Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rainbow Sugar Cookies -- Whey free


I first saw the idea of rainbow cookies on pinterest but they were rainbow striped, rectangle cookies. I expanded on that idea -- I used a different cookie dough base, tinted it and then made curved rainbow shapes instead. These were for Amy's classroom cookie swap - it turned out that she was feeling sick again that day, so Rosie took them in for her. A classmate has an allergy to whey, so these are whey free cookies so that everyone can participate in the cookie swap :) 

Rainbow Sugar Cookies  -- Whey free
1 cup  unsalted real butter, softened
1 ¾ c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 ¼ c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking powder
liquid food colouring: red, blue, yellow, green

In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar, add in eggs & vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients one cup at a time. Do not over mix, the dough will be very soft.  Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and tint with food colouring accordingly so that you have the following colours : red, orange , yellow, green, blue and purple. Roll each colour into a ball, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for about 15-20 minutes until it’s slightly firmer.

Lightly dust a large piece of parchment paper with flour and roll out the red into a medium rectangle – about 6x10. The dough should be very thin. Then going in the order of the rainbow, roll out each subsequent colour to a similar sized rectangle and stack it on top of the red. This is the trickiest part. Use the parchment paper to flip the next colour onto the stack and then gently peel the paper away. When all of the colours have been stacked, cover with parchment paper and press together firmly, then put in the fridge for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F. When the dough is chilled, trim the edges to make a neat rectangle and cut in half into two long rectangles of 3x10. Slice 1/4inch slices, curve into a rainbow shape and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes. Leave to cool one minute on the pan and then move to cooling racks to cool completely.

Tip: it is best to leave dough in the fridge until you are ready to use it, so if you are baking 2 cookie sheets at a time and are waiting to cut and arrange the next batch -- leave the dough in the fridge until you are ready to  put the cookies on the sheet.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Flower bento for Rose


Rose's lunch
ham flower, cherry tomatoes from our garden, club crackers
mini bird cup holds a few gummy fruit snacks
red grapes, strawberry rose, cucumber slices, 
blueberries in a tulip cup, clementine

I tucked the bird cup down into the box so it would close, it's just sticking up for the photo. She ate almost everything here. She asked for these crackers so that was easy ;)

Shared on Bento Lunch

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Colourful tulip sandwich

Amy's Lunch 
clementine, strawberry rose, plums, grapes, 
cucumber slices, carrot sticks, fruit snacks
Tulip cheese sandwich that she coloured with food markers

Seriously -- I am hiding the food colouring markers for awhile. She wants to colour on everything!
We need to practice a little moderation.
-

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sealed sandwiches in a fast lunch!

for Heidi 
blueberries, string cheese, cheerios
plum slices, strawberries, fruit snacks
sealed sandwiches -- one is homemade strawberry/loquat jam, one is peanut butter

I wrote her initials on them in food colouring markers.

Sealed sandwiches are very easy to make if you have the little tool. I have this set below with a few different sizes. I use them for other things as well -- pizza pockets, cheese and onion pasties, fruit filled pastries etc... You use it open to cut the bread into a circle and then put it inside, fill it and then press it closed until it seals.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Turtle shaped sandwiches in planetboxes

Turtle sandwiches for Amy & Heidi.
they are very similar!

Amy
goldfish crackers, strawberries, plum, clementine
vitamin & a turtle shaped sandwich.
I started with the brown and then she took over and wanted to put every colour on her sandwich!

Heidi
goldfish crackers, strawberry halves, red grapes, plums
vitamin and a turtle sandwich with a cheese topper

They ate almost everything in these lunches.  Yay!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Morning Breakfast: Shirred Eggs

Sunday morning breakfast for two! The girls ate breakfast earlier ( they woke up at 6 am today!) and then the hubby and I had a later breakfast, just the two of us. This is a very easy method that I learned from the Barefoot Contessa many years ago. Thanks Ina! You can adjust it to use your favourite herbs or what you have on hand. This is the way that we LOVE it.

Shirred Eggs for two

1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp heavy cream
4 eggs, cracked into 2 prep bowls -- 2 eggs into each bowl and ready to go
a few snips of chives
2 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp fresh thyme

Turn on the broiler. Put two small gratin dishes on a baking sheet and place 1/2 a tbsp butter and 1 tbsp heavy cream into each. Put them under the broiler for about 3 minutes until they are bubbly and hot. Remove the gratin dishes from the oven and pour in the eggs, 2 into each gratin dish. Don't break the yolks! Share the parsley, thyme and chives between both dishes. Season with salt & freshly ground pepper. Return to the broiler for about 7 more minutes until the egg whites are mostly cooked. We like our whites cooked through and the yolks a bit runny. Adjust the cooking time to your tastes, upon standing they will continue to cook slightly. Keep an eye on them to make sure that they are cooking evenly, rotate as necessary. Remove from the oven and let stand for about 1 more minute. Serve with buttered toast. Be careful as the dishes are hot!

It is extremely easy to increase this recipe to accommodate more servings as you are making individual serving dishes anyway. This is also a good recipe to create for a few extra guests as it has a bit of a wow factor yet is so easy to make. 

If you don't have these cute little gratin dishes you can also use ramekins. I bought my gratin dishes at International Imports ages ago but I imagine they still keep them in stock.



Easy and Fast Planetbox lunches

These are from the same day as Rose's You're a star bento. I made these pretty fast after spending a bit of extra time figuring out what to put in Rose's lunch that was not a sandwich and not crackers again!
Some items were going in all three lunches so that obviously makes it go faster anyway. 

Amy's 
cracker jacks and the little surprise from the box, lightly steamed broccoli and cauliflower
carrot sticks & peanut nutter, apples slices, 
flower sandwich

Heidi's
blueberries and kiwi, apple pieces
corn, cauliflower, carrot sticks
cracker jacks and heart shaped ham sandwich

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hello Kitty lunch in a Monkey shaped bento box

Hello Kitty Lunch for Rosie

Bottom Tier:
Hello Kitty onigiri with fruit leather and pepperoni accents
carrot sticks, meatballs with a cup of BBQ sauce (saved from takeout!)
Hello Kitty mini container holds a few gummy fruit snacks, cherry tomato from our garden
Top Tier:
strawberry hearts, clementine, red grapes

Here it is all packed up and ready to go!
This lunchbox came from Old Navy. They had several other styles but when I went to order one in their sale it was the only design left - $1.80 a good deal! I think it's a monkey.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

You're a STAR bento for Rose

Star themed bento for Rose -- with NO SANDWICH. I asked her what she wanted for lunch today and she said I don't want a sandwich. It's official. Sandwiches are off the list!

broccoli, yellow cauliflower, carrot stars, 2 rice stars, corn, meatballs
2 cherry tomatoes from our garden
apple stars, babybel cheddar cheese, kiwi and strawberries

I included a teeny little spoon and a mini cup (saved from takeout) of BBQ sauce for her meatballs.
The broccoli and the cauliflower are lightly steamed, the carrots are raw since she wanted them crunchy.

shared on:

Bentos on the Bayou

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Planetbox lunch boxes - bear & dinos

2 very similar planetbox lunches for Amy & Heidi. I made Amy dinosaur sandwiches as she has been learning about dinosaurs at school. Heidi wanted me to use this little bear sandwich cutter one day last week (after I had already made her lunch!) so I decided to surprise her this time :)

Amy's Lunch
string cheese rounds, plums, brownie, cucumber crinkle cuts, carrot sticks
clementines, apple pieces, peanut butter for her carrots and apples
2 dinosaur shaped sandwiches

Heidi's lunch
blueberries, plums, brownie, cheese sticks, crinkle cucumbers, carrot sticks
clementine and a bear sandwich


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blueberry Kuchen Bars



I saw this recipe on 4Kowboys blog for cherry kuchen bars and wanted to try it right away! I opted to switch to my husband's favourite -- blueberry. Yum! I did not have a 15x10x1 baking sheet so I used a 9x13. The only problem was possibly making the bottom crust slightly too thick and not saving enough dough for the top. They still tasted yummy! Next time I will save at least 2 cups of dough for the top. I'm not quite sure how this works out in the larger pan, the bottom crust must be really thin and I can't quite figure out how 1 1/2 cups of dough will cover the larger top enough. Anyhow -- I recommend the 13x9 pan instead but you can certainly go with the original recipe plan and used the 15x10

Blueberry Kuchen Bars

makes - 32 bars in a 15x10 pan, I made 24 bars in a 13x9 pan
Prep: 10 minutes, Cool 10-15 minutes, bake 42 minutes
Temp: 350F

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 21oz can of blueberry pie filling -- or any other pie filling you choose

Icing to drizzle over the top:

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla or almond extract
3-4 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 350F. In a mixing bowl combine butter and shortening. Add in sugar, baking powder and salt and cream together. Add in eggs, vanilla and then the flour one cup at a time. Mix until combined. In an ungreased pan spread all but 1 1/2 (or 2 cups) of the dough on the bottom. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes - it will not be golden brown. Remove from oven and spread the pie filling over the top. Drop the remaining dough by teaspoonfuls over the top. Return to oven and bake for 30 minutes more until the top is lightly golden. Cool on a rack for AT LEAST 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk to make a thin icing. Drizzle over the top of the bars and then cool just a little bit more and cut into squares. The original recipe said to cool completely and then cut into bars. However, you can cut and serve this slightly warm  -- it tastes great both ways and cuts fine slightly warm :)

One other little booboo I made was putting my icing on the top before they had cooled enough. It looked less drizzled and kind of melted/spread all over. Still tasted great but not quite as pretty as the original photo! 










Elephants bento lunchbox


For Rose
turkey slices, string cheese circles, wheat thins crackers
cherry tomatoes from our garden, mini brownie bite
carrots sticks, crinkle cut cucumbers, 
blueberries in an elephant shaped rice mold, apples slices

Rosie is sticking to this I don't want a sandwich phase. Time for me to get a little more creative I think!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rainbow cupcakes


Easy peasy lemon squeezy! As Amy would say :) I used one box of Duncan Hines Coconut Supreme cake mix and some food colouring. I separated out the cake mix into 6 bowls and coloured them- red, orange, yellow, green, blue and a violet-y-purple. Then I layered in one small spoon of each colour into each cupcake well.

Baked as usual and frosted with Betty Crocker cherry frosting and covered in rainbow sprinkles. The coconut cake and cherry frosting is really a good combination. I was not in the mood to make icing and all I had in the house was one can of ready made cherry frosting. I'm glad it worked out that way -- Delicious! These do not hang around too long -- I had to hide two that I wanted to take to my grandparents. they almost missed out!

Lunchboxes made by the girls!

Amy and Rose made their own lunches one day last week. I'm joining in on another blog hop -- Mom's Day Off! Check out the link at the bottom of the post to hop on over to another Mom's Day Off  lunch box.

This was really Mom's half morning off -- I still had to prepare snack for the class and Heidi's lunch to take to her cousin's Sports Day. The girls did a really good job and other than me reaching down a few high items and cutting the carrot into sticks, they actually did this by themselves. I did steer them in the direction of "please use your planetboxes" since I knew it would make it easy for them with the nicely divided compartments.

Amy's Lunch - age 6
Pears, carrot sticks, apples, oreo thins, peanut butter
mini container with a vitamin, heart shaped sandwiches covered in sprinkles!!

Rose's Lunch - age 4
blueberries, carrot sticks, apples, mini hello kitty cup holds a vitamin
pears, oreo thins (they shared a package), bologna rolled up, 
graham crackers

Amy peeled the carrot and I cut it into sticks as was difficult for her, they used the push down apple corer/slicer and Amy cut the apple, Rose cut the pear and they shared it between them. Amy spent quite a lot of time holding different cookie cutters over her bread to decide what she wanted. It was cute, she was really trying to plan it out and they were discussing it as they worked together! Amy & Rose were very excited to make their own lunch and they have asked me every day since they made them-- have you posted our lunches yet?? The girls will be checking in on this post later so give them a shout out if you like their work :)

For some more fun Mom's Day Off lunch boxes and bentos, hop to the next blog by clicking the link below. Keep going until you end up back here, then you will have seen them all :)

Next up: Keeley McGuire

Update: thanks for all of the votes on Bento Blog Network! Amy's lunch won :)

Bento of the Week Winner

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Balsamic & Honey Roasted Carrots

Oh my goodness was this good! I saw this recipe on facebook on the When the Dinner Bell Rings page. I knew right away it was something I wanted to try.  We are having some good produce coming from our garden and I am trying new ways to cook some veggies that I normally just steam. These are two thumbs up!

Balsamic & Honey Roasted Carrots
It really couldn't be any easier and I only made one addition.
Preheat oven to 400F. Put the carrots on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil - the recipe said mist, I drizzled!, season with salt and pepper. Toss them up a bit right on the sheet to make sure they are all seasoned. Roast for about 20 minutes. In a bowl mix 2 tablespoons honey and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Toss the hot carrots in the bowl to coat them with the honey and vinegar mixture. Dump them back on the baking sheet and sprinkle with chopped parsley ( my addition). Return to the oven for 5 more minutes. Enjoy!

Bunny & Carrot Bento

I stumbled across a bento that I had missed posting somehow. This was for Heidi over the mid term break back in April! It was definitely eaten at home - the same day that I made Rosie a rainbow bento and the Hello Kitty bento for Amy.

Heidi's Bunny & Carrot bento
bunny shaped boiled egg, apple stars, plum slices, 
2 stacked carrot shaped sandwiches with a cheese topper
cucumbers, carrots sticks and ranch dip in a bunny cup

Shared on:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Easy lunch

Easy and fast to pack lunchboxes for a busy morning!

Amy's lunchbox
cookies n cream pudding, honeydew melon, 
cantaloupe, granola bar, grapes
2 elephant sandwiches

I made Heidi's exactly like Amy's except somehow her elephant sandwiches didn't come out quite right! The pudding is a special treat. I made it for them for dessert and they wanted to save some for lunch. 

Rose's Lunch Box
Almost the same -- sunchips instead of granola bars (we ran out) 
plus her new favourite thing - crackers and bologna roll ups!

NOT a sandwich lunch for Rose

I'm going to have to start paying closer attention to the "not a sandwich" bentos I see online. Rose is on a bit of a boycott of sandwiches still. She wants crackers and bologna or ham all the time now. I must convince her to try something else. I haven't made any savoury muffins in a while, might make a batch of those this weekend. 

Rose's not a sandwich planetbox

honewdew melon, watermelon, strawberry fruit snacks
veggie straws - ranch flavour
butterfly crackers and bologna

She ate almost everything in here!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wild Animal lunch for Heidi

Heidi's Wild Things Lunch
blueberries, strawberries, honeydew melon & clementines
teddy grahams, zebra shaped fruit leather (ok it's a horse but we're taking a creative leap)
Gorilla shaped cheese sandwich.

This is the same day as the tulip sandwiches -- note the exact same fruits etc! When I was making lunch, I asked Heidi what kind of sandwich she wanted, meaning cheese, ham, peanut butter etc and she says a monkey sandwich. I thought it was quite funny that she automatically assumed I meant what shape!?! Naturally, I obliged :) 

Two Snack Bentos

Two little snack bentos to go with hot lunch day - last week Friday. I guess technically these are side dish bentos. Friday hot lunch is Cheese Pizza, these add a healthy part to their lunch.

Rosie's Puppy bento
cheerios, strawberries, pear slices,
blueberries, vitamin in the little puppy cup

Amy's Bento of sides/snacks
It's the same as Rosie's except since Amy will not eat blueberries, I left them out.
They each chose their little cups -- Amy picked Hello Kitty, how surprising :p

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tulip Sandwiches in planetboxes

Amy's and Rose's lunchboxes look very similar today. The only change is for personal taste preferences.
Like most days, both lunches are packed in their Planetboxes.

Amy's Tulip Sandwich
diced peaches, strawberries, honeydew, clementine
teddy grahams, bird mini cup with a vitamin
fruit leather butterfly
tulip sandwich

Rose's fun lunchbox
blueberries & blackberry, strawberries, honeydew melon. clementine
vitamin in a mini bird cup, teddy grahams
Tulip sandwich -- ham & cheese

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Lizard Lunch

Amy's Lunch
honeydew melon, clementines, teddy grahams
craisins, lizard sandwich

Amy ate everything!

Heidi's choice -- Bunny sandwich

Heidi so sweetly asked me for a bunny sandwich last Wednesday :)

honeydew melon, bunny crackers, clementine, craisins,
bunny ham and cheese sandwich

These were the most delicious clementines that we've had in ages! My mom bought us one of those mini crates and we went through it very quickly. They were so sweet and juicy <3.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Froggy bento

For Rose
honeydew melon, clementine,
froggy cheese sandwich, goldfish crackers


You can find this cute froggy bento, frog lunch punch and picks at All Things For Sale

allthingsforsale.com Bento Productsallthingsforsale.com Bento Productsallthingsforsale.com Bento Products

Friday, May 4, 2012

ssssssSnakes.

Amy is learning about snakes at school.

Here's her snake lunch
honeydew melon, rabbit cup with vitamin, animal crackers
cantaloupe, craisins, ham snake sandwiches.

I left a little piece of ham sticking out to be their tongues :)

Cute animal picks and rabbit cup came from All Things For Sale.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spring bento

a Spring themed bento for Heidi
tulip sandwich (cheese), cheez-its, snickerdoodle, carrot sticks
mini chick container with a vitamin inside
silicone cup with cantaloupe, honeydew & blueberries

She ate everything except 2 carrot sticks!

The mini chick cup and spring picks are from All Things For Sale

Some other items I used can be found here: 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Snack

Rose's snack to go with pizza lunch
strawberries, pineapple. blueberries,
goldfish crackers

Easy lunches for a busy morning

Amy's lunch
snickerdoodles, cucumber, carrot sticks & peanut butter
Hello Kitty cup holds a vitamin
honeydew melon, cantaloupe & strawberries
Ham sandwich cut into hearts

Rose's Lunch
snickerdoodles, cucumber, grape tomatoes, carrot sticks
strawberries, honeydew, cantaloupe, vitamins
ham & mustard sandwich hearts

This was a really busy Monday morning and a fast lunch with no fancy bits was perfect. It was Amy's first day back at school after being sick for over a week and we had lots of things to remember to take into school. Amy baked the snickerdoodles the night before as part of her Me Museum presentation. I helped her a bit but she really did most of the work. They were delicious. To make the sandwich hearts I used a Wilton flower cutter to cut out the whole prepared sandwich, then made a couple of knife cuts to transform the flower into three hearts.

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