Hot Pocket Bento

Did you read that correctly?  Yes, I really did say "hot pocket."  I did not throw a hot pocket into a bento box and call it good - I promise!  :)  I made soup for dinner last night and am out of some of the basics I usually make.  Gone are the meatballs, the terrine de volaille, mini quiches, preroasted chicken breasts.  I have used them all up and need to make more.  This morning, that just wasn't going to happen.  Indeed, I'm in a bit of a holding pattern until this weekend when I should have more time to make bento basics.  I am still getting caught up on adoption paperwork and other little things I've neglected along the way.  So, I took out some leftover pie crust I've had in the fridge for a bit, some sliced ham, and some cheddar cheese.  Viola - easy homemade hot pockets!

Layer 1:  Cheese and veggies for an appetizer/snack and fresh and frozen fruit for a dessert.  As far as fruit, I've got orange slices, plum slices, peach slices (all fresh) and some frozen strawberry and pineapple bits.  DD loves pineapple, so when I found I had some holes in this bento, I stuffed it in. 

Layer 2: You can see my mini hot pocket type items.  I rolled out pie crust, cut it with a drinking glass (I couldn't find cookie cutters this morning) and filled it with little chunks of ham and cheese.  I then crimped the edges with a fork.  Easy as can be!  There is a little "blossom" as well.  This is filled with fresh apple butter.  Why?  Because my family can't stop eating it.  We've gone through a jar in one day!  The rest of the layer is filled with salad.  There's romaine lettuce, a lovely tomato, chunks of cucumber, and a bit of yellow pepper. 

How does that hot pocket from the store look now?  Don't waste your money on such things if you can help it; they are so easy to make!  In exchange for a little time, you get a cheaper, healthier lunch.  It really didn't take long: I spent about 30 minutes on this bento and made everything fresh this morning (well, except for the apple butter).   To be honest, 30 minutes is a bit longer than I like to take, especially at 5 am.  But, it was worth it to see the smile on my DD and DH's faces when they saw my morning project.  DD actually did a happy dance and took pictures and DH smiled when I handed him a fresh from the oven apple butter blossom to start his breakfast.  Believe me, on a morning after parent-teacher conferences and a long day of teaching and when he has more of the same to look forward to, that smile is really something special. Can the hot pocket from the store do the same?  Nope.

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