Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Franny K Stein: Bento Walks Among Us!

Franny K Stein: Mad Scientist bento lunch!
My oldest was (and still is) really into the Franny K Stein: Mad Scientist books. Every time I asked for lunch ideas, she would request a Franny lunch. I stalled and put it off for months as I tried to figure out how I could make one without painting on food colors or cutting nori. No luck. So I finally had to do it the hard way. 
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Franny K Stein: Mad Scientist
Dye-free gummy candies, organic strawberries and carrots, GF PBJ w/ fruit leather, dye-free licorice laces, and nori
I made the sandwich head and shaped the top of the hair using a circle cutter. In hindsight, I should have used a slightly larger cutter on the fruit roll-up for the hair. Because it stretched a little when I cut it, it didn't quite fit right. Oh well. I gave up after two attempts.
I cut the bangs and pony tails using my kitchen shears. And tied some dye-free Candy Tree licorice laces into knots for her hair ties.

When I found the laboratory shot glass (also available from ThinkGeek) on awesome sale, I had to get them. Even though at the time, I didn't really have any use for them. I mean, what idiot is gonna send glass in a Kindergartener's lunchbox, amiright? *cough*
I put around 20ml worth of candy in there, to justify using it. Those fun little gummies are dye-free, and came with an assortment of other fun stuff from the UK, courtesy of my bento-friend at Eats Amazing. They were the perfect mad scientist treat!

Let me just start by saying that this was the most frustrating and time consuming lunch I have ever made. Nori is my Kryptonite. I don't really know what I'm doing, nor do I have the proper tools for working with it. Other than the hole punch for the pupils, I used big ole kitchen shears to hand cut all the facial details! My nori shapes not only broke into a zillion pieces as I worked, but they were also flying all over the place any time I breathed or moved. To say I cussed a lot that morning... would be an understatement!
I finally got all the little nori pieces glued in place with extra peanut butter, so it looks like solid lines. But really, that mouth was in at least 4 pieces. Several of which had to be cut again after parts of it broke off and flew under the stove. (Grrrr!) And don't even get me started on the eyes and eyebrows! I wanted to punch this sandwich in the face!

Igor the Dog
Organic tomatoes and strawberries, GF cheese crackers, root chips, GF PBJ
Franny's faithful lab assistant is her dog, Igor. So I made the toddler a simple Igor lunch using the dog part of an Animal Lunch Punch to go along with Big Sister's.

Tools of the Trade

Monday, October 13, 2014

Leftovers to Lunch: Pizza Fingers!

When I'm feeling too lazy to make Pizza Dippers (because getting out a container and Ranch or pizza sauce is soooo much extra work! Hahaha!) I just cut the leftover pizza slices into little fingers. The girls love it! Easiest. Lunch. Evar!

Big Fingers
Organic strawberries, GF/DF pizza fingers, 1/2 HB egg, organic carrots and sugar snap peas
Wednesday, 6/4/14 - Fun little gluten-free dairy-free leftover pizza fingers for my (then) Kindergartener. Since non-dairy cheese doesn't have a ton of nutrients, I included half an egg for protein.
Some zoo animal picks in the Driscoll's organic strawberries were a super-easy way to make lunch fun and cute!

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Little Fingers
Organic carrots, sugar snap peas, strawberries, and grapes; 1/2 HB egg, GF/DF pizza fingers
The toddler got a smaller version of the same meal. Other half of the egg, a few pizza fingers, and some nommy fruits and veggies!

Tools of the Trade

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Stroller Picnic Lunches

Friday, 6/20/14 - There was a fun Kids' Day festival the next city over, and I didn't know if there would be any safe food options for us. So I packed some quickie snack lunches to eat in the car on the way that would also work in the stroller to snack on later. EasyLunchboxes make fantastic lap trays!

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Organic carrots, nectarine, apples, and sheep milk Feta cheese all around.
Organic tomatoes for Little Sis, organic plum and SoDelicious chocolate dairy-free yogurt for Big Sis 
Both girls mostly got the same thing, and I didn't pack any grains in there because I had plenty of grain-y snacks packed separately. And I packed a bunch of extra fruit into Z's box so that *I* could have some too!
The hunks of sheep milk Feta were by request. I had offered cheese and crackers and they opted for the Feta without crackers instead.

Tools of the Trade

Both girls pretty much only had eyes for the trampoline bungee jumping place. We basically spent several hours circling through the line over and over again. These guys have been to several local fairs, and E recognizes the lady who always helps when it's her turn, and they recognize us now too! Apparently my girls are so happy and fearless flying around up there, it's a draw for other families. I'm constantly overhearing "Look at that little one!" or "Wow! Look how high that blonde girl is flying!"

I love watching their spirits soar. It's worth every penny, seeing their joy, their confidence, their youthful abandon. And literally getting to watch them fly.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Leftovers for Work Lunches!

Daddas have to eat lunch too! I haven't packed for Hubby in quite a while... So here are some lunches from a while ago. He's my number one leftovers-eater!

9/29/13 - I made some breaded (GF) fried eggplant and green tomatoes, and sent some leftovers with Hubby. They were a fail. They do not keep well unless you can re-fry or bake them! Leftover corn on the cob, and some leftover CookSimple Cranberry Wild Rice (with extra brown rice, crumbled tofu, and chopped veggies tossed in.)
For dessert, an organic pluot and some organic ground cherries. He wasn't a fan of those. Ground cherries have kind of an unusual flavor and texture. Like sweet miniature tomatillos.

10/9/13 - The jumbo muffin cup has some leftover "kitchen sink" veggie and rice dish with Soy Curls (Organic brown rice, carrots, broccoli, onion, green beans, random veggies needing to get used up...) The rest of that compartment is filled with some leftovers from a Veggie Birds Nest variant recipe (potato-zucchini-carrot-leek.) Hubby loooooooves my Veggie Birds Nests!

Some yummy Naturebox Cinnamon Spice Almonds with dried cranberries, and an organic Shinko Pear for dessert.

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10/13/13 - More "Kitchen Sink Mix" leftovers with organic brown rice and quinoa, plus some other leftovers mixture with black beans, Looks like tomatoes, onions, and beans. The last of the Veggie Birds Nests, which was pretty much just a pile of hash (yummy yummy hash!) with Naturebox Cinnamon Spice Almonds and dried cranberries again for dessert.

10/24/13 - Thai restaurant leftovers this time! Leftover Swimming Rama with jasmine rice from the restaurant, plus some roasted squash salvaged from the squash carcass the night before. With brown sugar and salt on top! Nom!

I had gotten some "everything" breadstick bites from one of the foodie boxes I'd tried, so Hubby got those too, since they had gluten in them. With some jumbo organic grapes for dessert.

10/27/13 - More Thai leftovers? Mussaman curry with tofu with brown rice on the side. And an organic clementine. I had to put some plastic wrap over the large compartment for this one, so Hubby could carry the box sideways in his messenger bag on the bus to work. Worked like a charm!

10/29/13 - Leftover roasted cabbage (mine just had salt) and some purple mashed potato patties (from when I got tired of making Smileys!) and leftover fried tempeh. An organic clementine plus some salted cashews, almonds, and pecans for dessert.

Tools of the Trade