Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Frosty the Snowlunch

Excuse the photos for the lame lighting.  The light over my dining room table burnt out and there is almost no natural lighting early in the morning when I bento.  This lunch had to get photographed in a less preferable spot.

It's frosty!
I'm pretty pleased with this but I admit it's probably because I'm anal and ridiculous and I love that I have a purpose to bento again (Christmas).  Plus, he's kind of cute, and my husband helped me make the scarf which just completely makes me happy.  He's so awesome sometimes! hehehe

Onigiri snowman with hot dog arms, apple peel scarf, nori coal lumps, carrot nose and Reese's PB cup hat.

Hotdog "SNOW" with hearts, diced apple, Co-Jack snowflake, and edamame

This was fun.  :)  I don't even care that he's not perfect (I REALLY wanted to use a crab stick for his scarf but since I'm still on the tail end of this cold I didn't get out to the Japanese grocery store to buy any) or that he should have been in a box that wasn't white.  Snow in Okinawa is wishful thinking, at best, but it's fun to be doing themed boxes again.  :)

Bento Lunch

Fried Rice Bento

This bento is from...  like...  two weeks ago.  I know, I know.  I'm wayyy behind over here!  We had a camping trip the weekend before last and everybody got sick.  I think A actually brought the cootie home the week before that and we just made it worse with the weekend away.  Regardless, it did not make for a good time for me the week of Thanksgiving.  I managed to get all of my Thanksgiving cooking done (on time!) and it was a success but I was completely burned out and A missed a lot of school.  At any rate, this is the one bento that I missed out on documenting in between...  Uh...  Whatever I posted last and today.

Babybel cheese with a butterfly cut-out, edamame, diced fruit, spiced pretzels, hot dog mums, and fried rice (with egg, veggies, green onions and sesame seeds)...

This panda pick...  I loved him!  Somebody stole him from her bento though and he didn't come back home.  :(

This box was a hit and she was so excited to inform me that she'd eaten the whole thing.  Well, except for the cheese, which she shared with her friend.  :)

I haven't done Muffin Tin Monday or anything fun with the kids (aside from Thanksgiving and Christmas decorating) in what seems like forever!  Finally, though, I feel like I am on the upswing with this cold.  Thank goodness.  Being sick is the worst!

I'm out of my bento funk now, too, (I think...  I hope!!) since I can start making Christmas bentos.  I made the first one of the year today and it was pretty fun.  I'll post it tomorrow.

Bento Lunch

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Catching Up

Man-oh-man! I have been way overwhelmed this past week by kids, holidays, sick days, laundry, housekeeping, going on a tour, preparing for the upcoming Marine Corps Ball, my husband working ridiculous hours, parties, a friend leaving the island for a visit back to the states, etc, etc, etc! I can't seem to get enough rest in between it all.

I have, however, been bento-ing when appropriate. They're nothing super exciting or special, and I have to admit I am going through Halloween bento withdrawals. I'd love to do some awesome autumn themed boxes but fall in Okinawa definitely leaves something to be desired and so I've been just kind of skating by with A's lunches.

Last Tuesday, she requested leftovers for lunch, which was fine with me. It did make for a very "grown up" looking lunch, though.

Dinner roll (which I had to try out a few new ¥100 tools on and carved a face into), banana, strawberry jelly, skelly-man, corn, and on the bottom tier is peanut butter noodles and grilled shrimp.  She loves seafood!

This morning's bento was even more boring, but will hopefully be a hit anyway.

Pizza sandwich, two fruit gels, mixed tropical fruits, celery with peanut butter and carrot sticks.
Oh well.  Hopefully I get out of my "I miss Halloween" funk soon and interested in making more exciting lunches again.  And by the way, A does have more than one bento box, in case you wondered.  She has a TON of them!  But the box I use for most of her lunches (two tiered, white and it has Hello Kitty on top) is the only one she LOVES and she makes a point to request it every time.  She is so weird.  :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

We had a really awesome Halloween.  It was a blast!  We all dressed up and went trick-or-treating and our costumes were quite the hit.  I am so fortunate to have a really cool husband who not only humors my ridiculous requests but also enjoys participating and isn't completely mortified to walk all over the base wearing a snug green jumpsuit.  What a guy!!

When our girls had filled up their question mark blocks, we headed home where I'd left dinner in the oven.  Dinner in a Pumpkin (minus the green onions - due to the typhoon, we're having a green onion shortage at the commissary) was a bigger hit with the adults than the kids, but still a hit regardless.  I threw together dessert in a flash and put it in the oven while we picked through candies, ate dinner out of a pumpkin, and greeted the later batch of trick-or-treaters.

Dessert, though, is what I REALLY want to talk about.  Oh.  My.  Heavenly.

When I found this recipe on GourmetMomOnTheGo.com and tried it out, I knew I had found something special.  I tasted it and the only word that came to mind was, "Magical."  That sounds ridiculous, I know, but try it and you'll understand.  As my tastebuds exploded into sugary, creamy bliss, I recall thinking that this could be SUCH a versatile recipe.  And it was the first recipe that came to mind when I was thinking about desserts for Halloween.

So, I "Autumned" it up a little bit.  And wow, was it GOOD!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars


  • 2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Roll Creations seamless dough
  • 2 8-oz packages cream cheese (I use Neufchâtel), softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup solid pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice - I actually use Pampered Chef's "Cinnamon Plus blend" - LOVE that stuff!)
For the topping:
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Spray a 13x9" pan with cooking spray, and press one package into the bottom of the pan.
  2. With a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla, pumpkin, and 1 tsp cinnamon until smooth.  Spread this mixture over the top of the crescent roll dough.
  3. Unroll the second can of dough and spread it over the top of the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of the crescent dough.
  5. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool before cutting and serving - the cream cheese mixture will be ultra melty and gooey and a big mess if you are too impatient like I am!

I shared this post at MySweetCreations for Sweet Sunday.
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