Category: Lunchbox

Seriously, just let them eat cake. Or peanuts.

What’s the big deal? “Let them eat cake!!” All she wanted was for those people to be able to eat cake! I meannnnnn, it’s not that hard of a concept. Have you seen the movie, Marie Antoinette? I only watched it because I like cake and shoes. Isn’t this scene below so beautiful? I have to be perfectly frank though (Can I just be Garth?!), I’d rather eat cake than get a pedi.

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I also like Marie (we’re on a first name basis) because we share the same concerns (if I were in her shoes, get it?? Shoes!).

“But how will I eat cake if my head is over there, and my hands are over here?”
-Marie Antoinette
My kind of gal.
At the end of the day, all she wanted was to share cake. Or at least eat hers and let them eat theirs. Whatevs.
Let them eat cake
At the end of my day, all I want to do is share cake, too. Yesterday, I did that. I made birthday cupcakes for a friend and also shared some of the same recipe with my Mommy group at church. I think [I hope!] it was a hit. I’ve shared this recipe on this blog before.
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http://www.traceysculinaryadventures.com/2013/04/cookie-dough-stuffed-dark-chocolate.html#.UmRTarPMISk
Happiness is Cupcakes
While I was there, I had many friends tell me that they’ve been reading this blog and that they’ve been enjoying it! THANK YOU. That encouragement means a great deal to me. It makes me feel so good to know that not only am I having a creative catharsis, but that some people, other than me, actually get enjoyment out of it!
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It’s nice to show who I am…I am so grateful to have this blog to help piece me together…and so many wonderful friends to encourage that and foster my oddball sense of individuality.
Required Cake
Can I get a “Heck yes!”?!
And since we are on the topic of cake, which I so often am…let’s take a peek at this cake I made a while back. I made it for Husband’s birthday. It was easy and everything on it was homemade (also easy!). It’s a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, with mini chocolate chip cookies and homemade Sno-Caps on them. My husband doesn’t quite have the sweet tooth I have, but he LOVES chocolate chip cookies and ALWAYS gets Sno-Caps at the movies. And I believe cake is a must on a birthday. So I combined them all…because I do what I want (lol). That hasn’t gotten old for me yet!
Cake
https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=184&name=HERSHEY%27S-PERFECTLY-CHOCOLATE-Chocolate-Cake
The Faux-Caps were easy. I put chocolate chips on a piece of tin foil and placed them in my toaster oven. Once they were a teensy bit melty, but still maintaining their shape, I pulled them out and covered them in colored nonpareils and put them in the fridge. I think they came out cute. It was enjoyed.
Cake is Life
I couldn’t have said it more beautifully.
I hope you have the opportunity to make (more importantly, to EAT) cake soon. I feel it’s important to always have a cake on the horizon.
Julia Cake
Yes, Mrs. Child, YES.
Eat Cake for Breakfast
I need this bag in my life.
Also, I made Bigs an elephant themed lunch. It’s Pilgrim Day at school, but I just can’t seem to rally this morning. What’s adorable about elephants to us is the way Bigs says the word. He can say the word very well (he’s well-spoken), but he still uses the word he made up for them when he couldn’t say “elephant”. He calls them “Brrr-eat-peanuts”. Isn’t that adorable? It’s also BRILLIANT, if I can say so on his behalf. Elephants say, “Brrrr!” and they eat peanuts. He’s a genius. <3 I just hope that Smalls picks up the same word from Bigs so we can enjoy it for a while longer.
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He has an elephant shaped crunchy (since Brrr-eat-peanuts EATS peanuts) PB&J and I used my Food Writers for the eye, crusts for the elephant to stand on, pretzels, an almond Hershey’s Kiss and a mix of mandarin oranges (washed of their syrup) and grapes.
Life is short. Eat the cake. And call elephants “Brrr-eat-peanuts” forever. Have a blessed day,
Kristin

“But I don’t WANNA go to China!”

food i ate

Ni hao. I love food. Did you already know that about me? Just in case you didn’t, I love food. And since it’s so hard to travel and eat my around the world with a 3 and 1 year old in tow, I did the next best thing. I went to an around-the-world-themed Food & Wine Festival with my family. It was a lovely day. I’d never done this before…it’s my (fig) jam now. I love it. I could have eaten something at all the represented countries there, but I AM on a budget. And I need to keep my girlish figure. BAH! Anyone who knows me, knows I’d rather eat than worry about ‘dat waist.

In our “travels”, we ate  Morello Cherry Pistachio Mousse and  Frozen S’mores from the Desserts & Champagne booth (started with dessert…it’s been my personal philosophy since I was a wee one), a Potato & Leek Waffle with Braised Beef in Belgium, Venison Sausage with Pickled Mushrooms, Baby Arugula and Black Currant Reduction in New Zealand, a Harissa Chicken Roll in Morocco, Almond-crusted Blue Cheese Soufflé with Fig Jam at the Cheese booth, and in China, a Mongolian Beef in a Steamed Bun and Coconut Silk Ice Cream Ribbon. When my older son Bigs asked where we were going next, I told him (with gusto, I might add), “China!”. He replied with, “But I don’t wanna go to China!!”. He quickly changed his mind when he saw that we got ice cream there. 😀 Kid after my own heart.

me eating

Here I am eating my Chinese Beef and Silk Ice Cream on top of my kids’ stroller. That’s how I roll. Well, I guess that’s how they roll…with me and my food on top.

Food has been a huge part of the journey in finding myself. And on that journey, I’ve discovered just how much I love Asian desserts. Like, obsessed. It’s weird. I have always loved Chinese, Japanese and Thai food. But their desserts… I can’t even. So good. And my all time favorite of such desserts is the SESAME BALL. Tell me you’ve had them. It’s okay if you haven’t. More for me. They are balls glutinous rice and are rolled in sesame seeds and fried. And filled with sweetened bean paste. They are in my top 3 favorite foods. SO good. I get sesame balls on my birthday each year.

AsianSesame

These are some of the sesame balls I’ve gotten over the years.

Each year, around my birthday, we make what I call my Asian grocery pilgrimage. I pick up all kinds of yummy Asian treats – sesame balls, shrimp puffs, BBQ pork-filled steamed buns, purple yams, lychees, mochi, pineapple buns, coconut buns, egg tarts, taro buns. Oh, I could go on. I love it. My sweet husband knows what I want to do on my birthday and just let’s me go nuts.

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Mochi that I’ve gotten over the years.

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Other Asian treats I’ve gotten.

My Mom once had to travel to Malaysia and Japan for work and brought me all kinds of goodies. It’s sort of a strange attraction I have to the Asian sweets. They are so cute and always so well put together, not to mention delicious.

What are some of your “odd” food obsessions?

Oh. And I made a lunch for Bigs. And it is freaky. Not on purpose. I think it’s the eyes. I mean, sometimes things don’t turn out how they are supposed to. I gotta keep it real. Sorry Bigs! Mommy still loves you. <3

BearScare

It’s a bear shaped PB&J that I sprayed gold(ish), using food safe spray. I used my Food Writers for the weird nose and mouth and candies for the [freaky] eyes. He also has corn and carrots, a few pretzels, some bear shaped cookies and a squeezy fruit.

Zàijiàn (Goodbye in Chinese…I THINK, try not to quote me on that one),

Kristin

In the Cold November Rain

HelloNovember

Hello, November. I really am excited to see you. I love this time of year. You offer so many lovely things. I know it’s already the 5th and that I’ve already posted in this month. It’s just that I am excited that it’s November and I’m celebrating that. I do what I want.

I do what I want

I do what I want 2

Anyways. Autumn.

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Even though this past summer was the most fun of my entire life, I am so excited to have this time of year upon us. I love most everything about it.

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I love crispy fall weather and crispy fall leaves. I love wearing boots and jackets. And I REALLY love dressing my boys up in cozy, warm clothes. Kids’ winter clothes are so adorable.

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‘Tis a most wonderful time of the year, indeed! And it’s a whole new set of kid lunches. They could be filled with Pilgrims, Indians and cornucopias…none of which I’ll do or you’ll see since I’m not that talented.

Sunflowers

Today, in Bigs’ class, they are learning about sunflowers and corn. It IS the month of harvest, after all. I made a PB&J and used circles to make a flower design (I couldn’t quite freehand the sunflower shape and to be honest, this isn’t even a sunflower shape, but he won’t notice!) and filled the circles with brown and yellow sprinkles. It IS my blog’s namesake. I put the circles of bread below. He also has corn, natch. And I put some pretzel sticks, mini Nilla wafers and three candy corn in the bottom compartment. Too bad they aren’t learning about CARROTS in his class. I have lots. 😉 He’s got those yummy homemade fruit snacks and a box of raisins for snack time.

Today, I am thankful for the gentle rain this early morning that gave me a few reflective moments of peace. Despite the song lyric as a title, it wasn’t cold. But it was peaceful.

And also, I’m thankful for Pinterest.

Hello, November. Please be good to us!

Kristin

Chocolates, malts and caramels, oh my!

HappyHalloween

Happy Halloween!

It'sthegreatpumpkin

So, here it is…the last day of Halloween lunches. I am excited to move on to the next holiday, because that means new and exciting times with my family.  The only thing that makes me sad is that this will be the last (as will always be the case, I suppose!) Halloween where my two special boys will be this small, and their level of discovery about this holiday so new.  🙁 It just serves as a reminder to relish every single second with them. Today, I made a Halloween lunch for Bigs. He is SO excited about this holiday. It’s the first time he “gets it”. I hope these lunches I do for him help keep him excited…just about life in general! He sure makes my life exciting! And wonderful. And full. And fulfilled.

HappyHalloweenLunch

Today’s lunch is a “scaredy” cat shaped PB&J, with crusts underneath (waste not, want not!!), pretzel sticks, a gummy worm for dessert, mandarin oranges (I gently washed off the juice they were packaged in), grapes and the little yellow container has alphabet noodles with corn in it.

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Wouldn’t it be fun to go to a party like this?

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Hoping you all have a not-so-spooky (unless that’s what you like, we don’t “do” too much spooky), fun-filled, sweet Halloween!

I’m hoping to find that Great Pumpkin.

Enjoy your kids’ candy (I will be),

Kristin

A rose by any other name…

…is apple. It’s apple. Did you know that? Apples are in the rose family. How sweet (lol)! Today is Apple Day in my son Bigs’ preschool class! Naturally, I had to create an apple-themed lunch for him. He’s also wearing red. Once I get a theme, I stick it out to the end. I’m nothing if not dedicated!

AppleLunch

This apple themed lunch is a PB&J, on which I used a light spritz of food-safe spray. I created a stencil. It’s not perfect, but Bigs won’t mind. 🙂 I used a Food Writer to draw on the stem. He also has natural applesauce with a few red sprinkles (blog namesake!!), some pretzel sticks and a gummy worm. I also used some of my apple themed picks. He is also taking a whole apple in as a snack.

About a month ago, my Mom made a trip to North Carolina to do some apple picking. She brought me back an amazing bunch of apples, of all different varieties. They were so lovely and fresh. I used them to make a crock pot applesauce. As I cut up each apple, I tasted each one. The flavors and textures (not to mention, their beautiful colors!) were all so unique. It is fascinating how many different varieties of the same type of fruit there are. Much like people, huh? And we all bring some unique flavor to the table! Anyways, the applesauce came out great. The boys loved it, as did I! IMG_20130930_013825

The house smelled of Autumn when these were cooking. Delicious!

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The recipe was quite simple and didn’t use any sugar. Here is the link.

http://www.scratchmommy.com/healthy-crock-pot-applesauce/

Have a saucy day,

Kristin

Halloween & Fall Time Food Roundup

Here are some fun Halloween and fall time meal and snack ideas I’ve done for Bigs in school and for us, as a family, at home. I hope you enjoy! (And you’ll have to excuse the quality and design of some of these photos – some are older and I was just learning!)

Ghostlunch

Ghost Themed Lunch: A ghost shaped PB&J, I used candy eyes and Food Writers for the mouth, seasoned corn, grapes, pretzel sticks, a tiny little marshmallow ghost and a ghost banana for snack.

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Pumpkin Themed Lunch: A pumpkin shaped PB&J, pretzels, Autumn mix (peanuts, golden raisins, candy corn), pumpkin shaped pear slices, a squeezy fruit and a bag (with pumpkin stickers) of carrots, PB for dipping and a cheese stick for snack.

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Spooky Themed Lunch: A Bat and moon shaped PB&J, two carrot mini muffins, Autumn mix, two pumpkin yogurt pretzels, corn and a squeezy fruit.

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Fall Themed Lunch: A pumpkin shaped PB & pumpkin butter on a pumpkin waffle, grapes and bananas, Autumn mix and one pumpkin yogurt pretzel.

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Harvest Themed Lunch: A PB&J jack ‘o’ lantern (cutouts filled with orange sprinkles), corn, homemade applesauce and two carrot mini muffins.

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Squirrel Themed Lunch: A squirrel shaped PB&J, crusts parading as tree branches, seasoned corn, pretzel sticks and an acorn for dessert, made using a vanilla wafer, chocolate chip and a Hershey’s kiss.

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A fun, festive snack made with toast shaped like a ghost and candy corn and spread with tinted cream cheese.

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Up close! I used decorator’s icing for the details.

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A spooky and disgusting-looking snack that grossed me out even making it: “Bandaids” made with graham crackers, cream cheese and decorator’s icing,  a ghost string cheese and a witch’s finger (string cheese, almond slice).

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And after dinner dessert for the family: spiders made from Rolos, black licorice and decorator’s icing, Autumn mallow candies.

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Hot dog mummies! These were a cinch to make and were probably my favorite! All you do is wrap crescent rolls (stretched out) around a cooked hot dog and bake. The spider web sauce is simply ketchup and mustard. These were a hit!

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Another after dinner dessert made from a simple meringue that I tinted and layered and decorated.

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Jack ‘o’ lantern cheeseburgers for dinner! It was very simple to cut the cheese (tee hee) and these were easy to make. This was also a hit!

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Jack ‘o’ lantern stuffed peppers! Delicious and so cute!

Have a festive day,

Kristin

Thanks be to God!

I have become a monster. Not the googly one-eyed, slime-slinging sort or the ever-popular Cookie sort (who can’t be all bad because he likes cookies so much), but the Yelling-Mommy sort, which is much worse. My first instinct upon seeing red-zone-bad behavior from my older son is to yell…even though we, as a family, have established our home as a No Yelling Zone. I broke the rules. How can I expect Bigs to effectively work through his emotions without yelling, when he sees me do it? It’s been a rough year, with him turning 3 and existing in that perpetual limbo of listening to us and doing what he wants. It’s hard. Some days I feel like he should be more thankful for the things I do for him. Like yesterday. I took him and Smalls to a local church’s pumpkin patch, at which he threw a tantrum. At a pumpkin patch (one of THE happiest places)…at a CHURCH. For crying out loud (literally…that’s what he did…very loudly). I stuck it out. Ride or die (and die a little inside, I did). But, I need to remind myself that he is 3. I expect too much from him. And, oppositely, he far exceeds my expectations of what a wonderful child should be.

Later, in looking through the pictures I took of my boys at the patch, I ran across one that stood out. It served as a reminder to me that there is a bigger picture. My son will not act like this forever. He will grow out of it. It is his age, and everything that comes with being 3, that is making things difficult. Not directly him. He and Smalls are my blessings. And I am so thankful for them. I need to remember the bigger picture when dealing with the tantrums. Thanks be to God for these little blessings!

ThanksbetoGod

Oh! And also, today I made a Halloween themed lunch for Bigs for school. Ghost themed, to be more specific! OooooOooh! He said it was so fun and that everything was “ghosty” and “looked at him”! Made my day! It was a ghost-shaped PB&J (I used googly eyes and Food Writers), pretzel sticks, seasoned corn, grapes and a teeny marshmallow ghost (Food Writers) for dessert. And the ghost banana was for snack.

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Have a thankful day and remember the big picture,

Kristin