Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer English Trifle & Leftovers For Lunch

We had a great long weekend with friends and family. That always means great food too, which in turn means great leftovers. Bonus! I'm usually responsible for desserts when it comes to family events, so for Memorial Day weekend, that meant my Summer English Trifle. It is so simple, and so yummy! With friends, we were treated to dessert, and instead I brought along the whole farmer's market to grill vegetable kabobs. Leftover grilled veggies with buttered Jasmine rice were dinner last night. I hope everyone had a great weekend, too.

zoeslunchbox english trifle
Summer English Trifle 
Ingredients - 1 small package strawberry Jello, 1 prepared angel food cake (cut into cubes), 1 cup mashed strawberries combined with 1 tsp sugar, 2 cups sliced strawberries, 1 cup sliced bananas, 8oz can pineapple chunks in juice, 2 cups milk, 1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix, 8oz Cool Whip (thawed), 2 cups water

Dissolve the Jello in 1 cup boiling water to dissolve. Add 1 cup cold water. Refrigerate in a shallow dish for 1 hour or until slightly thickened.
english trifleMeanwhile, layer half of the cake cubes on the bottom of a trifle bowl. Next layer half of the mashed strawberries and half of the sliced strawberries. Drain 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice from the can into a bowl and toss the banana slices in the juice. Chop the pineapples. Layer half of the bananas and pineapple pieces on top of the strawberry layer. Spoon half of the chilled Jello on top. Refrigerate the trifle for 20-30 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand a couple of minutes to thicken. Spread half of the pudding on the trifle. Repeat all the layers (cake cubes, strawberries, pineapple, banana, Jello, and pudding). Top with Cool Whip. Refrigerate until serving time. If desired, sprinkle with 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds. Enjoy!

And, lunch? So fast and easy thanks to leftovers from the weekend, too. It's a good thing too, because it has been pouring since Monday night, so the last thing this mama wants to have to do is grocery shopping... yet.
leftover bento
Leftover Italian vegetable pasta salad, smoked turkey, cheddar/mozzarella cheese pieces, and leftover English trifle with a fresh strawberry.

In today's lunch...

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Eat Up

Another super fast, simple lunch was on the menu for today as we are using up bits and pieces of things in the fridge and pantry. I keep thinking that we need to try that 'eat down the pantry' thing I keep hearing about. We seem to have no trouble wiping out produce and dairy stocks, but staples in the cupboard, especially snack or add on foods, we seem to lose track of. I spent the day going through the pantry and reorganizing most of what was there to keep that from happening, so we'll see. And, yes, I have issues and enjoy organizing, much to my hubby's dismay, who would rather not have to organize anything, at least not to his wife's ideals. :)

zoeslunchbox bento
Chow mien noodles, watermelon, cucumber, and skewers of turkey pepperoni with cheddar/mozzarella cheese chunks.  

In today's lunch...
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I have to admit that quesadillas are one of my favorite go-to foods for an simple and fast meal option. They work for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I like them fresh and piping hot, warmed up later, or cold right out of the fridge. You can add pretty much anything you want to them, and they are a good way to use up odds and ends in the fridge, too. These lunch versions for hubby were just simple 3-cheese quesadillas, but yummy just like that. When I was in Texas, we always made a version that was a tri-folded tortilla with cheese and salsa on the inside, then toasted in a pan with butter. Yum! And thanks to Napoleon Dynamite, now I can only ever call them quesa-diLL-as. Sigh...

gogreen quesadilla bento
Cucumber, celery, purple bell pepper, and carrots with Wholly Guacamole to dip, strawberries, pineapple, No Bake Energy Bites, toasted coconut in heart container, Trader Joe's black & white rice rolls, and Swiss, cheddar, and Monterrey Jack cheese quesadillas with sour cream packet.

In this lunch...

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Recipe Review - Avocado Feta Salsa

avocado feta salsa
This recipe is one of my family's favorites. Believe it or not, I have self proclaimed onion and garlic haters in my family, yet they love this salsa. I can't explain it. But, I can tell you that this stuff is ridiculously delicious. Even the 4 year old will eat it by the spoonful... literally, will only eat it that way. Oh well. However you eat it, I sure hope you love it as much as we do!

avocado feta salsaAvocado Feta Salsa 
avocado feta salsa
Ingredients - 2 plum or vine tomatoes, chopped, 1/4 c finely chopped red onion, 1 chopped avocado*, 1 clove garlic, minced, 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley, 1 Tbsp fresh chopped oregano, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 4oz crumbled feta (if you prefer, you can substitute 1 tsp of dry herbs for the fresh herbs)

Combine all the ingredients, except the feta, and stir the mixture gently to combine. Add the crumbled feta, and fold in gently. Cover and chill for 2-6 hours. I've even let it go overnight before. Give it another gentle stir before serving. Serve with pita or tortilla chips. Enjoy!

*Note - be sure you don't get a guacamole-ready avocado for this. You definitely want your avocado ripe, of course, but you want it to hold up in chunks too, so look for one that's ready, but not too soft.

feta salsa

Monday, May 13, 2013

Post Mother's Day Monday

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day. We had a lovely day with family, food, and fun. But, I'm exhausted, so I'm considering today to be my more relaxing post-Mom's Day day. That means a quick and simple lunch, too, and thankfully there is lots of goodness leftover from yesterday, so no cooking for mama tonight either. Bonus! Come visit again tomorrow when I'll be sharing one of our favorite appetizers, Avocado Feta Salsa, from Mother's Day... well, from any day, really. Yum!

bento Lunchbots Trio
Watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, cheddar/mozzarella cheese stick, graham crackers with peanut butter, and a Skinny Cow Chocolate Dreamy Cluster.  

In today's lunch...
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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Simple & Fast

Quick, simple, and yummy. Lunch is served. I keep seeing all those fantastic posts (see below) about preparing lunches for the entire week ahead of time. While, I'm self-diagnosed OCD in most other areas of my life, there are some weeks that I can hardly pull together a lunch at the last minute, let alone for the week. I am envious of those that can, and really need to give it a go. Maybe I'd get to eat lunch once in a while if I preplanned like that... more than scraps, that is. When I don't plan, these simple and super fast, snack lunches are the way to go, though!

simple bento
Watermelon, Trader Joe's Cheddar Rockets, salami, cheddar/mozzarella chunks, cucumber, and purple bell pepper.

Weekly Food Prep Links AKA Who I'm Jealous Of Today
Beneficial Bento
Bento Lunch

In today's lunch...

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Wrap It Up

Last week was the first week of nice weather for us (finally), and there is nothing like pasta salad and veggie wraps to speak of spring or summer to me. As far back as I can recall, a regular staple meal for warm, lazy (or crazy) days, at home, but especially up at Hubbard Lake, consisted of a plethora of veggies and cheeses (meats if you please) all wrapped up and eaten with chips and/or pasta salad. No cooking required. Very little cleanup required, too, since most of the scraps get picked at and eaten or just tossed together for salad the next day. The best thing is that everyone can build their own and eat what they like, and it's fun!

Lay out your goodies, some knives and plates, assemble and enjoy! We normally just pull out whatever veggies are in the fridge and have plenty of choices, but I did notice on this day, I was missing zucchini and sprouts, two favorites of mine in these wraps. Alas. We still had peppers, cucumber, carrots, radish, olives, tomato, lettuce, avocado, egg, and a couple of cheeses, plus condiments (or salad dressing). They really are delicious!

It is also a major bonus to these yummy wraps that the kiddo loves to be involved in preparing what she's eating. What kid doesn't want to be able to pick and choose their favorites to build their meal around, right? This is one of those meals where everyone in the family really can have a say in what they have, for sure.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May the 4th Be With You

I really do love Star Wars, but when I say that, what I mean is that I love the original trilogy. Just saying. And, while the kiddo is only 4 and has not yet seen any of the movies, thanks to the hubby's previous-ish obsession, we have lots of Star Wars toys that she is quite familiar with. She knows the 'good' guys and the 'bad' guys and can probably rattle off more of the characters than I can now. So, while she may not understand the way of The Force just yet, our young Padawan is most certainly a fan. If YOU are a fan, you're in for a treat, because there are two blog hops going on today for May the 4th with loads of fantastic Star Wars themed lunches. Be sure and visit them all by clicking on the hop button located below our lunches. From here, you'll head over to Organized Bites. May the Fourth Be With You!

StarWars easylunchboxes bento
'Death Star' brown rice ball with black beans on top of some mixed greens, red bell pepper 'sabers' in a Darth Vader ring, Babybel cheese with TIE Fighter, pineapple, and Trader Joe's Cheddar Rockets.

StarWars Lunchbots Bento
Pineapple, brown rice star with black beans on mixed greens, purple (green) bell pepper 'sabers' in a Han Solo ring (and yes, I realize that Han didn't use a saber, but I had no blond haired boy rings or picks), Trader Joe's Cheddar Rockets, Babybel cheese with the Rebel Alliance symbol, and a mix of dry roasted peanuts and cashews.

May the 4th Be With You Blog Hop

Once you've completed this hop...

Return To Base

Oh, and those Trader Joe's Cheddar Rockets? Pretty much everybody in the galaxy showed up in our kitchen and living room for the focus group. Verdict? The most delicious wee little cheese crackers we've ever had! Eat some, and enjoy them, you will!
traderjoes starwars
 And like at any good party, there is always a crasher creating a photobomb...

 In today's lunches...
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