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.