Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Cutie Marks and Cupcakes

Cutie mark cupcakesWe go to dinner once a month at our friends’ house, and we eat with them and our church’s missionaries. It’s wonderful – we really enjoy the time with our friends and the missionaries, plus my youngest daughter is BFFs with our friends’ daughter. We alternate who brings the entree, but we always bring the dessert. We do this partly because gluten-free desserts can be tricky, but also because G2, G3, and I love to bake.

This month I made a batch of chocolate cupcakes, and G2 and G3 decorated them with the cutie marks of several major characters from My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. Cutie marks appear on their flank to tell them their destiny/talent. The 3 blank ones are for the “Cutie mark crusaders” who haven’t gotten cutie marks yet. The amount of detail they put into something that no one else would recognize is rather impressive. (And no, the Elders and our friends had no idea what they were other than cute.)

Twilight Sparkle lunchG2’s lunch matches a leftover cupcake. In her Easy Lunchbox she has Twilight Sparkle painted on provolone cheese, with details in food coloring and food safe markers. She also has Havarti cheese in a silicone heart cup and homemade MOMables-inspired gf crackers in a mini silicone cup, with heart mini forks. At the top right she has a clementine with a heart mini fork, and a Twilight Sparkle cupcake. In a Snoopy Bento Box she also has a penguin roll.

Rarity CupcakeG2 has a Thermos filled with chicken and rice soup. To go with that she has a Snoopy Bento Box with a white tiger bread roll. I’ve also put a  Rarity cupcake in her Snoopy Bento Box along with her roll. G3 also has two Laptop Lunch Bento Buddies containers. One is filled with chocolate pudding, and the other with orange smiles and heart mini forks. She also has one more container with orange smiles for snack, but that one didn’t fit in the picture.

LasagnaG1’s lunch is simple. I packed the last piece of lasagna in her Thermos, and she’ll be sad to not have any more tomorrow. As a bonus part of her lunch she has a panda roll. Plus, in her Snoopy Bento Box she has two oatmeal  chocolate chip cookies in mini silicone cups, and a clementine with a heart mini fork.


This post includes affiliate links.


PostHeaderIcon Black and White animals

B&W AnimalsI read the recipe for the Japanese Milk Bun Pandas over at Bento Monsters, and fell in love with the idea. Now, we’re gluten-free, so I knew I couldn’t follow the recipe as printed. However, I have several different dough recipes, and I tried to think of the one that gives me workable dough. Most GF dough recipes are much more like a batter than a bread dough. I ended up using my pizza crust recipe, but using just white rice and cornstarch as flours, no seasonings, and adding 6 TBS extra corn starch to make the dough more workable. If I’m going to do this again, though I want to use the Chebe bread dough or breadstick mix, as that’s the most malleable gluten-free dough I’ve ever used.

B&W cheesey animalsI used orange and black food coloring to add details, and ended up making G1 some pandas, G2 some penguins, and G3 some white tigers. I’ll admit that you have to use your imagination a bit, but I tried. They toasted up a bit, and the orange turned brown, but it was good for a first attempt.

To perk up their lunches a bit more I used food coloring and food safe markers to make a panda, 2 penguins, and a white tiger out of cheese. I’m not expecting them to eat them, as that’s a lot of food coloring on one piece of cheese, but it looks cute in their lunches. I also used some black & white paper to take lunch pictures against.

B&W PandaG1 has leftover lasagna in her Thermos. The first time I put leftover lasagna in her Thermos she was confused that I hadn’t put tofu or a spoon in her lunch – she thought the Thermos was filled with tomato soup and that I had been an eejit that morning. She was happy to find the lasagna, though – much more loved than even tomato soup! In her Snoopy bento box I put in some “orange smiles”, or sliced oranges, complete with a couple different panda food picks. I packed mini silicone cups with a Hershey’s nugget and the painted panda cheese. The baked panda bun is all by its lonesome, and was packed in a separate Lock & Lock container.

B&W TigerG3 has a lunch as close to being white tiger focused as I could. I’ve yet to find any food picks focused on white tigers, but I have the two I made, plus a couple of lions. In her Thermos is some chicken and rice soup. In her Snoopy bento box I packed one mini silicone cup with a Hershey’s nugget and another with a painted cheese white tiger. In a silicone heart cup I added two gluten-free Joe Joes Oreos. Usually her sweet and fruit are packed together (one for snack, one for lunch), but things keep seeping juice into the treats, so I gave up. She has a Target container with sliced oranges and lion food picks, plus a Laptop Lunch Bento Buddies with pineapple and a heart mini fork. She also has a white tiger bun that I put in its own container.

B&W PenguinG2’s lunch is all penguins in her Easy Lunchbox. Packed into silicone heart cups she has diamond-shaped MOMables-inspired gf crackers and a blue penguin food pick, plus some Havarti with dill cheese cut into the shape of penguins using a penguin vegetable cutter. In the small section are two gf Joe Joes Oreos, in the larger section is a peeled satsuma. Both of those have homemade food picks using Happy Feet stickers. In her Snoopy bento box I packed her penguin bun and, in a mini silicone cup, a Hershey’s nugget.

Overall, while I’m not up to the level of Bento Monsters, I’m rather proud of myself. The buns are cute, and they look tasty. I’m looking forward to seeing how they taste!

This post is linked to Leftovers on Fridays and Fun Food Fridays

This post includes affiliate links and non-affiliate links.


PostHeaderIcon Every snowflake is unique

Though, if you’re using snowflake cookie cutters, they’re all pretty similar. In this first-day-back-from-vacation set of lunches, everyone has snowflakes in their lunches, but every lunch is different. We got between a foot and a foot and a half of snow on January 2, and schools were closed on the 2nd and 3rd, so snow is very much still on our minds.

Cheese snowflakesG2’s lunch is mainly a bunch of snowflakes. In her Easy Lunchbox‘s largest section she has one silicone heart cup with homemade gluten-free crackers, and in the other she has Havarti with dill cheese and the word SNOW in alphabet food picks. She also has a little blue translucent penguin in with the crackers. In the top small section she has two gluten-free Oreo-style cookies from Trader Joe’s, and in the final section she has a clementine with a bumblebee food pick. I found out during our field trip to the aquarium that the crackers get soggy if the cheese is packed with them, so I chose to put them in separate silicone  cups to reduce that possibility.

Tofu SnowflakesG1’s lunch is packed in a Thermos and a Totoro Bento Box. Her Thermos is full of tomato soup. In the sealed section of her bento she has some tofu cut into the shape of a snowflake, plus a snowflake food pick. In the upper, vented section she has two gf Joe’s Os in a silicone  cup. For fruit she has some pineapple chunks in a rectangular box that I found at Target, decorated with another snowflake.

While G1 and G2 have Meatless Monday lunches, G3 wouldn’t agree to any of the meatless options, so she has a Monday with meat.

Ham and cheese snowflakesG3’s lunch is packed in two Laptop Lunch Bento Buddies and a Snoopy bento box. In the purple Bento Buddy she has two Joe’s Os in a silicone  cup and one chocolate-covered pretzel. In the pink Bento Buddy she has 3 slices of ham skewered with snowflake food picks and a star food pick. Additionally, she has three cheddar cheese snowflakes and an elephant food pick. In her Snoopy bento she has a rectangular container from Target with pineapple chunks with a snowflake food pick and an elephant. She also has a chocolate covered peanut-butter ball in a silicone bunny cup.


This post includes affiliate links.

PostHeaderIcon Vacation Aquarium trip

We’ve been on winter break here, but as New England Aquarium members we have to spend at least one day at the aquarium. So, we bundled up on the least-horribly-cold day, and went off to the aquarium. I am cheap frugal careful with spending money, so we always pack a snack and a lunch before going off on an adventure. G1 decided to stay home, and because we have a 4 person membership, we took G3’s friend K with us.

Cheese and crackers and penguins

G2 is, technically, the one with the aquarium membership, so I’ll put her lunch first. In her Easy Lunchbox she has some of the awesome homemade gluten-free crackers, alternating with some cheese in silicone heart cups. The havarti is left as is, next to star crackers, but the round crackers alternate with angels cut out of provolone cheese, with a blue dolphin. In the smallest section of the ELB she has a piece of my mom’s fudge and a chocolate-covered peanut-butter ball.In the other small section she has some sliced Honeycrisp apples and two different penguins

Bacon lunch

G3 wanted a BLT without the bread, lettuce, or tomato. I insisted that she have something that resembles food other than bacon, so she has a deconstructed BLT without the bread. So, in her Easy Lunchbox she has some lettuce with bacon and two Sungold tomatoes. I tossed in a snowflake pick, a snow-globe, and a blue whale. In the smallest section are two pieces of my mom’s fudge. In the final section are some sliced Honeycrisp apples with a cute little otter food pick. Not pictured is an orange she wanted to peel herself.

star sandwiches

G3’s friend K has her first bento lunch. She wanted peanut-butter sandwiches, which you might notice are easier than anything my children asked me to pack. In her Easy Lunchbox K has 2 sugar cookies and a piece of fudge. She also has 4 star-shaped peanut-butter sandwiches made out of gluten-free bread. I made them a bit more winter and  aquarium-centric by adding two snowflake food picks, a white seal, and a pink dolphinNot pictured is the orange she also wanted to peel herself.

tomato mozarellaFinally, I packed my own lunch in an ELB. I packed some sliced fresh mozzarella and Sungold tomatoes with a blue dolphin. In the little section I have a piece of fudge with a pink dolphin and a chocolate-covered peanut-butter ball. In the other section I have some baby carrots and celery. Not pictured is the hummus I packed to dip the celery & carrots into.


This post includes affiliate links.

PostHeaderIcon Angels in the lunchbox

Today we only had two lunches again (G1 is still sick, and is going to the dr. later). G3 is on a field trip, so she needed to pack a completely disposable lunch. G2 is the only one with a “normal” lunch, and hers is special because she’s doing a “shadow day” at a local Catholic high school. I hope the kids there think her lunch is cool, like the kids at the Charter school do, rather than thinking it’s weird. Crossing fingers on that one.

AngelsG2’s theme for the day is Angels. I wanted her to remember that Heavenly Father is watching over her, and she’ll be ok. She doesn’t like large groups of people, and she doesn’t like new situations, so while she had a tour of the private school and took a test there, she had never been there without me. In her Easy Lunchbox she has a couple silicone heart cups. Each cup has cheese and homemade gluten-free crackers, alternating angels and rectangles. Also in the large section is an American cheese sun at left and 4 singing provolone cheese angels below. The faces on the angels were made with food-safe markers. At top right she has a slice of chocolate cake with a fondant candy cane and alphabet food picks spelling out ANGEL (the G was mistakenly made as a Q – in one set of letters I have no G and 2 Qs). At the bottom right is a clementine with a snowflake pick stuck in it as an accent.

Arctic crittersG3’s completely disposable lunch is packed into a “family size” cherry tomato container from BJs. She has two Juicy Juice fruit punch drinks (one for snack and one for lunch). For fruit, she has a clementine with a polar bear homemade food pick and an applesauce pouch. Her protein is two ham roll-ups held in place with a bunny and an arctic fox food pick. Finally, she has some Cape Cod barbeque potato chips and a Frosty cupcake.



This post includes affiliate links.

PostHeaderIcon Penguins and Elves

Penguin crackersLast night I tweaked the recipe posted at MOMables for gluten-free lunchbox crackers for our family’s preferences and for what I had in the house. It was incredibly easy, and they’re delicious. The crackers taste a bit like Mary’s Gone Crackers mixed with what I remember a wheat thin tasting like.  I’ve posted my tweaks on my recipe blog. The new crackers inspired G2 to ask for crackers and cheese for lunch, and I was happy to say yes.

G1 has been out sick with a stomach bug, so no lunches for her today. I’ve tried to make an elf again with G3’s lunch, and while it’s better than yesterday’s elf, it’s not awesome yet. Humanoids are hard for me! I can do Pokemon or My Little Pony, but not people as of yet.

Penguin snowflakeG2’s lunch is packed in an Easy Lunchbox. At left, in the large section, she has several provolone snowflakes decorating the container, then in two silicone heart cups she has crackers and cheese alternating. At left are cheddar penguins cut with a vegetable cutter and rectangle crackers. At right are snowflake cheese alternating with penguin crackers. In the smallest section at the top right is a Happy Feet penguin ring and a slice of Christmas tree cake with a purple fondant star. At the bottom right in the smaller container is a half a clementine with two different penguins.

Elf Tree SnowmanG3’s lunch is also packed in an Easy Lunchbox.At left in the large section is a quesadilla cut into the shape of an elf, an elf’s hat, and a Christmas tree. I used food-safe markers for the detail work on the elf and to add “ornaments” to the tree. At the top right is the other half of a clementine, this time with two snowflake picks as decoration. At the bottom right is one of the snowman cupcakes I had made for the parties last weekend.

This post is linked to What’s for Lunch Wednesday.


This post includes affiliate links.

PostHeaderIcon Springy lunches in response to snow

It snowed yesterday! Unfortunately, in the minds of my children, it didn’t snow enough for us to get a snow day. It didn’t actually even snow enough to stick on the ground, and melted immediately. However, amid my joy that my headache MRI was normal (yay!!!), I wasn’t thrilled with the snow, and packed food for the girls that was more appropriate for spring.

Springy snacksG1 and G3 both have half days today. G1 doesn’t get snack in high school, so she doesn’t have anything packed. G3, though, wanted a “big snack” because of her half day (she usually eats lunch around 11, and they don’t get out until 12). I’m sure my dad will take her somewhere fun for lunch, but ideally she won’t be grouchy when he picks her up.

Clockwise from the top, in 3 Laptop Lunch Bento Buddies containers G3 has, Trader Joe’s scoop chips and a clementine with a leaf and a bee. Next she has a vegetarian Christmas rice krispie treat with a frog and a bunny food pick. Finally she has some Green Mountain Gringo salsa, one of our favorite salsas ever.

Green Mountain Gringo Salsa was one of the first to proclaim that it’s gluten-free in the labeling, and that won my loyalty right off the bat. This was back before foods were required by US law to label for allergens, and I was calling companies daily. A parents of kids with allergies and/or Celiac, we’re so much better off now than we were 10 years ago!

Springy lunch

G2 is the only one of the girls to not have a half day, as she’s in the local Charter school. Because it’s Wednesday, a play rehearsal day, she’ll actually be in school until 5. Their rehearsals are absurdly long. 2 1/2 hours twice a week for months seems excessive to put on The Little Mermaid. She isn’t planning to be in the second play.

G2’s lunch is fun, at least. In her Thermos she has leftover spaghetti and marinara sauce. She’s a vegetarian, so instead of the sausage I usually put in G1’s spaghetti, I cut a half dozen bunnies out of sliced mozzarella using this bunny cutter to put on top of her sketti. In her Snoopy bento box she has some baby carrots with hummus and a flower and a ladybug food pick. She also has a Bento Buddy with a  bunny and a frog food pick, another bunny and a mushroom food pick, all in a Christmas rice krispie treat.

This post is linked on Leftovers on Friday.


This post includes affiliate links.


PostHeaderIcon A Very Snoopy Christmas

photo(13)We love, love, love the A Charlie Brown Christmas special, and we watch it over and over again. I’ve been having an ongoing headache (3 weeks today!), so we’re watching it a little more often than usual. I spent yesterday at church, then getting an MRI, then baking our muffins, bread, etc for the week. I had put some pinto beans in the crock pot for dinner, and planned to have G2 and G3 make cornbread, but I rallied and got that done. The extra painkillers I’m on for a few days have helped a bit, but there’s still pain. That makes me tired and less willing to do fun things. I end up feeling really guilty about that later, so I wanted to make quick, cute lunches for my girls to somewhat make up for snapping at them for singing Pokemon and My Little Pony songs constantly.

Beau at Lunchbox Dad made a Charlie Brown Christmas Lunch, and used a Babybel cheese to make Snoopy & his doghouse. After finding a big bag of Babybels at BJ’s, I figured it was worth a try. So, here are Snoopy Christmas lunches 3 ways, all using the same cutter forms, but using different protein sources in each. The girls asked for the Lunchbox Love jokes in plastic sleeves, so those are included. They aren’t as excited about the Lunchbox Love Christmas notes, and would like them a lot better if they were Christmas jokes!

Snoopy Xmas G3

G3’s lunch is a B(no L, no T) sandwich in her Easy Lunchbox. I used Snoopy and Woodstock molds to cut the bread, and then used food-safe markers on toasted homemade gf bread to make them look more like the characters. She also has a Snoopy doghouse made from a Babybel cheese and food-safe markers. At the top left she has a rice krispie treat with mini Christmas M&Ms and a snowflake pick. At the top right she has part of a giant orange, plus a snowman snowglobe food pick. In her pink Laptop Lunch Bento Buddies container she has Pirate’s Booty, and in a Snoopy snack box she has more of the giant orange, and a (apparently invisible in the photo) Christmas-colored meringue. The alphabet food picks in the orange spell out XMAS.

Snoopy Winter G2

In G2’s Easy Lunchbox she also has lunch cut using the Snoopy and Woodstock molds. She, however, has a cheese quesadilla cut into Snoopy & Woodstock shapes, with details added using food-safe markers. She also has a Snoopy & doghouse Babybel cheese in the same section. In the top left section G2 has a Christmas rice krispie treat, with a Christmas meringue on top, plus a snowflake. The top right section has the final sections of the giant orange that she’s sharing with G3, along with a mittens snowglobe food pick. As in the past, G2 and G1 have their salt & vinegar chips/Pirate Booty/Smart Puffs of choice in an accordion container. I wrote about our lunch packing extras here.

Snoopy Snow G1G1 also has a Snoopy and Woodstock themed lunch. She has tomato soup in her Thermos, and has everything else in her Totoro Bento Box. At top is the lower, sealed section, she has a Snoopy and doghouse Babybel cheese in a silicone heart cup. She also has Snoopy and Woodstock cut out of tofu and detailed using food-safe markers. At bottom is the upper container, which is vented. In silicone cups are a Christmas meringue and a Christmas-themed rice krispie treat, plus a snowflake pick. I packed her pinapple chunks in an EasyLunchboxes Mini Dipper container along with a snowflake.

This post is linked on Meatless Monday from Bentos for Kidlet and Bento Blog Network as well as What’s for Lunch Wednesday and Fun Food Friday.


This post includes affiliate links.

PostHeaderIcon Happy Rainbow Dash Day!

Rainbow Dash Day TattooI don’t quite know how these days are determined, but I was told that December 4th is national Rainbow Dash Day, so I made Rainbow Dash lunches for my two My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (MLP:FIM) fans. After I made these My Little Pony lunches, and was criticized for not having a proper MLP cookie cutter, I found a really cool 3D printed My Little Pony cookie cutter on etsy. Today’s lunches are based on Rainbow Dash, with the exception of G1’s panda lunch.

Rainbow Dash G3

G3 has a good lunch today. Not pictured is her Thermos filled with chicken and rice soup. In her Snoopy bento box she has a snack of S’morables gluten-free graham crackers and half of a Honeycrisp apple, with a couple homemade Snoopy food picks. In her Easy Lunchbox she has a couple slices of Mozzarella cheese cut into Rainbow Dash’s shape, with appropriate details drawn using food-safe markers. Mozzarella works very well for this, much better than provolone. I added some fairy & unicorn stickers, as well as a Lunchbox Love Christmas note, both of which are packed in plastic sleeves to protect them from lunch ickiness. In the side sections of the Easy Lunchbox are the other half of the Honeycrisp apple and a cupcake-sized gluten-free chocolate chip cheesecake with a molded chocolate star on top. I added some alphabet food picks to spell most of Rainbow Dash’s name. 

Rainbow Dash G2

G2 doesn’t technically have a school lunch today – she has a tour at a private high school, and will be arriving at school just after lunch. I’m sure I’ll get her some type of little treat, but I wanted to let her have a little bit of a Rainbow Dash lunch, especially because she’s the one who let everyone know about Rainbow Dash Day. She also had orthodontic work done yesterday, and she wants soft foods, so she doesn’t have any crunchy fruit in her snack/lunch.

In her Easy Lunchbox, G2 has 2 slices of provolone cheese cut into Rainbow Dash’s shape, and decorated with food-safe markers. In the top right section she has a chocolate chip cheesecake with a chocolate star on top. Finally, I used some alphabet cookie cutters to write Rainbow Dash in American cheese.

Even more pandas G1

Despite the best efforts of her sisters, G1 isn’t obsessed with MLP:FIM, so she had another panda lunch. This is my go-to theme for her, especially when her sisters are getting something time-consuming! G1 also went to the orthodontist yesterday, so she has mostly soft food – she has some tomato soup in her Thermos, and also has treats in her Totoro Bento Box. On the left, in the bottom, sealed container, are tofu pandas made using the CuteZCute animal palz press and the CuteZCute panda cookie cutters. In the vented top section on the right some carrots & celery and a little bunny container filled with Ranch dressing with a panda food pick. She also has a gluten-free chocolate chip muffin and a few little fresh Mozzarella in a silicone heart cup, both with some other panda food picks. I added a Lunchbox Love Christmas note just for fun, too.

I’m waiting to hear how lunches are received at school today! G2 and G3 peeked, and they were so happy!

This post is linked at What’s for Lunch Wednesday, Bento of the Week – Anything Goes, and Fun Food Friday.


This post includes affiliate links.


PostHeaderIcon First Lunches in Snoopy Bentos

I had found three Snoopy bento boxes on eBay, and ordered them about a month ago. They arrived yesterday, and I absolutely had to make lunches in them! I had originally ordered them with the thought that they would work really well for G3’s snack boxes, or when G1 has a hearty lunch in her Thermos, but today everyone had to have Snoopy! Thankfully, when they all looked at them, they each had a different favorite. Phew!

I also included  Lunchbox Love jokes in plastic sleeves in the girls’ lunches. I need a couple days before I pull out the Christmas Lunchbox Love notes, but those are coming soon. I bought the Holiday Set a while ago, and that has meant that I don’t need to worry about it now.

Snoopy Lunch G1

We had a fun time Monday night watching A Charlie Brown Christmas together as a part of our Family Home Evening. I just love, love, love that show! I also love that my kids can enjoy these “old” tv specials as much as I did as a kid (and still do!).

G1 wanted a filling lunch in her Thermos – gf spaghetti, marinara, and slices of chicken sausage. This meant that it was very easy to fill her Snoopy bento with the last few treats she wanted in her lunch. On the left are some baby carrots and sliced celery in a silicone heart cup, with a homemade Snoopy food pick, and a little blue panda container filled with ranch dressing. At the right, for her dessert, G1 has a chocolate chip gluten-free muffin in a silicone heart cup.

Snoopy Lunch G2

G2 went back to school today after a six day weekend (I want one of those!), so I wanted to put in a little extra effort into her lunch.

At the top left, in her Snoopy bento box, G2 has a gluten-free chocolate chip cheesecake inside a silicone heart cup, with a homemade Snoopy food pick on top. At the right are some slices of Honeycrisp apple (dipped in diluted lemon juice to keep them from browning). I separated the apples from the cheesecake by putting the apples in a small Laptop Lunch Bento Buddies container. In a medium Laptop Lunch Bento Buddies container G2 has three Snoopy and Woodstock provolone & mustard sandwiches on homemade gluten-free bread. I used Snoopy & Woodstock rice molds and food-safe markers to make the details on the little sandwiches.

Snoopy Lunch G3

G3 has a half day today for parent/teacher conferences. As a result, she just needed a filling snack rather than a snack and a lunch. In her Snoopy bento box she has a chocolate chip cheesecake in silicone heart cup, and a homemade Snoopy food pick. In a small Laptop Lunch Bento Buddies container, G3 has some sliced Honeycrisp apple wedges.

As much as I didn’t want to believe the hype, it’s amazing how much my kids loooove the Honeycrisp apples! G3 will eat almost any apple anyhow, but she and G2 simply devour the Honeycrisp apples. G1 still won’t touch apples, but if I only bought things when all three girls liked them, I’d have a much shorter shopping list.

This post is linked on Fancy Sandwich Friday.


This post includes affiliate links.


Follow me
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestCheck Our Feed
Lunch money

LinkUp Buttons
Bento Bloggers and Friends


Following In My Shoes Bento Lunches

Bento Lunch


Leftovers on Fridays

Eats Amazing Fun Food Friday


Beneficial Bento