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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I Love You Valentine's Day Bento Lunch

Happy Valentine's Day! For this wonderful day, I packed a fun I ❤️️ You bento lunch for Nikolai. These three simple, yet powerful words are used very often by our family. We say it quite frequently, even sometimes when just passing each other in the hallway.

I Love You Valentine's Day Bento Lunch

In this bento lunch: I used my alphabet cookie cutter for the lettering and a small heart cutter for the ❤️️, which I used to top the two stacked sandwich halves. Alongside are cucumber slices which I also cut into heart shapes and put in a red silicone cup. These are in the main section along with an organic granola bar cut into half. He also had Annie's organic cheddar snacks and a silicone cup full of watermelon cut into heart shapes in the other sections. This lunch was packed in our Easylunchboxes.

Do you have any plans for this Valentine's Day? Since it falls on a weekday, we made reservations for dinner and will try not to stay up too late. I wish that it's a holiday!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Smiley Face EMOJI Valentine's Day Bento Lunch

I can't believe it's already February! Last month just flew by like a mist, or perhaps a blizzard! Love is in the air as Valentine's Day approaches, and I love heart shaped foods, and nearly all things pink and red. This year I started making Valentine's theme lunch a little later than expected and I hope to pack at least one or two more themed lunches. You can find my previous years Valentine's Day lunches HERE.

My first Valentine's Day bento of this year is a smiley face EMOJI. 😍

Smiley Face EMOJI Valentine's Day fun school lunch.

In this bento lunch: Emoji sandwich with fruit leather heart eyes and nori smiley mouth. Below and alongside are a granola bar and cheese sticks. In the other sections are organic baby carrots with heart shapes cut from cucumber, slices of apple one of which made a nice red heart shape. This lunch is packed in an Easylunchboxes container.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

How To Keep Macaroni and Cheese Warm Until Lunchtime

'Tis the season that calls for warm foods. Nikolai loves macaroni and cheese especially when it's paired with chicken nuggets or meatballs. We have several thermos and other food warming jars but those do not work well when having both mac & cheese with nuggets together. You'll end up having the nuggets above the mac & cheese and I'm pretty sure that it would be all soggy by lunch time, and not as he'd hoped it would be. So, I've been using our Warm & Tote or Warmkeeper system whenever I pack these combo lunches. Of course the Thermos will be used when we pack soup, stew, just macaroni and cheese, or other such foods. It all depends on what you are packing.

In an earlier post I've shared how I packed chicken nuggets and how to keep them warm until lunch time. You can find the post HERE.

All of the macaroni and cheese lunches below are Annie's brand homegrown organic Mac & Cheese and the chicken nuggets are organic and nitrate free. Also, his sides of fruits, veggies, and snacks are not pictured. I find that whenever I pack a hot lunch, I'm always in a hurry to take the pictures so that the lunch is not being exposed to cool air. The other items, which are expected to be cool was sent in a separate container.

Shown in the photos below are some lunches which Nikolai enjoyed during cooler days here in FL. These lunches were packed in our Lunchbots Duo. We've owned this stainless steel lunchbox for perhaps 7 years, and it's still in perfect condition!

How To Keep Macaroni & Cheese Warm Till Lunctime.

Cute cheese cut-outs, or simply adding baran or picks can make your child's lunch extra special.

Macaroni and cheese with bear cutout and chicken nuggets sent warm for school lunch

For this first bento lunch I combined chicken nuggets with mac & cheese to which I added a cute bear face cut from a slice of provolone cheese. I used my CuteZCute bear cutter for that.

Chicken nuggets, mac & cheese sent warm for school lunch

For the second lunch I again have macaroni and cheese with chicken nuggets but used baran sheets to make it cheerful.

Meatballs, macaroni & cheese sent warm for school lunch

For the third bento lunch I have meatballs with macaroni and cheese to which I have added a couple of eye picks, hand cut a bit of nori and some provolone cheese to create a cute face. I think it looks like a bear face.

Chicken nuggets with cute picks and macaroni and cheese sent warm for school lunch

Last for this collection are chicken nuggets with some cute picks with macaroni & cheese.

What are your kids favorite hot lunches?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chinese New Year Rooster Bento 2017

Chinese New Year is around the corner, Saturday, January 28th. The Chinese zodiac is a cycle of twelve years with each represented by an animal sign, and the sign for the Lunar New Year 2017 is Rooster. Chinese New Year is for many families a joyful time for getting together. I remember and love all of our reunion dinners which fell one day before Chinese New Year and we always gather at grandma's house to celebrate. My mom's side of the family is HUGE and the house would fill with aunties, uncles and cousins. Grandma, my mom and aunts will have been busy in the kitchen cooking for all of us, more than 30 people for sure! So many of us that everyone has to share rooms. Of course we did not sleep much, we play with fire works, watch Chinese drama (the older Jackie Chan movies - it's a tradition), chit chat, play cards, eat lots of cookies, etc.

On Chinese New Year day, we all wake up super early, dress in our new clothing (in my case it's always something in red ), wish the elders "Kung Hei Fat Choy" and those who are not married will get "ang pows" (red packets filled with money), a little later the dragon dance will come to grandma's house and after that we will go visiting more family and friends and fill ourselves with more food at each stop, lol.

The nice thing about Chinese New Year is that it starts with the New moon on the first day of the first lunar month and ends on the Full moon 15 days later. So, I usually have and will wear new clothing for at least 7 days. It's not a tradition but that's how my family rolls. The visiting of family and friends will also run for the 15 days, and that involves a lot of eating!

For this bento to celebrate ´The year of the Rooster´ I have included a three layer sandwich shaped with an oval cutter and decorated with fruit leather, cheddar cheese, and bits or raisin for eyes. Also beneath the rooster is some granola bar. In the other section I have sugar snap peas, some red grapes in my favorite square silicone cup, and a cute sauce container of ranch. This lunch was packed in a Lunch Bots Duo.

Happy Chinese New Year 2017, Rooster themed bento lunch

Happy Chinese New Year 2017! Wishing all of you who celebrate a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2 Simple Ham and Cheese Lunches

Happy Wednesday! We had a long weekend as Monday is a day for which schools and most public offices are closed. Result is that we get a three day holiday. After one week back to the school routine, a three day weekend is most welcome! The first part of the week was cooler than usual, with some days of morning fog or drizzle, but the sun worked its magic and it was quite comfortable by mid day.

Below are a couple of quick and easy bento lunches for just that sort of days.

Quick and Easy Ham and Cheese sandwich lunch

In the lunch above I have included some simple sandwich halves, some sugar snap peas, a few orange slices and organic applesauce with his napkin and a spoon wrapped in cloth napkin.

HI, a simple sandwich lunch

Here we have a couple of sandwich halves with "HI" cut from mild cheddar using my letter set, organic baby carrots, a GoGo SQUEEZ Apple Cinnamon, and some cheese crackers. Along side of that collection is a granola bar.

Both of these lunches were packed in a Bentology Living bento box.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

4 Winter Themed Lunches

We had a rather warm Christmas last year and I always envy those who have a snowy Christmas, like the holiday movies on Hallmark channel. Of course, my hubby reminds me that the snow is a little less of a joy when you are stuck in it or need to shovel it off of your driveway and sidewalk. These winter themed lunches were enjoyed by Nikolai last year, before his winter break.

Snowman Winter Theme Lunch In Easylunchboxes.

Bento lunch 1: Snowman sandwich which was easy to make, just required a circle cookie cutter for snowman's face, choc chips for eyes and mouth and a carrot nose. Alongside are snow shaped mozzarella cheese slices. He also had snowflake Ritz crackers, orange slices and seedless red grapes.

Snowflakes on King's Hawaiian buns winter theme lunch in Easylunchboxes.

Snowflakes are certainly winter theme, right? As we are here in Florida, I couldn't just step outside for the experience, I did find an interesting, actually an amazing bit of info stating that Guinness World Records lists a flake fifteen inches wide!

Bento lunch 2: A couple of King's Hawaiian buns with snowflake picks, some snowflake crackers, and a couple of star shaped cookies from Trader Joe's. Sides are some sugar snap peas and cinnamon applesauce.

Snowflakes bento lunch in Easylunchboxes.

Bento lunch 3: A couple of snowflake sandwiches made with my big snowflake cutter/stamper set, snowflake crackers, cheese sticks with a snow and mittens pick. In the other sections are snowflake bars and some apple slices.

BRR, it's cold outside Winter theme lunch in Easylunchboxes

Bento lunch 4: A sandwich with BRR lettering cut from mild cheddar cheese, some snowflake crackers and a Babybel cheese with a snowflake cut-out. The other sections contain sugar snap peas, organic baby carrots and kiwi slices.

4 Winter Themed School Lunches

Here are all four of them together! These lunches were packed in our Easylunchboxes.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Airplane Lunches

Happy New Year 2017, everyone! We are still on vacation and school resumes on the 9th for us. I was supposed to post these lunches last month but got side traced with preparations for the holidays.

Here is how I first started this draft: I'm already into the holiday mode, how about you? With the holiday season upon us, traveling is always in our schedule, and that inspired these lunches. Lately, I've been packing simple, I mean REALLY simple lunches in which I may share in my future posts. Did I tell y'all that Nikolai's school has a fancy lunch room, I mean like a food court style lunch room and it's huge? He is still not that keen on school lunches and thus, I've been packing lunches almost daily.

This first lunch was made when we were low on groceries, on a Monday for sure. We usually don't cook during the weekends, except for breakfast, and grocery shopping is mostly done on weekdays.

Simple airplane lunch.

In this bento lunch (packed in a Planetbox rover): Airplane shaped sandwich, airplane shaped graham crackers, yogurt covered star, a lemon fiber bar and orange slices.

The second lunch was created with my adorable cutter/stamper set which I acquired many years ago from my favorite bento supplies store.

Airplane themed lunch in Easylunchboxes.

In this bento lunch (packed in an Easylunchboxes container): Airplane shaped stamped sandwiches, GoGo squeeze applesauce, organic baby carrots and plane cookies.

Friday, December 16, 2016

HO HO HO Christmas Bento

Ho, Ho, Ho, Christmas is fast approaching! 🎄🎅 I hope all of you are having a great time and enjoying the Christmas season. I have at least a favorite radio channel on SirusXM playing Christmas tunes as I drive Nikolai to school and back.

Today he took along this Ho, Ho, Ho bento. Hey, that almost sounds like a cheer. Again, I kept things simple and easy, yet I hope fun for him. The three section sandwich has the HO, HO, HO  of mild cheddar cut with our alphabet cutters and a Santa pick. I included some apple slices, frosted gingerbread stars from Trader Joe's and some slices of kiwi fruit with a Merry Christmas pick. In the small section in the middle are some Annie's organic fruit snacks. This lunch is packed in a Bentgo lunchbox.

HO HO HO Christmas themed lunch in Bentgo.

Concerts and lots of other fun activities are just ahead, so this will be the last post of the year. I truly hope you also have had a fun year and that the new year will be even better!  From our family to yours, "Merry Christmas and Have a Blessed Holiday Season."

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Frosty The Snowman Bento Lunch

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you may remember that Nikolai has LOVED snowmen ⛄ since he was little. We have collected so many snowman decorations, from snow globes to ornaments to plush toys. Over the years I've made several Snowman lunches which you can find HERE. I believe this one is the easiest of all, don't you think so?

The cookie cutter/stamper which I used for the bread was purchased from our local Five Below store last year for only $1.00.

Frosty The Snowman Bento Lunch in Eadylunchboxes.

In this bento lunch (packed in an Easylunchboxes):
  • A sandwich stamped with an iconic snowman image with marshmallows for snow surrounding the lower half.
  • Apple wedges in a silicone cup.
  • Grapes with a snow globe pick.
Cute can be simple. Cute is fun. Simple and fun is great!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Ornament Bento

I hope you all had a nice weekend. We had a very fun weekend with hubby's birthday celebration. It was so nice to have his birthday fall on a Saturday this year, and whenever we have a birthday occur on a Saturday, we continued the celebration till Sunday! As with any other celebration, lots of food was involved and shared with family and close friends.

Anytime, or all the time, between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a good time to be decorating a tree. We do it as something of an ongoing project, adding a few more when the inspiration occurs.

Here is a quick and simple ornaments themed lunch which was created with a circle cookie cutter.

Christmas Ornaments themed lunch.

In this bento lunch (packed in a Lunchbots quad): A couple of circle shaped sandwiches with Colby Jack cheese accents and a pick. Seedless grapes with an ornament cupcake ring, organic baby carrots, Babybel cheese decorated with some tiny circles topped with an ornament hook pick and sharing its quadrant with pretzels.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

2 Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Lunches

You know Dasher & Dancer and Prancer & Vixon, Comet & Cupid and Donner & Blitzen. But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all! Rudolph the red nosed of my favorite songs and characters during the holidays. Rudolph themed lunches are easy to create, all you need a circle or heart shaped cookie cutter, it's quite simple and fun. You can find some of my past Rudolph themed lunches HERE.

I have made a couple of Rudolph themed lunches this year, one is with quesadilla and one with bread. This first lunch is Rudolph made of bread with a circle cookie cutter. I added a couple of pretzels for antlers, icing eyes (secured with a dab of honey) and half of a grape tomato. Kind of looks like Rudolph as a youngster perhaps?

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Lunch. Made with a circle cookie cutter.

In this bento lunch (packed in a Planetbox rover): Main compartment contains a Rudolph sandwich, sides were green grapes with a cute Rudolph cupcake ring, pretzels, yogurt covered star, string cheese and organic baby carrots.

The next lunch is made of quesadilla, and could be an older Rudolph of the one above. He seems to have that look about him that says, "I've been around the world a few times." I guess it is the eyes or something. There are actually two slices of quesadilla here separated by a piece of parchment paper. Oh! My imagination is going wild this time of year. LOL

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Quesadilla Lunch.

In this bento lunch (packed in an Easylunchboxes): Main compartment contains Rudolph quesadillas (stacked), half of a granola bar and yogurt covered stars from Trader Joe's. Sides were goldfish crackers and seedless grapes in a silicone cup with a Christmas tree cupcake pick.

Enjoy your weekend!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christmas Tree Bento

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!🎄 Of course , as we are in Florida, Christmas here looks a little different than, say Minnesota or Vermont, though Christmas always looks good wherever you might be. It's also my favorite time of year to make some winter and Christmas themed lunches. Although life is usually especially hectic during the holidays, I decided to try my best to make at least a few fun lunches for Nikolai.

We have all been busy here and already have put up and decorated our Christmas tree, or to be more accurate, several trees throughout the house. In addition we have yard decorations, table decorations and more. It's so festive and I just love Christmas!

This is a super easy Christmas tree bento for which I used a tree cookie cutter as separator for a lunchables style lunch.

Christmas Tree Bento. Lunchables style lunch with a tree cookie cutter as separator.

In this bento lunch: Within the confines of the Christmas tree cutter which I used as a separator I included some ham roll-ups, some chunks of Colby-Jack cheese and some colorful goldfish crackers. The moon and stars are Ritz round crackers and yogurt covered stars from Trader Joe's. There is half of a granola bar alongside the tree. In the other sections there are organic baby carrots and grapes in a silicone cup with a present pick. All of these are packed in an Easylunchboxes container.