Saturday, August 31, 2013

Back to School 2013: MOMables!

With school here, sometimes the menu planning can get a little hectic.  Do you find yourself in a rut and want some new ideas?

MOMables to the rescue!

MOMables is a school lunch meal planning service that helps parents feed their kids a variety of lunches they will love. Their one simple plan approach has built in substitutions for vegetarian, gluten free and nut free options when needed (it is not a dairy free or vegan plan).

MOMables was started by Laura Fuentes, a mom of 3 kids under seven years old, to help other parents get out of the lunch packing rut. MOMables offers a weekly school lunch meal plan with 5 lunch ideas, a prep-ahead sheet and a shopping list to help us busy parents feed our kids good food they will actually eat for only $6 per month!

Laura has been kind enough to offer my readers a sample week of MOMables for FREE, when you sign up for their weekly newsletter. It’s also loaded with free recipes, tips and so much more.

In addition, one lucky reader will win a free 3-month subscription to MOMables menus!

Enter on the rafflecopter below, and good luck!  Mandatory entries are to leave a blog comment about your go-to school lunch, to follow MOMables on facebook, and to sign up for their weekly newsletter.  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stay tuned for more Back-to-School giveaways to come!

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Family Lunches: 8.30.13 (With Hotdog Tacos!)

It's the first Friday of the school year!
Bagel sandwich: 28g, melon: 5g, cucumber: 2g, feta: 1g, bbq corn kernels, cinnamon cookies: 2g

The Boy has a banana for snack (not pictured, 28g).  His lunch is in a Yumbox, and he has melon, cucumber, feta cheese, Naturebox BBQ Kettle Kernels, a mini whole wheat bagel with pesto, lettuce from my CSA, liverwurst, and Monterey Jack cheese, and some cinnamon crackers.

Hotdog Taco filling
For dinner on Thursday night, I made up something I called Hotdog Tacos - the filling was sliced hot dogs, corn, and white beans, with some taco seasoning.  We all loved them!

The Girl asked for leftovers in her lunch, so she has a couple Hotdog Tacos, a pluot, strawberries, a string cheese, and some cinnamon crackers, packed in an Easylunchbox.  Do you like her Mexican dog?  For snack, she has a Chobani Champions yogurt and a banana (not pictured).

I have a salad with feta cheese, some salsa in an Easylunchboxes Mini Dipper, crumbled up taco shells so I can make my salad a taco salad, and a pluot, in my Easylunchbox.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Family Lunches: 8.29.13

The first day of school went smoothly for the kiddos.  I hope that all of you who are sending your kids off to school this week are having a smooth transition.

I have lunches packed for the whole family.

Bagel Sandwich: 25g, raisins: 10g. fruit: 5g, veggies & ranch: 2g, cinnamon cookies: 15g, yogurt: 9g

The Boy has melon and strawberries, some thinly sliced carrots, cucumber and radish with ranch (from my CSA!), a mini whole wheat bagel with pesto, lettuce, Muenster, and a little liverwurst, Chillin' Cherry Chobani Champions yogurt, raisins, and some cinnamon cookies, all packed in an Easylunchbox.  For snack, he will have a banana (not pictured, 28g)

The Girl has a pluot, strawberries, thinly sliced carrots, a mini whole wheat bagel with Miracle Whip, Cabot cheddar cheese, ham, and lettuce, along with some cinnamon cookies and a new Flying Dragonfruit Chobani Champions, all packed in an Easylunchbox.  She has a banana for snack (not pictured).

The Hubby and I have CSA Salad (Greens, with thinly sliced veggies - he has just cucumber, and I have cucumber, carrot, and radish - personal preferences), with some Italian dressing, along with half an apple, and half a mini whole wheat bagel with cheddar cheese, in our Easylunchboxes.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lunches: 8.28.13 - First Day of School!

It's Back-to-School Day!  Just in time for the season, I have been featured in a local Kids monthly newspaper, Kids VT!  I'm pretty excited.  It was really fun being interviewed and having the photographer here... So, to any new readers, welcome!  Stay tuned for more Back-to-School Giveaways in the weeks to come.
Bus crackers: 20g, Liverwurst: 1g, carrot & ranch: 1g, fruit salad: 5g, feta cheese: 1g, cinnamon crackers: 3g
The Boy is going into 2nd grade.  His schedule is a bit different this year at school, and he will have a light (low carb, and thus insulin-free) morning snack, and a larger afternoon snack.  His morning snack is a cheese stick, and his afternoon snack is a banana (28 g) He asked that his first day lunch be in his Yumbox.  He has some school bus shaped "crackers" I made with thinly rolled pizza dough, liverwurst (also pressed with the school bus press), carrots ribbons with ranch dressing, a fruit salad with melon, strawberries, and apple, with some more apple in the compartment with the feta cheese, and some star cinnamon crackers.

The Girl is going into 5th grade.  Her snack is a banana.  Her lunch is in an EasyLunchbox.  She has some of my school bus shaped "crackers" along with ham and cheddar rolls, carrot ribbons, some fruit salad with strawberries and apple, and a pluot.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back to School 2013: King Arthur Flour Giveaway (And King Arthur Flour's Bakers' Harvest Festival)!

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of King Arthur Flour.  Last year, I was invited to their Blog & Bake, and I try to make at least one trip down to the store each summer, just to be in my happy place.

In a couple of weeks, King Arthur is having a Bakers' Harvest Festival.  I don't think I will be able to go, but I wanted to share the information with you.

If anyone happens to be near their Store, Bakery, and Education Center in Norwich, VT (or if you are up for the road trip!), the public celebration is from 10 AM - 4 PM on Saturday, September 7th.  There will be hands-on baking education, activities for kids and grown-ups alike, and the first-ever live baking competition at King Arthur Flour.

The Baking competition is BakeRace: Apple Challenge.  Amateur King Arthur Flour employee-owners will face off against one another, followed by the professional King Arthur Flour bakers.  It is sure to be entertaining!

If you don't want to compete, you can still watch, and it is bound to be a lot of fun.

For pre-registered attendees, there is also a baking education conference on September 5th.  The conference will have hands-on classes and seminars from KAF's experts as well as special guest instructors including Gesine Bullock-Prado, former White House Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier.

There will be a fund-raising tasting supper on Friday, September 6th to benefit Hunger Free Vermont.

For more information about any of the festivities, or to register for the conference and tasting supper, go to

Now for the fun part - If you cannot attend the Bakers' Harvest Festival, you can still enter to win my Back-to-School Giveaway!

Ready for all your baking needs, you can enter on the Rafflecopter below to win a 5lb bag of King Arthur Flour White Whole Wheat flour, along with a great 15" Dough Whisk (I never knew I needed one until I had one... then I knew I needed it all along)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, and stay tuned for more Back-to-School Giveaways! 

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Back to School 2013: Lunchbox Love Giveaway!

What better way to send your child (or loved one) to school (or work) than with a little love?

I have used Lunchbox Love notes for a long time, and the kids adore them.  They call them the "Did You Know" cards, and they can't wait to share their little facts with each other.  They especially like the new jokes editions.

On one side, there is a little bit of trivia or a joke.  On the other, there is a little love note.
The great people at Lunchbox Love are offering a great prize of their new Volumes 49-52, which include 3 with trivia and 1 with jokes to one of my lucky readers.  There are even different volumes for holidays.

They have enough volumes that you can go through the whole school year without repeats - more than once!

If you don't want to wait to see if you've won, you can order using the code FB20BTS to get 20% off and Free Shipping on an order placed before 8/19.
Good luck, and stay tuned - I have more Back-to-School fun to come!

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Lunches for an Outing: Silver Lake

Don't miss my AllThingsForSale Giveaway!

Yesterday, we took a two hour drive to what we hoped would be a good hike - Silver Lake and the Falls of Lana.  Well, my GPS brought up to the Silver Lake side, and the falls were a 5 mile hike, and it started raining.. so we decided to keep them for another day.

I cannot complain about the hike/nature walk we did have, though!  We drove through the Green Mountain National Forest, and it was beautiful.  After a short walk, we got to the lake, where there were loons!  We heard them calling to each other, which was just amazing.

I packed lunches as if we would be hiking 5 miles - so not all of this was eaten by the children.

For lunches, The Boy had a wrap with hummus, lettuce, turkey, and Muenster, along with strawberries, yellow watermelon, a granola bar, cheddar pretzels, and cheddar goldfish puffs.

The Girl had a wrap with hummus, lettuce, turkey, and Cheddar, along with strawberries, blueberries, a granola bar, cheddar pretzels, and cheddar goldfish puffs.

I had a wrap with hummus, lettuce, turkey, and Muenster, along with cherries, strawberries, a granola bar, cheddar pretzels, and cheddar goldfish puffs.

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Lunches for an Outing: Shelburne Museum

Don't miss my AllThingsForSale Giveaway!

 I have a cousin visiting from Sweden, and so the kids and I went with her to a fantastic natural history museum here that we just love.

The Girl's lunch was a bear bread sandwich with mayo, lettuce, ham, and some Cabot Smoky Bacon Cheddar cheese, along with a sugar plum, blueberries, and cheddar bacon Goldfish puffs in an Easylunchbox.

The Boy had a pumpernickel bagel with pesto, lettuce, ham, and Cabot Smoky Bacon Cheddar Cheese, with blueberries, cucumber slices, and cheddar bacon Goldfish puffs, in an Easylunchbox.

My cousin had an everything bagel with miracle whip, lettuce, ham, and Cabot Smoky Bacon Cheddar Cheese, with cucumber slices, blueberries, and cheddar bacon Goldfish puffs, in an Easylunchbox.

I had a rosemary bagel with sun dried tomato spread, lettuce, ham, and Cabot Smoky Bacon Cheddar Cheese, with cucumber slices, blueberries, and cheddar bacon Goldfish puffs, in an Easylunchbox.

It was a wonderful trip to the museum, and it was made all the nicer by having a nice lunch all ready for us.

The amazing steam ship on land

Apothecary Shop


The Boy wants ALL of these for his bedroom wall

Printing Press

The fabulous Shelburne Museum

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Back to School 2013: AllThingsForSale (with bonus reviews and recipes)

I get a lot of people asking where I get my supplies for making lunches.  For the most part, the answer is AllThingsForSale.

They have a huge variety of fun items to make food fun.  I always have a wishlist going.

Recently, they asked me to review a couple new items - the Sakura Silicone Small Donut Mold (which you could also use for gelatin or chocolate - use your imagination!), and the Japanese Loaf Pan Bread Mold - Cute Bear Shape.

No recipe for the bread pan right now (I just used store bought pizza dough!), but good news - the bread fits into an Easylunchbox!  I can't wait to make sandwiches with it.

I decided to make Cherry Blossom Tea Donuts in the mold, using my trusty mini donut pans to bake the rest of the batter.

Mini Cherry Blossom Tea Donuts

1/2 c milk
cherry blossom tea bags
1 egg
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c flour
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c confectioner's sugar
1/4 c water
2 cherry blossom tea bags
pink food coloring

For donuts:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray donut baking pans with cooking spray.  Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl.  Heat the milk in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup, and steep tea in the milk for 3 minutes.

Remove tea bags and stir in the remaining liquid ingredients.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix well.  Transfer the batter to a piping bag and fill the donut pans about half full.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned and cooked through.  Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

For the optional glaze, heat the water and steep tea for 3 minutes.  Add a little pink food coloring. *You will likely not need all this liquid* Pour just enough tea into the confectioner's sugar to make a glaze.  (It should not be too thin)  Dip the top of the donuts into the glaze and allow to harden before enjoying.

Now for the fun part - AllThingsForSale is offering a $25 gift card to one lucky reader!  They ship worldwide, so anyone can enter.  What would you get with your gift card?  A Cute-Z-Cute cutter? Food picks? Sauce containers?  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Recipe: Black Rice Stuffed Zucchini

Don't miss my EasyLunchbox Giveaway!

A while ago, I got some black rice at Costco.  We have been loving it!  It's nutty and full of good stuff, like antioxidants and fiber, as well as some protein.  Nice for a meatless Monday dinner, I thought.  So, I grabbed some of my zucchini from my CSA share and made a delicious dinner, and everyone gobbled it up.

I had mine with some salad (also from my CSA).

Black Rice Stuffed Zucchini

3 Tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 c black rice, rinsed
2 c water or veggie broth
2 Tbsp pesto
1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
3-4 large zucchini

Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a large sauce pan.  Add onion and garlic, and saute until the onion is soft.  Stir in the rice and coat with the butter, then saute for about 5 minutes, to lightly toast it.  Add the water or broth and simmer, covered, until the rice is cooked.  Add the last tablespoon of butter, along with the pesto and the feta cheese.  Combine well.

While the rice is cooking, cut the zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the center.   Preheat the oven to 350 F.  When the rice is done cooking, scoop it into the zucchini halves and place on a baking sheet, tented with foil.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the zucchini is cooked through.  Serve and enjoy.

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Back to School 2013: EasyLunchboxes Giveaway!

It should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who has visited my blog that my number one favorite lunch boxes are Easylunchboxes.  I have a whole stack of them, both the original colors and the brights, and I use them pretty much every day.  They go through the dishwasher after every use, and are no worse for the wear.  I cannot say enough about them.  There's a reason they are the #1 Best Selling Lunch Boxes on Amazon!

I even contributed to the book.  Yes, I am one of the contributors to the Cooking with Trader Joe's: Easylunchboxes cookbook!

I want you to get the chance to love them as much as I do!

The lovely Kelly Lester from Easylunchboxes has offered to give one lucky reader a set of 4 Easylunchboxes, in the color style of their choice (Classic or Brights), along with a cooler bag in the winner's choice of color.  The cooler bags can carry up to three Easylunchbox containers, which is really handy for family outings.

If you don't want to wait and see if you are the winner, you can always buy your own set on Amazon (and get free shipping!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, and hope that you all enjoy the end of the summer!

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