Bentos for a Gaggle of Girls
I'm a single mom of 3 gluten-free girls, trying to make lunch more fun through Bentos and baking
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Archive for the ‘Cartoon characters’ Category

PostHeaderIcon M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

Today G2 gets a Mickey lunch, and while her sisters’ lunches aren’t pictured, they had similar lunches with the same cute food picks.

More MickeyIn her Easy Lunchbox G2 has one of G1’s birthday cupcakes (vanilla gf cake and a chocolate buttercream frosting) with a Mickey hand food pick. Below that are some strawberries I halved to help them fit into the lunch box with another Mickey hand. At right, in the largest section are two silicone cups, one with Havarti with dill and a Mickey head and another with gf multigrain crackers and a red Mickey head. Below I used a Mickey cookie cutter to cut out a Mickey provolone head. Below the Easy Lunchbox is a small Mickey head container I found at Target with homemade trail mix in it.

My kids have standardized tests this week and the school recommends granola bars as a snack. 99% of granola bars aren’t gluten-free, and those that are gf are really expensive. There are some good protein bars that are gf, and there are trail mixes, but G2 is fairly picky about trail mix and hates all protein bars, so I went to Trader Joe’s and picked up ingredients to make my own trail mix. How did it take me so long to do that??? G2 is fussiest about nuts (and, actually, all food), so I knew that if it was a trail mix she’d eat, the others would eat it too. So I bought bags of roasted and low-salt almonds, cashews, pistachios, and sunflower seeds. I poured them into a gallon ziploc and added some chocolate chips and shook it. Now we have a trail mix everyone will eat rather than one that has all the “good stuff” picked out of it! Next up in my I should’ve done this already goals is making my own granola…

PostHeaderIcon M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

My daughters don’t always request special lunches. Sometimes G2 will beg for a My Little Pony or Pokemon lunch, or yesterday G1 asked for tofu pandas, but usually they’re just happy to get whatever I make. Today, though, G2 and G3 both asked for Mickey Mouse lunches. And I can’t think of Mickey Mouse without thinking of the Mousketeers theme song, something I’m not sure my girls even know, other than the few lines I sing periodically. I was glad to find out that I had all the letters to spell out Mickey’s name across two lunches, though.

photo 2G2 has a pretty simple Mickey Mouse lunch in her Easy Lunchbox. I got some Mickey Mouse food picks through eBay, and I’ve put Mickey hands into her grapes in the section at the top left. I used alphabet food picks to write out MICKEY, sticking them into  Enjoy Life chocolate brownie cookies at the bottom left. In the main section of her ELB G2 has Havarti with dill cheese in one silicone cup, and heart-shaped MOMables-inspired gf crackers in another cup. At the bottom of the main section is a Mickey Mouse silhouette on Provolone cheese which I made using two sizes of circle cookie cutters and food-safe markers. I’ve also included a Lunchbox Love note in her lunch to make her smile.

 

photo 1G3’s lunch is also a Mickey Mouse theme, and is also packed in an Easy Lunchbox. At the top right are two Enjoy Life Snickerdoodle cookies, one with a Mickey head sticking out of it, and one with the word MOUSE in alphabet food picks. At the bottom right are grapes with a Mickey hand and a Mickey head sticking out of them. In the main section of the ELB are two silicone cups, each with two Nut Thins cracker sandwiches with chocolate hazelnut spread. I used food-safe markers to draw a Mickey silhouette on the crackers, too. She also has a Lunchbox Love note joke that will make her smile, and make her friend who searches her lunches for jokes smile, too.

I’m really glad that even though my kids are older than most bento-making parents’ kids, they still love getting a special lunch. The few times I’ve made a “normal” lunch since I started making bentos, they’ve complained. They tell me how much their friends look forward to seeing what I’ve done, which really makes me smile, and makes me want to keep making cute lunches.

 

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PostHeaderIcon A Mermaid and Safari animals

G3’s lunch continues to be about white tigers and safari animals, but this time G2’s lunch has drifted away from penguins. Her 4 show run of The Little Mermaid starts tomorrow afternoon! So I practiced my Camera Lucida skills and drew Ariel on cheese for her lunch. I think it’s clear who I was drawing, at least. G1 still has midterms, so no lunch for her.

Ariel

G2’s lunch is very much like her previous lunches, but this time she has Ariel sitting on a rock and 3 notes symbolizing the music she’s singing as a part of the cast of the musical. Given that it’s her first time performing in this school I wanted to show her that I support her, I popped in a Lunchbox Love note.

In her Easy Lunchbox G2 has two mini silicone cups, one with some homemade MOMables-inspired gf crackers and one with Havarti with dill. She also has some provolone and cheddar song notes, and the mozzarella Ariel drawn with food safe markers. I also used the black food safe marker to ad a face to one fishie. In the top, smallest section, she has two Joe’s Joes gf Oreos. Finally, in the bottom right section, she has 3 strawberries.

Roaring animals

Roar! The animals on G3’s lunch safari are roaring at us! First, she has a Thermos with chicken and rice soup. In her Snoopy Bento Box is a Chebe bread mix white tiger and two Joe’s Joes gf Oreos in mini silicone cups. In her pink Laptop Lunch Bento Buddies she has oranges cut into “smiles” (also known as slices, but if you put them in  your mouth you have an orange smile). I used lion and other safari animals food picks to perk up the smiles, plus alphabet food picks to spell out ROAR. She also has a purple Bento Buddies container with snickerdoodles and a Lunchbox Love note.

This post is linked on Fun Food Friday.

 

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PostHeaderIcon Ponies and Snowmen

B&W animals take 2After falling in love with the idea of Japanese Milk Bun Pandas over at Bento Monsters, I tried making black & white animal rolls last week, and the end result wasn’t as good as I would have liked. Today, though, I tried using the Chebe bread mix, and it turned out beautifully! I especially like the white tiger.

Unlike many of my posts, today’s two lunches (G3 has a half day) don’t match at all. G1 has a hot and cold lunch, and G2 has another My Little Pony lunch. The trick I learned from a pin on Pinterest is how to use the iPad/iPhone app “Camera Lucida” to draw on food.

DerpyG2’s lunch is based on the My Little Pony cutie mark cupcake G2 had made this past weekend. Today’s pony is “Derpy Hooves”, a grey pony with bluish bubbles as a cutie mark. I wasn’t able to make grey easily at all, so she turned out much closer to black. Other than the pony being too dark, I’m rather proud of myself. the Camera Lucida app makes it so much easier to draw ponies!

In her Easy Lunchbox G2 has Havarti with caraway seeds and homemade MOMables-inspired gf crackers, each in a silicone heart cup. Her Derpy is made using provolone cheese, a MLP cookie cutter and food coloring and food safe markers. At the top right she has baby carrots and a CuteZCute rainbow star container filled with hummus. At the bottom right is a chocolate cupcake with Derpy’s cutie mark on it.

Warm and ColdG1’s hot & cold lunch is in her Totoro Bento Box and a Thermos. Her Thermos is filled with hot tomato soup with a bit of oregano and basil sprinkled on top. At left in the upper, vented section of her Totoro Bento Box is a clementine and two gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in a silicone heart cup, plus a snowflake food pick. In the bottom, sealed section of the bento are two cold snowmen cut out of tofu and decorated with food safe markers, with a snowflake for decoration.

This post is linked on What’s for Lunch Wednesday and Fun Food Friday.

 

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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.

 

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PostHeaderIcon M-I-C-K-E-Y

M-O-U-S-E!

As I was putting together these lunches, the theme song from the Mickey Mouse Club/Mouseketeers kept going around in my head. I stopped in at Michael’s last night to pick up a couple things, and also picked up some scrapbooking papers to use as background for bento pics. Seeing this Mickey Mouse paper on sale and remembering my Mickey food picks prompted me to make a series of Mickey Mouse lunches for today. One of my children may have decided I’ve gone around the bend if I’m buying papers for background, but ah well.

G2 MickeyG2’s lunch is the Mickey-est. In her Easy Lunchbox she has, at left, a silicone heart cup filled with MOMables-inspired gluten-free crackers and another with Havarti with dill cheese with the word Mickey in alphabet food picks. Below the cups is a Mickey face made with cheddar cheese, circle cookie cuttersfood coloring, and food-safe markers. In with the crackers and in with the chocolate covered peanut butter ball are Mickey Mouse head food picks. Mickey’s hand is in with some grapes, too.

G1 MickeyG1’s lunch has minimal Mickey Mouse. She has a Thermos with leftover pasta, sauce, and sausage from last night. In her Snoopy bento box she has a couple Glutino lemon wafer cookies and a satsuma. Mickey’s hand is reaching out from inside the satsuma. If Mickey has been eating the satsuma from inside, he’s lucky to be enjoying the sweet deliciousness of the satsuma. As an east coast girl, I had never heard of a satsuma until I started listening to the Maximum Fun podcasts. I thought they were just a west coast version of a clementine, but then I found some and tried it. Wow! Yum! Highly recommended.

G3 MickeyG3’s lunch has a medium Mickey level. She has another hand-painted (poorly, but I want points for trying) Mickey head in a silicone heart cup in her Easy Lunchbox. In the same section she has four slices of honey ham skewered with Mickey heads and Mickey hands. On the right she has a chocolate covered peanut butter ball  in one section and grapes in another. I’m hoping the grapes won’t somehow leak all over the rest of the food, as that seems to be G3’s ongoing lunch problem. Not in the picture is her snack of a Bakery on Main granola bar and a Honeycrisp apple.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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PostHeaderIcon Random Pandas and 2 other Random lunches

I had one specific lunch decoration request, then the rest was an exhausted lunch-packing group of randomness. The older girls went ice skating, so I let G3 watch one of her favorite shows, The Vicar of Dibley, while I worked on my NaNoWriMo novel. Time went far too quickly, and too soon the older girls were home and it was past bedtime. On the plus side, I got 3 pairs of used skates for $6!

Here are the lunches in random order:

Random PikachuG3 wasn’t very happy with yesterday’s What Does The Fox Say lunch, so when she said she insisted on a Pikachu BL(noT) sandwich on homemade gluten-free bread, I muttered about her being unappreciative happily complied. The eyes, cheeks, and tongue for Pikachu are colored with food-safe markers. In her Easy Lunchbox I included a brownie and some Honeycrisp apples, along with Pikachu’s name spelled out using alphabet food picks. I realized belatedly that you really need more than one set of those in order to spell words in more than one lunch. Or even to spell 1 kid’s name (with 1 set I can’t make any of their names, never mind more than one kid’s name).

Random SnacksIn her Laptop Lunch Bento Buddies snack box  she has another brownie, a few Honeycrisp sections, and a few pieces of pineapple. I added a couple crown food picks, because she’s a princess. She’s my animal lover, so I also threw in a puppy & a bunny food pick, and stuck the pineapple in a couple animal silicone cups.

Because all of today’s lunches were random, I also added random Lunchbox Love jokes. While the girls like the little facts and inspirational Thanksgiving notes, they love the jokes.

Random PandaG1 asked me to put last night’s leftover spaghetti, sauce, and sausage in her Thermos. In her Totoro Bento Box she has some pineapple with panda food picks inside silicone heart cups. In the top section she has two brownies, again in silicone heart cups with different panda food picks. Because we use the plastic sleeves for the Lunchbox Love jokes, I was able to reuse G2’s joke from Tuesday in G1’s Wednesday lunch! Yay me!

Random MonstersEven with the understanding that today’s lunches were random, G2’s lunch looks especially random. She has leftover gluten-free pizza in her Easy Lunchbox. I added the mouth from a Sully (Monsters U) Lip Pop to her pizza and added a couple spooky candy eyeballs I bought on clearance locally after Halloween. In the top right she has a brownie with the word “BYE” written using the alphabet food picks. I had trouble coming up with a good monster word, so bye it was. In the bottom right she has Mike (Monsters U) Lip pop mouth with a solitary candy eye

Very random lunches, but they definitely fit the personalities of each child!

 

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PostHeaderIcon My Little Pony and Totoro in lunches

M CupcakesI believe I’ve mentioned here before that G2 is the child who most likes to bake. She loves to decorate cupcakes and cakes, and loves to show off all her baking. G3 likes to help with things, but she’s not yet at the stage of being able to bake all on her own, though she does really like to decorate – especially with fondant. Well, last night G1’s church class did cupcake decoration. She was so excited to come home and show off that she can decorate, too! I was happy to see her start to show an interest in some type of cooking or baking, as anyone with Celiac Disease needs to know how to cook in order to survive. We’ll see if she can move past cupcakes to meals at some point.

TotoroG1 doesn’t usually get the in-depth, tricky lunches, probably because she’s 15 and doesn’t ask for them. This time, though, I tried to make Totoro for her, after having previously seen some Studio Ghibli bentos.  Today in her Easy Lunchbox, she has a Totoro made out of tofu. I used 3/4 of a circle cutter for Totoro’s body, and a Pikachu head to cut his head. The decorations are made out of nori and soy paper (I’m including the Amazon Affiliate link for the soy paper, but I found it for half the price at Whole Foods), all cut freehand. In the top sections of her ELB are carrots with a heart food pick and one of the cupcakes she made. In a separate Lock & Lock container, she has some pineapple chunks and a lion food pick. She also has a Thermos of tomato soup.

MLP Rarity Sweetie BelleG2 has been working really hard at school, and also really likes having fun and being silly. While the unicorn cookie cutter I have doesn’t look at all like a My Little Pony, it was all I had to use as a template. I just found an etsy shop filled with MLP cookie cutters made using 3D printing technology. Very cool! In G2’s Easy Lunchbox today, she has 2 provolone sandwiches decorated to be Rarity and Sweetie Belle from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. In the top section on the left she has a chocolate cupcake with fudgy icing decorated with a crown and a bow food pick. On the right she has sliced apples (dipped in pineapple juice leftover from G1’s lunch to keep from browning), and in her ELB mini-dipper she has cinnamon sugar. We’ve found that apples get gooey and gross if the cinnamon sugar just sits on them all day, so instead I put the cinnamon sugar in a separate container.

MLP Rarity bunniesG3’s lunch is pretty similar to G2’s, though she’s much more critical about the fact that the unicorn cookie cutter doesn’t look like a My Little Pony. She has a Thermos filled with homemade chicken noodle soup, plus a Laptop Lunchbox with extra goodies. I put in a slice of bread with cheese decorated to be Rarity. She also has a regular-sized cupcake and a mini cupcake, both decorated with a crown and a bow food pick. She also has apples carved like bunnies, with a little heart food pick for fun.

This post is linked at What’s For Lunch Wednesday and Fun Food Friday.

 

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