Thursday, December 19, 2013

Santa's Coming To Lunch

Welcome to either you first stop or one of many stops along our "Santa Claus Is Coming To Lunch" blog hop!  I hope you enjoying this holiday hop because we've got lots of Santa themed lunches for you!

This lunch was very easy to put together.  We made mini waffles sandwiches inspired by Momables and filled them with strawberry cream cheese.  Yum! To make the little Santa hat's, slice the top of the strawberry off and insert a toothpick.  Top the hat off with a mini marshmallow.  Ta-Da!  For Santa's mustache, I used, believe it or not, marshmallow goldfish from our bag of s'mores flavored Goldfish crackers.  You can also use a piece of cheese or leave the mustache off all together if you'd like.  And there you have it! Mini Santa Waffles!

Don't forget to click on the Santa button below! Your next stop on the hop will take you to my friend Perry of Dreams, Schemes, and Bento Themes.  She has super cute lunches Christmas lunches ready for your viewing!

7 more days till Santa arrives! I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and loved ones and that your New Year will be filled with blessings!! Thank you so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cookies! Who Wants Cookies?

I've been meaning to post these for some time now and am FINALLY getting around to it.  These are just some of the cookies I've made in the past few months.  I really love making decorated cookies, more so than cupcakes and cakes (which I've done before).  I'll be sharing more again (soon!) but for more updated pictures you can follow me on Instagram @LovePeaceBento

Air Jordan Wedding Favors

Birthday Cookies 

 Nurse Themed Cookies

Pinterest inspired mini cookies in a jar.

Cupcake Cookies

One of my favorites! Halloween cookies!

Mermaid themed cookies

 Princess Crowns for Birthday Girl

 Back to School Cookies

School themed cookies for my mom's retirement party.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

One of My Favorites...

Back in October, my youngest son made a list of different bento theme lunches that he'd like for me to make.  I started working on some of those in November after we finished up with our Halloween themes.  
One of the ideas on his list, was of his little buddy, Ploppers.  Ploppers is very special to him.  Our son has had him since he was born and has slept with him every night.  Ploppers has gone with us on every family trip from Hawaii to our 5 day cruise.  He's the little buddy my son snuggles up to when he's not feeling well.  "I love Ploppers because I get to see him every single day and because I get to spend time with him." Even though my son is 8 years old, I love love love that he's still got his buddy Ploppers with him.  
This sweet and simple lunch is one of my favorites by far.  

Do your kids have any special stuffed toys, buddies that they hold dear to their heart?

Welcome Back Jingle & Meet Our New a Friend, Bells!

December is here and it's that time of year again.  Christmas cheer, decking the halls, sleigh bells ringing and of course... Elf On The Shelf! 
We started our tradition last year when Jingle, made his first appearance.  He was a spunky little elf who the boys loved & couldn't wait to find everyday to see what he was up to.
Well this year, Jingle returned to our family once again & this time he brought a little friend with him.  He didn't know what her name was, so the boys named her Bells. So now we have two elves in our family.  Meet Jingle and Bells!  Here are the adventures they had this week! 

Jingles came back & he has a new friend with him.  It also looks like he brought some treats along with him!

We found them hiding in the cupboard the next day.

Silly Jingle and Bells seemed to have gotten themselves wrapped up in Christmas ribbon.

Double word score! Our elves playing a friendly game of Scrabble.

I think they were trying to tell us something... that we should really get started on our tree decorating.

Uh-oh! Bells has gotten into some mischief with Jingles in the bathroom!

They must have had a long night back from the North Pole because this morning they were just relaxing on the kitchen ledge.

I wonder what kind of fun (or trouble!) these two will get into next week.  Do you have any helper elves in your home? If you do, what kind of fun are that having? I would love to hear your stories! 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Eeekk!!! I'm am so late!

Hi Everyone...I'd like to apologize for the lateness on this post.  It's been about a good month since I've last updated my blog.  It is now December and I'm FINALLY posting the last of our Halloween lunches. I know... I know... totally late, Liezl. And again I do apologize. Life just got...really busy all of a sudden.  I've still been making the boys lunches and honestly, November seemed to whiz right by.  Those pictures will be posted next.  I don't even know where that month went.  So here I am playing catch up...a lot of catch up! These were our last week of Halloween lunches.

I made Frankenstein pancakes which were inspired by my friend Michelle over at Creative Foods.  She has the cutest little pancakes.  If you head over you'll see she even has a Christmas tree pancake.  Super cute! I tried to use a squeeze bottle to make the pancakes, however I failed to realize that blueberry pancakes don't do well with squeeze bottle (yeah, the blueberries kept clogging up the spout). Haha! Lesson learned.  So I ended up having to use a spoon.  Which I think turned out fine though.  I mean Frankenstein wasn't perfectly made right? 

Our mini version of a pumpkin patch. We found little mini burgers in the freezer section and stuck some cupcake toppers in them. I like how all of the colors coordinate! I just noticed that! Purple, orange, and green. Yay me!

Our batty sandwich pocket.  We used our AnimalPalz cutter to make the bat.

And finally...our last Halloween lunch!! 
A witchy pandy who "mustache" you a question?

Whew! That was a long month of Halloween themed bentos.  Thank you so much for checking them out!! =) Hopefully these will give you some inspiration for next year. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Serving Others

     Last week I was blessed with the opportunity to help my dear friend from church with her ministry.  She needed help with snacks for the girls, so I signed up.  I wanted to do something special for the girls so I made each of them little bento lunches.  I was so happy to be able to make them for the girls.  I wanted to bless them with a little something to let them know they are loved.
     The opportunity to serve others is always there, no matter how big or how small the need might be.    That is one of our purposes in life: To Serve Others.
     My husband and I completed our Second Step classes at church a few weeks ago.  The classes were focused on what it means to serve and how we serve for the Lord.  One of my favorite parts of our lesson was a chapter from A Purpose Driven Life titled "Accepting Your Assignment".  The chapter talks about how we are to give something back and that we were each created for a special plan by God.
"Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you.  
Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work." (Jeremiah 1:5)  
     That right there is already mind blowing.  He KNEW me before I was even created.  I still try to figure out who I am and the only one who truly knows me is God.  He ALREADY had a special plan and purpose for me! Wow.
     The chapter goes on to talk about serving in ministry and serving others and why we sometimes give excuses as to why we can't serve.  He sent His son to die for our sins, so we should honor God and serve him.  "In God's kingdom, you have a place, a purpose, a role, and a function to full."
     My take away from that reading was this:

  • I was CREATED to serve God.  
- God already has plans for us and set up apart to serve
  • I was SAVED to serve God.
- When we become saved, God intends to use us for HIS goals.
  • I am CALLED to serve God.
 - We are FULL TIME Christians in service.  God gave us talents, gifts and abilities to serve Him by helping others.  He can surely take them away as well.
  • I am COMMANDED to serve God. 
- Service is not an option.  To serve and to give is God's 4th purpose for us.  We exercise our spiritual muscles through service.

     God gave us talents, gifts and abilities to use for His glory and to serve others. These little lunches may not seem like much, but to God, no service is to small.  If our hearts are right and it is our desire to serve God, then that is what God honors.

     "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, 
which God prepared in advance for us to do." ~ Ephesians 2:10

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Lunches - Part 4 Counting down the days

    Have you had your fill yet of Halloween lunches? Hahaha!! I think I have...well almost.  Just a few more days to go. My youngest is still enjoying his lunches though and that's what matters.  He even helped me make his lunch for Friday.  
    UPDATE!! My oldest son (he's 11) got a costume this weekend!! YAY!!  Last week he still wasn't sure if he wanted to dress up or not.  But he said a few of his friends are AND he found out that they also get to wear their costume to school on Halloween (they weren't able to do this in elementary school).  So I think that was a possibly a deciding factor for him.
     I'm really happy that he decided to dress up this year.  I know that when he gets older he'll probably not want to go Trick Or Treating, but I'll cross that bridge (again!) when we come to it.  
     On to Part 4 of our Halloween of today, Halloween is in 3 more days! 

Baked ravioli's with marinara dipping sauce, apples and rice krispie treats.  
Do I spy creepy zombie hands coming out of the ravioli's?

Cute ghost themed lunch with chicken sandwiches, oranges, grapes and cookies.

Witchy panda bear brewing up some yummies for lunch! There's also
a side of Mac and Cheese and requested by my little one.  It's his fave!

Pop up sandwich using my CuteZCute cutters.  For directions 
on how to make a pop up sandwich click HERE.  I thought this little
kitten holding a pumpkin turned out cute!

Pizza Friday as requested by little one.  He also helped with picking out the food toppers
and put them in himself.  For the pizza's,  I bought the personal size pizza's by
Lean Cuisine and cut it into 4's. I did the same for my older son (minus the Halloween picks of course).  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sugar Cookie Recipe & CuteZCute Cookie Tutorial

     I was chatting with my friend JeeJee over at CuteZCute cutters the other day, and she was asking me about my cookies and how I make them.  I sent her my recipes that I use for the cookies and royal icing.   We were just chatting away and then she came up with the brilliant idea that I should make tutorial for my blog.
     Let me just say this: I am still cookie-er in the making. I'm still learning.  =) I'm barely going into my 4th month of making cookies as I type this out.  I haven't had any formal training (although I would love take some classes) and honestly have learned through reading different cookie blogs.  Oh...and A LOT of trial and error!  A LOT.
     These are by no means the set way to do cookies, but these are the recipes and techniques that work for me.  You eventually find out what works for you and what doesn't work for you in terms of recipes and when it comes to decorating.  You just gotta try it out and find your groove!
     I guess what you'll need first is a recipe.  I'm sorry I don't have the original link for this.  I wrote it down while searching for recipes online and didn't save the website or link at all.  But who ever came up with recipe...THANK YOU!  I've gotten so many compliments that the cookie didn't taste like your normal sugar cookie.  The cookie itself is moist and chewy and not overly sweet.  And do you want to know has cream cheese in it! Yes! That is the secret ingredient.  Whenever I make these cookies, my cousin always asks me if I have any extra because she likes to eat them just as they are.  You want the cookie to the be STAR and the royal icing to be it's supporting role.
     Here is the recipe which yields about 30 medium size cookies.  It really depends on the size of your cutter though.
  • 8 oz of cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
With a mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar until it is light and fluffy. 
Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract and continue to mix.
Add in 1 cup of flour at a time. You don't need to sift the flour. Add baking powder in between the cups of flour and continue to mix until it starts to form into dough.
Your dough is going to be a little sticky once it's been mixed and that's ok. I can tell that my dough is done mixing when I touch it and it sticks just a little bit to my finger. Place the dough in a gallon ziplock bag and refrigerate for atleast 8-10 hours.  

Here is a picture filled tutorial on how to make cookies using CuteZCute cutters!
Once you're ready to start making cookies, dust your work area and rolling pin with flour. Roll out your dough about 1/4 inch thick. (I usually do it in handfuls at a time because it's too much dough to roll out at one time). You can also dust your cookie cutter with flour to keep it from sticking to the dough.

Take your cutter and cut out as many cookies as you need.

Next, take the stamp and place it onto your cookie.  Make sure to use the side of the stamp that makes the imprint and don't press too hard.  You only want to place an imprint of the face and not cut out the actual dough.

Your cookie should look like this when you're done.

Make as many and different animal faces as you like.  Have fun with it!

Place wax paper on a flat plate that will fit in your freezer. Next place, your cookies onto the wax paper. You can add another piece of wax paper on top of cookies and layer them if you make a lot of cookies. Place your cookies in the freezer for about 30 min. THIS IS IMPORTANT especially with this recipe since there is a lot of fat (butter, cream cheese) in it.
Freezing the cookies will help them keep their shape while they are baking. Trust me on this.

Place your frozen cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Your oven may vary so if you're making this for the first time, keep any eye on the cookies while baking and adjust accordingly.

Tada!! When you cookies are done baking, let them sit for a few minutes on the baking sheet before you transfer them to a cooling rack. Sometimes, they are still a bit too soft to move immediately from baking sheet to rack. I normally let my cookies sit for 24 hours before decorating.
But you can decorate the cookie as soon as you wish! Just make sure they have cooled down completely.

Remember how I mentioned it's important to freeze your cookie before baking it?  This is why.  See how well the cookie kept its original shape and size? 

When the cookies have cooled, you can leave them as is or you can decorate them using royal icing or any other confectionary goods!  I use Sweet Sugar Belle's royal icing recipe to the T.  Here are the cookies I decorated and I noted some little important tips to remember when working with royal icing.

And there you have it!  A cookie recipe and how to make CuteZCute Animal Cookies.  
One day I'll try to create a tutorial on royal icing when I perfect it.  But if you're interested in learning more about it now, check out my favorite cookie blogs below:
If you have any questions, please fee free to ask below in the comments!!
Thanks for stopping by and happy baking!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Halloween Lunches - Part 3 Cute and Spooky Fun

Hellooooo everyone!! Are you getting your fill of Halloween lunches yet? If not and you're still looking for more ideas, check out Bento Bloggeres and Friends: Frightfull Fall Blog Hop!  My friends and I at Bento Bloggers and Friends have more than 50 fun Halloween themed lunches to share with you! 

We have 11 more days until Halloween!! I was out shopping with my oldest son yesterday who wanted to pick up some goodies with his birthday money.  While we were out, I was amazingly, able to get almost everything that I needed for my costume.  That has never happened. EVER.  It usually takes me about 2 weeks to round everything up.  Oh and now he's thinking about maybe getting dressed up!! I hope he does.  I realize he's getting older, I've seen plenty of kids older than him that still get dressed up for Halloween.  

These week we have 3 Halloween lunches.  I made my son a birthday lunch on Monday, and these were the other 3.  I only have 3 lunches because on of the days I made a "practice" lunch for our blog hop.  Yes, I had to practice. Haha! It was my first hop and I wanted it to be perfect! So my youngest son got the same Rilakkuma lunch twice.  He didn't mind that one bit!

I forgot I had eyeball cupcake toppers lying around so I thought it would be funny to make a spooky faced sandwich.  Of course, with a mustache.  My youngest son told me he got scared when he opened his lunch! Hahah!! Which I'm not sure why because I always show him his lunch before I close it up. This was a chicken breast patty sandwich with some fruit, Oreos and string cheese.  

I made a pocket sandwich with cookie butter and used my new CuteZCute Animal Palz stamper to make the bat.  I love his 1 little fang.  I also included some chicken nuggets and grapes.  

And my pride and joy bentos.  It's Rilakkuma wearing a witch hat.  This was the lunch I posted for our blog hop.  Here is the original post.

We have 9 more days of Halloween lunches to go!! This is one of my favorite themed lunches to make.  Although, I also can't wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out last week's lunches!! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Happy Birthday Bento!

Our oldest son celebrated his 11th birthday on Monday.  Normally we take them to Disneyland on their birthdays, but he's grown into (and is still growing) into such a responsible young man.  He wanted to be at school instead so that he wouldn't miss anything from school.  I am a proud momma!  So, instead, I sent him to school with a special birthday lunch (he was ok with this just for today).  And since it was National Dessert Day,  I sort of themed his lunch around desserts as well.

The cupcake sandwich is actually a turkey and cheese sandwich. I also include some chicken nuggets (one of his favorite foods), some cookies and ube cake (it's a type of Filipino cake).  He was pretty happy about the cake since that's his favorite one as well.

I love you so my little man.  Even though you're 11 now and you're almost taller than me, you will always be the little peanut that slept on top of a pillow because you were that small.  You'll always be the little 2 year old who LOVED Bear In The Big Blue House and The Wiggles.  I'll never forget the time when you fell asleep with the turtle back pack on (the back pack was from Build-A-Bear ) and you were just so cute! I won't ever stop telling you on every birthday about the day you were born.  It was one of the most unforgettable days of my life.  It was the day God blessed your dad and I with such wonderful son.  You are my sunshine and I pray that you will always keep God close to your heart and that He will continue to guide you in all that you do.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rilakkuma Halloween Lunch

Welcome everyone to my stop on this year's Frightful Halloween Blog Hop hosted by my friends, Bento Bloggers and Friends!  I'm honored to be part of this wonderful group of people who have really been my inspiration.  We have so many fun Halloween themed lunches on this hop so make sure to click on the button at the end of this post to check them all out. This is my first hop that I've participated in!  So here we go!!
Our special lunch for today is a Rilakkuma sandwich.  Do you like the cute witch hat and bow tie he's wearing?  Because, as you know, witch hats and bow ties are THE latest in Halloween bento fashion.  He's also surrounded by purple and orange kettle corn (Nom! Nom! Nom!).  Oh and look!  He has friends!  Our friendly ghost has made another appearance and is floating along in strawberries and white yogurt chips.  Don't forget the little pocket bat sandwich above him.  He is the newest addition to our bento goodies made by CuteZCute.  Adorable little bat isn't he? 

Wishing you all a Happy and Safe Halloween!! 

Be sure to check out my friend Myra's fabulous Halloween lunch at MommyandMeLunchBox!
Click on the image below to keep on hoppin' through our Frightful Halloween Blog Hop!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Halloween Lunches - Part 2! The Fun Continues

Welcome back everyone! We are into our second week of fun themed Halloween lunches!  We are already half way through October and my youngest has finally made up his mind on what he wants to be for Halloween.  It always changes about 3 or 4 times leading up to the 31st!  This year, my youngest son wants to be one of the Treblemakers from his favorite movie, Pitchperfect (aca-scuse me!).  He already has a red hoodie that we got him for his birthday that says "Treblemaker" on the back and it also has his name on the front.  All we need now is a toy microphone, red shirt, and as he said "I need some cool shoes mom."  Easy. Done. Please don't change your mind again.  
We're still not sure what our oldest son wants to be or if he even wants to dress up anymore.  Sigh...  He's just turned 11 yesterday and I don't know if he feels like getting dressed up is "too kiddy" for him.  Either way, whether he gets dressed up or not,  we're going Trick or Treating!  Stay tuned...he just might change his mind!
And, since we've been talking about Halloween this month, again, I present to you our lunches from last week.
BOO!  This one was my favorite lunch.  Our little ghosts are happy and so stylish with the bow tie.  Not all ghosts have to be scary!  The ghosts are turkey sandwiches with some fruit and crackers on the side.  

More pumpkins! I tried to make a little pumpkin out of a mini cinnamon roll.  His nose looks kind of funny though. =)  Pumpkin shaped sandwich with some Mickey Mouse Chicken nuggets and apples.

The boys took left over spaghetti to school with some garlic bread, grapes and cookies.  I always have a hard time making spaghetti look "nice".  Someone suggested to make monster hair.  I think I'll have to try that out next time.

We're going batty!!  Bat sandwiches with Nutter Butters and apple sauce.  The eyes are little candy eyes and I used fruit leather to make the little fangs.  
I put stickers on the apple sauce cover to go with the theme.

Pizza Friday!  Little mini bagel pizza mummies with grapes and Oreos.  I like how the mummies are looking in different directions.  

Will you our your kids be dressing up for Halloween? Share below in the comments! I would love to hear all of your ideas! =)