Jolly Holiday Hop

Monday, December 16, 2013

Join us on a Jolly Holiday Blog Hop 
sponsored by Bento Blogger and Friends!

Miss C doesn't like her sandwiches cut lately. She likes the crust so she's been asking me to just cut her sandwiches in half, diagonally. By cutting the gingerbread out of the bread, Mommy can get her creative on and she can still have her crust. :)
Gingerbread Nutella sandwich, 
diced chicken with ketchup and green apple
packed in EasyLunchBox

Please click on the picture below and look at the yummy lunch made by my friend Christine of My Epicurean Adventures!

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still here!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

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Mommy's Lunch: 
Eggs, strawberries and salad

Miss C's Lunch: 
ham, mini PB sandiwches
chocolate and fruit 
in a Goodbyn Bynto box
(It looks like there's not a lot of food, but there is plenty of ham, just stacked right so it just deceivingly looks like there's only 2 small pieces. Trust me, my girl eats plenty and isn't starving.)

I've been so busy lately, trying to balance life with a 5 month old. So mornings are so hectic that I usually just throw something in an EasyLunchBox or a character lunch box and divide it with silicone cups, and "voila!" Lunch! And the past few weeks, I don't have time to bring it over to the light box and take a picture, I'm lucky if I remember to take an iPhone picture of them! See... I'm a real mom just like you! We all have days of "throw something in the lunchbox" or "here's lunch money, buy lunch today" days (or weeks.)  Thank goodness for Bento Bloggers & Friends who regularly pack AND blog lunches for ideas when I'm in this slump!

Easy Cheese Quesadilla Lunch

Friday, October 18, 2013

Miss C's lunch:
with sour cream, packed in ELB mini-dippers
apples, yogurt with some fun dino sprinkles.

packed in EasyLunchBox
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Halloween Lunch 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

There's a creepy, crawly, scary blog hop going on!

Halloween is around the corner, so my friends and I put together a Frightful Fall Blog Hop to inspire you to create fun or creepy lunches for the kids this month! 

Miss C's lunch
Full Moon + Cat Silhouette is made out of cheese and nori. 
Waffle and turkey meatballs.
Organic peaches cup with Jack-O-Lantern face.

Drawing on a peach cup, mandarin orange cup, a clementine is such an easy way to add a little Halloween in a lunch box!  "Mommy, I LOVE what you did with my fruit cup! It was soooo cute! All my friends loved it too!"

Click on the image below and hop to Following in My Shoes to see another 
frightfully yummy lunch Rachel made for lunch! 

grilled honey chicken w/recipe {paleo}

Monday, October 7, 2013

Mommy's lunch: 
(Miss C had a similar lunch)
Grilled Honey Chicken
spinach, and yellow tomatoes
with sweet potatoes and grapes
Packed in an EasyLunchBox

Easy Grilled Honey Chicken 

1 lbs chicken (breasts or thighs)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce if not Paleo)
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil

Mix marinade and marinate the chicken for at least an hour (or overnight).
Grill the chicken till it's cooked.
(I'd post directions on how, but my husband is the one the grills.)

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eggplant omelet [tortang talong-meatless] {paleo}

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tortang talong (eggplant omelet) is usally made with sauteed ground pork. But I made this really quick version because I didn't have pork and I had my husband throw the eggplant on the grill while he grilled chicken sausages.

 Mommy's Lunch:
Eggplant Omelet, 
quick tomato salad (EVOO, splash of vinegar, salt and pepper)
Packed in an EasyLunchBox

Eggplant Omelet (Tortang Talong)

-chinese eggplant (long and slender, not the fat ones)
-1egg (more if using more than 1 eggplant)
-salt & pepper (to taste)

Grill or roast chinese eggplant (long and slender) until tender.
Peel off the chard skin and mash the eggplant flat while keeping the stem.
Beat the eggs, add salt and pepper.
Heat coconut oil (or preferred frying oil).
Place the eggplant flat on the pan and pour the egg on top. 
Flip the omelet when one side has browned. 

Filipinos typically serve this with rice.
For a more authentic Tortang Talong (stuffed eggplant omelet), 
see Manila Spoon's recipe.

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apple sandwiches

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Miss C's lunch:
Apple "Sandwiches"
tomatoes w/yogurt ranch
egg whites
apples are thinly sliced with peanut butter between slices (substitute Sunbutter for nut-free option)

Packed in an EasyLunchBox

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chicken sausage {paleo}

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We (Daddy+Mommy) started the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge this week. It's a challenge where we can earn points by our diet, performance in WODs, goal-setting, etc. So adult lunches will be Paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, and dairy free. I will miss my rice and soy sauce, but it's only 8 weeks! I'm looking forward to the discipline and trying out new recipes in the next 8 weeks.  Wish us luck!

Mommy's Lunch:
Chicken Sausage 
Grilled zucchini drizzled w/olive oil & dried Italian herbs
sliced tomato
nuts (hazelnuts/cashews/almonds)

Packed in an EasyLunchBox

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Almond-crusted Chicken Strips! {recipe}

Friday, August 30, 2013

Mommy's Lunch:
Almond-crusted chicken strips
green beans, tomatoes
grapes, and strawberries
mother's milk tea

packed in an EasyLunchBox
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Almond-crusted Chicken Strips: 
inspired by this recipe from Allergy-Free Alaska

1.5-2 lb. chicken breast (cut into strips)
1 cup almond flour/meal
1 tbsp ground flax
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 black pepper
1/2 tsp dried parsley
2 eggs

- preheat oven to 425°
- mix dry ingredients in a deep plate
- beat egg in a separate bowl
- dip chicken strips in egg then coat with almond flour mixture
- place in single layer on a baking sheet 
(use parchment or Silpat to prevent from sticking)
- bake for 18-20 minutes, flipping halfway.

Leftovers on Fridays

quick ham and pretzels lunch

Miss C's lunch:
ham and peace sign pretzels
mixed fruit: cantaloup, yellow watermelon, grapes
with peace sign white chocolate

Packed in an EasyLunchBox

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Picture Day Lunch

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Smile! It's picture day at school!

Miss C's Lunch:
Ham and Cheese camera sandwich
green peppers and applesauce

Packed in an EasyLunchBox

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Ham and Cheese Roll-ups

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Miss C's lunch:
ham and cheese rollups
grapes, plum, and tomatoes

packed in a Lunchbot Trio with a Lunchbox Love note.

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Bentos on the Bayou

First Day of 1st Grade!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Today marks the first day of school. First grade. 
With the "big kids" as Miss C call them. 
Apparently, Kindergarteners are the babies. 
Well they are ALL babies to me!

Stop growing, Miss C!!! 

 Between getting myself ready for work, getting Miss C ready for school and Baby E's things for daycare, and packing lunches, I was a disorganized mess this morning! I'm trying to figure out how to juggle everything. This 2-children morning thing is so new to me.

But Miss C did not miss the bus today and I was at work by 8:30am.  
So I consider this morning a WIN!

Miss C's Lunch: 
mini PBJs faces (at her request) 
blueberries and raspberries, peach yogurt 
and a small piece of chocolate

packed in an EasyLunchBox

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mommy+me... +baby!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

We had a very busy summer! On June 28, we welcomed our precious bundle of joy. 

Everyone, meet Miss E.

She is perfect and Miss C absolutely adores her little sister!

I {heart} this photo taken by Darcy Holsopple.
Visit her blog for more pics

The beginning part of the summer was consumed with baby prep while the latter was consumed by baby love. I'm sure we will settle into our routine soon and hopefully incorporating baby madness into it, actually, incorporating our own routine to the baby's routine. She's pretty much the boss right now. Well, her need to eat and cuddle takes precedence over a lot of stuff... like blogging and chores.  I am slowly getting back into my regular "leisure" activities, like showering, Crossfit, baking/decorating, and blogging.

So this week is exciting and busy! My maternity leave went by really fast and  I am back to work full time this week. Which means back to packing lunches! AND most importantly, Miss C starts school tomorrow! Back to school! Back to bentos! I'm excited! Miss C is excited! Let's do this! 1st grade, here we come!
Mommy's Lunch: 
Baked chicken w/ green beans
grapes and Mother's Milk tea
packed in an EasyLunchBox

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chicken meatballs

Friday, June 14, 2013

Mommy's lunch:
steamed butternut squash with butter and parmesan
chicken meatballs with marinara sauce
apples and Nutella

packed in an EasyLunchBox
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Last day of school lunch

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer has officially started!
Miss C had her last day of school a couple weeks ago. 

Miss C's Last Lunch of Kindergarten:
at her request:
Almond butter sandwich (using LunchPunch Sweet set)
colby jack cheese
frozen strawberry yogurt
packed in an EasyLunchBox

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Daddy's turn!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

"Don't cha wish your girlfriend(wife) packed lunch like me?"

Mommy's and Daddy's Lunch:  
Grilled pork chops over green beans
grilled red potatoes and grapes

I don't really care if my husband gets teased about his lunches. I don't think he does either. He rarely eats lunches, so when he was participating in the Crossfit Open last March, he needed to maintain a healthier eating routine, I was a little more giddier than he was to pack his lunches too. I didn't take many pictures of them, since he didn't care much for presentation, but with EasyLunchBoxes, it was easy to arrange the food in different compartments.

Last weekend, he participated in a mud/foam run in Chicago with the some of the athletes at our Crossfit box. It was a 2.5 hour bus ride each way, so he needed to pack lunch and a post-race dinner.  Of course I jumped on that opportunity to pack his lunches too. :)

Mud Run Munchies
Juices for carbs, water, protein shake, bananas
ELB#1: eggs, veggies w/almond butter, with a handful of almonds
almond crackers, sausages, and cheese; strawberries and pineapples
ELB#2: chicken salad, eggs, and broccoli slaw
sausages, and cheese; strawberries and pineapples
and of course adult beverages to enjoy on the bus ride back after the race.

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Rainbow Birthday Party!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A few weeks ago, my baby girl turned 6 eyars old!

She wanted a rainbow themed party. 

Thanks to inspiration overload from Pinterest, I pulled off a rainbow party with only having a couple days of execution. It was a stressful week due to personal reasons, so I didn't get to DIY party stuff like I usually do. I'd like to thank my friend Mindy for letting me borrow the table cloth and the cake tutu she made for her daughter's Unicorn party in April.

Miss C's Rainbow Birthday Lunch:
(aka, leftovers from  her birthday party)
Fruit - blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, & strawberry
cheese and crackers, organic fruit snacks
cauliflower, peppers, carrots and cucumbers
(not pictured: yogurt ranch for dipping)

a must "sea" lunch!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Under the Sea Lunch:

Miss C's Lunch:
Goldfish Sandwich (ham and cheese)
cucumbers and strawberries
Goldfish crackers

Seafood lunch:
Mommy's Lunch:
leftover deep fried shrimp
carrots with LC cheese
strawberries and prunes
(not pictured: greek yogurt with honey)

packed in EasyLunchBoxes

Ham Pinwheels and Almond Thai Chicken

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Miss C's Lunch:
ham and cheese pinwheels
"ants on a log" (celery, PB, raisins)
strawberries on a butterfly cup
trail mix (nuts and dried cranberries)

Mommy's Lunch:
Almond Thai Chicken
(Paleo version using almond butter instead of peanut butter)
over cauliflower "rice"
Chobani Bite - coffee yogurt

packed in EasyLunchBoxes

Panda Love

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Miss C's lunch: 
Peanut Butter Sandwich
Goldfish crackers
Carrots w/Ranch
Jelly candy

Miss C loved the store-bought organic applesauce pouches. So when I saw this reusable pouch from Squooshi I knew we would be able to put it to good use.  There are 2 sizes to choose from, 2.5 and 4.5oz. The Panda is the larger size, I was able to put about 2/3c of applesauce. (I will save the smaller size for the upcoming baby!) Miss C loved the panda pouch and my husband loves the fact that it's dishwasher safe! My toxicologist mother would love the fact that it's BPA-free, PVC-free, lead-free and phtalate-free. I love the fact that it's both cute and environmentally friendly!

The peanut butter sandwich was cut out using CuteZCute panda cutter. Panda picks and cups are from AllThingsForSale

10-min Bunny lunch

Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Easter!

I bought these bunny eggs from the last spring on clearance. After-holiday clearance sales are a great (and not to mention CHEAP!) way to build up your lunch supply stash . 
Miss C's lunch:
Mini peanut butter sandwiches (cut with a flower cutter)
breadstick crackers with cheddar cheese stick
apples and Gogurt. 

Sausage with Spinach

Thursday, March 28, 2013

 Mommy's Lunch:
Sausage and Spinach
hardboiled egg
blueberries and strawberries

My husband and I go to Crossfit classes 2x during the work week. We usually need quick dinners on those nights so we have time for bedtime routines for Miss C. This dinner was super simple and quick. Brown your favorite sausage (we used turkey sausage) and drain. Set aside. Saute garlic and onions, add mushrooms and sausage. Stir in spinach and let the spinach wilt.  Season according to taste, (since the sausage was already seasoned we didn't need to add salt/pepper) Remove from heat and serve.

packed in EasyLunchBoxes

Rambling lunch...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Miss C's lunch:
Ham and Babybel cheese
green peppers and ranch
clementine, grapes and Clif KidZBar brownie
(time to put it together: 5 minutes.)

I was stopped by a woman yesterday coming out of my Zumba class: 
"Aren't you the bento lady? How do you find time to make cute lunches? It must take forever" 
Not really.  Seriously--15 minute tops. 
And another 2-3 minutes taking pictures.

As many of you know, I'm a mom of a 5 year old. 
I work a full-time job. I design houses and draw buildings and fun architecturey stuff.
I try to squeeze in workouts in the evenings (sometimes with my child in tow). 
I'm pregnant. So I sleep in as late as I can... 
I love sleep. The snooze button is my best friend... x7 times.
I value sleep now... because in 3 months, well, that will definitely change
So in 15 minutes, while Miss C is eating her breakfast, I pack her lunch.
I take a picture (or 10) while she's brushing her teeth. 
It's been our routine since preschool.
It doesn't happen everyday, we pick out 2 school lunches she likes for the week.
(because I guess kids who buy lunch sit together and packs sit together, 
and there are some friends that buy lunch that she likes to sit with occasionally.)

Granted, some themed lunches may take longer. Planning definitely helps.
Precut veggies and prewashed fruits. 
Leftovers are great especially for Mommy Lunches
As with having the fun supplies on hand... 
(check out AllThingsForSale for cute bento stuff 
that can put "instant cute" in otherwise boring lunches)

And don't get me wrong, I'm no supermom.
I've had days when I had to convince Miss C to please eat school lunch
because my morning sickness has been so bad.
Or I quickly put an uncut sandwich with crusts on (gasp!) with a graham crackers
in her lunch box with Capri Sun and called it lunch.
Or forgot to wash her lunch container a week later...

The last one was my husband.  Ha! I don't wash dishes.
I'm spoiled that way.
Maybe that's why I have too much time on my hands... 
because my  husband does most of the kitchenclean up...

I linked up to Bentos on the Bayou's 15 minute Fridays!
Bentos on the Bayou

Butternut Squash Soup

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mommy's Lunch:
Butternut squash soup
ham, cucumbers and Alouette mini

Butternut Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash (cooked--see below)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, sliced
2-3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 can coconut milk

Cooking the butternut squash (choose one of the following:)
Option A 
Roast butternut squash in the oven at 400°F
If you cut in in half, roast cut side up for 50-60 minutes.
If you cut it in cubes, roast for 35 minutes
(roast until fork tender)
Option B
Cut in half and place in a Crockpot or slow cooker. 
Add a cup of water and cook on high for 2 hours (low for 4)
(a friend of mine suggested I left it whole, but I haven't tried it yet.)
Option C
If you have no time roasting or slow cooking, 
just cut squash into cubes and boil until tender.

Soup directions:
1. In a large pot, saute the garlic and onions in olive oil.
2. Spoon out the squash meat into the pot and stir.
3. Add broth and coconut milk and stir. 
4. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes
5. Use an immersion stick blender or puree in food blender 
or food processor until smooth and creamy.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Also, I packed my leftovers in EasyLunchBoxes
I reheated the soup and it did not stain or melt the ELB! 

Following In My Shoes Bento Lunches Grown-Ups Gotta Eat