Thursday, January 31, 2013

Transportation themed lunches | beep! honk! zoom!

Two lunches for my littlest tot, Tyler. Tyler, like a lot of little boys, loooooves anything with wheels or wings. He is totally infatuated with all things truck, tractor, and turbo jet.

I don't pack too many lunches yet for Tyler, because he is only in morning preschool and is home by lunchtime. But we do run the occasional outing when a lunch-on-the-go is in order. These were two such meals. 

PlanetBox car

Packed in a PlanetBox:
- peanut butter & jelly sandwich, cut with his favorite Lunch Punch (wheels are fruit leather, cut with two circle mini cutters)
- Wheat Thin crackers & cheddar cheese shaped cars
- cucumber shaped cars with little carrot wheels
- mixed fruit of clementine segments, raspberries, & pomegranate seeds
- chocolate/candy coated sunflower kernels in the middle

transportation Gerber Box bento

This lunch is packed in a Gerber Mealtime Organizer box. This lunch contained:
- a sandwich, I think it was ham & cheese (but I don't really remember)
- pretzels
- cucumber slices and carrots
- clementine segments and raspberries

The sandwich was cut and sealed using my sandwich sealer, and I stamped a car and plane on the top piece using this cut & stamp set. I didn't press hard enough though (and the bread was a bit on the older/less soft side, so the impressions didn't come out so clearly. The cut, stamp, and seal process is described in more detail in this post.  

Supplies used to make these lunches:

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Laptop Lunches & Bynto boxes | pretzels & puzzles

Last week I finally made soft pretzels.  I say "finally" because it's something I've wanted to do for a very long time. I've made them before, but always the easy way -- by baking only. And those turned out okay... but never developed that dark pretzel-brown color and the crust never tasted pretzely. They were more like salted breadsticks. ;)  The "real" way to make soft pretzels involves boiling the dough before baking and that step always scared me away. Anywho... I finally put my big girl pants and gave them a shot. 

homemade soft pretzels!

Gorgeous pretzels. That taste pretzely.  
One thing I know: I hate rolling dough. I always have. Rolling pins and I don't get along. Not that pretzels need a rolling pin, but trying to get them into nice little loopy knot shapes was more work than I cared to commit to, so after trying one I moved on to other shapes. 
Ethan was very fond of the twisted wreath one, I rather liked the little loaves and round bun pretzels.

All this to say, pretzels made appearances in all of Ethan's lunches last week. He also took them for snack a couple days. 

soft pretzel and Lego Bynto bento

Ethan's lunch the next day, packed in a Bynto box:
- strawberries and grapes, in a jumbo silicone cup (cute snowflake snack marker is from the holiday set)
- baby carrots
- homemade soft pretzel
- cheddar slices and a couple gummy worms in the mini Lego snack cube

Now this is the trouble with soft pretzels: like most fresh breads, they are best when eaten straight off the cooling rack. Warm and fresh. But the troubling thing with pretzels is that if they are salted, that salt will pull moisture out of the bread the longer it sits. So by the next morning the pretzels looked a bit droopy.  See how it's kind of bloated looking here? Thankfully Ethan still loves them just the same.

That same day Paige had this lunch, also packed in a Bynto box. She's a not a huge fan of soft pretzels, especially ones past their prime.
Hotdog bynto lunch
Her lunch:
- strawberries and grapes on cute flag bento picks, also in a jumbo silicone cup
- cucumber slices
- kosher hot dog 
- waffle pretzels and cheddar cheese flowers

Lunch for Ethan the day after. The homemade pretzels are now two days old. They are looking a bit sketchy and quite unappetizing, but Ethan is still a fan. 
Laptop Lunches soft pretzel bento

Packed in a Laptop Lunches box:
- sketchy homemade pretzel
- cheddar cheese slices
- mixed fruit party of granny smith apple slices, strawberries, and grapes
- baby carrots, and a couple gummy worm treats in the mini Lego block

Paige also had a Laptop Lunches lunch this day...

Laptop Lunches puzzle sandwich

I used the large box from a Laptop Lunches Bento Buddies set to take the place of the two medium sized boxes that are usually on the left side. In that large Bento Buddies box she has a ham and cheese sandwich on multigrain. The sandwich was cut using a Lunch Punch puzzle cutter, and then the small puzzle pieces are secured with little bento picks. 
A couple pretzel rods fill in the bottom.

The sides are cucumber slices, a few Hello Panda cookies, and another fruit party with apples, strawberries, and grapes. 

Supplies used to pack these lunches:
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Star Wars lunches | R2D2, C3PO, & Chewy

New Star Wars cookie cutters!  I saw the other day that Williams-Sonoma had introduced another set of Star Wars cookie cutters and I ordered them straight away. 
This one is the best yet, I think. The Star Wars Droids & Aliens Cookie Cutter Set  features a Jawa, Chewbacca, C3PO, and...R2D2!! Hello awesome!

The set had just arrived and Paige was checking them out. "Oh! It's R2D2! And his gold robot friend who is always by his side."  I thought that was such a cute description of the droid friendship. ;)  And I was a bit proud my little five year old daughter remembered the main droids name. Three brothers and all, you know. 

When it came to lunch today Paige picked a different character though. This was our conversation...
Paige: mama, can I have a Star Wars lunch with the new shapes?
Me: yep! which one do you want?
Paige: the Hairy Man.
Me: *busting out laughing*
Paige, trying to be taken seriously: You know, the Bigfoot Guy?
Me: *gasping for air*

I guess her brothers still have a thing or two to teach her. :)

Lunchbots Star Wars bento Chewbacca Wookie lunch

Packed in a Lunchbots Trio box:
- homemade rosemary bread, cut and stamped with the Chewbacca cookie cutter
- salami slices and cheddar cheese stars
- strawberries and grapes

Ethan had a Star Wars lunch too. It's been a really long time since I've packed one for him. The Star Wars cutters just don't look as awesome when used on cheese. Cheddar Yodacheesy battleships, and grilled cheese Vadar just don't do it for me.  But thanks to Ethan's obsession with rosemary bread, we finally get regular ole bready Star Wars guys. YAY.

Star Wars PlanetBox lunch R2D2 C3PO bento

Packed in a PlanetBox:
- Rosemary bread "sandwiches" (extra virgin olive oil and red pepper flakes in the middle) shaped like R2D2 and his gold robot friend
- strawberries and grapes, with fun light saber pick
- peppered turkey and cheddar cheese cars
- carrots
- small bit of yummy peppermint dark chocolate

I will admit, I could use some Star Wars schooling too. Actually, I was schooled by my 11 year old when I referred to the 4th shape (not used in these lunches) as an Ewok. Ethan quickly informed me it was a Jawa. I argued with him up until he uttered the words "I'll bet you a Lego set!". After referring back to the package and reading the fine print, it turns out he was correct. Whatever. 

Supplies used to pack these galactic lunches:

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Muffin Tin Monday | mooving to a new home

Happy Monday!

This muffin tin may appear an unassuming meal, but it was actually prepared with a special message in mind.

If you have arrived here from link-up, then you have likely already read the news that Muffin Tin Monday is moving. If you have arrived here by some other means, then, surprise! Muffin Tin Monday is moving to a new home. This is the last week MTM will be hosted at its current place. 

Say what? Muffin Tin Monday will no longer be at 
Yep. It's true. The Muffin Tin Mom herself is hanging up her apron. After 4 1/2 years of hosting MTM, Michelle is passing on the tin to follow other personal and business pursuits.

So today I have a mooving to a new home themed muffin tin meal:

MTM - mooving day

Across the back row:
- a hardboiled egg cow, to announce MTM is mooving to a new home (info on how to make a cow egg can be found in this post)
- peas in a heart shaped silicone cup
- home shaped cucumber slices 

Front row:
- checkered apple slice
- the moving truck!  pb&j sandwich with arrow shaped fruit leather on top
- sausage and cheddar cubes on a giraffe pick

Can you guess what the peas in the heart cup, the checkered apple, and the giraffe pick have to do with the mooving themed lunch?

MTM mooving to a new home giraffe pick

They are all elements of my logo, header, and design here at 

Yep, the new home for Muffin Tin Monday is this home, :) 
Welcome MTM! 

What does this mean?
It means that the link-up for Muffin Tin Monday will happen here.

That's basically it. It's not really that big of a shake-up. :)

Other information:

Themes are coming back!  
  •  I've written out two pages of theme ideas for the coming MTM's. I haven't matched them all up on the calendar for a schedule just yet.  
  •  If you have an idea for a theme you'd like to see put on the docket, please leave a comment and I'll add it to the list. :)
  •  As always and forever, following the scheduled theme is totally optional!  You may link up any muffin tin meal you've prepared, it doesn't have to match the suggested theme.
  • Next week (Feb. 4) I will be following a "GAME" theme. It's the day after the Super Bowl, from what I can gather, so that is one route you could take it. GAME can be any game though, a sports game/team, board game, video game, playground game. Let your imagination be your guide. :)  Of course you can toss the game theme out all together and follow your own notions. It's all good. 

Linking up!
  • The Muffin Tin Monday post with link-up will go live Monday mornings. 10am EST, that's 9am CST, 7am PST. 
  • Anyone may join in! Bloggers and non-bloggers alike. If you do not have a blog you can upload your MTM photo online somewhere and link up that way. From your Facebook account, Photobucket, Flickr, etc. As long as the photo is marked "public" (not locked up with privacy settings) it should work. 
  • Include a link back to the original muffin tin post. There will be a button available to include in your post if you wish. 
  • Visit other MTM linker-uppers and check out their muffin tin meals! Leave a comment or two. It's fun to receive comments, make someone's day and say something nice. :)

I think that's all I can think of for now. I'll be adding a page to this blog soon with info, the theme schedule, and whatever else I shake out of my head. :)

**** UPDATE: a whole new information page is up for MTM, including the schedule of themes. 
Take a look here - that page will be updated regularly to reflect the current line-up!

Supplies used to make this muffin tin meal:
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

EasyLunchboxes | piggie packed pig pen

And yet another fun lunch we enjoyed last week while playing with the CuteZCute cutter set was this one. 

This was Paige's pick. She has been our little piggie in every way imaginable since the day she was born. Happily, she enjoys piggie stuff as much as we enjoy associating them with her (said in the most affectionate way possible, of course!).  It could have something to do with them usually being pink. :)

pig pen ELB bento lunch

Packed in our EasyLunchboxes container:
- piggie face sandwiches, cut with the CuteZCute cutter set
- fence rails (waffle pretzels)
- feeding trough (mix of berries, grapes and cucumber pieces)
- mud puddle (chocolate pudding with pig shaped sprinkles)

**psst! Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for a CuteZCute cutter kit of your very own! :) Winner will be chosen tonight!

Supplies used to pack this lunch:

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