Diana Rambles: January 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Birds in a Nest Bento

1/31: Birds in a Nest- 3 hard-boiled quail egg birds in a twisty pasta nest, peas & pear
linked to the following bento meme: What's For Lunch

Monday, January 30, 2012

Simple Monday Bento

It's Monday and a simple bento was so in order!
1/30: Happy Dumplings- dumplings w/ face picks, strawberries, green beans

linked to the following bento meme: What's For Lunch

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chinese Lanterns Bento

While Chinese New Year lasts two weeks, this is the end of my CNY bentos. I've really challenged myself this week and am pleased with the different bentos I've created. Tonight is the big Chinese New Year performance at my daughter's school. The school is decked out with lanterns, so I decided to make lanterns for today's lunch. I made up the red egg sheets last night. I love how easy egg sheet is to make and work with.
1/27: Chinese Lanterns- lantern made with egg sheet decorated with yellow icing & red crystals, strawberries, blueberries, turkey & cheese, edamame
linked to the following bento memes: Bento of the Week, What's For Lunch

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thematic Thursday 3: Super Bowl Football

Thank you to everyone who participated in the first 2 weeks of Thematic Thursday. We had over 60 entries in the Winter/Snow Link-Up.

The link with the most views this past week was Snowflake Doughnuts from Hungry Happenings. Beth has lots of fun food ideas on her blog.
Here are 2 other submissions that I want to try out!
March of the Pingus from Biting The Hand That Feeds You. Perfect for a party!
Making Slipper Socks from Sew Can Do. Warm & cute!
Week 3 Theme: Super Bowl Party The new link-up is Super Bowl or Tailgate Parties. Please post the direct link to anything you've created, done, or posted about that is related to football or tailgates. It doesn't specifically have to be NFL stuff. Anything that can be adapted for different teams is OK. Football draft party ideas would be great too! You can post more than one, but it needs to be your content/from your blog. Older posts are OK! No giveaways please. Please grab one of the Thematic Thursday buttons and visit/comment on at least 3 other participants! Full guidelines on this meme can be found here.
Upcoming Schedule:  2/2 & 2/9 Valentines

Find other great memes to participate in at Link Rink!

Tortilla Dragon

I was running out of ideas for Chinese New Year bentos, so I went to see what others have done this week. I came across this dragon by JDaniel4's mom and decide to copy it. I think it turned out better than the photo did!
1/26: Tortilla Dragon- dragon made with red dyed tortilla circles with nori for accents and face from candy eyes & blueberries w/ carrot in the mouth, beef stick, green beans, strawberries
linked to the following bento memes: Bento of the Week, What's For Lunch I link to food memes listed here. I link to creative memes listed here.
Tomorrow is the last day to enter to win my Bento Beginner Lunch Set.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Spring Arrival Bento

Chinese New Year is about celebrating the arrival of spring. My daughter learned how to make the character for spring at girl scouts the other night, so she drew the char for her lunch today. I put the character upside down in her bento since the character for upside down in Chinese sounds the same as the character for arrival. So upside down spring implies spring has arrived!
This is supposed to look like a bunch of firecrackers on a stick/string.
1/25: Spring Arrival- Firecracker bunch made from beef stick & strawberries, green beans, "Spring" written by Dori on a piece of cheese (colored with edible marker)
linked to the following bento memes: Bento of the Week, What's For Lunch
Enter my Bento Beginner Lunch Set Giveaway HERE Giveaway ends Jan 27

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Snickerdoodle Milk

I have a new OBSESSION! I call it Snickerdoodle Milk. I've seen a few people post recipes on their blogs for flavored milk that called for dried milk. I don't have any dried milk and really don't want to buy any. I decided to experiment with skim milk. I came up with this drink that I love. It had a familiar taste to it, just I just couldn't put my finger on it. Today I realized that it tastes like Snickerdoodle cookies.
Snickerdoodle Milk

Milk (I use Skim)
Vanilla Syrup (I use SF DaVincis)
Cinnamon

Pour your glass of milk, add a little vanilla syrup (maybe teaspoon), and sprinkle with cinnamon. Head in microwave for about 2 minutes. Stir.

Even though the cinnamon floats, the taste gets into the milk.  I think the floating cinnamon makes it look like a Snickerdoodle on top.
I am NOT a fan of hot drinks (I drink my coffee chilled!), but this hits the spot when it's cold outside!!
I link to food memes listed here. I link to creative memes listed here.

Chinese New Year FUN!

Last night was our Chinese New Year Girl Scout Celebration. We made 2 crafts and the girls had a GREAT time.

The first thing we made was Spring banners. I taught the girls the Chinese character for Spring. They outlined their character with glue and then decorated with gold glitter. They turned out well!
We also made Dragon Marionette Puppets. I found the directions for this here. This is quite an involved craft, but the girls did a good job. I would strongly suggest using some thicker string that is single ply.
All this dragon fun leads to another dragon bento.
1/24: Dumpling Dragon- Dragon made out of 3 dumplings (edible marker & candy eyes), blueberries, peas
linked to the following bento memes: Bento of the Week, What's For Lunch I link to food memes listed here. I link to creative memes listed here.
Enter my Bento Beginner Lunch Set Giveaway HERE Giveaway ends Jan 27

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

Gong Hay Fat Choy! It's the year of the dragon!
My daughter got up right away this morning and immediately asked for her dragon. I get her a plush animal on Chinese New Year to correspond to each year of the Zodiac. She played in her room with all her Zodiac animals before school. It was so cute how she had them interacting. While she played I put today's bento together. This lunch was inspired by this free printable from The Silly Pearl.
1/23: Gong Hay Fat Choy- Jelly Sandwich, Clementine, Edamame, Dragon made of orange cheese with red, yellow, & black egg sheet, Gong Hay Fat Choy out of cheese on top of Nori.
linked to the following bento memes: Bento of the Week, What's For Lunch I link to food memes listed here. I link to creative memes listed here.
Enter my Bento Beginner Lunch Set Giveaway HERE Giveaway ends Jan 27

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Zucchini Perini Knock-Off

Second night in a row that we had a great new lo-carb dish. I thought this one was FABULOUS!!!! I am so excited to have 2 servings of leftovers for my lunch the next 2 days. DH wasn't as much of a fan, but he got the 2 servings of last night's Bacon-Wrapped Chicken. I found this recipe for this here.
Zucchini Perini Knock-Off
  • Ground beef, 1 pound (I used 2 pounds)
  • Onions, raw, 1 large, chopped fine (I went easy on this!)
  • Tomato Sauce, 1 small can
  • Whole Peeled Tomatoes, 28 oz can (I used crushed tomatoes)
  • Ro-Tel, Tomatoes with green chilies, 1 can
  • Oregano, ground, 2 tsp
  • Garlic powder, 2 tsp
  • Zucchini, 2 medium
  • Mozzarella Cheese, 1 cup
  • Parmesan Cheese, 1/2 cup
  • Salt, 1 tsp
  • Pepper, black, 1 tsp
Cook ground beef with chopped onion, drain grease. Do this in an extra large oven proof skillet (if you have one.) Drain whole peeled tomatoes and Ro-tel in a colander and mash the tomatoes (I didn't so this since I used crushed.) Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce along with garlic, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Simmer for a few minutes. Meanwhile slice your zucchini in 1/4 inch rounds. Add the zucchini to the skillet and mix in. If you don't have an oven proof skillet, move the contents to a casserole dish. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and then the mozzarella cheese. Put into a preheated 375 degree oven until cheese is starting to brown, which is about 30 minutes.

My first bite had me thinking this was Italian, but then the Ro-Tel kicked in and gave it a slight Mexican feel. The only thing I might change is more cheese! LOL! D-Lish!!!
I link to food memes listed here. I link to creative memes listed here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Creamy Bacon-Wrapped Chicken

I found a new recipe that I wanted to try. I altered it slightly, but I think it turned out well. It bakes for nearly 3 hours, so plan ahead.
Creamy Bacon-Wrapped Chicken

Chicken Breast
Bacon
Cream of Chicken & Mushroom Soup
Sour Cream

First wrap each chicken with a piece of bacon and put in a casserole dish. Mix the soup & sour cream and spread it over the top of the chicken. Bake uncovered at 275 for 2.75 to 3 hours. I use Cream of Chicken & Mushroom as it has a lower carb content. It did turn out a little salty so next time I'll use a lower sodium version, even if it means using 1 can of cream of chicken and one can of cream of mushroom.
We served it over green beans. YUM!
I link to food memes listed here. I link to creative memes listed here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bento Beginner Set Giveaway

I often get asked where to buy bento supplies. I've gotten mine in a variety of places including a Japanese Dollar Store in San Fran (my sister got them for me), eBay (mostly from Japan), and a few online shops. I've influenced a few friends started in making bentos for their kids too. Do you want to start making bentos for your child? It's a great way to make sure they are eating healthy plus you can reduce waste by not using baggies and other packaging.
This set contains the following pictured below: plastic bento box (Lock & Lock knock-off), 2 Toast Stamps (I Love You & Let's Eat), a Hippo container, 2 Heart containers, 6 Silicone Food Cups, and a set of Plastic Heart Picks. These items will help you get a good start in making bentos.

This giveaway will run through 11:59pm CST on Friday, January 27th. The winner will be chosen via random.org and notified via email on January 28th and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Entry Rules
  • You must do the mandatory entry
  • Leave your email address with your mandatory entry if it's not available in your profile
  • Each entry needs to be a separate comment (remember to do multiple comments on those indicated as multiple entries!)
  • US addresses only
Mandatory Entry
  • Become a public follower via Google Friend Connect of my Bento Blog Network site. While you are there check out the weekly Bento of the Week meme. Go to that site to follow, but come back here and leave a comment saying you did so.
Additional Entries
  • 1 entry for being a public follower via GFC of my new blog Link Rink, which is a place to list and find linkies & memes. Check out the extensive Giveaway Linkies listed!
  • 1 entry for being a public follower via GFC of my business blog, Custom Blog Designs.
  • 1 entry for following me via Twitter @FreeStyleMama.
  • 1 entry (up to 10 each day...must be at least 2 hours apart) for tweeting about this giveaway on Twitter. Feel free to copy the following~ Enter to #win a Bento Beginner Lunch Set #giveaway #contest ends Jan 27th @FreeStyleMama http://tinyurl.com/DRbento2 Please leave the link to your tweet in the comment. (You get the tweet link by clicking on the '4 mins ago' time)
That is a bunch of entry possibilities. The more times you enter, the better chance you have of winning! I will publish each comment when the entry has been verified. **MAKE sure you follow the rules or the entry will be DQ'd!!**

Green Bento 1

1/20: Green 1: This is my first submission into the green challenge at Bento Blog Network. Cheese Tortellini boiled in green water, peas, blueberries covered up with green Fruit Roll Ups.
linked to the following bento memes: Bento of the Week, What's For Lunch

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thematic Thursday 2: Winter

WOW! I am so excited that the very first week of Thematic Thursday had 36 entries! I love the variety of entries...some food, some craft, some teaching activities.

The link with the most views this week was Snowy Lunch for a Snowy Day from Keeley McGuire. Keeley makes cute bento lunches for her daughter.
I really like all the entries, but another one that captured my attention was the Winter Sensory Bin from H is for Homeschooling. My daughter would love to play with this as she is always gathering things around the house.
Week 2 Theme: Winter/Snow We have the same theme this week, so the same linky is up. Please post the direct link to anything you've created, done, or posted about that is related to Winter/Snow. You can post more than one, but it needs to be your content/from your blog. Older posts are OK! No giveaways please. Please grab one of the Thematic Thursday buttons and visit/comment on at least 3 other participants! Full guidelines on this meme can be found here. Please note the change in next week's theme. Upcoming Schedule:  1/26 Football/Super Bowl, 2/2 Valentines , 2/9 Valentines

Find other great memes to participate in at Link Rink!

Dragon Bento 1

Chinese New Year starts on Monday and it will be the Year of the Dragon. Here is my first attempt at a dragon bento.
1/19: Dragon 1- body from tortellini & blueberries, head from 1/2 hard boiled egg/blueberries/red candy fire, pickles, and more blueberries. I had intended the tortellini to look like spikes, but it's hard to see from this angle.
linked to the following bento meme: What's For Lunch

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

End Piracy, Not Liberty!

copied from https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/
Millions of Americans oppose SOPA and PIPA because these bills would censor the Internet and slow economic growth in the U.S.

Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA.

The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late. Please visit https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/
Learn more by watching this

or by reading this.
x-post

Tortellini Leftovers Bento

The simple bentos continue today!
1/18: Tortellini- Cheese tortellini, green beans, Clementine, blueberries
linked to the following bento memes: What's For Lunch Bento Giveaway starting SOON!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Simple Bento

Some days you just don't have any creativity or time! LOL!
1/17: Simple- Cheese & crackers, pickle, Clementine,carrots, Nerds
linked to the following: What's For Lunch

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time Bento

Today is the launch of Girl Scout Cookie Sales in our area. My daughter is a first time Daisy Scout and is very excited to sell. She set a goal to sell 48 boxes. Of course I had to make a Girl Scout Cookie Bento of the 8 varieties she is selling. I can take online payment in case anyone wants to purchase for military troops, in which GS-USA delivers the cookies purchased directly to the troops. Sorry, I won't be able to take orders and ship.
Here is a list of the cookies we are selling (I'm a registered Girl Scout too!) and how I created them.
Thin Mints (Ritz Cracker dipped in chocolate)
Caramel deLites (Peanut butter between 2 circles of whole wheat. When I pulled one side of the bread off the part that remained looked like caramel, and then I put chocolate stripes on it.)
Peanut Butter Patties (2 Ritz Crackers dipped in choc and stuck together)
Peanut Butter Sandwich (peanut butter on wheat)
Shortbread (tortilla)
Lemonades (yellow egg sheet)
Shout Outs! (flattened wheat bread)
Thanks-A-Lot (tortilla w/ choc frosting on one side)
Girl Scouts Empower Girls to take Action!
Support your Local Girl Scouts!
linked to the following bento memes: Bento of the Week, What's For Lunch I link to food memes listed here. I link to creative memes listed here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Introducing Thematic Thursday

I have decided to start a new weekly meme here at Diana Rambles called Thematic Thursday. Each Thursday there will be a theme and if you have a blog post of something you've done or created that fits the theme then link it up! Your link up can be something you made (craft, food, decorating, etc), a photo you took, or something you did. Themes will center around the time of the year/season, an upcoming holiday, or might be a unrelated chosen theme. When the a theme is run for more than a week then the same linky will appear each week. I will feature the most viewed submission plus at least one other one that I like in the following week's Thematic Thursday post. My main motivation for creating this meme is to be able to find ideas for an upcoming holiday/celebration all in one place. There are so many great creative link-ups out there, but most take any theme you want to link.

Week 1 Theme: Winter/Snow The first theme for Thematic Thursday is Winter. Please post the direct link to anything you've created, done, or posted about that is related to Winter/Snow. You can post more than one, but it needs to be your content/from your blog. No giveaways please. Please grab one of the Thematic Thursday buttons and visit/comment on at least 3 other participants! Full guidelines on this meme can be found here.
Upcoming Schedule:  1/19 Winter/Snow, 1/26 Football/Super Bowl, 2/2 Valentines , 2/9 Valentines

Find other great memes to participate in at Link Rink!

Orange Snowman Bento

1/12: Orange Snowman- Snowman made with peeled Clementine orange, cheddar cheese rice snacks, and mini turkey & cheese sandwich (head), chow mein noodle arms, corn, blueberries, mango jelly stick.
linked to the following bento memes: Bento of the Week, What's For Lunch

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Polar Bear Snack

Yesterday was my daughter's turn for snack at school. The kids in her class love it when I bring in a hands-on snack. This time we made Polar Bear faces. It's super easy! Each kid needs 1 Oreo, 3 chocolate chips, and 2 mini marshmallows. First you open up the sandwich cookie. On the side of the cookie with the creamy middle, place the chips as eyes & snout and the marshmallows as the ear. I bought generic cookies and found it hard to stick the ears on. Therefore, I recommend double stuffed! Here is my sample as projected on the Smartboard.
Here are a few of the kid's creations.
The bears were gobbled up!!
Linked to:

Thematic Thursday

Illini Orange Bento

My first entry for the orange challenge at BentoBlogNetwork.com. Most appropriate lunch with last night's basketball defeat of Ohio State.
1/11: Illini Orange- Cheddar & CoJack ILL-INI, Ritz Crackers, Clementine orange, Corn, Carrot Hearts, Orange M&Ms. Here it is a better view of the foods.
linked to the following bento memes: Bento of the Week, What's For Lunch\

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Simple Picks Bento

1/10: Simple Picks- PB&J sammich covered with animal picks, edamame & corn, apple, Nerds. It's one of those mornings that I am thankful for bento supplies, because food picks & divider cups help make a cute quick lunch!
linked to the following bento memes: Bento of the Week, What's For Lunch

Monday, January 9, 2012

Just Yellow Bento

1/9: Just Yellow- Mac & Chez, corn, crackers w/ cheese, chow mein noodles, banana, Pineapple Jelly Stick.
linked to the following bento memes: Bento of the Week, What's For Lunch

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Valentines Dress for your 18" American Girl Doll Giveaway CLOSED!

**CLOSED!**
If you've followed my blog for very long you known that I am a HUGE fan of Cats Meow1 on Etsy. She has TOP quality clothing for 18" Dolls. Darci is a wonderful seamstress and her prices can't be beat!

I am excited to be hosting another Catsmeow1 Valentine's Dress giveaway. One winner will get their choice of a red or pink Fun & Flirty Valentine's Dress for their doll.
This fun and flirty dress is made from confetti dot sequins. The dropped waist, semi-fitted bodice is lined with matching red polyester lining. The skirt has a full double ruffle and comes just above the knee. A 7 inch zipper down the back makes it easy on and off. The shoulder has a fashionable double rosette of the same fabric.
This giveaway will run through 11:59pm CST on Sunday, January 15th. The winner will be chosen via random.org and notified on January 16th and will have 48 hours to contact me. Doll not included in giveaway!

Entry Rules
  • You must do the mandatory entry
  • Leave your email address with your mandatory entry if it's not available in your profile
  • Each entry needs to be a separate comment (remember to do multiple comments on those indicated as multiple entries!)
  • US addresses only
Mandatory Entry
  • Visit Cats Meow1 Etsy shop and check out her items. Come back here and leave a comment on what your favorite item for an 18" or American Girl doll is.
Additional Entries
  • 1 entry for adding Cats Meow1 to your list of shop favorites at Etsy.
  • 2 entries for being a public follower via GFC of my new blog Link Rink, which is a place to list & find linkies & memes. Check out the extensive Giveaway Linkies listed!
  • 1 entry for following me via Twitter @FreeStyleMama.
  • 1 entry (up to 10 each day...must be at least 2 hours apart) for tweeting about this giveaway on Twitter. Feel free to copy the following~ Enter to #win a Valentines Dress for 18" #AmericanGirl Doll #giveaway #contest ends Jan 15th @FreeStyleMama http://tinyurl.com/AGmeow3 Please leave the link to your tweet in the comment. (You get the tweet link by clicking on the '4 mins ago' time)
That is a bunch of entry possibilities. The more times you enter, the better chance you have of winning! I will publish each comment when the entry has been verified. **MAKE sure you follow the rules or the entry will be DQ'd!!**