Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Vegetable Puree

A while back I said we were trying out the recipes in "Deceptively Delicious". One step in that process is to make up some vegetable purees so we have them on hand when we need them. I am not very good at consistently creating balanced meals with the food groups, especially vegetables. So I'm hoping this will help. Of course, it means I need to be better about meal planning, too, but I need to do that anyway. I made carrot and spinach purees a while back (as you can see by the date on the bag!) and we have used up most of these. Right now I have pumpkins and squash that need to be processed (but are making lovely fall decorations by our front door until I get to it!) and I'm hoping to get to that (at least some of it) this week. After all, the pumpkins should have a couple days with fun halloween faces before I cook them! =D

(and now you see my theory on pumpkins... they ought to serve as many purposes as possible with the least amount of effort... pumpkin patch family activity, fall decoration, jack-o-lantern carving family activity, Halloween decoration, toasted pumpkin seeds (keeping some out for planting in the spring), roasting and pureeing the flesh for use in pies and scones and cookies and soup all holiday season!)

Monday, October 27, 2008


One of the silent auction items at the Children's Museum fundraiser was a family pass to the Bozeman Symphony family concerts. The family concerts are actually during the dress rehearsals so the kids get to hear the same great performance, without the awful distraction of a child interrupting or being freaked out by a large crowd. If your child gets noisy, you can leave the auditorium (guests are seated in the balcony only, making this easier to do without distracting the musicians during the practice/performance) and then re-enter when your child is ready to sit quietly again.

We attended our first concert (and Ellie's first ever symphonic performance) last Friday night. It was very good and I'm really glad we went, but Ellie was very busy. For the first while she was quiet, just up and down (on the floor, not on the chair) and up and down and dancing to the music. Then she started talking about the things she was seeing ("Violins! Look at the violins!") and we had to take her out into the hall. We talked to her about being quiet when we watch the symphony and how she needed to whisper. Then we went back in. She was good for a while until she started talking and wiggling again and we had to take her out again.

After a while I quit going back to my seat. I just held her inside the door and we listened and as soon as she said anything in a non-whisper voice we went back out in the hall to talk about not talking during the concert. In and out. In and out. The good news is that the doors were propped open, so we didn't make any noise actually going through the door, which is good. And part of the reason that we wanted to do these concerts is to teach her how to act appropriately during them. Sitting still and being quiet are things she doesn't do well. She talks non stop. She moves non stop. So we're working on it. I think she really liked the concert, and Leif and I took turns taking her out into the hall so we each got to enjoy part of it, too. It's a good program and I'm really glad our symphony does that for families. And hopefully by the end of the season we'll be able to sit and enjoy the concert quietly, as a family, and not out in the hall. =D

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I have been taking pictures of bentos when I make them, but I just realized I haven't posted them here. I'm having a lot of fun with them, even though I'm only making one every other week or so. I'm finding that bentos are good not only for going on picnics and such when a packed lunch is sort of requisite, but also a great idea when I'm not sure what we'll be doing for lunch, or where, such as on days I'm running errands. They're really easy to pack up and take with us so that Ellie can eat them in the car as we're driving around or take into the store and munch on while I'm shopping. It keeps her content and keeps us from feeding her a lot of fast food. Granted, the fast food I would buy is from Costco or Target in the form of a soft pretzel or hot dog, but it's still healthier and cheaper to have her filled up on a bento full of turkey hot dogs, apples, craisins, and cheese. Plus, I just like hearing her little excited voice tell me, "Look, Mommy! There are little bears in my bento!" (She did that this week and I decided that it was definitely worth the extra minute it took to cut her cheese tortilla into little bear shapes.) So... here are some bentos from the past couple months...


Sometimes I make bentos for the both of us and package them together in a napkin for easy transportation. Here are the individual bentos...

My Bento

This is mine. It has Greek salad with dressing, a fruit leather barrier, and mac and cheese with feta.

Ellie's Bento

This is Ellie's. It's has mac and cheese, hot dogs, cucumbers with ranch dip, fruit leather, and something across the bottom (and in the little cup under the fruit leather) that I can't remember.


And like the rest, I tie them up in a napkin and tie in my silverware. I just tucked Ellie's fork into her bento since it fit.


This is mine. Can you tell that I like using individually wrapped fruit leathers as barriers between the food?


This is Ellie's from the same day. These were back in August. When I cut out the little heart shapes from the cheese I used the leftover cheese bits and rolled them into the turkey rolls. That way the "ugly" part of the food was still used and my bento stayed cute! After all, bentos are about both form AND function....

I'm sure I have more bento pictures somewhere, but I suppose I'll share them at a later date. I don't do it every day, and I'm not the most proficient at bento packing, but I am really enjoying it! I'm hoping to prepare bentos at least once a week in the coming months, on days that we have playgroup at the museum. That way I have lunch ready for her to eat at the museum (if she's hungry then) or while I am running errands after playgroup. It made errand running SO MUCH SMOOTHER this week, so I hope I continue to do it!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New Bento Box!

Well, relatively new. Within the last month. Which is newer than my last post on this blog. Sorry about that.... life has been pretty busy since we started everything up again this fall.

But Ellie has a new bento box! Or bento carrier, really, but I love it! Here it is in all its glory....

Ellie's New Bento Box

Tiny. Compact. and PINK!

Ellie's New Bento Box

And it has a place for utensils in the lid! How great is that?? It's not really a bento box, but rather a craft tote from Joanns, but it works perfectly for us. And I got it on sale, for 50% off. Can't beat that, really.

And because no bento post is complete without a picture of, well, actual bentos....


There you go.