When my oldest daughter was a baby, I decided we’d have a fairly gender neutral room with lots of white and green. I was fresh out of grad school and didn’t want to ruin her by pushing her into prescribed gender roles, amiright?
One day when she was about 16 months old, I bought her a set of sippy cups – they came two to a pack with a blue and a pink cup. She refused to drink out of the blue cup and cried until I gave her the pink cup. And she hasn’t looked back.
The rule in our house now is that if it can be pink, it must be pink: crayons, shirts, bows, sheets, and everything in between.
Until recently, she didn’t think rice could be anything but white. Little did she know that rice could be hot pink.
Since salmon has been in season and (relatively) inexpensive, I am now the proud owner of about 15 pounds of gorgeous wild-caught Coho and Sockeye salmon which happily lives in my freezer. And no, we don’t have a deep freezer (yet), so every time I want to get something out, I have to do battle with a whole mess of frozen fish. It’s a lovely problem to have.
These burgers are awesome for lunches and dinners. You can make 16 regular sized burgers, about 40 mini slider sized burgers for lunches, or you can just scale back on the recipe altogether. I like to freeze raw burgers for dinner since freshly cooked tastes best, but after a quick trip under the broiler, the fully cooked salmon sliders go straight into the freezer for easy lunches.
It really doesn’t get any easier than this bento lunch. It’s really fun since kids love assembling their own food, but it’s great for those busy mornings when everyone sleeps a few minutes too long.
I can’t tell you how excited my little girl was about this lunch. A peach, her favorite vegetables (cucumber with the seeds scraped out and carrot sticks), fun rice shapes, and fried shrimp? A big lunch win. Add a little plastic soy sauce fish to send the whole thing over the top.
The veggies and fruit take almost no time to pack. Just cut up whatever leftover produce you have, throw in a cute bento food pick, and you’re done!
If you set your rice cooker the night before and wake up to hot, cooked rice, making the rice shapes takes about 3 minutes. I used a panda mold (which works surprisingly well but takes a couple of minutes), as well as an easier to use triple rice ball mold with nori punches for the faces. I used nori seaweed for the decorations; it’s the seaweed used in sushi and should be available at a well-stocked grocery store.
Do you ever make oatmeal and then wind up with leftovers? I do all the time – and nothing seems quite as unappealing as leftover oatmeal. I know it’s perfectly edible; I know it, but I just don’t feel it. I also hate wasting perfectly good food, so clearly I needed a solution for the surplus oatmeal problem.
These muffins are easy to make, and they’re a fairly soft but hearty muffin, so they’re a great breakfast or snack for toddlers. Because they aren’t full of oil, they don’t have a terribly long shelf life. And because I have two children who would eat muffins all day long, I don’t know how long these will actually keep, but I imagine they’re best during the first day or two. If your muffins turn a bit stale, slather them with butter and grill them. You’re welcome.