Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Into Spring

Happy Leap Day! My sproutlets didn't care much that today is leap day, it didn't mean much to them - but they did find it amusing when I told them that if Pickle had been born on this date instead 5 days earlier, this year it would only be his 2nd birthday :) "Whoa, close one!" said Beanstalk.

Bella wanted "a bunch of little things" in her lunch, so I made her a Spring-y assortment of fruit, veggies, cheese, and rice cakes ✿

Birdie & Sprout shared a Nibble Tray. They had Annie's Homegrown Fruity Bunnies cereal and some alphabet cookies I found in the Safeway bakery, honey oat bran muffin, grapes, carrots, and cheddar-mozzarella flowers.

The mini muffin was Birdie's; Sprout got a bigger one, just like Pickle's, pictured below. Muffins fit perfectly in the little Tupperware snack cups. Pickle also got a Frog Prince peanut butter sandwich made with a Lunch Punch.
A Leap frog :)

Beanstalk has a new lunch box, a PlanetBox! He is so thrilled with it :)
The stainless steel is very cool...

His PlanetBox contains a honey oat bran mini muffin, raisins, grapes, Cheez-its, carrots, an orange, and a gummy fish treat. The many separated sections are perfect for my picky boy who doesn't like his foods to touch.

Bento of the Week

Stuff I used to make these lunches:

Cute picks All Things For Sale

Monday, February 27, 2012

Do You Like Green Eggs & Ham?

Would you try them in a muffin tin? Would you eat them with a grin?
Sprout did! She ate them with a grin. 
Her Seuss inspired green eggs & ham were a win! 

Muffin Tin Monday! I decided to participate in the unofficial Dr. Seuss theme. Here is Sprout's Seussilicious muffin tin meal:

Goldfish grahams with a couple of gummy fish represent One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. The Cat in the Hat's iconic red & white striped hat is made of mozarella & gala apple slices. The 3 cheese trees (with tree trunk bento picks) are from Fox in Socks, & have chocolate sprinkles for fleas :)


The Cat in the Hat's Thing 1 and Thing 2 are made of strawberries with mozzarella heads and chocolate sprinkle faces, topped with cream cheese (coloured blue) for their crazy hair.


Sprout had to have Green Eggs (scrambled of course, that's how she prefers her eggies - fine with me, it's much easier to colour scrambled eggs!) and Ham (dyed green by soaking it in a dish of water and food colouring while the eggs cooked). And green tapioca Oobleck, ew!


And just like the Yink, they had pink ink to drink (strawberry milk).
Here's Sprout eating her green eggs & ham :) 


Happy (early) Birthday Dr. Seuss!

This was such a fun tin to make! Birdie & Sprout knew right away what the theme was. They loved the tin as a whole, they just weren't completely keen on everything in it. Even though I assured them that the Oobleck was just pudding with food colouring, they wouldn't touch it ... but I have to admit it didn't look very appetizing... The thing that I thought they wouldn't like - the green ham - Sprout gobbled up with without hesitation - go figure! Birdie didn't get any ham, she's gone off meat again - but she did eat all her egg :)

Thematic Thursday Following In My Shoes Bento Lunches

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Peekaboo mummy! Dat my lunch?

Lunch Punch grilled cheese goldfish

I don't usually make bento lunches on the weekends, but I do sometimes make something cute. Yesterday I made Birdie a mama & daddy goldfish grilled cheese with goldfish cracker babies:

Lunch Punch grilled cheese goldfish

This was a lesson lunch - I learned not to use a sandwich cutter on grilled cheese until it has cooled off quite a bit, or the cheese will ooze out! 

Lunch Punch grilled cheese goldfish

One of the goldfish crackers shifted when I set the plate down and stuck to the cheddar oozing from one of the grilled cheese goldfish - I guess it was the mama one - because Birdie pointed to the goldfish cracker and said "dat baby one is eating his moot". Moot = mama's milk, her word for it. Cute :)

Birdie's sandwich made with

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Today is my Pickle's 8th birthday!  I made him a peanut butter sandwich cake:

It *just* fit in his sandwich box. The letters did get squished down a little bit when I put the lid on, but I took it off again to check and they are still readable:  Happy Birthday  :)  And doesn't it look like a smile through the lid? The air bubbles in the bread are in just the right places!

Pickle was so excited to take Dr. Seuss pencils to school to share with his class in lieu of cupcakes!  Just in time for Dr. Seuss Week too :)


I forgot to post Birdie's birthday bento! She turned 3 just over a week ago:

Birdie loves elephants and asked for an elephant birthday so that was her party theme :) Here's her elephant birthday lunch:

She had elephant cookies, elephant shaped cheese embellished with sprinkles, strawberries and grapes with elephant picks, and a peanut butter and nutella birthday cake sandwich, made with a Lunch Punch from the Sweet set. The candles have gobs of peanut butter for flames :)

The elephant cookies sure are hard to make out! I really had to squint to be sure I had an elephant and not a buffalo - all the animal cookies just looked like pink and white blobs  to me :)

Me and my silly 3 year old girl ♥ at her party at Grandma & Grandpa's:

And some of her elephant cupcakes:

 Happy Birthdays Pickle & Birdie!

Stuff I used for these lunches:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

100th Day of School

Today's the 100th day of school for my sproutlets! It's a little later in the year than originally planned due to a week of snow days :)

Pickle began his day reading the book 100th Day Worries while eating his breakfast - then it went into his backpack to share with his 2nd grade class. 

In the book, a little girl is worried that she won't be able to find 100 things to bring to school for her 100th day. The book was from one of Bella's first Scholastic book orders in kindergarten, and inspired her lunch today :)

I was so pleased with myself for puzzling 10 little cups into her EasyLunchbox!

Bella has exactly 100 bites of lunch! 10 each of grape tomatoes, black grapes, mozzarella, cheddar, ham, turkey, golden globe tomatoes, "Mystic" grapes, cheddar Cheez-Its, and white cheddar Cheez-Its. I cut the ham & turkey using my FunBites Luv it! cutter, because it's quick & easy - and makes exactly 10 pieces :) For snack, I gave her one of those 100 calorie packs of yogurt covered pretzels, relabeled 100th day of school pack :

Beanstalk has 100 bites in his Lock & Lock bento box too - they just aren't in multiples of 10. He has 10 cheddar Cheez-Its, 10 white cheddar Cheez-Its, 18 graham squares, 5 "Mystic" grapes, 5 black grapes, 5 ham rolls, 5 apple slices, and 42 yogurt raisins.  There were 45 in the box so I ate 3 :)

Pickle has 100 love bites :) I strung 100 bits of Quaker Whole Hearts heart-shaped oat cereal on a red cord - his favourite colour. It frames his usual peanut butter sandwich, with 100 DAYS cut out and stamped into it:

I also gave him a package of 100 calorie Oreo snacks - a real treat! At the beginning of the year a note was sent home asking me not to send him Oreo cookies because he makes too much mess with them :( He doesn't mean to, he just really enjoys them, and turns them into a sensory experience. Unfortunately the school does not have time for a mess like that, so Oreos have been a home snack for my Pickle ever since...  then this week I noticed these Oreo wafers at the store - hopefully the eats them neatly!


Pickle usually gets a small Snapware container of yogurt, but I ran out so he got one of his Dad's individual yogurt cups. He loves peeling the foil cap :) And Beanstalk got a 100 calorie snack pack just like Bella's.

Each one got a Lunchbox Love too. Bella says one of the lunchroom ladies likes all the trivia on the flip side of the sentiments :)

Happy 100th Day of School to my sproutlets!

Stuff I used today:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Crock-Pot Cheesy Pierogi Lasagne

Okay, this is not really lunch - but it could be - it makes yummy leftovers!  :)

So good to come home to! This savoury casserole's layers of pasta, potatoes & cheese are reminiscent of pierogies, mmm. 

I came up with this recipe myself, when I was craving those delectable potato dumplings but had none. I did have leftover mashed potatoes though, & some leftover noodles, that I layered with cheese in a bowl & nuked. It hit the spot! A few days later I made a family-size batch in the crock-pot, which was even better. This dish goes great with polish sausage - or with breakfast sausage - you can make it the night before to wake up to :)
6-12 potatoes, peeled & quartered
1 cup milk (or cream)
1 lb butter, divided
1-2 onions, chopped
1 lb shredded cheese(s) of choice
Olive oil
Pasta of your choice
I like farfalle because it has the wiggly edges like lasagne noodles & the noodle centres tend to be chewier - like pierogi edges :)

Some suggestions for potato add-ins or additional layers:
More shredded cheeses, salt & pepper, minced garlic, grated parmesan, sour cream, cottage cheese, herbs of choice, green onion, chopped or sliced sausage, or bacon bits.


Boil pasta & potatoes until tender - in separate pots - but you knew that :)
While they cook, sautée onions in ½ lb butter, until golden & set aside.

Drain & rinse pasta, set aside while you mash the potatoes. 
Drain potatoes, mash with milk (or cream) & remaining ½ lb butter. 
If desired, add other potato add-ins of choice. I add minced garlic, salt & pepper, grated parmesan, & a handful of shredded sharp cheddar.

Lightly brush or mist crock pot interior with olive oil. Begin with a layer of pasta, then continue layering the ingredients in any order, as many layers as you like. See my add-in suggestions above. I added soy bacon bits this time.

Finish your pierogi lasagne layering with a final layer of shredded cheese, just like a traditional lasagne... but then...

... top it all off with the sautéed onions!

Cover & cook on low all day, or on high if you tend to start late, like me :)

Done when the cheese & onion topping is hot & bubbly!


Bake it in the Oven Option  

Lightly coat deep dish lasagne pan or casserole dish with olive oil. Lasagna noodles are perfect for this baked version. Layer ingredients as in crock pot recipe. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 30 minutes or until top is as browned as you like  :) - OR - Refrigerate until ready to bake. Cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 30 minutes, remove foil, and bake an additional 15-30 minutes.
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