Friday, August 30, 2013

Life's a Beach...

Fun summer beach sand castle lunch! "Life's a Beach" - Biting the Hand That Feeds You
Monday, 6/10/13 - It was Z's last week of preschool (one of them, anyway;) Summer was fast approaching, and I hadn't done anything summer-y yet. Plus I had a little extra time the night before to make it fun! So I did!

(I did something different for Baby, so I'll share that another time!)

String cheese nibblets, popcorn, GF PBJ; organic carrots, strawberries, and kale chips
The sand castle sandwich was made easy with a castle cookie cutter (thanks to BentOnBetterLunches for the idea!) To make it look more sand-castle-y, I stuck in a paper flag cupcake pick that I'd gotten in a cupcake-supplies grab bag. Fun! Instead of crushing gluten-free graham crackers for sand (not that I had any...) I sprinkled in some popcorn. Same thing, right?

To help keep it beachy, I put a sun ring cupcake topper in the bucket cup of cheese. And added a few carrot coins cut with a mini star cutter scattered around like starfish.

flip-flops bookmark cupcake topper and beach ball cupcake pick stuck in the kale chips and strawberries helped keep the theme going. Yay!

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Tools of the Trade
  Japanese Bento Okazu Food Cup Bucket      

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Last Day of Preschool - "Welcome to Kindergarten" Bento

Welcome to Kindergarten "Child's Garden" Lunch

6/13/13 - My baby is now officially a Kindergartener! So to commemorate Z's very last day of preschool ever, I made a Kindergarten lunch - Kindergarten literally means "child garden.

Kindergarten - Child's Garden Bento Lunch
Organic spinach, sugar snap peas, strawberries, and raspberries (with Enjoy Life chocolate chunks;)
GF PBJ sandwiches, dairy-free "cheddar," white cheddar
I was excited to finally get to use my silicone flower pot muffin cups. They are too tall to fit in most anything. But on their sides like this, they fit, just smooshed down a bit with the lid closed. Perfect!

To continue the garden theme (without having to actually make a ton more "children,") I stuck some flower stem picks in strawberries.

As a special treat, I stuck Enjoy Life (top 8 allergen-free and gluten-free) Chocolate Chunks into raspberries. They look kind of flowery, right?

Flower pot sandwiches
For the flower-children, I used a large flower veggie cutter on gluten-free bread and some dairy-free "cheddar," and then a circle cutter on some white cheddar (dairy) for the faces. I used the spinach leaves tucked behind to help hold the flowers and half-pod "leaves" in place, and a cloth napkin (from Red Poppy Crafts on etsy) carefully placed on top before closing the lid on the EasyLunchbox.

For the eyes and mouth, I used India Tree Nature's Colors food colors (blue plus yellow.)

Baby's Garden Lunch
GF PBJ, dairy-free "cheddar," white cheddar, organic sugar snap peas and berries
E got a few of the extra flower sandwiches, and the cheese scraps. A few blueberries stuffed into raspberries, to look just like what Big Sis got too. Without the inevitable chocolatey mess!

Today, my precious little girl goes off to public school for the first time. My strong, vulnerable, quirky, clever, bizarre, sensitive princess goes off into a whole new world. A place where teachers don't respond to my emails the same day (if at all,) I don't get a run-down of any issues that popped up each afternoon when I pick her up, I don't know any of the kids (and rarely get to meet any of the other parents,) and other than conferences in the Fall and Spring, I will have no clue how things are going.

I'm terrified.

Tools of the Trade
  Red Poppy Napkins 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Butterfly Garden Salads

Some flowery butterfly-y Mama salads!

GF Rhubarb Crunch muffin, organic golden plums and strawberry, chocolate, organic salad (red lettuce, cabbage, spinach, purple broccoli, carrots, radish, tomatoes, raisins sunflower and chia seeds, hemp hearts, raspberry vinaigrette)
Thursday, 6/6/13 - For this salad I tried to get fancy and attempted radish butterflies from my new garnish book. Ha! Fail! I even had a fancy flex paring knife for the fine details. Oh well. Not bad for my first attempt. But bad enough to make me a little gun-shy for a while!

Since I wasn't about to keep butchering radish butterflies the fancy way, I used a mini butterfly cutter on the rest of the radish to make more obvious-looking butterflies. And got a big slice of carrot (I love my CSA farm!) for my fancy butterfly veggie cutter. Easier and better than my hand-cut ones!

[This post contains affiliate links.]
organic strawberries, leftover GF veggie burger wrap, organic salad (red lettuce, cabbage, spinach, broccoli,
carrots, Chiogga beets, raisins sunflower and chia seeds, hemp hearts, raspberry vinaigrette)
Wednesday, 6/12/13 - I had some leftover veggie burgers and combined the scraps along with the uneaten bit from the girls' lunches the day before and crumbled them up. mixed them with some gluten-free teriyaki sauce, and wrapped them with lettuce and a gluten-free tortilla, secured with jewel picks. Meh. They were okay. I'd eat them again. But I wasn't a huge fan.
For my salad, I hid all the stuff under some spinach to show off the details. I used a large flower veggie cutter on some carrot coins and my fancy butterfly cutter on some striped beets (the scraps got chopped up and tossed in with the salad.)

GF chocolate donut, organic champagne grapes and pluot, organic salad (red lettuce, kale, chard,
broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, raisins sunflower and chia seeds, hemp hearts, raspberry vinaigrette)
Friday, 8/2/13 - No butterflies. But I have a ton of backlogged lunches, and three lunches are more interesting than two! I used a small flower veggie cutter on some carrot coins. Boom. A few extra seconds to make my lunch more fun! (Even less if I planned ahead and cut all my carrot shapes out for the week all at once!)

Tools of the Trade