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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review: Modes4u Bento Box, Squishy and Easter Bunny bento

I am very pleased that Modes4u has provided me with some wonderful items for me to show in today's post. I am also very happy for this opportunity to encourage you to see the many really cute and fun items you can find at Modes4u. They make available a wide assortment of bento boxes, one of which I used to pack this lunch. They also offer a great collection of bento accessories which can quickly add that extra dash of cuteness to your presentation. Their site is a great wonderland and I recommend it as one of those must see websites!

For this bento I made some bunny sandwiches which were shaped with a cutter and stamper set. As they are small, I stacked up two pairs of them and included a granola bar on the left side section. The right side section I filled with organic baby carrots, some red seedless grapes and a section of apple that I cut to the shape of rabbit ears.

Bunny bento lunch, Modes4u bento box and squishy review

This lunch was packed in a biscuit bento box that looks so much like an ice cream sandwich that you almost want to take a bite out of it. It is one of the many great bento boxes you can find in their bento collection.

Biscuit bento box by Modes4u

Picks, like the little pink bunny one that I used for this lunch, baran dividers, cutters, sauce containers and much, much more are awaiting your visit to their accessories pages.
Did that French cruller look so yummy you could almost smell it? No, that delicious looking pastry alongside the bento is not a real French cruller even though it looks so wonderfully tasty and mouth watering.

It is one of the fantastic Kawaii squishies from the huge collection that can be found in their Squishies pages.

Squishy by Modes4u

 You can't imagine how much fun I've had looking at all their goodies!

Modes4u Bento Box, Squishy and Easter Bunny bento

Make yourself a cup (or perhaps even a pot?) of coffee or tea before you start scrolling through their amazing site with huge selection of cute bento accessories, squishies and much more. Happy shopping!

Disclosure: Modes4u generously provided me with the products for review without cost to me. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Fun Lunches With UpChefs Sandwich Cutters

Recently I was very pleased to received a set of very cute cutters from UpChefs, which I was happy to put to good use straight away.

First, however, while I am not one who attaches labels to others or would illogically categorize them, I have discovered that some "picky" eaters, which Nikolai can be at times, will eat better when the lunch is presented in a fun or cute style. Sometimes these little things can make a big difference!

UpChefs have come to the market with a set of cutters that can make cuteness easy and quickly attainable. Their cutter set includes nine sandwich bread or cookie cutters, which offer a great variety of options, and also two additional smaller cutters that can be used for fruits or vegetables. These will make a most welcome addition to my collection.

The lunch shown below is just one example of the many ways these cutters can quickly make an otherwise unremarkable sandwich into a fun meal for your children.

Dolphins fun lunch created with UpChefs sandwich cutter

In this lunch is a sandwich cut into a heart and pair of dolphins using one of the cutters from UpChefs, strawberry and orange slices with a dolphin pick, Babybel cheese with a dolphin cut into the wax covering, and a granola bar. I used the small heart shape veggie cutter for the center cheese heart and added candy eyes for the dolphins.
This lunch was packed in his Planetbox rover.

Here is a picture of their set of cutters from which you can make sandwiches or cookies shaped like hearts, butterflies, dolphins, dinosaurs, elephants, puzzle pieces, a star, transportation vehicles, and a dog with his house. It even includes the small cutters which can make little hearts and flowers.

( photo courtesy of UpChefs )

Here is another lunch for which I used the transportation cutter from the UpChefs set to cut the sandwich into shapes, added cheese rectangles for windows for the boat, and made imprints with the bigger end of a chopstick to make portholes for that extra touch, added a string cheese along side and used the other sections of our Easylunchboxes container for carrots, apple wedges with a traffic light pick in a square silicone cup.

Transportation themed lunch created with UpChefs sandwich cutter

As some of you might have discovered, it is more rewarding to discover and implement a helpful solution than to worry over a problem, and if getting your child interested in eating his or her lunch is one of yours, then this cutter collection from UpChefs might be a great help.

A discount of 10% is available by using the code JMP5EDRG  at checkout.

Let me add that while those with a "picky" eater might benefit most, just about everybody enjoys a bit of fun with their lunch!


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ham and Cheese Crescents Roll-Ups For Lunch With Recipe

This seems like a good time for me to post this amazing recipe that I found on pinterest, and have used so many times. Our entire family, our friends, co-workers all loved them, and I've made them for many parties as well. This recipe only requires three ingredients which makes it totally my kind of easy recipe! You can have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea time or really anytime of the day. They are so tasty!

I baked some the other day for breakfast and packed a couple of them into Nikolai's Easylunchboxes for this school lunch.

Ham and Cheese Crescents Roll-Ups For Lunch With Recipe

Here is the recipe which I used.

  • 8-oz can refrigerated crescent roll dough. I used Pillsbury brand 
  • 8 slices of deli ham 
  • 8 slices of cheddar cheese (you can use any other cheese that you prefer)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Separate dough into 8 equal pieces (they usually separate into triangles)
  3. Place 1 slice of ham and 1 slice of cheese (folded in half) on the larger end of the triangle.
  4. Roll the crescent up with the ham and cheese inside, and place it tip side down on a baking sheet ( I line it with aluminum foil for easy clean-up).
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
  6. Enjoy! 
Nikolai doesn't mind eating lunch foods at room temp or cold , thus, I send some in his lunchbox. In the above lunchbox I have used some of my eyes picks to give them a fun appearance and added goldfish crackers and some seedless grapes in the other sections.

In the lunch shown below, I have also included a couple of tasty Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll-ups, this time choosing airplane and truck picks. This time I have cheddar bunnies and orange slices in the other sections. This lunch was also packed in our Easylunchboxes.

EASY Ham and Cheese Crescents Roll-Ups For Lunch With Recipe

Seldom do I follow a recipe exactly as I find it. I like to add a tweak here or there to suit my own taste, and I think this recipe is perfect for that. Try something different in place of the ham, perhaps smoked turkey, try it with Swiss or Asiago cheeses. At home you might enjoy experimenting with different dips or side dish combinations. Be adventurous and have fun!


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

4 Puzzle Themed School Lunches

It's already March, where did February go? Nikolai has joined another after school club and they end at the most hectic time of the day whereby traffic is the heaviest as for many office hours end then.

I planned to post these lunches last summer, but as usual, got sidetracked with other holiday themed posts. These lunches were created with our lunch punch puzzle set. I always find myself reaching out to them especially during busy days when I feel like packing something fun for Nikolai.

4 Puzzle Themed School Lunches. Lunch Punch cutter set.

Below are four puzzle themed lunches created with four different cutters from the set.

Puzzle themed lunch in Yumbox Panino

Bento lunch 1: Main compartment of this lunch contains a puzzle sandwich topped with mozzarella and cheddar cheese with a cereal bar on the top. Sides that I included are apple pieces, cucumber slices and raisins. This lunch was packed in our leak-proof Yumbox panino.

Puzzle themed lunch in Bentology living bentobox

Bento lunch 2: This bento lunch featured sandwiches cut into puzzle piece shapes and a colorful collection of sides which were organic baby carrots, cucumber slices, orange slices, mini cheese crackers, and on the far right, a mozzarella cheese stick. This lunch was packed in a Bentology Living bento box.

Puzzle lunch in Planetbox rover

Bento lunch 3: Simple puzzle shaped nutella sandwiches with a roll-up of ham and cheese for the main section, a granola bar, some red grapes, organic baby carrots with a cute eye pick surround some yogurt covered raisins in this Planetbox Rover.

Puzzle themed lunch in leak proof Bentgo bento box

Bento lunch 4: Here I have some pandas with the puzzle. Puzzle piece shaped sandwiches and a granola bar are accompanied by a couple of panda baran while a panda pick joins the collection of red grapes. Some applesauce and baby carrots complete the circle around the yogurt covered raisins in the center compartment of our leak-proof Bentgo Kids lunchbox.

Besides having in common the theme of the puzzle piece shaped sandwiches, these examples also share the ease with which you can combine healthy foods with a fun presentation to make lunch time special.


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."