Sunday, September 25, 2011

WFLW - Octopus' Garden Bento

I lost the curriculum sheet from her drop-off preschool, but based on her comments about Tuesday's class ("I put oatmeal on a letter O!") I was able to deduce this week's theme! She hasn't been eating much lately, but I made her a full-sized lunch anyway, since I was going to be using a full hot dog and a full cheese stick to make the octopususes [yeah, yeah. I know. Octopi.]
"Octopus Ink" (ketchup,) Hotdoctopus, Cheese-opus, granola bar bits,
pea pods, raspberries
My lunch: carrots and broccoli, plum and grapes,
bagel w/cream cheese
I'll start with my lunch since it's least interesting. Our dishwasher broke a while back, and we're still playing catch-up with our new one, which seems to think that drying the dishes is over-rated. But long story short, I was out of clean EasyLunchBoxes, so had to use a Snapware one that came in a set of various sized containers from Costco. It's okay, but I wouldn't have bought the set JUST for them, nor would I buy them alone. I can't imagine they're a better price than the ELBs, and they only have two compartments. I was too lazy to bother with muffin cup dividers, and the fruits and veggies were leftovers from her uneaten lunch the previous day and had already been snuggling together. So I just dumped them in and kind of segregated them for the picture. Another drawback for this lunchbox that I discovered after opening it to eat is that the divider isn't flush with the lid, so some of my carrot flowers escaped. Not a big deal with this lunch, but might be annoying with something involving sauce or moist surfaces.
Since my MOMS Club Board Meeting was at a Safeway the night before (with a Starbucks and tables, of course!) I ran around after and bought myself an "everything" bagel for this lunch. We had plain cream cheese at home, so I was going to just suck it up and be happy with that, but they had a sale on the Philadelphia tubs, so I picked out an onion and chives flavor too! Woot! My favorite! While I was at it, I bought some raspberries (on sale) and those pea pod things.

I saved my last clean ELB for the podling's lunch. 
Octopus Ink: In a pink plastic-lined paper bento cup (from Daiso) I put in some ketchup for dipping. The cup has a little blue octopus design on it too!
Octodogtapusses: I cut a hot dog in half, then sliced in lengthwise a little over halfway up into fourths, then turned them on their sides and cut those fourths in half, making eight "legs" each. I tried gouging in eyes with my knife, but they didn't turn out well. I microwaved them for 30 seconds to kill any potential listeria, which has the added benefit of enhancing any features or shapes carved in. So some of the "legs" cooked into curvier shapes. I ended up using my food coloring pens to make eyes.
Just under the octodogs, you can see a small pink and orange roundy shape. That's the handle to a little plastic bento fork (Daiso) with an octopus on it! Scoooore! (She refuses to eat hot dogs with her hands, and always insists upon a fork. Plus it totally matched the theme!)
Cheesetopusses: Just like the hotdogs, I cut a string cheese stick in half, then sliced up little legs lengthwise. I used my food writers for the faces. In the interest of full disclosure, I accidentally sliced the front of one of them into thirds, which forced me to cut the side either into half (making only 6 legs,) or thirds (making 9 legs.) I went with 9. Turned out not to matter, as she didn't count the legs, nor, to my utter shock, did she eat them!
Oatmeal Bites:  Since my granola bars are mostly oats, I called them "Oatmeal bars" and broke them up into smaller pieces (while still sealed in the wrapper, of course. Much easier that way!) "Oatmeal" went better with the "O" theme than "granOla" would have! :) I put them in a paper muffin cup from IKEA (they're taller, and stay flush with the lid. And it held both broken granola bars.)
Octopus' Garden: The peas and raspberries don't really fit the "O" theme, but I wasn't going to give her Okra and Olives, and couldn't think of anything quick and easy. So think of them as the "garden" for the octopi! Green pea pod "seaweed" and raspberry "flowers" (complete with octopus bento pick - also Daiso.)

To my utter shock and amazement, she ate every single scrap of food, except the cheese stick, a pea pod that fell between the seat and the door, and two peas that fell out of a pod. Oh, and I found an octopus head hiding under the muffin cup ("It's his hat, Mommy!") But otherwise she ate more food than she'd eaten EACH DAY for the previous two days!
Bento Lunch 

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