Dinner and a Drive…

We have a family tradition that started sometime during the past year.  It wasn’t intentional but just sort of happened over time.  Every Sunday evening we take a drive through the countryside.  For about 2 and a half hours, as the sun sets, we take in the glory of God’s beautiful creation.  Our Sunday drives have become another event we look forward to every week.  It’s a perfect end to the weekend and a great start to a new week.  As we drive along the winding country roads, I tend to reflect on the events of the week past.  A stretch of pasture and crops have a way of putting things, good or bad, into perspective.  Seeing the earth, fresh and green, reminds me of the new opportunities that will fill the coming week.  The breeze and leaves wisping away as they fall from the trees gives me a renewed energy and sense of adventure for facing the coming challenges.  I highly recommend ending your week and starting the next with a drive. 

On Sundays, I will usually make a lunch that we can eat on throughout the entire day.  We usually leave for our drive around 5 pm, just about dinner time for us.  We almost always swing by a drive thru for hot chocolate chip cookies and coffee.  If we haven’t had dinner, we may also grab some dinner out.  I hate that.  Not only is it terribly unhealthy but it eats up the grocery budget.  Not.  Cool. 

This week I decided I was tired of all the eating out.  We’re not doing it.  Our 50 cent slushees are fine, but we’re not eating drive thru junk for dinner.  It wasn’t until my husband said, “why don’t we pack something we can eat in the car” that it hit me.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before.  For whatever reason, it just never crossed my mind.

The bentos

IMG_5206

Bentos!  Hello!?!?!?! Why didn’t I think of that???  They are the perfect solution for our Sunday drive dilemma. 

So this afternoon I made up lunches for us all to take with us and, let me tell you, they were a big hit with the fam.  The kids always love having bentos. 

Can we just admit that they really are a lot of fun?

They’re bite sized, often cut into cute shapes, and filled with surprises.  Who doesn’t like a good surprise? 

Even the hubs enjoyed his bento dinner. 

 

 

What’s inside?

We kept things pretty simple and it took me about an hour to get it all made and packed up to go.  Not too bad.  I would’ve spent that much time preparing a big dinner.  Here’s a peek inside some of the boxes. 

bento

 

The top layer of the kids’ boxes contained black grapes, a granola bar, and some little Biscoff cookies I made using mini vanilla wafers.  We adore Biscoff cookies and the spread.  However, it’s definitely one of those treats that you reserve for occasions and in small quantities.  The little mini wafers were the perfect size for a small dab of Biscoff. 

 

 

 

 

The bottom layer held some small pieces of string cheese, a napkin, and sandwich rolls.  I made some with mustard and some with mayo, depending on each person’s preferences. 

bento2

 

These are super easy to make and perfect for when you’re in a hurry.  Smear a large tortilla with mustard.  Layer three slices of each ham, chicken, and turkey lunch meat down the center.  Top with some lettuce (and maybe pickle or whatever else you’d like!) and roll it up.  I take a knife and cut the roll into 8 even pieces.  Then I stab them onto little mini skewers and everything  is good to go. 

 

 

 

Here’s a shot of daddles’ roll.  It’s a bit bigger… ‘cause he’s the daddles.  =)

bento dad

I had a yummy chopped salad with a red wine vinaigrette dressing.  It was delish. 

salad

 

So from now on, Sunday is bento dinner night.  I love these predictable bits of life.  They make planning so much easier.  Now I just need more ideas for bentos.  If you have a great source for bento lunch ideas, leave me a comment.  I’d love to know your favorites!

Thanks! 

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