Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WFLW - Monster Mash!

Usually I just feature whatever lunch I happened to pack into an Easy Lunchbox and took pictures of each week, but for this week's What's For Lunch Wednesday, I not only made a fancy lunch, I planned it in advance! We had this after our Tuesday-morning gym class (where she did very well staying with the teacher the whole time while I sat in the center of the gym reading my book "watching.")

Monster Mash!
Z's lunch
On left: Zombie Snail Roll, Goblin Pizza.
On right: Swampghetti Thing, Strawberries From the Black Lagoon.

My lunch
On right: Sliced string cheese stick and mini Saltines, "Olive You" Monster.
On left: Sliced caramel apple, PB/honey sandwich
The Boring Stuff: I sliced up a string cheese cheese stick into little rounds and tucked them around a silicone muffin liner filled with mini Saltines. I had some Colby Jack tucked under.
The caramel apple was stolen brought home from Bob and Jessica's Halloween party on Saturday. It had chocolate with toffeed peanuts painted around in a design on the outside. I like to cut up my caramel apples, since they're easier to eat, easier to share, and fit better in my lunch box! [Plus I hate getting caramel all over my face while trying to bite into a whole one.]
I found these flattened bread rounds that I've seen at What's For Lunch At Our House and decided to give them a try. Glad I had them, as we were out of bread when I went to make my PB/honey sandwich! I sliced it in half to make it fit, and used some plastic grass baran to separate them. Z was delighted by the grass in "her" lunch.

Strawberries From the Black Lagoon: I used 2 small circle cutters to make eyes out of Mozzarella and Colby Jack cheeses. There are 2 McD apple slice "ears" on the sides, since I had 2 left from Monday's lunch. And I salvaged what I could of some strawberries we bought last Wednesday when we went to the store to buy supplies for the pizza cooking class, my MTM and this. I had originally planned to do a broccoli monster, like I saw a few weeks ago at Glory's Mischief, and had even purchased some on our shopping trip, but when I looked for it Tuesday morning when assembling this lunch, there was no broccoli to be found. [Couldn't find my green onions either, which were for another recipe I had wanted to try this week.]
If you look closely, the way the strawberry slices happened to land in the cup
made it look like a mouth on the bottom and 2 grouchy eyebrows on top.

Swampghetti Thing: I had planned on using spiral pasta to make this, since I saw an idea for a similar one when I was browsing for Halloween-themed food ideas. But I forgot to have Unka Seesee cook my noodles (bought especially for this purpose) with his when he made spaghetti last Thursday, and was too lazy couldn't justify going to all that trouble to cook up a handful of noodles separately. So I just used some of his leftover spaghetti from the fridge, along with some leftover mozzarella shreds that we didn't end up using at the pizza playdate, plus a green olive cut in half.

Goblin Pizza: I had enough dough left from the pizza playdate to make 2 mini pizzas. This time I rolled them flat, then rolled them some more, and rolled them again, pushing really hard. And used parchment paper instead of foil.
I did one with tomato cheeks, olive eyes and nose and a green pepper mouth (left.) Little Z placed the eyes and nose for me, in between quality control testing the olives. I used some parts cut from the bottom of a green pepper that kind of looked like ears, with a Canadian bacon eye (with olive) and olive mouth (right.)
I made these on Saturday, and cooked them alongside the snail rolls (see below.) They needed to be cooked longer, so I just cut the parchment paper and slid the snails off into their box first, then let these cook longer.

Probably around 20 minutes total at 375 F, but it's hard to be sure. Unka Seesee and I were having stove wars, as he as trying to broil hamburger buns at 450 F, and I was cranking it down and baking for mine. He was unaware that I had turned it down, and had to hustle his buns out of the way [pun intended] to make room for my stuff.
I put these in Tupperware to save them for Tuesday. 

I liked the goblin-looking one the best, so that's the one I chose.
Zombie Snail Roll: Somehow I found this adorable fairy garden bento, and it gave me the idea and instructions for these adorable little snail rolls. [And I'm totally making those toadstools someday too!] I thought I had refrigerated bread stick dough, but as it turned out, I had buttery crescent roll dough, and I didn't know it was pre-cut into triangles until I had already opened the tube, so after unrolling it and smooshing the seams together as best I could, I cut off some dough and made my witch's fingers. The rest I slathered in pesto (bought especially for this project) on the bottom 2/3rds of the dough. 
I cut the dough into roughly 1" wide strips. Some of them I tried forming the head first, others I rolled the shell and just smooshed and tucked a head-shape under. Neither technique seemed ideal, at least with this dough. And the pesto was ooooooozing out and got all over, making them hard to hold together while forming the heads.
I cooked them on parchment paper at 375 F.
I tried cooking one on its belly, but it looked funny (cooked version top left,) so I laid the rest on their sides and they turned out better. The dough split along the pre-cut lines that I failed to merge properly, so a few were tasty, tasty failures. None of them look as awesome as the original one I saw, but this was the wrong kind of dough, and I was handicapped with the pre-cutting.
You'll notice the lower witch finger was a total fail. I tried cooking it on its side. Lesson learned. Still delicious dipped in pesto!
But Oh Goodness. Crazy delicious. I was in a rush making these on Saturday before leaving for Nana's before our friends' Halloween party, so I only got to try one before shoving them into Tupperware and hoping they wouldn't get ruined. I re-heated one Sunday for myself, for around 10-15 seconds in the microwave. Still delicious. I ended up putting the pizzas in the same container as the snails, which went okay, as they all re-heated nicely, and tasted good cold (when I couldn't re-heat,) but infused the snails with green pepper flavor. Bleah. Still delicious though. Just delicious with a flaw.
The combination of the buttery crescent dough and the pesto made these winners. I'll try it again and just make them into crescents, as intended. And eat all more of them while hot and fresh!

I used almond slivers as antennae for this one for Little Z's lunch.

"Olive You" Monster: Just whole green olives (sans pimientos) with the back-up pair of cheese eyes, and a pick through it's "head." [She loves to eat them with a pick, so I always try and include one now, even if it doesn't match thematically. Hence the name. Heart pick... "I Love You"... "Olive You"... Get it?]

She completely rejected her monster-themed lunch, and stole mine. At first I think it was because of the olives, but once she discovered the caramel apple slices, she was all about them.
Hmmm... Eeen-ter-est-ing...
Perusing the selection
She ended up eating all the olives (including the Spaghetti-monster's eyes,) all the cheese eyes, a few nibbles of my sandwich (when I threatened to take away the caramel apples if she didn't eat half the sandwich, the pizza or the spaghetti first,) maybe some cheese bits and some strawberries. She ate caramel off of 2 chunks of apple, and then ate a few apple slices (with caramel) too, when I told her she had to eat the apple too, or I'd take them away.
Caramel-apple-face ready for nap!
I ended up eating half a sandwich, the snail, the spaghetti, the pizza (minus the green pepper ears. Bleah.) some cheese and crackers, most of the strawberries, the de-caramelled apples, and most of the caramel apple. She polished off the rest after nap.

Bento Lunch

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