Tuesday, March 27, 2012

'E' Lunch

Chugging along with my alphabet themed projects at home leads me to continue trying lunches (or at least snacks) to fit the letter we are working on. And, yes, I bought a $5 block of cheese to make the 'E' lunch work. Thank goodness that it is delicious!

Letter E bento lunch
'E' shaped green pepper, 'E' shaped pear, Edam cheese, letter 'E' cookies, chocolate Easter eggs, Eggo waffles, and fried egg.

Letter E worksheet

In this lunch...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I've seen this one on multiple sites, so had to give it a go myself. What a great project this is! Not only is the activity fun and the results awfully cute, but you can eat the leftovers! It seems like a winner to me. We always used to do potato stamps, but this is so much fun too. Maybe it would be a neat idea to use multiple veggies to stamp with and later make a potato salad out of them. Hmmm..

shamrock patrick's day craft

Although, we snacked pretty heavily on the bell peppers, we still did manage a more proper lunch for St. Paddy's Day later on.

Patrick's day shamrock lunch
Avocado, Shamrock sandwich with sharp cheddar cheese and smoked turkey with mustard, Lucky Charm's marshmallow hats, cucumber, lime Jello with whipped cream and green grapes.

In this lunch...

Friday, March 16, 2012

It's Easy Being Green!

Since it is St. Patrick's Day weekend and I've done other colors, green seemed the logical next one to do. My biggest issue was figuring out what NOT to include. My daughter eats nearly anything green, so maybe this would be a good one to do in a muffin tin so I could include a bigger variety, but smaller volumes. Maybe next time..

color green bento lunch
Green grapes, kiwi, cucumber, bell pepper, broccoli w/ dill dip, avocado, Trader Joe's veggie straws, ramen noodles with Italian herbs, and swiss cheese letters.

In this lunch...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Paddy's Day on the Way

I went for another St. Paddy Day lunch theme today. I do wish I would have found some cute shamrock picks, but I can still manage to get some cute things on the plate without, and my daughter enjoyed it, which is what matters!

shamrock lunch
Shamrock sammie with Muenster cheese and mustard on multigrain sandwich thins, salami, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers with dill dip, and lime Jello with whipped cream.
St Patricks Day Theme Food - Fun Bento Lunch

In this lunch...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Recipe Review - Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting

Here I was all set to make a second batch of cupcakes (Kahlua anyone?) for my hubby's birthday, when I happened upon a post at Family Fresh Meals for something even more appealing. A last minute trip to the liqueur store and I was set to go! I have to say that I'm glad I made the switch. These cupcakes were fantastic. And the icing.. oh my.. I actually cut the ingredients in half for the cupcakes thinking I only wanted a dozen cupcakes, so I have to say the recipe halves easily and does not affect the outcome at all on the cupcakes. But, after I made the first batch, I immediately baked up the other half of the original recipe! Now I know why the recipe calls for making 24 cupcakes. You'd want to double it if it didn't anyways! They are delicious all the way around for sure! I did modify the amount of frosting I made based on the original recipe reviews and comments and am posting here what I actually made because it worked out perfectly! Enjoy!

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Bailey's Buttercream 

Ingredients for 24 cupcakes -2 cups flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temp), 2 tsp vanilla, 2 eggs (room temp), 1/2 cup sour cream, 12oz Guinness stout beer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and move rack to middle bottom position. Line muffin tins with 24 paper liners.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.

In mixer, with paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg and beat to mix. Add second egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream and blend. Then, with the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the Guinness. Sift in the dry ingredients slowly and mix to combine, scraping down as needed, until fully incorporated.

Divide evenly between muffin cups. I was able to use a 1/4 cup scoop to get 24 cupcakes and the little extra that was left was just distributed among those that looked like they had slightly less in them. Bake for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean when your cupcakes are done. Be sure to let them cool completely before frosting. I did mine the night before and just stored them in an airtight container before frosting.

guinness chocolate cupcake

Ingredients for the frosting - 12 oz cream cheese (room temp), 6 oz unsalted butter (room temp), 3 cups powdered sugar, 6-9 Tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream (I used 6 because my hubby was taking them to work, but I think more would be appropriate to my taste!)

In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, blend cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until smooth and light. Drizzle in Bailey's to taste and beat to incorporate fully, scraping down as needed. Frost as desired. I used a piping bag and a 1M tip. I had just a little frosting left over. It makes a delicious adult's spread/dip for graham crackers or fruit.

guinness cupckae baileys buttercream

These cupcakes baked up so light and fluffy, and the flavor was out of this world. I will make these again and again for sure! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The 'D' Lunch

Who knew that finding 'd' foods would be such a pain. I really had to stretch my imagination to make this one work without giving the kiddo a lunch of doughnuts, danishes, daikon radish, and dandelion greens.

Letter D Duck Bento Lunch
Duck shaped sandwich with deli meat, lettuce, and cheese, dill pickle, bell pepper, and cucumber (on dinosaur picks) with dill dip, 'D' vanilla cookies, and a Dove chocolate.

Letter D Worksheets

In this lunch...

Friday, March 9, 2012

March Bento

I wanted to try out a salad for the little one that she could mix the components up by herself. It worked great and she ate it all, so I think this will be a great way to incorporate new vegetables and get her out of her usual cucumber and bell pepper routine. Today I realized I need to get a shamrock cookie cutter pretty darn soon too.

shamrock patrick's day lunch bento
In the bottom half is a salad of lettuce, cucumber, toasted sunflower seeds, Bacos, and ranch dressing. In the top half is Trader Joe's veggie straws, smoked turkey, mozzarella cheese, and in the container are a few M&M's.

I keep seeing these fantastic ideas at fellow bloggers sites, and recently have seen some blog hops. I think that is a fantastic idea to support each other and also make it easy to navigate when someone is looking for something in particular. So, I'm joining in this time to the St. Patrick's Day blog hop. Follow the link in the graphic below and hop around to get all sorts of wonderful ideas from some fabulous people!

rainbow blog hop
St Patricks Day Theme Food - Fun Bento Lunch

In this lunch...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Something Simple

I find myself feeling very inspired by all those fantastic bloggers out there, but then there are days I just want to quickly pull a lunch together and hang out on the couch with my kiddo! Maybe tomorrow will be more exciting. What I will say is that this is the first time I've tried a sandwich thin, and for the first time I didn't have to roll or flatten bread. Bonus!

applesauce bento lunch
This lunch has Trader Joe's veggie straws, mozzarella cheese, applesauce, cucumbers, salami, and 1/4 soy BLT w/ mayo and mustard on a wheat bread sandwich thin.

In this lunch...