Monday, April 30, 2012

Egg carton lunch

Today's lunch is in a recycled container. The minions do not eat to much, so I cut the egg carton in half. For lunch we have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into a N, L, J, 4, 6, and an 8. Next to is part of an apple cut up, and Cookies N Cream Goldfish. The bottom has 2 rolled slices of ham, a stick of string cheese cut into 3 pieces, and match stick carrots. I have to admit that I was a bit surprised with how much actually fit into just half an egg carton. I am glad to have found a new use for our egg cartons. We go through about 2 dozen eggs a week.

I think next time I will turn the egg carton into a before lunch craft project. Maybe set out some of the sticky back foam shapes, pipe cleaners, construction paper, and some markers. That way the minions can decorate their lunch box before mama fills it with lunch.

Bento of the Week

Freezer Leftovers Bento

I amaze myself with the food I keep. I was looking through the fridge freezer and found quite a few bags with only a few of the item in them. Not enough for a meal for even one person, but I thought if I added them together there would be something.

The small amounts of veggies were made into baby food for The Colonel. The boys had some of the more interesting stuff (things that taste good cold) for lunch plus some. I had a bag with 3 of the dinosaur chicken nuggets, a bag with 5 cheese sticks, and a handful of those stuffed cheese bread bits among the rest.

So on the left side we have a chicken nugget dinosaur sitting on top of a cheese stick. Under that are 3 mozzarella stuffed bites. Also we have 3 peanut butter and jelly music notes.

To the right are 3 celery pieces with peanut butter, grapes, strawberries, and ham spread with tomato basil Laughing Cow cheese and rolled up.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Week of Butterflies: At Meijer Gardens!

This is what lunch looked like after spending 45 minutes in a car, stuffed in a back pack being kicked by a 3 year old, riding in a wagon for 2 1/2 hours, and having a child constantly wanting to carry the back pack. Yes, it still made it! I touched nothing.

Today was a big trip to Meijer Gardens for the butterfly exhibit with Clark's preschool class. Clark rode the bus with his class and the other 3 minions and I met them there. They all had a fun time and no one grabbed a butterfly.

For the boys I packed a peanut butter and jelly butterfly sandwich with no decoration, broccoli for the ground and small pieces of cheddar cheese. The bottom tier has strawberries, grapes, carrot coins, and peanut butter. The small blue container is one of the sections out of my Sassy lunch box. It contains applesauce.

I are some of my lunch before I remembered to take a picture. I packed red seedless grapes, grape tomatoes, and tuna fish sushi. The bottom tier has carrot coins, strawberries and the little boxes have the best homemade kimchi. I also packed a pork and mushroom onigiri. Forgive the poor wrap job on my onigiri. I was using my scraps from other projects to cover it.

Back to the kimchi. I have lived in this area for about a year and a half. I missed the Asian markets in Grand Rapids. Sadly, I had not been able to find one in my area. Grand Rapids is only about 45 minutes away, but when you want only $15 worth of fresh noodles and other items and your gas to get there and back is $18, it just isn't worth it.

One day I was talking food with a friend and she mentioned a small little shop here in Muskegon. We ended up going. Valy Vietnamese Oriental Food and Gifts is at 1147 3rd st. The owner is very nice. It's not a large shop, but she sells many different things. You really need to give yourself some time to look around. She has various rice steamers (some I have never seen in the Grand Rapids shops), various rices, sauces, an onigiri mold kit, rice seasonings (6 or 7 different ones!), gifts, some frozen goods, a small selection of dishes, kids snacks, and a cooler with homemade kimchi and pickled plumbs! I have been looking for those! Just to give a heads up, she cannot accept debit or credit cards at this time. None the less, we all need to go out and support our small businesses.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Week of Butterflies: Day 3

 One more day till we go to Meijer Gardens to see the butterfly exhibit! I hope the minions are good and do not try to pick the butterflies up. Tyke really likes bugs. He is also that age where he tries to sneak everything into his pocket and take it home with him.

Once again we have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the shape of a butterfly. The decoration on it is done with grapes, tomatoes, 2 slivers of cantaloupe, carrots and a piece of celery. It sits on a bed of shredded cheese.
The bottom tier has a cup of peanut butter to use as a dip for the veggies and apple. I have balled cantaloupe, celery sticks, carrot coins, and sliced apple.

The decorations on the butterfly stayed put pretty well. They stood up high enough so when the lid was put on the bento, it pressed the fruit down and it stayed in place.

I was asked why I use so much shredded cheese. Why? Because for some odd reason the minions prefer shredded cheese over any other type.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Week of Butterflies day 2

The butterfly is made up of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, match stick carrots, 2 red seedless grapes and the ends of a grape tomato. The bottom of the box has broccoli cut into minion sized pieces. On either side of the butterfly I rolled a piece of salami into a flower and also places a strawberry. The sky is shredded Italian blend cheese .

This lunch was actually one of the quicker lunches I have made. I am pretty sure I made it in just under 5 minutes for both boxes.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 1 in Week of Butterflies

This week Clark's class is going to Meijer Gardens for the butterfly exhibit. The other minions and I will be meeting his class there. I decided to get everyone excited for our trip and make a week of butterflies!

Today's lunch is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I cut it out using a sandwich cutter I found at Walmart for $2. Thin cut celery and carrots help to decorate the butterfly. Surrounding the butterfly are carrots and strawberries. At the top of the butterfly is a Samoa cookie cut in half (Girl Scout Cookie).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Onigiri lunch

I love rice. The minions, not so much. I have tried coloring it, cute rice molds, sweeter filling, fried rice of various types and so on. I once even made Rice a Roni and molded it! Still no luck. Apparently they believe that rice has no place in their bento boxes. Yet if I serve fried rice at dinner, most of the time they will eat it. Little ones are strange.

Today's lunch is hand formed onigiri (rice ball) with a filling of 5 spice pork and mushrooms. In between the two pieces I have raw broccoli. One of the onigiri has strawberry ears. Yes, the top fit on over the ears!

The bottom level consists of curried eggs with celery, grapes, and strawberries.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Early morning soccer game bento breakfast.

Clark is in soccer this spring. Our game time varies week to week (12 teams this spring!). This morning our game time is 9am. Since I am assistant coach I have to be there an extra 30 minutes early to help set up the field on the 9am game mornings. This means we have to leave the house at 8am. The minions are up at 7am or before normally, so that is not an issue. Although I would like to keep them a little distracted while I do my thing. I figured breakfast at the field would do the trick! To make the morning go a little smoother, I made bentos the night before.

Or that was the plan... I woke up with a fever this morning, my throat is a little rough, and my ears hurt. Right now (8:30am) it is about 36* outside. Needless to say, we will not be going. Although breakfast was already made!

Today's letter is B. Actually most of the next week will be B. I will get to that later though. On top we have a ham and cheese cold omelet. On top of that is the letter B. Below that are several pieces of rolled ham. Under that are 4 lemon honey french toast butterflies. To the right is a nice large strawberry and some grapes.

Ahh, yes, I know there is a sword pick. Why? Well you need something for them to eat with! They are little boys after all!

For the next week we will pretty much have butterfly lunches. Clark's class is going to the butterfly exhibit on Thursday. The other minions and I will meet him there and join his class. So I am trying to build up a little excitement with the boys.

Friday, April 20, 2012

X is for Xylophone

Clark has been telling me that X is for Xylophone for several days now.  I decided it was time to make him the lunch he was requesting. It's not fancy, but it was easy to make and all the minions were pleased (and knew what it was).

On top we have 2 peanut butter and jelly xylophones with mozzarella and cheddar cheese making up the bars. I have a single carrot and ham mallet. Next to that is a slice of mozzarella cheese with a ham X on it. Under all of that is a layer of pretzels.

The bottom tier has part of a navel orange, celery sticks, strawberries, carrot sticks and a few pieces of rolled up ham.

Today's bento is a Clickety Click that I found on Ebay

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vegetarian Rice Burger bento

I have to say that this tasted so much better than I thought it would! I think I may have found my back up plan when I run out of nori.

Today's  lunch is all on a bed of spinach. I have strawberries, baby carrots, cheddar cheese (ok, that is not vegetarian, but the rest is), baby dill pickles, and a rice burger with a grilled portabella mushroom as the burger. I marinated the mushroom in a bit of lite soy sauce before I grilled it.

How do you make the rice burger bun? Well, you can go out and buy the molds for it. OR you can do what I did. First I cooked some white rice per directions. I took my round cookie cutter and put it on a plate. Next I filled it a little over the top with white rice and pressed down on it as hard as I could. Then you lift the cookie cutter and pop out the rice patty. Place it in a pan with a little bit of butter or cooking spray. Not to much! You want it to crisp up but not be greasy. Crisp both sides and allow to cool.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

R is for Random

R is for Random. Why? Because I really need to go shopping but do not wish to take 4 sick minions out with me. I could wait till the Elder gets home, but then I still have to take Colonel Sanders with me. For dinners and breakfasts we are fine. Lunch stuff and fresh fruit, not so much.

So today's lunch is a bunch of random stuff that probably does not normally go together. Good thing the minions are young and don't really care.

Today's lunch sits on a bed of lettuce. I have a devil egg chick sitting in a nest of rice noodles. To the right of that is a Boca Burger R with processed cheese on top. Also there are 2 wedges (1/2 a burger) of a Boca Burger. Below that is a baby dill pickle and some carrot sticks.

*I forgot to add that this bento was purchased from All Things For Sale.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sick but hungry lunch

I know it does not look like much, but the minions were very happy. The biscuit looks burnt. I assure you it was soft on the inside and lightly flaky on the outside.

Tyke and his "just like daddy" mug
"I like cheese!"
The minions are still recovering from what is going around. I thought Clark could go to school today, but he had a fever this morning. It went away, but I know it will come back at some point. The others are the same. No one wished to get dressed today either. Before I could make lunch, Tyke went into the kitchen and was digging through the bento cabinet while telling me he wanted a "pretty lunch".

So today's lunch is cheddar and mozzarella cheese slices and a homemade buttermilk biscuit with peanut butter.  On the other side we have vanilla yogurt, carrot sticks, and mango sticks.
Pork is camera shy today.
I know it is not to impressive or nice looking. I just did not have the energy to make something to nice. Especially if they were just going to pick at it. At the same time, I wanted to make them happy. They have not been eating well at all. No one seemed to mind their ugly lunch and they all were pleased.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mama Bento #4

All 4 minions and the Elder are ill. They have recurring fevers and slight coughing. Several of them have gotten ill. I am making sure to keep them hydrated. I really hope I don't get it too. Because of this, no minion bentos till they are eating again. Right now we are just giving them whatever they will eat.

I love this little bento box. I wish I had the others in the series. The only place that has them at the moment wants way to much for them. Since I am the only one eating, I decided I would go back to onigiri and sushi. I love them. You can make very simple ones pretty fast.

The onigiri is filled with canned salmon with some lemon juice. I have a band of nori going around it to help keep my fingers from getting sticky. I then have grape tomatoes and seasoned mini portabella mushrooms.

The bottom tier is sushi filled with avocado,  cucumber, carrot, and canned salmon. Below that is raw carrot coins.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

S is for Soccer

Clark is in spring soccer! I was in a rush to make a dinner on the go. I really need to plan ahead better. Soccer practice is right at our dinner time.  I hate to feed the minions to early because it will throw them off. Then it makes it hard to get them to bed on time.

Anyway, yes, the soccer ball looks odd. Then again, his soccer ball they were given last year looks odd. It is orange with some odd lines on it. Not the typical soccer ball. Good thing for me Clark knew exactly what it was.

Under the processed cheese soccer ball there is a peanut butter sandwich. To the right of that are 9 animal cracker pieces, 9 squares of cheese, and 9 squares of turkey. The number 9 was cut out of bread and colored with food safe markers.

The bottom tier is yet another peanut butter sandwich under the cheese, grape tomatoes, and mango pieces.

This bento was purchased from All Things For Sale.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quick Lunch

I think this lunch took me about 5 minutes to make all 3 boxes. I am using my Sassy lunch boxes. You can pick these up at Meijer and Toys R Us.

On the left we have sliced apples, carrot sticks, a strawberry, and small cheese cubes. To the right we have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into a puzzle shapes using my sandwich cutter (found at Walmart). On top of that I have some almond slivers.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Bento

The eggs and the bunny are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I have 2 layers of processed cheese on the top half of the egg. At the bottom of the egg is pickled bologna. Also there are strawberries and grape tomatoes. Behind the rabbit there are some baby carrot coins. The rabbit is sitting on a nest of shredded cheese.

I told the boys that the bunny was hiding his secret stash of yummy eggs. So they had better not eat all of his stash or he will cry. They ate every little carrot round! I was surprised.

Bento Blog Network

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Our lunch for the Bunny Train

This lunch was inspired by Keeley McGuire. In one of her blog posts she used a strawberry container as a bento box. Since then, I have been saving all of mine for those out of the house trips. This was my first chance to put it to the test! We decided to have a picnic before we boarded the train.

On the bottom (you can barely see them) there are pretzels. On top of that I have carrot sticks, peanut
The Elder and Pork
butter sandwich trains, strawberries, string cheese, and a brownie made with applesauce. On top of all of this I placed a juice packet (Kool Aid). It kept everything in place. I made this up early in the morning and the pretzels were still crisp at lunch (12:30pm). I was impressed. I wan even more impressed with how the juice box kept the carrot sticks and everything else from moving about. I let the boys carry their boxes. We all know how 2, 3, and 4 year olds can me!

The train was very fun. It is run by volunteers. They had the Easter Bunny and her helpers come around to see everyone and they gave all the kids a small gift. They even gave Colonel Sanders a small stuffed rabbit. The boys all picked out cars. The whole thing lasted about an hour and 15 minutes.

I would also recommend the Coopersville & Marne train to everyone. Two members of our family have disabilities. One is physical (Cerebral Palsy) and one is not (high functioning Autistic). They were kind and offered us help. We were not rushed as we tried to get on and off the train.

Bento of the Week

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

C is for Coconut and Cat

Yes, I know I have done C several times now. Last night I had an older kitten come up to us and was crying. It was a skinny little thing. I am willing to bet she was from an unwanted litter. So we brought it inside the garage and fed it. This morning I gave it a flea bath and some wormer.

Anyway, in honor of our guest (and because the empanada reminded me of a cat head) the letter today is C again.
The cat's head is a chicken, bacon, ranch empanada made by Tyson I believe. I drew the face on with one of my food safe markers. Below that are some mini dill pickles, coconut pieces, and cheddar cheese cubes.

In the compartment next to that are some strawberries, grape tomatoes, black seedless grapes, and carrots cut into sticks. On top of that is a C cut out of wheat bread.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

D is for Dolphin

I know it has been a bit. I am sorry. I have had some personal problems recently.

Anyway, I chose to use the longer bento today because of the dolphin. I found a new bread cutter in the store with 2 dolphins and a heart in the center.

On the top I have sliced carrots, strawberries, and Colby cheese. To the right of that is pasta salad. Hidden from view there are some cucumber bits, black olives, and tomato mixed in with the tri colored pasta and Italian dressing. This was a bigger hit than I thought it would be. The number 15 is made out of a whole wheat tortilla and colored with food safe markers.

On the bottom is some folded deli turkey, a peanut butter dolphin and heart, and some baby dill pickles. The D is also cut out of a tortilla.