Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Next-to-Last-Day-of-Preschool Picnic Bento

I was excited about making bento lunches for her co-op preschool teachers. To bento-fy the Rainbow Curry, I scooped as much as I could fit into a silicone muffin cup, then instead of making triangle or cookie-cutter-shaped crisps, I made little scoops! I used a biscuit cutter on two whole-grain tortillas and got five circles per tortilla. Then I used an olive oil cooking spray on one side and sprinkled on my curry/garlic powder/salt mix before attempting to stuff them oiled-side-down into a mini muffin pan.
I pushed too hard initially, and they tore at the bottom. Bobbi recommends you warm them up in the microwave first to make them more pliable. But I wasn't sure if that would hold up while I sprayed and sprinkled them. And I didn't want to spray them first. Oh well. About halfway through I got better at getting them to fold in the middles on two sides.
Once they were all in the tin, I sprayed them again on the bare insides, and added more of the seasoning mix. My reasoning behind this was that since the outside touches the tongue first, you'd taste more of the seasoning on the outside. But I didn't know how well it would stick, so I did the insides too, to hedge my bets.
They kept trying to un-fold and pop out the top, so I used a baking tray over the top to keep them down, and I toasted up the tortilla scraps with more of the seasoning mixture on them.
I baked them at 400 F for 8 minutes, but they were still a little bendy at the bottom. The scraps were done, so I took them out and popped the scoops back in for another 2 minutes.

Teachers' Lunch
Curry Crisps, SunButter Veggie Dip, Rainbow Curry, broccoli, granola bar
Other than some of them being torn at the bottom, I was really pleased with how my mini tortilla chip scoops turned out.
Z's Lunch
Curry Crisp scraps, hummus, strawberries, peas, mac-n-cheese
I was excited that she had chosen leftover mac-n-cheese instead of a sandwich, since that meant I could use the larger compartment for some ginormous strawberries. I hate having to cut up such beauties to fit in one of the smaller compartments.
 Mama's Lunch
Leftover garlic chicken and brown rice, kumquats, kiwi scraps,
dried vagina pears, Oreos, dark chocolate PB cup

Were you paying attention? If so, you read that right. Take a closer look. 'Nuff said.

Yes. I am aware my lunch is veggie-less. I had a busy weekend, a Mother's Day on my own with the kids, and a very late night putting together fruit bouquets. So with a choice between a compartment full of treats and a compartment full of veggies, I chose treats. I did fill in with the pears, you'll notice. Fruit heavy? Sure. But no one got stabbed for getting in between me and my chocolate, so I call it a win.

Since we got to school early to drop off the lunches, we sat outside and had a picnic. Until an ant crawled on her leg. I managed to calm her down with the promise of an Oreo for being brave and trying again. Until another ant crawled on her. So she moved her picnic to the top of the play structure. Until too many flying bugs upset her. By then we were only 5 minutes away from the start of school, so we went inside to eat in the "Mommy Room" (where the Parent Ed classes are.)
She ate over half of her mac-n-cheese and peas, all the strawberries, and she tried the crisps but didn't like them. (She loved them the first time. I was a little heavy-handed with the seasoning this time, since my curry was so much blander for some reason.) She did scoop up and eat some of the hummus with her finger though.

Baby E gets really steamed watching us eat and not sharing with her. But she had to wait until class started, and then she got her bottle with a chaser of organic sweet potato baby mash (store bought. It was on clearance for $.33/jar.) She's not very good yet at being spoon-fed, but she's a very enthusiastic learner!

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