Archive for the ‘Winter’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Kitty cats and penguins

Last night I spent some time making Chebe bread mix creatures. They’re so cute! I’m really enjoying making these! It’s actually much easier than I thought it would be. I am going to have to put together a tutorial for the gluten-free folks.

In other news, we were planning to go to the Aquarium for MLK day, but it turned out everyone was tired, so we slept in. After we woke up, I bought bins and we started packing – we close on Wednesday! (though the house won’t be ready to move in for a bit, need heat & a new roof) If you’re at all curious about our ongoing changes, I’m blogging daily at A Year of Living Change-erously.

More penguinsG2’s Easy Lunchbox has Havarti with dill and fish-shaped MOMables-inspired gf crackers, each in a silicone heart cup. They are decorated with penguin and fish food picks as well as a snowflake. I also added penguin cheese and a fish with details written in food safe markers. In the top left section of the ELB she has a clementine and a green leaf pick. At the bottom left she has two chocolate chip cookies, a little thing of Sixlets, and a chocolate smiley face. She also has one of the Chebe animals, a penguin.

Kitty kitty lunchG1’s lunch is all about the kitties. In her Totoro Bento Box are some kitties – I used my CuteZCute Animal Press and a small animal press to make kitty tofu. Between sections she has a Chebe kitty with orange ears, and in the top section of her bento she has 2 oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, a smiley face chocolate, and an orange with a leaf food pick. She also has a Thermos is filled with hot tomato soup.

Another kitty kittyG3’s lunch is similar to G1’s. In her Thermos she has gluten-free chicken noodle soup. She also has a Honeycrisp apple (she’s going to be so sad when those go out of season soon!) and a Chebe kitty. For a snack and for a dessert she has Laptop Lunch Bento Buddies containers. In one is a chocolate chip cookie, a small string of Sixlets, and a chocolate smiley face. In her other Bento Buddy is some homemade chocolate pudding. This doesn’t look like a very big lunch, but the chicken noodle soup will fill her right up, and it’s unlikely she’ll even eat all of it.


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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 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.


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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.


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PostHeaderIcon Wintery Wonder-lunch

Tree AngelToday’s lunches are definitely winter-focused. We got half a foot of snow on Tuesday night, so lots of snowflakes in the lunches, to match the snow outside. Plus, we only have 6 days left until Christmas! I’m wishing I had more Christmas bento supplies (especially more star cookie cutters and Christmas food picks), but we’re making do with what we have.

G2 has another lunch of MOMables-inspired homemade gluten-free crackers – these are being devoured! In the large, bottom section of her Easy Lunchbox she has the crackers and cheese cut into snowflake shapes in two silicone heart cups. As a decoration, she also has an angel and a Christmas tree also cut out of provolone cheese and decorated with food-safe markers. At the top left, in the smallest section she has two penguin sugar cookies that she decorated very quickly, plus a mitten snowglobe food pick. At the top right are some Honeycrisp apple sections with a snowflake pick.

Wintery lunchG3’s lunch also has a wintery theme, but otherwise it’s very different. In her Laptop Lunchbox she has (clockwise from top left), a snack of a star sugar cookie and, in a silicone heart cup, half of a clementine with a snowflake. Next she has a sugar cookie we cut in the shape of Snoopy and G3 decorated. Below that is another half a clementine with a snowflake pick. Finally, in a silicone heart cup she has a few American cheese angels and some crackers, then some ham roll-ups with a mitten snowglobe and a snowflake. G3 also has a Snoopy bento box with some Cape Cod bbq potato chips.

And now I’m hungry after writing about their lunches. Yum!


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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.



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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.


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PostHeaderIcon Elves, Snowmen, and Reindeer, oh my!

Cake & cupcakesThis weekend we had multiple Christmas parties to attend. We were invited to 4, two were cancelled due to a snowstorm, and one new one popped up, so we went to three. Two required us to bring dessert, so we made a Christmas tree cake and some snowmen cupcakes. Very fun! Of course, one of the cancelled parties is being rescheduled for next week, so we can make another set of cupcakes for that.

We ended up with quite a few leftovers, as many other people brought desserts, so you’ll see cake and cupcakes in place of cookies in lunches this week! After the multiple parties, I ran out of steam, so lunches are pretty simple today.

This is our Meatless Monday post, so none of the lunches have any meat in them. After G2 went vegetarian the whole family started to eat less meat, which is working out very well for all of us. Well, except for G3, who adores meat of any kind.

Rudolf lunchG1’s lunch is a Thermos, full of tomato soup, plus some treats in her Totoro Bento Box. The vented section at the bottom left has a EasyLunchboxes Mini Dipper with pineapple chunks, and a snowman cupcake. The sealed section at the top right has two tofu reindeer. When I get a new package of tofu, I slice it long-ways into four large slices. For the reindeer I took one of those slices and cut it into 4 triangles. I stacked the triangles on top of each other to make 2 reindeer. I found some reindeer horn food picks at a local shop, and used them, plus food-safe markers, to turn the triangles into reindeer. Easy and fun!

Elf lunchI was really excited about G2’s Elf lunch, but it doesn’t look as good in the picture as it did in real life! *sigh* Anyhow, in her Easy Lunchbox she has a provolone cheese and mustard sandwich on gf bread cut into the shape of an elf and then an elf hat (hat was made by cutting the curves off a heart and turning it upside down). I used provolone, face-punched nori, and soy paper for the details. I also cut two snowflakes out of provolone and added a snowflake pick for fun. At the right she has half of a Honeycrisp apple with the word ELF cut into it using a paring knife. She also has some of the cake and the angel from the top of it in the larger side section.

Hat lunchG3’s lunch is also simple. In her Easy Lunchbox she has a grilled cheese on  gf bread cut into the a Santa or elf hat and as well as a snowflake cut out of sliced mozzarella cheese. She has the other half of the Honeycrisp apple with the word ELF cut into that, as well. In the final section of her Easy Lunchbox she has a snowman cupcake. In her Snoopy bento box she has a clementine and a slice of cake with a star on top inside a silicone heart cup.

This post was linked on Meatless Monday and What’s for Lunch Wednesday and Bento Blog Network – Snowmen.



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PostHeaderIcon Snow and Flake lunches

Today G2 had leftover Corn & Bean Quesadillas for lunch, and despite some wintery food picks, it never looked very festive. I forgot to take a picture of it, too. Her sisters’ lunches are a bit cuter. My 3 week long migraine is taking its toll on my creativity.

Snow stocking G3

G3’s lunch is packed into an Easy Lunchbox. In the large section she has a B(no L, no T) sandwich cut into the shape of a stocking. G3 rarely eats the bread in her sandwiches, so I stuffed a bunch of bacon into one slice of bread cut into two stockings. The snowflake pick holds the sandwich together, and the mittens snowglobe food pick adds some festive-ness. At the top left is a vegetarian rice krispie treat with mini Christmas MnMs and a polka dot food pick. In the larger top section there are some Honeycrisp apple sections with a princess crown food pick. At right is a Snoopy bento snack box, and packed inside is a snack for G3. She has another rice krispie treat in a silicone cup as well as some more Honeycrisp apple sections with the word SNOW written with alphabet food picks.

Flake G1

G1’s lunch is flakes. Sadly, not the Cadbury Flake. But, this is healthier, I guess. Definitely less chocolatey, though. In her Snoopy bento box she has some pineapple in a mini dipper and a rice krispie in a silicone cup, both of which have polka dot food picks. In a Laptop Lunch Bento Buddies container G1 has 2 large snowflakes cut out of tofu, a snowflake pick, and the word FLAKE spelled out in alphabet food picks.



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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.


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