My Adventures In Bento

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Adventures In Bento: September 15-19, 2014

on September 20, 2014

So very sorry this post is a day late. Yesterday was my 16th wedding anniversary and I was running around all day trying to get everything done to that Ron and I could have a nice evening out. However, we must be getting old because our original plan of going to dinner, the movies, and then desert and a conversation at home before bed turned into dinner, a trip to Trader Joe’s and then falling asleep mid conversation at 9pm. LOL!

Anyway, onto the bentos! This week the girls have taken a much more active role in the lunches. They took turns helping me pick out what boxes to use and what to put in them.

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Monday morning Tatem specifically requested the clapping march boxes, and who was I to refuse. However, I wasn’t feeling the elephant or penguin sandwich cutters I normally use and so decided to try stars. The bigger one barely fit, but I think they came out cute. And the girls were squeeing over the single bite mini star sandwiches. They are definitely my daughters, we all the tiny wee things! 🙂 This lunch also contained pretzel sticks and grapes. And I tried yogurt in the silicon cup to see if that would work better than the applesauce from the other week. Delaney reported no mess whatsoever and liked having yogurt in her lunch. Tatem said hers spilled, but I think Tatem is just rougher with her lunchbox, honestly. Either way, they both ate it all, and I was smart enough to put only grapes in the tier with the yogurt and not crackers. Grapes covered in yogurt are tasty. 🙂 Also, I believe I put some Schoolbook cookies on the very top tier, but forgot to take a photo.

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Tuesday I was trying out another non-sandwich lunch and included turkey rolls and a Babybel cheese. Each girl picked out which shape they wanted cut out of their cheese. This was Delaney’s. The turkey rolls were an experiment. I often see this technique used in bento, but my girls, while loving meat sandwiches, have never eaten lunch meat plain. However it seemed to go ok, though Delaney said there were too many rolls and she didn’t finish them all. She said she’d like to have it again, only with less meat. Noted.

On that same tier I added some goldfish and Haribo mini gummy bears. There is a German yarn company that sends little bags of these gummy bears with every order and the girls love them when we get some. On the top tier I put a somewhat colorful assortment of grapes. Ralph’s had both black and red grapes on sale last week, so I got them both. The girls enjoyed comparing the flavors of the two colors.

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Wednesday was another day for experimentation. I gave the girls frozen edamame. They love it when I serve edamame in the shells for dinner, but haven’t had it cold like this. However, both girls loved them and said they were fully defrosted by lunch time. Also in this lunch was apple bits, pretzels, citrus gumdrops from Trader Joe’s, and a bagel with strawberry cream cheese. The girls absolutely love it when I put bagels in their lunches. As an added treat and cuteness, I cut some shapes into a fruit leather. I get the fruit leathers from Trader Joe’s. At mine, they’re right next to the registers. They go for about 50 cents a piece and I can decorate both lunches like this with one. Delaney loves when I do because then she gets to eat the scraps leftover. 🙂 I used to go to Costco a lot and once bought a huge case of a similar fruit leather. Because it was in bulk, each leather was cheaper than Trader Joe’s, but I don’t often go to Costco now and don’t mind spending a buck or two on fruit leathers every so often.

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Thursday morning Tatem woke up early with a bad dream and so was already up, dressed, and watching TV when I awoke. Normally, the TV does not go on on school mornings, but she was up at about 5:30, and couldn’t go back to sleep. Because she was so fully awake she felt helpful and not only had herself almost fully ready by the time I woke up, but had also pulled out clothes for her sister and the lunch stuff for me. Then she started going through my cookie cutters while I was trying to make my coffee and the girls picked out ones for their sandwiches. That is why, in the middle of September, they have a bat and a clover sandwich. :o)

The sandwiches were turkey, and I also included some Gummy Tummies from Trader Joe’s in a little airplane silicon cup. On the other tier, I put some apple bits with flowers on the top, cheese sandwich crackers, and some dates. The dates were another experiment. I bought them for a dinner, but had lots leftover, so I thought the girls might like them in their lunch. Delaney tried one piece and declared them yucky. However, Tatem loved them and ate Delaney’s leftovers after school.

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Yesterday morning Delaney raced to get dressed so that she could help me with lunch. When I went through her options for a main course, she hollered “bagel and cream cheese!” before I even got halfway through the list. Ok, kid, bagel and cream cheese it is.:) Unfortunately, yesterday was shopping day, so I was limited on what I could use. That’s why a lot of the items are repeats from earlier in the week. The girls also got goldfish, apples, fruit leather cut outs, and Gummy Tummies and raisins in a bus silicon cup.

Yesterday was also a great day for bento supplies. After dropping the girls off at school, I went by a local farmer’s market that’s held every Friday morning and got some strawberries, yellow tomatoes, and guavas. We all tried the guavas last night, but they weren’t a hit. I think they are over ripe, honestly. I might be able to use them in a smoothie.

Then, when I got home, I saw I had a package from a friend and in it were two new BentGo lunchboxes and cups for the girls! I am super duper excited about trying these out! They’re much bigger than the boxes we have, though, so I might end up just using one tier. However, I’m seriously considering getting the other two colors for lunches for Ron and I. I will use them a bit and do an expose in a few weeks letting you know what I think. :o)

Later in the afternoon, I went with a friend to 99 Ranch. I had never been there before, but knew I could find fun treats for lunches there. My friend is Filipino, so she was able to give me details about certain items and make suggestions. I got things like Hello Panda cookies and Pocky, of course, but I also got some fun fruit like golden kiwis. Look for these new items in next week’s bento lunches!

Have a great weekend!

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