Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sweet Peachy BBQ Pork Kabobs

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post partnering with honey.com. I received compensation but all opinions expressed are solely my own.Peach and Honey BBQ sauce

Do you know what's so amazing about this time of year? Uncovering that barbecue and filling the air with an aroma so amazing it causes your vegetarian neighbor to wish they ate meat. Do you know what's even better? Crafting a homemade concoction, to baste the meal with, that helps even your kids to try the meat AND vegetables. I know, I know, you think I'm lying but I wouldn't do that to you. 

I found a recipe on honey.com that sounded just so crazy I thought it might be amazing. I'll tell you what, the people on that website know what they are talking about. Actually they had me when the BBQ sauce recipe called for peaches and honey. I was smitten. Immediately I knew what I would impress my family with on the weekend. The sweet and juicy sauce went perfectly with my pork kabobs. The finished product almost melted in our mouths. If you want the same kind of experience try out this recipe this weekend. Better yet, don't wait, try it tonight because it is also extremely easy to make.


Peach and Honey BBQ sauce

Ingredients
Sauce: 2/3 cup honey, 2 cups ketchup, 2 fresh peaches (remove pits and grind up peaches), 1/2 cup water, 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard,1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon vinegar, 1 Tablespoon hot sauce, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Kabobs: 1 pork chop per person, 1 orange bell pepper, 1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, 1 white onion, 1 red onion


Peach and Honey BBQ Sauce

Directions
1. Mix together all sauce ingredients and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Place in refrigerator to cool.
2. Cut pork into similar size pieces. place in shallow baking dish and pour sauce over meat. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least one hour.
3. Slice bell peppers and onions into similar size pieces. 
3. Slide pork, bell peppers, and onions onto kabob skewers. Alternate order of meat and vegetables as shown in picture.
4. Place on barbecue and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through. After 10 minutes, baste kabobs with extra sauce and flip skewers over.
5. Remove from heat, cover with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve over rice or even by itself. Whichever way you serve it, you can be confident they are so tasty you won't have any leftovers. Also remember to go to honey.com for even more great grilling recipes!


Peach and Honey BBQ Sauce

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Let's Play Ball with a Lunch and a Fun Game!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Let's Play. I was compensated, but all opinions are my own.
Let's Play

Is your family into playing sports or even just having a ball while playing outside? This is what this lunch is all about. Also, I'm really excited to tell you that I am partnering with Let's Play to give parents some exciting ideas on how to get outside and play in fun and healthy ways! Periodically, I will pass on recipes for a healthy and fun lunch and then show you a great game that will get the whole family outside and active.

Let's Play is an initiative from the Dr Pepper Snapple Group which gives families the tools, places, and inspiration to get active together on a daily basis. They partner with KaBOOM!, which helps build and improve playgrounds, and Good Sports, which provides grants for sports equipment! How cool is it that this year I get to be a Play Ambassador for such an exciting partnership? Of course being active helps families live balanced lifestyles, but it also is an important part of helping kids grow physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually. If you want to find out more about how Let's Play will help close to 10 million kids by 2017 visit them at LetsPlay.com, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.
Let's PlayToday's lunch would be fun to make for a special day where you take it out to the park to eat and then play the game "Bucket Ball" described below. Directions for the game are on the Let's Play website. Both the lunch and the game are easy and don't call for many supplies!

Ingredients
Whole wheat bread
Sliced white cheese
Grilled chicken strips
Broccoli
Hummus
Mandarin orange
White cheese round covered in red wax
Yogurt covered raisins

Directions
1. Cut a football shape from one slice of bread. Repeat with second slice. Cut football stripes and laces from one piece of white cheese. In main container, place one slice of bread, top with grilled chicken, and put the second piece of bread on top. Arrange cheese pieces on top of football as shown in picture.

2. Surround football with broccoli and fill a round container with your child's favorite dipping sauce. Place container in the middle of broccoli. I used hummus because it is healthier and tasty.

3. Draw basketball lines with black marker on the skin of a mandarin orange. Place in side dish.

4. Cut off the top of the round of cheese covered in red wax. Cut pentagon shapes out of the cut wax and place back on cheese to make it look like a soccer ball. In second side dish, drop in yogurt covered raisins and place soccer ball cheese on top.

5. Take lunch out to your favorite park and play "Bucket Ball" game shown below (directions for game play are on the Let's Play site).
Bucket Ball
Bucket Ball
My family loves to go to the park. However, sometimes you need to have something a little different to play. Actually, Bucket Ball can be played almost anywhere! You can play it in your backyard or just a large grassy area. It can be played with 2 or more players. The more the merrier, though. Don't let adults skip out on the action either. It's important for us parents to get out and be active with our kids as well. 

The beauty of this game is that the basic idea is simple but it's fun and competitive for little kids and older kids alike. It also helps kids to count and work together. Plus, it lets everyone run around for short bursts of time. Head on over to my article on Let's Play to see the directions. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Active Kids Playground Lunch

Disclosure: Excited about working with Whirlpool on the #ItsAllCare campaign. I received compensation but all opinions expressed are my own. Check out more great content at Every day, care™.
#EveryDayCare

The really great thing about Spring is that you get to be outside and get active with your kids. You can go to the park, or a playground, and work off tons of energy. By the way, I am one of those dads who plays on the cool playground equipment with my kids. The other day I chaperoned a school field trip for my daughter's class and there was a slide the size of Everest there. It was just asking to have me slide down. So, of course, I had to test it out. 

There are plenty of ways to show your kids that you care and playing outside with them can be one of those ways. You can couple that with a fun idea like making today's lunch-it is playground themed, but making a lunch is also much more than that. It is doing the unique and playful things to let your kids know that you care about them. What are some other ways that you show your family that you care for them? Maybe it's by making food like this, or cleaning, or washing your spouse's pants for their big meeting at work. That’s why I think it’s great Whirlpool launched the #ItsAllCare social program. This program is asking people to share the fun and interesting ways they care for those around them. Go to whirlpool.com to find out more and share how you care on social media using #ItsAllCare!


#EveryDayCare
Ingredients
Whole wheat bread
White cheese
Sliced meat for sandwich
Strawberry
Dried mango
Mandarin orange
Grape tomato
Fresh spinach
Snap peas
Prune
Large pretzel sticks
Regular size pretzel sticks
Peanut butter (or nut-free spread)
Nori (dried seaweed snack)
Character shaped crackers


Directions
1. Cut two bread slices into square. Place meat and cheese on top of one piece. Cut smaller square from the middle of other bread slice and put on top of cheese, meat, and other slice to make a sandwich.


#EveryDayCare
2. In main dish arrange spinach. Place two large pretzel sticks in bottom right corner as shown. Put sandwich on top of pretzel sticks. Stick dried mango on the side of sandwich so it angles down toward the ground. This is the playground slide. Place grape tomato (playground ball) next to pretzel stick and strawberry on top of sandwich.

3. Make shallow cuts in orange peel to make the shape of the sun. Gently push the sun's orange peel rays up. Use marker to make a smiley face in the middle. Place sun in the top corner of main dish.

4. In side dish, arrange snap peas as a background. "Glue" large pretzel sticks together with peanut butter. Place pretzel swing set on top of the snap peas. Stick two regular size pretzel sticks into top of prune as shown. Put in place as the "swing" part of the swing set. 

5. Cut desired hopscotch pieces from slice of cheese. In side dish place Nori first, then arrange the cheese hopscotch pieces on top.

6. Finish lunch by placing character shaped crackers where desired. Some great ideas for placement are on the swing, inside the play structure, or using the hopscotch course!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Lunchbox Dad's May Family Product Picks

Lunchbox Dad's May Family Product Picks

Here are my Monthly Family Product Picks for May. These are 8 products that my family has loved using over the past month. From food, to tools, to toys, to household items, we are showing you stuff that will make your lives more enjoyable. Some of these items were given to us for free to try while others we found and paid for ourselves. I have NOT been paid to write about any of these products. These are just things that have been fun to use, or made our lives easier.

1. Avocare Avocado Oil
This oil is great to cook with or for serving with appetizers. Plus it's made from avocados. You can't argue with avocados.


Avocado Oil

2. Funkins Reusable Napkins
We have been using these for awhile in my house. Not only do they had an element of fun to dinner they have saved us countless dollars on napkins. 
Funkins
3. Star Wars Workbooks
Trying to get a 4 year old to enjoy math is like getting me to like the San Francisco Giants. It's really hard to do, if not impossible. These workbooks have really helped. My son loves the Star Wars theme and finishing multiple pages in one sitting. Who knows, maybe I can like the Giants one day. Just kidding, that's just crazy talk.


Star Wars Workbooks

4. Urban Accents Spice Blends
Every time I cook I am reminded how thankful I am for these spice blends. They are simply the most useful spices I have ever owned. I recently tried the Jamaican Jerk Blend on a Roast Chicken. It was perfect.

Urban Accents Spice Blends

5. Way Better Snacks Sprouted Barley Crackers
I know. With all of the normal artificial ingredients left out you think taste would be left out as well. You might think the cardboard box in your garage would be more appetizing. You would be wrong. I have loved Way Better chips for quite some time and these new crackers are just as good. Insert bad pun here about them being "Way Better" than the competition.
Way Better Snacks
6. KIND Snacks Healthy Grains Bars
I make my addiction to KIND snacks no secret. I have their nut clusters for breakfast on a regular basis. Many afternoons I have one of these bars for a snack. Pick up a box. You will thank me later.

KIND Snacks

7. Otteroo Baby Pool Flotation Device
The Otteroo is one of the strangest things you will see in a pool. It is also one of the most awesome things you will see in a pool. My baby loved using it last year. If you have a baby, pick one of these up at the beginning of the summer. 


Otteroo

8. Oster My Blend Personal Blender
My wife is actually the one loving this blender. She has been using it so much that there is no time for me to get my hands on it. It's part blender and part sport bottle. You can make power smoothies or margaritas, it's your call. Although I would start out the morning choosing the smoothie.
Oster My Blend
#parenproductreviews #foodreview

Thursday, May 14, 2015

April Showers Bring May Flowers Lunch

Disclosure: Excited about working with Whirlpool on the #ItsAllCare campaign. I received compensation but all opinions expressed are my own. Check out more great content at Every day, care™.
#ItsAllCare

It's one of the sayings that I remember most in elementary school. I couldn't wait for the rains to end each Spring and for the sun to come out in May. As an adult, I still feel the same way. The only difference is that I look forward to the sunshine so I can spend more outside time with my kids and wife. We love going to sporting events, amusement parks, or just walk to our local downtown area. Maybe you feel the same way about this time of year?

This lunch is all about showing my daughter that I care for her. In fact, each time she opens one of these special lunches, I know that she can see how much I care for her. I know there are some special ways that you show the people in your life that you care for them. Maybe it's through something you cook, or the way that you clean, or making sure your son's special shirt is washed when he needs it. That’s why I think it’s great Whirlpool launched the #ItsAllCare social program, which is asking people to share how you care for those around you. Go to whirlpool.com to find out more and share how you care on social media using #ItsAllCare. 

Maybe you will even make this lunch for your kids? If so use the instructions below. You can even go to Whirlpool's Facebook page to see a timelapse video of me making this lunch!


#ItsAllCare
Ingredients
Blueberries
Whole wheat bread
Peanut butter (or nut free spread)
Fruit jam
Pretzel
Tortilla
Hardboiled egg
Fresh spinach
Snap peas
Cheddar and Provolone cheese
Nori (dried seaweed)

Directions
1. Cut piece of bread in the shape of an umbrella. Repeat with second piece of bread. Spread peanut butter and jam on the bread and put together to make a sandwich. Break a piece off a pretzel and slide it into the sandwich with part hanging out like an umbrella handle.

2. Cover the bottom of the main container with blueberries. Place sandwich on top. Cut the letters "APRIL" out of a tortilla. Place on top of sandwich. You can paste the letter on with a little cream cheese if needed.

3. Put spinach in side dish. Cut hard boiled egg in half. Put decorative flowers around egg if wanted. Place on top of spinach. Cut the letters "MAY" out of nori. Set on top of egg.

4. Use small cutter to make flower shapes out of cheese. Place snap peas in second side dish. Arrange flower blossoms on top. Use bread scrap to make "dirt" at the bottom of the flowers.

5. Serve to someone in your life to show how much you care for them!

#LBDbento

Monday, May 11, 2015

Lunchbox Dad's Top 5 Cartoon Lunches of All Time

lunchbox dad

Like most families, we watch our share of cartoons. We don't have cable, so we generally stream our shows on demand. In fact, my kids don't really understand when some show isn't available to them. If they had to wait a week to watch a new episode of something they might be completely confused as to what was going on. Because of this, they change favorite shows fairly regularly. Different cartoons trend at different times in our house, but below are my top 5 cartoon lunches that I have made for my kids! Which one is your favorite?

1. King Julien

madagascar


2. Curious George

PBS kids


3. My Little Pony Pinkie Pie

Pinkie Pie



Disney Jr.



woody woodpecker lunch

Thursday, May 7, 2015

National Teacher Appreciation Week Lunch

Disclosure: Excited about working with Whirlpool on the #ItsAllCare campaign. I received compensation but all opinions expressed are my own. Check out more great content at Every day, care™.#ItsAllCare

Teachers care so much for our kids, so I love giving a little care back to them! Whirlpool is encouraging everyone to show the fun and unconventional ways they care every day, whether it be cooking, cleaning, or washing. Since this is National Teacher Appreciation Week why not make a lunch like this to show your teacher how much you care for them? Your kids can even get in on the lunch making! My daughter helped make this lunch for her teacher, and not only did she love making it, her teacher definitely felt appreciated and cared for. 

Follow the instructions below to easily put this together and then check out whirlpool.com to see the unique ways others care for the ones they love. Also, feel free to share the way you care for others using #ItsAllCare on all of your social media. I love this idea and program, because these seemingly small acts of care can change the world!


#ItsAllCare
Ingredients
Whole wheat bread
Sliced sandwich meat
Cheddar cheese slice and stick
White cheese slice and stick
Black olive
Dried apples
Strawberries
Watermelon
Tortilla
Black food coloring
Green food coloring
Toothpicks

Directions
1. Use any bus shaped cookie cutter on two slices of bread and a piece of cheddar cheese. You can also cut the shape out free hand or cheat by using a cookie cutter shaped like a truck and make it look like a bus. 

2. Arrange dried apples in main dish. On top of apples, place one slice of bread in, then the piece of meat, then the other slice of bread, and finally the piece of cheddar cheese on top.

#ItsAllCare 3. Cut a bus windshield and bus window from slice of white cheese as shown. Slice an olive in half. Place bus windows on cheddar cheese bus and olives halves for the tires.

4. Cut pieces of watermelon in the shape of those chubby old pink erasers. Use a small heart cutter to also make a watermelon heart. Arrange in side dish.

5. Cut cheddar cheese stick into three pieces. Repeat with white cheese stick. Cut each white cheese stick piece into a cone shape. Cut the end off three strawberries. Use a toothpick to stick white cone on end of cheddar cheese stick and strawberry on other end. 

6. Dip very end of cheese pencil into black food coloring. Use a toothpick to write "2" below the strawberry eraser. Place pencils in side dish.

7. If desired, you can cut heart shapes out of tortilla and use green food coloring or green food coloring marker to write "Thank You." Place just above the bus.


#ItsAllCare
#lbdbento