It’s back-to-school time already! Ready or not, we will be back to busy mornings, after-school activities, homework and assignments. Boys will be going to separate schools for the first time this year and our morning scene will be somewhat of a war zone until we get used to the schedule and our routine. As you know, I’ve been sharing few lunchbox ideas with our friends at Ziraffe with our favorite lunch bags and snack packs! I decided to ask my boys what they wanted me to pack them and surprisingly enough, they said, “Can you pack everything in mini sizes?” They actually had a pretty good reasoning behind it. They said that there are just too many distractions during lunch, too busy chatting with their friends, anticipating to go out and play at recess..etc. My boys told me that having things in small bite sizes will actually help them during busy lunch hour. I realized that sometimes the best thing to do is listen to what my kids are saying. So I packed few of their favorites in mini sizes with easy grab-n-bite type of food. Check it out below.
Looks like Tyler (9) is excited to go back to school to see his friends and start 4th grade. I’m sharing an easy recipe to make mini rice balls along with other mini size food like mini pop-mandu (potstickers), mini fruit sticks and mini tofu cubes. They are so delicious! Make sure to follow me on Instagram (@selina.s.lee) and Ziraffe (@ziraffe_store) for the full story!
MULTIGRAIN MINI RICE BALLS (미니주먹밥) – 4 servings (yields about 16-18 mini rice balls)
½ cup white short grain rice
½ cup brown short grain rice
¼ cup mixed wild sweet rice
1 cup seasoned seaweed crisps
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp seaweed gomasio
Mix all rice grains then wash and rinse up to 5 times. Make the rice either in the rice cooker or in a pot with 1 cup of water. Once the rice is fully cooked, let it cook down by mixing and fanning for few minutes. Add the seasoning and mix it for another few min until rice is well seasoned. Make each rice ball with your hand, using a sanity gloves or use little bit of sesame oil in your hand. NOTE: sweet rice will help form the shape and keep it in rice cake like texture. In a bowl, add seasoned seaweed crisp crumbs to dip the rice balls on one side before serving. Enjoy!
Lunch Bags, Lunch Box, Seasoned Seaweed Crisps, Seaweed Gomasio Flakes
This post is in partnership with Ziraffe store, all opinions are my own. Thanks for your interest and support.
MOJITO MEETS PIÑA COLADA MOCKTAIL
Recipe via Smitten Kitchen
FOR 4 SMALL DRINKS
A handful of mint leaves
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tbsp honey
3/4 cup coconut milk, well-shaken
Seltzer, to taste
Lime wedges, sprigs of mint or sliced fresh pineapple for garnish
In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, lightly muddle mint — no need to render it into small flecks, but if you break it up a little, more flavor will be released. Add pineapple, lime, honey, coconut milk and a few ice cubes and shake it well. Pour over ice cubes in glasses, finish with a splash of seltzer and garnishes. Close your eyes and pretend you’re somewhere tropical.
Summer is breezing by us and boys and I are trying to make most out of our days. But to be perfectly honest, it’s been challenging for me to keep the boys active all throughout summer. Our one rule is to get out of the house at least once a day, weather going for a walk by the lake, to grab some lunch or to just play foursquare in the backyard. We also have a short list of things we want to do this summer and calling it a summer bucket list. One of them is to have a picnic lunch at the nearby park. Because, you know it’s always better outside. Always.
I feel fortunate enough to live in the city that has best climate weather all year round. We lived near this lake for many years now but didn’t realize its full potential. You can walk or jog around the lake (approx. 3 miles), you can run up and down Cleveland Cascade to get some cardio workout, many shops and cafes to grab food or snack! And the view is just beautiful!
Packed a few things in our favorite lunch bag / snack packs, drinks in the icebox, few card games is all we need! I made some favorite Korean Stuffed Tofu Pockets, called Yobuchobap. It’s similar to Inari Sushi. It doesn’t have the sweet flavors that Inari Sushi has but fried rice stuffed inside is loaded with flavors and nutrition. Be sure to look at the recipe below and check my Instagram account for a recipe video. Enjoy the rest of your summer!
STUFFED TOFU POCKETS (유부초밥) – 4-6 servings (yields 20 pockets)
10 fried bean curd tofu pockets
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped Mexican green onion
2 cups of cooked rice
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp Tsuyu sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp cooking sake
1/2 cup water
Cut fried bean curd diagonally to make pockets. Add sauce ingredients in a medium pot and simmer in low heat until sugar is dissolved. Add tofu pockets and simmer until pockets are seasoned (I did this in 2 batches). Set aside for few min. then drain the liquid by pressing down on a metal sifter using a spoon.
Make fried rice with cooked rice (I used half brown/half white rice) by cooking the ground beef, carrots and green onion (I used both green and white parts) with little bit of and cooking sake. Season with salt and pepper.
TIP: If the pockets turn out too salty, you can adjust the seasoning on the fried rice to balance!
Stuff the tofu pockets with fried rice and ready to serve!