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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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

4 Pumpkin Muffins For Lunch with Pancake Muffin Recipe

We are well into Fall season now, and this is my favorite time of year! We have been enjoying the flavors of pumpkin, apples and other fall favorites! I've also gotten into experimenting with some new fall recipes and have pressed my family into food tester service, lol.
These lunches are quite similar, but they were made with different sides and were enjoyed on different days. The English Muffins are Thomas' limited edition pumpkin spice. All of us like these very much.

We found some pumpkin pancake and waffle mix during a recent visit to Trader Joe's and my wonderful hubby made some pancakes with it for breakfast the other day. I used the same mix and made some of our favorite pancake muffins! These were simple and are very tasty without any toppings.

I usually add frozen organic blueberries, strawberries and chocolate chips. You can also use bacon, ham and sausage pieces if you prefer adding meat. I love the idea of baking several batches at a time and freezing the extras for those super busy mornings when we need to grab and go. These particular ones were baked the day before and I'd left some out for the next morning, the rest went into the freezer. They are very simple to make, and you get the ease of a muffin with the deliciousness of a pancake.

Homemade pumpkin pancake muffin for lunch with recipe.

  • 2 cups Pumpkin Pancake mix 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • Pam non-stick cooking spray or muffin cups.
  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. In medium bowl, stir together pancake mix until moistened. Do not over-mix.
  3. Spoon batter into greased or paper lined muffin pan, filling ¾ full. 
  4. There is enough batter to fill one dozen muffin wells.
  5. Bake at 350º for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  6. Enjoy!!
In this bento lunch: A pumpkin pancake muffin, string cheese, granola bar, crackers, nitrate free ham roll-ups in my favorite silicone cup, organic baby carrots and an organic apple.

The photos below show some Thomas' limited edition pumpkin spice English muffins.

Pumpkin spice English muffin with angry birds cupcake ring.

In this bento lunch: English muffin with pumpkin cream cheese spread topped with an angry bird cupcake ring, granola bar, Babybel cheese, seedless red and green grapes, Annie's organic crackers and pumpkin cookies from Trader Joe's

Pumpkin cream cheese in pumpkin spice English muffin for lunch

In this bento lunch: English muffin topped with a pumpkin shaped gummy candy, yogurt covered pumpkin shaped cookies from Trader Joe's, Babybel cheese, organic kiwi slices and baby carrots.

English muffin with pumpkin cream cheese for lunch.

This is the easiest bento lunch of all: English muffin with a cute alien pick, granola bar, string cheese applesauce, a smiley face spoon and Annie's organic crackers. This is typical of the type of lunch that I pack whenever I'm low on groceries.

4 Pumpkin Muffins For Lunch with Pumpkin Pancake Muffin Recipe

These fours lunches are almost similar, but with different sides. Most importantly, Nikolai loved his lunches. Yay to mom! All of these lunches were packed in our Easylunchboxes.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Mickey Mouse Lunches - Happy Birthday MICKEY!

November 18th is Mickey Mouse's 88th Birthday! This gives me a chance to quickly pull out some Mickey themed lunches which I've not posted. We love Mickey Mouse, and have the privilege of visiting Walt Disney World at least a couple of times a year. We live in Florida, and for us it's not too far from Disney World and many other great theme parks. Here are the lunches which Nikolai enjoyed many months ago. Both are packed in our favorite stainless steel and durable Planetbox.

Mickey Mouse school lunches in Planetbox.

In this bento lunch: Main compartment contains a few Mickey stamped sandwiches which I created with my cutter/stamper. Sides were organic granola bar, mini choc chips, organic baby carrots with dip in the small Mickey container and organic apple slices with a cute Mickey pick.

English muffin, Mickey themed school lunch in Planetbox.

In this bento lunch: An English muffin with MICKEY cheddar cheese lettering created with my alphabet cutter and a cute Mickey pick. Sides are organic baby carrots, Babybel cheese, cereal bar, yogurt covered star and seedless green grapes.

Happy Birthday M-I-C-K-E-Y!


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

WarmKeeper System Review

A nice warm lunch is always welcome, but especially at this time of year. With that thought in mind, I am excited to introduce you all to the WarmKeeper System! This great kit is perfect for keeping foods such as leftovers, meatballs, pasta, chicken nuggets, pizza, fried rice, and more warm, which kids and adults alike prefer.

It is made of a modern Neoprene high tech fabric which has a fashionable appearance while effectively insulating and keeping foods warm for about 4-6 hours. You may purchase just the HotSleeve separately or get the entire package with a messenger style lunch bag which is highly insulated as well.

The WarmKeeper Sleeve is available in two sizes. The one shown here measures approximately 8 inches by 7 inches and fits the Junior Messenger Bag. These sleeves and bags are made in the USA using highest quality Neoprene, and are machine washable in cold water.
The included food storage container measures 4" x 4" x 2" and is BPA free, microwave and dishwasher safe, and made in Canada. It will hold 16 oz. of food, or you can use your own container, as long as it fits nicely in the WarmKeeper sleeve.

Our son loves a warm lunch especially on a chilly or rainy day, and it is a great feeling for me to know that with WarmKeeper he will have a warm lunch waiting for him. WarmKeeper is truly fantastic for other times as well! Its size also makes it quite handy for work, traveling, visiting theme parks, or for taking along for short trips on the weekends.

WarmKeeper System Review. Great for warm meals on the go and keeps food warm for hours.

First, let me show you, in the photo below, what comes with the WarmKeeper junior system. While the items are also available separately from the WarmKeeper site, they really do work so well together.
  •  Messenger style bag of high tech neoprene fabric with a great look.
  •  A matching sleeve with hook and loop style closure.
  •  A food storage container.
  •  Two cherry pit filled cotton packs. (These work GREAT!) 
WarmKeeper System Review. Great for warm meals on the go and keeps food warm for hours.

It is easy to use these to great effect. First you fill your container with hot food. The container provided can be used in a microwave, so you can heat your lunch right in the container. If you use another, check first of course. Make sure the food is thoroughly heated. Place the container into the sleeve. Place the bags of cherry pits in a bowl or on a paper towel and put them into the microwave to heat for 30 to 90 seconds. Test and shake the bags in 30 second intervals. You will want them fairly hot to the touch, but don't burn them! Hot? Good; now put them into the sleeve with the food container and seal the end. Lastly, put the sleeve into the WarmKeeper messenger bag, or another good quality bag of your choice, and it is ready for taking to school or work. One feature I especially like about this messenger bag is that the sleeve fits flat in the bottom, so normally the lunch will remain pretty much as it was packed earlier.

WarmKeeper System Review. Great for warm meals on the go and keeps food warm for hours.

The Photos above show:
  1. The lunch I wanted to keep warm by lunch time. I packed this leftovers nitrate free chicken nuggets and organic pasta in our Lunchbots Duo (this container measures 6" x 5" x 1.75" and works great with the WarmKeeper). I heated the leftovers in a microwave safe plate before transferring them into the lunchbox.
  2. Fitting it into the sleeve.
  3. Adding the cherry pit bags.
  4. Sealing them inside the sleeve.
The photo below shows how nicely the sleeve fits flat into the bottom of the bag. The trick I use is to hold the sleeve horizontal as I fit the bag around it.

WarmKeeper System Review. Great for warm meals on the go and keeps food warm for hours.

Even with the sleeve inside, there is room for other tasty foods or snacks you might like to add.

There is this that I would also like to share with you about this company, and it gives me a great feeling: WarmKeeper is an American company and they employ local high school youth giving them an opportunity to learn the challenges and joys of business as it should be. I hope you will visit their site to learn more. While you are enjoying their site you will have an opportunity to sign up for their newsletter which is both informative, with occasional discount offers, and entertaining with kitchen stories and recipes.

WarmKeeper System Review. Great for warm meals on the go and keeps food warm for hours.

This system truly works! For an extra bonus, you can use use the promo code '40%' at checkout on WarmKeeper site, and get 40% off your purchase!

You can also find this WarmKeeper System available at Amazon. Please note that the promo code is not valid on Amazon.

Disclosure: WarmKeeper generously provided me with the products for review without cost to me. All opinions are my own.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

4 Cute Animal Themed Lunches

One idea I truly love is that of getting, and keeping ready at hand, one set of cutters from which I'm able to create several different and fun lunches. They are especially convenient for those times when I feel like packing something cute, but just seem to have momentarily run out of ideas. These critter cutters from the lunch punch set are absolutely adorable and as always, you can go with or without the accents and your lunches will still turn out cute. All of the cutters I used to create these lunches came in the one set, which for those who have multiple lunches to make every day, might provide an easy way to keep them organized. It surely is crazy fun being a parent!

4 Cute Animal Themed Lunches created with the lunch punch critter set. Butterfly, Dog, Elephants, Dolphins

These lunches were enjoyed by Nikolai a few months ago and it's about time that I post them.

Butterfly Bento Lunch In Planetbox

Bento lunch 1: Butterfly themed in which I used the butterfly cutter from our lunch punch set, added a few cheddar cheese accents on the sandwich and used honey as glue. The adorable eyes pick completed the look. Sides are cheese crackers, Babybel cheese which I used a small butterfly cutter for the cut-out, sugar snap peas, choc covered sunflower seeds and seedless red grapes. This lunch is pack in a Planetbox rover.

Dog In Doghouse lunch in a Yumbox

Bento lunch 2: Dog in doghouse cute lunch. I used the bread end for the dog and cheddar cheese for his collar, a dot of food safe marker for the eye. Alongside are pineapple chunks, strawberries, fruit snack, organic celery sticks and ranch dip in the small container. This lunch is packed in a leak proof Yumbox panino.

Dolphins lunch in Bentology living box

Bento lunch 3: A couple of dolphin shaped sandwiches with candy eyes, organic granola bar, Babybel cheese with a small dolphin cut-out, watermelon chunks with a cute pick, organic baby carrots with dip in the small container, far right is Clif Kid berry fruit stick. This lunch is packed in a Bentology living bento box.

Elephant And Baby Elephant Bento Lunch In Planetbox

Bento lunch 4: Elephant with baby elephant sandwich with Colby cheese ears Mozzarella cheese tusks and candy eye. The baby's eyes are food save marker. Sides are strawberries with an elephant pick, seedless grapes, choc covered sunflower seeds, cheese sandwich crackers, ranch dip in the small elephant container and cucumber slices. This lunch is packed in a Planetbox rover.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Quesadilla Lunches with An Easy Kid Friendly Recipe

It's back to the real world after Halloween and a truly fun filled weekend with family and friends! Putting away the treats, it is time for something not so sweet but still very tasty indeed. We love having quesadillas for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner or anytime of the day. They are quick to make and always great. Sometimes we have them as an appetizer, other times as a main dish, or a side. We have also made them for parties and late night after movie snacks.

The most important part of any quesadilla is the filling, of course, and that is easy to customize to individual tastes. Do you have a special or favorite filling for your quesadillas? Ham and cheese are Nikolai's favorite. He doesn't mind eating them cold or warm for his school lunch, and they are so easy to pack.

Quesadilla Lunches with An Easy Kid Friendly Recipe

I'll share with you our easy recipe and directions. Feel free to substitute the meat or cheese to your liking. You can also use whole wheat tortilla or any other kind that you prefer.

  • 4 Small Flour Tortilla
  • 2 slices of nitrate free cooked Ham
  • 2 Slices of Colby cheese
  1. Heat a skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Place a tortilla in the skillet, add ham and cheese and then top with another tortilla. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining tortilla.
  4. Remove from heat, let cool for a couple of minutes, cut the quesadilla into four wedges and serve. ( I let it cool a couple extra minutes before packing them into his lunchbox).
  5. Enjoy! ( or, take to school or work, THEN enjoy!)
Here are a couple of quesadilla lunches. They are mostly similar lunches, enjoyed on different days and packed in different boxes.

Quesadilla for lunch with an easy kid friendly recipe

In this bento lunch (packed in a Planetbox rover):
  • Quesadilla wedges with Nikolai's favorite ham and cheese filling.
  • Organic baby carrots.
  • Organic corn puffs.
  • Apple wedges.
  • Yogurt covered star.
Quesadilla for lunch in a Planetbox and an easy kid friendly recipe

In this bento lunch (packed in a Planetbox launch):
  • Quesadilla quarters with a cute bear pick.
  • Red and green seedless grapes.
  • Babybel Gouda cheese, mini cheese cracker sandwiches, Rice Krispies bar with a bear baran.
Our favorite stainless steel lunchboxes.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Zombie Halloween Bento

This year, my Halloween themed lunches seemed to be the easiest of all, thanks to my collection of cookie cutters. I did not even carve or attempted to carve or take time to cut food into cute shapes, just too lazy busy well, something anyway, lol!

I don't know WHAT to think of the Zombie threat. Hubby likes to watch some of the zombie shows (Just for the acting? That's what he claims anyway!) and I'm not real sure that the Zombie thing is only a Halloween time problem, but they are spooky, and that makes this a great time, right?

Below is a Zombie bento lunch that I made for Nikolai. The cookie cutter that I used was also purchased from our local Michaels store.

Zombie Halloween Bento. Kids school lunch.

In this lunch are a couple of zombie sandwiches, perhaps more cute than scary! Alongside are some baby carrots and some red seedless grapes with a couple of eyeball cupcake rings and hiding on the far right is a string cheese which I used a marker for the features (on the wrapper). It was fun to make and it all fits nicely in his Bentology Living lunch box.

Have a fun Halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ghost Halloween Lunch and Ghost Pizza with Recipe

I made a stop at Trader Joe's during the weekend and got carried away with all the yummy fall foods, purchased a couple of carts full of them and shared some with friends. They have those cute ghost and bat shaped potato crisps and they are so cute and very yummy! Their pumpkin cookies are delicious, as is their pumpkin pancake mix, from which hubby made pumpkin pancakes yesterday. I especially like the pumpkin tea, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin coffee, and pretty much everything pumpkin. It all has that 'Fall has arrived' flavor which taste so good.

I've created several ghost themed lunches over the years that are easy and fun. Cutting the string cheese to look like ghosts is my favorite part. I'll be sharing with you the method I used for the string cheese as well as my favorite mini pizza recipe.

The photo below shows an example of one ghost themed lunch that is quite easy.

Ghost Halloween bento lunch in Planetbox

You can make some cute ghosts similar to these quite easily.

You will need:
  • String cheese
  • Paring knife
  • Toothpick, food safe marker or sunflower seeds
  1. Cut the string cheese into half.
  2. Using a knife, make a slit in the middle and almost 3/4 way down.
  3. Make a few more additional slits till you get 8 legs or less.
  4. I used a toothpick for this particular face accents. Just poke the toothpick on the cheese to create the eyes and mouth. I've used food safe marker before and I've seen sunflower seeds being used. Just some ideas.
In this bento lunch (packed in a Planetbox): I used a ghost shaped cookie cutter for the sandwich and raisins for the facial details. Honey was used as glue for the raisins. Sides were dye free choc sunflower seeds, Annie's organic crackers topped with a couple of ghost string cheese, seedless green grapes with a ghost cupcake pick, organic baby carrots, organic granola bar and seedless red grapes.

Any pizza lovers out there? My hubby and Nikolai love pizza and they can eat it served hot or cold! I've made this fun Halloween themed pizza for lunch a while back. I plan to make it again soon but I'm afraid I'll not have enough time to post the new lunch and recipe. Here is the older lunch with recipe. You can recreate something similar with different cheese cut outs for sure.

Ghost Pizza with Recipe. Kids Halloween school lunch

  1. One tube refrigerated Pillsbury biscuit dough
  2. 1 bottle of organic pasta sauce
  3. 2 slices part skim mozzarella cheese (for the ghosts)
  4. Sliced olives
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°.
  2. Roll or pat biscuits into 2-1/2 in. circles. Place on greased baking sheet or non-stick sheet. I love our baking sheet which has wide handles!
  3. Add pasta sauce on top of biscuits.  
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  5. Using a small ghost-shape cookie cutter, cut a ghost out of each cheese slice. 
  6. Immediately place a ghost over each pizza; add pieces of olives for faces. 
  7. Pack in his Laptop Lunches after the pizzas cool down.
    In this bento lunch:
    • A couple of ghostly pizzas made with Pillsbury biscuit dough, tomato and basil organic pasta sauce topped after removing from oven with mozzarella cheese cut to ghost shape and black olive accents.
    • Top Left - Organic peas with a ghost pick.
    • Top Right - Peach slices topped with mozzarella cheese mini ghosts.
    • Far Right - Fork wrapped in cloth napkin. 
    It's easy and tasty, bake a batch and save some for the next day's lunch.

    Our favorite products:


    Thursday, October 20, 2016

    Day Of The Dead Halloween Bento

    I purchased several cookie cutters from our local Michaels craft store last year and had a great deal because when I got them it was after Halloween. I think I paid less than $1 each since they were clearance items. Can't beat that right? As always with this time of year, we have so many activities planned  and my calendar is almost full till around Christmas. All is FUN and I actually can't wait. It's the inner child in me, lol!

    You may have noticed that I've not used food safe marker in a long time, years maybe. That's because Nikolai simply won't eat any cheese or bread that I colored with the food safe markers. Every single time he would come home with untouched food which I had, I thought artistically, colored. I'm not sure as to why. I have asked him but he just kept quiet. I learned, however, not to color his food anymore. I thought this lunch would look nicer if I've colored the faces but I'm sure that he'd not eat the top part if I'd done that.

    Day Of The Dead Halloween Lunch in Planetbox

    In this bento lunch (packed in a Planetbox): A couple of day of the dead stamped sandwiches, seedless grapes with a skeleton hand, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, Rice Krispie bar with a spider cupcake ring, sugar snap peas and organic baby carrots.

    Our favorite stainless steel lunchbox:


    Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    Jack - O - Lantern Halloween Bento

    The countdown to Halloween begins! I have to refrain from looking at Halloween decorations! Whenever I enter a store to purchase groceries or any other items, my legs will automatically take me to the Halloween section, LOL. Last year, I went overboard and now I find I have a huge excess of Jack-O-Lanterns, witch hats, caldrons, and spooky plastic body parts, bats, and spiders. Not a few extra, rather way too many!

    For my first Halloween lunch of this year I'll share my favorite Jack-O-Lantern!  I'll try to make at least a few other very simple ones soon. You can find my previous Halloween lunches HERE, over 50 of them. Here is my first one of this year and it's my favorite, the Jack-O-Lantern. Nikolai spotted some cute Babybel cheese with Halloween wrappers at the grocery store. I promise, this time it's not only me.

    Jack - O - Lantern Halloween Bento Lunch in Easylunchboxes

    In this bento lunch:
    • A Jack-O-Lantern sandwich made using cutter for the eyes and mouth.
    • The same cutter was used to cut the cheese over the seedless red grapes in the pumpkin shaped silicone cup.
    • Sugar snap peas.
    • Babybel cheese.
    • Apple slices.
    • Crackers with a 'BOO' pick.
     This lunch was packed in an Easylunchboxes container.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2016

    2 Baseball Lunch Ideas

    It's already October which means it's soon time for the baseball World Series games and then at least a couple of fun Halloween themed lunches! Life is slightly hectic this year since Nikolai started a new grade at a new school with many more after school activities. I'm sure many of you can relate to this. I'm certainly not complaining as there will be only so many of these precious school years. After that, he'll get his drivers license and will be driving himself off to college. Every day is special and we should treasure them all.

    I've always wanted to make baseball themed lunches since Nikolai enjoys baseball very much, and hubby was, I guess, his first coach back when he started playing with those plastic bat and ball sets. Remembering when they went shopping for gloves together can't help but bring a smile. Those days are very much treasured memories and remain fresh as just yesterday.

    Baseball field sport bento lunch in a Planetbox.

    Bento lunch 1: In the photo above is a baseball themed bento lunch featuring a sandwich with the in-field and bases free hand cut from Colby and Provolone cheese (hubby had me include a pitcher's mound?) and a bat from the crust at the end of the loaf connecting with the baseball pick for a home run. Also included are organic baby carrots with sugar snap peas, a granola bar, a yogurt covered star and some strawberries with another baseball pick.

    Baseball and glove sport bento lunch

    Bento lunch 2: The lunch shown above includes a ball and glove sandwich made with our Lunch Punch Sporty set, a granola bar and Annie's organic snacks, a yogurt covered star, some mango chunks, and red seedless grapes with a baseball pick.

    These lunches were packed in our durable Planetbox rover. Any baseball fans here?

    Our favorite stainless steel, durable lunchbox: