Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Sun Will Come Out....

We are getting a massive dump of snow right now. We have been for the last couple days, in fact. I say no better time than this to celebrate the sun. I certainly hope it finds it's way out from behind the cold and clouds soon!

sunny quesadilla #easylunchboxes
Watermelon, orange bell pepper, colby cheese and cumin quesadillas, Kettle chips, and sour cream.

In this lunch...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lunch Duo

I rarely eat lunch. There. I said it. I know I should. I'm always ravenous by dinner time, but I just have other things to do when the time comes, it seems. Can't be bothered with sitting down to eat, right? Bento scraps will have to suffice. But, what I've found is that with an extra few minutes I can make myself a lunch using the same ingredients I had out anyways for the kiddo's meal. It really takes me no extra time, and I actually sit down and eat, which is actually quite nice.

easylunchboxes bento
Kiddo's lunch is a grilled turkey and cheddar, dill pickle, cocoa almonds, mandarin oranges, grapes, cucumber, orange bell pepper, and ranch with soy bacon bits.

easylunchboxes bento
Mama's lunch is a grilled turkey and Swiss, sweet pickles, Naturebox chipotle maple almonds, mandarin oranges, grapes, cucumber, and orange bell pepper.

In these lunches...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Muffin Tin Stars

So, I tried something new this past weekend. I cooked chicken. Really. When I cook chicken, it's the crock pot doing the work, not me. I have cooked it in the past, but in general, I just don't. The real downside to that, for me, is that I have recipes I'd like to try that call for cooked chicken. In a cold pasta salad and a pinch, I've used canned that I rinsed and seasoned, but it just isn't the same. The problem is that I don't want to touch the chicken either, so I only buy these lovely individual vacuum packed fresh organic pieces. I discovered a method that I can just open the package and slip the meat into the pot and not have to touch it until it's cooked. That method is poaching. This is NOT the same as boiling, I have learned, which yields a dry, inedible piece of meat. Poaching, though, requires some amount of trust that the chicken will cook to a safe temperature, and that trust I have not yet acquired. Some day, I hope to, though.

Muffin Tin Stars
Grapes, Trader Joe's yogurt stars, cottage cheese w/ star sprinkles, poached chicken w/ sharp cheddar cheese and mayo, Trader Joe's roasted seaweed, and cucumber and orange bell pepper stars.

poached chicken
So, what method did I use to poach the chicken? I slipped the chicken breasts into a pot and poured on just enough broth to cover them. I added some pepper, parsley, and a bay leaf, then turned on the heat full blast to achieve a full boil. Then, I turned it down to simmer, which I let it do for 10 minutes. Finally, I covered the pot, turned off the heat, and let it sit for 15 minutes, after which I took at the chicken and diced it up for later. That was that. I still managed to over cook it just a wee bit, but I'm getting there, and most of it is just gaining that trust that the meat will be done and safe to consume. I've seen poaching methods that bring the broth or water to a boil, then turn off the heat with no simmer. That's a bit too bold for me just yet, though. I would like to just try to put some chicken breasts in the crock pot with broth and shred for later recipes. The crock pot still remains my one true confident when it comes to cooking chicken. I'm totally open for ideas on this subject, too, so please share!

This lunch was linked to this week's Muffin Tin Monday at Another Lunch! Be sure to visit them, and check out more fun muffin tin ideas.

In this lunch...

Friday, February 22, 2013


First off, let me say TGIF.. seriously. Hubby's first week of working at his new job is over. Whew! Of course, I work all weekend, so so much for quality time, or even downtime. Alas.
On another note, have a mentioned that I love my local bakery? They are just a couple minutes from the house, and all the breads, cookies, etc are delicious. They have the best rye bread I've ever had, and when I buy white bread, it is only from them. When we pick it up, it is so soft and almost melts in your mouth. Kiddo usually has the first slice gone before we get back home. She likes it with nothing on it, not even toasted, when it is that fresh. I have to admit that it is delicious! I can hardly wait until it warms up and we can ride our bikes instead of bundle up and drive there.

Zak pineapple bento
Bread, celery, Swiss cheese, grapes, orange bell pepper, turkey pepperoni, pistachios, Chobani strawberry yogurt, and peanut butter M&Ms.

For my lunch, I packed leftover chicken meatballs in my Lunchbots from Beneficial Bento's recipe, that uses mushrooms as the binder instead of bread crumbs. I actually enjoyed them best cold and dipped in sauce. Odd, right?
lunchbots meatballs
Celery, orange bell pepper, Swiss cheese, bread, chicken & mushroom meatballs, and barbeque sauce.

In these lunches...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"O" What a Lunch

Today's lunches feature the letter, O. I wish I could take credit for this octopus idea, but CuteZCute creator is totally to blame for it's creative cuteness, except we did ours in cheese!

cutezcute octopus bento
Orange bell peppers with an octopus pick, homemade oat bars, orange, orzo salad with oregano, olive oil, and kalamata olives, colby jack cheese CuteZCute octopus, and octopus white meat turkey dog.
cutezcute octopus

I sent hubby with an 'O' lunch today, too. What better vessel for a sandwich in an 'o' lunch than a bagel, right?
O bento easylunchboxes
Cara oranges, orzo salad with oregano, olive oil, and Kalamata olives, orange bell peppers, homemade oat bar, and an 'O' shaped sandwich with smoked turkey and provolone (condiments on the side).

And here are some of the 'O' worksheets we did, too!

In this lunch...