Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bakin' pancakes, bakin' bakin' pancakes...

Sprout asked if she could have a muffin in her lunch & I said yes, I'd bake some, but then I got sidetracked & burned them! And of course I didn't have enough ingredients for another batch. But I had some pancake mix... so I baked some pancake muffins... & they turned out all right!  Baking pancakes got the bacon pancakes song from Adventure Time in my head :)

Fall PlanetBox Shuttle with baked pancake muffins

I baked the pancake muffins in a pumpkin shaped Wilton silicone baking mold. I don't know if it's available in this size anymore, but I found a mini-muffin version!  I spritzed the cups with coconut oil so the shaped muffins would pop out easily, poured in pancake mix 2/3 full, & baked them at 350 until they looked ready - I think it was about 15 minutes.

Baked pancake "muffins"

I packed Sprout's lunch in her PlanetBox Shuttle. The pumpkin shape got me thinking about a fall theme so I used orange & pumpkin shaped silicone cups, & chose squirrel, acorn, & mushroom picks to embellish her strawberries & carrots, cutting the latter in bite size pieces since she has a loose front tooth, & a mushroom treat box filled with dark chocolate covered raisins. I also gave her some spiced pistachios - she loves those - & some orange Yami yogurt in the PlanetBox's Little Dipper. 

Fall PlanetBox Shuttle with baked pancake muffins

I added some more fun touches with a colourful woodland print cloth napkin, a happy little stainless steel spoon, & a Lunchbox Love note. This one is from Volume 92 & has a joke on the flip side.


I just love that little spoon. I have several - they're my favourite coffee stirring spoons - they make me smile :)

Edited To Add: I forgot to add a pic of Sprout's after school snack. Her loose tooth was really wiggly when she got home from school, too wiggly to bite into anything - but she wanted apples & a peanut butter sandwich - so I used my FunBites cube cutter to make them bite size:


Scrapbook paper background is Perfect Day from Thankful Collection by Bella Blvd from Scrapbook.com

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Launching into the Hallowe'en Season

Happy October! I packed Bella a boo-tiful lunch in her PlanetBox Launch: 


Turkey, cheese & cucumber wraps, as she requested, secured with pumpkin & bat picks, carrot fingers with a spider pick, a couple of Oreos in a pumpkin-shaped cup, and a handful of ghostly marshmallows. I love the Hallowe'en picks I used - they're long which is great for little snack kebabs, but easy to trim if I want them shorter,  & you get lots of all 4 in the set : 
I used some for this Hallowee'eny snack tray:


Scrapbook paper background is monster mash by sei crafts, from Collage Paper Arts 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Back To School with yubo for my Bigger Boy!

This Back To School lunch I made for Pickle may be the last one of his that I blog! He's decided that now that he's in middle school, he's too old for themed bentos & shaped sandwiches, and wants plain lunches.  But I packed him this one (possibly) last special lunch anyways :)


He has a Babybel cheese with a check mark carved in the wax, Oreos with a chalkboard pick stuck in the frosting of one, yogurt with chocoladehagel (sprinkles), a notebook paper peanut butter sandwich embellished with food markers, stacked atop a second plain sandwich, & a Lunchbox Love note.

Everything pictured plus a drink, napkin, & spork is packed in his new, more grown up, yubo tote. It's less bulky than the yubo lunchbox, but still the perfect size for all the yubo containers, & more:


The yubo ice pack fits perfectly in the new soft-sided Tote, along with the same container combination as can be packed in the hard-sided yubo, as well as additional yubo container(s), accessories and/or a drink.


Something else that's new for middle school is that Pickle doesn't have an aide sitting with him,  encouraging him to eat tidily & helping him pack up when he's finished.  He likes to squish his food - it's an autism/sensory thing - plus he's neither the neatest of eaters, nor very good about remembering to put the lids back on his containers, & frequently brings home a messy lunch bag covered inside & out with smushed Oreo smears & spilled yogurt. So I was pretty thrilled with the ability to completely unsnap the yubo Tote & wipe it down, or even machine wash it. No scrubbing crud out of seams, yay!


I really like that when the yubo tote is completely unsnapped it becomes a placemat. Having a messy kid myself makes me more than a bit squeamish about eating on shared surfaces... who knows what germs are lurking there ready to leap onto my lunch, heheh... so this is a great feature for me :)

See all the lunchboxes & accessories yubo has to offer at getyubo.com
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Just in case anyone's wondering about the bottle in Pickle's lunch, it's this:


It's called Bot-L, by Fred & Friends, & it's one of his favourites.  I like it well enough - it doesn't leak - but it's not insulated, & I have to hand wash it...
so I don't love it quite as much as Pickle does ;)

Disclosure: I received no monetary compensation for this post. I was offered a complimentary yubo tote to review with no obligation to endorse. This post does contain affiliate links to products I used. All opinions & images are my own. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fall Picks!

Today's Fall-ish bento for Bella was a perfect example of what my friend Kendra refers to as "pickography" - that's when you make a bento with nothing really artistic done to the actual food, no carvings or shapes, just plain food, "where picks and cups and accessories do all the work."  You may know my friend as bloggess Ludicrous Mama of Biting The Hand That Feeds You (and if you don't, check out her blog).  Pick a theme, any theme... if she doesn't have a pick for it, they probably don't make one!

Autumn Sunflower bento in Easylunchboxes

Bella's EasyLunchbox is packed with carrot sticks, turkey & cheddar wraps secured with Autumn Leaves cupcake picks, a tomato in a yellow flower cup, & grapes embellished with a flexible plastic Sunflower pick:


The picks I chose were inspired by the sunflowers I had seen in the courtyard of her school the week before. Sunflowers make me smile. I hope the simple touches to her lunch made her smile :)


Monday, September 14, 2015

Book-ish Bento Lunch for Roald Dahl Day

Yesterday would have been beloved author Roald Dahl's 99th birthday! We love his stories so much.  In observance of Roald Dahl Day, I made my 7th grader a Dahl-icious bookish bento lunch, featuring a Giraffe & Pelly & Me "bookwich", strawberries with a giraffe fork, checkered cucumber slices, carrot sticks, & a cocktail tomato with a "Read" pick.


The bookwich is a turkey & white cheddar tortilla sandwich. I stacked deli meat & cheese slices on the right half of a tortilla, folded the left half over the stack, & trimmed it to a book shape. I used food colouring pens to illustrate the cover in the style of one of our books. That's meant to be the giraffe & the pelican... *sigh* ... I decided I'd better not even attempt to add Billy or the monkey...  I'm no Quentin Blake!


Splendiferous, but small. I folded the scraps, along with another couple of slices of cheese & turkey, into a little bundle & secured it with a long food pick, then packed it in the bento box where it would be covered by the bookwich. More filling for my middle-schooler, & no waste. Whiz-bang!


The bundle also raises the bookwich to the top of the bento box. Filling as much of a bento box's space as possible keeps a scrumdiddlyumptious lunch from becoming a muckledy mess on the way to school!


I packed her lunch in my new nested snack pots / bento boxes! them.


They're really, really new - they only just arrived the day before Dahl Day,
all the way from The Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre in the UK! The lids feature Quentin Blake's iconic illustrations & quotes from Matilda, The Enormous Crocodile, & George's Marvelous Medicine.



I've had a lot of fun over the years making Dahl Day lunches for my sproutlets.  In fact, it was while making one that I was first inspired to make a bookwich,  a type of sandwich with layers of cheese(s) & sometimes deli meat folded between bread or tortilla to resemble a little book. It's become a favourite with my sproutlets, that to their delight was even featured in the September issue of Family Fun magazine! They're so proud of their lickswishy lunches & of their phizzwizard mum for making them :)


Have a whoppsy-whiffling Roald Dahl Day!


Wait, there's more!

Some of the Bento Bloggers & Friends have a blog hop of bento tributes to Roald Dahl to share with you! Click the big button below to hop to Yummy Bites By Amy, then keep hopping until you're back here, & you'll know you've seen them all. And when you're done with the hop, why not have some food fighting fun with Mr. & Mrs Twit in their new app, Twit or Miss!

Roald Dahl Day Bento Blog Hop

PS - Today is my birthday! 
You didn't know though, so I'm not expecting a present... but how about sharing our blog hop via your favourite social network? It's free! :)

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Last Dip of Summer Lunch

On one of the last days of summer vacation, Bella went on a day trip with friends & needed a sack lunch. She asked for a bagel, veggies, apples, & 3 different dips - good thing we have lots of EasyLunchboxes Mini Dippers!


She wanted peanut butter & nutella for the bagel, & caramel dip for the apples. The veggies she requested were broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, & cucumber, which she likes to eat as is, no dip :)


I added some summery decorations: sunglasses & flip flops cupcake picks, & a frog in an inner tube bento pick. I also packed a little plastic spreader that I forgot to include in the photo. 

Fun summertime accessories used:


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Purple Up Lunch for My Military Kid!

I came across an unpublished post from back in April! Poor forgotten post :( But better late than never :)

April is the Month of the Military Child, & April 15th was Purple Up! For Military Kids day. Schools across the nation encouraged their students to help raise community awareness & support of military children by wearing purple to recognize & thank them for their strength & sacrifices. The colour purple symbolizes all branches of the military, as it's the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red & Navy blue.

My sproutlets wore purple with pride! I wanted to Purple Up! their lunches as well, but didn't have any purple food on hand.  I did have EasyLunchboxes Brights with lovely purple lids though! I packed Bella a lunch full of leftovers in one that she had decorated herself, with dishwasher-safe stickers :)


Lunch was last night's crock-pot pulled chicken & rice, with cucumbers, carrots, & cauliflower on the side. I packed the chicken & sauce in a jumbo muffin cup so she could remove it to heat in the cafeteria microwave, then pour over & stir into the rice. The jumbo size cups are the same depth as the EasyLunchboxes so when the lid's on there's very little chance of spill-over.


I included a Lunchbox Love note with a joke, & bento picks inspired by it. What is a cow's favourite class? Moo-sic! :) Somehow, out of all the hundreds of bento picks in my collection, there's not a single cow in any shape or form. But I do have plenty of musical notes!


In the dip cup she got some Chef Kidd's Funagrette, in Honey Berry flavour. Bella really loves this sweet vinaigrette with her veggies. Chef Kidd's sent us all 5 varieties to try out, and this was the favourite. 




Friday, August 21, 2015

A Relevant Elephant Lunch

August 12th was World Elephant Day!  I'm behind in blogging (it's summertime... vacation!)  but that's okay, all of August is Elephant Awareness Month, so this lunch is still relevant... << I so wanted to say relephant but it looks too funny! There I said it anyways ;)

Elephant Yumbox. Support World Elephant Day!

Our Figue Purple Yumbox is packed with pink elephants & some of my princess's current favourite eats: granola bars, strawberry hearts, cheddar cubes, pepperoni bites, & apple wedges. Decorations include a pink princess fork, pink elephant fork pick, elephant princess bento pick, & circus elephant bento pick.

Longtime readers know that my Birdie loves elephants. Click here to see all my sproutlets' elephant lunches. I hope that elephants will continue to be around for her to love for the rest of her life, but I'm worried they might not be! Because the world’s elephants are in trouble and need our help. My sweet Birdie gave some of her savings to help her beloved elephants ♥  and if everyone else who appreciates these amazing, intelligent, caring & feeling creatures does what they can to help, we can save them!



Thursday, August 13, 2015

Happy Bento! Lunches On the Go Book Giveaway

Today I'm happy to be sharing a bento from a new cookbook, Happy Bento! Lunches On The Go, by Anna Adden - and giving a copy away too!


There are a lot of bento ideas packed into this little book! And when I say little, I'm only referring to it's bento box sized dimensions of 15cm square... it's filled with 50 fun bento recipes covering themes for every season, holiday, special school days, & more.

Happy Bento! : Lunches On The Go is more of a how-to book than a traditional cookbook. It also features a guide to bento supplies, packing tips, & lists places to shop for bento gear. The author has spent several years building her own bento gear stash and shows how she organizes it all. The bento recipes are sorted into chapters according to theme. Each recipe lists the supplies needed, ingredients, & directions, however food amounts are not specified, so nutritional content is not given.


Bento makers who wish to replicate the bentos within will benefit from having a fairly extensive collection of bento tools and accessories, as most of them call for specific cutters and/or decorations to complete the theme... but those just looking for ideas and who don't mind deviating from the author's designs will find plenty to inspire them!  Anna demonstrates a variety of different techniques accompanied by detailed directions:


My girls & I chose to make the Spring bento.  The specialty tools needed for it were flower egg molds & a flower stem bento pick, which we have - and we even have a bento box the same size & shape as the one in the book!


I had never made carrot curls! Anna's step by step instructions were clear though & it was easy! I love how they look as flowers.


We made a few changes to the bento ingredients - no beans because my picky sproutlets said no way, grapes instead of blueberries, and watermelon instead of cantaloupe, because that's what we had in the fridge.  It's all good. Here's my Spring bento next to the Happy Bento one :)


I learned something while colouring the tulip egg - always mix the food dye before placing the egg in the water! I started out all right, mixing a drop of red & yellow to make an orange tulip, then adding the egg to the dye water - but then I decided to add another drop of red to make it a darker orange, and you can see streaks where the dye swirled in the water :)


Ah well, if you've ever been to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (near where I live) you know that there actually are variegated tulips in just those colours :) Oh, and at my sproutlet's request, I coloured the center of my flower with food markers rather than exposing the yolk as in the example in the book. My girls were very happy with the Spring bento they got to share :


      

Enter my Happy Bento! Giveaway:

The winner will be drawn & announced August 22nd. Check back here, follow me on Facebook, or check your email to see if you've won - the winner will have 48 hours to respond & claim their prize before I draw again!

Don't want to wait or take your chances? Happy Bento! : Lunches on the Go is available at Amazon.com & book sellers everywhere.

Disclosure: Other than a complimentary copy of the book to review, I received no compensation for this post. This post does contain affiliate links to products I used.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Happy Star Wars Day, & May the 4th Be With You! Enjoy Your Lunch, You Will!

This past weekend Mia Bella reminded me that Monday was May the 4th. For a moment I forgot the significance, until she said "You know, May the 4th be with you?" Right! I knew that! "So will you make me a Star Wars lunch?" I said I would, & this is it, packed in her PlanetBox Rover:


I think it turned out pretty awesome! Stamping cookie cutter are the best for making a fancy looking lunch, fast. The ones I used (below) are part of a set from Williams-Sonoma that includes Darth Vader, Yoda, a Stormtrooper, & Boba Fett. They don't carry it anymore but you can still sometimes find them & similar Star Wars Press & Stamp Cookie Cutters on Amazon, or eBay.


Bella's Darth Vader & Stormtrooper sandwiches are turkey & cheddar on whole wheat & white. She has two of each, on a bed of lettuce & flanked by sweet mini peppers. The trio of Yodas are slices of honeydew melon. Dueling lightsaber cupcake picks pierce one of a bunch of grape tomatoes.   


I also packed some green grapes, & carved Star Wars into the wax shell of a Babybel cheese, using a v-shaped cutter shown in the tool set below. Carving those words took me longer than it took to make the whole rest of the lunch! And for a treat, I added some "Galaxy Mix" Jelly Belly beans. Our packet had Darth Vader on it, & the beans themselves were iridescent!


I had already closed her PlanetBox & packed it in her Rover carry bag,  & was busy making the younger sproutlets' lunches, when I remembered that I had forgotten to include a Lunchbox Love note!  Caught it in time though,  & opened up her lunch to add the note. So now you get to see what her lunch looks like after the lid's been closed & it's been turned sideways :) See... nothing squashed or out of place, only the jelly beans have moved a little ;)


I also added a Star Wars print cloth napkin made by one of the biggest Star Wars nerds in the bento world as I know it, Kristie of Beneficial Bento. You can get custom cloth napkins & more in her Beneficial Bento etsy shop.



Disclosure: My posts contain affiliate links to products & services I've used & approve of  :)  If you make a purchase after clicking one of those links, I earn a small commission. Thank you!

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