Thursday, October 31, 2013

How Does Frankenstein Eat His (Bento) Lunch?

Shaped Biscuit Pizza Sandwiches and Molded Cheese for Halloween!
No, I didn't make the Frankenstein truffle. I was so excited when I found out they were all-natural so I had to have one! But it was the inspiration for these lunches!

Box Full of Frankenstein for Big Sis
GF cheesy biscuit (dairy-free) olive pizza sandwich, mozzarella, dye-free truffle; organic carrots, peas, and grapes
I molded the mozzarella in a Halloween cake pop mold rather than an ice mold, and it worked great! (More info at the bottom of this post!)

To help the veggies stay in-theme, I used a mini foot cutter - Frankenstein is pieced together from various body parts after all!

And this time I remembered to include a heart! Yay! I added a heart pick to the grapes, along with a disposable paper Frankenstein pick I got on clearance last year (Target exclusive, I think.)

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Keep scrolling to the bottom of this post for details on how I made the biscuit sandwiches themselves!

My Frankenstein muffin pan came from JoAnns or Rite Aid or somewhere, but this one or this one would work for something Frankenstein-y, or this one for other Halloween shapes! I used some natural black food color (powder mixed with water) and painted it on with a cheap plastic-bristle paint brush I reserve for food (plastic bristles are easier to keep sanitary versus hair bristles!)

For the neck bolts, I used these bone picks, although the dot ones were a close second choice!

GF cheesy biscuit grilled (dairy-free) cheese sandwich; organic carrots, peas, apples, and grapes
E's biscuit was baked in the same muffin pan as Big Sister's except a certain dummy mixed up the halves and paired up two back halves and two front halves. No way to salvage, as this was the only grilled cheese one I made. The rest were pizza. Boo.
So I made lemonade and just painted on a friendlier face. I didn't add any "filler" foods because E was sick (bad virus with a fever and a Croupy cough) and she wasn't going to eat much anyway. I didn't want her just eating crackers or treats instead of the healthy stuff.

Tools of the Trade
    handle picks
Japanese Bento Box Accessory Food Pick 20 pcs In Love   

Molded Cheese Shapes
I was inspired by this tutorial from Hungry Happenings, but I did my Franken-cheese a little different.
Instead of grating mozzarella, I just cut up a stick of string cheese and jammed as many nibblets as I could into my mold, making sure to get pieces in the sticky-outy bits, like the bolts at his neck.
I microwaved for 15 seconds, then took it out and poked at it a bit and added a few more nibblets to fill the space made by the melting. Then I put it in for another 10 seconds, and made sure to poke the back in a little more, to hopefully fill out all the details in the mold.

Shaped Biscuit Sandwiches
I used a gluten-free Chebe Cheese Bread mix and instead of dropping it in balls onto a baking sheet, I divvied it up and jammed it into the muffin cups of some shaped muffin tins. I pressed down a bit, to make sure to get all the details.

After baking, I sliced them in half, toasted the insides for a few minutes, added the sauce and grated dairy-free mozzarella on both halves, and put sliced olives on just one half of each pair. (Just dairy-free cheddar for the grilled cheese ones, on both halves.) Then broil them for 3-5 minutes, pair the halves together while the cheese is still melty, so they stick. And then done! 

*The Chebe mix was a bust. It was flavorless (according to Hubby. Dairy makes me sick, so I didn't taste-test, as I'd added real sharp cheddar to the bread, plus the mix contains dairy.) And super dense. So I'll use a regular biscuit recipe or mix next time.
That's actually what inspired me to turn these into sandwiches! Gluten-free baking is often bland, so you want to add extra herbs and spices to the mix before baking. Which I neglected to do. Doh! So I had some tasteless Frankenstein hockey pucks, and figured slicing them thinner would make them easier to chew, and the sauce and "cheese" would help salvage and moisten them! Yay!

And since "Doctor Frankenstein?"  "No, it's Frahn-ken-STEEN" ran through my head the whole time I made these...

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