Deep Breath…We Have a New Doctor

Doctor Who, that is. Thirty odd years ago,  I first watched Jon Pertwee regenerate into Tom Baker on Public Television…my first taste of this odd rebirth of the titular character. Half a lifetime later, I’m clear across the country eagerly awaiting Twelve’s arrival with my daughter and a gaggle of Whovians. Heck, I’m blogging about it on the interwebs. Who’d have thunk it?

Scout and I have tickets to see the new Doctor’s first episode, “Deep Breath” at the local movie theater on Monday night. But, I’m kicking off the weekend with a “Lunch for Twelve” Blog Hop with some of my favorite geektastic bloggers, Edible Geekery.

If you’ve just materialized from Beneficial Bento, “Welcome!”. Please hit the hop button at the end of this post to continue on to see what wonders await at What’s in Our Lunch Bags, and hop around until you’re back with me. You’re not going to want to miss a single site. Trust me, he’s the Doctor.

OrganizedBites.com | Deep Breath...We Have a New Doctor

I packed Scout’s Planetbox “Rover” full of references from the Series 8 trailer. I was thrilled to see Madame Vastra of the Paternoster Gang, and can only imagine that Jenny and Strax aren’t far behind. I love that little potato headed fellow, Strax. He and the TARDIS are represented above as a couple of Trader Joe’s Salted Crunchy Peanut Butter sandwichs on Alpine Valley Organic Honey Whole Wheat Bread. The TARDIS cutter is part of a set from the Doctor Who merchandise over at Lakeland in the UK. Strax and the Dalek came from Warpzone Prints. (Though, ThinkGeek now has a similar set, and the shipping won’t give you a coronary.) I slid a layer of Trader Joe’s Cheddar Rockets under Strax to support the upper sandwich…and, to add a little crunch with lunch.

The organic cantaloupe Dalek is hiding amongst champagne grapes and organic raspberries, poised to exterminate. I couldn’t resist the berries. I’m utterly smitten with the dead sexy, red silk lining of the new Doctor’s coat, and had to include a splash of red in this lunch to echo that.

A honeydew T-Rex is perched atop a stack of organic Rainbow carrot planks. Rex’s tail was a bit to large for the space, so I bobbed it and flipped it around to look like he was swishing it on his rampage through London. At least, I think it’s London in the trailer…I’ve been arduously avoiding spoilers other than the official trailer, which I’ve embedded at the bottom of this post for you.

Stars cut from thin slices of the white carrots shine from a dark field of black olives. I swear, Scout could eat her weight in olives…fortunately, I’m happy to supply them. A couple of Trader Joe’s Schoolhouse Cookies and a dye-free red gummy star from the bulk bin at Whole Foods are today’s sweet finish.

Now, don’t forget to click the “Lunch for Twelve” button immediately below to travel through space and time to What’s in Our Lunch Bags. Karen is so ridiculously talented, I know she has something fabulous in store.

OrganizedBites.com | Deep Breath...We Have a New Doctor

  Follow on Bloglovin

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase. It keeps Organized Bites running, and your support is greatly appreciated.

Back to Basics Blog Hop: BellaJackson Studios Utensils

If you’re looking for a little something special (and beautifully eco-friendly) to add to your bento stash for Back to School, look no further than BellaJackson Studios. Cyndi takes vintage flatware and gives it a creative twist by adding a stamped name or cute phrase. I chose the custom design option for Scout last year, adding a mantra to focus on what I hoped she’d work on that year…”Choose to Shine”. The gentle reminder helped her to remember to raise her hand, take a few chances, and dare to excel. Her Bella Jackson spoon is now her favorite piece of flatware.

There are so many cute stock phrases in stock, I find it hard to believe you can find one that speaks to you or your child. My BellaJackson spoon proclaims, “I like pretty things and clever words.” And, I do, don’t you know?

When you start your bento stash with solid, well made pieces like the ones from PlanetBox and Lunchbots, you don’t have to recreate the wheel each Fall. You have the major components of your lunch kits in hand and in good condition, allowing you to add a fun little accessory if you’re so inclined and the budget’s willing.

Go ahead and order now to be sure and have it when school starts. While you’re there, make a list of ones that jump out as the perfect gift for someone you know…Christmas will be here before we know it. (Sorry. But, it’s true. I can’t believe we’ve nearly put 2014 to bed already.)

Review: BellaJackson Studios

When I was Scout’s age, breakfast for lunch was one of my favorite packed lunch treats. She loves it, too. And, it’s a nice rabbit to pull out of the hat when you’re out of time…or, desperately need to make a run for provisions. Dry cereal goes in the Lunchbots 16 oz. Thermal Jar, while the milk stays cold in the insulated Klean Kanteen. A dipper from To-Go Ware holds fresh fruit and a silicone heart filled with cashews and almonds for crunch, color, and variety.

It’s all about the testing these days! Whip out your #2 yellow pencil, and click through all the posts in the hop, noting the letter and number on each post’s green tile. Once you’ve arrived back at the first post you read, arrange the letters in numerical order to break the code and pass the test. Check out the Rafflecopter giveaway (at the bottom of this post) to find the query just aching for the answer you find, and enter to win one of the fab prizes!BTS Hop 2015 Button #15

 The bell’s ringing for the next class!

Hit the button below to head over to see what Eclectic Lamb is going to school you on today.

BTS 2015 Blog Hop Button
If you’ve collected all the pieces, you can enter on the giveaway on the

Bento Bloggers & Friends blog.

Good Luck!

Not pictured is Scout’s cloth napkin, peppermint EO hand sanitizer and an insulated Klean Kanteen of ice water. I use two different ice packs to keep Scout’s lunch at a safe temperature. A sheet of Cryopak Flexible Ice Pack for Lunch Boxes went underneath her lunch, and a PlanetBox Cold Kit travels in the mesh pocket of the case. And, everything…and, I mean everything, gets labeled with one of Scout’s Mabel’s Labels.

 Follow on Bloglovin

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase. It keeps Organized Bites running, and your support is greatly appreciated.

Packing Pacman

OrganizedBites.com | "Packing Pacman"I’m tickled pink to be participating in Wendolonia’s “3 Tools,  4 Lunches” series this week. Check out Wendy’s post to see all the details on the project, and to see how the other bloggers (Eclectic Lamb and Bentoriffic) used the challenge tools to fill the box we were assigned, the Lunchbots Trio.

The four of us were working with the Wilton Mini Romance Cookie Cutter Set and a Lace Cutter. Normally, I think of the design I want to create and break it down into shapes that I can build. This time I looked at the set of cutters and started spinning them in my head to see what I could make with them. The tulip cutter…ghost! Pacman ghosts!!! And, like so many things on the interwebs…once I saw it, it could not be unseen. This was a ton of fun (and, oh so easy) to make, and I’m really pleased with it. Though, I feel like I didn’t use the Lace Cutter to it’s full potential. But, man, did it make short work of cutting/imprinting the eyes, two at a time! The Pacman cheese sammie only required a circle cutter and a paring knife. I tucked two pieces of bread underneath the cheese, so Scout could reconstruct the sandwich…open face is not her style. There’s Trader Joe’s Seaweed Snack under the Packman. Trader Joe’s Little Gem lettuce underneath the veggie ghosts (Rainbow carrots and cucumber), and blackberries beneath the melon ghosties.

As luck would have it, Scout recently had the opportunity to play Pacman on an old school arcade machine at a friend’s house. So, she really enjoyed seeing it play out in her LunchBots. For me, it took me right back to 1980 and the Village Inn Pizza Parlor on Western Boulevard, post swim meet, smelling like chlorine and Hawaiian Tropic, and sporting my Dorothy Hamill bob. Who says you can’t go home again?

Many thanks to Wendy for hosting this fab challenge, and letting me play along. I’m honored to be in the company of these three woman. They’re each so talented and genuinely fabulous.

Check out the remaining posts (with other fun and fantastic bloggers) in Wendolonia’s “3 Tools, 4 Lunches” series here.

Not pictured is Scout’s little happy fellow fork, her cloth napkin, peppermint EO hand sanitizer and an insulated Klean Kanteen of ice water. I use two different ice packs to keep Scout’s lunch at a safe temperature. A sheet of Cryopak Flexible Ice Pack for Lunch Boxes went underneath her lunch, and a PlanetBox Cold Kit travels in the mesh pocket of the case. And, everything…and, I mean everything, gets labeled with one of Scout’s Mabel’s Labels.

Follow on Bloglovin

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase. It keeps Organized Bites running, and your support is greatly appreciated.

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

OrganizedBites.com | "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil"

The chatter about the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil has been impossible to ignore, what with my FB feed blowing up with reports and pics from viewing party. And, who wants to fight it, anyway? If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? So, I tucked the adorable armadillo mascot for the games, Fuleco, into Scout’s Planetbox “Rover” in the form of a Trader Joe’s Salted Crunchy Peanut Butter sandwich on Alpine Valley Organic Honey Whole Wheat Bread. His blue blaze, green eyes, and sassy, pink tongue are Trader Joe’s Jelly Beans (colored with fruit and vegetable dyes) that I flattened with a rolling pin and then snipped into shape with my kitchen shears. The tiny little earth patterned soccer ball is a foil wrapped chocolate candy from Whole Foods’ bulk department.

Fuleco, himself, was a quick and easy fix using my new CuteZCute Cuddle Palz cutter with the koala cutter. A tiny bit of kitchen shear cosmetic surgery gave him armadillo ears and a wide grin. Score! Cuddle Palz is the newest addition to the CuteZCute family that also includes the original Animal Friends (seen here) and Animal Palz, which is an amazing little sandwich cutter/press and a boiled egg mold. I used the Animal Palz to create one of Scout’s favorite lunches, this precious little trio of bats. CuteZCute is a company I trust to make a safe product, and I can highly recommend their cutters for versatility and ease of use. If you’re going to add cutters to your bento tool box for the school year. Any one of these three sets would make a great choice.

While I’m gushing about bento products. I’m going to throw PlanetBox a little extra love today. Fourth Grade marks Scout’s fourth year having lunch at school in her beloved PlanetBoxes. The Rover has been with us from the beginning and continues to perform like it’s brand new. I know price is a big concern for a lot of you. And, believe me, my budget is just as squeaky as most. But, once you get out of the disposable lunch gear mindset, think about how many times out of each year it will be at your or your child’s side, and accept the peace of mind it will give you in regards to performance, safety, and waste prevention…it’s a simple choice. Our Planetboxes have given me far more pleasure than any dinner out, pair of shoes, or long forgotten piece of sports equipment ever has.

Not pictured are Scout’s utensils (either her PlanetBox fork/spoon, little happy fellow fork, smiley fork, or her LunchBots cutlery set), a cloth napkin (usually one from Beneficial Bento), peppermint EO hand sanitizer and an insulated Klean Kanteen of ice water. I use two different ice packs to keep Scout’s lunch at a safe temperature. A sheet of Cryopak Flexible Ice Pack for Lunch Boxes goes underneath her bento, and either a PlanetBox Cold Kit or a Kids Konserve Ice Pack and Sweat-Free Cover travels in the mesh pocket of the case. And, everything…and, I mean everything, gets labeled with one of Scout’s Mabel’s Labels.

Follow on Bloglovin

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase. It keeps Organized Bites running, and your support is greatly appreciated.

Don’t Panic…Happy Towel Day!

Don't Panic...Happy Towel Day!Scout’s new (60% bigger) LunchBots Cinco is proudly waving its Geek Flag for Towel Day and Geek Pride Day. Homemade whole wheat “dough-phins” are poised to dunk themselves in the dipper of defrosted Dorot pesto sauce. Get the how-to for the dough-phins in this post. Black olives, rainbow carrot stars, and some fab marinated bean salad (a brand new favorite of Scout’s…Huzzah!) round out the veg. Cantaloupe slabs cut into the Hitchhiker’s Guide logo and a sun bring bright promise of the summer days to come.

About the tools I used to build this lunch. This was my first time ordering a cutter from Boetech on Etsy. My friend, Selena, from How About Cookie turned me on to this fab little shop. And, I have to say that I was beyond thrilled with the quality of product and her level of service. The dolphin cutter is from this set of Marine Animals. If you get this LunchBot, and I highly recommend it for an older kid or adult…or, as a snack bento for several littles to munch on, these square silicone cups from Wilton fit the smaller sections beautifully.

If you haven’t celebrated Towel Day, it’s not too late to grab your trusty towel and join in the celebration of Geek Pride.

Not pictured are Scout’s utensils (either her PlanetBox fork/spoon, little happy fellow fork, smiley fork, or her LunchBots cutlery set), a cloth napkin (usually one from Beneficial Bento), peppermint EO hand sanitizer and an insulated Klean Kanteen of ice water. I use two different ice packs to keep Scout’s lunch at a safe temperature. A sheet of Cryopak Flexible Ice Pack for Lunch Boxes goes underneath her bento, and either a PlanetBox Cold Kit or a Kids Konserve Ice Pack and Sweat-Free Cover travels in the mesh pocket of the case. And, everything…and, I mean everything, gets labeled with one of Scout’s Mabel’s Labels.

Follow on Bloglovin

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase. It keeps Organized Bites running, and your support is greatly appreciated.

Star Wars Day 2014

OrganizedBites.com | Star Wars Day 2014

Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you. This post is part of a Star Wars Day Blog Hop featuring some of the members of the Bento Bloggers & Friends Rebel Alliance. If you’re joining me from Eclectic Lamb, Welcome!!! Please don’t forget to use the link or button at the end of the post to continue your journey to Jackie’s outpost on Loving Lunches.

Here on planet Conte, we’re celebrating with some fun snacks and Scout’s first screening of “Star Wars”.  I leaned heavily on my Star Wars cookie cutters while putting this together…and, why, not? They’re so stinking cute. You  can still grab the officially licensed Star Wars™ Heroes & Villains and the Star Wars™ Vehicles cookie cutter sets from the lovely Bento USA or Williams-Sonoma. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away, there was a third set that included the Jawa, C-3PO, R2D2, and Chewie. I think it was called “Aliens and Allies”. If you can find a reasonably priced set of those, grab them. They’re currently going for around forty bucks on Ebay. And, if you go the Ebay trading route…watch out for unscrupulous merchants passing off less detailed, smaller, and inferior quality knock-offs. Who knows what they’re made of.

There’s a Jawa shaped sandwich (Trader Joe’s Cocoa-Almond Spread and Trader Joe’s Salted Crunchy Peanut Butter on Alpine Valley Organic Honey Whole Wheat Bread with chocolate covered sunflower seed eyes) and a few tortilla chips to give it that Tatooine landscape feel. I’d love to do a tray of these for a party…how cute would that be!?! Organic blueberries create a field for honeydew R2D2 and Yoda, and a Tuscan melon C-3P0 in a stellar fruit salad, and simple light sabers from celery, rainbow carrots, and black olives round out the snack plate.

OrganizedBites.com | Star Wars Day 2014

I think my favorite part of our celebration is the semi-sweet Hans Solo in Carbonite that I molded using Trader Joe’s Chocoate Chips and this silicone mold from Kotobukiya. Semi-sweet chocolate, totally tasty Hans Solo…he was always my favorite. *Swoon* This is the large bar. The smaller sections of the mold fit in the treat compartment of our Planetbox Rover!

OrganizedBites.com | Star Wars Day 2014

Ice cubes from our Kotobukiya Star Wars Storm Trooper Silicone Tray  were the final touch in my ode to George Lucas. I kind of liked having a bunch of helmets in my fizzy water. Down with the Empire!!!

Now, don’t break the hop! Click the button below to hyper leap to see what Jackie over at Loving Lunches  star system has for you next. And, If you missed celebrating today, don’t fret. You can always do something fun tomorrow for “Revenge of the Fifth”.  Have a great Star Wars Day, and may the Force be with you!

OrganizedBites.com | Star Wars Day 2014

○ ○ ○

Follow on Bloglovin

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you,I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase. It keeps Organized Bites running, and your support is greatly appreciated.

Dark Chocolate Bark: A DIY Easter Treat!

I’m tickled to have Jennifer Tyler Lee creator of “Crunch a Color: The Healthy Eating Game for Kids” and “Crunch a Color: Conversation Starters for Parents and Kids” as a guest on Organized Bites today. You like chocolate, right? Well, move over chocolate bunny! Jennifer is sharing a fun and fabulously easy recipe for Dark Chocolate Bark from her new book, “The 52 New Foods Challenge”.

I’ve been a big fan of Jennifer’s work since I participated in her first “Healthy Lunch Challenge” last March. And, I was thrilled to be among those featured on The Huffington Post and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. (You can find my entry for DIY Almond Butter Pizzas here.) And, Scout’s “It’s Greek to Me” Pasta Salad that we created for Round Two is still in regular rotation at our house. So, I was thrilled to be able to offer y’all a sneak peak at one of the recipes from her new book. Many thanks, Jennifer!

Dark Chocolate Bark: A DIY Easter Treat!

Dark chocolate is a fantastic way to health up your Easter baskets. Not only do you reap the benefits of dark chocolate. This super easy dark chocolate bark recipe from The 52 New Foods Challenge is fun to cook with your kids. Enjoy mixing and matching your favorite ingredients!

dark chocolate bark recipe

Dark Chocolate Bark Recipe | The 52 New Foods Challenge

Dark Chocolate Bark | The 52 New Foods Challenge

Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Bark

1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips (minimum 70% cacao)
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup dried cherries
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Optional: Additional chopped walnuts, cherries and coconut for sprinkling.

Directions for Dark Chocolate Bark

1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and place a large heatproof bowl over the pot.

3. Add the chocolate chips to the heatproof bowl and let your kids stir gently until it melts. You’ll need to hold the bowl to keep it from slipping.

4. Remove the chocolate from the heat and let your kids stir in the walnuts, cherries and coconut.

5. Pour the chocolate mixture onto the lined baking sheet and spread the chocolate with a spatula into a thin, even layer. Let your kids make any shape they like.

6. Sprinkle with the salt and a few extra walnuts, cherries and coconut.

7. Freeze for 1 hour, or until the chocolate is solid. Invite your kids to break the bark into large chunks. Store in a large glass container in the freezer, or wrap the pieces up in cello bags tied with raffia ribbons to give to friends and family!

Tip: Add a touch of grapeseed oil to your chocolate chips to make them easier to melt.

Recipe inspired by Frances Largeman-Roth’s Nutty Chocolate Bark.

Follow on Bloglovin

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you,I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase. It keeps Organized Bites running, and your support is greatly appreciated.