  I used muenster, cheddar, and marble to make the detail stand out.  To go with that, she has carrots, black grapes and a mini-pumpkin donut.  I am slightly addicted to the mini donut maker, and the Dunkin Hines glazes for quickly topping the fresh donuts.  It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Two New LunchPunch Bentos

We've loved our LunchPunches for awhile now and use them for quick sandwich decoration fairly often. Now, we've got two more packs to play with--the Vrrrm set, which is transportation themed (airplane, car, train & car, truck & cargo) and the Sweet set, which features a cupcake, birthday cake, ice cream cones and a gum ball machine.

F&B picked a favorite for a lunch so we could showcase the new designs.  All I need now is the Whimsical shapes and I'm set!


Both kids had the exact same lunch, just with different patterns.  They each had a turkey and cheese sandwich on 12 grain bread, cut with a LunchPunch.  Ben opted for the airplane pattern from the Vroom set and Faith had the ice cream cones from the Sweet set.  Hers actually cut into two separate sandwiches.  I added a cheese airplane to Ben's to make the design more pronounced.  For side dishes, both kids had carrots, grapes and two strawberry cake balls I made the other day.


It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).  The ELB should be back in stock on Amazon any day now!  Pair up a set with the new Mini Dippers or with one of the LunchPunches and you'll even end up with free shipping, and everything you need for lunch!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New EasyLunchboxes Mini-Dippers Bento

We got a sneak preview of the new EasyLunchboxes Mini-Dippers and just had to use them.  They are designed by EasyLunchboxes to fit in their boxes, with a leakproof lid so you can send dips, sauces or other messier items.  They come in 8 packs, so perfect for lunches for two kids!


We decided that ranch was the perfect test item for the mini-dippers.  Both kids took turkey and muenster sandwiches on multigrain, along with carrots and cucumber, with ranch to dip them in.  They also had strawberries, a blueberry Gnu bar and a few apple cinnamon crisps. It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).

Even better, EasyLunchboxes are back in stock!  On the main website, they are available in the next few days.  On Amazon, it will be about a week to 10 days, but ELB, cooler and mini-dippers in one order will qualify you for free shipping.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 120


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, September 11, 2012

Homemade Lunchable Bento

Another kid pick for lunch, although we have long since learned that a standard lunchable sized meal is really not enough food for the kiddos.  Not only do I have to add more things to the box, I have to add food outside the box.


The kids crackers, pepperonis and cheese, along with a pumpkin mini donut, sliced strawberries, a few grapes, and carrots.  They also had a pear and Greek yogurt (not pictured), so they didn't come home starving like the ravenous little hyenas they can be.

Monday, September 10, 2012

An Angry Birds Bento for the Boy!

The boy still loves his Angry Birds.  I happen to still like Om Nom in Cut the Rope, and the little alligator in Where's My Water (does he have a name?), but he's about his Angry Birds.  So I figured, it was time for another Angry Birds bento for him.  Click here for our first version, and our OmNom bento.


Ben had one Angry Bird sandwich along with three of the pig sandwiches--all cream cheese and cantaloupe jam on 12-grain.  I accented them with muenster cheese, sugar eyes, and a bit of cheddar for the bird.  The bird is a basic circle cutter with hand-cut beak/eyebrows/feathers, while the pigs were cut from a bear shaped egg mold, with a small oval for the snout.

To go with that, he had kiwi, carrots, and a pumpkin cupcake.  It's all packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).

Saturday, September 8, 2012

California Olive Winner!

I just drew the winner of the California Olive prize package ...


And it is #96 - JamieM!

Jamie, check your email for one from me, it will come from my gmail. :)

Thank you all for entering!  I've got a few more fun giveaways lined up (EasyLunchboxes, FunBites, Momables, etc)!

Goodbyn Bento for the Husband

The husband has been in a class all last week as well as going to be in one next week. It's been interesting to be making him lunches again, sine he comes home almost all the time.

I did learn that the Goodbyns are a great size for food for the husband.  They can be a bit on the large side for the kids sometimes, so I don't get to use them nearly as often as I'd like, but they worked perfectly this week!


Lunch for the husband includes a sub sandwich (ham, turkey, pastrami and roast beef, along with two kinds of cheese, mayo, lettuce and tomato) on a fluffy sub roll.  Because of my obsession with the Big Bang Theory, I now use the cheese on the outsides to create a barrier between the lettuce/tomato and the bread.  While it sounds quirky, it does work.  To go with that, I sent him carrot sticks, black grapes, a mini orange, pluot and pear.  His timing for lunch varies, so I thought whole fruits would be better, in case he didn't have the time to eat them.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Everyone Loves a Puppy Bento

Who doesn't love a puppy? Especially when said puppy is as cute and lovable (and slightly evil) as our Dante? So far this school year, Dante-puppy has been the subject of writing assignments from both kids, goes to school pick up every day and hangs out the window during carpool, and now, he's the inspiration for a lunch! Dante is also about to be a ambassador for a natural dog food company too!


Ben was the one who wanted a doggie themed lunch, so he had a cream cheese and cantaloupe butter sandwich on 12-grain bread.  I cut it with a LunchPunch dog house cutter, then cut an extra dog from cheddar and topped it with a sugar eye.  Dante helped by eating the extra crust.  To go with this, Ben had carrot sticks (I ran out of the preferred baby carrots and had to cut whole ones), strawberries and a mini orange.  It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Simple Pita Bento

It's one of those lunches that couldn't get any easier, but I absolutely loved how pretty it looked!

The husband got me a new camera for Mother's Day, which has been taking much clearer pictures than my older one (OK, I may have dropped the older one on more than one occasion).  I've also been trying outside pictures out on our deck which has great natural light that's not in a direct sunbeam in the morning.  The result?  A really awesome looking lunch that is utterly simple.


Faith had a pita sandwich with turkey, provolone and romaine, along with a mini muffin, some carrots, grapes, and a cake ball.  It's all in a sandwich box, which holds a lot more food than you think it would, proving you don't mind food touching.

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 119


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, September 4, 2012

A Goldfish Bento (or Mama's Out of Town!)

I just realized that I forgot to blog one of the bentos I left for the kids while I was in NOLA 2 weeks ago. Because the husband has early PT and my sweet neighbor was taking F&B to school for me, I wanted to me sure that they had nothing to do other than grab lunches out of the fridge. However, I left early on a Thursday morning and one of the lunches would not be used until Friday, so I had to be careful what I sent.


This was the Friday lunch.  The kids had cream cheese and jelly on goldfish bread since it keeps the best, imho.  The goldfish is cute all on his own, so he just needed a candy eye to make him extra cheerful.  To the right, they had cucumber stars, carrot sticks and watermelon, then for a treat a few homemade cake balls.  I left cheesesticks and Greek yogurts for snacks, so no one had to worry about packing anything extra.  It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).

Don't forget to enter the Laptop Lunch/California Olive giveaway!  We're also giving away two Creativity for Kids kits on my personal blog.  Both giveaways end next Friday, September 7th.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Bento for the Husband

Most of the time, the husband comes home for lunch. It's pretty much the main reason why we chose to live on post, so he could come home for meals, showers after PT, and all that kind of stuff.

But on Friday, his unit was out in the field and he was doing something or other with ammo, so I got the following texts:

Want to make me a bento?
For lunch?
Blog post!!!
Just finished delivering ammo, missed breakfast, now have to work on refuse turn in.

So I obliged.


So what does the husband eat?  I made him a pesto chicken salad and stuffed it into a whole grain pita with some romaine lettuce.  Side dishes were broccoli salad with bacon, chopped mango and a mini orange.  I added some gatorade and a bottle of water too.  It's packed in our Easy Lunchboxes (also available on Amazon).

Don't forget to enter the Laptop Lunch/California Olive giveaway!  And if you've got crafty kids, I'm giving away two Creativity for Kids kits on my personal blog.  Both giveaways end next Friday, September 7th.

Following In My Shoes Bento Lunches
 

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