Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Groovy 60's Muffin Tin Meal

This week's theme on Muffin Tin Meal is a fun one! Groovy 60's. I made this groovy lunch for Heidi.

Cheese sandwich for Peace, Tie dye hard boiled egg, LOVE peanut butter sandwiches
Groovy Grapes, Flower Power Yogurt, Heart Carrots and Tomatoes

Amy, Rose & Heidi went out on a modelling call this morning and I made them some little snack bentos to take. They went out for ice cream after so they weren't terribly hungry at lunch time. I made one muffin tin meal for Heidi because she was still hungry, plus several boiled eggs because they are a favourite and they would all want one as soon as they saw them. Most of this lunch was eaten plus all of the boiled eggs. Here are the others. 

I did these the lazy way. Click here for a full tutorial. After I unwrapped the first egg I just used the same dye filled Viva paper towel to wrap the others. You can tell the first two have more of the individual colours showing and then the last two are all blendy. I think this is a fun way to dye Easter eggs - I must remember it next year! 

We are not all that experienced in dyeing eggs. When making lunch, I made these first and as soon as they were dry we ate them. It took only the amount of time to finish making lunch for them to be OK to peel. I *think* if you put dyed eggs in the fridge and then take them out to pack in lunch they would sweat and possibly the dye would run. I am not positive but I would test that out if you wanted to make these for a packed lunch.

Edited to add: there have been a few questions about the egg -- I dyed the shell only, once peeled the boiled egg inside was still white.

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Here are some of the items that I used for lunch today:
Food Decorating Pick Puffy Pick Heart Valentines Message   Food Decorating Pick Puffy Ring Mushroom Flower 9 pcs   Japanese Bento Accessory Food Pick Letter Set 26 pcs   Japanese Bento Accessories Vegetable Cutter Stainless Steel L

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy Easter!!

The last Easter lunches of the season. These were from the last day of school before the term break - Thursday. I am so grateful for the break. We need a little time to slow down as a family. I'm sure we aren't the only ones.

Amy's lunch.
Easter bunny & egg sandwiches, mini chocolate in the plastic egg, boiled egg & honeydew melon

Rose's Lunch - same as Amy except fruit snacks in her plastic egg

Hope that you all had a great Easter!


Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter lunches made Fast

These are from Wednesday. It was a busy morning and I made both of these lunches, plus 2 snacks and 2 drinks in 15 minutes. We were running a bit late so I didn't get a good picture of everything lined up. Just one each of their individual EasyLunchBoxes. I also didn't make Heidi's lunch in the morning like I usually do. When she walked in the door from school at lunchtime and had to wait about 5 extra minutes for her lunch, boy was she unhappy with Mommy!

Lunch for Amy: Ham sandwich, carrot sticks, assorted fruit - grapes, pineapple, strawberry (from our garden!) and honeydew melon

I had been trying to stay away from the continual ham sandwich lunch and have been mixing it up a bit in their lunchboxes lately. On Wednesday, I did not have a plan in mind, there were no decent leftovers in the fridge and as we were running late I caved in and went back to their favourite sandwich. Just yesterday, I got a new cookbook from Amazon. Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook - Easy Lunch Boxes. There are lots of interesting things to pack for lunch in there - and really you don't need to have a Trader Joe's nearby to use the ideas. I certainly don't have one near me! Hopefully Amy will see some things that she likes in the pictures and I can try some new lunch options.

The same lunch for Rose plus I added a few grape tomatoes
I realise that her sandwich looks little messier than Amy's but it's because I used the off cuts of ham after I cut out Amy's bunny and just tucked them into Rose's sandwich. No waste! This bunny is from my favourite cookie cutter stamp set. It's very fast to stamp the bread and it makes for an appealing end result. No peanut butter gluing of eyes, noses and whiskers. Saves 3 minutes at least!

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Bunny Bread for lunch!

Yesterday, I made some very cute bunny shaped rolls. It was my first time making them and a couple came out a little wonky. Not to worry, they still tasted yummy and we had them with our lunch yesterday. I saved a few of the better looking ones for lunches today.

Rose’s lunch - vegetarian today :)

bunny roll with butter, tomatoes & cheddar, carrots sticks and celery with peanut butter, strawberries & honeydew melon

Amy’s lunch is a little different (and not vegetarian!)

Bunny roll with butter, leftover roasted chicken, peanut butter for dipping her carrot sticks, celery with peanut butter, strawberries & honeydew melon

Amy is rascally and said that they looked like mice. We have had that problem before – lol. Here’s my last bunny? or mouse? lunch. I told her the rolls are obviously bunnies – just look at their tails. She said but look at their faces. hee hee. She wasn’t being snarky, we were just having a fun chat about it. Next time, I’ll make longer ears on the bunny rolls too.

I first saw the idea to make bunny shaped rolls last year on Lunches Fit for A Kid. I didn’t follow her recipe, just used my own favourite bread roll recipe and her general technique. Her bunnies even had feet! I wasn’t sure how the rolls would turn out and I believe the key is the ears. Try very hard to make the ears the same size and make sure they are sort of laying back a bit and not too much to the side. Some of mine went a little side ways when they rose/baked. If you look at Astrid’s as a guide you can see that her bunny ears are definitely laying straight back.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Easter Egg Hunt!

It just occurred to me that Easter is right around the corner! Time to get organised. Every year on Good Friday we have an Easter Egg hunt for my girls and nephews. The Easter Bunny also hides eggs at our house on Easter Sunday so I have had quite a bit of practice with Easter Egg hunts. I started working on a list of non-food items to put in our eggs for our Easter Egg hunts this year and I thought I would share my list and some Egg Hunt tips with you.

Keeping it fair. 

You don’t want the bigger, faster children quickly finding a bunch of eggs and leaving some children with a tough time finding any. We always have a small group of children where the ages are quite varied, this year we will have ages 1 1/2 - 11. Here’s what I do. Assign each child their own color or design of egg that they have to hunt for. Everyone should have the same number of eggs hidden. For the littlest children you can hide them in very obvious places and for the older children you can be sneaky with your hiding spots. Take note of how many eggs and which child has which color. This is easy to remember for a couple of children but when the number is larger you'll want to write it down, especially if you prepare the eggs in advance. You can do this even with the Easter Bunny's hidden eggs too. Just make sure that he leaves a little note so that the children know what eggs he has hidden for them.

Choosing your eggs. 

When you buy Easter eggs there are so many choices. In general, I like to stick to the basics as it’s easy to find replacements when you need to restock from year to year. There are regular sized eggs and then jumbo eggs. You can often get the same colour or design in both sizes so I like to have both sizes on hand just in case. If you already have some jumbo eggs it makes it easy to use a larger item if you find that it doesn’t fit in the regular eggs.  At the end of the egg hunt, be sure to collect up all of the empty egg halves and pack them away for next year. Children are usually happy to give them up once they have opened them and found the goodies inside. If not, and someone really wants them it’s ok.

Choosing items to fill your eggs.  

I always put some candy in the egg hunt eggs, but since my children generally end up with lots of chocolate bunnies and candy filled baskets from relatives (plus the Easter Bunny hides eggs AGAIN when he comes) I prefer to put as many non-candy items in the eggs that I can.  If it's warm out you don't want melted chocolates in your plastic eggs -- eeww! If there is a much larger item that you want to give you can always put a photo in the egg or a clue about where to find it and you can hide that item somewhere. Another tip is to take a plastic egg with you when you go shopping. It’s much easier to judge if something will fit in a plastic egg if you have one with you. Toy stores and party stores often have individual loose toys for sale. That’s a good place to start. I also stop by the dollar store, but here in Bermuda it's really the $2.50 store and the selection is limited so I don't usually expect to find too much there. Please be mindful of the age of children that you are shopping for. If there are any under 3s be watchful for choking hazards and take note of warning labels.

Filling & Hiding your eggs. 

In all of my experience filling Easter eggs for a hunt this is the best plan that I have come up with to keep it organized and quick. Line up the hunting baskets that the children will use to collect their found eggs. If they are bringing their own use bowls or just make piles. Then start portioning out the filler items into each basket. You can put little name tags on the baskets if there are too many to keep track. Start with special items that you have for each child and then add in the items that are for everyone. It is very easy to keep the piles of loot even this way. Once you have the baskets filled with what you want to put inside move on to the actual eggs. Sort out the eggs by colour and count out the ones that you will need for each child. Toss out any egg halves that are cracked or missing mates. The total quantity depends on the volume of loot that you have as fillers. I usually stuff 15-20 eggs per child. If there are any very young children you should come up with a more tailored plan. For instance for Emily who is only 1 ½  this year I will probably only hide 5 for her right out in the open and they are likely to be filled with cheerios. It’s a cute photo op J.

So now you have all of your loot sorted and all of your eggs sorted. Take one basket at a time and start stuffing those eggs. You’ll have to use your judgment on what goes in each one. You can do one item per egg or any combination that you come up with so that all of the loot ends up in the eggs! When they are all stuffed put them back in their basket so they are ready to hide. Take a basket and make sure you know who will be hunting those eggs so that you can decide how sneaky your hiding spots should be. Next, go around hiding them in your designated hunting area. I always leave one egg in the basket as a starter. It makes it easier for the children to know exactly what eggs they should be looking for. This is important when you have several children or similarly patterned eggs to avoid confusion. If you are doing this for a few kids and the differences are obvious then go ahead and hide them all.

Scavenger Hunt Eggs. 

This is a fun concept. Create a scavenger hunt list of clues and put them in your eggs. Make sure to number the clues so that they can be arranged in the correct order. Once all of the eggs have been found, the kids can follow the clues in order until they find the treasure at the end. The clues could be the only thing in the eggs, or just a part of your general egg hunt. If you are doing this with multiple children you could give each of them a clue and then they can work together to find a prize worth sharing or a hidden stash of named prizes for each of them. The treasure could be an Easter Basket, grab bag or other prize. Keep a master list of the clues in case one is lost.

The Golden Egg concept.

I always have one special egg that is hidden in a pretty tricky spot. Not necessarily a golden egg just one that is completely different from the rest, it could be a fun shape or a different size. You should have two of these eggs. One to hide, and then one to show everyone an example of what they should be looking for. We invite everyone at the party to look for the golden egg, not just the children. At our house, if you find the golden egg you win a special prize. You could also fill the golden egg with cash and make that the prize itself. A grown up does not always find the golden egg. Sometimes, the children are hunting so thoroughly that it is stumbled upon during their hunt.

So now that you know how I easily organize a fun egg hunt that is fair for all ages here are 

75 fun items to put in Easter eggs that are not food.

  1. stickers
  2. temporary tattoos
  3. super bouncy balls
  4. mini puzzle pieces – put some in several eggs.
  5. special lego bricks – from the pick a brick section
  6. lego mini figure or friends mini figure
  7. lego mini building set – spread the pieces over a few eggs
  8. magnetic alphabet letters for the fridge
  9. chapsticks in jumbo eggs or mini lip gloss pots in regular sized eggs
  10. necklaces
  11. bracelets
  12. rings
  13. earrings
  14. mini nail polish
  15. zoobles
  16. squinkies
  17. polly pocket clothes & accessories
  18. Barbie clothes
  19. littlest pet shop critters (not all will fit so be choosy)
  20. zoobs – put some in several eggs
  21. mini erasers
  22. pencil sharpener
  23. hair clips
  24. hair ties
  25. small army figures
  26. toy bugs & critters from the dollar store
  27. silly putty
  28. mini bubbles containers
  29. charms for a charm bracelet
  30. finger puppets
  31. small windup toys
  32. mini paratroopers
  33. sticky hands
  34. shells – for collage/crafts
  35. chenille pom poms
  36. foam sticker shapes or alphabet
  37. small feathers – for collage/crafts
  38. stick on jewels
  39. porcupine balls
  40. mini yo yo
  41. small pop up toys
  42. gold treasure coins
  43. pirate treasure map (that you create to lead to a bigger toy or Easter basket)
  44. miniature Dora figurines – some characters need a jumbo egg
  45. play dough – make your own or use a mini party pack of the store kind, save the containers.
  46. squishy animals
  47. flip frogs
  48. linking bunnies– spread over a few
  49. mini bowling set
  50. marbles
  51. jacks
  52. bead sets to make jewelry
  53. jokes
  54. mini stamps – self inking or mini rubber stamps
  55. small collectible rocks andminerals
  56. glow in the dark star stickers for the ceiling
  57. dice (you can find a bunch of children’s game here
  58. baby counting and sorting bears
  59. teeny tiny rubber ducks (Oriental Trading)
  60. mini race cars
  61. bendable animals
  62. mini funny monkeys
  63. safari toob mini figures – not all will fit in a regular egg, you will have to be selective
  64. dollhouse miniatures
  65. character keychains or zipper pulls
  66. silly bandz
  67. small spinning top
  68. money
  69. small whistles – if you are brave! Very popular last year. Good thing we were outside  ;)
  70. grow capsules
  71. angry birds (or other character) pencil toppers
  72. series of clues to create scavenger hunt eggs that lead to a bigger prize
  73. soft felt pirate eye patches
  74. Slime or GAK!
  75. coupons for privileges  - movie night, extra half hour before bedtime, TV time etc
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Some bunny loves you!

It was a very busy morning yesterday. Heidi has snack duty at school this week so there was a little extra morning work. It's good system really. The students take turns to bring in snack for the whole class and for the half day children they end up with one turn all year. When the half day students go to school in the mornings they don't have to bring anything usually - just themselves. So on this busy Monday morning I made some very simple lunches. This was Amy's lunch but they were all pretty similar. 

bunny sandwich, carrot coins and celery with some peanut butter in the mini dipper
grapes, apples & a strawberry

I did put the lid on the mini dipper of peanut butter when I sent it to school. The little cupcake wrapper in there was actually practical not just pretty. It's kind of annoying to wash peanut butter out any of our little dip cups (no dishwasher!); it makes cleanup so much easier if it's in a wrapper :)

This was a super fast lunch to make. To make 3 kids lunches I cut two stalks of celery, one large carrot into coins, one apple into slices and halved a few strawberries. Then it literally took a few seconds to fill the compartments. The sandwiches were easily cut with a cookie cutter and then it was very easy to add the little candy eyes and candy nose. I bought some kitchen tweezers recently that made adding the sprinkles super fast. I think this turned out to be one of my cuter bunny lunches (other bunny lunches here) and it was probably one of the fastest to make! 

Here are some items that I used to make this lunch:


Sunday, May 13, 2012

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

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Muffin Tin Meal

We haven't had a MTM in ages! Poor Rosie has been feeling sick. I made her a MTM of some of her favourites to encourage her to eat a few bites. Amy was out, but Heidi had a MTM too. I made them both the same :)

honeydew melon & cantaloupe, diced peaches,
carrot & celery sticks with ranch
mac & cheese, carrot shaped turkey sandwich,
vanilla yogurt with Easter sprinkles

Rosie wasn't really interested :( She decided to take an early nap instead. My poor girl.  I hope she feels better soon - otherwise it's back to the Dr on Monday. Heidi, on the other hand, ate almost everything!

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter-y lunches

These were from the last week of school before our Easter break. I made two bunnies and an Easter Egg (with mozzarella cheese topper)

Heidi & Amy had the same:
cantaloupe, pineapples, plum slices, grapes, bunny crackers,
bunny sandwiches

Rose's was slightly different - she had an Easter egg sandwich:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Sweets

For our Good Friday celebration at my brother's house the girls and I made a few sweets to bring along.

Cupcakes: we made one batch of cupcakes and
then decorated them all sorts of ways :)
Lammy cupcakes
Heidi's is on the left, Amy's is on the right. Rose was feeling sick so she didn't make one. These are from our children's cookbook that we are using as part of our Family Fun List activities #103 - cook every recipe in a children's cookbook.

Easter Basket cupcakes
The girls put the jelly beans on. Amy did some of the green grass but it's kind of hard for her to squeeze. We used a Wilton #233 icing tip to pipe the grass.  This isn't a new design for us I make these often at Easter. The basket handles are just piped candy melts. I usually use a template but couldn't find it fast enough so I winged it!

Bunny Cupcakes
I saw this really cute idea online at Toys in the Dryer. It was a little bit difficult for the girls to help with. I did most if it and we were running late by this point so we had to be quick!
Easter Pick Cupcakes

I found a very cute set of Freebie Easter Party Printables at Amanda's Parties TO GO. I will definitely use the rest of this set for a future Easter Party. This time I just made the cupcake toppers :)

Sugar cookies
Simple sugar cookies. Everyone helped to  bake them. Only Amy helped with the decorating. We put these together really quickly using Betty Crocker cookie icing. I was going to fill in the carrots a bit more for a complete icing cover like the bunnies, but then decided that I kind of liked the variation. Amy did some of the bunny icing and then added all of the embellishments -- eyes, ears, tails.

Pretzel Bites

Saw these on pinterest and made them with the supplies we had in the house. This recipe was very easy -- I don't think I even pinned it! These were really fast and the girls basically made these by themselves. We put wax paper on a cookie sheet, the girls laid out the pretzels and then topped each one with either a Hershey's kiss or candy melt. Then we popped them in the oven for a few minutes. Our oven was hot from a previous use so I just watched it very carefully. I believe the recipe said 5 minutes at 275F. Once the chocolate is soft quickly pop a candy on top. We used Hershey's candy coated chocolate eggs, but you could easily use anything that fits -- M&M's, jelly beans, Cadbury's mini eggs (we used them when we ran out of the others!). The kids even did this last step but I helped to get it done quickly. I told them to be careful of the hot pan and not to worry about going too fast. These were very tasty - a sweet & salty bite :)

Funfetti Popcorn

Super easy recipe found at Cooking Classy. We made a slight variation. We coated half the popcorn with blue candy melts and half with white confetti candy melts and left out the M&M's as we didn't have any. It was delicious. I didn't plan on making this ahead of time and kind of stumbled upon the recipe at the last minute and just used what we had at home - hence the half blue, half white colours. I think it looks nice this way. Bonus. The recipe yields A LOT. Good for gifting in clear little bags with a decorative bow & tag.
The party was fun. Delicious lunch including our local Good Friday favourites - Hot Cross Buns & Codfish cakes, Easter Egg Hunt, kite flying, and a great time spent with family.