Tanabata Bento Lunch

Tanabata Lunch

In celebration of the Japanese holiday Tanabata, I made this lunch. Last year I hosted a Tanabata Dinner Party for my niece, nephews and my husbands young cousins.

Tanabata is a Japanese star festival. According to a folktale, Hikoboshi (star Altair) and Orihime (star Vega) were lovers and separated by the Milky Way to only meet once a year. Typically people celebrate on July 7 but some regions of Japan celebrate on a different day.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Angel hair pasta with star shaped carrots and homemade Hikoboshi and Orihime Tanabata picks. I resized these, printed them, cut them out and then taped them to wooden picks.

Top Right: Hazelnuts

Bottom Right: Carrots and cucumber stars

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Tennis Bread Lunch

Tennis Bread Lunch

I wanted to use my tennis racquet pasta in a different way so I made this lunch. I used homemade French Bread dough to make tennis balls. The pasta racquets with peas makes a cute side dish.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Homemade tennis ball bread made from French Bread dough and food safe marker details (after baking), peanut butter in Mini Dippers.

Top Right: DeCecco Racchette pasta with green peas and Italian dressing

Bottom Right: Sugar Snap Peas

Linking to:
Eats Amazing Fun Food Friday

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Rhubarb Lunch

Rhubarb Featured Ingredient

This lunch may not look pretty but some of it was delicious. For this meal I tried something new for me, I made savory food with rhubarb. This is a continuation of my series of featured ingredient lunches. I have many more planned for the upcoming months. Hopefully they will be more attractive than this one.

I grew up with rhubarb in my family garden. It was also in my Grandparents garden. In the spring we often had rhubarb and strawberry desserts. When I married my husband and I moved to a rural area, my mother-in-law was surprised that I had experience with rhubarb. Maybe it is an unusual ingredient for people to use. I never had to buy it from a grocery store but I occasionally see it there. I usually have a stash in my freezer. I wash it, cut into about 1 inch pieces and freeze in freezer bags.

Please tell me in the comments if you have ever tried rhubarb.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Indian Spiced Lentils with Spinach and Rhubarb – I loved this recipe but I did make a few changes. I did not use the mustard seeds, used frozen ginger, and omitted the raisins and cilantro. I will definitely make this again! But I love Indian food. 

Top Right: Rhubarb Apple Salad – this was not my favorite recipe in this meal but it was sort of fun to eat rhubarb that was not in a dessert. If you do not like tart, this is not for you but if you enjoy sweet (apple) and tart (rhubarb) try this.

Bottom Right: Sour Cream Rhubarb Coffee Cake – the batter was thicker than I expected but it worked out and my husband and 12 year old nephew loved this cake.

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Make Your Own Puzzle Pizza Lunch

Puzzle Make own Pizza lunch

My nephews and I used Grands biscuits to make individual pizzas. We made one of them in a puzzle shape using this to create this make your own pizza lunch. It can be a small meal or a hearty snack.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Grands biscuits puzzle pizza, tomato sauce in Mini Dippers, mozzarella cheese in silicone cup

Top Right: Cucumbers cut with puzzle cookie cutter, it came with a jigsaw puzzle.

Bottom Right: Red grapes

Linking to:

Eats Amazing Fun Food Friday

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | Tagged | 4 Comments

14 Fourth of July Themed Meals

14 Patriotic Meals Collage

Since I was a child I loved holidays and celebrations. Making cute, themed food is a fun way to celebrate and mark the event. This year I enlisted my niece, nephews, and husband to eat these Independence Day / Patriotic themed meals early so I could share them with you. Only 3 of these meals were previously published on this blog.

USA Red White Blue Lunch

This meal was a last minute idea that came about because I had leftovers from my Garden Tea and some Fourth of July themed meals. I enjoyed this meal for lunch.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Radish, pretzels, United States shaped almond butter sandwich on wheat bread

Top Right: Blueberries and raspberries

Bottom Right: Cherry tomato, fresh mozzeralla, and blueberry skewers

USA Quesadilla

My 17 year old nephew ate this patriotic meal at my house.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: Watermelon cut with this cutter

Bottom Left: Pistachio nuts (I drew on them with food safe marker)

Right Side: Cheese quesadilla, drew stars with food safe marker

Not Pictured: Salsa

Flag Day Lunch

I made this attractive meal for Flag Day in 2013. It actually won Featured Bento of the Week at the Bento Blog Network for their Patriotic category. It was previously published here.

Liberty Bell Lunch

My husband ate this as part of his lunch. He is a huge fan of raspberries so I try to include them when planning a meal for him.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich on wheat bread (bell crack drawn with food safe marker), blueberries

Top Right: Raspberries

Bottom Right: Pretzels

July 4 Lunch

One of my nephews made this lunch a few years ago. He cut out the sandwich pieces by himself. It was previously published here.

USA Bread Lunch

My 9 year old nephew ate this meal at my house. I tried giving him red pepper hummus for the first time. I hoped that he would like it better than regular hummus. He did not like it.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top: USA shaped bread made with homemade French bread dough (the “U” and “A” have cinnamon sprinkled on top, mozzarella cheese stick

Bottom Left: Red grapes

Bottom Right: Cucumber

Red Pepper Hummus: In Mini Dippers

4th of July Muffin Tin Lunch

I made this Independence Day themed muffin tin meal in 2013 for my nephew who was 12 at the time. It was previously published here. Muffin tin meals are popular with my niece and nephews. I think it is because they get at least 6 different things to eat.

1776 Bread Lunch

My 12 year old nephew ate this meal. I put a reject flag under the “1776″. Usually when I make shaped bread, I make at least two versions. One of his brothers ate the accepted flag bread that is featured in this post.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top: 1776 and U.S. Flag shaped bread (made with homemade French bread dough)

Bottom Left: Strawberries dipped in melted candy melts and sprinkled with blue sanding sugar

Bottom Right: Toasted pecans

Star Pasta Lunch

My 15 year old niece helped me to made this basic meal for my husband on a night that he was not feeling well.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: Blueberries

Bottom Left: Raspberries

Right Side: Patriotic Star Pasta with a little butter and Parmesan cheese, parsley star garnish

Taco Salad Flag Lunch

My 17 year old nephew ate this for dinner at my house. I think that the black beans (hidden under the other ingredients), greek yogurt, and chips made this a filling meal. I was inspired by this taco salad flag.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top: Shredded lettuce, star shaped radish, salsa, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, black beans with sauteed onion, some hot sauce, and some plain tomato sauce (not visible, under other ingredients)

Bottom Left: Greek yogurt with cinnamon star (I used a star cookie cutter as a stencil for the star)

Bottom Right: Blueberries

In a bag: Tostitos Bite Size chips

Patriotic Star Quesadilla Lunch

My husband ate this cheese quesadilla meal. He loved the special pretzels I made for him and said that I could make them anytime.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Star shaped cheese quesadillas with EasyLunchBoxes shaped quesadilla as the background

Top Right: Strawberries with American flag pick

Bottom Right: Plain and white candy melt covered pretzels with red and white sprinkles

American Flag Bread

My 17 year old nephew ate this Flag bread among other things at my house one evening.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: American Flag bread with sanding sugar

Top Right: Toasted pecans

Bottom Right: Blueberries and watermelon

July 4 Fireworks

My 15 year old niece came up with this fantastic idea to make fireworks out of two types of potatoes.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top: Night sky (purple potatoes – mashed), fireworks (white potatoes – mashed)

Bottom Left: Patriotic fruit salad (strawberries, banana, and blueberries)

Bottom Right: Radish

Open Face Flag Sandwich Lunch

I was inspired by this to make a cream cheese and jelly open faced sandwich for myself. It was delicious!

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top: Cream cheese, strawberry jam, and dried blueberries on Naan bread

Bottom Left: Cherry tomatoes

Bottom Right: Dried cranberries, slivered almonds

I hope that you enjoyed seeing these ideas and now have some inspiration to make your own patriotic themed lunch, dinner, or snack.

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Science Museum Lunch

Science Museum Lunch

I made this lunch for my 12 year old nephew. We spent the day together and visited the Buffalo Museum of Science. My drawing of the atom is not perfect but my nephew did not care. He gobbled it up. This was a quick and easy lunch to make.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Cheese quesadillas (three) with atom drawn with food safe marker. I was inspired by this beautiful lunch by Bento for Kidlet.

Top Right: Carrots

Bottom Right: Pineapple

Not in Photo: Almonds

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | Tagged | 3 Comments

How to Train Your Dragon Dinner and a Movie

Viking Ship Sundae

I love the idea of a themed homemade dinner and a movie. A few weeks ago I asked my niece and nephews for movie ideas and they said, “How to Train Your Dragon 2″. We worked together to plan this meatless meal. Friday night we prepared the meal together (my niece was an amazing help) and then we went to see the movie. I thought that How to Train Your Dragon 2 was better than the first movie but I enjoyed both movies.

We came up with the idea for the Viking Ship Ice Cream Sundae ourselves. My 17 year old nephew made the templates for me. My 9 year old nephew drew on the details with an decorating gel pen. Directions for the cookie ship and templates are at the end of this post. Assembly of the ship was easier than I expected, especially on a slightly humid summer day. It was the highlight of this memorable meal.

Viking Hat Watermelon

My niece and nephews love fruit so we decided to carve a watermelon in the shape of a viking helmet. I based our helmet on this by the National Watermelon Promotion Board. We kept it much more simple but the kids enjoyed it. We ate watermelon with some blackberries.

Train Dragon Dinner Veggie Tray

We watched some clips from How to Train Your Dragon 2 so we incorporated the sheep with targets in our vegetable tray. Sheep – Nishiki rice shaped using a rice mold, heads are rice mixed with a little soy sauce. My niece painted the targets with gel food coloring. She had to be careful because the color did bleed a little. Also on the tray are carrots, sugar snap peas, cucumber, and mini sweet pepper and zucchini boats filled with ranch dip.

Train Dragon Dinner Pasta

I made angel hair pasta, homemade cheese sauce (2 cup white sauce with shredded sharp cheddar cheese) and baked it until heated and slightly browned around the edges. We added red bell peppers as garnish. My 9 year old nephew knew they were supposed to be dragon fire but another nephew thought dragon claws which would also be appropriate.

How to Train Your Dragon Ready to Eat Dinner

We took Naan bread and my niece cut it into dragon shapes. She brushed the Naan with olive oil and added poppy seeds for Toothless. We baked them at 375 for about 10 minutes (until slightly browned). The other shapes we kept plain.

How to Train Your Dragon Dinner Plate

I thought that this filled dinner plate looked beautiful so I took a photo. It shows Toothless flying.

How to Train Dragon Dinner in Progress

I stopped eating to take this photo of the meal in progress.

Empty Viking Ship Cookie Sundae

Here is the assembled Viking Ship before filling it with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, and whipped cream.

Viking Ship Cookie Sundae

I used this sugar cookie recipe. My nephew made Viking Cookie Ship Sundae Templates on card-stock following my vision for the ships. I made the cookies a few days in advance. I placed the cookies between layers of waxed paper in a plastic container with lid and put it in the freezer. I made extra pieces and I did have some breakage before assembling. I defrosted the cookies about an hour before assembling.

I used this royal icing recipe to hold the pieces together. It was a slightly humid day and I don’t have central air-conditioning so I assembled the cookies only an hour before eating because I was concerned about them holding up. They were fine and much easier to assembly than I had guessed. I ended up assembling 4 ships and my husband had a shipwrecked sundae with a piece of the ship and the toppings. It was my backup plan if the ships did not hold together so I wanted to try it out.

This ships are large! I did not expect the kids to finish all of the cookie ship. Some of them did not but I was fine with it.

Details on the ship: My 9 year old nephew used Wilton’s Black Decorating Gel tube to draw on the details. He did it after I had assembled the ships.

Masts: I melted white candy melts, put it in a ziplock bag, snipped off the end with scissors then used the melted candy melts to draw sails onto aluminum foil. I put the wet sails in the freezer. When they were solid, I turned the sails upside down on aluminum foil, and used more melted white candy melts to attach the sail to pretzel rods (I put melted candy melt under, above and on both sides of the pretzel rod). Then I put them back into the freezer. I only did this shortly before eating. I took the masts out of the freezer right before serving dessert.

Dessert Time Dragon Dinner

You can see the back of the mast in this photo. They worked out great!

There were 6 of us for dinner – 9 year old nephew, 12 year old nephew, 15 year old niece, 17 year old nephew, my  husband and myself. I hope that it is something they will remember fondly for years to come. Or even if some of them remember it as humoring their crazy Aunt with a passion for cute food – that is alright also.

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Linking to:

Eats Amazing Fun Food Friday KitchenFun

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food, Party Planning | Tagged | 8 Comments