Monday, May 31, 2010

Lunch: 6.1.10

Snack is five mini banana cranberry muffins and a juice.

Lunch is homemade yogurt with maple syrup, homemade granola, one piece of roll up with hummus, broccoli slaw, and muenster cheese, blueberries, a cheese stick, a hard boiled egg, and some dried plums. (Posted on What's For Lunch at Our House's Weekly Blog Carnival)

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Mom & Dad's Lunch: 6.1.10

For lunch, Daddy has some homemade yogurt with strawberry jelly, some homemade granola, watermelon, blueberries, a cheese stick, and ham on skewers.
I have homemade yogurt with some dried ginger and maple syrup, homemade granola, watermelon, blueberries, and wraps with hummus, muenster cheese and broccoli slaw.

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Lunch: 5.28.10

The girl had a hard boiled egg, some IKEA grahams, and some dried pineapple with a juice for snack.

For lunch, she had butterfly shaped ham sandwiches, half a kiwi, a babybell with a butterfly cut into it, homemade yogurt with strawberry jelly and a little maple stirred in, and some craisins in the container.

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Mom & Dad's Lunch: 5.28.10

I forgot to post this on Friday!

I had the last of my Asian pasta salad, some homemade granola with maple syrup, and the last of my mango cucumber salad.

Daddy had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a hard boiled egg, and some homemade yogurt with strawberry jelly stirred in.

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Recipe: Belgian Raisin Breakfast Bread

As part of Global Table's Cook-Along, I went in search of a recipe from Belgium that wasn't waffles or beer or stew.

I also wanted to use up some of the whey strained from my Crockpot yogurt.

I found this fantastic raisin bread.

It's completely lovely and not super sweet like a lot of raisin bread.  It didn't have any cinnamon in it (my husband asked for cinnamon in the next batch), but we put some cinnamon sugar on top of it.  I made the dough in my bread machine, but it could be done by hand.

My mother and sister asked for this recipe.  I will be making it again.  With cinnamon in it. 

Belgian Raisin Breakfast Bread

2 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c milk (or whey)
2 egg yolks
4 Tbsp butter (melted)
2 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 c raisins

Combine ingredients except for raisins in bread machine in the order specified by your machine.  Set on dough setting, adding more flour or more whey to get a non-sticky dough that sticks together.  Near the end of the cycle, add in the raisins (my machine beeps when it's time to add things that you want to stay more or less whole).

After the dough cycle is done, press the dough into a rectangle. To form a loaf, make sure the surface of the dough is free of any excess flour, then stretch the dough into a rough rectangle. Fold in the short ends of the dough until it is approximately the length of the pan, then fold the far long edge over to the middle. Fold over the other long side and compress to form a tight cylinder. Place the dough in the pan, seam side down. Cover with buttered plastic wrap. Allow the loaf to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

When the loaf is almost doubled, set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.  When the loaf has completely risen, place in the oven and bake until it is deep golden and the internal temperature is about 200 degrees, about 30 minutes.

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Giveaway: Easy LunchBox Winner!

Using, I selected a winner, and that winner is:

Jennifer said...
Definitely purple for my girlie girls!! We love crackers and cheese, fruits and veggies, nuts, and a little treat!!  Congratualations! I'll send your contact information to Kelly over at Easy LunchBox!
Thanks to everyone who entered! 

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Recipe Reminder: Granola

I've got a batch of granola in the oven right now, and I thought I would post a link to my original post on granola, so that my new readers could check it out.

Since last time I made it, the girl didn't really love it, I left out the coconut this time.  I ran out of dry milk while making another bath of Crockpot yogurt.  Also, so I can send it in to school with no worries, I've left out the nuts.

So you see, this is very forgiving.

Try making your own!  Granola is delicious and can be very healthy and lunch-worthy.

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Recipe: Banana Cranberry Mini Muffins

The winner to my Easy LunchBox Giveaway will be drawn tomorrow morning!  Make sure you get your entry in!

I absolutely failed to take pictures while baking, but these are delicious.  I used all whole wheat flour, and the result was nice and moist.  I chopped up the cranberries frozen in my food processor.  Simple.

Banana Cranberry Mini Muffins

1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3-4 riped bananas
1 cup chopped cranberries
1-1/2 whole wheat flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix butter, sugar, and eggs until creamed.  Add bananas and mix until well mashed.  Stir in cranberries, and then add dry ingredients.  Preheat oven to 350 F, and scoop into mini-muffin tins (greased or lined with papers) and bake for ~12-15 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.  Makes ~72 mini muffins.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lunch: 5.27.10

Make sure to get your entry into the Easy LunchBox Giveaway!

For snack, the girl has a bear shaped hard boiled egg (though it was a small egg, and the ears didn't really happen...), a container full of IKEA grahams, a container of craisins & raisins, and a juice.

For lunch, she has some homemade yogurt with strawberry jam and honey stirred in, cheese stick and ham skewers, a blackberry nutrigrain bar, half a kiwi, and a container of dried pineapple.

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Mom's Lunch: 5.27.10

Easy LunchBox giveaway is still going on!  Enter now if you haven't already!

I've got some Asian Tuna Pasta Salad, my mango & cucumber salad, and some of my homemade crockpot Greek yogurt with some maple syrup stirred in.  I am a Vermonter, after all...

I put some saran over the top of the yogurt compartment of the Easy LunchBox.  I did that in Daddy's lunch yesterday, and it worked well.

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Recipe: Striped Pasta

(There's still plenty of time to enter my Easy LunchBox Giveaway!)

I have leftover pasta dough from the other night (and there is still more!  It's too hot too cook!), so I decided to try making striped noodles.  I'm saving them for another (not so hot) day, but I shaped them tonight.  If they don't dry in this humidity, I'll toss them in my dehydrator for a couple hours.

And oh, do they look cool.

They are pretty easy, too.

First, pick a base color.  I went with the pumpkin, because it's lighter than the others.  Roll it into a flat sheet (setting 6 on my Atlas pasta machine).  Cover with a towel.

Next, roll each of the other colors into flat sheets and cut into thin strips.  I did the cutting by hand, but you could use the machine, too.

Lay the strips on the base color.  Press them down by hand to attach lightly, and then roll through the pasta machine again to secure them and make them into single striped sheets.

Cut into desired shape and let dry.  I made thick pasta with frilled edges and twisted them to make a fun shape.  I am not Italian and have no idea what this shape might be called, but it's pretty.

Ravioli would be really cool striped.  Since I want to save this pasta and not cook it tonight, ravioli is out.

I love experimenting with my pasta machine! The kids should love this.  (That's flour on the pasta, by the way)

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lunch: 5.26.10 (In an Easy LunchBox)

Don't forget to enter my Easy LunchBox giveaway!

The girl has chicks hatching in her classroom currently, so I thought I would give her some chick sandwiches. 

Snack is some chick shaped tea jelly sandwiches, dried pineapple, and a juice.

Lunch is a couple pieces of the wrap from my lunch (honey smoked turkey, muenster, broccoli slaw, and light miracle whip), some homemade Greek style yogurt with a little honey, a light string cheese, half a kiwi, and some goldfish crackers in the monkey (which, by the way, came from Rite Aid filled with Easter candy.  Someone was asking)

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Mom's Lunch: 5.26.10 (In an Easy LunchBox)

Don't forget to enter my Easy LunchBox giveaway!

Daddy had to get more bread, so I've just got my lunch to post today.

I've got some blueberry Chobani yogurt (have to use up my store bought yogurt, even though I made yogurt!), three pieces of a roll up with light miracle whip, muenster cheese, broccoli slaw, and honey smoked turkey, mango & cucumber salad, and half a kiwi.  I've got it in an EasyLunchbox container.

I was very very pleased at how the Easy LunchBox container and the cooler bag held up during out field trip today.  I put two small ice packs in with them, and the lunches stayed cool, even though it was about 90 F here.  Impressive, I say!

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Recipe: Homemade Greek Yogurt in my Crockpot!

(Don't miss my great Easy Lunchbox Giveaway!)

My reticence to pay for delicious expensive things that I think I could make myself has struck again.

I've declared my love of Chobani yogurt.

I saw last year that The Crockpot Lady (Stephanie) had made yogurt in her crockpot.

I had to give it a try.

And it worked!

I did have one failure.. because I didn't follow instructions.  Just follow the instructions, and you'll be fine.  (Below is my failure.  I added the yogurt starter before waiting the 3 hours.  ooops. It was a complete loss).

Stephanie has simple and easy to follow directions on her site.

Basically, here's what I did:

Mix together in a crockpot:

8 c skim milk
1/2 c dry milk powder (to help thicken it)

Heat on low for 2.5 hours.

Unplug the crockpot.  Leave the lid on, and walk away for 3 hours, to let it come to the right temperature for the live cultures to thrive.

When that 3 hours is up, leave the crockpot unplugged.  Scoop out 2 c of the warm milk and whisk in 1/2 c plain yogurt with live active cultures.  (I used one 6 oz carton of Chobani).  When that is well mixed, whisk the milk/yogurt mixture into the rest of the milk in the crockpot.  Replace the lid, wrap well in a couple towels to insulate it and keep it at the optimum temperature and leave it overnight.

In the morning, you have yogurt!  (That's whey on top)

I strained it in my yogurt wave yogurt strainer to make it into Greek style yogurt.  You could use cheesecloth or a coffee filter, too.  I like the yogurt wave because it's enclosed and easy.  Only about half fit into it.  If I end up making yogurt often, I plan on getting a second strainer.  I strained while I was at work, and when I got home - Greek yogurt!  And you can use the whey in other things, like bread.  I'll have to try that.

This makes plain yogurt.

I stirred in some honey for the kids.

I think they liked it.

Just a little.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Lunch: 5.25.10 for the girl and Mommy (in Easy LunchBoxes)

Don't miss my Easy LunchBox Giveaway!

I'm chaperoning a field trip!  It ought to be a blast.

They asked that the kids have "snacks that can fit in a pocket," so I grabbed us some Blackberry Nutrigrain bars.  Each of us have one.

For lunch, the girl has two pieces of a turkey/muenster/broccoli slaw roll up with light miracle whip, half a kiwi, a juice, some white cheddar cheez-its in the animal container, some dried plums, and some dried pineapple in the little yellow container.

I have the rest of the roll-up, some of the mango & cucumber salad from yesterday, some white cheddar cheez-its, and a snack bag of Cracker jacks.

Both of our lunches fit perfectly in the Easy LunchBox cooler bag, along with our snacks, and I'll throw a couple ice packs in before we leave tomorrow.  There's plenty of room in there.  We could fit a third container.  That's pretty awesome, if you ask me.  Since I've got them in that cooler bag and they'll be pretty tight, I didn't bother with the elastic bands for our boxes today.

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Daddy's Lunch: 5.25.10 (in an Easy LunchBox)

I'm chaperoning a field trip with the girl tomorrow, so my lunch will be posted with hers.

Don't miss my Easy LunchBox Giveaway!

Daddy's lunch is a turkey and muenster sandwich on whole wheat bread with light miracle whip, a blackberry nutrigrain bar, carrots and celery, and some peanut butter for dipping in the animal container, in an Easy LunchBox.  Daddy liked his Easy LunchBox container on Monday - he said that the compartments stayed separate and he liked that a lot.  And, I ran them through the dishwasher, and they came out perfectly!  Win on two levels!

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Recipe: Spinach Bow Ties, Beet Bowties, and a great Asian Tuna Pasta Salad with Veggies

Last year, I made Pumpkin Bowtie Pasta.  It was a blast, and delicious.

Tonight, it was 84 degrees in my house when I got home.  Yuck.  Our house has terrible circulation, and we don't have the A/C in yet.  It's a problem.

Since I made those nice salads last night, I wanted to do something different tonight.  I've been wanting to make more pasta, and it's been a while.  But it was too hot for standard pasta.  So, I decided to make pasta salad.  With homemade tri-color pasta.

Here are the recipes for the Whole Wheat Beet Pasta Dough and the Whole Wheat Spinach Pasta Dough.  I only used about 1/4 of each recipe for the bowties tonight.  The rest of the dough is in the fridge, to make more pasta later this week.  These recipes make about 1/2 lb of dough each.  I made them in my food processor, but you could make them in your stand mixer, your bread machine, or by hand if need be.

Whole Wheat Beet Pasta Dough with Flax Seed

1/2 can sliced beets, drained
1 Tbsp olive oil
~1 c whole wheat flour
~1 c white flour
1/4 c flax seed meal
2 eggs

Combine beets and olive oil in a food processor and puree as finely as possible. Add other ingredients, pulse to combine, and then process until it forms a ball of dough. It should not be sticky. If it is too sticky, add more flour. If it is too crumbly, add some of the liquid drained from the beets.

Roll (a pasta machine makes this easier) very thin, then cut into desired shapes. Let dry ~15 minutes, then boil ~3 minutes in salted water.

Whole Wheat Spinach Pasta Dough with Flax Seed

~1 c white flour
~1 c wheat flour
1/4 c flax seed meal
1 10-oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 egg

Combine in a food processor and pulse to combine. Continue processing until it forms a solid ball. If it is too sticky, add more flour. If it is too dry, add some water (or liquid drained from the spinach). Let dough rest ~15 minutes (or store in fridge for up to 3 days)

Roll (a pasta machine makes this easier) very thin, then cut into desired shapes. Let dry ~15 minutes, then boil ~3 minutes in salted water.

I formed everything into bowties tonight.  You can cut them into rectangles by hand to make the bowties, but I have this great gadget called a Pasta Bike.  I'm a gadget junkie, admittedly.

(I forgot to take a picture of my pumpkin bowties, but you can visit the old post if you would like to see them separately.)

The kids helped to form the bowties.  They also help to roll the dough through the pasta machine.  It's a family affair.

Here's the salad that I made.  It was totally thrown together with things that sounded good tonight - tuna, yellow pepper, broccoli slaw, sundried tomatoes, parsley, the cooked and drained pasta, and some Light Asian Sesame Ginger Soy dressing.

It was delicious.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Product Review & Giveaway: Easy Bento with EasyLunchBoxes!

I have another great giveaway for you, my lovely readers!
(Above image from, the others are from me)

I'd seen the Easy Lunchboxes on other blogs, and wrote to the company to ask if I might try them out, and have a giveaway (coming soon!), and Kelly was more than generous in providing me a system to try out - and she'll send one to one of my lucky readers, too!

Kelly sent me a container set and a cooler bag (and one of you will get the same thing).  The bag can fit three containers snugly, or two with an ice pack.  It's very slick.  It could also be used for other lunches, and it's got plenty of room.

The lids on the containers are meant to be easy for kids to remove.  This means that they aren't always entirely snug on their own, but I found that elastic headbands work great to keep it closed, and the girl will be able to open it without a problem.  The lids don't fall off, but one corner is generally a little loose.  They are designed that way.

I wouldn't pack anything very wet in the containers, unless you use something like Press-n-Seal.  I haven't used the stuff, but I see a lot of people who love it.  The compartments are pretty well separated by the lid, but I haven't yet seen them at lunch time (after packing at night) to see how well this actually separates it.  I will update this review when I see.

There is plenty of room in them for lunches, adult or child.  They are much sturdier than I expected them to be, and much sturdier than Ziploc or Gladware containers.  They are microwavable and dishwasher safe.  That's pretty awesome. My other containers are not.  Big bonus.
Another bonus?  A container also fits inside the girl's standard lunch box.  We like that.

(The cooler bag will be wonderful when we are out together!  I'm chaperoning a field trip on Tuesday, and we can pack both of our lunches in the same bag! That's pretty slick.)

For the girl's lunches, I will likely keep using my current bento boxes most of the time, because they are so cute.  However, I will use the Easy LunchBoxes more or less interchangeably, and will use the Easy LunchBoxes for my lunch and daddy's lunch a lot of the time.

Since my online source for cheap bento boxes (Ichiban Kan) closed up it's online shop, it's a whole lot easier to get Easy Lunchboxes than the containers I have.  If you are just starting out packing lunches, they would be a great place to start!

Here's the fun part!  Right on the heels of my last giveaway - here's another one!

Kelly at Easy Lunchboxes has agreed to provide one lucky reader with a set of containers (a 4-pack), and a cooler bag (your choice of color).  For a chance to win, just leave a comment with the color bag you would like, and some ideas to pack in the containers.  You can just leave the color, but isn't it more fun if you get a little creative?  Good luck!  Remember, I'll need a way to reach you, so if you have a blog, I can leave a message on a recent posting, or you can leave an email address (with spaces if you like). 

I will pick a winner on Memorial Day, May 31, 2010, at approximately 10 AM, EST, via

A note from EasyLunchboxes
We prefer to offer the giveaway for US & Canadian customers only, in order to keep our shipping costs down. 
We have the right to disqualify a winner if they have won or received free product from us within the past 3 months.

Disclaimer:  I received the cooler box and the container set to review free of charge.  Other than that, I have received no compensation for this review & giveaway.

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Lunch: 5.24.10 (in an Easy Lunch Box!)

For snack, the girl has some strawberry Chobani, a babybell, and some juice.

For lunch (in her new Easy LunchBox), she has a roll up of hummus, lettuce, honey ham, and muenster cheese, white cheddar Cheez-its (in the Hippo), yogurt raisins (in the kitty), a hard boiled egg, and half a kiwi.

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Mom & Dad's Lunch: 5.24.10 (in an Easy Lunch Box!)

I made two delicious salads for dinner - it was ridiculously hot and I didn't feel like cooking dinner.

First, I made a chef salad with lettuce, grape tomatoes, celery, carrots, ham, and hard boiled eggs.

Second, I made a salad of mango and cucumber, a little basil, a little olive oil, and a teaspoon or so of sugar.

So, for lunch, Daddy and I have some salad (and some other things), in our new Easy Lunchboxes.

Daddy has some chef salad with ranch dressing, a hard boiled egg, and some strawberries (he doesn't like mangoes).

I have some chef salad with Asian Ginger Sesame dressing, some mango & cucumber salad, and a cheese stick.

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