Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hello Again, Hello Kitty! Bento

Wednesday, 6/20/12 - No plans until Z's first Summer camp of the year at 1pm, but she special-requested a Hello Kitty "beautiful lunch." I had the time, and Baby was recently fed and happy in her Jumperoo, so I banged out a quickie(ish) Hello Kitty lunch!

Hello Again, Hello Kitty!
PB-Nutella sandwich, cheese, sugar snap peas, apple slices
Organic sugar snap peas from our CSA share the previous week, and apple slices from two baggies of Happy Meal apples. Hey. No judging.

Hello Cheesey: For the cheese I wanted to use mozzarella, so the design would show up better, even though I couldn't make a slice big enough for the entire scalloped edge. (I could have cut a slice of Colby Jack lengthwise to get one big enough, but the mottled orange and white would have obscured the imprint.) It was my first time trying an imprint cookie cutter on cheese, and it was more difficult than I had thought it would be, but turned out as well as I had hoped.
I was surprised how far I had to push the cheese into the imprint. I had to practically cut all the way through (and actually did in some places!) The first time I didn't push far enough, and had to line it back up and hope I wasn't making a double imprint when I tried again. If I had been more on the ball, it would have been fun to try using my natural food colors to "paint" onto the imprint and stamp the design onto the cheese. Ah well. Another time.
Hello Sammie: Since I had already done a Hello Kitty sandwich like this before, I could save time and not have to think up new ideas, so I opted to just re-create it. But without any artificial colors this time.
First I cut the slice of bread twice using my Hello Kitty face-shaped cookie cutter before adding the spreads. Before I used chocolate chips for the eyes and a yellow sprinkle for the nose, but those sprinkles have fake colors in them. I recently found some candy-coated licorice candies at Trader Joe's that I bought with the vague idea that maybe I could use them for something. So I cut the ends off a purple midgie to make two eyes, and an end off a yellow one for the nose! Some all-natural chocolate jimmies were glued on with more PB to make whiskers.

Right after I told Z we were going dye-free, I went online to order a bunch of all-natural candies and treats to have on-hand to trade her for dye-filled temptations. But I couldn't find any taffy. Then, as luck would have it, Z came to me and asked if the Hello Kitty bow from her beautiful lunch from before had had fake colors. Because she really liked it and wanted another one some day just like it. With the chewy bow. Crap. I had used a Laffy Taffy that time. Not exactly known for being all-natural!
In a panic, I turned to my group of bento buddies, many of whom are also dye-free. Luckily my friend from Pink N Punchy Lunches was able to guide me to some easy-to-get dye-free taffies... at Trader Joe's. Where I had just been. Twice! As luck would have it, I actually had managed to go and get some to have in my dye-free treats cupboard by the time she asked for this Hello Kitty redux!

After smooshing the taffy flattish, I used the bow section from my Hello Kitty imprint cutter to try and give a guideline and help make details on the taffy for a bow, but the taffy kept sticking and pulling and distorting. I hacked at it with a knife and kind of mooshed it back into a semblance of the original bow. DONE!

She ate everything but the licorice bits and the head portion of the Hello Kitty cheese while I dealt with the dishwasher repair guy. 



  1. amazing job with the taffy bow!! the Hello Kitty Sandwich looks awesome!

  2. Awe, you make lunch time so much fun your children. Love your ideas!

  3. So cute and fun! What a great lunch! Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

  4. Ha! The "Hey, no judging" made me laugh out loud. Another great one!


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