STOK Grills Quattro BBQ Review: Does the Unique Insert System Change Everything?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

STOK BBQ Insert System

I tend to hold on to old things. I really keep them way too long. It doesn't matter if it's socks, t-shirts, electronics, or BBQ's. Seriously, I still have cords to hook my VCR up to a T.V., because for some reason I'm convinced that I will all of a sudden need these 20 year old cables in the very near future. The same is true for my old BBQ. I had that grill for over twelve years. It's not because it was extremely expensive, or it worked like a champ, I just got attached to it. 

I had always figured that I would wait to replace my BBQ until it either collapsed in a pile of rust, or it was miraculously rejuvenated to "out of the box" condition. I then found myself at the Dad 2.0 Summit and talking to the people from STOK Grills. I'll be honest, I was also lusting after their STOK Quattro BBQ. It actually has a unique system of inserts that can used for different types of food. You just remove the circular grill grate on one or both sides and replace it with the insert of your choice. It looked very cool but I was skeptical. Thankfully they gave me the STOK Quattro to take home and try for myself. I put it through the ringer, testing all sorts of food. Here is what I found.

First of all the Quattro definitely has the specs to keep up with any food you throw on it. It has 4 burners, 450 sq. inches of primary cooking space (600 sq. inches total), and 48,000 BTU. I have used it many times over the last two months and it always starts on the first try. Not to mention it heats up quickly. Let's move on to the real selling point, the insert system. First, take a look at the short video below so that you can get a picture of how the insert system works.


The inserts currently available for the STOK Quattro are the grill grate (included), smoker/infuser, cast iron kettle, griddle, pizza stone, grilling basket, vegetable tray, wok, kabob and rib rack, and chicken roaster. Each insert ranges in price from $10-$55. I have tried most of them and have been pretty impressed with the quality and cooking ability of all of them. The one thing that has been challenging is cleanup. Many of the inserts say they are non stick, but with grilling you get some tough sauces and fluids baked on there. I learned that you should always use non stick cooking spray on the inserts before use.

The nice thing about cleanup is that you don't have to cleanup an entire kitchen when you are cooking a whole meal on your grill. The Quattro is stainless steel so wiping it down is very easy. I do recommend cleaning the cooking area as soon as possible. You will want a grill brush that can get in tight spaces as cleaning this grill takes a little more time because of all the nooks and crannies around the insert area.
STOK Inserts
My Favorite Inserts:
The Rib and Kabob Rack Insert
Why else would you have a grill if not to make ribs and kabobs? They pretty much go hand in hand because if you are just making burgers and steaks then your BBQ license should be revoked. This insert helps the ribs and kabobs to cook evenly as well as not stick to the grate. I especially love how easily you can turn the kabob sticks. 

The Chicken Roaster Insert
I have never loved roasted chicken as much as when I made it using this insert. It was simple to prepare and tasted delicious. In fact, you may just find yourself feeling sorry for the roasted chicken at the grocery store next time you make a trip there. MY TO DIE FOR RECIPE WILL BE POSTED SOON.

The Grilling Basket Insert
I made asparagus and it was so easy and perfectly done. You can pretty much throw in anything in the basket that will normally fall through the grate. One rule is that if you are cooking vegetables on the grill, you must always barbeque meat as well. It's just the right thing to do.
Stok Quattro Review
There are a few accessories you will need. The first is the insert removal tool. The insert tool is essential for easily removing hot foods. It comes standard with the Quattro. The STOK cover fits great while allowing easy access to the cabinet without taking off the entire cover. Another useful accessory is the insert storage bracket. You can mount multiple brackets in the cabinet under the grill. These will keep your inserts organized.

Overall, I am very happy with the STOK Quattro. It works reliably, I haven't found any dreaded "cold spots" on the cooking area, and it is very versatile. However, cleaning does take a little more time and effort. Is it worth switching to if your current grill is still in great shape? Maybe not. However, If you are looking for a new bbq anyway, I would definitely check out the Quattro first. It retails for $299 from Target. In this price range, the STOK Quattro would be at the top of my list.

Disclosure: This product was provided to me by STOK for the purpose of this review. I have received no compensation and the opinions expressed are solely my own.

#parentproductreviews #Foodreview

Playmobil Super 4 Ruby the Pirate Lunch

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Netflix #Streamteam

I am excited to announce that I was recently asked join the Netflix #Streamteam! I have been a fan of Netflix for years so to team up with them is pretty much a no brainer. My family and I stream Netflix for the majority of our TV shows. I would even say that I get most of my lunch ideas from what my kids watch on Netflix. Today's lunch is no exception.

My kids were pumped to watch Super 4 on Netflix. It is a new show that debuted last month. It is based on the Playmobil toys from my childhood. Guess what they are still around today and my kids want them now. Super 4 consists of two 11 minute episodes per show. I like that the main characters are both girls and boys. My daughter immediately picked up on that and chose Ruby the Pirate as her favorite hero. I just had to make her a Ruby lunch before the end of the school year. From what I heard, she loved it and told all her friends about Super 4. 

Netflix #Streamteam

The instructions for how to make the lunch are below. It was made in an Easy Lunch Boxes container. Make sure to follow me on social media and check out Super 4 on Netflix. Your kids will love it! 

Netflix #StreamteamIngredients
Whole wheat bread
Sliced meat
White cheese
Cheddar cheese
Dried mango
6-8 raspberries
Black and white edible modeling dough
Black food coloring
Celery sticks
Peanut butter or nut free spread
Whole grain fruit bars

Directions
1. Cut two pieces of bread in the shape of a pirate hat. It is almost a half circle shape. Place one slice of bread in main compartment. 

2. Form black modeling dough into two braid shapes. Place braids and raspberries where shown under the hat.

3. Cut mango into head and neck shape. Place on top of raspberries. Put meat and cheese on bread and another slice of bread on top to make a sandwich. 

4. Form hair ties, eyes, and skull with white modeling dough. Place where shown on face and hat. Use black food coloring to make facial features. 

5. Put fruit bars in side compartment. Cut white cheese in the shape of a skull and crossbones and place on top to make a pirate flag.

6. Use nut free spread on celery sticks. Place in side compartment. Cut cheddar cheese in the shape of a small circle. I used a small glass as a guide. Place on top of celery sticks. Cut white cheese in the shape of a "4." Place 4 on top of cheddar cheese.

Netflix #Streamteam

Disclosure: I am sharing about Netflix because I am part of the Netflix Stream Team. I was not compensated but I am provided Netflix service and equipment to watch their streaming service. All opinions are solely my own.

Sweet Peachy BBQ Pork Kabobs

Thursday, May 21, 2015

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

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

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. 

Active Kids Playground Lunch

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

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!

Lunchbox Dad's May Family Product Picks

Monday, May 18, 2015

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

April Showers Bring May Flowers Lunch

Thursday, May 14, 2015

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

Lunchbox Dad's Top 5 Cartoon Lunches of All Time

Monday, May 11, 2015

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

National Teacher Appreciation Week Lunch

Thursday, May 7, 2015

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

Is the Britax Advocate ClickTight Car Seat A Game Changer or a Gadget?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Britax Advocate
When you're a parent, the safety of your kids is your number one concern. The amount of sleep you will get combined with the amount of caffeine left in the house is usually your secondary concern. Maybe I will tackle the caffeine concern in another post but for now let's talk about the safety of your kids.

It's amazing any of us, who are 35 and older, ever survived our childhood. Between lap belts and that 80's junk food, we all should have died. Thankfully, childhood safety has come a long way. For the last few months, I have had the opportunity to try out the Britax Advocate ClickTight car seat. Have I ever told you that car seats have been one of my least favorite parts about having kids? It's true. Installing them in the car. Installing kids in the seats. For the last 8 years it has been a thorn in my side.


Britax Advocate
So when Britax agreed to let me try out their flagship car seat, telling me it would help my kids be safe and make my life easier, I happily obliged.

The first thing I noticed was how padded the seat is. It is made with SafeCell Impact protection and features "Britax's highest level of protection." I seriously think this is the most padded car seat I have ever felt. The only issue with all this padding is the size of the car seat. It is Britax's largest in their current line. If you are hoping to fit this in a smaller sedan, you should know it will take up a good amount of space. However, if you are using it in a minivan or SUV the size will be fine.

Of course installing a car seat can many times feel like attempting a gymnastic feat rather than installing a safety device. I can't tell you how many times I've found myself climbing on top of a car seat trying to ratchet it down as much as is humanly possible. After the first time figuring out how to use the Britax ClickTight system, I honestly wondered why this hasn't been thought of before. It took a couple minutes to understand it, but it is a simple process that will no longer require me to test my acrobatic skills while crawling on top of a car seat. The video below shows the process.



Another feature I like are the ease of which adjustments are made. I have used car seats that felt like you had to disassemble the entire thing before adjusting the height of the straps. With the advocate it is a simple procedure to just raise the straps to the height you need.

Britax AdvocateOne drawback that I have found is how heavy the seat is to move. You might not have to remove it all the time, but when you do you should be prepared to put some muscle in. the Advocate weighs 30 lbs, so it is surprisingly heavy. I guess if you are going to put a ton of padding in for safety, it's going to weigh a bit more.

The only problem I experienced was reinstalling the cover after I washed it. The spots came out easily, but I didn't really pay attention to where things went when I took the cover off. It took awhile to install the bottom/side pad again. I'm sure the next time it will be easier, but watch what you are doing, it will save you precious minutes when putting it all back together.

Overall, this might be my favorite car seat I have owned. It gets tremendous user ratings, is one of the safest on the market, and is a breeze to install. It will cost you more, but can fit a child up to 65 lbs. My youngest is big for his age and we were pleasantly surprised by how well this fit him. He has plenty of leg room. It seems as though it is much more legroom than his older seat. It's like he's now sitting in first class compared to coach. If you want a safe, comfortable seat, and can pay a little more, try the Britax Advocate ClickTight. You won't regret it. This retails for around $335 from Amazon and is available from local retailers as well.

Disclosure: This product was provided to me by Britax for the purpose of this review. I have received no compensation and the opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Star Wars Stormtrooper Lunch

Monday, May 4, 2015

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™.
May the 4th Star Wars Day

Anyone who knows me knows I love to make Star Wars lunches for my kids, it’s one way I show how I care. I made this for People.com to show my geeky side but I am posting it here too with some extra pictures. It’s also why I’m excited about the Whirlpool #ItsAllCare program that’s asking people to share their own special ways of caring at whirlpool.com. Because no matter how you express your care, it counts.

My family is so pumped for today because it's May the 4th! That's right, it's national Star Wars Day. My kids actually look forward to this day all year long. My daughter even wants her hair to be in "Princess Leia" buns and we all try and wear our Star Wars gear.

I also want to know what you are doing to care for your kids today, especially if it's Star Wars related. Let me know in the comments below and share it with me on social media using #ItsAllCare. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

In the meantime I went the extra mile and put together some step-by-step pictures for you to make this lunch yourself. It's really very easy and I created it in an Easy Lunch Boxes container. 

Ingredients: Grilled chicken strips, white cheese, black beans, flour tortilla, star shaped crackers, hummus, mini cucumber, snap peas, toothpicks.
May the 4th Star Wars Day
Directions
1. Place grilled chicken strips in lunchbox main dish. Put cheese on top (shredded or sliced), and then cover with black beans. 
2. Warm the beans first if serving immediately. They can also be heated up at a different time if serving this lunch later.
3. This bean dish can be mixed up and eaten with a spoon or put inside the tortilla Stormtrooper helmet like a wrap.
May the 4th Star Wars Day
4. Cut tortilla into shape of a Stormtrooper's helmet. It is very similar to a bell shape. Cut out eyes, mouth, and other facial features as shown in picture.
5. Use first Stormtrooper helmet as a guide to cut out second helmet. Do the same for the facial features.
6. Place both helmets on top of each other and put helmets on the black beans. Sprinkle small pieces of cheese around helmets to look like stars.
May the 4th Star Wars Day
7. Cut mini cucumber, also named Persian cucumber, into slices. Cut the ends off of two snap peas. Slide first snap pea onto toothpick, then a cucumber slice, then a second snap pea. When finished, it should look like a TIE Fighter as shown in the picture.
8. Spoon hummus into lunchbox side dish and arrange one or two TIE Fighters on top of hummus.
9. In second side dish, place star shaped crackers.
10. Serve and watch your kid's eyes light up as you celebrate May the 4th together!


May the 4th Star Wars Day
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