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I came across an unpublished post from back in April!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.  
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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