Friday, June 28, 2013

Feeling a Little Like Leftovers

I love pasta. There. I've said it. I am certain I eat too much of it too often, but it is so good. I like it hot, cold, and probably every which way in between if the ingredients are right. So, when I see a new pasta salad, especially one that will produce loads of leftovers so this mama doesn't need to cook for a couple days, I'm game. Better yet? The recipe comes from a fellow blogger, Erin of Feeling A Little Lunchy, so I knew I wouldn't be let down. And, I was right! Her recipe for Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad was a huge hit. We used turkey pepperoni and slathered on the ranch. Yum-my. But, wait... there's more!? The recipe was so simple, it fit on a Post-It note! Post-It note recipes, you say? Can it be true? I'd say so since another fellow blogger, Karen of I Wish I Had An Adipose, has shared some great ones and opened up the sharing to others, as well. Crisis Cupcakes are next one the list!

leftovers easylunchboxes
Leftover ranch pasta salad, turkey pepperoni, Trader Joe's Cheddar Rockets, vanilla Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries on the bottom and a bit of strawberry jam on top.

In this lunch...

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Big Boy Lunch

Yeah, I pack for my 'big boy' too. That is, the hubby. He has been in his new job for a little over a month now, and I'm so happy that he is finally in a place he enjoys. And, speaking of enjoying things, while I've yet to find a proper CSA around here, I did find a local farm that tries to offer some of the same opportunities. They participate at our Farmer's Market, and let 'members' know ahead of time what produce is available each week. While it's hardly providing me a basket share, I am still able to select things I haven't tried before and able to 'order' what I might need. The kale and carrots in this lunch are from this week, and are so delicious. Next week's order has 2 varieties of beans and some more of that yummy kale for sure! Oh, and the Santa Claus melon? Eh. Kind of a bust. The taste is similar to honeydew, but not as sweet and a bit mealy in texture. Then again, it may have been overripe. Either way, an interesting white fleshed melon, but not for us. I keep eyeballing all the other odd melons at the grocer now. We'll see...

Turkey, kale, and swiss bagelwich with condiments on the side, Santa Claus melon, carrots, broccoli, vanilla Greek yogurt with strawberry jam (and sprinkles.. who doesn't love sprinkles?), Trader Joe's Carmelized Onion Dip, chocolate square, and Naturebox Masa Chips.

In this lunch...

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Zoo Day ... Hooray!

 saginaw zoo
We are very fortunate to have a zoo quite literally 5 minutes from our house. So, thanks to that and an annual membership,  'Zoo Day' can be Everyday if we really wanted. And, it so happens that on warm days when we get a little stir crazy, it is often where we end up. When I was growing up, I went there quite a bit with my grandparents. Those visits and this zoo occupy some of the fondest memories of my childhood. In fact, this zoo has created some of my fondest adult memories too. I worked at the zoo for quite some time, first as a zookeeper, then in their education department, as a conservation coordinator. The experience was a rich and rewarding one. And, now, I get to take my own daughter there to create memories for her.

zoo snack bento
Cucumber, grapes, dry roasted peanuts in the container, and cheddar/mozzarella cheese stick. Turkey, lettuce, and mustard 1/2 sandwich not pictured, but also included for this lunch.
We almost always eat lunch down by the train at the concessions area called Train Whistle Cafe. I usually grab a bag of fresh popped popcorn while we're there, too. Yum!

In this lunch...

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Recipe Review - Espresso Cheesecake Bars

I wish I could tell you the genius that is responsible for these rich, delicious cheesecake bars. Alas, I cannot. I've been making them for a couple of years and could not even venture a guess as to what magazine I pulled them from. So, I'll just have to hold the genius status for at least making them and sharing them with you! Enjoy!

Espresso Cheesecake Bars
Crust Ingredients - 9 whole graham crackers (if you're lucky, your individual pack has just exactly that), 1/4 c sugar, 1/4 c unsalted butter, 1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
Filling Ingredients - 5 tsp instant espresso powder, 1 Tbsp heavy cream, 1 tsp vanilla, 16 oz cream cheese (room temp), 2/3 c sugar, 1 egg
Topping Ingredients - 1 c heavy cream, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1/4 tsp vanilla (you can use Ready Whip if you prefer, but you have all that extra heavy cream just sitting there and it is so good made fresh!)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 11x7 pan. Grind crackers, sugar, and espresso powder to crumbs in food processor (or by hand). Add butter and blend to make crumbs. Press half into the prepared pan and sprinkle the other half into a pie dish. Bake both until golden ~10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.
For the bar filling, beat together cream cheese and sugar. Beat in the egg, cream, vanilla, and espresso powder. Spread over crust. Bake until just set, ~25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then sprinkle with the extra crust topping from your pie dish. Chill uncovered a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.
Before serving, prepare the whipped cream by beating together the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla to the desired consistency. Cut cheese cake into squares and top with whipped cream to serve. Enjoy!

 We linked up this yummy goodness at...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Greek Salad Bento

I love Greek salad. In fact, all of us enjoy it, so making a big batch of it with some hummus and chips on the side is a welcome, and simple, lunch or dinner. It packs just as well as it eats at home, and this one happened to by for the hubby, packed up to go to work in our ThriftTee Gear lunchbag.

Greek salad of local mixed greens, cucumber, Kalamata olives, red onion, tomato, and feta cheese with a red wine vinegar/olive oil dressing, hummus, pita chips, and maple Brown Cow Cream Top Greek yogurt (a favorite around here).

In this lunch...
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Friday, June 7, 2013

Mommy & Me Leftover Lunch

When we have leftovers, it's the perfect time to do 'mommy and me' lunches. So, that's exactly what we did today.

Watermelon, yellow bell pepper, leftover teriyaki chicken, leftover spaghetti, and a homemade oatmeal scotchie.

I have to say that I do not cook chicken. The crockpot does it for me on occasion, but when I try to put it in a skillet or in the oven, forget it. I tried to make it really simple for myself and threw chicken breast chunks in teriyaki marinade overnight. I threw them in a pan with oil, then when they were mostly cooked, I added some water. No, I don't know what I'm doing, but they turned out pretty darn good. Bonus!

Leftover spaghetti and teriyaki chicken, yellow bell pepper, watermelon, cantaloupe, Skinny Cow chocolates, and a homemade oatmeal scotchie.

In these lunches...

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

On the Side

Sometimes, it seems that due to appointments or work schedules, we're splitting our lunchtimes between home and on the go. It works for us to pack part of the lunch for in the car and part of it is eaten before we head out the door, usually while mama gets ready. Having fresh fruits, veggies, and a variety of healthy snacks, like those from Naturebox, makes it easy.

snack bento Locknlock
Along with this snack box, the kiddo had a couple cheese quesadilla triangles before we headed out. This box has strawberries, cucumber, and dry roasted peanuts in the container.

snack bento
Along with this snack box, kiddo had an Al Fresco uncured chicken frank before we were on our way. This box has grapes, carrots, apple hearts, a Trader Joe's triple gingersnap, and Naturebox's masa chips.
Isn't this box just the cutest? I was lucky to have fellow blogging bud, Lise, from Veggie-Bento pick this up for me!

In these lunches...

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