Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Pumpkin King

My favorite holiday... and my favorite movie about this holiday!

On the weekend evenings leading up to Halloween, we've been having a little movie fest. Every weekend evening (school nights we just have too much to do, between homework and dinner and cheer/soccer practice!) we all snuggle up together after dinner and watch a different Halloween themed movie. We've watched Paranorman, Hocus Pocus, and many more. All were great, some even excellent, but the number one overall family favorite was DEFINITELY Nightmare Before Christmas.

Tim Burton's Disney film is just exactly the mix of creepy, cool and cute to keep the entire family entertained. We watch this movie at least 3 times each year and will never get bored.

Bean requested a Nightmare Before Christmas lunch this week, and this is what I came up with!

This lunch is scary good. It's also gluten free, and tucked full of 'hidden' nutrients.

The sandwich is sliced ham on Udi's gluten free bread, with a grinning Jack Skellington painted on provolone cheese with food safe dye. Tucked inside is a handfull of spinach leaves - Bean's favorite!

Jack's faithful... um, dog? ghost? Ghost dog? Uh... Zero is made with cream cheese frosting spread on a chunk of gluten free chocolate zucchini cake, with some Glutino pretzels tucked in on the side.

And of course, the Pumpkin King wouldn't be complete without a pumpkin. This grinning Jack O' Lantern is actually a clementine, with a face painted on with food safe dye. There are also some crunchy sweet carrots for snacking.

Keep going! Click the button to see what tricks and treats are next on the Halloween bento trail....

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Beware the Bones

Make no bones about it, this delicious lunch was a big hit with my Halloween loving Bean!

Lunch is packed into an Easy Lunchboxes bento box and includes:

Tiny mini seedless grapes
Cucumber slices
Turkey hoagie half sandwich on a Schar gluten free roll
Mini carrot cupcake
Glutino pretzel sticks
Vanilla yogurt

The skull & bones are made with vanilla yogurt frozen into a fun shaped silicone ice cube tray. They're nestled into green sludge - also vanilla yogurt, mixed with a bit of green food dye. Fun, fast, and festive!

Speaking of fun and fast ways to make food festive, we love these little bloody bones candy decorations! They're a sweet way to add a little touch of creepy to any treat.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Cute Little Witch

I LOVE Halloween. Out of all of the holidays, it's easily my favorite.

And I love packing cute Halloween themed lunches!

Like this cute little witch lunch I packed recently for Lulu:

This lunch includes:

Carrot slices
Watermelon pieces
Snap peas
Ranch dressing
Annie's Organic bunny grahams
Turkey and cheese sandwich
Vanilla cupcake

To make the sandwich, I used the outside cutter from the CuteZCute sandwich cutter set. It is made with turkey and cheese, with candy eyes and details drawn on with food dye. Easy, cute, and tasty!

For Bean, I packed a simple hoagie/sandwich lunch. She really loves these Schar gluten free hot dog rolls for hoagies. They are a nice, soft, fluffy bread, perfect for sandwiches!

Gluten-free turkey and cheese sub on Schar GF rolls
Gluten-free pretzel sticks
Gluten-free cupcake
Watermelon chunks
Carrots and peas with ranch

Both lunches are packed into Laptop Lunch boxes. The thing I like best about these boxes is that the individual compartments have lids that you can use to keep food where it's supposed to be, with no touching or spilling. No watermelon juice on the sandwich, and no cupcake frosting on the peas, even when the kids drop their lunchbags repeatedly. Pretty great feature!

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Simple Pinkie Pie

Simple, but delicious. Kid loved it!

Been a long week! When Lulu asked for a My Little Ponies lunch - Lulu, who barely allows me to pack her lunches at all most days because she doesn't like the attention she gets when I pack her cute lunches - I jumped on it. But I had to keep it toned down, a minimum of cute, so that she would actually eat the food without the distraction of people wanting to see.

Pinkie Pie is my favorite Pony, and I happened to have gummi 'gators on hand, so the simplicity worked out nicely.

She has crackers with cheese, orange slices, spinach wrap sandwich rolls, carrots with Sunbutter, and a gummi treat.

Gummy the gummi alligator cracked me up. I couldn't resist the one really cute-d up detail. Gummy has his party hat on and is chilling out on the graham cracker sand beach.

Lulu approved!

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Giving Tree

So, I had this lunch in mind for Shel Silverstein's day. Something exciting and awesome, celebrating two of the most amazing books I've ever read - Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. These two books of poetry had a deep impact on my entire childhood. For me, the works of Shel Silverstein were full of silly wonder and deeply profound thoughts, worded in such a way that spoke to me. 

I borrowed Where the Sidewalk Ends from the library probably more than any other book ever. I've read these poems to every one of my children as infants, though they likely don't remember. Some I can still recite from heart. 

I would curl up under the covers often, letting the words flow over my young brain. "If you're a dreamer, come in..." A perfect welcome, an Invitation to wander through the pages. Most of these two books narrated my childhood years. 

But back to the present! So, I had this lunch in mind, right? I mean, a blog hop celebrating the best poet ever, I was all over that! But you know what they say about the best laid plans... Life just kind of got in the way. Got down to the wire, the last day before it needed to be done, and I woke up thinking YES! Today it WILL get done. And then my phone melted and I discovered that the rabbit hutch had been accidentally left open all night during the first heavy rainstorm of the season, resulting in a very wet and unhappy bunny, and the dishwasher started leaking, and did I mention that my freaking phone melted?! And then I had to go to work. So now it's midnight, and the super detailed, hand painted homage to my favorite books of poetry is not going to happen.

Instead of honoring my childhood, I decided at the eleventh hour (erm, 10:57, actually) to look to the present and chose a book which makes me think not of being a child, but of being a parent: The Giving Tree. The tree loves her boy so much, and she gives and gives and gives until there is literally nothing left of her, and then she gives some more. Meanwhile, the only thing the boy gives her is companionship when he wants something. But for her that is enough, because she knows that he loves her and she wants to take care of him. Seeing him happy makes her happy.

To me as a child, the take-away message from this book was that the tree was a sucker and the boy was selfish and ungrateful. How can you take-take-take like that and never give back?! As an adult, that has not changed, but at the same time... I can understand it. Sometimes, as a parent, you give and give and give and it's not because you expect anything back. You do it because you love them and you want them to be happy. Seeing their faces light up with joy is the best kind of return. Sometimes they may seem ungrateful, and they whine and fuss and complain, but you still know that they love you. And even though they don't always show it, you know they do appreciate you, and all that you do for them.

This lunch is completely gluten free and nut free, and contains:

Glutino gluten free crackers
Laughing Cow cheese
Schar gluten free shortbread cookie
tiny cup of mustard
grilled hot dog
sugar snap peas
provolone cheese

All tucked into an Easy Lunchbox container. To keep the food from shifting, I folded a napkin and tucked it in on top. If you're curious, it only took about twenty minutes to make the lunch, including grilling the hot dog and cutting up the veggies. 

There is a lot more wonder ahead!
Click the button to coninue on the hop to Beneficial Bento and see the awesomeness that is waiting for you there!

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