May Bread Lunch

May shaped bread

Happy May Day! I decided to make bread that spelled, “May”.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Homemade French bread dough in the shaped of “May”

Top Right: White and orange cheddar cut with flower cookie cutters

Bottom Right: Radish and carrots (cut with flower cookie cutter)

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5 Vegetable Stuffed Shells Recipes

Vegetable Stuffed Shells Collage

If you are on a quest to add more vegetables to your diet or just want to try something new – here are 5 recipes. Pumpkin Stuffed Shells with Cheddar Sauce, Eggplant Stuffed Shells, Peanut Veggie Stuffed Shells, Veggie Stuffed Shells, and Taco Stuffed Shells with Mole Sauce. Some of these are not really step by step recipes per say but suggestions. You can experiment with amounts and ingredients that suit your tastes.

I experimented with these. I would not consider all of them to be a success but I am sharing all of them because maybe it will give you some insight or inspiration. Each of these meals are pictured in EasyLunchBoxes.

Pumpkin Stuffed Shells with Cheddar Sauce

Pumpkin Stuffed Shells with Cheddar Sauce

My parents and I enjoyed these and I would make it again. In fact I have already made this twice (once with canned pumpkin and once with a roasted butternut squash).

Cook 15 large pasta shells according to the package directions. Mix 3/4 cup canned pumpkin with 15 ounces ricotta cheese. Stir in 1/2 tsp dried sage. Make Cheddar cheese sauce. Fill shells with ricotta-pumpkin mixture. Put some Cheddar cheese sauce on the bottom of your baking pan. Place shells in baking pan. Spoon sauce over shells. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 10 more minutes.

Eggplant Stuffed Shells

Eggplant Stuffed Shells

This looks like the most traditional of this set but it has eggplant. My parents and brother ate this with me and they enjoyed it.

Fill cooked large shell pasta with the sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese from this recipe.  Placed the stuffed shells in a baking pan with jar tomato sauce on the bottom. Spoon some tomato sauce on top then sprinkle the shells with mozzarella cheese. Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes. Uncover and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Peanut Veggie Stuffed Shells

Peanut Veggie Stuffed Shells

I love peanut noodles and have featured them on this blog a few times.

Cook 15 large shell pasta according to the package directions. Stir fry cut vegetables until tender (I used matchstick carrots, red bell pepper, snow peas, broccoli, garlic and peanuts). Fill shells with vegetables and peanut mixture. Place shells in baking pan. Make peanut sauce. This sauce is sweet and I cut the honey in half. If you prefer something more savory you can try the dressing from this recipe. Spoon peanut sauce over shells. Serve. This can be eaten hot or cold.

Veggie Stuffed Shells

Veggie Stuffed Shells

I enjoyed this one and will make it again. My husband who prefers traditional stuffed shells ate these and said he would eat them again.

This recipe is from Woman’s Day.

Taco Stuffed Shells with Mole Sauce

Taco Stuffed Shells with Mole Sauce

This recipe was my least favorite of the group. I am including it in-case you decide you want  to try this or if reading this makes you decide to try a different combination.

Saute chopped bell peppers in a little olive oil until almost tender. Add 1 can black beans, some water, and taco seasoning. Cook about 10 minutes. Fill cooked shell pasta with bean and bell pepper mixture. Put some mole sauce on the bottom of your pan. Place shells in baking pan.. Spoon mole sauce on top of shells. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes. Uncover and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Below are links to my other meals and recipes which include large shell pasta.

Armadillo

Avocado Salad Shells

Vegetarian Salad Shells

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | Tagged | 2 Comments

2nd Flower Show Entry

Bunny Flowers

My Garden Club district had a flower show and I entered in the Special Exhibits (Arts & Crafts) category. There were 4 advanced reservation spots available to decorate a door panel. The name of the Class was “A Warm Welcome”. The four of us were allowed to paint the wooden panels, remove the molding, use wire, etc but were encouraged to use materials from nature. An entry would be disqualified from judging if a person used artificial flowers or a plant on the New York State protected native plant list.

I have never taken a floral design class so I know I was at risk of not following an essential principle of floral design. I tried to use all I learned the first time I entered a flower show. I also consulted with two members of my club who have experience with this. They were wonderful help!

1st place

This is the door that won first place. The judges comments were: Dramatic Welcome! Not constructive but I guess that is not necessary for a first place win.

Winning entry close

This is a close up to show that in addition to painting the door, she put roping on it. Amazing!

2nd place

My bunny won 2nd place! I was very excited. The judges comments for mine were not helpful and annoyed me a little: Hippity, Hoppity, Welcome. I felt that the comments should help me improve for next time. These did not give me any clue what I could have done better.

3rd place

This door was 3rd place. The judges comments were: Welcome to the Parish! Seed pods out of scale for the rest of the material.

disqualified

This door was disqualified and not eligible for voting because the maker used artificial flowers.

bunny flower show entry close

Here is a close-up of my bunny. I brushed the wooden panel with olive oil. I made a cardboard frame and covered it with corn husk. I fringed and glued on corn husk for the head and feet. The nose is a hazelnut that I painted. The tail is bleached curly pods. The sign is wood that I painted yellow and glued lavender on to spell “Welcome”. I used tweezers to place the lavender. Other material I used were: Bakuli pods, Button Chrysanthemum, Cockscomb,  Cotton pods, Milo, Sheet Moss, and Spray Roses.

It was a fun experience to enter the show and maybe in the future I will enter a different Arts & Crafts class.

Posted in Crafts | 5 Comments

Taco Salad Packed for Lunch

Taco Salad packed for lunch

This was made for my taco salad loving teen nephew. I try to make it a little different each time.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: Ortega Mini Fiesta Flats

Bottom Left: Raspberries

Right Side: Corn, lettuce, Mexican blend cheese, black beans cooked with some taco seasoning, tomatoes, black olives

Outside of Box: Mini Dippers with Taco Sauce and Salsa, Nature Valley Roasted Nut Crunch Bar

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | Tagged | 1 Comment

Mickey Mouse Themed Food

4 Mickey food ideas

I often eat dinner at my friend’s house with her family so I thought it was about time I made food for them. I invited them for lunch and made the parents and kids Mickey and Minnie Mouse themed food. We had our own Disney party for lunch! I made Mickey shaped bread, Mickey shaped quesadilla, Minnie Mouse mashed potatoes, Mickey sandwiches, and Mickey Mouse ears tortilla chips. It was fun and delicious!

Mickey Mouse Bread Cheese

I made Mickey Mouse bread brushed with cocoa for the father.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Mickey ears shaped bread with a mixture of cocoa powder and a little sugar rubbed on top before baking, raspberries and blueberries

Top Right: Broccoli

Bottom Right: Cheddar cheese (cut with Mickey shaped cookie cutter), blackberry

Mickey Mouse Quesadilla

This is the Mickey shaped quesadilla lunch I made for the 9 year old daughter. I created a template because I did not have a cookie cutter large enough.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: Raspberries and blackberries

Bottom Left: Carrots and green bell pepper (cut with Mickey cookie cutter)

Right Side: Black bean and cheddar quesadillas (2 on top of each other), salsa in Mini Dippers

Minnie Mashed Potatoes

I made this lunch for the Mom (my good friend). I borrowed her Mouse Ears silicone muffin mold to shape the cheddar mashed potatoes.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Minnie Mouse Cheddar mashed potatoes (I spooned the mashed potatoes in the silicon muffin cup and then refrigerated, it was very easy!), I used a bow pick to make it look like Minnie, broccoli

Top Right: Chocolate covered pretzels, some with red sprinkles

Bottom Right: Clementine (drew Mickey with food coloring markers)

Mickey Minnie Mouse Sandwiches

This is the fun lunch I made for the 7 year old daughter.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Mickey and Minnie peanut butter sandwiches on wheat bread (I used cutters and stampers similar to this), chocolate covered pretzels, ranch dip (in blue container)

Top Right: Cucumber and carrots

Bottom Right: Watermelon (cut and stamped with same cutters as I used for the sandwiches)

Mickey Mouse Tortilla Chips

Since it was a Mickey celebration, I made extra food for all to enjoy (more of the chocolate pretzels, and some Mickey mouse ears homemade tortilla chips. I cut flour tortillas with a Mickey cookie cutter, brushed olive oil on each side, sprinkled with salt and baked in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.

It was enjoyable to make 4 different themed lunches in the same day and to have fun company for lunch!

Linking to:

Eats Amazing Fun Food Friday

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | Tagged | 6 Comments

Taurus Bento Lunch

Taurus Zodiac food

Next in my yearly series of Zodiac symbols in food, is Taurus.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Rice, peas, corn, diced tomatoes, Parmesan cheese (made and used stencil)

Top Right: Cucumber

Bottom Right: Grapefruit

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Titanic Themed Lunch

titanic lunch

Today is Titanic Remembrance Day, on April 15, 1912 the Titanic sank. Other than cutting the cheese quesadilla in the shape of the Titanic, this lunch is very easy to make.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top: Cheese quesadilla with food marker details, blueberries

Bottom Left: Popcorn (air popped)

Bottom Right: Radish

Not Pictured: Greek Yogurt

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | 1 Comment