Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mia's Banana Split Cupcakes

This morning I made some cupcakes that I hope resemble a banana split for Mia, since she wanted a banana flavored cake. As I was assembling the ingredients I noticed the bananas were gone... so just pretend there's a slice of banana next to the cherry in the final picture, ok?
Here's the ingredients. Sprinkles, whipped cream, cherries, cupcake mix, banana extract, strawberry ice cream topping and chocolate icing.
I baked the cupcakes according to the directions on the package, except I added a liberal dose of the banana extract to the batter.
When they were finished, I used a baby spoon to dig out the center of the cupcakes.
Then using the same spoon, I filled the hole with the strawberry ice cream topping.
Next, I sealed in the topping with a layer of chocolate frosting.
Finally, I topped them with whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry (and an invisible banana slice). What do you think?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Biscuit Pizza Lunch

The girls have salads with ranch, biscuit pizzas, fruit snacks and a Halloween cookie.
Recipe for the biscuit pizzas here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Biscuit Pizzas!

Chef Dylan and I made little pizzas out of some random stuff we had in our fridge tonight. First, we assembled our ingredients.

We used refrigerated Pillsbury Grands Buttermilk Biscuits- the kind in the thwap tube, Babybel cheese, Hormel Mini Turkey Pepperoni, and some leftover jarred spaghetti sauce for the pizzas. Dylan apparently works best in the kitchen with an empty bottle hanging out of his mouth.
First I rolled out the biscuits to make them flat. I used wax paper and some non-stick cooking spray so that they wouldn't stick to everything.
Then I put them in a muffin tin that I'd already sprayed with the non-stick spray (so overkill, but whatever). Since there are only 8 biscuits in the tube, not all of the muffin spots were filled.
Then Dylan helped me unwrap the Babybel cheese.
Next we popped one into each of the biscuits. They fit perfectly!
And finally we sprinkled a handful of the mini pepperoni on top. We put it in the oven for 15 minutes at about 350.
Dylan said they smelled delicious!
When the timer went off, I was greeted with perfectly browned biscuits and bubbling cheese... drool.
While I warmed up a bit of spaghetti sauce, I popped a few out of the tin. They came right out, probably thanks to all the non-stick spray.
The insides are filled with cheesy goodness...

Friday, October 8, 2010

New Lunch Container!

The girls have salads with carrots, cheese and croutons.  Ranch in the little containers.  Applesauce in the lidded section, turkey on the picks, and veggie wheat thins.

Cake Pop Fail

I had the bright idea that I'd make cake pops for Mia to bring to school today for her birthday... I used Funfetti cake mix, and bought some Wilton candy melts that I thought would look so very cute...

These melts right here:

Only they didn't melt. Well OK, they did, but not thin enough to dip properly. I thought perhaps it was because I was using the microwave method, so I tried putting them on the stovetop, but it didn't help. Then I read online in one of the cake pop tutorials that you can add a spoonful of shortening to thin it out, but we only had butter flavored... and it ruined it.

Then there was the fact that I used the Funfetti cake mix- because I wanted the colors of the cake to show, I used cream cheese icing... and well it ended up looking less like cake and more like Thanksgiving stuffing. So for future reference, use chocolate icing and cake. At least then they look like round brownies.

Half of the cake pops wouldn't dip properly- the chocolate was thick and it made them heavy and they'd fall off the stick. It was cake pop carnage. Several fell off the sticks completely and landed in my dipping chocolate. The ones above are the rejects that didn't completely commit suicide via drowning.

A handful came out OK, but definitely not enough to send to school with Mia. It's sad really, because I even covered a little box and put Styrofoam inside to make a cute little birthday bouquet display for them. These are the best, before I ran out of dipping chocolate and realized there wouldn't be enough left after all the failed attempts to go around even if I had more chocolate to melt.
I'd even bought this cute glitter icing to decorate them with- can you imagine how adorable these would have looked if the white sparkly melts worked properly? Sigh. I guess we have to stop at Food Lion for boring old store bought cupcakes on the way in to school this morning.
I'm not even sure why I tagged these photos- it's not like someone is going to snag them and claim them as their own LOL

Monday, October 4, 2010

What's going on here?

This lunch has so much stuff that just doesn't go together or make any sense LOL
Butterflies, Halloween Cookies, Bunny Egg... Not sure where I was going with this one.

Turkey & cheese sandwich with fruit strip butterflies, trail mix, chocolate covered sunflower seeds and a Halloween sugar cookie, frozen peas and corn and half of a hard boiled egg shaped like a bunny and dipped in soy sauce.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bento Q&A and Egg Mold Tutorial

Some of these questions I've answered before, and some are new- but I just wanted to put them all in one spot for you all :)

Where do you get the containers and accessories? I've never seen them in stores.

I shop online. I don't have local Asian stores in our area.

I really have a ton of containers- I most frequently use my Easy LunchBoxes (where I’m an affiliate) set for Aaron, and I have two more sets on the way for the girls. I can’t wait to get them, they are fabulous! I wrote a review of the system right here. I also use traditional two tier Japanese bento boxes often for the girls. I’ve purchased them from a few places, such as All Things For Sale (use code tatertwins for 5% off) who has great prices and super fast shipping from the US (no waiting for stuff from Japan!), Bento Crazy, who unfortunately has had to temporarily close due to her son's illness, and another online retailer who recently closed their doors to internet sales, boo. There's one other site I've ordered from, called JList- which has an adult section, so not all of the store is work/kid friendly, but after having them mess up two orders in a row, I no longer recommend them.

These places also carry the majority of the accessories I use, including food picks, belts (elastic to hold the tiers together), egg molds, food cutters, and bags. I use the silicone muffin tins in various shapes to keep food separate, instead of the disposable paper ones. I bought those at Michael’s, where you can also find the food-safe markers I occasionally use.

How long does it take to pack their lunches like this?

I really think it takes only a few minutes longer than throwing a sandwich and some chips in Ziplock baggies. I try to stock up on bento-friendly foods, which helps. By keeping small things like raisins, cheese sticks, cherry tomatoes, canned fruit, etc in the house, I can fill up gaps in the boxes after I put the bigger things like the sandwiches, crackers, yogurt in.

What do you do with the leftover scraps of food?

When I make cut out sandwiches or decorate with cheese slices, I am left with scraps. I hate to waste it, so I generally feed them to the twins. They don’t seem to care at this point that they get the leftovers! They eat lots of PB&J crusts for breakfast. Also, sometimes I’ll tuck the smaller scraps, like the pieces left from the cheese shapes, underneath the sandwich where you can’t see them if I don’t give them to the babies.

What do you send them to drink?

The girls each have a SIGG water bottle that they bring. I only put water in them, because I figure the one day I fill it with juice or milk they’ll leave it and it will get nasty. Aaron used to reuse an old Gatorade bottle, but the other day I finally bought him his own aluminum water bottle as well.

Could you show one all put together with the lid on? I am having trouble seeing it in my mind. Thanks!

Sure! Here's a bunch of our boxes shown closed with the bands :)
What do you use to make the little pictures on the sandwiches?

I use Fruit Roll Ups, Fruit by the Foot strips, or even the thicker organic fruit 'leather' that they sell at some stores- and I have a few sets of plastic food cutters to make the scenes. The fruit strips come in so many flavors and colors they are great for making a boring sandwich pretty! The food cutters are also great for sliced cheeses and lunch meat.

Food Cutters

How did you make that butterfly sandwich? Do you freehand stuff like that?

Nope, I don't freehand anything- I have a really cute butterfly cutter. I think I got it at Walmart actually! Then the spots are just a slice of American cheese that I cut with mini cookie cutters and the center is a couple of carrot sticks. Easy peasy! The plastic cutters also work well with cheese and lunch meats for decorations.

I also have dinosaur and heart sandwich cutters that are similar, which were also purchased at Walmart.
Sandwich Cutters
How on earth do you cut the shapes out of the Baby Bel wax?

I use little metal cookie cutters. I've found the plastic ones don't work as well, but the metal ones are sharp enough to cut through the wax.

How in the world do you keep things from sliding into the other sections? Like if I send pretzels or small stuff, they all roll into the sandwich!

Silicone muffin cups! That’s what I use to keep stuff separate. Also baran- it's that fake sushi grass stuff- it also comes it other cute types, like flowers, animals, etc.

I also use Glad Press & Seal to seal off containers that have juicy stuff in it, so it doesn't slide into other stuff.

Plus if you pack it in there tight enough, nothing is going anywhere!
Tell me how you do the shaped hard boiled eggs…

Ok, here's a tutorial on how I do the eggs:

First of all, you need egg molds and eggs. I find size XL eggs fit best. (In these pics, I used large eggs, so they don't fill out the molds all the way... but it's the size I happened to have on hand.) You can buy egg molds here.

Egg Molds

Boil the eggs, and while still hot, peel them. I run them under cold water just to cool them off enough so that I can handle them without burning myself.

Pop them in the egg molds, and put them in the fridge to cool. I leave them in the fridge in their molds until I'm ready to use them, so sometimes they end up staying in the molds for a few days. The longer they're in the molds, the better they hold their shape- however even just 10 minutes will make them look cute!

Another fun thing you can do with eggs is to color them after peeling them and before putting them in the molds. You can use soy sauce, which will give the eggs flavor, or even food coloring.

Just roll them around in a bit of soy sauce for a minute and then put them in the mold.

Now, as I said earlier, these eggs aren't quite big enough, so they didn't fill the molds all the way up. The bear's ears never formed because of this, and the bunny's ears are a bit stunted. With XL eggs, it fits PERFECTLY. Next time I make them, I'll edit this to add pics of with the right size eggs. Poor, inadequate, deformed eggs :(

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Aaron has an egg salad sandwich with fruit strips as decoration, Baby Bel cheese, Mandarin oranges, mini turkey pepperoni, Goldfish crackers, cashews, and a cupcake.

 The girls each have half of an egg salad sandwich with fruit strip decorations, Goldfish crackers, Baby Bel cheese, Mandarin oranges, a mini cupcake, vanilla yogurt covered raisins, and Wheat Thin Stix.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Aaron has a whole wheat bagel with honey nut cream cheese, cashews, candy pumpkins, peppered turkey, two hard boiled eggs, string cheese, two mini cupcakes, dried apricots and Yogos.

The girls have a whole wheat bagel with honey nut cream cheese, half of a hard boiled egg, string cheese, candy pumpkins, Wheat Thin Stix, fruitt snacks, dried apricots, cashews, and raisins.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth
Lunch today for the twins includes Cheerios, Gerber Yogurt Melts, Wheat Thins Stix, String Cheese, and Peaches. I think they liked it :)
I cross posted this to my main blog for the whole linky meme thing since this blog has like no readers and is mostly for my own  reference. 

Yet another update to the Bento Giveaway!

The response to my Bento Lunch Giveaway has been overwhelming! I love you guys! I've added a couple more items to the loot- go check it out!

I've also added another way to enter to win, so you have even more chances!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I Have a Problem

While frosting some cupcakes tonight, I've come to the realization that I have a slight sprinkle problem...

Rainy Monday Bento

For the girls:
Egg salad in a whole wheat mini pita, Baby Bel cheese, carrots, and ranch in the dip container.
In the side car, a cream filled cake, vanilla yogurt covered raisins, raisins, and banana chips.

For Aaron:
Car shaped hard boiled egg, mini turkey pepperoni, carrots.
Two mini whole wheat pitas stuffed with egg salad, Baby Bel, ranch in the dip container.
Yogos, candy pumpkins, and Fritos.

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