Late Lunches

13 May

I think most of us who blog about kids’ lunches tend to go through a little burn out towards the end of each school year.

We start every school year with the best of intentions but by the time April rolls around, we’re pretty much over it.

I am certainly no exception.

This time of year is super busy for my family too and that sure doesn’t help things.

We’ve got projects due, competitions, concerts, end of year meetings, graduation and all of the activities leading up to graduation… it’s crazy!

Crazy or not, the kids still have to eat. So here are a few lunches that I managed to snap a picture of, or perhaps gently coerced my husband to snap a picture of so that could get our dear little lamb out the door to school on time.

This first lunch consisted of a grilled cheese sandwich which was made in the morning and allowed to cool completely before it was sliced and packed up. I also added some peas, corn, and fresh tomatoes to Cam’s ELB.

It wasn’t pretty, but every bit of it was eaten and that’s really all I care about.

This lunch box contained a pasta salad packed with veggies, some garlic knots, and a few chocolate rabbits left over from Easter (which also tells you how long ago it was made).

This is about as cute as it gets here, folks. Two sandwiches cut with a flower-shaped cookie cutter, pretzel crackers, carrot coins, and celery. I think my husband might have actually made this one.

Daily Bento

12 May

Hi there!

Remember me?

I used to blog here but got lazy and took a bit of a break.

Actually, it was two months which is forever in blogging time.

I’m happy to say that I’m getting back to blogging starting today. I can’t say how often I’ll be posting, but I’ll try not to make it seem like I’ve dropped off the face of the earth again, k?

So… let’s talk lunch.

Pictured above is Cam’s lunch which contains leftovers from last night’s dinner. This has swiftly become her favorite meal. She eats two helpings at dinner and then steals bites from her Daddy’s plate, and asks for another bowl for bedtime snack. So I’d say it’s a winner.

It’s a layer of cooked brown rice, black beans, roasted sweet potatoes that have been tossed in veg oil and taco seasoning, corn and tomato salsa (corn, chopped tomatoes, red onion, green onion, cilantro & lime juice), and a healthy amount of fresh guacamole. Sometimes I add fresh sweet peppers and/or salsa or hot sauce. Just depends on my mood.

I’m not quite sure what to call this mish-mash of food but I can tell you that it’s super easy to prepare. It’s also healthy and delicious so I hope you’ll try it. I know the sweet potatoes seem like a weird addition but it totally works. Especially with a huge dollop of guacamole!

Cam has a small container of guacamole in her lunchbox as well that she can add at the lunch table.

She also has some pound cake and grapes to round out her meal.

12 Mar

trashy donuts

 

Oh yes.

Chocolate glazed donuts topped with crumbled bacon, potato chip shards, and a salted beer caramel drizzle.

Because it’s my birthday!

That’s right.

Today is my special day and I think that warrants a pretty special treat.

 

trashy donuts

 

I have to tell you guys, these donuts are pretty darn special.

As in utterly ridiculous and over the top kind of special but totally worthy of their place on my birthday dessert table and in my mouth.

There are a few more steps and ingredients (not to mention calories) in this recipe than I normally like to share so this is definitely a special occasion treat.

And don’t worry, none of the steps are hard or time-consuming so this is totally doable.

You can make minis like I did but if you have a regular sized donut pan, use that one instead. It makes the process so much faster and easier.

I hope you guys enjoy this one. I’m off to try and arrange these donuts so they’ll hold all of my thirty-something birthday candles.

I have real concerns about structural integrity.

 

trashy donuts

 

Trashy Donuts

Chocolate Cake Donuts
adapted from King Aurthur Flour

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp vinegar, white or cider
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the wells of your donut pan with non-stick spray.

2) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt

3) In a large measuring cup or medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and vinegar.

4) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to incorporate. Don’t overmix. Just make sure everything is combined.

5) Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and fill each donut well about 3/4 full.

6) Bake the doughnuts for 6-8 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. You’ll have to adjust your baking time based on your donut pan size.

7) Let the donuts cool for a few minutes before you try to remove them from the pan.

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Directions

Whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth.

Dip the top of each doughnut in the glaze.

To make the bacon and chips topping: Just cook bacon as you please (I prefer to bake mine in the oven) and break up some chips into little pieces. I used 6-8 slices of bacon and about 2 cups of chips but the amount you need will differ based on the size of your donuts.

You’ll want to add the topping before the glaze sets so it’s easiest to dip each donut, sprinkle on the topping, and then put it back on the cooling rack to set.

Once each donut has been dipped and topped, make the caramel.

Salted Beer Caramel Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ½ cup beer – I used Hoegaarden
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Directions

Add the brown sugar, honey, beer, and butter to a saucepan over high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and then stop stirring. Reduce heat to medium and allow to boil for 7 minutes or until the mixture turns a golden amber color – this happens really fast so don’t walk away from it! Turn off the heat, add a tsp of sea salt, stir, and drizzle over the donuts.

If you boil your caramel too long it will harden. If this happens, just put the pot of caramel back on the burner over low heat and add a pat of butter and a tbsp or two of milk. Stir slowly until the caramel softens and you can drizzle it over all of the donuts.

Enjoy!

11 Mar

fruit & veggie juice

 

I’m just going to go ahead and carry over the beverage theme from yesterday because I have to share a yummy juice recipe that was actually invented by my daughter.

It was 84 degrees today (it’s still winter, right?) so an icy-cold glass of this fresh juice was a welcome treat after our hot walk home from school this afternoon.

I should start by letting you know that we do not own a juicer.

That’s right.

We make all of our fresh juices in a blender so don’t worry if you don’t own a juicer either.

If you own a decent blender, you can make juice.

It’s so easy. Just blend, strain, and enjoy!

 

fruit & veggie juice

 

Cam’s recipe is fantastic as it is but feel free to add different varieties of fruit to suit your taste.

She doesn’t like anything tart (just like her mama ;) ) so we added just a bit of lime juice to brighten things up and we used a gala apple rather than a more tart variety, like a Granny Smith.

Don’t be put off by the carrots. We didn’t taste them at all.

 

Cam's Fresh Fruit & Veggie Juice

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 

Ingredients:

2 carrots peeled and sliced

1 apple cored and chopped

1/4 cup pineapple chopped

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

juice of half a lime

4 ice cubes

3/4 cup water

 

Directions

Add ingredients to a blender, pulse a few times to get things going, then blend on high for a couple of minutes until the mixture is super smooth. This took about two and a half minutes in my blender.

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Use the back of a large spoon to press the remaining pulp just to be sure you get every last drop of juice.

Pour over ice and drink up!

 

 

 

 

10 Mar

 

infused water for kids

 

My husband brought home a water infuser tumbler from work not too long ago and my daughter and I spent the next few days putting every fruit/herb combo we could come up with in it.

How I have lived all these years without one of these things is beyond me.

I love it. And so does my daughter.

After a little trial and error we both figured out which combos of fruit and herbs we liked and which ones we didn’t.

Cucumber and lemon is a no-go for her but mint is okay only if used sparingly or in ice cubes to make her drink pretty.

Her favorite combo turned out to be mandarin, strawberry, and blueberry and I have to say, it’s pretty fantastic. So much so that I just had to share it here with you.

 

infused water for kids

 

The fact that the water turned anywhere from pale pink to dark purple (depending on how many frozen blueberries we used) was a big draw too. ;)

This couldn’t be easier to make. There’s no real recipe to it, just a process – and a super simple one at that!

Just slice your kiddos’ favorite fruits, add them to the container of your choice, and pour filtered water or coconut water over them. Add herbs too if you think they’ll go for it.

Let the water sit for at least half an hour in the refrigerator so the flavors can infuse and drink up!

 

infused water for kids

 

You can refill the water a few times before the fruit loses flavor but I’ve found that the easiest way is to just add lots of fruit and herbs to a pitcher, pour over filtered water, and leave in the refrigerator.

That way it’s ready for your kids when they’re thirsty.

We found that frozen berries produced the nicest color because they almost always have a little juice on the outside. They also cool your drink faster. In fact, we’ve been known to just grab a handful of frozen mixed berries from the freezer and toss them into our water.

We’re not exactly patient women.

But we are drinking a lot more water these days, so there’s that.

 

infused water for kids

 

I hope you guys enjoy this one with your kids. Have fun experimenting with different flavor combos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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