Tag Archives: Non-Sandwich Lunches

Daily Bento

26 Aug

What’s the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?

If you had asked me that before last week, I wouldn’t have had a good answer for you.

But that was before last week.

We’ll get to lunch but first, I’ve got a really stupid story to share with you so settle in.

Last Monday was the first day of school ’round these parts and as a special treat, my daughter had asked if I could bring her a Sprite when I picked her up from school. So just before I left the house to go get her, I added some ice and Sprite to her thermos to keep it nice and cold because it’s about 120 degrees here.

I parked my car and started walking up the sidewalk which is right next to the car circle, thermos in hand (but not shaking or swinging it in any way).

The first bell rings and a stampede of children along with their parents trailing behind, is now moving past me back toward the parking lot. I’m smiling, saying hello, and (most importantly) not swinging or shaking the thermos in any way.

As you may remember, it was about 130 degrees outside. That kind of heat can make a girl really thirsty so I was glad to have had the foresight to fill a thermos with an icy cold drink and then not shaken it in any way.

I was feeling rather proud of myself as in one move, I returned the Principal’s wave and lifted the thermos to my face to have a drink. It’s a flip top so you push a button, the cap flips back, and the straw pops out. Only this time, in that one swift motion that I had done probably a thousand times, the contents of that thermos (which had not been shaken in any way) exploded in my face with more force than I would have ever guessed was logically possible from such a small container.

So there I was. Soaking wet, soda dripping from my face and hair, right next to the car circle full of cars infinity miles long, and the hundred or so kids seated on the ground waiting for their parents, and the parents standing around waiting for their kids to come out of class, and all the school staff who work the car circle.

Do you guys know what happens to soda when it gets on your skin and it’s 150 degrees out? It turns into a sticky mess, that’s what. Your hair gets crispy and your skin becomes both tacky and slimy at the same time.

Additionally, as if that weren’t enough, you become especially attractive to WASPS and other insects!

I can tell you for a fact that all it takes is one waft of your crispy hair and sticky skin and they go nuts. I’m pretty sure that one wasp in particular was in love because he kept hovering right in front of my face.

Ever had a wasp look you dead in your eyeball and then try repeatedly to land on your face? Were you aware that unlike cute little honeybees, wasps can sting you repeatedly?

It’s every bit as terrifying as you’re imagining it is.

I’ve been stung by wasps before but I’m not really interested in getting stung in the face, so I did the only thing I could think to do. The only thing that seemed logical in such a situation…

Full on Matrix style evasive maneuvers were now happening, in front of everyone.

I was ducking and weaving and swatting and my new pointy-ended BFF remained unphased. The cherry on the top of this story is that only the people closest to me could actually see the wasp. For everyone else, I was just a crispy headed, wet shirt wearing lunatic who was flailing about in public.

By this point Camryn had come out of class (what pride she must have felt upon seeing all this) so we started heading back towards our vehicle with that stupid wasp hovering in front of my face every step of the way.

Finally, the wasp left my face for just a moment to investigate Camryn’s floral print backpack that I was carrying. Maybe he was tired of all the swatting – who knows? So I did the next most logical thing I could think of and promptly flung my daughter’s backpack as far away from us as I could and watched it land in the grass where unbeknownst until way too late to me, several other wasps were congregating.

I immediately grabbed Cam’s hand and pulled her far enough away to be out of range of those wasps. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it because I don’t want her to panic every time she sees a bug but at the same time, getting stung by a wasp hurts. And her getting stung would have meant lots of screaming and crying and me carrying her and all of her stuff all the way to the front of the school to the nurse’s office in that heat.

No thank you.

And so we stood there. Waiting and watching that backpack just lying in the grass while car after car slowly drove by, each driver staring at me probably trying to figure out why I just threw my kid’s backpack in the grass and why we were now standing there staring at it. And also probably why my shirt was wet and my hair was slicked back and crispy.

After a few minutes, the wasps had all gone about their business elsewhere.

We retrieved her backpack and then drove straight home where I informed my husband that we had to move to another town immediately. Preferably to one with less wasps.

So there it is. My most embarrassing moment. I’d love to know yours. If you’re feeling brave, share it in the comments section below.

Completely changing direction, let’s talk lunch!

For lunch yesterday, Camryn had a few pancake muffins with extra maple syrup in a cute little container for dipping, a fruit salad, broccoli, cauliflower, and a cheese stick.

 

 

Maple Spice Pancake Muffins

adapted from Bakerella’s Mini Maple Chocolate Pancake Muffins

1 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp melted butter

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick spray or drop in liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and spices until combined.

In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, maple syrup and melted butter.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until everything is incorporated.

Allow the batter to rest for about 5 minutes or so and then fill your mini muffin pan about 2/3 full with the batter.

Bake for 8 minutes or until tops spring back when pressed lightly.

Let the muffins cool for a few minutes and then pop them out of the muffin pan.

 

… and if you’d prefer a more savory muffin option, this recipe is quite yummy. I like to spread ridiculous amounts of spicy chipotle butter all over them just before I shove them into my mouth.

To make chipotle butter, just chop up a pepper from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and mix it into some softened butter. Add some of the sauce too if you want a little more spice.

 

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1 Aug

Non Sandwich Lunch Ideas

 

It’s already August! That means that summer will soon be coming to an end and it will be time for the little ones to shuffle off to school again.

Will you be packing lunches for a kid who doesn’t like sandwiches this school year?

Me too!

Do you often find yourself standing in your kitchen late at night/early in the morning trying to come up with something, anything to put in their lunch box because you can’t just whip up a PB&J or a turkey and cheese and expect it to be eaten?

Yep. Me too! And that’s why I can’t believe it has taken me this long to put a list together of non-sandwich lunch ideas.

Keep in mind that some of the ideas I’ve listed aren’t complete lunches. Just ideas for sandwich replacements – the main part of lunch. You may need to add a little protein or some fresh fruits and veggies on the side to make lunch complete.

With over 125 ideas for sandwich replacements listed below, there’s sure to be something here for everyone.

 

Sandwich Bread Alternatives – These are fundamentally still sandwiches, in that you have a filing of some sort between two pieces of something else. However, my daughter will usually eat everything on this list when used as a stand-in for sliced bread so it may be worth giving one of these options a try.

Hot Dog Bun – Cam’s favorite way to eat a BLT

Bagel

Croissant – These are great sliced and used like sandwich bread or rolled up around a filling and baked.

Waffle

English Muffin

Biscuit

Naan or Pita Bread

Tortilla

Scones

Cinnamon Raisin Bread – Great with nut butter and thinly sliced apple or pear.

Crackers – Make your own Lunchables by adding meat and cheese.

Lavash – I love this stuff. Can be used as is or seasoned and baked until crisp like a cracker.

Sliced Apple – Core and fill with nut butter and raisins or lunch meat and cheese.

Skewer or Fun Food PickDon’t underestimate the appeal of food on a stick for kids. If you’re worried about your child poking their eye out or impaling the kid next to him/her, use a chopstick, popsicle stick, or pretzel stick.

 

Hot Lunch – If your kids prefer a hot lunch but you’re not crazy about the lunch options offered at school, a thermos is the way to go. We love using our thermos but it can be a challenge sometimes to think of different things to fill it with. A suggestion for making things a little easier on yourself is to make a large portion of any one of these items over the weekend or when you have time, store it in an air tight container in the fridge and then just add it to your warmed thermos in the morning. Just a few minutes of prep before school and you’re out the door! Here are a few ideas for kids who prefer a hot lunch.

Macaroni & Cheese

Soup / Stew / Chowder – You can find some of our favorite soups here and Cam’s favorite soup here.

Chili

Shepard’s pie

Casserole

Pot Pie – This is how we do pot pie.

Stuffed Peppers – This recipe for unstuffed peppers would be perfect here. We’ve tried it and it’s delicious.

Fish Sticks / Nuggets

Teriyaki / Honey Glazed Chicken & Rice

Swedish Meatballs – Egg noodles or mashed potatoes would go perfectly with these.

Meatballs in Marinara Sauce – Pack up a bun and some shredded cheese in a separate container for make-your-own meatball subs!

Spaghetti

Stir Fry / Fried Rice

Lo Mein

Sloppy Joes – Pack a bun separately or fill the bottom of the thermos with rice and put the Sloppy Joe filling on top. Much easier to eat than a regular Sloppy Joe.

Baked Potato – With your child’s favorite toppings.

Hand Pies / DIY Hot Pockets – Small pies made from puff pastry, pie, pizza, or biscuit dough and filled with pretty much anything.

Chicken & Yellow Rice

Stroganoff

Goulash

Fajitas – Add cooked ingredients (chicken or steak strips, sliced onions, and bell peppers) to a thermos, and pack tortillas separately. Your kids can build their own fajitas at lunch.

Mini Meatloaf – Bake the meatloaf in a muffin tin for easy to pack individual servings. Serve on top of mashed potatoes in the thermos.

Leftovers –  Just toss in whatever you had for dinner the night before.

 

Salads – I know that not every kid gets excited over iceberg lettuce and sliced tomatoes so I’ve included lots of different kinds of salads here so that there’s something for everyone. Just pack up some of your child’s favorite dressing in a spill proof container so they can top their salad as they please at lunch time.

Fruit or Veggie Salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad – Top spinach leaves with fresh strawberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges, and almonds or walnuts.

Pasta SaladCouscous is a great option here.

Tuna, Ham, Egg, Shrimp, or Chicken salad – These salads could be used to top a green salad, as part of a wrap, or served with a side of crackers.

Caprese Salad – One of my favorite summer lunches! I like to make this into a sandwich on a crusty baguette. I make a balsamic reduction by boiling 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar with 2 Tbsp brown sugar over medium heat for about 6-7 minutes until it thickens. Then I fill the baguette with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, a little basil, and a drizzle of the balsamic reduction. So so good!

Waldorf Salad

Taco Salad

BLT Salad – Spinach, bacon, tomato, and croutons.

Sweet & Crunchy Arugula Salad – Arugula, green apple or pear, cranberries, blue cheese, and walnuts.

Greek Salad

Roasted Corn Salad –  Roasted corn, tomatoes, roasted red bell pepper, finely diced red onion, avocado, honey lime dressing: Mix the juice of one lime with 1/4 cup of honey, add salt and pepper to taste, and pour over the salad.

Chinese Chicken Salad

Barley, Bulgar Wheat, Farro, Quinoa, or Brown Rice Salad – Possible mix-ins include dried fruit, thinly sliced fennel or celery for crunch, toasted nuts, seeds, herbs, vegetables, really anything goes here.

Nicoise Salad – You could use salmon or chicken instead of tuna if your kiddo doesn’t like it.

Panzanella Salad – A salad that’s mostly bread! Yes please.

Cold Noodle Salad – Rice or soba noodles, cabbage, thinly sliced bell peppers, shredded carrot, and basil with a peanut dressing.

Cornbread Salad – Layers of cornbread, black-eyed peas, bell pepper, corn, sweet onion, and shredded cheddar usually topped with sour cream or ranch dressing, and salsa.

 

Pasta – Pasta is a given because it’s fast and easy to prepare, most kids love it, and the possibilities are endless. Just start with whatever pasta you have and then toss in whatever your kids like or use one of the combinations below.  To keep things gluten-free, you could substitute zucchini noodles, shredded spaghetti squash, or even cauliflower rice.

Parmesan and butter – Perfect with angel hair pasta and pretty much universally adored by kids.

Roasted spring vegetables

Shrimp and lemon – Great with orzo.

Peas and carrots – Ditalini, star-shaped pasta, or any other small pasta would work nicely here.

Pesto, chicken, fresh mozzarella, and sun-dried tomatoes

White beans and roasted fall vegetables

Heirloom tomatoes and artichokes

Kalamata olives, cucumbers, tomato, feta, roasted chicken, parsley, and a little lemon juice

Roasted tomatoes, sausage, and basil

This Pasta

 

Chicken – We all seem to have leftover chicken in some form or fashion in our refrigerators from time to time. Here are some ideas to help you use up that chicken (or any other leftover meat you might have) to make delicious lunches. Just pair that leftover meat with any of the following combinations below.

A biscuit or a roll and fresh fruit or veggies

Couscous with veggies and cheese

Rice with mixed veggies

Mashed potatoes or pasta

White rice, diced avocado, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice

Barley, farro, or brown rice

Roasted asparagus and/or potatoes

Roasted bell peppers and pineapple

A big salad

In a wrap with sauce or dressing for dipping

 

Pizza – A favorite among most kids. They never seem to get tired of it but if you’re looking for some new ways to pack it up for their lunches, hopefully one of these ideas will do the trick!

Pizza Roll-Ups made with bread dough, puff pastry, or croissants

Pizza Pasta – Just add their favorite pizza toppings to some cooked pasta and mix in a little pizza sauce.

Pizza Grilled CheeseWhile technically still a sandwich, this is one my daughter will happily eat.

Pizza on a stickJust skewer bite-sized pieces of pizza and veggies on a food pick or skewer.

Calzones or Stromboli

Pizzadillas – Half pizza, half quesadilla, all good. Just fill a tortilla with your child’s favorite pizza toppings, cook as you would a regular quesadilla and serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

Macaroni & Cheese PizzaOh yes. A new favorite at our house. Annie’s makes a really good one if you’d rather not make this one yourself.

Homemade Pizza Lunchables – Just send pita or any other flat bread along with pizza sauce, shredded cheese, and any other pizza toppings. Your kids can assemble their own pizzas at lunch time. If your kids don’t have long for lunch, send them already assembled, like I do.

 

Breakfast for lunch – Always a hit with my kids and a great option for kids who have really early lunch times. Any of these options would be great with ham, bacon, sausage, or hard-boiled eggs, and a big side of fresh fruit.

Pancakes, Waffles, or French Toast Sticks with syrup

Cinnamon Rolls – Can be served whole with icing on top or bite-sized with icing on the side for dipping. Not the healthiest option, I know, but this would be a nice treat when a special lunch is in order. Maybe for a birthday or as a reward for a good report card.

Muffins – Sweet or savory. If your little ones like corn dogs you can make them much easier to eat by baking cut up hot dogs inside of mini corn muffins.

Banana or Zucchini Bread

Scones – Mix fruit and chocolate chips or diced ham, cheese, and green onion into your dough mixture before you bake it for really tasty and filling scones.

Quiche

Muffin Pan Frittatas – Like little omelets. Just spray a muffin pan with non stick spray and mix together 4 eggs, 1/4 cup half and half or milk, and salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into the muffin pan, add a spoonful or so of whatever mix-ins your child likes (cheese, meat, veggies) and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until puffed up and golden brown.

Parfaits – Yogurt, fruit, granola

Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat in the thermos with mix-ins in a separate container

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Homemade Granola Bars – Load them up with dried fruit, seeds, and nuts for a healthier alternative to prepackaged granola bars. Like these or these.

Cottage Cheese & Fruit

Fruit & Oatmeal Squares

Breakfast Hot Pocket – Fill pie dough or puff pastry with scrambled egg, cheese, and the breakfast meat of your choice. Seal the edges, brush with a little egg wash (beaten egg mixed with a tiny splash of water or milk) and bake until golden brown and crisp.

Smoothies – Three of our favorite smoothies can be found here. Dates make great natural sweeteners and oats are healthy tummy fillers!

 

Dips – Because dips are fun!

Regular or Avocado Hummus – With an assortment of veggie sticks and pita bread.

Tzatziki or Ranch Dressing – Carrots and celery are fine but ddon’t forget about green beans, asparagus, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, radishes, and zucchini too.

Fruit Salsa – Cinnamon pita chips are delicious with fruit salsa.

Nut Butter – With fruit and/or carrot sticks.

Greek Yogurt – Add a little flavor with PB, honey, and a sprinkle of cinnamonJust add everything to taste and mix until well incorporated. Great with sliced apples.

Pea Pesto aka “Cheesy Peasy Bread Spread” – We love this stuff with veggie chips, bread sticks, or a sliced baguette.

Cocktail Sauce – A treat for kids who like shrimp.

Guacamole or Salsa – For dipping tortilla chips. Refried beans would be a good source of protein and also counts as a dip!

Spring Rolls – Just add thinly sliced raw veggies and chicken, shrimp, or pork to rice paper rolls and roll up. Pack up a favorite dipping sauce in a spill proof container and lunch is done. You could add mango, sprouts, greens, noodles, basil leaves, or anything else your heart desires. These are totally customizable.

 

Quesadillas – We all know how to make plain cheese quesadillas but I think we can do better than that. Here are some filling ideas that you may not have thought about.

Ham, cheese, and pineapple

Ham, bosc pear, muenster cheese – Try this on a croissant too, it’s delicious!

PB, banana, and honey

Biscoff spread and sliced apples – Biscoff spread on a warm tortilla is one of my favorite late night snacks.

Sliced strawberries, apples, or pears with hazelnut spread

Fruit or jam and cream cheese

Prosciutto, cheddar, and apple

Buffalo chicken, blue cheese dressing, monterey or pepper jack cheese

BBQ pork, shredded cheddar cheese, caramelized onions

 

Wraps & Roll-ups – Any of the following options below could be wrapped up in lettuce wraps, lavash, nori, rice paper, tortilla, pita, or any other flatbread. Just add a favorite dressing or dip in a separate container and maybe some chips or fresh fruit on the side and lunch is just about done!

Cream cheese and veggies

Nut butter, jelly or jam, and a banana

Shredded chicken and leafy greens

Turkey and Caesar Salad

Tomato, mozzarella, basil

Salami, cream cheese, spinach

Southwest Chicken Roll-Ups – Chicken, salsa, black beans, corn, cream cheese, and shredded cheddar cheese spread on a tortilla and rolled up.

Bacon Ranch Roll-Ups – Bacon, cream cheese, ranch seasoning mix, cheddar cheese, and a little green onion spread on a tortilla and rolled up.

Lunch meat, Laughing Cow cheese, thinly sliced cucumber or any other raw veg

Mashed white beans, avocado, grated carrot, sprouts, lettuce, and any other veggies your child likes

Thinly sliced cucumber spread with hummus and filled with thinly sliced turkey – This one is a roll in itself.

Thinly sliced ham or turkey spread with cream cheese wrapped around a pickleA party favorite from my childhood.

Avocado & Veggie Sushi – Avocado, thinly sliced raw veggies, and sushi rice, all wrapped up tight in nori and sliced into bite-sized pieces. You could always make a deconstructed version of this by just layering the ingredients rather than rolling them up.

Lunch meat wrapped around string cheese

Prosciutto wrapped around sliced melon and/or apple slices – Brie or mozzarella would go really well with these.

Prosciutto wrapped dates – Fill the dates with a spreadable cheese you like and wrap away! 

Pigs in a Blanket – Just pack their favorite dipping sauce in a little container so they can dip until their heart’s content at lunch time.

 

Choose Your Own Adventure Lunch – A box full of this and that. I usually just let the little one raid the kitchen and pack up random odds and ends of whatever she likes.

This style of lunch packing is my go to method when I can’t think of anything else. It’s a great way for me to clean out the fridge and pantry before my weekly trip to the grocery store or to use up some produce before it goes bad. It’s also Cam’s favorite way to eat lunch.

I made a lot of this kind of lunch over the last couple of years. You can see more examples of this style of lunch packing here, here, here and here. The options here are endless.

 

I hope this has given you guys some ideas for sandwich substitutions. This is an ongoing list so I’ll add things as I think of them and please feel free to comment with your favorite non-sandwich lunch ideas too and I’ll add those as well.

Daily Bento

30 May

A couple of bentos for Friday:

 

bento 5-29-14

The first is yesterday’s lunch which contained a strawberry preserves and cream cheese kitty sandwich cut with our Cutezcute kitty cutter, Triscuits, grapes, fresh pineapple chunks, and a few sugar snap peas.

 

Today’s lunch is macaroni and cheese pizza (pizza with macaroni and cheese baked on top!), strawberries, veggie straws, and chocolate covered almonds. I added a couple of pups from this set to add instant cuteness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Day Bento… A Day Late

7 Jan

pancake bento

 

It’s technically a new school year for us.

Just before the kids went on their two-week break for the holidays, Camryn was promoted to second grade.

Yesterday was the first day of school for her all over again.

New grade, new classroom, new teacher, new kids, new schedule, new everything.

That can be tough for a little one and this is the third time this year she’s had to do it!

She was supposed to be in her gifted class all day yesterday so I really hadn’t planned anything special for lunch.

After school I found out that gifted was cancelled so she actually ate lunch with her new class.

Whoopsie.

So today I tried to make lunch just a little more special that I usually do.

With pancakes.

Cam isn’t a fan of sandwiches anyway so I’m always trying to think of alternatives for her lunchbox.

I had a ton of teeny pancakes in my freezer so I defrosted them and then just used a small flower-shaped cutter to cut them down a bit so that she could dip them into her maple syrup, which is in her small star container.

Along with her pancakes, she also has a Babybel, strawberries, carrot coins, and sweet peppers.

I am happy to report that she had a great first day.

 

13 Dec

 

I hated peas as a child.

Maybe hate isn’t a strong enough word.

The only way that I could get them down was to swallow them whole, like pills.

My daughter however, adores them.

She can sit down in front of a big bowl of peas with nothing on them but a little sea salt and maybe a drizzle of olive oil and be the happiest girl in the world. And she has, many times.

For me, even a small side of peas on my dinner plate meant that I was going to be sitting at that table for a while. Or at least long enough for my mom to finish her dinner and leave the room so that I could scrape them into the trash.

I’m still not crazy about peas on their own but I love pea pesto.

For Cam, the mention of pea pesto always elicits a fast-clappy jump up and down frenzy of excitement.

She uses it as a dip for chips, crackers, and veggies. She eats it rolled up in tortillas and as “cheesy peasy bread spread”  smeared on toasted bread.

Last night it was just us girls for dinner.

That rarely happens but when it does, girl food is required.

So I sliced and toasted a baguette, topped each slice with goat cheese, sweet pea pesto, and sun-dried tomatoes, and that was what we ate while standing in the kitchen.

Actually, Cam sat on the counter.

I didn’t follow a recipe, I just used what I have in my kitchen.

The only hard and fast rule I always follow is that I only use frozen sweet peas. NEVER sad mushy canned peas.

Gross.

This batch was made with walnuts and it’s my favorite so far.

 

Sweet Pea & Walnut Pesto

1 cup of frozen sweet peas

1 clove of garlic chopped

lemon zest

squeeze of lemon juice

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

handful of walnuts – chopped and toasted

extra virgin olive oil

herbs: thyme, tarragon, basil, whatever you have – I stripped the leaves from one sprig of thyme

salt & pepper

 

Directions

There’s no need to measure the ingredients so all of the amounts are approximate.

Just thaw about a cup of frozen peas and dump them into a blender or food processor along with all of the other ingredients except the oil.

Pulse a few times and then slowly drizzle in the oil while the machine is running until everything comes together.

You can leave it chunky if you want or you can blend until it’s totally smooth.

Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Use immediately or store in an air-tight container for a day or two.

Cam brought the leftover pesto for lunch along with some tortilla chips for dipping.

 

A Special Daily Bento

1 Oct

Yesterday was a very exciting day in our house.

Miss Camryn received an acceptance letter from Mensa and she starts the gifted program at school on Monday.

We met the teacher of her school’s gifted program yesterday and she told us that the gifted kids get to eat their lunch at a special table up on the stage in the ‘cafegymatorium’ (my term for the school’s cafeteria/gymnasium/auditorium).

Also, they eat lunch at 11:55, A normal lunchtime! And they get snacks!

Finally, someone gets it.

Such exciting developments deserve a pretty special lunch.

Today’s lunch includes some of Cam’s favorite things:

 

Cam loves pink so I included as much pink as possible.

She has pizza bites and peppers on little pink skewers, pink watermelon flowers in a pink little pig, some fruit-leather cut-outs, and some pink strawberry cookies.

I didn’t get around to making the cookies until late last night and by then I certainly didn’t feel like making them from scratch.

Since I’m not opposed to taking a little help from the store every now and then, I grabbed a box of strawberry cake mix, dumped it into a bowl along with 2 eggs, 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, some sprinkles, and a couple handfuls of white chocolate chips. I mixed it all up, rolled the dough into balls, placed them on a baking sheet, and baked them at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

The cookies cover her intense affection for strawberries, sprinkles, chocolate, and the color pink.

 

 

 

Look! It’s a Lunch.

22 Jul

 

Don’t worry, my kids have been getting lunch over the summer.

I just take a more relaxed approach to lunch these days. Nothing worth photographing, really.

Most days, they get a sandwich or leftovers and some fruit. I don’t cut it up with cute cutters or put picks in it and it doesn’t go into a cute box.

In fact, most days they’re lucky if it even goes on a plate. Who needs more dishes to wash?

I made some veggie wraps for dinner over the weekend and they were fabulous so I had to remake them with one minor change for my little veggie loving lady.

And since they turned out so darn cute, I had to put them in Cam’s new bento box and then blog about them – of course.

In this lunch are 6 veggie wrap slices, an organic gala apple wedge, some fruit and veggie shreds from Plum Kids Organics, and a flapjack from our Graze box.

To make the veggie wraps:

Spread cream cheese or tzatziki on a wrap or tortilla (I used veggie cream cheese & a spinach wrap)

Then layer on some spring greens or baby spinach, thinly sliced red bell pepper, shredded or thinly sliced carrots, sliced avocado, and a thin sprinkle of shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese.

Cam’s wrap didn’t have avocado because she hasn’t really developed a taste for it yet but yours should because it’s delicious!

Feel free to switch up the veggies to suit your taste.

Breakfast for Lunch

26 Jun

bento 005

 

We had pancakes and sausage for dinner last night and I was sure to make a few teeny tiny pancakes for Cam to have for lunch today.

Why is breakfast so much better at lunch or dinner time?

I mean I never want a bowl of cereal for breakfast but I can always eat it for dinner or an afternoon snack.

What’s that about?

My kids go nuts when I tell them we’re having breakfast for dinner.

It’s like we’re breaking a rule but it’s o.k. because I’m the mom so I can totally do that.

In her ELB are those four left-over pancakes from dinner last night. I flavored them with cinnamon and a little vanilla. She also has some all natural breakfast sausage in her silicone pig (I couldn’t resist), a few slices of an organic apple, some maple syrup for dipping, and some organic raisins.

I always make pancakes from scratch because it’s so easy there’s really no reason not to. Here’s the recipe I always use. It’s never failed me.

Ingredients:

1 cup self-rising flour

1 cup milk (I use almond)

1 beaten egg

1/2 Tbsp sugar  (optional)

tiny pinch of salt (optional)

Directions:

Whisk dry ingredients together until combined. Add wet ingredients and whisk just until combined. A few lumps are o.k.

Heat griddle or pan to medium.

I like to keep a little bowl of melted butter next to my stove to brush the pan with between pancakes but you can also use non-stick spray if you need it.

Drop desired amount of batter onto your pan. I use an ice cream scoop but you can also use a squeeze bottle which makes it really easy. Don’t have a squeeze bottle? Wash out an empty ketchup bottle.

Cook on first side until bubbles appear on top. I usually take a little peek underneath before I flip to make sure things are nice and brown. Cook about 30 seconds to a minute more on the second side and then plate it up!

I usually get 6-8 regular sized pancakes out of this batter but you can easily double or triple it if you need more. As long as you have equal parts self-rising flour and milk, and an egg, you have pancakes.

You could also add to the batter:

2 Tbsp melted butter

nuts

chopped fruit

sprinkles

chocolate chips (or any other kind of chips really)

vanilla

pumpkin puree

nutmeg

cinnamon

preserves

melted chocolate

greens or protein powder

Daily Bento

18 Jun

 

For lunch today Cam had two crescents that she filled with Applegate Farms all-natural pepperoni and colby jack cheese. She also had some organic gala apple wedges, broccoli, and organic fruit snacks.

My kids love crescent rolls and they make a super quick lunch. Just fill the crescents with their favorite meat and/or cheese, pop them in the oven, and about 10 minutes later, lunch is ready!

Daily Bento

11 Jun

Just popping in to quickly share today’s lunch.

In her ELB, Camryn had brown sugar deli ham roll-ups, a mozzarella cheese stick cut into thirds, a few Spring Ritz crackers, broccoli, and a parfait made from yogurt, strawberries, dried cranberries, almonds, and granola.