Friday, October 31, 2014

Build-Your-Own-Mummy Pizzable for Lunch!

Build-Your-Own Mummy Pizzable Lunch for Halloween!
Friday, 10/31/14 - I wanted something Halloweeny for a Halloween lunch, but I also wanted super simple! I still had an evening full of assembling goody bags for Z's class and for non-food options for trick-or-treaters! So I chose a DIY Pizzable, with a twist!

Build-Your-Own Mummy!
Build-Your-Own Mummy Pizzable Lunch for Halloween!
Toasted GF flatbread, olives, pizza sauce, goat cheddar, organic carrots and apples w/Sunbutter and dye-free candy corn
To make this lunch "mummy" and not just "plain," I used Fred and Friends Write-On Buffet Markers and the wipe-off pen that comes with it to label each item. I was originally going to label the flatbread rounds as "mummy flesh," but decided that would be too creepy! Plus this way she understands the idea behind this!
Instead of "blood," I labeled the sauce (in an EasyLunchboxes Mini Dipper) as "Mummy Juice!"

[This post contains affiliate links.]

I was careful to make sure that the food wouldn't touch any of the wipe-off marker, since while it's "non-toxic" or whatever, it most certainly has petroleum-derived dyes. And I carried her lunch to the classroom, to make sure nothing got jumbled up. Another safe solution would have been to put plastic wrap over the word bubbles.

To make the pizza base, I took some Trader Joe's GF pizza flatbread crusts and used my circle cutters to make small rounds for both girls. E got slightly smaller ones. Then I toasted them up in the oven following the package directions for making pizza. Because gluten-free bread alllllways tastes better toasted!

The Sweets natural candy corn (from Whole Foods, and also online from Natural Candy Store) was a little large for making "teeth" for her apple slices, but I couldn't resist! I was so excited to finally find some safe candy corn!

Simple Toddler Pizzable
Simple DIY Pizzable Lunch
The toddler doesn't know what a "mummy" is. Plus I was lazy. So she got a basic Pizzable lunch! This was the first time I gave her sauce to spread on her own, and it was a hit... sort of! She wasn't interested in the pizzas... she ate the sauce by the spoonful and loved it!

Festive Snack
Glee dye-free Gum Pop, GF gingerbread with Earth Balance buttery spread
Z's class scooped pumpkins the day before, and on Halloween would be making toasted seeds, which Z could have, and pumpkin bread. So I packed a few slices of gluten-free gingerbread (from a loaf I had just found at a local gluten-free market) for her to have instead. Mama had to taste-test first, of course, and I felt the bread was very ginger-y. But adding "butter" really smoothed the flavors out nicely. Yum!

Normally I wouldn't send extra candy on Halloween, of all days! But the classes at Z's school were "Boo-ing" each other, and Z's class would be receiving lollipops. So I sent a safe one for her to enjoy! Gum is usually a no-no at school, but my girl doesn't sit there and chaw on it. She eats it! Lol! So for her, it's like the Tootsie Pops the other kids would be getting!

Tools of the Trade

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mommy & Me's Toasted Cheese

Mommy & Me grilled cheese bento lunches in EasyLunchboxes
Friday 9/12/14 - What's more fun than grilled cheese sandwiches? Matching mommy-daughter lunches, of course!
Thanks to MOMables, I know how to pack grilled cheese without it getting soggy too. And my "secret recipe" makes mine taste better than your average gluten-free toasted cheese! (Hint: I sprinkle garlic powder and salt on the outsides of the bread to make it less bland!)

[This post contains affiliate links.]

GF toasted goat cheese sandwich, organic grapes, steamed organic green beans
Both girls love the different faces in the new CuteZCute Cuddle Palz set (also available on Amazon,) but Z's favorite is the hamster. I cut it before toasting, which helps bring out the details. And the cute top hat pick doesn't hurt either!
The grapes are hosting a cute little bunny/mouse pick. I don't have a hamster pick, and the sandwich cutter could be a short-eared bunny or a mouse too...

Under the sandwich, I put a piece of silicone trivet that I had cut to fit. It helps fill the space and adds color, as well as making the sandwich less likely to scoot around in transit. (It adds texture under to prevent sliding, and raises the sandwich closer to the lid.) Plus if you don't like your food touching plastic, voila! Silicone! (I saved the scraps to fit to the smaller compartments and snack boxes.)

Mama's Lunch
GF toasted goat cheese sandwich, guacamole, organic green beans
I'm not a big fan of cold cooked beans (but the girls like them okay,) so I left my green beans raw and added some Wholly Guacamole for dipping. Yum!

Little Sis Lunch
GF toasted goat cheese sandwich, organic yellow carrot, steamed organic green beans, organic grapes
E got the bread scraps from Big Sister's sandwich, so no cute shapes for her. She did get some yummy yellow (white?) carrot in addition to her "butter beans." I steam the green beans in the microwave by adding a splash of water, covering, and cooking for 6 minutes. Then I add dairy-free butter or olive oil (if I'm feeling lazy, which is usually...) and salt and call them "butter beans." The girls gobble them down and ask for more! I use the same trick for broccoli and they fight over it! It's a great easy way to cook a small portion of veggies to supplement a quickie dinner!

Tools of the Trade
 CuteZCute Bento Sandwich Cutter Cookie Stamp - Cuddle Palz  Japanese Bento Animal Cup Food Pick with Circus Tent Case 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Franny K Stein: Bento Walks Among Us!

Franny K Stein: Mad Scientist bento lunch!
My oldest was (and still is) really into the Franny K Stein: Mad Scientist books. Every time I asked for lunch ideas, she would request a Franny lunch. I stalled and put it off for months as I tried to figure out how I could make one without painting on food colors or cutting nori. No luck. So I finally had to do it the hard way. 
 [This post contains affiliate links.

Franny K Stein: Mad Scientist
Dye-free gummy candies, organic strawberries and carrots, GF PBJ w/ fruit leather, dye-free licorice laces, and nori
I made the sandwich head and shaped the top of the hair using a circle cutter. In hindsight, I should have used a slightly larger cutter on the fruit roll-up for the hair. Because it stretched a little when I cut it, it didn't quite fit right. Oh well. I gave up after two attempts.
I cut the bangs and pony tails using my kitchen shears. And tied some dye-free Candy Tree licorice laces into knots for her hair ties.

When I found the laboratory shot glass (also available from ThinkGeek) on awesome sale, I had to get them. Even though at the time, I didn't really have any use for them. I mean, what idiot is gonna send glass in a Kindergartener's lunchbox, amiright? *cough*
I put around 20ml worth of candy in there, to justify using it. Those fun little gummies are dye-free, and came with an assortment of other fun stuff from the UK, courtesy of my bento-friend at Eats Amazing. They were the perfect mad scientist treat!

Let me just start by saying that this was the most frustrating and time consuming lunch I have ever made. Nori is my Kryptonite. I don't really know what I'm doing, nor do I have the proper tools for working with it. Other than the hole punch for the pupils, I used big ole kitchen shears to hand cut all the facial details! My nori shapes not only broke into a zillion pieces as I worked, but they were also flying all over the place any time I breathed or moved. To say I cussed a lot that morning... would be an understatement!
I finally got all the little nori pieces glued in place with extra peanut butter, so it looks like solid lines. But really, that mouth was in at least 4 pieces. Several of which had to be cut again after parts of it broke off and flew under the stove. (Grrrr!) And don't even get me started on the eyes and eyebrows! I wanted to punch this sandwich in the face!

Igor the Dog
Organic tomatoes and strawberries, GF cheese crackers, root chips, GF PBJ
Franny's faithful lab assistant is her dog, Igor. So I made the toddler a simple Igor lunch using the dog part of an Animal Lunch Punch to go along with Big Sister's.

Tools of the Trade