Hinamatsuri Pizza Craft and Toast

Girls Day Pizza

This year for Hinamatsuri (Girls Day) I made pizza, toast and mason jars filled with candy. Even if you can’t get traditional sweets you can make your own cute gift. My Girl’s Day label template is at the end of this post.

I made these Emperor and Empress Pizzas with my 16 year old niece. Actually I was the mean Aunt who came up with the idea but gave my niece an almost impossible task of making it. But I think that she did a great job and they turned out cute.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Emperor (pizza crust, mozzarella and orange cheddar cheese, spinach, carrot [baton]), Empress (pizza crust, mozzarella, tomato sauce, spinach, carrot [fan])

Top Right: Strawberries

Bottom Right: Popcorn, mint M&M’s

Girls Day Toast

I made this Hinamatsuri themed toast by writing with chocolate. I was inspired by this.

Hinamatsuri Candy Gift

I made these little snacks for my two Japanese language students (both girls are in high school). Since I am in the United States and do not have easy access to Hinamatsuri candy, I used mini mint candy in three colors. Hinamatsuri (Girl’s Day) colors are pink, white and green but I used pink, yellow and green. I put a layer of green candy on the bottom, yellow in the middle and pink on top. The label has the date of Hinamatsuri (March 3) and Hinamatsuri written in Japanese. It also includes clip art of the emperor and empresses.

hinamatsuri treat label

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Easy Lion and Lamb Themed Food

Lamb Lion Easy Shaped Food

If you are making macaroni and cheese for lunch or dinner, why not decorate it to look like a lamb or lion. Just be careful because if you put the decorations on hot pasta they will melt (but it could be part of the fun).

Since I like lambs I make a lot of lamb themed food and crafts. Of course I had to make a lion and lamb themed meal to celebrate the beginning of March. I know that these are not the best but they were easy, fast, and fun. Cut out shapes from thin sliced cheese (I used cheddar and cookie cutters but you could use a knife), and decorate with food safe markers or food coloring and a toothpick.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: Melon with Lamb and Lion picks

Bottom Left: Sugar Snap Peas

Right Side: Lion – (Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, thinly sliced cheddar cheese, food safe marker) Lamb – Wegmans Shells and White Cheddarthinly sliced cheddar cheese, food safe marker) broccoli

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Make Ahead Dinners

Make Ahead Dinner ideas

My husband works long hours and often comes home late. For those days I like to have dinner in the refrigerator for him to heat up. Here are five make ahead meals. These can also be leftover for lunch meals.

Twice Baked Potato Dinner

Twice baked potatoes are a frequent request when I ask my husband for meal ideas. I made this meal so the potato could be taken out and heated in the microwave.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: Orange

Bottom Left: Peppermint candy

Right Side: Salad with lettuce, radish, carrot, twice baked potato with cheddar cheese

Salad Dinner

This meal includes several of my husband’s favorites: salad, tapioca pudding, and citrus with mint sugar. This entire meal is meant to be eaten cold.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Lettuce, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, hard boiled egg, carrot, mozzarella cheese

Top Right: Tapioca pudding (after I made it, I put it in my EasyLunchBox to cool).

Bottom Right: Grapefruit and orange with mint sugar

Pasta and Broccoli Dinner

This falls under not his favorite but food he will eat category. Anyway, I think that he appreciates my having made something for him.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Penne pasta with butter, Parmesan cheese, cooked broccoli

Top Right: Grapefruit

Bottom Right: Garlic bread

Potato Gratin Dinner

Potatoes and cheese are two popular ingredients here. I also added fruit and vegetable. This entire meal can be heated in the microwave. Applesauce is great warm!

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Potato and cheese gratin

Top Right: Cooked broccoli

Bottom Right: Applesauce with cinnamon

Pasta Beans Corn Tomato Cheese Dinner

This one was actually for me as my husband won’t eat black beans. I love having a healthy meal prepared ahead of time.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Penne pasta with chopped tomatoes, black beans, corn, and Cheddar cheese (I did not use this recipe but it was my inspiration)

Top Right: Strawberries

Bottom Right: Broccoli and carrots

I hope that this gave you some ideas. What do you like to make ahead for dinner and have waiting in your refrigerator?

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Cheesy Fox Bento Lunch

Fox head lunch

I love this cookie cutter I received from my sister for my birthday last summer. I used it to make a fun garnish for this meal.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Fox – Gouda, white Cheddar, food safe marker, quinoa with broccoli and cheese (see recipe below)

Top Right: Coriander carrots (see recipe below)

Bottom Right: Green grapes

Quinoa, Broccoli and Cheese Casserole (6 servings)

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve
2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium broccoli crowns, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Bring 3 cups water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Stir in the quinoa, cover, and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skilled. Add the onion and saute until golden. Add the broccoli and about 1/4 cup water. Cover and steam until the broccoli is just a little more than tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the broccoli mixture and half the cheese. Season with salt and pepper and stir well. Transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled, shallow 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheese. Bake until the top is golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.

Coriander Carrots (4 servings / serving size 1/2 cup)

1 lb carrots,sliced
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground coriander
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup water

Saute carrots in oil in nonstick pan until golden.

Add coriander, lemon juice, and water. Bring to a boil and simmer until carrots are tender-crisp. Watch this carefully; carrots burn easily if the heat is too high.

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Pisces Bento Lunch

Pisces Pizza

Continuing in my yearly series of Zodiac symbol lunches, here is Pisces.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Homemade pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and cooked spinach Pisces symbol.

Top Right: Green grapes

Bottom Right: Mini sweet peppers

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Flower Bread Lunch

Flower Bread Lunch

I had some leftover dough when making other shaped bread so I made this flower.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Flower shaped bread with food marker details, lettuce with mushrooms and mozzarella cheese, cherry tomato on flower stem pick

Top Right: Holiday Skittles

Bottom Right: Orange with flower and ladybug picks

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Year of the Sheep Bread Lunch

Sheep bread lunch

2015 is the Year of the Sheep. Of course I had to make sheep shaped bread. I was surprised that I have not done it before but I did make sheep shaped cinnamon rolls.

If you are interested in making sheep shaped food (sweet and savory) I have a Pinterest board.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top: Sheep shaped bread with food marker details, cheddar cheese stick, spinach

Bottom Left: Cherry tomatoes with sheep pick

Bottom Right: Kiwi

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