Ways with Pizza

After every spaghetti dinner, I would save a bit of the sauce to make pizza for bento the next day.  My BIL makes good spaghetti sauce.  While recently I have tried the Mario Batali cherry tomato pasta sauce. I spread on whatever type of bread we'd have and top with cheese.

This is on English muffins with Havarti cheese, edamame and strawberries/ English muffin with jam and apples.

This on focaccia with Texmex cheese and apple/ shrimp & vegetable stirfry and cheese croissant.

This on pan de sal with mozza-cheddar cheese and nectarine/ Laughing cow cheese, baby carrot, jello and grapes.

On pita bread with cheddar slice, mango jello, oranges/ grilled cheese sandwich, banana & grape tomatoes.


We Are Young by Fun.

This video has over 8 million hits at this writing. I am not surprised. Me alone have watched it a gazillion times. I'm addicted. This acoustic version is the best. And Nate Ruess - what a voice!


Scream for Ice Cream

The hot temperature these days calls for ice cream. Although we do still have them at the height of winter. Will give up beef, but not ice cream. Particularly like the "loaded" ice cream flavours where there's lots of bits and texture in every spoonful. Our top picks -
When they go on sale, I hoard like there's no tomorrow!

I always get this from Costco. They also have Mint Chocolate Chip which is Mr. Hotpot's favourite.

President's Choice came out with the "Loads of" brand and this is the best.

This is our recent discovery - Black Jack Cherry. Gone in 3 days.


Chickpeas Tikka Masala

We had Chickpeas Tikka Masala last night.  I used chickpeas, mixed veggies and bottled sauce. Sushi who pretty much tries everything and loves all things healthy, wolfed down his plate in a jiffy. In the absence of naan, he had mini croissants with it.
Nevermind if it was a repeat of previous night's dinner. This bento came home emptied.  Happy Mom!  To think this is not his usual bento.  It was also in a Glasslock in lieu of plastic containers.  It was a tad heavy but I didn't want to discolour and grease the plastic snapware.  All is well.


Welcome Spring

Today is the official first day of spring. However spring weather has arrived sooner than today. Temperatures the past week have hit record high of almost 20C. I can't believe I had turned on the A/C in the car today. Sad for global warming, but hooray for shorter winters!

Outside here we come! Everything is in this block - 2 schools, baseball field, basketball court, playground and trails. I wish we live in the neighbourhood.

Sashi blows bubbles on the side. Okay, he just actually sprinkled the grass with bubble soap.

I still love how close we get to the airplanes. There's one in like every 5 minutes.

Seriously, I want to move in here.


Indexed Chopping Boards

My 2 biggest fears in the kitchen – E.coli and salmonella. Me handling raw meat is like me in the Fear Factor show. Hence, I leave the chopping to the butcher. I buy choice cut meat. The meat trays in groceries, they are meant for people like moi. If I have to debone, I can use a chicken breast. If I have to cut, I use the shears and cut straight from the tray, armed with disposable gloves. I use 2 separate tongs when cooking meat, one for handling the raw and one for when the meat is cooked.  I also have several chopping boards for fruits/veggies, onion/garlic, and bread. I use my Hello Kitty one for meat only, though I barely use it in that I do enough prevention to need to.

These chopping boards are from Generate Design It retails for US$79. Wah! Costco sells something similar for under $20.

In the mean time I saw this pretty flexi boards from the Dollarama. You’d think it’s the last place on earth to find nice stuff. You can’t go wrong with $2. While my mismatched chopping boards are, well, mismatched, and old enough for bacteria to lurk in their epidermis, it’s time to bid them adieu. Though this set won’t tackle a whole chicken, it’s pretty and perfect for this non-Meat Ninja.


This Week

Hooray for teen temperature!

Out is the sun. So out comes the necklace!

And out goes the socks!

It’s week-long spring break for the big one. Lucky the hub works-from-home couple days a week. Sushi needs to be in full-day camp only 3 days. That gives me 2 days break, from bento fixing/washing at least. Like it matters. Oh yes, it does!

In camp, there's more nutrition breaks, longer lunch time, and lots of physical activities. I like that I can pack him more. And he still wipes out the bento. I'm a happy camper!
Cherry & banana jam sandwich, Flat Jacks, mixed veggies & grapes. The Flat Jacks are chicken breast cutlets by Janes. I got it from Costco.

I am repeating the Flat Jacks so I disguised it into bite-size pieces, with mini tacos, brussel sprouts, kiwi, Goldfish & juice pack.


Reusable (Gift) Bag

The kids had a birthday party this weekend. And I didn't have any girly gift bag for their present. Panic time. Checked my storage for what I can repurpose. Saw this reusable bag. I had bought a bunch of them way back from IKEA. And has since been sitting in my stash room. I never thought they make a pretty gift bag. The bag itself is an extra gift.

Then I remember having these red pompoms from the arts & crafts that the kids bring home from school. Adds a little oomph to our present.


Onions & the BRATTY Diet

It’s been a crazy weekend. My 2 boys and I got stomach flu. Disclaimer: eating healthy is no immunization from this bug. Kudos to the hub who attended to the kids while I was bedridden. He is our meds guru. He assigns who takes what meds, prepares the dosage, administers to the kids, and mentally notes everyone's schedule. This is his expertise. He wouldn’t admit, but I think a run to Shoppers Drugmart on times like this gives him security and satisfaction. And, nope, price is not a factor =[
Within the household the last 3 days were these meds, Pedialyte/Gatorade, the BRATTY diet, and the almost permanent Onions.
Onions are known for their anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. Leave sliced onions in your room and it will absorb the flu causing bacteria and toxins. Replace every 2 days. We have it in every room. In sickness and in health. It works wonders in this household. I have recommended this method to everyone I know, I should be getting free onions by now. But hey a 10-lb bag would cost you only a buck when on sale. So grab your bag now and try it.

This is Sushi’s bento today. Just to be on the safe side, I sent him a BRATTY bento. BRATTY diet is recommended if one has gastrointestinal distress. Nothing but these:
B - banana
R - rice
A - applesauce
T - toast
T - tea
Y – yogurt
But of course, I’m cheating, I put in some gummies =]

Disclaimer#2: I'm not a health expert. I'm just a typical mom who reads all, believes all, but recommends only what's scientific and what works for us. Consult your physician if symptoms persist.


February Bento

Feb has been a rough month. Most mornings I was in dash with breakfast and bento fixing, on YM via iTouch catching up with my sibs and friends (personal issues), preparing the kids, and then rushing out. I’m going to admit, I haven’t been waking up on the dot as well, ‘cause I haven’t been going to bed on time. It’s a domino effect. One leading to another.

I was looking at my basketful of bento supplies – face punchers, onigiri makers, shapers of all sizes and shapes imaginable – and realized I haven’t really made much with them. My personal issues took the best of me. Nonetheless I have stuck up to packing a healthy bento with my best capacity, fancy or not.
Cheese roll, apples, toast w/jam, fruit cup

White choco chip pancakes, apples, hotdogs, my own corn muffin

Cheese sandwich, grapes, chickpeas/mushroom/babycorn stirfry, peace tomato slice

breaded fish, edamame, strawberries, bacon & cheese croissant

chicken breast, broccoli, grapes, cream cheese sandwich & grape tomatoes

cheese string, carrots, grapes, sweet potato slices & pocket sandwich


Food Picks for my Bento

Food picks are very useful bento accessory. I use them on everything. They not only hold food together, they also jazz up a plain box of fruits. I don't have a lot of selection. The only ones that were available on my recent shopping trip were animals.

They're cute nonetheless. This is Mr & Mrs. Hotpot's snack bento. My coworker was amused at my grapes lined up so neatly, lol.
I like how the animal head pops out of the grapes. No dirty hands on the computer with the use of food picks.

It holds the croissants in place.

They make a zoo sandwich bento.

They keep the sandwich intact. No somersaulting inside the lunchbox.