Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving theme Lunch #7 (Turkey Bento)

My husband was recently out of town this week and I'm all messed up because schedules and routines were off.  We had a fun filled day yesterday and I meant to get a post in, only to realize I had to fix Tuesdays - and that made me distracted - so here it is Thursday and I've got posts to make up.

Plated Lunch:

 - Round turkey sandwich from Whole Wheat bread, edges are "stuffed" with Orange and Red Bell Pepper (no, my child did not eat all of these, but he did make an effort), and Cheetos.  Face is cheddar cheese, chocolate sprinkles for the eyes and a slice of strawberry for the "gobble" part.
 - Additional slices of strawberries make the "red" leaves and 
 - Nutter Butter snack size cookies with Hershey Kisses attached making two cute acorns.

Bento Version:
 - Smaller version of the round Turkey sandwich from Whole Wheat bread, edges are "stuffed" with Orange and Red Bell Pepper, and Cheetos.  Face is cheddar cheese, chocolate sprinkles for the eyes and a slice of strawberry for the "gobble" part.
 - Strawberry slices for "red leaves"
 - Toothpick of cheddar cubes
 - Nutter Butter snack size cookie with Hershey Chocolate Kiss attached making a little acorn.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pilgrim Hat theme Lunch #6 (Thanksgiving Bento)

I missed Monday.  I apologize. Last week, I wasn't thinking that my dear Mr. Man was off work and so I had a day off. I went to the gym, did some paperwork, paid some bills - and he fed them and took them to the park.  Naturally, Mr. Man did not design a Veteran's Day theme lunch as I would have.
So, we'll put that out for later and focus on today's.

(*Update*) I usually visit the blog and make sure my posts are correct, but I was in a hurry, so it didn't update of course. My apologies!

Plated Lunch:
I found some adorable melamine plates at World Market that are Thanksgiving themed.  I was happy to add them to the plate instead of the paper white.
 - Pilgrim Hat Turkey Sandwich made of pumpernickel bread with Vermont Cheddar for the white strap and slices of a cheddar cheese stick for the buckle
 - 1 little pumpkin marshmallow
 - Whole Wheat tortilla (small 1/4 slice) rolled into cone shape with celery sticks to make a "cornucopia"
 - Small cup of Applesauce because that just fits with the season
 - Pilgrim hat of Reese mini PB cup with orange icing and stuck to a half of oreo cookie.

Bento Version:
  - Pilgrim Hat Turkey Sandwich made of pumpernickel bread with Vermont Cheddar for the white strap and slices of a cheddar cheese stick for the buckle
  - Small red silicone cup of applesauce
  - Red grapes 
  - Mellowcreme pumpkin
  - Whole Wheat tortilla rolled around carrot and celery sticks as a cornucopia

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thanksgiving theme #5 (Pumpkin/Leaf Bento)

  I have been trying to include little treats for the kids out of what is left in the Halloween candy bucket...that bucket needs to leave my house. I'm finding myself digging in it.  I know an easy way, but I just hate the idea of wasting candy and just throwing it away. And, I do love candy.  You could tell me that the next piece of candy in that bucket would make me gain 10 pounds...I would eat it. It. Is. Horrible. Candy has always been my weakness. Back in high school, when I could eat like a teenager and never show it, my lunch would sometimes be a Snickers and a Slurpee from 7-11. Oh, the good old days. What I would do for a Slurpee (Icee) right now.
Plated Lunch:

 - Salami and Cheddar Cheese stick rolled onto a toothpick with some Potato Stix underneath as "hay."
 - Pumpkin shaped sandwich (peanut butter) with three fruit snacks on top. I've gotten my kids off of all fruit snacks, so this was a special treat.
 - Apple slices cut out with a pumpkin cookie cutter.

Bento Version:

 - Leaf shaped sandwich (peanut butter) I made two sandwiches and stacked them.
 - Salami and cheddar cheese on a toothpick
 - Apple slices cut out with a pumpkin cookie cutter
 - Mini silicone cupcake liner with raspberries
 - Fruit snacks

Happy weekend to everyone! See you on Monday!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thanksgiving theme #4 (Turkey Leg Bento)

     Today's lunch features a sandwich shaped into a "turkey leg."  I thought it was a bit clever to make something that looked like it, but the pumpernickel bread made the picture a little dark.

Plated Lunch:

 - Watermelon and strawberry flowers on a small bed of lettuce leaves.  Also Carrot sticks and Halloween Kit Kats arranged around them. (Still trying to use up that Halloween candy)
 - Pumpernickel bread with cream cheese and turkey. Mozzarella stick as turkey "bone" leg.  Left over chicken nuggets I made the other night that I added onto tooth picks for mini turkey legs.

Bento Version:

 - Pumpernickel bread with cream cheese and turkey. Mozzarella stick as turkey "bone" leg.
 - Autumn flower (watermelon) with lettuce 
 - Red raspberry acorns and some grape acorns too, since my little one loves spearing things with those pretzel sticks.
 - Three Nutter Butter cookies for dessert

If you have a minute, leave me a comment and let me know what you think of all of these. Coming up with ideas surrounding the theme of Thanksgiving is proving to be tricky, but we'll get through this month with some repeats, but always keeping it fun and imperfect. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thanksgiving theme lunch #3 (Turkey Thanksgiving Bento)

    Today is one of those days where I fulfill my "I make no promises," approach.  We had a playgroup this morning, the kids were incredibly grumpy - and mommy included, so I rushed lunch preparation so I could get Thing 2 down for a nap as quickly as possible.  Therefore, the sandwiches and apples are super sloppy - they still ate well though. And again, it is about presentation to the kids, not an award show.

    I got this idea from Cute Food For Kids where she shows you how to do a turkey sandwich. Cute Food For Kids is also a great site with lots of fun pictures from all different sites and great ideas for just about everything.  For this particular sandwich, I did shred up some deli meat and stick it under the small circle too. My kids wouldn't be happy with just cheese. But you can always modify these things. That's what makes it so much fun.

Plated Lunch:
 - Ham and cheese sandwich made like a turkey.  The link to the pieces and instructions are above. My food marker did not work well on the dots for the eyes.  I believe that is mostly due to the oils in the cheese, but I tried.
 - Apple slice made like a feather
 - Two pretzel sticks with strawberry slices on them (like arrows)
 - Pumpkin mellowcreme for dessert.  Too much sugar from yesterday, so I cut down today.

Bento Version:
 - Ham and cheese sandwich made like a turkey.  The link to the pieces and instructions are above. 
 - Strawberry slices, apple feather slice
 - Teddy Grahams.  You could almost dress these guys like little pilgrims. (*hmmmm...) 

Thanks so much for visiting! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thanksgiving Theme Lunch #2 - Cornucopia (Thanksgiving Bento)

    The kids and I have been exploring resources online and learning about all things Thanksgiving.  Yesterday, we colored a cornucopia through a teachers pay teachers website that is really awesome (color by letter) and my son really enjoyed the activity.  We discussed things that might be seen in a cornucopia and that it signifies abundance - for which we give thanks.

Sticking to that theme, I decided to incorporate a cornucopia for lunch today.

Plated Lunch:

 - Two "acorns" made using snack size nutter butters, melt chocolate chips in microwave, dip one side of cookie in melted chocolate and then stick a Hershey Kiss on top. Let set - and add a little dob of chocolate on the other side for the stem
 - Turkey and a Whole Wheat Tortilla, rolled up in a cone shape.  Added in a piece of broccoli, watermelon, blueberries on a toothpick, some shredded red cabbage, strawberry, a piece of lettuce and one left over Mellowcreme pumpkin.  I don't usually have this much sweet stuff on there - but my little guy was quick to point out that the cornucopia was missing a pumpkin!
 - Small pie crust filled with orange colored vanilla yogurt. Supposed to look like pumpkin pie
 - Pumpkin shaped pasta

Bento Version:

 -  Small pie crust filled with orange colored vanilla yogurt. I made this by putting some left over pie crust trim into mini silicone cupcake liners and just baked for 7 minutes at 350. Supposed to look like pumpkin pie;
 - A small whole wheat tortilla rolled up with deli turkey and stuffed with kiwi, blueberries on a toothpick, a piece of pineapple, a raspberry, some shredded red cabbage, spinach leaf, and a strawberry;
 - One little acorn made from a Hershey Kiss adhered with melting chocolate to a NutterButter snack size cookie;
 - Pumpkin shaped pasta

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thanksgiving Theme Lunch #1 (Thanksgiving Bento)

    Good Monday morning to you all!  I had a nice weekend packing up all the Halloween decorations, cookie pans and cutters.  Although I was a little sad at first, it became much more exciting as I dug through my stash searching for things that I will get to use this month.  Plus, we are still in the "fall/autumn" season, so I don't have to get rid of the leaves. All of the leaves are really starting to fall and turn the official brown - boo....but inside we can still use the colors to emulate the beautiful reds, oranges and yellows. 
    I will put a note in here that this month will probably have some repeats because you can only do turkeys, pilgrim hats, pumpkins, leaves, etc for so long.

Plated Lunch:

 - Turkey sandwich is just a round cut sandwich filled with cream cheese and stuck strawberries in for the feathers.  The little "turkeys" face is a piece of ham just cut with a knife, cheese for eyes (with a food marker for the dots) and a carrot nose
 - Autumn Mix Pile: Red grapes stuck with pretzel sticks (acorns), Apples cut into leaves, pepperoni slices...also using a leaf cookie cutter, and some provolone cheese using the leaf cookie cutters as well.

Bento Version: 

 - Red silicon cup with regular size goldfish
 - Circle "turkey" sandwich: cream cheese filling, strawberries for the feathers.  I used a slice of deli ham and just cut away a small portion for the "turkey's" head.  Topped with provolone cheese for eyes (with food marker dots) and a carrot nose
 - Sugar snap pea pods with an "acorn" made out of a pretzel stick stuck on a red grape
 - Apple and provolone cheese slices cut out with a leaf cookie cutter

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Theme Lunch #12 (Halloween Bento)

Okay, okay. It's the end of the Halloween week, so I'm going to be done with the Halloween theme.  I need to start focusing that it's November and only 59 days left of the year! Wait, WHAT!?!?!?!

I've been sketching down a few ideas of turkey thoughts and trying to come up with a cornucopia of ideas. (a la Three Stooges - yuk, yuk yuk).  And there's Veteran's Day coming up, so that will have to be something patriotic.  I am also working on some ideas for crafts.  Even though I'm pretty dedicated to food here, I hope to share some ideas or attempts that I may try.  Pinterest is such a wonderful site and has given me some fun projects to put on my "to-do" list.

And now - for what you are here for...

Plated Lunch:

 - Halloween Pretzels (that we received Trick or Treating); I love these!

 - Apple slice eyes, sugar snap pea nose and half an Oreo to make a silly face
 - Last bit of Halloween Pasta mixed with a parmesan alfredo sauce, leaf cookie cutter cheese slices
 - Ghost Fluffanutter sandwich with two chocolate chips for eyes

Bento Version:

 - Apple Slice (left side)
 - Cup of Halloween pasta mixed with alfredo sauce and topped with two cheese pieces from a leaf cookie cutter
 - Sugar Snap peas
 - Halloween Pretzels
 - Half of an Oreo (along side of the pasta & cheese)
 - Ghost Fluffanutter sandwich with peanut eyes and chocolate chip mouth

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween theme Lunch #11 (Pumpkin Bento)

I can't admit that Halloween is over.  As I said before, it is 2nd on my list of favorites. I'm just not ready to put away the cookie cutters and fun yet.  Sure, the decorations can come down - but not the cookware.  As it turns out, I have supplies I didn't even use this month! 

So, when I settled down with my nice glass of wine after two and a half hours of trick or treating, it came to me: use the baking molds and make little pocket sandwiches!

I got this Halloween baking cookie pan as a gift, and kept trying to get to a point in the day when I could make some cookies...but with two little ones, it just didn't happen. But with some store bought bread dough, lunch meat and cheese - presto - little pocket sandwiches you can serve hot or cold (well, I mean AFTER you bake them.)

And who says, you can't bake Halloween cookies in November?!?! I've got another 30 days to try!

Plated Lunch:

 - Two pocket sandwiches with Ham and White cheddar. (How-To do this)
 - Snickers candy (for dessert) - I have to take this off when Thing 1 sits down to eat, or he will eat it first!
 - Potato stix and a Mellowcreme pumpkin
 - Roasted pumpkin seeds - he ended up not liking these, even though I sprinkled with Italian seasoning, garlic powder and parmesan cheese
 - Cheese candy corn - I made this with Vermont orange cheddar, Kraft American cheese, and a Baybel.  You can see my post on that here.
 - Pumpkin cookie cutter with apple slice
 - Carrot pumpkins - My little guy is not keen on carrots, so I only gave him two.

Bento Version:

 - Two pocket sandwiches with Ham and White cheddar. (How-To do this)
 - Pumpkin seeds (I ended up taking these out for her, because she's still a little young)
 - Apple slices made with a pumpkin cookie cutter
 - Carrots cut into pumpkins
 - Potato stix and a Mellowcreme pumpkin
 - Cheese candy corn - I used a Baybel (white), Kraft American cheese (yellow), and Vermont Orange Cheddar (orange).  More on that here. (posting coming soon)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Theme lunch #10 (Halloween Bento)

The day is officially here! I hope all the little ghouls, witches and goblins are ready for some goodies! And I certainly hope you are leaving your porch light on tonight to hand out some candy.  When my husband and I were just "us" we used to have a large display of pumpkins in our yard each year.  We started off with 13, then 31, and the next year 57.  I can't explain where the 57 came from - we just kept buying pumpkins that year.  We had so many trick or treaters; it was amazing!

We moved across the country after the last year of pumpkin carving and have been living in a condo for two Halloween seasons.  Soon, we will get a house again and resume the madness of carving the most pumpkins in our neighborhood. I included a picture below the lunches if you are interested.

Plated lunch:

 - Whole wheat cheese quesadilla cut out with a pumpkin cookie cutter
 - Cup of whip cream and crushed up Oreos (we call this "dirt") with some gummy worms
 - Celery filled with cream cheese, pretzel legs and two craisins for eyes
 - Pepperoni slices with white cheddar and a half of kalamata olive
 - Apple "jaws" slice with a piece notched out and almonds as teeth
 - Roasted butternut squash that I cut out with a pumpkin cookie cutter.  The flesh was pretty thick, so when I got the big piece, I sliced it down the middle and ended up with pieces that were about 1/4 inch thick.

Bento version:

 - A prepackaged cup of mandarin oranges with a jack-o-lantern face drawn on there. I found this on pinterest!
 - Pumpkin cookie cutter on a cheese quesadilla. I tried to do the eyes with the knife, but it was just messy (because it's time to sharpen my knives) and an apple slice mouth with almond slivers as teeth
 - Cup of Halloween pasta (I found this at World Market, but also have seen at TJ Maxx)
 - Roasted butternut squash cut out with a bat shaped cookie cutter
 - Celery bug - filled with cream cheese, pretzels for legs and craisin eyes.

Here's that picture of our old house with most of the pumpkins in the picture. Some of them were cut out because of my lack of a wide angle lens. *sigh  - still on my Christmas list.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Spiders, Pumpkins, and Ghosts - oh my! Theme #9 (Halloween Bento #8)

I've realized that I am not much for consistency with titles each day with these Halloween lunches. I've got to get better with these as I do "seasonal" lunches so that they are easier to find.  I also plan on adding some tagging too.

While I do have a nice camera, most of the pictures of these lunches are done from my mobile phone. I hope that my pictures show a "detailed enough" view of my designs.  If you ever have any questions, feel free to contact me or drop me a comment! Thanks!

Plate lunch:

 - Halloween pasta that I found at World Market (but I've also seen at TJ Maxx.) It is mixed with some cheese sauce that I made with a roux, milk and grated Parmesan  
 - Carrot slices carved into little jack-o-laterns.  I got this idea off of searching through images of halloween lunches
 - Two marshmallows made into ghosts with a food grade marker
 - Nutella and bread sandwich with sugar pea pods cut up as legs and I took two of the peas to make the eyes

Bento version:

 - Halloween pasta with an Alfredo cheese sauce.  Although, if you were concerned about sending to school, I would just leave the noodles plain - maybe a little Italian dressing
 - One marshmallow made into a ghost with a food grade marker
 - Two Nutella sandwiches made into spiders with sugar snap peas as eyes and legs
 - Carrots carved into little jack-o-lanterns
 - Apple slices with a bell shaped cookie cutter that I made into ghosts by just adding little sprinkles for eyes
 - Yogurt raisins made into ghosts with the same food marker
 - Stacked sugar snap peas

The past three days have been crazy due to hurricane Sandy and threat of losing power.  Fortunately, the lights remained on where we are, but my heart is with all the families that have damage, flooding, and lost loved ones. I am also sad about the HMS Bounty, that sank off the coast of North Carolina.  
Mr. Man and I were just there for a visit in September.  We also had some trips this summer - seeing the ship, enjoying the oceans along Long Island, and visiting Atlantic City.   I realize I went off on a tangent there - but this situation is heavy on my heart and I just wanted to share my thoughts. I certainly hope FEMA and our great country will provide strength and support to help everyone affected through this time.

As always, thank you for stopping by!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween pizza Theme Lunch #8 (Pizza in Bento)

Well today was sort of a cheat day.  I mean, we still did lunches, but I made a special lunchtime Halloween Pizza. We have threat of the hurricane here on the east coast and so I wanted to do something that was fun to try. As you will see from the picture below, I sectioned off a small portion for me (and for Mr. Man to try) that is Greek - seasonings, oil, grape tomatoes, feta and kalamata olives (we can call it the "graveyard"- but the rest of the pizza I filled with ghosts and spiders.

The ghosts are from a mozzarella cheese ball that I sliced and then used a small ghost cookie cutter on. The spiders are a slice of pepperoni, legs are green peppers and an olive cut in half to make eyes.

The kids loved it.  They were both home today - so unfortunately there's no bento on this post today. But stay tuned for tomorrows!

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you are all getting ready for the "spooky" celebration - two days away!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Fingers and Goo Theme Lunch #7 (Slime and Fingers Bento)

So this was technically Friday's lunch, but I'm playing "catch up" since I missed posting on Thursday.  Today's lunch took a little bit more time as I didn't think about the fingers until right before.  However, you could certainly cook these in the toaster oven, or regular oven when preparing dinner the night before.

Plated Lunch:

 - Vanilla yogurt with green food coloring and a plastic spider ring added on top.  
 - Ghost - White Chocolate covered strawberry on a toothpick with two chocolate chips for eyes
 - Halloween Pretzels.  These came in little snack packs that were made for Halloween and we got some in an early "trunk or treat" event we went to.  They are made by Utz a regional snack/chip maker.
 - Spaghetti with ribbons of carrot mixed in; I said these were worms.  Small bread dough rolled lengthwise and a grape tomato sliced up as little finger nails. Baked in oven for 10 minutes.

Bento Version:

 - Vanilla yogurt with green food coloring and a plastic spider ring added on top.  
 - Halloween Pretzels.  These came in little snack packs that were made for Halloween and we got some in an early "trunk or treat" event we went to.  They are made by Utz a regional snack/chip maker.
 - Spaghetti with ribbons of carrot mixed in; I said these were worms.  Small bread dough rolled lengthwise and a grape tomato sliced up as little finger nails. Baked in oven for 10 minutes.

(and I left out the two white chocolate ghosts I made for Thing 2.  Oops! I took a strawberry and sliced it in half, dipped in white chocolate and used mini sprinkles for the eyes.)  As halved strawberries, they nested better on the upper side of the yogurt and spaghetti.

Thanks for following these posts! I encourage and welcome comments and suggestions. Please feel free to leave in the section below.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Monster mash Theme Lunch #6 (Monster Bento)

I missed posting this yesterday because the kids were crazy and Mr. Man got home a day early from his trip (yay!)  
This was so much fun!  Super easy and since it fit perfectly in the box, I just did two of them for both of the kiddos. 

 - regular spaghetti for hair

 - two chunks of meatloaf cut out and stick in toaster oven for a few minutes to cook the ketchup on top.  This will give it a more frightful look, and leak or mess up in the lunch box.  After you take out of the oven, stick a small piece of mozzarella cheese on top and let set. *I actually made meatloaf muffins and cut the chunks out of it*
 - carrot end for nose, just cut to height of bento box
 - Pizza bagel - half a bagel and slice open one half.  Spread pizza sauce (or regular tomato sauce as I did).  Next take a mozzarella cheese stick and slice horizontally in half so it makes the stick "less thick."
Begin cutting triangles from - giving you pieces for the teeth.  Slowly arrange them on the top row.  For the bottom row: as you lay them across, it might be better if you trim off some of the bottom of each "tooth" so they don't intersect with the top row. You can see what I'm talking about in the picture below.
 - I added two apple slices along the sides as ears
 - And I threw in two Brach's Mellowcreme pumpkins for dessert (or you can call them little knobs like Frankenstein has.)

Frightfully fun lunch!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Frankenstein Theme Lunch #5 (Frankenstein Bento)

ok, so I'm not perfect.  I (again) did a trial and error with what I saw in my brain versus what went down on the plate and in the box.  It didn't seem like enough food, but now that I have time to sit down and post this - I realize that they ate all of the food without any left over.  That differs from the amounts that I've been throwing away on some days.  This was actually a pretty packed lunch and my kids aren't asking for snacks yet, so we are good for now.  

Plate lunch:
- Jack O Lantern cheese slice. I just cut out the pieces with a knife
- Monster jaws eating a green bug. Of course, I did the red and white backwards, but you can't see white on a white plate, so go figure.  The white is a writer white chocolate pen (Duff's line sold at Michael's), strawberries, and a piece of celery.  
- Apple slices cut out with cookie cutter, two chocolate chips for eyes, cheese nose, celery mouth. Also, two sugar candy bones that I found in some halloween decoration that we bought recently.
- Frankenstein chicken sandwich with butter - cut out with larger version of same cookie cutter, celery for hair, grape tomato eyes, cheese nose and mouth.

Bento version:
 - Monster jaws eating a green bug. Of course, I did the red and white backwards.  The white is a writer white chocolate pen (Duff's line sold at Michael's), strawberries, and some slices of avocado with sprinkles as eyes
 - Frankenstein apple slice under sandwich (same shape as sandwich)
 - Frankenstein chicken sandwich with avocado for hair, tortilla bread, grape tomatoes for eyes and a small cheese slice for his mouth

As always, thanks for stopping by my site. I've been having great fun with these lunches and I hope I can share some of my ideas with you.  If you have any suggestions, or thoughts, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Halloween Ghost Theme Lunch #4 (Ghost Lunch Bento)

Hello again!  Today's lunch is ENTIRELY a ghost theme.  I wish I had more supplies, because the ideas that I had to make all sorts of ghost "food" were running in my head last night as I laid down to sleep. So that just means another day of spooky ghost lunch! 

Halloween has GOT to be my favorite season (after 4th of July).  That's right folks, Christmas is 3rd on my list.  Christmas is a great time of year (and they make way more food that is already a Christmas theme), but maybe that's why it is third; I can't be as creative. Of course, that is a good thing because you can only do so many things with sandwiches.

- Vanilla yogurt in a small cup with chocolate chip eyes and chocolate sprinkles for a mouth
- Mozzarella cheese stick cut in half, food markers for eyes and mouth and a candy corn to give them little hats
- Apples, using a small bell shaped cookie cutter and food markers for the eyes.  Some of the apple pieces, I just improvised and made into other similar ghost shapes so they weren't all the same.
- Peanut butter and fluff sandwich with little candy eyes and a chocolate covered candy corn for a mouth. (seriously, have you tried these? The chocolate covered candy corns are so yummy! They are made by Brach's.)


- Ghost shaped fluffernutter sandwich with chocolate chip eyes and a little more fluff for the mouth.
- Apple Ghosts using bell shaped cookie cutter (and mom nibbled off the bottoms; hey, a girl's gotta eat!)
- Mozzarella Cheese sticks with candy corn hats
- Vanilla yogurt cup with chocolate sprinkles for eyes and mouth

Monday, October 22, 2012

Farm Lunch (Bento Farm Lunch)

Today, we planned a day to head out to a fall festival at a local farm.  They had hay rides, corn mazes, farm animals, apples and tons of slides! We really enjoyed the day there and there is definitely something about the fall colors that make me so happy!

Since we were packing a lunch to take with us today, I opted to make it sufficient for both of my little people.

 - Tractor sandwich (I don't have a fancy cutter, so I just notched a square out of it), added Oreo wheels and a pretzel stick for a "pipe" sticking out of the tractor.
 - Cheddar cheese stick under there
 - Broccoli "orchard" trees
 - Bologna pig (on top of parchment paper because I added the little square sandwich under for Munchkin)
 - Saffron rice rectangle with two little sprinkle eyes and a carrot nose
 - Potato Stix (these are my favorite and my kids thought it was wonderful to be eating "hay" like the animals!)
 - Pumpkin candy corns for dessert (after all, just one small oreo cookie wasn't enough! and mom needed some candy too!)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween theme lunch #3 (Halloween Bento too)

Greetings!  Today's lunch was a bit of a rush.  We got home later than usual because we went to a book sale (I have a huge obsession with old books), so I started prepping everything late.  I had in my head what I wanted the Bento to come out like, but it didn't stay long enough for me to take a picture.  And my kids were already hungry, so I didn't bother re-taking the picture or re-setting the pieces.
However, I should mention that my little one eating the Bento said "bat" and "monster" so she got the idea. It's not about perfection - the kids just like the fun of it and it's important to remember that.  

Today's plate is:
 - Raemen noodles colored green with some pumpkin shapes cut out of a cheese slice
 - One cup full of peach yogurt with apple wedges sticking out as legs, a piece of fruit leather on top and white chocolate writer for eyes and a crunchy candy in the center.
  - Sandwich of turkey and bread with butter,  Eyes are yogurt raisins, avocado nose and cheese and apple pieces arranged as a "stitched" mouth.

Today's Bento is:
  - One cup of peach yogurt with chocolate crunchies that I added through a bat cookie cutter.  Some of them spilled out, but no worries, right?
 - Cream cheese and bread sandwich cut out as coffin.  I used the white chocolate writer on top as the "RIP"
 - Apple slices thinly sliced as a mummy/monster - candy corn teeth (which did not cooperate) - and white chocolate writer for the eyes.
  - Toothpick skewered with avocado slices as hair, or monster teeth.

In hindsight, I should have done the candy corn as horns on top and the skewer as teeth. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Halloween Season, Lunch #2 (and one for Bento too)

See, I told you I would follow through.  Okay, okay - it's only Day 2....19 more to go (21 times to make a habit, right?)  
Today's lunch is more of a pumpkin theme.

We'll start like a clock - at the top where the 12 is - and go clockwise.

Cup of pumpkin themed macaroni & cheese - 2 toothpicks broke in half with candy corn speared on them; cheese slice using a pumpkin cookie cutter, chocolate chips for the eyes and an apple slice on the mouth; peach slices cut out with a leaf cookie cutter - (just peel the peach and cut into 1/4" slices all around); Pumpkin cookie cutter with white bread, also used the cookie cutter on a thicker slice of turkey that I had the deli do. I think they used a #2 thickness.  I used butter inside the bread, but also colored the butter with food coloring to do the outside and did the green stem with a food marker. Lastly, I used the left over pieces of cheese from the pumpkin slice - and made eyes, nose and mouth.

For the bento version, I scaled down the cookie cutter into finger sandwiches she could pick out of there. 
- She's not really a fan of butter, (plus I didn't want mess) so I used pumpkin flavored cream cheese and turkey breast. 
- I put a small piece of banana in there with two chocolate chip eyes and food marker for mouth. I stuck the toothpick through the banana as a way to give this "ghost" a hat, but it slipped a little. 
- I did the peaches again with her too, only I ka-bobbed them onto a toothpick. She loved eating them like this!!  
- Pumpkin themed mac & cheese stacked in the upper corner
- One cup of mandarin oranges filled up, then arranged on top like a pumpkin with a pretzel stick stem and small apple slice leaf.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halloween lunch (Halloween Bento Lunch)

I'm making a comeback...Really, I mean it.

Too much of my life has passed and I've had these great posts in my head, but I don't sit down and do it.  That ends today, October 17th. I've gotten back into cooking a lot, baking even more, and exploring kid friendly recipes because Thing 1 is at a perfect age to help me in the kitchen (and wants to!)

I've made a lot of lunches at home for my kiddos and I try to keep it fun.  I have read a lot of cool blogs that discuss a "main plate" lunch with the kids just picking what they like from it. And, with all the creativity that goes into a themed lunch, I think it is good to do this.  In the meantime, I'm doing individual lunches and made this one today for Thing 1.

Halloween lunch:
Mozzerella cheese stick wrapped in spaghetti noodles and pretzel sticks for arms and legs (food grade marker made black eyes); small cup of Count Chocula cereal with Halloween marshmallows on top; cinnamon cream cheese and white bread bat-shaped sandwiches (metal cookie cutter); vanilla yogurt with food coloring to make orange - green spoon as leaf and pretzel sticks again as stem (pumpkin).

This could certainly be packaged in a small bento box or lunchbox to take to lunch for kids in school.
I did the same concept for Thing 2 (younger) and did on a smaller scale for her - so I took the opportunity to make a bento box for her.  I cut the cheese stick in half, smaller cups of yogurt (small piece of green apple as the leaf) and cereal with one marshmallow. I also stacked two small bat sandwiches under the "mummy" along with another two on the side. Again, these had cinnamon cream cheese in them.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Actually making Asian food (instead of ordering)

I have a crazy obsession with Asian food, but besides the obvious stir-fry, any meal beyond that and I'm using the keypad on my phone to order it.  Plus it's delivered - quick!

I have recently overcome this obstacle and found myself exploring more into recipes of Asian latest success was Asian Pork in the crockpot and making tacos and other meals with it.  But, I made a HUGE mistake because I didn't write it down, bookmark the site, or rip the page out of the magazine.

In an effort to remember not to do this again, I just stumbled across this recipe and I have to make it.  At least when I make it this time, I'll have the link.

Rice Noodle Salad with Spicy Lemongrass Dressing

This looks awesome and sounds so delicious.  I'm off to explore the kitchen and see if I can successfully conjure this dish up.  More to follow!