Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween, A Lunch That Raises The Spirit

It's here, Halloween is here!  I may be more excited then my kid's.  I love any reason to celebrate and today is no exception!  I've been up early baking and creating and I can't wait for the girls to come downstairs and see their little lunches, I know their going to howl with delight.

Today's lunch is so sweet; I mean spooky, filled with black cats, bats, spiders and ghosts.
This little lunch has a Halloween Pasta salad, filled with veggies and a vinaigrette, a few pieces of smokey salami, speared with my cute Dollar Tree picks, a handful of cheddar cheese bats and cats, two bloody black cat (I mean cherry) hand pies, some trick or treat candy and finally some snack mix.   I also threw in an apple and a thermos of warm and spicy cider.

Just a shot of our full lunch

This pasta was too cute not to share...I get lots of fun shaped pasta from Cost Plus World Market.  Even my Hubby loves it!  Next time your in the store you'll have to check out their amazing selection of lunch stuff! 

As always, I packed our lunches into our easylunchbox containers, I cannot say enough how amazing these little boxes are!

Friday, October 28, 2011

For My Little Pumpkins

You may find this hard to believe, but I really don't like carving pumpkins.  The innards just gross me out...which is fitting for this spooky time of the year.  Of course, my kiddos love it and we all love freshly roasted pumpkin seeds! (Which by the way are totally healthy, yummy and easy.  I'll put the directions on the bottom of this post.)
This little lunch is about all things pumpkin.  Given my aversion to sticking my hand into the gooey mess, pumpkin may be my favorite fall ingredient so we've been eating loads of pumpkin bread, donuts, muffins, pie...and then a friend shared a recipe for pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, and Oh My!

This little lunch was so easy to throw together and the girls loved it.  We have a little pumpkin bar, a half of an orange with a face drawn on in food safe marker, a variety of tomato's (I drew a face on one), a hard boiled egg, 4 cheese quesadillas and some little pumpkin candies.

I used my easylunchboxes, as always and my Wilton food safe pens, I packed the girls thermos with apple cider and they were in heaven...I would have packed some pumpkin seeds but they have already met their demise.

To Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Clean seeds in water, make sure all of the pulp is removed (pumpkin guts)
Oil a baking sheet and spread the seeds in an even, single layer
Sprinkle with salt (I use sea salts) you can add any other seasoning too
cook for 2 hours at 250 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes

No need to wait for them to cool, they're delicious warm!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

There's A Mummy In My Tummy

No really, there is!  Actually, there are a few in there...chocolate ones, butter ones...yummy in my tummy ones!  (Wait till you see these cupcakes)  With Halloween just around the corner I've been inspired to make all sorts of spooky, sweet filled lunches.  
GiGi, my oldest, really wanted to be a Mummy for Halloween, but my Hubby and I weren't sure we were ready to venture into the dark side of costumes.  We sort of view Mummy's as a gateway costume to the icky, gory, bloody costumes (we're a little overprotective).  So I gave her a Mummy lunch she could really sink her teeth into, she very pleased to have been given a treat and not a trick.
In the top corner we have our Mummy cupcakes (this one is chocolate cake, and I used a flat tip and just spread the frosting in ribbons that overlap and crisscross, and added two chocolate chips for eyes).  Some spooky owl carrot pieces in our haunted graveyard, two biscotti spread and jam sandwiches, some bat and cat cheese bits, a little bit of scary trail mix and a sliced apple.  
I attempted to write RIP on the bread with strained strawberry jam, but it absorbed into the bread really quickly...I should have used my letter cutters and fruit leather (next time), and I used sushi grass to line the graveyard.  I added a can of blood, I mean V8 juice, to bulk up the fruits and veggies and because it sort of went with the theme.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bento Heaven!

In the heart of Seattle, is a mall...a fabulous little spot located right on the monorail.  Inside this mall, on the very bottom floor, right by the parking garage elevator is a glorious store for all you lunch packing families.  Everything in this store is $1.50 (unless otherwise marked, but frankly it was in Japanese so I had no idea if it was otherwise marked), and they have everything! Literally.  My dear Husband; who doesn't always really understand my obsession with cute, healthy lunches; was throwing stuff in my basket like no body's business.  He hates shopping.  But he got into the groove in Daiso.  I had to go back through the pillage and pull out the animal care products and the cleaning products (in his defense, everything was in Japanese...well except the pictures). 
I came home with so many wonderful things, and a new excitement for packing lunches!  Plus a few things for the next giveaway.  And as promised, I'm posting some pictures and sharing all the information about Daiso, and giving up mad props to one of my best girls.  Alisha, you rock!  Our next girls weekend will include a drive North and hours in this store.

A three pack of cute little containers (and I asked the saleslady about it being BPA free...she said, "I don't speak English")  and some great cutters.  Classic bird and bunny shapes that are really popular in traditional Japanese bentos.

More little cutters, with face shapes too! I have maybe never been so excited.  And flags that my DH thought were cute, so we had to get them. Plus some beautiful crystal like picks, all sorts of cute shapes, but the little bird is my favorite (we call our little one LiLi Bird).

More picks.  Can you ever really have enough?  And the plaid! Could it get any better? 

And more picks....The ones on the right are pretty classic Japanese style picks with cute little shapes, based on a vegetable farm.  The ones on the left are a mix of picks and flags.

Cute little containers for sauces and dips (and I found these in the health and beauty section) and you guessed it, more picks!

Daiso Japan is located in The Westlake Shopping Center in Seattle, WA.  Their phone number is
(206) 447-6211

If you're lucky enough to live in or around Seattle, I am so jealous.  If your planning a trip there add this to your list of "got to do", it's on the monorail, so you can start at the mall and end at The Space Needle!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Harvest Party (In My Mouth)

The air is turning cooler, leaves are just starting to turn and the rain is here more then the sun...which means pulling out sweaters and warm socks, boots and scarves, heating the crock pot for yummy meals and baking up a storm.   This lunch is inspired by that very feeling.  It just made me think of packing up a picnic and hitting the local pumpkin patch and running through a corn maze.

This lunch is packed in our easylunchbox containers (I have others, but these are hands down the best!)  It's got a generous slice of homemade banana bread, a small pear (again, LOVE Trader Joe's for fruit that isn't super sized), some dried fruit and nut mix (I found a peanut free variety at Costco), a few slices of summer sausage and white cheddar, a few carrot sticks and a handful of caramel corn (left over from a recent trip to the coast).  It just looks so cozy too me, the perfect lunch to eat curled up by a fire!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Allergies Stink! A Lunch for No Milk, No Egg Kids

I know all about food allergies.  They totally stink.  So when one Aunt asked me to make a lunch for her lunch toting, preschool age, niece who can't have milk and eggs, I knew I needed to make a lunch for her.  It's really hard to find information about what sort of foods a kiddo restricted from dairy can I did a lot of label reading and found that almost everything has milk or eggs in it.  At least the healthier stuff.  And I don't generally do unhealthy stuff so....

Here is that lunch, filled with loads of yummy fresh fruits and veggies a little deli meat (ham), and some bread sticks (no dairy!).
This lunch has a little tiny apple (Thank you Trader Joe's for selling fruit that is the perfect size for little hands), dried blueberries, pineapple, orange tomatoes, some blanched green beans, ham slices, bread sticks and can of V8 juice (my kiddo's love it) and silly me, some chocolate coins, because every Rainbow needs a pot of gold.  My 7 year old said, if she can't have milk, can she have chocolate?  Duh!
I hope this little one and her Aunt think this rainbow lunch is fun enough to eat!

I used my easylunchbox containers, they hold tons of food and I figured for this preschooler this would probably cover lunch and snack.

To Good Not To Share

Okay, for all those families packing lunch (and making dinner and breakfast) on a budget, I have to share my newest holiday find from the Dollar Store.  
Dollar Tree offers these little games every holiday, for $1!  That's right you get 15 picks for $1!  I know, it's awesome!  I just toss the game board, it doesn't really do anything for the lunches;)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

An Apple a Day... Will Help You Get Straight A's!

That's probably a little bit of a stretch, but it's fall and apples are everywhere and what kid doesn't like a sweet, crunchy apple!   Today's little lunch is brought to you by the huge amounts of apples we have available to us in the Pacific Northwest, my favorite are Honeycrisp apples, but my girls love them all.    LiLi helped make these lunches and I swear she was eating all the little apples (cucumbers and cheese) as fast I could cut them, and when I pulled out the chocolate chips, good night! that child acted like she had never had a sweet before!

But we got them packed, and I'm guessing they will be eaten in record time.

This lunch has a Sunbutter and raspberry jam sandwich and a raspberry fruit leather apple slice on top.  Cheddar cheese and cucumbers cut into apple shapes and whole wheat crackers.  A darling little fuji apple and for a sweet "A" is for apple graham cookies, a tiny bit of chocolate chips and 2 pieces of caramel apple taffy.  I've got little cans of apple juice to go along with lunch. 

As always, I used my very favorite EasyLunchBoxes!  I can't gush enough about these lunch boxes...they hold loads of food, keep it separate and everything still looks cute when it's actually time to eat!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bigger Breakfast for Little Tummy's

We've been eating well this morning, the girls had breakfast for breakfast and breakfast for lunch!  The name Breakfast literally means to break the fast, the period of time through the night that you don't eat.  Guess that means you had better make it good!  Fill your body up with healthy, protein  and fiber full food to set the tone for your day.  It's even more important for our kid's to be filled up, it helps their brains and bodies work hard and meet their full potentials.

I love baking breakfast breads, I can make them the day before and slice them up and slather them with cream cheese, butter, jam, nutella or peanut butter.  Since we're entering into fall I made a really yummy pumpkin bread and topped it with cream cheese, grabbed a jar of applesauce and topped it with a little cinnamon...lots of fiber and protein.  (Cinnamon helps to stabilize blood sugar, so no crashes!)
I make quick cook oats, it takes about 5 minutes and I always use milk...I just like the creaminess and extra protein.  And then the girls mix in whatever sounds yummy that morning.  Here I've added a little brown sugar, raisins and pecans.  Now there's a breakfast with staying power!  Add jam, peanut butter, any dried fruit, maple syrup, honey, yogurt, fresh fruit...the options are endless!  For a special treat we have oatmeal with brown sugar and vanilla ice cream, seriously the yummiest thing ever!

Just for fun, oatmeal with ice cream.

This is a quick and easy breakfast, two scrambled eggs, one slice of bacon and some cinnamon swirl toast.  You could make the bread from scratch, but I buy it from a local bakery.

Egg in the Hole, looks sort of fancy, but it's's easy and you can change it up!  I just put a little butter in the pan, cut whatever shape you want out of the center of your bread, lay your bread in the pan, crack an egg in to the hole.  Cook on one side the entire time, or if you'd like the egg more done (my kids don't like runny yolk) just flip and cook a little longer on the other side.   Serve with a little fresh fruit and a slice of bacon.

Yogurt Parfaits take very little time, a little prep and then you've got a fancy little breakfast!  This is my Peach Melba Parfait; I've layered peaches, plain greek yogurt, raspberry jelly and granola.  Both of my girls love creating these, mostly because every time they make one they get to create new flavors! 

Someone wise once said, "Eat like a King at Breakfast, a Prince at Noon and a Pauper at Supper."  I know how difficult adding one more thing into a crazed morning routine can be, but it might also be an amazing quiet time for you and your kids to connect in before the insanity of daily life takes over.  Give yourself an extra 15 minutes in the morning (yes I'm suggesting setting the alarm a little earlier) and see if you don't like what that sacrifice does for the health of your family!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Breakfast For Little Tummies

Not all mornings are created equal; most Mom's don't have thirty minutes every morning to get a full breakfast on the table, and some kids just don't feel hungry first thing in the morning!  Here's the first installment of three that will hopefully help with the morning madness and get something into your little one's stomachs before they hit the ground running.

Today is dedicated to breakfast you can grab and go.   Hopefully, one of these easy, on the road breakfasts' will appeal to your kiddos!

A banana, granola bar and string cheese...the perfect mix of fruit, fiber and protein! 

A hard boiled egg and piece of fruit, gets some good protein and fiber in and it's really a little breakfast for those who just can't stomach (Literally) much food.

A breakfast sandwich (took me less then 3 minutes to make)  toast a whole wheat english muffin, scramble one egg, melt cheese and Viola! Healthy fast food!  Feel free to top with a slice of bacon, ham or turkey to really bulk up the protein!

Toast and Peanut butter, topped with fresh strawberries or bananas.  (change it up by using a waffle instead of toast)  (Change out the peanut butter for other nut butter or our new favorite Biscoff Spread)  Let your kids experiment with all sorts of toppings like, nutella, honey, cream cheese, honey and every fruit you can imagine!

And finally, Aaryn's Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies.  You don't have to add anything to make this a complete meal, but I think some cold milk is a really nice touch!   Recipe Below
We add our mix ins right before they go into the over, but I think it taste better blended all the way...this way allows everyone to custom make their breakfast cookie.
                                 GiGi snuck down just in time to help with production and baking!
  Aaryn's Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

3/4 c. soft butter
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 c. low fat milk
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. bran
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 c. quick cooking oats
1-2 c. raisins, or any combination of mix in's you'd like

    Mix In Suggestions, chopped nuts, chocolate or butterscotch chips, dried fruit (cherries, raisins, cranberries, blueberries, apricots), graham cracker, marshmallow, the options are endless!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Have your cookie sheet prepped, either grease it or use parchment paper. Mix together butter, sugar, eggs, molasses and milk. Add flour, bran, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and mix well. Blend in oats and raisins (or other mix ins). Drop by large tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on rack.  I make large cookies, so I get about 18.  But you could make them much smaller and get up to 4 dozen.  Store in an airtight container for one week (if they last that long!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Muffin Tin TUESDAY...I know it's revolutionary!

It's Tuesday, not why, why am I posting a Muffin Tin lunch?  I love them! But we're not home on Mondays, which means no Muffin Tin Monday.   I realize that Muffin Tin Tuesday is a little wacky, but hey, so am I.

Lunch was inspired by the left over spaghetti taking up space in the fridge.  Well, that and the girls really love pasta.   It was so easy to fill in the other cups with sides that go great with spaghetti and an Italian theme.    And you have the benefit of really good serving sizes in a traditional size muffin tin cup.

We have a bit of spaghetti, some cheddar and string cheese on picks, sliced mini peppers, a clementine orange, a couple strawberries, some green beans and some garlic toast sticks.  I served it with a glass of cold milk to round it out.  They've been busy eating for about 10 minutes and I haven't heard a sound, I guess that means they're loving it!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Princess and The Pea

Long ago, in a village far, far away lived two little Princesses, and in another village; even farther away lived another little Princess...this lunch is for these three Darling, Perfectly, Perfect Princesses!  This little Princess had a Mom who loved her so much she wanted to give her the most perfect lunch filled with lots of yummy fruits and all the things she loved.  I hope the Royal Chef has gotten it just right!

This lunch has a yummy Unicorn sandwich filled with cream cheese, strawberry jam and sliced strawberries.  A pink, sparkly, tiara apple hand pie, a clementine, a cheese with the star cut out; because every Princess knows to wish upon a star! (You can't really see it, but the star has gold luster dust to make it nice and shiny.)  It also has star shaped kiwi, heart shaped pineapple and strawberry slices.   Heart shaped carrots and cucumbers help a Princess find her hearts true every one knows that the true test of a Princess is if she can feel a pea hidden under her mattress when she sleeps, so I threw in some snap peas for good measure!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ahoy Matey!

I hope the little Pirate Girl I made this lunch for is happy enough that she doesn't make me walk to the plank!  A lunch filled with all sorts of yummy goodies, lots of fiber, whole grains and proteins make it possible for any Pirate to sail the Seven Seas.

I gave some of the Mom's on FaceBook a challenge; give me your childs gender, age, favorite foods, favorite things (Pirates, princesses, frogs, ect...) and I'll custom design a lunch just for them.  A few of you responded and I'd love more.  I'll do my best to stay true to your kiddo's requests, and of course you can always change it up to their exact needs.

This Pirate Princess loves peanut butter sandwiches, and veggies...she also loves yogurt (which I was totally out of), so I filled this lunch with a Pirate PB, his head kerchief is made out of cheddar cheese and his eyes and mouth are cut out of cucumber skin and can be removed really easily.  There is Walk The Plank Celery sticks with cream cheese and a Mermaid (what pirate is complete without a Siren?),  broccoli seaweed, organic whole wheat crackers (because  Hard Tack isn't good and you could break a tooth!), some chocolate gold coins, oranges to keep the scurvy away, and some cucumbers and carrots that have been speared with swords.

Plus a reusable bag with Pirates Booty and a bottle of Grog (apple juice).

As always, I used my easylunchboxes...I love them and you can get loads of food in!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday, Take Me Out To The Ball Game

My first lunch of the season, I was definitely out of practice!  Because of our new Homeschooling schedule I'll be able to make lunch at home on Mondays and for the first time ever they will be served in Muffin Tins.  I have been so envious of those blogging Mama's that have been making these darling little lunches and now I am going to attempt to join them.

Here's the first one, it's loosely based on a Ball Game meal (loosely because LiLi has a severe peanut allergy so cracker jacks are out).

Both girls got a turkey dog, with their choice of dipping sauce, cucumber slices, sunflower seeds, watermelon and popcorn.  We had fruit smoothies too, and they were so yummy!  These super easy lunches provided at least 3 servings of fruits and veggies (the smoothie had bananas and strawberries)...and the popcorn is a great way to get some fiber into your kids!

Today's lunch showed me two things; first, I really need to stock up the kitchen and pantry with lunch items.  And second, I gotta organize the lunch making supplies, I've bought a lot of cool things this summer and have just tossed everything into the "bento" drawer...needless to say, the bento drawer currently looks like an overfilled junk drawer.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Winner Is...

Congratulations Jennifer Hill! Your the winner of Two Little Lunches very first giveaway!

You all are the best, really, the absolute best.  And this was so much fun that I've already started shopping for a second giveaway!   I appreciate that you were willing to share TLL with your friends and family, share your great ideas and your desire to feed the kiddo's in your life the best foods possible!

Jennifer, email me your information and I'

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Celebrate!!! It's Our First Drawing!

Who'd have thought that my desire to create healthy, cute and fun lunches for my littles would have led to this?  Certainly not me!  And to celebrate all this fun I think a fun Back To School Package is in order.  I've filled it with all sorts of my favorite things; silicon cups from Cost Plus World Market, reusable silverware, Wilton Cookie Cutters,  2 reusable bags from  Hustle Mama ( ), two large Perserve BPA free containers, some small little lidded cups and a salt/pepper shaker; plus an apple cookie cutter, because what Back To School kit would be complete without an apple.

I've been brainstorming all sorts of lunch ideas this summer and can't wait to start blogging, creating, posting and sharing.  And I hope this school year many of you will share what your kiddo's are loving for lunch.  Here's to more exciting milestones, lunches and giveaways!

How do you win?  There are a number of ways and you can enter more then once!

1.  Share Two Little Lunches on your Face Book page, then post a comment on TLL's page!

2.  Become a follower on Two Little Lunches Blog page, and leave a comment there.

3.  If your new to Two Little Lunches, like our page, follow our blog and share TLL's with your friends!

4.  Share one of your favorite lunches to pack on Two Little Lunches FB page or the Blog.

This giveaway is only available to our fan's in the US.  Hopefully the next giveaway I'll be able to open it up to our friends overseas and in Canada.    Winner will be selected randomly.  Giveaway ends Friday, August 12, 2011 at 12pm PST.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Strawberry Jam

For me there is nothing better then fresh, Oregon strawberries, Hood berries to be exact.  They're little, compact, sweet, juicy gems.  Bright red all the way through, they stain your hands and your lips.  (You can expect this same adoration when raspberries and blueberries are in season and right after I've headed to the Gorge to get fresh cherries.)  This year, I took the girls and declared that we would be picking berries, actually hunching over the little mounds gathering our own fruit.  I would not just be pulling into the farm and buying them from the stand.  And it was fun; for about an hour. 
So I paid for a combination of the fruit we picked and some flats that were picked for us, loaded them up and stopped at the store to buy canning materials.  In my journey to feed my family a little bit better, a little healthier, I'm trying to make as many of the things we use so that I can control what goes into our bodies.  And jam is really easy to make!  We used the Surejell Recipe (by we I include my wonderful Mom, or Nama as my girls call her...she has taught me most of what I know about cooking and canning!) and we don't boil the jars to tighten the seal, just turn the jar over as soon as you've filled it and tightened the lid...wait about 20 minutes and flip right side up, and wait for the ping!  This little trick makes canning even easier.

Fresh Oregon berries, from an organic farm.

Cut strawberries with organic sugar, you can make sugar free jam but I figure you use very little jam so it might as well taste really yummy!

The finished product, we couldn't wait to try it, so we had jam on ice cream...versatile too!

I used the same preparation for getting strawberries into the freezer, just clean, cut and toss with organic sugar...fill a freezer bag and don't forget to note the contents and the date.  Frozen berries can be used for sauces, snacks, in baking, and smoothies; you name it the possibilities are endless!  And again, you control what is going into your families bodies and save yourself money. 

Here's the recipe:
*2 Quarts Strawberries, cut and crushed, should equal 5 cups
*7 Cups of Sugar (I use organic)
*1/2 teaspoon of butter
*I box powered SureJell
1. Pour crushed berries into large pot
2. Measure sugar into separate container and set aside
3. Stir package of SureJell into berries
4. Add butter (it keeps the foam down)
5. Bring berries to a full rolling boil (will not stop when being stirred), then add sugar
6. Stir constantly
7. Stir in sugar quickly
8. Return mixture to a full rolling boil, and boil exactly 1 minute, stir constantly
9. Remove from heat
10. Ladle quickly into jars that have been cleaned and preheated (if you can have them washed and in a warm dishwasher waiting, that'll be perfect)
11. Fill jars to about 1/4 inch from rim, clean sides and rim of jars
12. Place heated lids on jars (to heat lids, simmer in water for at least one minute) and be sure to tighten lids
*This is where my directions will differ from SureJell's
13.  Turn jars over for about 20 minutes, then flip right side up, and wait for a pinging noise...then you have jam!  Store in your pantry, and be sure to mark with the date and berry!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Snacks for a Long Day...

As parents we all have those dreaded days of hours spent on the side lines, in ice skating rinks, or dressing rooms(backstage)...days when you have little options for food, or when food isn't allowed.  Yet our active kids need to feed their growing, moving bodies. These were snacks I packed for my girls during dance rehearsal week, they technically couldn't have snacks...but we all know that kids need fuel and these were long 6-9 hour days.  Fortunately our dance school would allow the girls to throw on cover ups and grab a quick bite.  I packed foods that would give them a burst of energy, fill them up and not cause any mess to those darling costumes. 
This is one days snacks...I tried for variety but it didn't always happen.  They got jerky or pepperoni, pretzel and cheddar goldfish, cheese slices, applesauce, juice, fruit leather, bananas, apricots, apples, and water bottles.   The variety gave them lots of choices through out the day and met many of their nutritional needs.  There isn't much in the way of grains...but lots of fiber in the fruits and veggies.  Some days they got carrot sticks, cucumbers, yogurt, whole wheat crackers, grapes and dried fruit.  I love my reusable bags, just rinse them out with warm water and a little soap and your ready for the next use!

Just two of the adorable costumes they wore...this was for a Mary Poppins Acro was darling!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July

I know this isn't a lunch, nor is it very healthy...but it sure was yummy and fun.  I love the 4th of July more then any other holiday.  I am so proud to be an American (with faults and all), I love living here, I am grateful to the men and women who serve our country and I cry every time I hear the National Anthem.   It's only fitting then that our celebration includes a small town parade, a barbecue and loads of desserts!

Here's a picture of my Red, White and Blue Starcakes, and a bunch of sweet little girls waiting on the parade.
I use a basic English Scone recipe, which I cut into star shapes.  Macerate strawberries, raspberries and blueberries with a little sugar.  Top with some fresh whipped cream, instant yum!

Three families, 9 little girls (not all pictured), a giant handful of sugar and spice!  Hope your families had a safe and happy celebration!

Friday, June 10, 2011

An American Bento

Have you seen those tradition Japanese Bentos?  They look exquisite, filled with all sorts of exotic goodies.  My girls get a little squeamish when I suggest the possibility of making one of those...but I think they'll enjoy this bento lunch.  It takes some of the food finds of a traditional bento box and mixes them with things that are a favorite of my kids.   And since this is one busy, work filled weekend for me I made some Bento lunches for Daddy-O to pull out of the fridge and serve. 
I know the girls will love them, but I'm willing to bet he makes himself something different!
This lunch has some salmon, jasmin rice, cucumber salad, carrot sticks, cashews, some mandarin oranges, and some crenshaw melon.  This is local salmon (we live in the Pacific NW, and man is our salmon yummy!) and the cucumber salad is similar to what you'd find in a sushi restaurant.   As always I used our easylunchboxes...not only can I pack a ton, but they stack in the fridge so nicely!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Picnic at the Park

I asked what you wanted to see and a Picnic lunch was the winner, and well frankly, a picnic is really a great way to go!  I packed the girls up today to hit a local park to burn off some extra energy, and threw together a few lunches which not only saved money, but saved us from needing to make a trip through a drive through.  When I was packing the lunches I kept thinking about what Ma might have packed the Ingall's family for a picnic after church (I am such a product of the 70's).  I decided she would have packed chicken, potato salad, berries, maybe a chocolate cake or an apple pie, probably some season veggies and some fresh baked bread.  Since I had 30 minutes the fresh bread and pie were out.  Also the veggies picked from my garden will have to wait, since the plants aren't yet producing... lucky for me the 10 plus local grocery stores have all sorts of lovely produce!

This picnic lunch has some grilled chicken drumsticks, homemade potato salad (yum), an apricot, watermelon, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, some Tillimook cheese and a cupcake! (The cupcake was leftover from a birthday celebration this weekend, but if I hadn't have had it I would have made some brownies.)  Since it's a picnic I'm going to go a little crazy and pack some Hansen's soda!    I'm willing to bet this picnic lunch that Pa and Half Pint would have gobbled it up.
And this easy, yummy picnic lunch is packed in my favorite easylunchboxes. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Breakfast for Lunch

My family loves the novelty of breakfast for dinner and I love just how easy it is to prepare, so it got me to thinking.  Wouldn't breakfast for lunch be really fun too?  Or how about to bring on an early morning flight (when you fly from the West Coast, flights are almost always early);  if your rounding up the troops at 4 a.m. no one feels like eating a bagel; it never fails as soon as you board the plane everyone is starving and pretzels and ginger ail just won't cut it.  In this case, we had a busy morning of real estate and drop offs at Nama and Papa' this little lunch is really a little brunch.

Brunch includes a hard boiled egg, apple and orange slices, greek yogurt with some blackberry jam, white cheddar and colby jack cheese flowers, and a cinnamon muffin.  I threw in an organic milk box to bulk up the protein.  As always I packed these lunches in my favorite Easylunchboxes!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Snack Pack

Today was a long day, with a lot of time in the car; in my free time I'm a real estate agent;  and I wanted to  make sure that while I drug the girls all over God's creation we wouldn't need to make a pit stop at McD's.  Our schedule inspired todays snack packs, I channeled the Lunchables concept when I packed the lunches.  (On a side note, lunchables might be the worst thing you could feed your child.)  And tried to give the girls tons to chose from, by food items that would hold up to a day on the road, not be messy and keep them feeling full.
LiLi was far more impressed with the idea then GiGi, but they both loved the idea of digging into their snackpacks anytime they felt the urge to have a nibble!

The lunches have mini blueberry muffins, apple slices, carrot sticks, cashews and raisins, cheese flowers (string cheese and colby jack) and some gummy bears.  I think the little treat is always the pull for those Lunchables.  They also had water bottles and a can of V8. 
As always, I packed these little cuties in our easylunchboxes...seriously, have I mentioned how much I love these lunch boxes!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pantry Lunch

You know those weeks where you seem to never get to the grocery store?  That's how it's been at our house, we've been digging in the freezer and the pantry to make meals, which is not such a bad thing...we have a lot of stuff to chose from! 

The two lunches are pretty different, GiGi is so picky and LiLi has become little Miss. Bossy Boots. 
GiGi's lunch has some ham, mini carrots, a granola bar, string cheese, a handful of almonds and some pineapple chunks.  Seriously not inspired but basically a pretty healthy lunch.

LiLi has a salad with tomatoes, cucumber and cheese, some pineapple chunks (not her favorite), a granola bar, and some raw pecans. 

I threw in organic milk to round out lunch and give a punch of calcium and protein.   And as always packed them in my favorite Easy Lunch Boxes!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wish Upon A Star

I'm wishing and saying a little prayer that this week no one is sick! And that I get a whole week of packing lunches.  I've added a few wishes and prayers for some non-rainy weather (We're getting pounded here in the NW, 200 days of rain! I drew up some ark plans, just in case!).    But the true inspiration of today's lunches is a planning session for our Fall trip to Disneyland. I love the excitement as you near the gates, the sites and sounds as soon as you hit Main Street and then you see Sleeping Beauty's Castle!  I'm humming as I type, and it's awfully easy to imagine a Fairy Godmother swirling some sparkly dust around me and creating the most glorious dress to dance the night away with my Prince Charming; actually I have my Prince; maybe she could just clean the house and tackle the laundry!
I've created a little magic with today's lunches, it's all about the star and making a wish! Hope the girls love their little lunches and maybe they'll be inspired to make a wish.

Today's lunches have Ham cut into stars, star cucumbers, little star shaped cheddar and mozzarella cheese bits, star shaped crackers and cookies,  some orange wedges (I wish I had thought to grab some star fruit!) and bell pepper slices and a little granola bar to keep everything from moving.

I've packed our lunches in our easylunchbox containers! Love them!  Hope your wishes are coming true!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lunches for a Picky Eater

You asked for it and I'll continue to feature some lunch ideas for kids who may not be as adventurous in the food department.  I don't think this is the healthiest lunch ever, but really you've got to get food into your kiddo's so they have fuel to do their job, learning and playing!   If you have a really picky kid you know that nothing gets by them, there's no sneaking grated carrots into their spaghetti sauce and your probably feeling a little desperate to get some variety into them. 
I've got a few ideas and they may not work right away, you'll have to keep introducing healthy foods to them and eventually their palate will expand.   If you have a kid that like some fruits, but really dislikes others try blending them in a smoothie.  Most kids like bananas and coupled with yogurt you've got a great base for smoothies or freezer pops.  Then throw in some berries that your little one might not be crazy about to boost the nutrients.   The same with a transition from white bread to wheat, sneak in some white wheat, then some honey oat...until they accept the consistency and taste of whole wheat breads. 
Give your kids a shopping list that lets them help pick out new foods to try, ask them to get one new fruit and veggie.  They will be more apt to try a new food when they have control over it.  If they are old enough to help with prepping the meal they'll be even more adventurous in trying.   Also try preparing those cooked veggies in different ways.  Maybe your kids won't touch broccoli just plain, but if you roast it in olive oil and top it with a little Parmesan cheese it takes on a lovely nutty flavor that might earn just one bite (which hopefully will be followed by lots of bites!). 

GiGi's lunch has a half a hazelnut butter and jelly sandwich, a string cheese, some raisins, a few slices of watermelon, cucumber and carrot sticks and a few animal crackers.  She also has an organic chocolate milk to boost the calcium and protein!
LiLi's lunch has a bagel and cream cheese, a piece of fruit leather, cheddar cheese, watermelon slices, cucumber and carrot sticks and a handful of animal crackers.  She has an organic vanilla milk to boost her calcium and protein intake.

Some other easy ideas:
*Make a lunch of dippers.  Kids love finger foods and you can get plenty of nutrients in this way.  Give them a nut butter (or sunflower) and a ranch dip made with Greek yogurt, add plenty of crisp veggies.  Make an easy fruit dip with yogurt and cream cheese and provide some yummy favorite fruits to dip away!  
*If your kids like re-fried beans send them to school with a homemade lunchable, pack it with beans, cheese and tortillas or chips.  Add in guac and sour cream and some chopped tomatoes and olives.  Throw in a little mango for a treat.  (Try dried fruits or freeze dried for a different consistency)
*Breakfast for lunch, take leftover waffles, smear with a nut butter or nutella, top with sliced bananas or strawberries,  Add a hard boiled egg and some orange slices.

Hope this helps a few Momma's out.  Just remember to give yourself a break, and your kids too,  If all your child will eat is a pb&j, thats ok...try and stretch their food list by adding fun things to those sandwiches!