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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Waste not want not

A few weeks ago I won a $20 gift certificate to a local pumpkin patch.  Not being huge fans of carving pumpkins we only carved one and I cooked the other two to use at a later time.
This week I also got a delivery from where I had managed to snag some coconut flour for the price of shipping, so off I went today on a search for a pumpkin recipe that used coconut flour.

My search led me to this website Divalicious in Dubai and I made the super easy muffins exactly as posted.  While they smelled great they looked nowhere near as nice as the picture when they came out of the oven, so I decided to frost them.

I used Elana's Pantry recipe for Orange Cream Cheese Frosting and decorated half of them as butterfly buns and half I just frosted (I suck at frosting).  They taste delicious; moist but not gummy, and not really heavy like a lot of gluten free recipes can be.  The kids weren't the slightest bit interested in them, but with a bag of chocolate bars in the cupboard why would they be?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sushi anyone?

My fridge is on the boring side this week I'm afraid.  We've been drinking fruit smoothies for breakfast most days (made with frozen cherries, strawberries, blueberries, V8 juice, greek yogurt, flax meal and avacado) so the fruit intake at lunch has been on the slim side.

Here DS5 has peanut butter and jelly sushi sandwiches, rice cakes, carrots and ranch and a carrot / flax muffin  the yogurt is lemon Brown Cow brand. 

DS7 has the same muffin, cheddar on crackers, rice cakes, sushi sandwiches and lemon yogurt with an apple sauce pack for snack (I normally avoid individually wrapped items but these were on clearance and sufficiently whined for).

Red White and Blue

For Veterans day on Friday I attempted to make the boys lunch boxes include red white and blue.....which is quite difficult when you have no tomatoes or apples and we try not to ingest red dye.

Here it is, we have veggie tortilla chips (dyed with beets) for the red part. cheese slices, rice cakes, cream cheese sandwich (for the white), dried apricots and pineapple and black grapes (for the blue part).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dollar Tree finds

I scored in Dollar Tree and Staples yesterday, I found some super cute bento supplies.  Cute little containers that are great for the 'treat' portion of lunch or snack, and great for a small yogurt portion, (Staples $2 for 8) and some snowmen and gingerbread men picks that were part of some little game and not really picks at all but I couldn't resist.

Here is my first Christmas themed lunch of the season.  I saw the sandwich balls on facebook page and had to try them.  They are whole wheat with cheddar in the middle.  The tree is half of a huge Bartlett pear with a carrot star and black grape presents.  The mini marshmallows are decorated with food markers.  DS5 LOVES it!  He also got a container of yogurt and some pirates booty.

Here is DS7's lunch. He has the same as DS5 without the marshmallows (he doesn't like them).  The little green tub is part of the set found at Staples and helps a great deal in this older version of a laptop lunch box that doesn't have a small container with a lid.

Finally, here is my lunch for today:  I spent a ridiculous amount of money on the fish shaped sandwich thins because they were cute....yes because they were cute....unfortunately I was more excited about them then the children so I won't be doing that again until the discount bread store starts selling them!
I have fruit and nut trail mix, a tuna salad sandwich, pretzel nuggets and the rest of the pear used in the trees above, seriously that pear was HUGE.

Themed lunches

October starts the holiday season with Halloween followed by Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The month between each is just a blurr and for that reason I am choosing to just make whatever theme I feel like for the next 2 months.
After finding lots of theme food and bento supplies in the last few weeks the lunches have been more for my enjoyment than anything else!

Here's the Halloween lunch I made the boys; they both took the same that day.  In the silicone cup is 2 dried apricots and a piece of dried pineapple (new food for us and very tasty!), peanut butter pretzel nuggets, strawberries, pasta salad made with Halloween shaped pasta (bought at Cost Plus World Market I love their shaped pasta, it is dyed using vegetables so the colours are not super bright but not nasty either), the pasta salad has tomatoes, cucumber, basil and cheddar cheese in it tossed with olive oil, and finally Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's very easy to get distracted....especially in my world it seems....

I've had a crazy 3 weeks, nothing I can blog about but enough to make my head rattle and for me not to have the capacity to write anything that made any sense to anyone but me. I'm back in college with a very dull class that has me as captivated as a 3 year old learning table manners right now too.
Anyway, I plan on catching up as I've been taking photo's still.

Trying to clean out my big pantry (I have a big one and a small one) I came across 2 boxes of graham cracker crumbs.  I also happened to have a spare jar of peanut butter and so the peanut butter graham bon bons were born....well OK made from the recipe on the box.  They might even last more than one day if I get on and do my work instead of blogging and going on facebook.

They are made from Adams peanut butter which I love, it's just peanuts - no salt, sugar, oil or anything, just peanuts....YUM!  Of course then I added powdered sugar as per the recipe and ruined that healthy jar of smushed peanuts but never made a lot....that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
They also have graham cracker crumbs and rice krispies in them and I threw in about 1/8 of a cup of ground flax seed to, erm, make me feel better about giving the kids them to binge on after school?  Seriously I throw that stuff in everything, blame Costco and their silly big bags of it.

The white ones are coated in white candy coating and the chocolate ones are milk chocolate chips with a smidgen of coconut oil.

These are tiny and very Reeses peanut butter cup like so really it's impossible for even me to eat more than 2 at one sitting.

My apologies for the bad photo - I was too lazy to get the real camera out and the iPod camera sucks.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Late nights and left over lunches

Due to some late working hours this week, DH will be taking 2 smaller meals rather than one lunch to work.  Made from the leftovers from Sunday's dinner, this little bento (bought from eBay), will serve as a small evening meal for him. As you can see the top of the bento has cut up strawberries and 1/2 an orange.  The lower container has mashed potatoes, cauliflower, mock chicken and veg pie and red onion gravy.

I decided this morning to pack everyones lunch, including my own, so here they are:

Up first is DH7's lunch.  I will be amazed if he eats all this after having a large breakfast but it's chilled so whatever is left will be his after school snack today.  He has a hot dog roll cheddar sandwich, mini carrots, strawberries, 2 granola flats (I just discovered these and love them!), a tea biscuit and a cucumber/tomato salad (recipe - which is basically the dressing, from the Vegan Lunch Box Around the World).

DS5 helped to construct his lunch today and will graze on any leftovers this afternoon.  He has a peanut butter and jelly hot dog roll, 4 cubes of cheddar on piks, cucumber and tomato salad, carrots with ranch dressing for dipping, a few peanut butter filled pretzels and strawberries.

Last but not least is my lunch.  I have the same cucumber/tomato salad as the boys with strawberries and left overs from Fridays dinner - cheese ravioli with some spiral 3 colour rotini and a homemade tomato sauce.  I also had 1/2 an avocado and a couple of granola flats.

I have to add that I wasn't very awake this morning while making mine and managed to over fill the top one so the lid wouldn't shut...not that it really mattered because where I put the ravioli is actually the outer cover so it was all upside down and couldn't be shut correctly anyway...HA HA...good job it was only going in the fridge and not out to work!

Vegetarian Mock Chicken Pot Pie

I love pie, in particular savory pie.  I love to make pie and quiche and as some of you know aside from chicken fried rice, left over steak pie is one of my favorite breakfast meals.....I know I'm disgusting.

Anyway, I woke up this morning craving pie.  Steak pie is out of the question with DH's vegetable love right now and I bought some sietan this week so mock chicken pie it is.  I loosely followed the recipe from 30 Day Gourmet except I omitted the peas and used green beans instead and added 1/2 a small swede (rutabaga) and a potato to the veggie mix.

I made my own pastry - I absolutely cannot stand shop bought short crust pastry, it's sweet and, well, a sorry excuse for a crust in my opinion....not to mention expensive and a complete waste of money, it takes almost a minute to make pastry in the cuisinart, is a fraction of the cost and tastes so much better.  End of story, getting off my pastry pedestal.

I've never used seitan before, right out of the box and chopped a bit it looks like this:
It's not very offensive and looks like dark meat chicken.  I used almost 1 package saving about 1/2  cup for a stir fry in the week.

Here are the vegetables I am using, I sauteed them for about 10 minutes in 1/3 cup butter then added 1/3 cup flour:
After a minute, I added a couple of cups of vegetable broth and about a cup of milk, bringing it to a thick and bubbly stage before adding the sietan:
So far so good I think!
Here it is ready to go in the oven.  I like my pastry crust with an egg wash and black pepper on the top.
I'm serving it with mashed potatoes, cauliflower, Yorkshire puddings and red onion gravy.
Here's the 'after' version:

It was delicious, the Yorkies rose perfectly look:

Tomorrow's lunch has also been made with the left overs!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day before shopping day

The day before I go grocery shopping usually ends up with some interesting lunches.  After being sick in bed for a couple of days I finally felt well enough yesterday afternoon to be up and doing something - so I cleaned the fridge out.  This led to eggs being boiled and the snack box being filled with the left overs of fruit and vegetables that had to be used up. 

Filling the snack box always always encourages everyone to eat the food.  I cut it up ready to eat and it looks good.  In our house we call this the 'free' box, named by DS7 because the boys are allowed to help themselves to the contents without asking. (I first saw the snack box idea on this blog - love this blog and her books!!)

Here is my snack box.  I keep it in the fridge. Underneath the boxes where the ice is supposed to go there are colby cheese sticks.  The little boxes hold 2 cups worth of stuff each.

DS7's lunch for today, (DH has lunch provided today and DS5 is not at Kindergarten today):

He has a cheddar wrap, a slice of oatmeal/cherry bread, 2 orange wedges underneath cubes of melon on piks, a rather battered pig shaped boiled egg, cucumber strips, and a turkey hotdog on piks.  Snack today was chocolate graham cracker bunnies.  Note to self I NEED those cute silicone grass dividers.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday monday.....

Just 2 lunches to pack today due to a half day for DS5 at kindergarten. 

(Side note....I only ever pack water to drink - I'm one of those mean horrid mothers that doesn't buy juice (they're not big fans anyway - DS7 would choose water over juice) and I honestly can't be bothered to deal with milk, they get enough at home).

Here is DH lunch for today.  He has (packed in a Tupperware bento) strawberry yoghurt, a peach, banana and orange slices, a cheddar cheese sandwich on whole wheat, homemade red potato salad and left over chocolate birthday cake.  All the fruit and veggies are from Mile High Organics this week.

DS7 has peanut butter and grape jelly on whole wheat sandwiches, strawberry yoghurt, pear cubes, peach cubes, cucumber slices and celery sticks with buttermilk ranch dip in the little green container.
For snack he took a small container of dry cereal and a banana.

Friday, September 16, 2011

School lunches....

I make my husbands lunch and lunch for my sons every day.  It's something I think I enjoy doing more than they enjoy eating, but that's OK, it makes me happy and keeps them fuelled.

I haven't decided yet whether or not it's a good idea to post every lunch I make or just the one's I really like - we'll see I guess!  I try to make them healthy but I'm also human, not that anal about it and sometimes I just can't be bothered....SHOCK HORROR.....

Here are the lunches for today:

Lunch for DS5: tuna and mayo wrap, cherry tomatoes, pretzels, cheddar and sesame crackers, 3 prunes (at his request), cucumber on picks and I caved and let him have the handi snack as well.

Lunch for DS7: pretzels, cheddar slices and sesame crackers, cherry tomatoes and a car shaped boiled egg, tuna mayo and lettuce wrap, celery with ranch dressing in container, Greek yogurt drizzled with honey.  He also took 1/2 banana, 2 apricots, a prune and a small container of dry cereal for snack.

Lunch for DH: Colby cheese stick, cucumber slices and celery sticks with ranch dressing, cantaloupe melon cubes, cherry tomatoes (on cute little animal is bound to be the day he eats with everyone else HA HA), red onion tart (shown in post this morning) and egg salad in tomato and basil wraps.

I had a slice of pizza from Costco....oops!

Red onion and mature cheddar tart

A friend of mine makes a red onion tart, and while I've never had it, in fact I've never even seen it, but it always sounds so good when she tells me about it.  So, today, on a whim (and because red onions were 49 cents / lb this week) I decided that was going to be dinner.

After a quick google search I found this lovely gent advertising Collier's mature cheddar with a red onion tart recipe.  I did have to tweak the recipe a little to use the contents of my fridge rather than run to the store, but it was heavenly.  I had no cream so I used 1% milk, and added in an extra egg for good luck.  I had no rosemary so decided thyme would do....and it did.  (I used jarred roasted garlic and again it was still fabulous).

No idea why this rotated itself when I uploaded.....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

and so it begins......

I love food. 

I love talking about food, eating food, making food and I also love shopping for food.  My husband says I should probably weigh 500lbs; thankfully I maintain a healthy lifestyle (ie. can't sit still) and I don't buy crap (well not often) or I probably would!

I love crap food.  I love spam....particularly fried in batter with a ton of salt on it.  I rarely eat it but I love it, it reminds me of being a child, it's my ultimate comfort food.  I also love canned corned beef with tomato ketchup sandwiches.....but I digress.....

This blog is so I can stop boring everyone on facebook and my husband with photos of the food I make.  I love to cook and I love to pack lunches, I also love to bake but I suck at baking cakes and cookies and brownies.  I just do...I try but honestly 9 times out of 10 whatever I bake is crap.

Right now many of the recipes I make are vegetarian with the occasional fish thrown in for good luck.  My husband doesn't eat meat (only fish right now) myself and my 2 sons (age 7 and 5) do eat meat but not every day.