Thursday, January 31, 2013


Tomorrow is February, and you know what that means! A special day is approaching. A day long awaited and anticipated.

Do I mean Groundhog's Day? Valentine's Day? Nope! Way better than that!

PSYCH is coming back! The first new episode since April of last year will be aired on USA on February 27th. Fans have been waiting not-so-patiently since the last episode ended on a crazy cliffhanger, and soon we'll finally get to see what happens next.

In honor and anticipation of the upcoming new season, a Psych lunch!

Apricot fruit leather spells out the name of the show, next to a turkey Yin-Yang sandwich (a nod to the serial killer played by Ally Sheedy in 3 episodes spanning seasons 3, 4, and 5).

Of course, Psych wouldn't be complete without the running Pineapple gag, which has been a show theme from the very beginning. Also included are some snap peas, pretzel Goldfish (a reference to Henry Spencer's love of fishing), and a little piece of chocolate ~ because everyone needs a little chocolate sometimes.

And... hats. Our first introduction to Shawn Spencer is the pilot episode, which opens with a young Shawn sitting in a diner with Henry, his father. Shawn wants dessert, but his dad makes him earn it by telling him to close his eyes... and then asking him, "How many hats?" In order to get his dessert, Shawn has to correctly recite the number and type of hats in the diner from memory. I bought the hat picks from BentoUSA and knew they would be perfect for this!

I couldn't find a clip, but watch the show. Worth it!

February also means Valentine's Day, and it's no surprise that my pink-and-red loving little Princess adores the holiday. For her I made a heart shaped sandwich shot through with Cupid's arrow and decorated with Conversation Hearts. She also has snap peas and golden cherry tomatoes, a piece of Dove chocolate, some grapes, and a few pretzel Goldfish.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Alice in Wonderland

Who doesn't love the works of Lewis Carroll?

Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are among the best classic works of all time. Certainly among my favorites!

In celebration of the 181st birthday of the man who penned The Jabberwocky and The Hunting of the Snark, who invented the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter, whose works of fiction spawned dozens of movies, songs, and plays, I present... Lunch!

In the first lunch, a bread-and-butter fly (made with sunflower butter and strawberry jam) flutters among a broccoli garden full of gossipy cheese and carrot flowers.

Fruit leather letters on a soft frosted sugar cookie spell out the famous directions which made little Alice rapidly change size.

"Who are you?"

A gummi 'caterpillar' hangs out on a mini Baybel toadstool.

In the second lunch, the Ace of Clubs hangs out with the roses, while Humpty Dumpty (from Through the Looking Glass) sits on his wall, looking over the chessboard.

Humpty hasn't fallen yet, but he seems to be leaning a bit to the left. He is made with a hard-boiled egg, with features drawn on with edible markers. His hat is a little pick from BentoUSA, and his wall is a stack of graham crackers.

The Ace of Clubs is a Sunbutter and jam sandwich topped with Havarti cheese and fruit leather. The red painted roses surrounding him are gummis that Beaker saw at the grocery store and insisted on buying. Good call, kiddo!

Happy 181st birthday, Mr. Carroll!

Click below to see more lunches inspired by Carroll's works:

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happy Brunch

Happy smiling pancakes for dinner means happy smiling pancakes for brunch!

To make happy pancakes, just use any basic pancake batter recipe and cook on this griddle.

For dinner I made smiling pancakes, bacon, sausage, sliced oranges and mangoes with blueberries, and egg biscuits. A delicious breakfast-y dinner! Leftovers went in to lunches for all four of the school kids.

I added a few scoops of yogurt with vanilla and blueberries and a tiny tub of syrup for dipping, too.

Since Bean doesn't like bacon, I skipped it for her and made a little 'flower' out of an egg biscuit and sausage instead.

The egg biscuits are easy to make, and they're tasty, too! I just mixed flour, baking powder, and salt with eggs and milk and whisked it all together. Pour into muffin tins and bake. They were a tiny bit bland this time - next time I'll dice up bacon to mix in. 

Brick isn't too fond of pancakes, and especially not when they smile back at him, so for him I tucked in two egg biscuits with ketchup (yick, but he loves it on eggs) and hot sauce.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Stew on a Cold Day

Ah, January. Bitter cold, everything frozen, and even the sun can't get you warm. Not my favorite month.

But it is perfect weather for stews and soups! And roasts with root veggies, simmering away in the crock pot all day. Delicious!

Leftovers for the girls for lunch again. Roast for dinner one night means stew for lunch the next day!

Delicious beef stew, packed hot into a Thermos for a home cooked hot lunch. To prep the Thermos and keep the contents hot for longer, fill the empty Thermos with hot water and let it sit for a few minutes while heating up or cooking the food which is going inside. Dump the hot water just before adding the food. This heats up the core of the Thermos, helping it to hold the contents at a higher temperature for longer.

To go with their stew, I packed each of them a small assortment of snacks and sides into sandwich containers from the Dollar Spot at Target. and an organic chocolate milk to drink.

Their sides are fresh blueberries and sugar snap peas, oyster crackers, and a dessert of chocolate drizzled caramel corn and pretzels.

For Beaker, a bento breakfast. Waffle bits with warmed syrup for dipping, blueberries, and a fish shaped hard boiled egg.

And for the Dude, leftover Chinese takeout. Fried rice and chow mein, General Tso and orange chicken, an egg roll, fortune cookie, and soy sauce packet. I forgot that he wouldn't have access to a microwave that day. Oops. But at least it was still edible cold...

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Sunday, January 20, 2013


I love the internet. And I love that I have 'met' (and met!) some truly fantastic people, thanks to the internet. And I especially love how much inspiration there is out there on the web!

I saw both of these ideas recently and knew my kidlets would love them. I had to give them a try! So, here we have....

Simple and delicious snowmen for Princess and Bean!

The little dessert snowmen are made with Donettes and jelly beans. I cut the rounded ends off of a couple of black licorice jellybeans and cut an orange jellybean into two triangles for the little orange nose. Their little smiles are drawn on with decorating gel.

Snuggled up next to each of the snowmen is a small handful of fresh, delicious blueberries.

For some extra protein, I tucked in a silicone cupcake cup of shredded roasted turkey breast, with a little snowman pick peeking out.

The bagel snowmen are made with half of a mini bagel, topped with cream cheese. Half a blueberry forms each eye, with a carrot triangle nose and decorating gel happy smile.

To round out the lunches, I included sugar snap peas and carrot sticks.

Products used for these lunches:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Are you ready for some football?

No, I am not. But thank you for asking.

The Dude is a huge football fan. Not quite painting-his-body crazy about the game, but definitely shouting-at-the-TV fan. And tracking-team-stats-online fan. He watches any game he happens to catch, but his real passion? The Seattle Seahawks.

The Seahawks lost the most recent playoff game and are out of the running for the Super Bowl now, but judging from the amount of shouting this season, I am guessing they did better than usual. Me? Not a fan. But Beaker is learning at his dad's knee how the game is played. When he sees the Seahawks logo or a football he yells, "That's footsball! That's my dad's show."

When he saw chocolate footballs at the store recently, he insisted he HAD to have them for lunch. I finally broke them out the other day and put together this football lunch for him.

He has a sunbutter football sandwich, made with the heel of the bread loaf for the dark color. The stitches are sketched on with decorating gel. He also has a car shaped hard boiled egg, colby-jack cheese cubes, blueberries, sugar snap peas, pretzel circles, and chocolate footballs.

He chose green and blue silicone cups. Seahawk colors!

For the Dude, Princess, and Bean, leftovers!

My mom (more commonly known 'round here as Nana) has been visiting. The other night for dinner she made Nana's Special Southern Style Fried Chicken. I whipped up a bowl of creamy devilled egg red potato salad, and we had a traditional Summer dinner, smack in the middle of Winter. Cold fruit and veggies on the side are a perfect compliment.

For the Dude, I packed leftover chicken and potato salad, with blueberries and strawberries and two Mini Dippers of dipping sauce. Barbecue and honey mustard, his favorites. 

Princess also had leftover chicken an potato salad.

For her I packed chicken and potato salad, with blueberries (decorated with star sprinkles) and a star shaped hard boiled egg, and sugar snap peas with ranch. A Dove chocolate makes a nice little dessert.

And for Bean, chicken and potato salad with barbecue sauce, blueberries and strawberries, sugar snap peas with ranch, and a little Dove, too.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Simple Lunches

Too tired and congested to be clever. Allergies are the suck. So, pictures:

Lunch for me! Salad with Spring greens mix, bacon and turkey bits, and Havarti/American cheese flowers. Creamy Italian dressing in the Mini Dipper.

Also, CheezIts, a hard boiled egg heart, cucumber slices, and sugar snap peas.

One for the Dude - leftover pizza, strawberries and orange slices, and zucchini bread.

Delicious veggie and meat covered pizza!

For Bean - simple sandwich lunch.

Turkey and cheese sandwich triangles with strawberries, a chocolate chip cookie (cut into quarters), carrot sticks with ranch, and applesauce with a dash of cinnamon.

G-man also has leftover pizza, this one with no veggies. And some dessert pizza bits, zucchini bread, orange slices, and a strawberry.

For Princess, turkey bits with barbecue sauce packet, carrot sticks with ranch, strawberry slices, rainbow Goldfish, and a cookie.

The pieces all tuck neatly in to the Hello Kitty bento box we bought at our favorite little import store in the mall, just before it went out of business. Sad. I liked that store!

And one last one, a lunch for the Dude from a different day. Jalapeno bagel sandwich with strawberries, CheezIts, and a cookie.

He said the sandwich was "delicious, really good!" It has thin sliced roast beef, Havarti cheese, and spring greens, all on a jalapeno bagel. 

Products used in these lunches:

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Little Star

Beaker's very favorite part of running errands with me is bringing along his own little box lunch. He loves to choose what goes in and then watch me put it together, helping out where I let him.

This is one of his little snack lunches:

He has Annie's Organic cheddar bunnies, roasted turkey, cheese letters and stars, strawberries, and banana slices, all tucked into a small bento box from BentoUSA. It's the perfect size for little hands and it holds just the right amount of food for a toddler or preschooler.

"See? Those letters spell my name! That says me!"

For the Dude, a delicious bagel sandwich.

Sistema Cubes are pretty great for packing grown-up lunches. I like how they keep things on two separate layers and seal very nicely.

For his lunch, I packed a jalapeno bagel sandwich with havarti cheese and lettuce, and grape tomatoes for garnish.

He also has dried kiwi, mixed nuts, and sweet bell pepper slices.

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