Thursday, February 27, 2014

Top 13 of 2013

Ok, it's almost March and I'm just doing this now, but I just couldn't resist. Let's just say I'm doing it for blog posterity. :)

Now this is a compilation of not just lunches I've made, but all of my most popular posts, excluding giveaways. It's so cool to see that some of my favorites have made this list. Thanks so much to all of you who've made this all even possible! Because, without you, I'd have no top 13. ;) So thank you thank you thank you!!

So, without further ado, here they are!


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13. Sandwiches on a Stick
12. Corn Dog Muffin Minis
11. Cereal Box Do-It-Yourself Drawer Organizers
10. 10 Ways How I Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
9. Crock Pot Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
8. Texas Recipes' Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
7. Happy 1st Day of School Pizza Lunchables
6. Chocolate Mousse-Filled Cupcakes
5. 7 Healthy, Yummy and Fun Homemade Snacks
4. Cauliflower Cheese Casserole
3. My Post-Fasting Lunch aka Salad In A Box
2. Vanilla Oreo Cupcakes

and finally my most popular post of 2013 (and all time):
1. Homemade HandiSnacks using MOMables' Homemade Velveeta Cheese


Here's last year's: Top 10 of 2012 :)

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



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

Japanese Bento Accessories Sauce Container set of 4 Lovely Mayo Cup Japanese Bento Box Accessories Food Pick Cute Animal Fork 8 pcs Bento Silicone Baking Food Cup - 12 Heart Food Decorating Pick Long Pix Stix Assorted Japanese Bento Accessories Silicone Colorful Food Cup 6P  

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

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

Applegate for providing natural (and organic varieties, too) nitrate-free yet oh-so-convenient pre-packaged deli meats. Check out my FB post professing my love for them: FB post professing my love for Applegate :)

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: Some affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Here's Lunch #22: Oh Crap! I Forgot to Make Lunch Lunchables

Lovely title, I know, but this morning, I was aimlessly walking around the kitchen while the girls were eating breakfast, watching the hubby make oatmeal when it hit me, "Oh Crap! I forgot to make lunch with only 5 minutes before I had to scoot the girls out the door to catch the bus!" Yes, I was extra tired this morning and hadn't had my coffee yet. So I threw together this quickie. But sorry, Little Sis, I completely forgot the salami slices. Bad Mommy! With that... Heeeeeere's lunch! :)

My Epicurean Adventures: Easy Lunchables in #easylunchboxes

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In this lunch:
  1. well, I don't think I need to go into that again. :)
* "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!!


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

Japanese Bento Box Accessories Food Pick Cute Animal Fork 8 pcs Bento Silicone Baking Food Cup - 12 Heart Food Decorating Pick Long Pix Stix Assorted Japanese Bento Accessories Silicone Colorful Food Cup 6P

Applegate for providing natural (and organic varieties, too) nitrate-free yet oh-so-convenient pre-packaged deli meats. Check out my FB post professing my love for them: FB post professing my love for Applegate :)

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
Bento Lunch's What's For Lunch Wednesdays
Lunchbox Dad's Throwback Thursdays
Becoming a Bentoholic's Leftovers on Fridays
Eats Amazing's Fun Food Friday

Disclosure: Some affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Chocolate Cake - Need I Say More?

Last night Big Sis and I had some "Just the two of us time" after her soccer game while Little Sis went on a Y Princess bowling outing with Daddy. She was pretty wiped out after her game, so we decided to take it easy at home and planned out our dinner on the way home. First and foremost on our minds was, of course, what was for dessert. On a whim, I threw chocolate cake out and she very quickly and very emphatically gave it the thumbs up, so chocolate cake it was!

When we got home, she hopped in the tub for a nice warm soak while I went online to find a recipe. I have some very involved ones, but didn't have a quick and easy "go-to" one... Until now! I sifted through way too many recipes that required using strong coffee and finally happened upon this one. "Oh yeah!" I thought to myself as I had even watched that particular show on Pioneer Woman. I remember it looking very yummy and made a mental note to try it someday. All I can say is that it's a keeper! It was loved by all, even by Little Sis who is not crazy about things chocolate.

So here's the recipe: Ree Drummond's Big Chocolate Birthday Cake. As funny as it sounds, I 1/4th the recipe because it makes a giant 4 layer cake and this family for four does NOT need to try to pound through all that!

I was kind of pressed for time, so I wasn't as patient w/ the frosting and didn't let it cool long enough (ie it was pretty runny) and instead ended up using it as a drizzle on top instead of frosting it. No complaining here - in fact, the girls had fun drizzling their own piece!

And here's the pic, topped with Cabot's premium natural whipped creammmmmmm.


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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

Disclosure: Some affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kale Smoothies and Yummi Pouches

I've been really enjoying my Vitamix I got at the end of last year. I've made all sorts of things from foccacia to pizza dough to even falafels using it, but funny as it is, I haven't made very many smoothies, mostly because the foolish members of my family just don't care for smoothies in general. sigh.

So, when I make a smoothie, it's pretty much for me. Big Sis will occasionally humor me and drink one with me, but as long as it doesn't have strawberries in them. sigh.

ANYWAY, I wanna go running today but my eating habits and lunch usually get in the way of working out. Sounds silly, but I often wait too long to have lunch due to busy mornings and when I finally do, I am STARVING and end up eating too much - which means I don't feel like working out after the gluttony. And by the time lunch has been nicely digest and I have the inkling to, it's time for the girls to come home from school. sigh.

Today, I decided to make myself a healthy mid-morning smoothie to keep me going and by noon, I should be nice and ready for some sort of workout - unless I find some other kind of excuse. ;)

It always looks so pretty and nice going INTO the blender, but hold on, people, it's about to get ugly all up in there.


See? sigh.


That's why these yummi pouches are so awesome. Because, even though I actually LIKE the taste of my healthy smoothie, who wants to stare cross-eyed at this yucky green slurry as you drink it down?!?! :)

So, which would you prefer to drink from? The glass or this yummi pouch w/ the cute green zig zag design? lol.


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In this smoothie:
  1. 2 handfuls of chopped kale
  2. 1 frozen banana
  3. 3 frozen strawberries
  4. 6 pre-cut carrots
  5. 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  6. about 1/2 - 3/4 cup lactose-free milk
Makes about 2 16 oz servings.

Shout-outs:
Vitamix - what can I say but I love it! You can enjoy free shipping when purchasing one through their website using this coupon code: 06-009331 (or just click on the hyperlink or button below)

vitamix.com Products

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



Papa Spuds - for providing the freshest fruits and veggies (and more) right at my doorstep!

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: Some affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Bento for Kidlet - Meatless Mondays
Tuesday's Table

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Chicken Fajitas for Dinner and Lunch


The other night, I wanted to make some chicken fajitas using some fresh chicken I had just bought from The Meat House (it was my first visit and now I'm hooked! The fresh chicken was so tender and the best I've ever had!) without using a store-bought seasoning packet. I also wanted a recipe that didn't require lime juice, since I didn't have any on-hand, so I ended up using Taste of Home's Chicken Fajita Recipe and was really happy with the way they turned out. The chicken was incredibly tender and the favor was just right - not too overpowering yet not too bland. Big Sis has never been a huge fan of them, but she ate most of hers, which says a lot! The rest of us, Daddy, Littls Sis and myself gobbled ours up.


One of my favorite things about fajitas is LEFTOVERS! Always make enough for leftovers! They make great quick and easy lunches, especially when I'm on the go. Here's how I layered mine today.


And voila!


I packed 'em up with a few sides in my Easylunchbox and headed off to have lunch with Big Sis at school and enjoyed every bite. Needless to say, I was a hungry girl and brought home my lunchbox empty. :)



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In this lunch:
  1. Leftover Chicken Fajitas
  2. Tostitos Mutli-grain Tortilla chips
  3. Organic Grape Tomatoes from Trader Joe's
  4. Blackberries
  5. Organic Carrots
And I gotta just show off the awesome collage my sweet friend Kelly of Easylunchboxes fame made for me. Isn't she just the best?!?! <3 So if you can't decide which picture to pin from here, pin this! ;)


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



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

Disclosure: Some affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mrs. Villanova's Breakfast Burritos w/ Mashed Potatoes


Back in my working days, oh so many years ago, there was a guy who worked downstairs who would bring in and sell breakfast burritos his mom made. I'm not sure if it was the perfectly soft and warm tortillas, the DELICIOUS hot sauce she put on them, or the bed of mashed potatoes on which the eggs and cheese lay (yes, I said mashed potatoes!), but I must say, they were the BEST breakfast burritos I have ever had and still pine for them today, 15 some years later.

So of course, I did my best to recreate them and I gotta say, they are pretty darned good! But I do very much miss Mrs. Villanova's breakfast burritos.

Here's my version made with a whole wheat flour tortilla, a couple spoonfuls of mashed potatoes leftovers spread across it with eggs of your choice (I usually go for fried but here they're scrambled), topped with cheese, crumbled bacon and some Wickles Hoagie and Sub Relish. Siracha goes REALLY well on top, too!


They're great for breakfast or lunch and of course, I've even had them for dinner! No matter the time of day, I just can't get enough of 'em. Here's my lunch, packed in my Lunchbots Uno.


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In this lunch:
  1. Mrs. Villanova's Breakfast Burritos with Mashed Potatoes
  2. Blueberries
  3. Raspberries
  4. Carrots

Couldn't help but include this little guy I found in the my Lunchbots Uno. As you can see, not only are they great for lunches, they make pretty cozy little beds for "MeMe"s as well. :)




Shout-outs:

LunchBots - for some seriously awesome stainless steel lunch-transporting gear!

Shop LunchBots

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

   Japanese Bento Box Accessories Food Pick Cute Animal Fork 8 pcs Japanese Bento Accessories Silicone Colorful Food Cup 6P 

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: Some affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Here's Lunch #21: Pizza Lunchables with Strawberries

Girls are back to school after 3.5 fun weeks of track out. Sad to see them go, no really, I am!, but at the same time, have no problem embracing some quiet time to get some stuff done around here! So with that, Heeeeeere's lunch! :)


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In this lunch:
  1. Pizza Lunchables using Nature's Own Flat Rounds, Trader Joe's shredded Mozzarella cheese and Mama Mary's All-Natural Pizza Sauce
  2. Peeled Snack's Apple Clusters
  3. Strawberries
  4. Mini Rice Krispies Treat
And look what Kelly @ EasyLunchboxes did for me! :)


* "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!!



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


Peeled Snacks for a healthy fresh fruit alternative (for Big Sis)

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
Bento for Kidlet - Meatless Mondays
Tuesday's Table

Disclosure: Some affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day 2014

Happy Snowy Valentine's Day!

Got up "early" aka 8 am to get a jump on breakfast for the girls. Had time to make an extra special breakfast for the girls since they are still tracked out of school. Actually, even if they weren't tracked out, we still would have gotten the day off with all this snow we've been getting here in North Carolina! Poor hubby beat me to the punch, though and had already eaten his bowl of oatmeal before I got done. Oh well, sorry Sweetie!



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In this breakfast:
  1. Grits with shredded Mexican Cheese and Applegate Bacon sprinkled on top. Used the grits part of this Creamy Shrimp Grits with Prosciutto recipe from Epicurious.com to make 'em.
  2. Fried eggs cut out in the shape of hearts. 
  3. Strawberries and Fuji apples
  4. Homemade 45-minute Cinnamon Rolls
And the heart-shaped cinnamon rolls, close-up. To make this version, i just rolled them up from both ends until they met in the middle. :)



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Here are the girls getting ready to eat their breakfast. Just in time, too, because they were SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO hungry! lol.


And while we were eating, I was messing around and caught this pic. hee hee.


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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: Some affiliate links are used on this blog. :)