Sunday, November 29, 2015

Simple Turkey Tetrazzini


So it's that time when you get creative with all that turkey you have leftover from Thanksgiving. This isn't THAT creative but it's easy and it's yummy! Not only did I get to use up some of that turkey, I also got to finish off the fun turkey-shaped pasta I bought for mac and cheese. Woo hoo! Can you see the turkey shapes?

Simple Turkey Tetrazzini
by happyvballgirl @ My Epicurean Adventures
adapted from All Recipes' Turkey Tetrazzini

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp butter
10 oz cooked pasta
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
2 cups cooked turkey, chopped
1 cup peas
1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup crispy fried onions (ie French's fried onions)

Directions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Cook pasta for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and place in baking dish.
  3. Melt butter in skillet and saute mushrooms for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add peas and turkey and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add bacon, condensed soup, sour cream and milk and mix well. 
  6. Pour sauce mixture evenly over pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle fried onions evenly over top and bake for another 5 minutes, or until onions are golden.
Made this tonight with some of our leftover turkey and everyone enjoyed it, cooked peas and mushrooms and all. EVEN THE GIRLS. woo hoo!!

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! :)


        

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table
Anyonita Nibbles' - Tasty Tuesdays
What Kids Eat Wednesday
The Party Bunch

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

Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Week #13-15

Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #13-15. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches

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Well, another 3 weeks have somehow gone by since my last round up of lunches. Between tracking out and in, and Thanksgiving, the weeks have been short and pretty broken up, so here's a collection of the past 3 weeks, in the order in which they were created. :)

1. 1st day back from track-in lunch. This lunch first made its appearance in my Yummy Kawaii Bento Book Review, so just click on the link or the pic to see more details.

Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #13-15. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches

2. Chicken sandwich on hot dog bun with ketchup in the squeeze bottle, carrots and ranch, grapes, Pringles and Little Bites for a treat.

Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #13-15. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches

3. Little Sis' Ham, salami and cheese Flower Sandwich with goldfish, grapes, protein bar, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a different squeeze tube and Little Bites once again for a treat.

Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #13-15. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches

4. Big Sis' bagel and cream cheese lunch with frozen edamame (thawed by lunch), pretzels, applesauce and a protein bar. Note: no treat is usually included with Big Sis' lunches so she can concentrate on her lunch. She gets her treat when she gets home. :)

Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #13-15. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches

5. Cheese and cracker lunchables with strawberries, frozen edamame, protein bar and 2 Chewy Chips Ahoy cookies for a treat.

Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #13-15. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches

6. Big Sis' turkey, cheese, lettuce and mayo lunch with carrots, sugar snap peas and hummus, Halloween pretzels I'm STILL trying to use up and freeze-dried apples.

Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #13-15. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches

7. Little Sis Happy Hump Day BLT lunch. It was also "piano lessons and 1st basketball team practice ever" day for her so I threw together a lunch to go along with it. Accompanied by carrots and one sugar snap pea with hummus, pretzels, a cheese stick, her newly rediscovered love of mandarin oranges and 2 Chewy chips ahoy cookies.

Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #13-15. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches

8. Little Sis requested mac and cheese today, so here it is with beef jerky for a little added protein (nevermind the salt!), goldfish, grape tomatoes and 2 chocolate chip cookies.

Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #13-15. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches

9. English muffin pizza lunchabes with mushrooms, grape tomatoes, veggie sticks, granola bar, mandarin oranges and Little Bites for Little Sis.

Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #13-15. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches

10. Mini pizzas from Trader Joe's, carrots and ranch, strawberries, veggie sticks and Little Bites.  

Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #13-15. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches

11. Thanksgiving Turkey-shaped Rueben lunch with turkey-shaped mac and cheese. Click on the link or pic for more details!

Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #13-15. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches

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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 :)

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 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 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 Accessories Silicone Colorful Food Cup 6P    

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table
Anyonita Nibbles' - Tasty Tuesdays
What Kids Eat Wednesday
The Party Bunch

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Reuben and Mac n' Cheese Lunch

Today is the last day of school for the girls before Thanksgiving (wait, I feel like it was JUST their last day of school before track out a few weeks ago!) and I wanted to send 'em with a special lunch since I really haven't been doing "special lunches" lately. Well, Little Sis got one at least, because she goes to school an hour later. Big Sis only got half a special lunch. Sorry girl! lol.

A little while back, I bought some fun Thanksgiving pasta and today was the day to put it to use. Little Sis has been excited about it for days, maybe even a week now. All it takes is saying the word "pasta" with that one.

So here it is, a turkey Reuben lunch with Mac n' Cheese, only it's actually a corned beef Reuben in our EasyLunchboxes. :)

My Epicurean Adventures: Thanksgiving Reuben and Mac n' Cheese Lunch - Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches

In this lunch:
  1. Reuben on rye complete with corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing
  2. Carrots and ranch
  3. What Lisa Cooks' One Pot Mac and Cheese made with turkey-shaped pasta
  4. Strawberries
  5. Pringles Chips in our Blue Avocado reusable snack bag
  6. Chips Ahoy Chewy Cookies
And here's a close up of the mac and cheese since I didn't want the heat to escape her Thermos Funtainer. As Little Sis noted, the shapes look much better before cooking them. :) You can find this pasta, in packs of 4, on here at this link on Amazon or simply visit World Market where I got mine.


My Epicurean Adventures: Thanksgiving Reuben and Mac n' Cheese Lunch - Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches

Hope you guys have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

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 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  


This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table
Anyonita Nibbles' - Tasty Tuesdays
What Kids Eat Wednesday
The Party Bunch

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

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner Favorites



Thanksgiving is coming! It's one of my most favorite holidays for many reasons: It's a time to get together with wonderful family, which seems harder and harder to do as kids get older. It's that time when the air gets crisp and you can just feel the excitement of the holidays approaching. It's the time to cook up a storm and stuff myself with some of my most favorite foods of all. It's the time to watch football, go Black Friday shopping, jump in crunchy leaves or simply hanging out around the kitchen, cooking, eating and chatting with family, which I'm pretty sure that is my favorite part of all. It's a time when I'm extra grateful for all the wonderful people that surround me and bring so much happiness to my life. And it's a time for sharing and caring a little extra.

Speaking of sharing, here are some of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving dishes that have shown up in my kitchen for the past many, many years. People often ask me for the recipes, so now I can just send them one link! :) And please excuse the not-so-great pictures, but it's hard to take decent ones when everyone's ready to dig in, not to mention the lack of natural lighting by dinner time! lol. But don't let my crappy pictures stop you from trying some of these yourself!







Most of these recipes are pretty simple and don't require too much work (minus all the chopping you need to do for the cranberry sauce - but it's SO worth it I tell ya!). The ones that require a little more work, like the cranberry sauce and the apple pie, can be made a day or two ahead in advance and refrigerated until turkey day. The cranberry sauce can even be made a month ahead and frozen until the day before. You can't tell one bit!

Lastly, this is NOT a complete dinner, ie, no turkey recipe! Or stuffing for that matter. Maybe this year I'll get around to posting my stuffing. If/when I do, I'll just add it here. This post will be my collector of all foods Thanksgiving. And I will also try to update it better pictures, IF I can ever capture them! :) Until then, have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your time w/ family, friends and food!

1. Sweet Potato Casserole - This is one from one of the first Thanksgiving my hubby and I ever hosted. Neither of us are into the kind with marshmallows, but we LOVE sweet potatoes! This one is sweet but not toooo sweet. The corn flake topping is icing on the cake.


2. Cranberry Sauce Extraordinaire - Growing up, my family and I loved Ocean Spray's cranberry sauce from a can and it was always a must a Thanksgiving dinner. We used to crack up when my brother ever so carefully removed it in one piece from the can and served it whole on a plate. One Thanksgiving, I ran across this recipe and I was intrigued. Never even thought of making my own, but once I tried this one, there was no going back.



3. Cauliflower Cheese Casserole - This one has been very popular on Pinterest lately and I can see why - bacon and cheese make anything delicious! My kids actually like this so be sure to give it a try!



4.  Corn Casserole - My sister-in-law Lisa brought this to a Thanksgiving dinner we hosted a few years back and it was absolutely DELICIOUS and so incredibly easy to make. Doesn't look like much in the pic, but it has become one of my favorite sides.


5. Green Bean Casserole - It's right off the can of French's Fried Onions, but it's SOOOO good. I try to use organic mushroom soup and green beans and usually double or even triple the recipe for dinner of 12-20 and it's almost always the first to go. Even the kids love it, so I have to include it here. :)


6. Pumpkin Pie - Another one, right off the can. This one from Libby's. It's tried, it's true, it's simple and delicious and will always be a part of our Thanksgiving dinner. :)


7. Caramel Glazed Apple Pie - Easy. Yummy. Need I say more?


8. Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie - SO easy. SO good. Don't make this much anymore because of my girls' nut allergies, but oh do we long for this pecan pie.


And whaddya think about my turkey art? lol. Probably not the most pinterest-grabbing button, but I sure had fun with it. lol. Hand-made every last bit of this using various shapes, so it took a while!



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! :)

        

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table
Anyonita Nibbles' - Tasty Tuesdays
What Kids Eat Wednesday
The Party Bunch

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

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Yummy Kawaii Bento Cookbook Review


When my bento blogging buddy Li Ming Lee of www.bentomonsters.com asked me to review her first bento book Yummy Kawaii Bento: Preparing Adorable Meals for Adorable Kids, you can bet that I was more than thrilled! I've always been so amazed by the incredible works of "food art" that I often see in her Instagram feed that I jumped at the chance to see how she actually makes it all happen.

It's a beautiful hard-covered 240+ paged book filled with tons of gorgeous jaw-dropping bento lunch photos, along with a list of essential tools, techniques, tutorials and best of all, delicious recipes. For me, it was all the delicious yet simple recipes that I was most excited about! She takes traditional Japanese-style bento lunches and puts an adorable and fun twist on them, making meals kids of all ages can enjoy. Such a variety of lunches too, including soups, sandwiches, salads, pizza, pasta, rice, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, vegetables, special occasions, you name it! It's all in here. The step-by-step tutorials, complete with illustrations, are all very clear and simple to follow. 

My girls and I enjoyed flipping through the pages together and picked out some fun things to try. The really cool thing was that they were tracked out, so we had time to really go all out on our lunches AND I got to see their reactions when they ate 'em, for a change. 

Here are a "few" that we just HAD to try. I sometimes had to improvise, I as I didn't always have the exact tool on hand, but I was able to make them all work with things I already had in my kitchen. One thing I can't believe is that I do not own a small circle cookie cutter. I own teeny ones and large ones, but not smaller sized ones! Oh well, I made do with flower cutters instead. :)

1. Puff Pastry Soup Bear. Mine was made with tomato soup with alphabet noodles that got way bloated and soaked up the soup, but that didn't seem to phase the girls. They gobbled it up and asked for seconds. Nevermind that mine looks more like a lion cub than bear. I'm thinking the flower cutter is to blame. 

My Epicurean Adventures - Puff Pastry Bear Soup #lunchtimefun


2. Penguin Sandwich. Once again, no small round cookie cutter, so flower cutter it is. I added a teeny little bow tie to mine. The girls were tickled by it. 

My Epicurean Adventures: Penguin Sandwich #lunchboxideas #lunchboxfun

As you can see, Big Sis likes taking pictures of her food, just like her mama, but she has very little desire to actually make it herself. That's where Little Sis steps in. She loves to help cook. Together they make a perfect me.


3. Bear Pizzas: The next day, I couldn't wait to make these cuties for my cuties. Once again, no small circle cutter! That's where my scalloped biscuit cutter came in handy. And I was happy to see that pepperoni make cute and yummy eyes and noses, too!

My Epicurean Adventures - Bear Pizzas for Lunch #lunchboxideas #lunchboxfun

 4. Animal Tortilla Chips: Little Sis has been on a serious koala-loving kick and when she saw these she just HAD TO HAVE THEM.

My Epicurean Adventures - Koala tortillas #lunchboxfun #lunchboxideas

So have them she did, in her taco salad lunch on her first day back to school. 

My Epicurean Adventures - Taco salad lunch with koala tortillas #lunchboxfun #lunchboxideas

5. Pesto Pasta Frog. I was psychic when I made this. Little Sis came home from school and said she was really in the mood for pesto pasta, so I lead her to the kitchen table where this was already made and waiting for her. Sadly, the frog didn't last 5 mins. lol.

My Epicurean Adventures: Pesto Pasta Frog Lunch #lunchboxfun #lunchboxideas


6. Ice Cream Buddies. This here is an adult favorite and I made this lunch for myself! lol. The cone is made out of pork patties, a delicious, DEELicious, DEEELICIOUS recipe from the book. I can't stand how good these were and my hubby certainly agreed. SO simple and easy to make, too. My ice cream buddy may not be as fancy as Li Ming's but she sure was DELICIOUS!!

My Epicurean Adventures - Pork Patties, rice and carrots #lunchboxideas #lunchboxfun

So whaddya think? Does it look like I had some fun with these? Suprisingly enough, each lunch didn't require a huge amount of time or effort, especially if you don't try to make more than one at a time (lol) and do a little planning ahead.  I enjoyed making these fun, cute lunches vs. the simple lunches I've been making and I definitely foresee myself making more for my girls. It's a great book and I highly recommend it!

Get one for yourself by clicking on this amazon link: Yummy Kawaii Bento: Preparing Adorable Meals for Adorable Kids and make lunches more fun, too!!

My Epicurean Adventures: Yummy Kawaii Bento Book Review #lunchboxfun #lunchboxideas

Thanks so much, Li Ming, for asking me to review your book. It was an honor! And thank YOU 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 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 Decoration Ham Cheese Cutter Set 9pcs Japanese Bento Decoration Ham Cheese Cutter Face Japanese Bento Decoration Seaweed Cutter Nori Puncher Wink   
This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table
Anyonita Nibbles' - Tasty Tuesdays
What Kids Eat Wednesday
The Party Bunch

Disclosure: I was sent a free copy of Yummy Kawaii Bento for review purposes. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links are used on this blog. :)