Monday, September 30, 2013

Tuna Egg Salad Sushi Rolls

Gotta start out by saying thanks to Karina Leal for the inspiration to make this lunch for my girls. Never bothered to try tuna with them before and I thought it was finally high time. No idea whether they will like it or not, but here goes nuthin'! :)


My Epicurean Adventures: Tuna Egg Salad Rolls in @Easylunchboxes

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In this lunch:
  1. Egg Tuna Salad Rolls ;)
  2. Greek Yogurt with a touch of sprinkles
  3. Organic carrot sticks w/ Marie's Ranch Dressing on the side
  4. Raspberries and cantaloupe
  5. Homemade Cheese Its
Ok, last minute, I chickened out a little bit and gave 'em each only one skewer of the tuna salad rolls, just in case. The second skewer was a safer turkey, cheese and spinach roll up, much like the ones I made here: Sushi Roll Sandwiches. This also gives you the general idea of how to make these along with your favorite tuna salad recipe, or you can try mine below!


This tuna salad is a spin-off of a previous post: Sharon's Zesty Tuna Egg Salad Recipe and was made using 1 can of tuna, 1 boiled egg, diced shredded carrots, diced kale, mayo and a dash of salt and pepper. :)

Update: I have after pix to add! :)

Little Sis polished off her lunch. I'll say it was a success! While Big Sis ate her turkey and cheese rolls but claimed "she didn't have time to eat the other one". haha! We'll try again w/ Big Sis, but I'm still pretty happy w/ these here sights. :)


Shout-outs:
EasyLunchBoxes - love my ELB's!!


My favorite Bento supplier @ All Things For Sale.  Just click on the pix to view/purchase now via affiliate links! :)

Japanese Bento Accessories Sauce Container set of 4 Lovely Mayo Cup  Japanese Bento Box Accessories Food Pick Cute Animal Fork 8 pcs Food Decorating Pick Long Pix Stix Assorted

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Baking Frenzy for a Daddy-Kids Camping Trip

My Epicurean Adventures: Baking Frenzy

The hubby has taken the girls on a Daddies-and-Kids camping trip this weekend organized by a good friend of ours. He asked me if I could bake up some goodies to share with everyone and OF COURSE, was my answer! It's the least I could do since he was giving me the weekend to myself plus, it gives us some safe, nut-free snacks/treats that the girls can enjoy. So Thursday was the day of frenzied baking.

This is what I baked up. And I couldn't have done all this without my double oven. Well, I COULD have done it, but it would have taken me twice as long, so for that I"m grateful. Also my KitchenAid mixer. Saved my arm for future volleyball action. And OF COURSE for my hubby, who even though was gifting me this precious quiet time, still felt bad for asking and insisted on helping w/ clean up (make that pre-clean up) and lunch. What a lucky girl I am.

First up is...

BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS
Made 1.5 batches of my go-to Betty Crocker's Banana Bread Recipe into mini muffins. This time, I skipped my usual adding of 2 Tbsps each of wheat germ and ground flax seed just to ensure they came out moist. I skipped the nuts and added about 3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Baking time was about 17 mins. Keep an eye on them as they can dry out in an eye blink if you bake them too long!

My Epicurean Adventures: Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins


Next up:
PUMPKIN MINI MUFFINS
This was also from another one of my go-to's: Betty Crocker Zucchini Bread Recipe using the pumpkin bread variation. Ditto here, no additional healthy stuff added. Made 1 batch of plain pumpkin mini muffins and sprinkled a tad of cinnamon-sugar on top of each muffin before baking. In the second batch, I added about 3/4 chocolate chips and skipped the cinnamon sugar part. BTW, the Zucchini bread version is delish, too!


My Epicurean Adventures: Pumpkin Mini MuffinsMy Epicurean Adventures: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins


Let's see... what did I make next? Oh yeah:

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BARS
I got lazy and wanted to make something that required very little work on my part. That's why I went for the pan cookie version. I didn't even use my normal recipe and just used the one that was on the back of the Hershey's Semi Sweet Chocolate Chip Morsels bag and they turned out lovely. Make sure it cools fully, like I let it cool for a few hours and by the time I cut into them, not a crumb nor chip stuck to my cutting knife. It was beautiful. :)


My Epicurean Adventures: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

The container I used to pack the cookies up was an old baby spinach container I had saved. Never could quite figure out whether these are actually recyclable or considered a clam shell type container and therefore not, but I though what the hey... if the hubby needed to unload some stuff, then he could just chuck this.



And lastly...
SNICKERDOODLES
OMG. I just LOVE Doctor Yum's Snickerdoodles Recipe. This one is filled with lots of wholesome goodness, but they are unbelievably tasty and chewy. YUM. ONLY thing I would change up here is to reduce the amount of sugar used. After 'tasting' a 'few' cookies, I felt like I was hepped up on goofballs. So next time, I think I'll reduce it by about 1/4 to maybe even 1/2 cup (1/4 of each type of sugar) and try it like that. Then I could REALLY load up! :)

Update 4/15/14: Made these again today and this time I did reduce the amount of sugar to 1/2 cup of each granulated sugar and brown sugar. PERFECT!! (for me, at least). :) Also make sure to refrigerate the do before rolling the cookies in about 1.5 tsp balls. Then, squish them down a little bit with you thumb for the perfect cookie!



My Epicurean Adventures: Doctor Yum's Snickerdoodles

My Epicurean Adventures: Doctor Yum's Snickerdoodles

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Whew!! There, I'm done! Now one would think that with all this mess of baked goods, that I'd have a mess and pile of dirty dishes to clean up. Yes, messy it was, but my pile of dishes was surprisingly small. It helped that I used the same mixing bowl and measuring stuff for every single recipe. The PAINFUL part of all this was washing and drying all those darned muffin tins. Yes all 8 of them. HATE washing those things!

Finally, here's the lovely salad my dear hubby made for me while I was in my baking frenzy. Ain't he a sweetie? :)


In this salad (all purchased at Trader Joe's):
  1. Chopped organic spinach - because I don't like to stuff big leaves in my mouth and I like to eat my salads with spoons whenever possible. :)
  2. Organic grape tomatoes
  3. Organic dried cranberries
  4. Toasted sunflower seeds
  5. Organic broccoli slaw
  6. Organic shredded carrots
  7. Fresh Mozzarella
Whew! That's it! And now it's my turn to chill. Once the sweeties got on the road, I piddled around, started a Netflix "New Girl" marathon - I just started the series and I'm hooked! LOVE.THIS.SHOW! Managed to tear myself away from the tv for a bit to go on a 40 minute run, organize and cleaned out the family shoe closet, cleaned up the days' dishes, crammed food in my mouth while standing over the sink so I wouldn't dirty any more dishes up (lol!), did a little blogging and watched some more New Girl. ;) Hmmmm, what should the rest of the weekend hold? Lots of crafting (sewing in particular), some sand doubles volleyball and a variety of other things I just don't know yet! :) 

Hope you enjoy your weekend (and these recipes)!! :)

Shout-outs:
DoctorYum - for sharing so many healthy and delicious recipes with us!

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Here's Lunch #14: Breakfast Burrito for Lunch

Heeeeeere's lunch! :) Little Sis loves a good breakfast burrito - for breakfast or lunch! This was per request. And FYI: this lunch was super quick to make, especially when you keep cooked bacon in the freezer. Just crumble it up frozen and toss is in the pan as your frying your egg. Easy peasy!



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In this lunch:
  1. Breakfast burrito w/ eggs, shredded cheese and crumbled bacon
  2. Doctor Yum's Homemade Granola "Bar"
  3. Archer Farms Raspberry Lemonade Fruit Stick (called Simply Balanced now)
  4. Annie's Homegrown Organic Cheddar Bunnies
  5. Fresh strawberries and pineapple
* "Here's Lunch" is a series of lunch posts for those days when I really don't have more to say than "Here's lunch". :)

Shout-outs:
EasyLunchBoxes - love my ELB's!!

Pack lunches fast with EasyLunchboxes

My favorite Bento supplier @ All Things For Sale.  Just click on the pix to view/purchase now via affiliate links! :)

Japanese Bento Accessories Sauce Container set of 4 Lovely Mayo Cup Japanese Bento Accessory Food Pick Hat 3D food picks 8 pcs Japanese Bento Decoration Ham Cheese Cutter Set 9pcs CuteZcute Bento Food Deco Cutter and Pastry Press Kit Japanese Bento Box Accessories Food Pick Cute Animal Fork 8 pcs Japanese Bento Decoration Ham Cheese Cutter Face Japanese Bento Decoration Seaweed Cutter Nori Puncher Wink Food Decorating Topper Party 3D Witches Hats Japanese Bento Accessories Sandwich Cutter Small Animal and Flower Bento Silicone Baking Food Cup - 12 Heart  Food Decorating Pick Long Pix Stix Assorted  Japanese Bento Accessories Silicone Colorful Food Cup 6P  Japanese Bento Accessories Sandwich Cutter New Design   Japanese Bento Accessory Cute Food Pick Flower 24 pcs


MOMables - for sharing so many delicious and healthy recipes with us!

DoctorYum - for sharing so many healthy and delicious recipes with us!

Annie's Homegrown for so many delicious and wholesome foods I love feeding my girls.

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Two-Sauce Spinach Lasagna



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The girls tried lasagna for the first time on our Bahamas trip last year and loved it. I have no idea why I didn't introduce it to them earlier, but I tried it again - and again and again it was a hit each time. Big Sis told me she had a lasagna problem (because she loved it so much). Little Sis agreed, "Yeah, I have a lasagna problem, too. I DEFINITELY have a lasagna problem!"

So let me introduce YOU to the lasagna recipe that has turned my little sweeties into self-proclaimed "Lasagna Heads".  As I mentioned in a previous post (Ramen Noodles Lunch), in our house, when you really LOVE something, you're a "Something Head".

It requires 2 different sauces, red and white, but you can definitely simplify it by using your favorite jarred sauces. I actually used Classico's Two-Sauce Lasagna Recipe though I used my Bertolli's Organic Olive Oil, Basil and Garlic Sauce. :o

I have yet to meet a jarred cream sauce I like. Actually, I only tried one and was SO turned off by it that I vowed never to try another one again. So instead, I made this Parmesan Cream Sauce for the white sauce:
Real Simple's Pasta Cream Sauce. Simple and delicious. FYI: one batch is enough to make about two 13"x9" lasagnas.

Red Sauce:
No recipe here other than dice up a bunch of veggies like: onion, mushroom, eggplant, squash, minced garlic, green bell pepper, chopped kale all sauteed in grapeseed oil and Italian seasoning. Saute until tender, and then add in 2 jars of your favorite sauce and mix well. In my most recent batch, I used 1/2 a eggplant, 1 green onion, 1 onion and 8 oz baby bella mushrooms. I even used my immersion blender to puree all those veggie chunks so that my girls would have no reason to turn up their little noses. I like being sneaky that way. :)



Quite often when I cook, I hear the pitter patter of Little Sis' big feet running over to me to see if there's something she can help with. This time, she came over just in time to sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top - the final step. Love my little helper. The ones pictured here were made vegetarian but I've made it with sausage before and it was really yummy, too. Or add ground beef or chicken if you prefer. Yummy any which way. :)


Makes one 13"x9" lasagna. I little over doubled the recipe to make all these pictured. I LOVE to make some for now, share with a friend in need and some to freeze for later.


Right out of the oven. Mmmmm.


And now the girls' favorite part - eating it! And boy do they gobble it up. I usually have to cut Little Sis off after 1.5 of the one pictured here.


Even Big Sis, who eats like a bird, almost always asks for seconds, too!

These even make a good dinner on the go, especially if you chop it up in little pieces. :)


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In this dinner-on-the-go:
  1. Steamed organic frozen peas w/ a touch of Kosher salt
  2. Cooked carrots
  3. Banana Bread using Betty Crocker's Recipe (one with chocolate chips, one without)
  4. Chopped up lasagna :)

That's it! Hope you like this as much as my family and I do! And thanks for giving me a good distraction (writing up this post) for what turned out to be an ugly Michigan Football game. I do like to watch, but if we play crappy and/or lose, I get all cranky afterwards at having wasted 3 hours watching a bad game. hee hee. Tonight, we happened to win, but BARELY, against U Conn. It was touch and go and thought we were on our way to an abysmal loss. WHEW!

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some items used in this post. To see a full list of my favorite bento gear and such, just visit my "Products I Love" page! :) Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)