Tag Archives: tips

TopicFail Friday: Snow Ice Cream

4 Feb

Living in Dallas, Texas means snow doesn’t come along all that often.  When we do get snow, I can’t help it… Snow = Snow Ice Cream!

Today’s post will be a pictorial “how to” describing the art of how my family makes Snow Ice Cream – in 10 easy steps!


Step 1 – Gather Your Ingredients

  • Giant Bowl of Snow
  • Good Mexican Vanilla
  • Sugar
  • Evaporated (or Condensed) Milk

Evaporated Milk

Step 2 – Pour in a can of Evaporated Milk
Spreading out your ingredients as you pour them in will make it easier to stir later.


Step 3 – Pour in the Mexican Vanilla, four or five spalshes

Step 4 – Pour in Sugar, sprinkle liberally across the top of the snow

Heavy Cream

Step 4a – Remember that you have heavy cream in the fridge and add some of that in too for extra goodness (plus, that can of evaporated milk doesn’t look like enough for your giant bowl of snow)


Step 5 – Mix thoroughly (using  chopping and spreading motions)

Having a 2 year old to help stir will add extra flavor!


Step 6 – Taste thoroughly.


Step 7 – Pause for picture


Step 8 – Add magical sprinkles as suggested by 2 year old.  (See, I told you she was a flavor enhancer!)


Step 9 – Enjoy


Step 10 – Share – you know it will taste better if you share!  (that’s a lie… eat it all up!)


Making Gyōza (Dumplings)

26 Jan


I had read a little about making dumplings or gyoza on Lunch in a Box to use for leftovers.  I love, love dumplings, so the next time I was in H-mart, I looked for the wrappers and bought 3 or 4 different brands of frozen wrappers.

I decided to make some for a small party using the recipe on the back of one of the packages, but of course, I didn’t have all the ingredients.  So, I just used as many ingredients as I had and filled in the gaps with what I did have.  They were super easy to make and such a big hit, I decided to write down my faked out recipe.


  • 12oz Can  Cooked Chicken Breast
  • 1 Cup Bagged Cole Slaw (no dressing)
  • 3 Chopped Green Onions
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp White Wine
  • Dash of Ginger
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Assembly Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients well.
  • Place 2 tsp of mixture into center of wrapper.
  • Moisten finger in water run your finger one half of the outer edge of the wrapper, be careful as too much water will prevent a good seal.
  • Fold wrapper in half to form a semi-circle.
  • At this point, you can simply crimp the edge with your fingers at this point or pleat to make the traditional dumpling shape… doesn’t matter.
  • (To see the steps for pleating see the fabulous pictures at Lunch in a Box)

Cooking Instructions

  • Place dumplings in a hot, well-oiled nonstick deep skillet
  • Fry until bottoms are just shy of golden brown
  • Pour in about a 1/2 cup of water, cover immediately and allow dumplings to steam 5 minutes and water is evaporated or until soft, adding water as needed
  • Allow the bottoms to reach golden brown and remove from pan

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbps Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Oil
  • Mix well

1.6.2011 Bento – Checkerboard Apple

24 Jan

Checkers Anyone?

Here is a simple bento made mostly with leftovers.  Not really a co-hesive meal, but little O ate it all up!  I cut some leftover pizza into flowers and placed them on top of a bed of sushi rice that I pushed into the bottom of the larger divided container. (Now one thing that would have been really cute would be cutting the pizza into disks instead of flowers, so they looked like mini pizzas or checkers.)

I was interested in decorating the apple somehow, but wanted to do something besides apple bunnies. I found some inspiration and instructions on Just Bento all about cutting apples.   Apple Bunnies and More: Decorative Apple Cutting Techniques (Note that you need a GOOD, SHARP paring knife.  )

Ingredient List: checkerboard apple, blueberries (under the apple), leftover sushi rice (under the pizza flowers), leftover pizza flowers, sugar snap peas, and leftover corn

Tools: divided bento box, small silicone cup dividers, Japanese stainless vegetable cutters, Wüshof paring knife

1.2.2011 – Tomato & Corn Flowers and Cookie Cutter Duck

10 Jan

Try New Things Ducky

One of the things that I learned in probably 3rd grade, and then all over again from another Bento site was the the bigger variety of color in your meal, the more healthy and nutritious.  Bento sites and books seem to “preach” this idea quite a bit, and I am a believer.

I was going for color with this particular bento.  It gave me the gentle nudge I needed to include a veggie my kiddo doesn’t normally eat (tomatoes) and use one of the items from my Christmas bento haul… the small candy eye.

I also always try to incorporate a variety of textures.  O recently saw a Sesame Street “Word on the Street” Podcast… the word was crunchy.  We have been talking about what is crunchy, so I included a couple of crunchy things (pita chips and sugar snap peas) so we could have a conversation about the crunchy things in her lunch.

I got the idea for the tomato and corn flower from another bento site. (Would love to give out credit here, but I simply can’t find the site that I saw this technique.) You simply remove the “goo” from a cherry tomato half and full the resulting 4 chambers with corn.  She loves corn, so I thought it might entice her to try the tomato.  She didn’t end up eating the tomato, but enjoyed pulling out the corn from its “holder.”  I will make them again and hopefully she will try the tomato one of these days.

Ingredient List: hummus, pita chips, cream cheese and turkey sandwich, candy eye, blueberries, sugar snap peas, tomato and corn flowers, cheese cubes

Tools: divided bento box, small silicone cup divider, large metal duck cookie cutter

12.15.2010 Bento – Flower Power

6 Jan

12.15.2010 Bento - Tidy Flower Power

I am going to post a few more recently prepared bento until I “catch up” to current Bento of the Day…

Probably not the best packed or healthy bento I have ever made, but super quick and fun to make.  I really like to use leftovers because it (usually) means at least part of the lunch is home cooked.

This particular bento was made from leftovers from a local burger joint that we enjoy from time to time.  My girl rarely eats all of her food when we go out, so we save everything that I think I can cut a shape from.  Makes it a little easier to justify buying her her own o-friendly* meal when both of us grownups are wanting far-out foods.  I simply took the burger and punched 3 flowers out and arranged them with ‘tater tots to stabilize the burger flowers and catchup.

*Let me clarify that the kid eats a pretty wide variety of food – partly inborn, partly because of constant exposure, and partly because of Bento – especially where veggies are concerned.  She usually just eats whatever we are having… which makes it even easier to pack her lunches.


  • Quickly use flat-ish leftovers like sandwiches, pizza, hamburgers, etc. by simply cutting shapes with small cookie cutters.
  • To keep things speedy, I prep veggies or simply buy ready-to-eat veggies. I wash and prep them as soon as I get them home so that when I am packing a lunch, I am not also having to deal with prepping veggies.  I do the same with fruit.
  • I buy 3 or 4 different veggies and 2 or 3 different fruits and use them in different combination throughout the week to reduce waste (use it all up), encourage me to use seasonal produce, and to take some of the guesswork (and time) out of packing the bento.

Ingredient List: pre-cut carrot chips, sugar snap peas, blueberries, leftover hamburger flowers, leftover ‘tater tots, catchup

Tools: divided Tupperware container, small silicone cup dividers, small plastic flower cookie cutter