Sunday, September 30, 2012

Yowza! What a book!

The mid-season finale of Doctor Who aired this week. It was amazing and heart-wrenching and hilarious and all of the things a great episode is.... including excellent fodder for lunch!
No spoilers because there are still those who have not had a chance to watch, but the "lunch" for tonight is based on the book above and the phrase repeated several times while the Doctor read it to Amy.
And lest ye think I forgot about John, he just wanted a "snacky lunch" for Monday:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Nobody expects Monty Python in @EasyLunchboxes

Spanish Rice, Cheese, Craisins, Special K Strawberry Bars, White Cheddar Cheez-Its

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jack's House (a @Scholastic book by Karen Magnuson Beil)

Now that John is in the first grade every night he has to read as part of his homework and keep a log of it to turn in each Friday. Wednesday night he read the book Jack's House and loved it so much he asked to have it for lunch on Friday!
Max is actually the main character in Jack's House and was made using the amazing new CuteZCute Animal Friends Food Deco Cutter and Stamp Kit! The main head cutter was flipped upside down and became his peanut butter & jelly head. It was also used for his construction helmet. The panda nose and mouth became his nose and mouth, the eyes became his floppy ears and the ears became his eyebrows. The holes from the pig snout ended up being the perfect size for Max's eyes. John absolutely loved how it turned out!

(also included are grapes, pretzel sticks and Veggie Straws)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Garfield & Odie

John loves watching Garfield and Odie! Recently they had an episode with dinosaurs, apparently, so when John saw that I had grabbed a can of mini dinosaur pasta he thought it would be perfect to go in his Garfield Thermos jar. Odie is drawn onto bread and butter (the perfect thing to sop up sauce) and in the other side container are yogurt raisins and LifeSaver Gummies.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Two Doctor Who

This week saw the re-introduction of U.N.I.T to the Whoniverse. Leading it up now is Kate Stewart, the daughter of The Brigadier -- one of my favorite characters from Classic Who!
Fish Sticks and Honey-Nana Yogurt (standing in for custard). 
"Science leads" were the words of wisdom The Brig gave his daughter. 
Beret & mustache provolone on mashed sweet potatoes. 
LifeSaver Gummies are my sweet treat.
John decided that he wanted a Tardis for Tuesday:
 Peanut Butter & Jelly on whole wheat. Grapes. Space Adventure Goldfish. LifeSaver Gummies.

My friend Jenn also did a great lunch based on the episode The Power of Three over at Bento for Kidlet!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

So long, Elmo's World ...

The 43rd season of Sesame Street starts up Monday! I'm a little nervous for little kids everywhere who have been hooked on Elmo's World ..... because it's going away and being replaced by "Elmo the Musical." I'm sure it's going to be great and all, but when John randomly decides that he wants to watch Sesame Street on Netflix for a little trip down memory lane he doesn't ask for Sesame Street ..... he asks for Elmo's World.
John has an Elmo bologna & cheese sandwich with cheddar eyes and American cheese nose that was cut from a new sandwich cutter we received in a care package from a friend. (This may very well be the one and only time we'll use it for outside the home ... John is growing up way too quickly!) The eyes are propped up with some Veggie Straws and there are also yogurt raisins and "Dorothys" (Goldfish).

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Stuffed Eggplant in @EasyLunchboxes

This morning a friend gifted me three itty bitty eggplants. I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to prepare them so I asked some friends and Google and finally found a recipe on Tastebook that seemed like it would at least be a good starting point.
What I ended up with is absolutely delish and, luckily, enough to have some to take to work tonight!

3 mini eggplants
1 1/4 lb ground beef
1/2 teaspoon All-Purpose seasoning

1 cup pasta sauce
1/8 cup shredded mozzarella
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350.
Wash the eggplants, remove the stems & halve each one lengthwise. Scoop out the insides leaving enough for a sturdy shell. Finely chop the pulp (or use food processor).
Saute the eggplant in a hot skillet. Add ground beef, sauce and seasoning. Remove 1 1/2 cup sauce mixture and mix it in a bowl with the sauce and egg. Fill each eggplant half and bake 25 minutes (or so).

I had a bunch of leftover meat/sauce/eggplant mixture that I stirred into some pasta. I used that as the base in my EasyLunchbox and have two stuffed eggplant halves on top. I also have a peach muffin and two clementines in the top compartments.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Big Lebowski's Walter Sobchak

If you know, there's no need for explanations.
If you don't, remember that Netflix is our friend.

Please ... do not watch this if you have children nearby or are uptight about cursing.
It is a Coen Brothers movie, after all.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jake and the Neverland Pirates

Thanks to yesterday being Talk Like A Pirate Day (by the way -- there's still time to do the Blog Hop Treasure Hunt!), the Disney Channel aired a special new episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates which prompted John to ask for the crew for lunch for Friday!
I made Jake, Izzy and Cubby picks, a Bucky bologna and cheese sandwich (with cheese mast), and he also has string cheese, shark crackers, grapes and Jake and the Neverland Pirates fruit snacks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Talk Like A Pirate Day! (A BBF Blog Hop WITH Booty!)

It's Talk Like A Pirate Day and we have a question for you.

I have Amy from the Doctor Who episode "The Curse of the Black Spot" :
Amy and the words are cheese on top of rotini. The top left has dried cranberry "rubies" and pineapple "gold." The top right has Totally Ranch Munchies snack mix (that I totally swiped from John).

So I guess that means John must have the rubbish pirates!
John's peach muffin is in a pirate muffin paper (trust me) with a skull and crossbones ring stuck in the top. There are also pirate face rings around one of his cheese stick pieces and one of his turkey sticks (he says that they're friends of Jake and the Neverland Pirates) and a Jolly Roger pirate flag sticking out of his clementine.

Now if you click on the pirate flag below you'll be taken over to see what pirate fun is happening over at Glory's Mischief!

But don't walk the plank quite yet!!!

Every blog in the hop has a piece (or two) of the map to the bento booty treasure - a giveaway! As you go through the hop, collect the pieces and put them in the right order to find out where to enter! You'll probably need something to write with, because there are 39 blogs to visit, so 39 pieces to collect! 37 pieces will spell the URL, and 2 bonus pieces with words on them will get you 2 entries to win!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Town Called Mercy (a #DoctorWho lunch for John)

I can't even begin to tell you how much fun it is for me to have a little Whovian in the house. Not only do I get to share my love of the Doctor with my favorite person, but I also get to make him Doctor Who lunches!
I've been more than a bit under the weather for the past few days and was almost afraid that I would miss out on making a lunch for this week's episode ... until I remembered that John would enjoy getting one, too!

John's got a roast beef on whole wheat Stetson (complete with warning shot holes) and bow tie, colby jack Susan (he didn't understand that part of the episode but I laugh every time I think about it), Veggie Straws, all-natural fruit snacks and grapes.
Only two more episodes left until the mid-season break and I'm already crying over it! Luckily John has a whole lot of episodes that he still hasn't seen so the Doctor will never be far ...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Only My Balls

The age old question when you have a triceratops sniffing your pants: "You don't have any vegetable matter in your trousers, do you?"
Poor Rory face-palming at his dad's reply!
I didn't have any golf balls to put in my lunch so I made crab cheese balls instead (sprinkled with parsley for the "grassy residue"). I also have whole wheat crackers to go along with the balls and pasta with cheese in the main compartment of my EasyLunchbox.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook: Easy Lunch Boxes

As you probably know (and if you don't, just look over the left sidebar), I'm a very proud member of the Facebook group Bento Bloggers & Friends and "The Cult of ELB." I am very thrilled to announce that several of my BBF friends (and fellow cultists) have contributed to a brand new cookbook by the amazing Kelly Lester -- Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook: Easy Lunch Boxes!

John and I both love our EasyLunchboxes and I was beyond thrilled when I was given the chance to take a look at a copy of the book in advance of its official release on the 15th of September. If you love gorgeous pictures of food, easy to follow recipes, and fun lunches then you have to check this book out! It's got fast lunches, cute lunches, allergy-friendly lunches, even grown-up work lunches (and more):
Now, I already have a ton of cookbooks in my collection and they rarely get taken out of the cupboard. Typically I'll pull one down just to check the timing for something I'm throwing together or if I forget how much flour to put in a sauce. This book probably won't even make it into the cupboard with all of the others because I'll be spending far too much time reading it and using it.

Some of the entries I'm most excited to try: Chicken Pepper Poppers, Reuben Pasta Salad, Waffle Pizzaaaah, Red Pepper Frittata, Spaghetti and Meatball Muffins ...... I think it might be easier to list the recipes I don't want to try (which would be the hummus. I don't do chickpeas.).

If you don't have a Trader Joe's near you don't let that hold you back from getting this book. I would have to travel for several hours in order to get to the nearest TJ's. Luckily, all of the ingredients are things I would be able to find in my local grocery stores. No excuses!!!
Now go ... order your copy of the book (and grab some EasyLunchboxes & the new awesome Mini Dippers while you're at it)! 

Luigi & Guido

John was feeling a lot better this morning when he woke up so off to school he went with his Mater lunch!
For tomorrow he requested Luigi and Guido.
Ham and cheese on wheat for the two friends. Under them are yogurt raisins and "white wall tire" cookies. In the top of the box are Snapea Crisps and some veggie ranch dip in an EasyLunchboxes "Mini-Dipper" (I love that they fit so well in his other boxes, too!).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Like Tah Mater but without the Tah

Since John asked for Lightning McQueen of Tuesday it came as no surprise that his best friend would be requested for Wednesday's lunch. Unfortunately, the little guy is home sick today so we'll see if this turns into an at-home lunch, or if it will go to school on Thursday.
Mater is ham and cheese on wheat with pretzel sticks, grapes and a cut up colby jack cheese stick.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rory's Dad

There's so much that could be said about Rory's Dad. I won't say them all. Spoilers and all that.

One of the greatest scenes in Doctor Who history is the next to the last of "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship." For me it ranks right up there with when sweet little Amelia dragged her suitcase into the back yard to sit and wait. Goosebumps, I tell ya.
In the top left corner is a Little Debbie oatmeal cookie (the joy of guilty pleasures). The top right has mixed vegetables and a cheese star. The main section is tinted mashed potatoes, ham and cheese sandwich images and more cheese stars.

Safe travels, Brian Williams Pond Williams Pond ... oh ... let's just leave it at Brian.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The first Lightning McQueen for first grade

If you've been following for a while you know that John is a HUGE Cars fan. For Tuesday he asked for a lunch based on the scene from the movie where Lightning first gets to Radiator Springs.
The inspiration:
The lunch:
Lightning is pb&j on wheat (again -- it's his favorite and I'm not going to argue!) with peppermint patty tire eyes. Also in the box is a colby jack "95," fruit snacks, a clementine and veggie chips. The box also features Lightning McQueen on the lid and was a great $2 find at Family Dollar not too long ago!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dinosaurs On A Spaceship for John & Mom

John and I both loved this week's episode of Doctor Who
John loved the dinosaurs...
I loved all of the laugh-out-loud interactions (and the "Awwww" moments... but we'll get to those later in the week)!
We both wanted Dinosaurs On A Spaceship lunches!

John's lunch is a peanut butter & jelly Triceratops with a ball so he can play fetch, colby jack "rah" and stars, macaroni salad, grapes and brownie chunks. His lunch is packed in an Easy Lunchbox.
My lunch is packed in a Lock & Lock box. The top left and bottom right squares have chicken rice with provolone Nefertiti and Amy. The top right has mixed vegetables with colby jack words. The bottom left has a brownie with a T-Rex pick.

Also check out the awesome DoaS lunch over at Bento For Kidlet!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Doctor Who ... Who do you think?

The third lunch from "Asylum of the Daleks" is going to work tonight in my EasyLunchbox. I've watched it at least four times in its entirety since it aired a week ago and several bits and pieces here and there in order to pull a quote or an image or show John something I thought he might enjoy.

This lunch is one that that I've had in my head ever since I saw one of the first previews for the episode but I wasn't sure I would be able to pull it off until I got further inspiration from Pinterest. (Yes, I spend huge amounts of time oohing and aahing the Pinterest Geek category. I'm sure this revelation surprises no one.)

Top Left: turkey meatballs 
Top Right: Snapea Crisps and Veggie Ranch Dip (in a new EasyLunchbox Mini-Dipper!!!) 
Bottom: leftover pasta and sauce with provolone words and image

Tonight is a brand new episode so expect to see dinosaurs and spaceships at some point this week!

Friday, September 7, 2012

H is for Horse

 John didn't want a big lunch today. He didn't even ask for a fun one. He just wanted a sandwich with the crust off .... but I got a pouty face and he picked out the horse cutter ;)

The horse and "H" are turkey bologna and cheese on wheat. The "orse" is cheddar. There are also grapes and mini M&M cookies in his box. Unpictured but in his bag is a yogurt tube and tub of applesauce.

Our school district recently announced that they're offering all children free lunch on top of the free breakfast they've been giving for over a decade. I'll be giving John the option of "take or not." Our cafeterias actually offer decent healthy food and he may enjoy getting lunch in line with his friends. We'll see ....

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pumpkiny Pumpkins in @EasyLunchboxes

 A couple of weeks ago I made up a batch of pumpkin waffles and John fell in love with them. When the freezer stash of those was getting low I whipped up some pumpkin pancakes. I wasn't at all surprised when he said he wanted some in his lunch!
I found two of the thicker ones in the batch and sliced them in half and cut them with a pumpkin cookie cutter before filling them with pumpkin cream cheese and coloring the stem and lines with natural green food coloring. Also in his Easy Lunchbox is some Harvest Mix Candy Corn & Pumpkins, a clementine, Snapea Crisps and some ranch for dipping.
I love how much he's enjoying planning out his lunches now. Before I know he'll probably want to take over making them, too!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ballerina Dalek

First thing first: go read the post from earlier today to see John's first day of first grade lunch AND enter the giveaway for free Chobani Champions greek yogurt!!! The stuff is DELISH!

Okay, now for my lunch for work. Again, from the most recent episode of my beloved Doctor Who. Inspiration came from Pinterest and from this clip:
Again, it's one of those best understood if you've seen the episode.
The bottom section has turkey meatballs and sauce on top of tortellini and topped with a provolone Dalek. The top is a broccoli, cauliflower and carrot blend.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Run you clever boy ... ANOTHER #DoctorWho lunch for Mom!

Just in case there are folks still out there who haven't seen the latest and extremely awesome episode of Doctor Who, I won't go into descriptive detail. Just know that it was such a great episode I've already watched it 3 times and still have at least one more viewing this week with John! This also probably won't be the last lunch based on the episode ....
I'm using up some of the last of our gluten-free mac and cheese for the base of the large section. We were on the trial for John but have decided to call it quits for now since the only change the gluten-free was making was to my bank account. Anyway, I've got the mac & cheese covered with genoa salami and cheese quote and characters. The top left has my beloved Tardis napkin (with some fruit snacks hiding underneath) and the top right has two hard cooked eggs.

Now to learn how to make a decent souffle ......