Monday, June 30, 2014

Pickle's Pick & Sandwich Cutter Storage

Pickle has been making some of his lunches himself this summer! He's been enjoying taking as much time as he wants picking out a sandwich cutter, most of which are stored two deep in a drawer with a spice rack insert:

Tiered spice drawer inserts store sandwich cutters too!
For this lunch, Pickle chose one of the dinosaur sandwich cutters, and put them in a Dyno Dips snack box, with some apple wedges:

Pickle didn't want to pour yogurt in the dinosaur dip well like I thought he would, he wanted to fill it with apple wedges. He's asked for apples several times now, but he has yet to actually eat them. Still, I don't like to say no when he asks for a food he doesn't usually eat - one day he may surprise me! This was not that day though - the apples went uneaten, and he asked for a Go-Gurt after finishing his peanut butter sandwiches. Ah well, maybe next time :)

Stuff Pickle used to make his lunch:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Goodbyn Bento Box Round-up

Here's Birdie's last preschool lunch ever! More of a snack, really. The school had a cookout on the last day, so she didn't need to bring anything, but I didn't think she would eat a hot dog & chips (she didn't) so I packed her some applesauce (sprinkled with heart quins), a granola bar (broken in half) & a cheese heart, packed in a Goodbyn snack box.

Since the school year's over, I might as well share the rest of the Goodbyn lunches that never got posted for whatever reason :)

Our Goodbyns are some of my favourite containers to reach for in a rush - they're so colourful they make the lunch look fun even if it's just random things practically thrown in it, so I don't need to take any extra time to be creative or add accessories, unless I want to - see:

Ok, so the hard-cooked egg is shaped like a teddy bear head - but that didn't take any extra effort since I cook & mold eggs in batches ahead of time.  

Pancakes are always a favourite. They can be made ahead & frozen, or purchased that way. Add some fruit, a little dipper of syrup , & a yogurt (not shown), & my little one's lunchbox comes home empty.

Here's an Instagram pic I shared but forgot to blog! I had nothing in mind for lunch that day & was not feeling at all creative so I asked Sprout what she wanted & packed exactly that - ham, grapes, a Go-Gurt, crackers, & iced tea (with reusable CoolStraw), in her purple Bynto, an oldie but goodie :)

Another oldie, from way back in October! This one was for Bella - as the note says - and it appears I swapped the purple Bynto lid for a pink one, maybe for fun, or maybe I was just in a hurry :)

I don't remember what was tucked under the mini bagel! Being October, it might have been a Hallowe'en candy...


I just bought one of the new Goodbyn Hero lunchboxes, a red one, for Pickle to take to school next year. He's pretty excited about it - he loves red. He's pretty hard on his lunch gear, so if it can hold up to his abuse, it really will be a hero! I'm pretty optimistic;  if it's anything like our other Goodbyn containers, it won't disappoint. I wonder if it will fit in the Goodbyn lunch bag... if it does, I might get one for Birdie too... she loves her blue birdie bag :)


Some stuff used to make these lunches


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

One last slacker lunch & school's out for summer!

I had some great ideas for fun last day of school lunches... but they'll have to wait for next year! (Or maybe a summer picnic.) A busy week + impromptu trip out of town =  no trip to the grocery store for the necessary ingredients. Plus I was tired. So, slacker lunches for the sproutlets! I did stick a smiling, waving raccoon bento pick in Bella's & I think that was all it took to make it cute :)

It may be uninspired, but it's not such a bad little lunch... I think we have the food groups covered :) She's got a Clif bar, melon balls, cucumber slices, turkey pepperoni, & a fruit snack treat packet, packed in EasyLunchboxes.


Stuff I used to pack this lunch:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Almost Summer Surf's Up Bento

It's the last week of school for my middle-schooler - the lagoon awaits!

Beanstalk's PlanetBox Shuttle Lunchbox contains a pumpkin oatmeal muffin, goldfish crackers, a whole apple cut in wedges, & a mozzarella string cheese, embellished with shark attack flexi cupcake toppers.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Awesomely Easy Rainbow Cake!

Today one of my friends shared a post featuring some perfectly adorable teeny tiny rainbow cakes. Which reminded me of this post about making Sprout's birthday cake, that I had forgotten all about and left languishing in draft for over 2 years! My rainbow cake was neither perfect nor teeny tiny, but it was bright!

Awesomely Easy Rainbow Cake by BentOnBetterLunches

This rainbow cake was made by layering batter ...  6 different colours of batter.
I divided one plain white batter into 6 bowls and added a whole lot of food colouring!  The batter layering method I used doesn't produce evenly striped layers, rather, each colour, poured into the center of the pan, pushes some of the last colour out a little, making sort of arched layers. I alternated the order of the colours for the 2nd layer of the cake, just because :)

How to make an easy rainbow cake by BentonBetterLunches
Note the tube of cherry cola lip smacker on the counter - totally needed for all the lip licking I was doing in anticipation of tasting my delicious creation!

Once the cakes had baked & cooled, I flipped one upside down on to a foil-covered cake plate, spread a layer of white frosting on it's flat bottom-become-top, and placed the other cake right side up atop it:

oops, that's not all the cake

Oops, some of the top of the cake stayed stuck to the plate I'd flipped it out of the pan on to - no worries, frosting would cover that ... and it turned out to be a good thing that happened anyways! (Read on to find out why.) 

The plan was to cover the whole cake in fluffy white frosting, so when we cut into it, the colourful rainbow cake would be a surprise - a rainbow in a cloud! But oops again, I hadn't made enough frosting:

oops, that's all the frosting

That turned out not to matter though, because before I made more, Sailor Boy & I tasted the bit of cake that had stuck to the plate, and YUCK! It did not taste good at all, it tasted BAD! Something had gone off :(

It was a rainbow cake wreck.

Rainbow Cake Wreck by BentOnBetterLunches
So sad. All that cherry cola flavoured lip licking for naught :(

I sniffed both the oil and the food colouring and neither smelled very good to me, so who knows... And since we couldn't serve it to the sproutlets and party guests, there was no sense in continuing with the frosting - but before we tossed it, I did cut into it to see how the rainbow layers came out...

Rainbow Cake by BentOnBetterLunches

And ooooh, it looked awesome! 

Fortunately, since the party was not until the next day, I had time to get more ingredients and bake another cake. The 2nd attempt, made with a fresh bottle of oil and new gel food colouring, was delicious. I was in a hurry by then since it was late at night, so didn't bother with pics, but a small sample taken before it was frosted did taste good, and the birthday partiers loved it! It looked pretty much just like the inedible attempt anyways, so here's that pic again :)

Awesomely Easy Rainbow Cake by BentOnBetterLunches

Awesomely Easy Rainbow Cake:
  1. Make up a batch of light coloured cake batter.
  2. Evenly divide the batter into 6 (or 7) bowls.
  3. Colour the batters red, orange, yellow, green, blue & purple (or indigo & violet if you do all 7). Liquid gels works best for vivid colours.
  4. If you want your stripes to be in correct rainbow order, begin with the red batter. Pour all the batter into the center of a round cake pan.
  5. Repeat with each colour in order, pouring directly on top of the the last colour, in the center of the pan. 
  6. Bake as directed for your batter of choice, cool, invert, & frost! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Heart-y Happy Nuts

When I saw the adorable decorated pistachios in this football bento by Becoming A Bentoholic and this Valentines Day bento by Eclectic Lamb, I made a mental note to draw on some for my girls. It only took a few minutes to colour them, while I was drinking my morning coffee :)

Seven year old Sprout got pink & purple hearts on her pistachios, strawberry yogurt, grapes, strawberries sliced like hearts, Craisins, & a Jammie Dodger cookie, packed in her Framboise Pink Yumbox.

11 year old Bella got smiley-faced pistachios, a smiley-faced string cheese, Balance bar, grapes, tomatoes, carrots, & a Jammie Dodger cookie. I packed her lunch in one of our EasyLunchboxes, whcih have transparent lids, but I thought it would be fun if the smiley faces were a surprise, so I covered everything with her cloth napkin topped with a Lunchbox Love note :)

Monday, June 2, 2014

2 Airplane Lunches

These last few weeks of school are flying by! It'll be summer break in no time, and I'm way behind in blogging school lunches :) Here's one of Pickle's peanut butter sandwich lunches that I posted to Instagram but forgot to blog:

I used the airplane Lunch Punch sandwich cutter but instead of cutting the shape out, I stamped the image into the top bread, then traced it with a food marker. On the side he had mozzarella string cheese embellished with alphabet picks, & yogurt sprinkled with sanding sugar. And I found the perfect Lunchbox Love note to tuck in with it, as seen in the Instagram pic :)

And while sorting through unposted bento pics I found this one from the 2011-2012 school year, made using the same Lunch Punch, the way it's intended :)

Hard to believe Pickle's been going to school for nearly 7 years now and he's still eating practically the same thing for lunch every day! I stopped counting how many different ways I've made his PB sandwiches after I completed my 101 Peanut Butter Sandwiches Challenge :)


Some stuff I used for these lunches:
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