Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Lunch 2013

Tomorrow is Halloween and here's only my second Halloween lunch of year. The girls have been tracked out so I haven't been packing lunches much, but I thought it would be fun to put their lunches in our EasyLunchboxes just for fun, even though they were eating at home.


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In this lunch:
  1. 365 Organic Cheese Tortellini from Whole Foods with a dash of Bertolli's Organic Garlic, Olive Oil Spaghetti Sauce with a sprinkling of Trader Joe's Shaved Grana Padano Parmesan
  2. Trader Joe's Frozen Organic Peas, cooked with a dash of salt
  3. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds from last night's pumpkin carving remains
  4. Delmonte canned cooked carrots
  5. Ghost sugar cookie lovingly made by Nana


The girls enjoyed their lunch and most all of it was finished except for Big Sis' pumpkin seeds. She said she just wasn't in the mood. Oh well.


Speaking of pumpkin seeds... We went out to get our pumpkins last night - a little later than we would have liked, but we were glad to get it done just the same. Lucky for us, Nana was in town to enjoy the adventure with us!


The girls wanted to show me which pumpkins they wanted. haha! Sorry, Charlies, no giant pumpkins for you! :)


Tadaaaaa! The finished products. Big Sis' (of her own design) is on the left, followed by mine (I cheated and used a template), Little Sis follows (she chose a giant white pumpkin and put this original design on hers) and Daddy's is on the far right. He cheated too, but ain't it wicked? ;) What EVER did we do w/o those pumpkin carving kits that make cool pumpkins come so easily. And BIG kudos to Nana who somehow ended up with task of hallowing out Little Sis' giant white pumpkin which was about 3 inches thick. Whoa. And really juicy. Yuck! Thanks Nana!


I was gonna fight the urge to make pumpkin seeds 'cause I just didn't have the time to mess with 'em, but alas, the girls talked me into it, so I used Allrecipes' Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe to make this yummy little snack.


Lastly, here's a preview of the girls' costumes from their Trunk or Treat event at school this past weekend. Every day I kept asking Big Sis if she still wanted to be Jason for Halloween and every day she answered yes. Why did she have to be so resolute about a costume for the first time in her life? And she kept asking me for a chainsaw (we've since learned that Jason actually wields a machete!) What happened to my sweet little girl? *sigh*

At least Little Sis wanted to be ghost - girl ghost actually, but I didn't have time to make a bow. lol.

What will you and your guys be dressing  up as this Halloween?That's it! Have a safe and fun Halloween!

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! :)

   

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Bento for Kidlet - Meatless Mondays
Tuesday's Table
Bento Lunch's What's For Lunch Wednesdays
Bentos On the Bayou - 15 Minute Fridays

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pre-Feeding Veggies to Girls On-The-Go

This picture was actually taken last year and posted on my Facebook Page, but given the timing, I thought I'd go ahead and make an actual post of it!

Do you ever pre-feed your kids their veggies before you head out to dinner at a restaurant or at a friend's house? I do, all the time. It's the only way I'm guaranteed they'll eat their veggies. Quite often, I give it to 'em in the car ride over in these stainless steel LunchBots Trios (affiliate link), if the drive is long enough. And it works great. Why not fill them up on the good stuff first and then not fret as much over the rest of their dinner so we can all eat in peace? It's a win-win in my book!


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And just as cool was this:

One day the girls and I were headed out for errands with their American Girls in tow. Little did I know that they had grabbed our LunchBots and packed this snack for them. You can imagine how big my grin was and how touched and proud I was of my sweet little mamas.


Here's a pic of the little mamas and their girls, at the Bean in Chicago - the very trip where Little Sis acquired hers. :)


Shout-outs:
LunchBots - for some seriously awesome stainless steel lunch-transporting gear! Check out my affiliate link! :)

Shop LunchBots

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 :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Here's Lunch #15: Lasagna Leftovers

Heeeeeere's lunch! :)

Just a quick blurb - I actually sent this lunch in last Wednesday, the day I do Lunch Bunch w/ a small group of kids from Little Sis' class, including Little Sis herself. It was heart-warming to watch her scarf her lasagna down in about 2 minutes flat and so funny when she asked me (while I was reading them a book), Mommy, can I have some more lasagna? Just love her. <3


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In this lunch:
  1. Two-Sauce Spinach Lasagna leftovers in our Thermos Hello Kitty Funtainer
  2. DIY Handi-Snacks using MOMveeta
  3. Organic Red Grapes
  4. Organic raw cauliflower, broccoli and 1 snow pea for trying w/ Ranch dressing
  5. Quaker's POPPED Rice Snacks - Caramel Corn (girls loved them but I'm not buying them anymore because I noticed they have sucralose in them - yuck! in our Blue Avocado Reusable Snack Bag
  6. Trader Joe's all-natural Gourmet Jelly Beans
* "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:

LunchBots - for some seriously awesome stainless steel lunch-transporting gear! Check out my affiliate link! :)

Shop LunchBots

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 Box Accessories Food Pick Cute Animal Fork 8 pcs

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! :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Frightful Fall Hop

Thank goodness for the Bento Bloggers and Friends' Frightful Fall Blog Hop to inspire me to finally make my first Halloween lunch of the season! Don't know what took me so long because I certainly had fun makin' this one, especially since I got to try out a couple new toys: the versatile and really nifty CuteZcute Mini Pocket Sandwich Maker and Egg Mold Kit - Animal Palz (see affiliate link below to get one of your very own!) and this way cool cupcake spider stand. Woo hoo! Of course I had to include the cute little pumpkins the girls got with my parents at Trader Joe's the other day. They took a Sharpie to them and had some fun. :)

So without further ado, here it is!

My Epicurean Adventures: Halloween Hop 2013 #easylunchboxes

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In this lunch:
  1. Bat Sandwich with Applegate Ham, Muenster Cheese and Genoa Salami on Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat Bread
  2. Hard Boiled Vampire Bat Egg (using the new CuteZcute Mini Pocket Sandwich Maker and Egg Mold Kit - Animal Palz)
  3. Utz Halloween Pretzels - Made in a Nut-Free Facility - woo hoo!
  4. Carrot Chips and a Sugar Snap Pea from Trader Joe's
  5. Fresh Organic Raspberries
  6. Fage 2% Yogurt with Wilton's Spider Sprinkles
  7. Chocolate Mousse Filled Spider Cupcake - to be eaten when they get home from school :)
  8. Organic Valley Milk Box
FYI: this is the first molded hard-boiled egg I've ever made and I can't believe how easy it was using my new toy! And look how awesome it turned out (if I do say so myself - hahaha!) :)

Here's a close-up of that spider cupcake. Bought the cupcake stand on clearance at Target last year. Yeah!

My Epicurean Adventures: Spider Cupcake

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and a glimpse of what the INSIDE of that cupcake looks like because I just have to. :)


Now it's time to hop on through to the truly amazing Keeley McGuire who is always full of allergy-friendly fun and delicious ideas! Can't wait to see what spooooooky fun she has concocted for Little Miss! Click on the button below to see!


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! :)
My new favorite cookbook - sooooo many awesome recipes perfect for kids and adults alike:

 

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

Food Decorating Topper Party 3D Witches Hats Japanese Bento Accessories Silicone Colorful Food Cup 6P 

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

7 Healthy, Yummy and Fun Homemade Snacks for Kids


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My kids are little snack-eating fools, both at home and at school, as I'm sure many of yours are, too. So, with as many snacks as they eat, I try to load them up with the good stuff as much as possible. They still eat the junky variety from time-to-time because it's hard to always come up with the healthy alternatives that they actually like to eat and sometimes, you just don't have the time. So here's a round up of some of our favorite healthier/homemade versions of popular snacks. Most of them don't take very long to make and can last for weeks, so make them in large batches since they keep well. I'll be honest here, not everyone LOVES every single one of these snacks but each snack is definitely loved by at least 50% of my immediate members, so that works for me.

Starting from the top left corner, moving clockwise, we have:

1. Homemade Cheese Its
This one is super fun to make with kids. I actually prefer to make it with them because I get tired of poking all those holes and moving each individual cheese it on to the baking sheet. BUT, it's the perfect task for little hands, as long as you don't mind if your holes aren't perfectly centered. :) Big Sis and Daddy really like this snack. Little Sis could take it or leave it. She'd probably prefer to leave it. haha! Oh well.

Family love rating: %75 percent

This one is super duper easy to make and you can make a lot at once. But even a half-batch of this goes a long way. And it IS super handy and versatile snack to have on-hand since it keeps in the fridge for 2-3 weeks or up to 6 months in the freezer! This is a snack that is LOVED by ALL! Yes, ALL!!!

Family love rating: %100
I love these because they are granola bars that are both nut-free AND my kids will eat! The hubby and I LOVE these. Big Sis really likes these and Little Sis likes them well-enough. haha!

Family love rating: %75 
I love this snack because I can make it organic and with a minimal amount of sugar, sometimes even none! The hubby and I really like this even though neither one of us have ever really cared for applesauce, mostly because it's so often way too sweet. The girls both like this and will eat it, but I don't think either of them LOVE it, so I'll give this a...

Family love rating: %75

My hubby is a popcorn junkie. Ever since he bought a new popper and I found this organic popcorn online, he has become the popcorn maker of the family. Thanks to him, we almost ALWAYS have some on hand, stored in a well-cleaned out giant Kimchee jar of which he ends up eating about 90%! So for that alone, it gets this rating. :) But we all do love it.

Family love rating: 100%
So many muffins, so little room in our tummies for them all. These pretty quick and easy to make and I try make them the morning of to enjoy them fresh out of the oven and freeze the leftovers for even quicker breakfasts on rushed mornings.

Family love rating: 100%

Favorite variety:
Daddy: Cranberry Orange
Mommy: tie between Strawberry Banana and Cranberry Orange
Big Sis: tie between Banana Chocolate Chip and Blueberry (but w not as many blueberries)
Little Sis: Banana Muffins (aka Banana Chocolate Chip without the chips - funny little girl!)

What's not to love? Hubby used to buy them frozen all the time when we first got married. We all love getting them at Carolina Hurricanes hockey games. The girls have even gobbled up reheated freezer burned ones, so I'd say this is a safe rating:

Family love rating: 100%

And finally, here are some of the snacks in action as snacks and lunches. :)

Breakfast Burrito for Lunch w/ Granola Bars

Snacks for School with Organic Popcorn

Tuna Rolls with Cheese Its

Kitty Sandwich with Homemade Granola Bars

Hoagie Sandwich with DIY Handi-Snacks

Homemade Pretzels, Hot Dogs and MOMveeta

Snacks for school with applesauce in a yummi pouch
Shout-outs:
MOMables - for sharing so many delicious and healthy recipes with us!

Nature's Own - for providing such a large variety of healthy, yummy breads!

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

LunchBots - for some seriously awesome stainless steel lunch-transporting gear! Check out my affiliate link! :)

Shop LunchBots

EasyLunchBoxes - love my ELB's!!

Pack lunches fast with EasyLunchboxes

Yummi Pouches - for earth-friendly alternatives to fun and easy to-go snacks!


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 CuteZcute Bento Food Deco Cutter and Pastry Press Kit Japanese Bento Box Accessories Food Pick Cute Animal Fork 8 pcsBento Silicone Baking Food Cup - 12 Heart  Food Decorating Pick Long Pix Stix Assorted Japanese Bento Accessories Silicone Colorful Food Cup 6P

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 :)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pizza Lunchables w/ LOTS of Snacks!

I've been accused (by my own children) of not packing enough food when I send in Homemade Pizza Lunchables for lunch so this time I was sure to send a LOT of snacks. I guess it's because those sandwich rounds and their fixin's take up a lot of valuable snack space, so I added an extra half-slice of sandwich round and went to my reusable, Earth-friendly and space saving containers for help. :)

Here's what I sent in yesterday, Wednesday, which also happens to be the day I go into do "Lunch Bunch" w/ Little Sis and 5 of her classmates. They sit with me in the classroom and eat their lunches while I read them books. Unfortunately, this rarely keeps them from yappin' away and commenting/questioning stuff every chance they get. haha.

My Epicurean Adventures: Homemade Pizza Lunchables in #easylunchoxes

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In this lunch:
  1. Homemade Pizza Lunchables using Nature's Own Whole Wheat Sandwich Rounds (3 halves instead of my usual 2), Mama Mary's All-natural Pizza Sauce and Trader Joe's part skim shredded Mozzarella cheese
  2. A couple organic broccoli florets, a couple organic carrot sticks and a couple organic cauliflower florets with a side of ranch dressing
  3. Keebler Mini Fudge Stripe cookies
  4. Organic Applesauce in our Yummi Pouches
  5. Cheese and cracker sandwiches using Trader Joe's Cracker Rounds and MOMveeta cheese
  6. Not pictured: Cascadian Farms White Chocolate Granola Bars. Take that girls!! :)
Little Sis asked me as she was unpacking her lunch - why did you give me that extra bread? I don't need that extra bread, it's too much! But come the end of lunch, she had the nerve to ask me, "Mommy, I need more bread because I have sauce left over!" Just couldn't help but crack up. Kids!!

My Epicurean Adventures: Homemade Pizza Lunchables in #easylunchoxes

I was all excited to come up with a substitute for those Trader Joe's Organic Mini Cheese Sandwich Crackers I had accidentally bought that said "Made on shared equipment with peanuts" with this homemade version - yet another use for MOMveeta Cheese. But they didn't turn out quite as successful as I hoped. Though they are delicious if eaten immediately, they get soggy if left sitting in a baggie for a couple hours. Big Sis ate hers despite. She said they were a little soggy during her snack time but probably not as soggy as when lunch time came for Little Sis about an hour after, so hers came back untouched. Sorry guys! Next time this will just have to be a yummy at-home snack made on the spot. But don't they look so yummy? :)


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

Yummi Pouches - for earth-friendly alternatives to fun and easy to-go snacks!


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

Nature's Own - for providing such a large variety of healthy, yummy breads!

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! :)