Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lunch: 10.30.09 - Halloween!

Since Halloween is on a Saturday this year, I don't get to make lunch on the actual holiday.  Still, I did something a bit festive for tomorrow.  The real treats will come at the class Halloween party later, and I'm having my own Halloween party on Sunday...

Anyhow.  Snack is applesauce, a mini bagel, and juice.

Lunch is a gogurt, raisins and craisins, a jack-o-lantern baby bell, a jack-o-lantern pumpkin muffin with raisins, apple chips, bug shaped grahams, pomegranite seeds (you can't see them, they are underneath), and halloween skewered ham.

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Lunch: 10.29.09

I gave her oatmeal for breakfast today, so lunch is more standard today.

Snack is three ham & cheese mini muffins, a babybell jack-o-lantern, and juice.

Lunch is pomagranite seeds, ghost shaped pumpkin muffin with raisins, ham on halloween skewers, homemade microwave potato chips, and a raisin and cranberry mix.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Recipe: Pumpkin Bow Tie Pasta

As mentioned, I love my pasta machine.  I also love pumpkin.  I made pumpkin pasta tonight, and decided to have a little extra fun and made it into bow tie pasta!  I served it with herbed brown butter sauce.  It would have been really excellent with some toasted walnuts and/or some parmesan cheese...

So much fun!

Pumpkin Bow Tie Pasta

3/4 c pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
4 Tbsp ground flax seeds

In a food processor or by hand, combine the pumpkin and flour until they form a dough.  Using a bread machine, a stand mixer with a dough hook, or by hand, knead for about 5 minutes or until smooth.  If it's too sticky, add a little more flour.  If it's too dry, add a little water.

Cover in saran wrap and let sit for about 15 minutes.

Using a small amount at a time, roll out in pasta machine as thin as possible (setting 6 on my machine), or by hand as thin as possible into sheets.
To make into bow ties:  Cut with a knife or a pasta cutter into small rectangles (about 2 1/2" x 1 1/2").  Pinch in the middle to form bow ties.  Lay on a cutting board let dry for a few minutes.

(You can also make other shapes or linguine)

Boil a large pot of water with salt in it.  Drop pasta in (don't overcrowd the pot) and let cook for about 3 minutes.  Drain and serve with your favorite sauce.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lunch: 10.28.09

She just loves oatmeal!

Snack is oatmeal and a juice.

Lunch is homemade microwave potato chips, raisins and craisins, pomegranite seeds, ham on Halloween skewers, a ghost shaped pumpkin muffins with raisins, and some bug shaped grahams.

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Lunch: 10.27.09

I took pictures but forgot to upload them!  I'll do that later.

Snack is again oatmeal and a juice.  She loves it.

Lunch is pomagranite seeds, Bug Shaped Grahams, apple chips, ham on Halloween skewers, a babybell, and some raisins (regular and golden) and dried cranberries.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Lunch: 10.26.09

Good morning!  After a brief school break, we're back at it.

Snack is again oatmeal.  I tried to give her something else and she begged to have oatmeal.  She also has a juice.

Lunch is apple chips, a jack-o-lantern pumpkin raisin muffin, gogurt, ham on a at skewer, a babybell, and pomagranite seeds.  The girl loves those little things, so I couldn't resist the first ones I saw at the store for the year.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lunch: 10.21.09

There is no school Thursday and Friday this week (fall break), so this is the last lunch of this week.

Snack is again oatmeal with raisins and a juice.  No new pic.  It's the same.

Lunch is a hot dog in a whole wheat pumpkin tortilla, apple chips, a gogurt, apple oatmeal cookie, and some applesauce.

Good thing the girl likes apples.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Lunch: 10.20.09

Snack is again oatmeal and juice, and I added a small container of raisins for her to stir in to the oatmeal.  We'll see how long it is before she gets sick of oatmeal.

Lunch is apple sauce, apple chips (I'll post my recipe/method soon), a whole wheat pumpkin tortillas wrapped around a hot dog with some ketchup (she loves hot dogs, even cold!), a babybell, three maple button cookies, and some carrots with ranch dressing (in the yellow container)

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Lunch 10.19.09

Oatmeal in the thermos was a success!  She loved it and it was almost gone.  I sent hot water in the thermos and she mixed it up herself with the packets when it was time to eat.

Now, maybe I need more two tier boxes?   They are the only ones that fit with the thermos in the lunch box and have enough food for her lunch.  Resist!  Resist!

So, snack is again oatmeal and juice.

Lunch is homemade applesauce, homemade dried apple chips (in my dehydrator), Little Letter Cookies, a Whole Wheat Pumpkin roll up with cheese, and a hot dog on skewers with ketchup in the green containers.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Recipe: Applesauce Mini Muffins

I made homemade applesauce yesterday (again, the attack of the apples) and decided to make some Applesauce Muffins today from some of it.  Moist and light, these are great!

Applesauce Mini Muffins

6 Tbsp oil
3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2/3 c brown sugar
1 1/2 c applesauce (I used homemade, no sugar added)

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Stir together applesauce, sugar, oil, and eggs.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Scoop into greased or papered mini muffin cups.  Bake for 12 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Lunch: 10.16.09

Something a little different today.  The girl asked for oatmeal in her snack, so we are giving it a try - sending her with a thermos full of hot water, and a couple instant oatmeal packets.  She also has a juice for snack.

Lunch is in two tier box (my only one) so that the thermos fits.  The bottom tier is a whole wheat pumpkin wrap with cheddar cheese and ham, a babybell, a Apple Oat Cookie, an a couple Scrabble Cheez-its.  The top tier is strawberries and apples.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Recipe: Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Another apple recipe!  These are actually for a bake sale tomorrow, but I'll probably tuck one into the girl's lunch tomorrow.  They aren't too sweet - almost muffin-like in texture.  I like them quite a lot.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups rolled oats
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 apple - peeled, cored and shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Mix together brown sugar and margarine until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, stir until well blended. Drop on cookie sheet and bake 9 to 12 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.

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Giveaway: Not Exactly Bento & Scharffen Berger Chocolate!

Head on over to Not Exactly Bento to enter the October giveaway!  Fun bento items and chocolate - what could be better?

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Lunch: 10.15.09

Snack today is a jack-o-lantern shaped pumpkin muffin with raisins, grapes, and a juice.

Lunch is a whole wheat pumpkin wrap with cheddar cheese and ham, a gogurt, some Scrabble Cheez-its, strawberries, a heart shaped cut out of Apple Bars, some Little Letter Cookies, and a babybell.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lunch: 10.14.09

Snack is apples, a pumpkin muffin with raisins, and a juice.

Lunch is a gogurt, a whole wheat pumpkin wrap with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and turkey, Scrabble Cheez-its, a flower shaped piece of apple bar, a babybell, and some strawberries.

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Recipe: Apple Bars

I have apples coming out of my ears right now, so get ready for a lot of apple containing recipes!

These are really yummy - almost like a coffee cake.  I can cut them into shapes with cookie cutters, too, and they work well.

Apple Bars

1/4 c melted butter
1/4 c applesauce
1 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 c apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced.
1/2 c cinnamon baking bits (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease and flour an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.  In a large bowl, mix melted butter, applesauce, sugar, and egg.  Stir in flours, baking soda, and spices, and then fold in apples and cinnamon bits.  Spread batter into prepared pan.  Bake for ~40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Lunch 10.13.09

Snack is some strawberries, three cranberry pumpkin banana muffins, in a frankenstein monster shaped container from Michaels, and a juice.

Lunch is a gogurt, some homemade apple crumble (modified slightly from this recipe, with apples from our own trees!), grapes, a whole wheat pumpkin wrap with cream cheese and ham, a babybell, and a cut up apple (I'm trying Arkonite's salt water dipping technique to keep it from browning!  Hope it works!).

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lunch: 10.12.09

Happy Monday!

Snack is a jack-o-lantern shaped pumpkin muffin with raisins, grapes, and a juice (in a snazzy jack-o-lantern shaped box from Michael's craft store)

Lunch is a gogurt, carrot sticks with ranch dressing (made them with my new julienne peeler.  Very cool, if you can avoid julienning your thumb), strawberries, a whole wheat pumpkin roll up with cream cheese, sharp cheddar, and turkey, some Little Letter cookies, and three cranberry pumpkin banana oat mini muffins.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lunch: 10.9.09

Friday, and I'm starting to get into the Halloween mood, if I could just get to sewing some costumes! 

Snack is in a cool bat shaped box I got at Michael's Craft store, and is some grapes on bat picks, a pumpkin muffin with raisins, and a juice.

Lunch is whole wheat pumpkin wraps with ham and cream cheese on jack-o-lantern picks, a homemade butterscotch oatmeal cookie, a babybell, some Scrabble Cheez-its, a banana, a gogurt, and some raisins.

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Giveaway: Halloween Goodies Winner!!!

Congratulations to Alie from Food For the Boys!

(And thank you to my friend, Lisa, for helping me in the selection. seemed so... impersonal.)

You are the winner of my first ever giveaway.  If you send me a message with your email address, I will email you to get your snail mail address and I'll get the package out to you as soon as possible.

Trust me, the paper says Alie.  Stupid flash.

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Lunch: 10.8.09

Last day to enter my Halloween Giveaway!  I'll be drawing at random at about 6 PM EST.  Good luck to everyone!

Snack is a jack-o-lantern shaped pumpkin muffin with raisins, grapes, and a juice.

Lunch is a whole wheat pumpkin tortilla roll up with ham, two cranberry pumpkin banana oat mini muffins, Scrabble Cheez-its, raisins, a banana, a homemade chocolate chip cookie, and a babybell.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lunch: 10.7.09

Just today and tomorrow to enter my Halloween Giveaway!

Snack is grapes, a ghost shaped pumpkin muffin with raisins, cut in half, and a juice.

Lunch is a banana, a gogurt, a homemade chocolate chip cookie, steamed broccoli with ranch dressing, Scrabble Cheez-its, a babybell, and a ham and whole wheat pumpkin tortilla wrap.

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Recipe: Whole Wheat Pumpkin Tortillas

This is a total experiment. I love pumpkin, and it's super healthy.  I love wraps and tortillas.  They turned out really great, if I do say so myself.  The dough was really easy to work with, too.

You could even cut them with the cookie cutters from my Halloween Giveaway!

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Tortillas

1/2 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c white flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

In a food processor, pulse all ingredients together until they are crumbly, but you can press together into a ball and it stays that way.  (You may need to add more flour or some water to get the right texture)
Form into a ball, and wrap in saran wrap.  Allow to rest for ~10-15 minutes.

Divide dough into balls slightly smaller than a ping pong ball. (I got 15 from this recipe, but I made them ) Cover with a towel while rolling out. 

Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand (one at a time).  In a pasta machine, roll each ball out until very thin.  Start on the thickest setting and roll progressively thinner.  I got up to setting 6 on my pasta machine.  If you go too thin and it rips, just squish it into a ball again.  If you want to, you can cut the dough into rectangles or circles or other desired shape before cooking.  I tried for circles.

(You could also roll them with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface).

Cook tortillas on a ungreased pan on medium heat (I used my electric skillet at 300 F) for a minute or so on each side.  Small bubbles will form and they will brown slightly.  When finished cooking, transfer to a large plastic baggie and seal to keep steam in.  This will keep them soft.  Store in refrigerator.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Lunch: 10.6.09

A few more days to enter my Halloween Giveaway!

Snack is a pumpkin shaped pumkin muffin with raisins (cut in half), two cranberry, pumpkin, banana, oat muffins, grapes, and juice.

Lunch is Black Bean Pasta with mexican spiced tomato sauce (it will be in a thermos for lunch), a gogurt, a babybell, carrots and ranch dressing, some more grapes, and a homemade chocolate chip cookie.

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Recipe: Black Bean Pasta Noodles

I love my pasta machine!  I wanted to make some noodles that were different from the norm, and so I made these Black Bean Noodles.  We served them with some tomato sauce that we added some taco seasoning and cumin to.  I liked mine with a bit of salsa stirred in, too.  We topped them with shredded Mexican cheese.

(I kneaded the dough in my bread machine, but you could do it by hand.  Just do a simple internet search for techniques on making pasta by hand, it would be overkill to post it here.)

My daughter really loves them, and asked for them in her lunch tomorrow.

Black Bean Noodles

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c white flour
3 eggs
1 Tbsp olive oil

 Puree the black beans using an immersion blender, or in a food processor or blender.  In a bread machine, combine flour, black bean puree, eggs, and oil.  Allow to knead until the dough is well combined and forms a ball.  It should not be sticky or too dry when you touch it. You may need to add a little water or more flour to adjust the texture.
Cover the dough ball with saran wrap and let sit for 15-30 minutes.
Keep the dough covered with saran wrap, cutting off a small piece at a time (about palm sized).  Flatten into a disc and pass through pasta machine, progressively getting thinner and thinner until the dough is very thin - setting 6 on my pasta machine.
Cut into desired shape (I did linguine), and allow to dry on a drying rack (I used my wooden clothes drying rack) for about 10-15 minutes.
Boil a big pot of salted water.  Add noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until al dente.  Drain and serve with desired sauce.

ETA:  I just ran a nutrition calculator on the pasta itself, and I think it's pretty impressive (in a good way)

If you consider it 6 servings (there were 4 of us eating, but the kids together probably ate one serving, and I brought some in to work, and had more pasta that I didn't boil, but dried and put in the freezer), per serving the pasta's nutrition is approximately as follows:
Calories: 260
Total Fat: 5.6g
Carbohydrates: 41.1g (6.7g fiber)
Protein: 11.8g
(Vitamins and minerals over 10% rda listed below)
Folate: 28.5%
Iron: 12.4%
Manganese: 17%
Phosphorus: 12.7%
Riboflavin: 15%
Selenium: 21.8%
Thiamin: 18.9%

And that's without the sauce!  I'm pretty pleased with that.

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Giveaway: Lunchbox Limbo & Funky Monkey Snacks

I thought you all might be interested in another giveaway I stumbled across in the bento-blogosphere.  Lunchbox Limbo is having a giveaway of some fun freeze-dried fruit snacks, Funky Monkey Snacks.  Head on over there and enter!  Good luck!

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lunch: 10.5.09

Don't miss entering my Halloween Giveaway!

Monday again... working some of the fall theme.

Snack is grapes, a ghost shaped Pumpkin mini-muffin with raisins (cut in half), and a juice.

Lunch is a gogurt, a babybell, a mini fruit jelly, carrots and ranch dressing (in the container), an acorn and an owl shaped ham sandwiches on homemade rosemary whole wheat bread, Scrabble Cheez-its, a homemade chocolate chip cookie, and raisins.

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Recipe: Pumpkin Mini-Muffins with Raisins

Don't forget to enter my Halloween giveaway!

It was feeling like fall this morning, and so I made some Pumpkin Muffins with Raisins.  I got this cool pan from Wilton, too, so made some of the muffins in Halloween shapes.  Very fun.

Pumpkin Mini-Muffins with Raisins

2 c white flour
2 c whole wheat flour
2 c sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp salt
1/4 c oil
3/4 c applesauce
3/4 c boiling water
1 c raisins
4 eggs
1 15-oz can pumpkin (~2 c)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Mix together eggs, sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, and oil.  Pour boiling water over raisins and let sit to plump.  Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and mix well.  Stir in raisins and water until well blended.

Line muffin tins with papers or grease well.

Scoop muffin batter into prepared tins and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Giveaway: Halloween Goodies!

Because I love you, my readers, I decided to do a little giveaway for Halloween.

I love Halloween.  A lot.

I have a set of 12 Halloween food picks (bats, ghosts, and jack-o-lanterns), and some Halloween cookie cutters for your enjoyment (Bat, Owl, Pumpkin, Ghost, mini pumpkin).

All you have to do is leave a comment for me - something about Halloween.  Any fun Halloween Bento-worthy recipes?  What are you planning on being for Halloween?  How about your kids?

I'll do a drawing on Thursday October 8th around 6 PM, EST It will be random.  Only one entry per person, please.

I'll try to get the prize shipped out on Friday, October 9th, so as to get it to you in time for plenty of fun themed packing.

Thanks for reading!  I hope that you continue to enjoy my blog!

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Help kids in need get free lunch!

While I am not personally a fan of Lunchables, they are better than no food at all.

Kraft is giving away free lunchables to kids in need for every person that promises to drop a note in their kid's lunchbox.  I can do that.  I think you can to.

Find it here:  Lunch Note Promise

They even have printable templates for your note.

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Lunch: 10.2.09

Happy Friday!

Snack today is the last two puffins from the freezer, two cranberry pumpkin banana oat muffins, a mini fruit jelly, and a juice.

Lunch is three ham & cheese muffins, gogurt, grapes, raisins, Scrabble Cheez-its and some maple button cookies.

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