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Archive for the ‘Kid Fun’ Category

Nooks and crannies. I just love them.

I must have been a squirrel or a chipmunk or something in a previous life. I love storing things away in little spaces. I love when everything is tucked away in it’s own special place.

Now mind you, my things may not actually stay in their places for very long (or at all, for that matter) but at least I have identified those places where they should be, so I’m halfway there, right?

As you can imagine, I have a penchant for food storage containers with sections. Yes, seriously. I love nooks and crannies in my food storage, so the wet things can be separate from the crunchy things and the raw things are far away from the creamy things, and so on and so forth.

Of course you can imagine how absolutely tickled I was to receive from Laptop Lunches a sample bento-style lunchbox for review here on my blog. Red on the outside, multicolored on the inside … the lunchbox just shouts “Happy day!” no matter what you put in it!

Red star stickers on the orange container furnished by Ecogirl

Don’t worry, I don’t really hear lunchboxes shouting. Though sometimes I do hear muffled whispering amongst the cutlery …

So anyway, the exterior lunchbox and all its individual compartments are made in the good ol’ U S of A. Yes, they’re plastic, but some of that is recycled content. And they’re safer than other plastics, with no lead, phthalates, BPA, or PVC (vinyl). They can take a beating (one of mine flew off the car roof and a good portion of it survived!), and the colors are just plain fun.

There are five interior containers that hold everything from sandwiches to fruit salad to dips, whatever your imagination and knife skills can fit in there. One day, I used cookie cutters to shape bread for toast pieces which I served with egg salad. Another day, I cut celery the short way to make “celery bridges” (waaaaay less stringy, according to Ecogirl), served with Caesar dressing for dipping.

One day Ecogirl implored, “Mom, I want Dora yogurt” which she’s never had in her life but sees at the grocery store and at the homes of some of her friends. I was unwilling to buy it, but sympathetic to a three year old’s desire for the latest and greatest character-branded merchandise. So what did we do?

We decorated one of our small interior bento containers with our own Dora stickers, and now she has Dora yogurt any time she wants (our version made with organic plain yogurt and local raw honey). If the mood strikes one day, then we are more than ready to change it out for a Disney princess yogurt container, or a celestial container covered with star stickers … one’s imagination is only limited to one’s access to good stickers.

Yoplait ain’t got nothing on us!

All compartments and lids are dishwasher safe, including the exterior lunchbox itself. I love that the compartments are all separate, so if there’s only a bit of one food leftover from lunch, you can just take out that one container and put in the fridge.

If you’re not sold yet, why don’t you check out this great link featuring 365 lunch ideas for fall, with beautiful, colorful images?

Ok then.

Now that I’ve got you excited to ride the bento bandwagon, let’s talk GIVEAWAY!

Laptop Lunches has generously furnished a $25 gift certificate to give to one lucky Ecomama Says reader. That will get you one super-duper, handy-dandy bento lunchbox, or some other fun items like an insulated soup container or a decorative lunchbag.

Here’s what you need to do to enter to win:

  1. “Like” Laptop Lunches on Facebook and Twitter (yes, both of them)
  2. “Like” Ecomama Says on Facebook and Twitter (yep, both again)
  3. Post a comment below, here on the Ecomama Says blog, letting us know what you would purchase with your $25 gift certificate

One lucky winner will be selected by the end of the day on September 3, 2012, Labor Day, just in time to go back to school!

So, tell us, dear readers: What would you buy with $25 from Laptop Lunches?

 

Update: We have a winner! Monica D., have fun shopping through all the fun colors!

Thanks to all for participating, and thanks again to Laptop Lunches for furnishing this great giveaway!

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Crayon Cookies

Broken crayons. All over the house. I swear, Ecogirl (aka “Hulk”) snaps the whole ones into pieces just for fun.

What to do with all these annoying shards of colored wax?

Make crayon cookies!

All you need is a muffin pan, oil spray (I have a refillable mister pump) and broken crayons.

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray muffin pan with oil, and place crayon pieces into pan, filling each section up at least 1/3 of the way.
  2. Place pan in oven, let bake for just a few minutes, then turn the oven off and let the crayons continue melting as the oven cools off.
  3. When crayons are fully melted, remove pan from oven and cool til crayons are hard
  4. Pop out your crayon cookies, and start coloring!

    I’d like to see you try to break THESE in half, sweetie! HA! Foiled!

    These make a lovely gift for little friends. For Valentine’s Day, use a heart-shaped muffin pan.

    Remember to inform gift recipients that these are crayons, not edible cookies or soap!

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    Breakfast Ice Cream

    It all started as a failed attempt at chocolate ice pops. One mistake turned into a supreme breakfast treat!

    I mixed Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood Chocolate powder with milk and poured into ice pop molds. While they chilled, the powder sank to the bottom of the molds, making a thin gritty layer at the tip of each ice pop. Ecogirl did NOT approve. Neither did I. Yuck.

    Back to the drawing board. I figured I’d put the pops into the blender and turn them back into a smoothie-like drink. Into the blender they went, along with frozen strawberries, half a frozen banana, and a handful of raw spinach. What happened next was sheer magic.

    As I blended, the frozen ingredients slowly became the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. I had a “eureka” moment, stopped right there, and asked Ecogirl if she’d like to have ice cream for breakfast instead of a smoothie.

    Boy, did her eyes open wide! “Really Mommy???”

    Oh yes, pookie bear!

    This breakfast ice cream is mom-approved, filled with only the good stuff. Make it vegan by swapping the milk for a non-dairy alternative like almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, etc.

    • 3 frozen ice pops made with milk and chocolate greens powder
    • 1/2 frozen banana
    • 4 frozen strawberries
    • Handful of raw spinach
    1. Place all ingredients in high powered blender like Vitamix and blend on high, using tamper/plunger rod to stir and mash ingredients into blades. This starts out quite thick, since three of the four ingredients are frozen solid.
    2. When the mixture reaches the texture of soft serve ice cream, stop blending and serve.

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