The Grouchy Ladybug Book Lunch

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This week I met a friend and her family at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. I was happy to take the opportunity to make another Eric Carle lunch. At the museum I was pleased to also see illustrations from a favorite childhood book – Thy Friend Obadiah by Brinton Turkle.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Ladybugs – grape tomatoes, black olives (attached with spaghetti), Text Signs – cheese with food coloring text, Aphids – snow peas (cookie cutter), silicone leaf, romaine, broccoli, carrots

Top Right: Stars – tortilla (cookie cutter), blueberries

Bottom Right: Crackers, ladybug picks

Above the Box: Mini Dippers with toasted pepitas and pine nuts

grouchy-ladybug-book-lunch

Other Eric Carle book themed lunches

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Alien Pasta

alien-pasta-lunch

This is an example of how to make leftovers (spinach linguini with garlic and olive oil and a little bit of pie crust) fun. It became an Alien / Space themed lunch. With the aid of cookie cutters you can transform cheese (not extra sharp since it crumbles), carrots, and pie crust into a themed lunch.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Spinach linguini tossed with garlic sauteed in olive oil, Cheddar cheese stars (cookie cutters)

Top Right: Carrot aliens (cookie cutter) with spinach leaves

Bottom Right: Pie crust alien (imprint cookie cutter), blueberries

 

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President’s Day Lunches

presidents-day-food

In celebration of President’s Day I made George Washington and Abraham Lincoln themed lunches. These were easy to make with cookie cutters. It is convenient and often healthier to have make ahead meals for myself in the refrigerator.

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Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: George Washington – hot cooked Nishiki rice packed in a cookie cutter (press down with plastic wrap between your fingers and the rice), carefully remove cookie cutter then put shredded Cheddar cheese top and broil until melted and slightly browned, broccoli with toasted pine nuts

Top Right: Blueberries

Bottom Right: Raspberries

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Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Abraham Lincoln – hot cooked Nishiki rice packed in a cookie cutter (press down with plastic wrap between your fingers and the rice), carefully remove cookie cutter then put shredded Cheddar cheese top and broil until melted and slightly browned, green peas with toasted almonds

Top Right: Raspberries

Bottom Right: Blueberries

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Heart Shaped Valentine Dinner

valentine-heart-dinner

Happy Valentine’s Day! I made this heart themed dinner for my parents. They loved it! It was a little labor intensive since I made homemade ravioli. But I did use store bought ricotta cheese. My Mom said that I can make homemade ravioli any day.

Menu

  • Heart Caprese Salad – I cut the basil instead of keeping the leaves whole.
  • Homemade Heart Shaped Ravioli – I used this dough but cut the ravioli with a heart shaped cookie cutter. The filling was a combination of ricotta cheese, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. We used the leftover ricotta for calzones on another night.
  • Heart Shaped Cinnamon Chips with Fruit Salsa – I reduced the sugar in the chips and did not add any sugar in the fruit salsa. I used a heart shaped cookie cutter for the tortilla chips.

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homemade-heart-shaped-ravioli

heart-cinnamon-tortilla-chips-and-fruit-salsa

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Hand Embroidery NY Towels

all-ny-stitched-towels

I am a maker. I delight in producing something that I make with my hands. I find it relaxing but it is more than that. It is part of who I am. When life gets rough and I find myself thrown in a different direction, crafting keeps me grounded. Creating something that I find to be beautiful whether it be food or a towel, helps things seem normal even when life is not normal.

Before a recent trip to Japan, I stitched dish towels as part of the gifts I gave to my home stay hosts. I wanted the towels to be New York State themed. Since I was stitching four towels and I wanted it to stay interesting for myself, I did 3 different motifs on 4 towels (made 2 of the Statue of Liberty) but stitched the state of New York on all of them.

I found images on the internet (I like using coloring pages), resized them and printed them out. Then I used a lightbox (or you can use a window) to trace the pattern onto the towel using a water soluble embroidery transfer pen. I designed the towels to hang from the center and orientated the images so that if it was hung that way, the image would be positioned correctly. I mostly stitched with 2 strands of variegated DMC thread. I like variegated thread because I think it makes the finished work look more elegant.

Rose: I simplified the pattern found in this post.

New York State: I used this pattern but typed my own text.

Blue Bird: I simplified the first bird on this page.

Statue of Liberty: I used this image but could not find the actual source.

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NY bluebird and state stitched on towel.jpg

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World Cities Bento Lunches

sydney-inspired-lunch

Today I have four world cities represented in lunches – Sydney, London, Paris, and New York. They are not very accurate from a food standpoint but it was a fun way to celebrate the spirit of each city. I hope that it inspires you to make your own city themed food. I used this cookie cutter set for each of the lunches.

The Sydney lunch features a Sydney Opera House fairy bread sandwich.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Sydney Opera House sandwich (cookie cutter) – instead of butter as is traditional for fairy bread, I used peanut butter and added sprinkles on top of the cut-out area, sugar snap peas

Top Right: Macadamia nuts

Bottom Right: Cherries

london-inspired-lunch

Big Ben toast is prominent in this London lunch.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Big Ben toast (cookie cutter), cucumber, radish, snow peas, Cheddar cheese

Top Right: Double Decker bus fruit treats

Bottom Right: Plums

paris-inspired-lunch

Eiffel Tower cinnamon tortilla chips add sweet and crunchy fun to this Paris lunch.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Homemade french bread with brie, green beans

Top Right: Blackberries

Bottom Right: Eiffel Tower – homemade cinnamon tortilla chips, pistachios

Tortilla Chips – Cut flour tortillas with a cookie cutter, brush olive oil on each side, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.

new-york-inspired-lunch

This New York City lunch features the Statue of Liberty in Cheddar.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Statue of Liberty Cheddar cheese (cookie cutter), bagel chips, snow peas

Top Right: Cherries

Bottom Right: Wegmans individual cheesecake

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4 Meatless Lunches

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Container: U Konserve

Contents: French bread with brie, green beans, blackberries

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Container: Fit & Fresh Bento Lunch Kit

Left Side: French bread with broiled mozzarella cheese

Top Right: Peaches, blackberries, cinnamon

Bottom Right: Carrots

burrito-lunch

Container: U Konserve

Contents: Burrito – flour tortilla with rice, black beans, salsa, sour cream (in green condiment cup), Nutella, strawberries

gyoza-rice-lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Vegetarian fried gyoza (dumplings)

Top Right: Rice, dumpling dipping sauce (in fish)

Bottom Right: Edamame

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