Parchment Paper Dinner

For many years I was fascinated about the idea of cooking in parchment paper packets. To find recipes and directions I searched under  “vegetarian” and “cooking in parchment”, “cooking en papillote”, and “cooking al Cartoccio”.

I finally made the opportunity to try it for a dinner with my parents. My photos are not great since I was hungry and in a hurry to eat but at least I took photos. I worried about my technique folding the parchment paper since it was not as beautiful as in the photos. It did not matter. I was concerned about some leaking since parchment nowadays is very thin – but I doubled it and it was fine. It may not have been necessary. Some of my packets were not folded neatly but it did not matter.

vegetables-cooked-in-parchment

Veggie Packets – broccoli, carrot, green beans, mushrooms, lemon slices, and pine nuts (I added them they were not in original recipe) cooked in parchment. I LOVED this recipe. It had a robust lemon flavor! My Dad also loved this one. My Mom was not as much in love – the lemon was a little too much for her.

pasta-and-cheese-in-parchment

Farfalle with Artichokes al Cartoccio – We mostly followed this recipe but did not use black olives. My Mom LOVED this recipe. My Dad and I were alright with it.

fruit-cooked-in-parchment

Fruit en Papillote – We followed this recipe but did not use the blueberries. Once it was out of the oven we served it with vanilla ice cream. I think all of us enjoyed this but how can you go wrong with fruit and ice cream.

Cooking in parchment paper was a different way to make and serve dinner. Now that I tried it once, I would do it again.

Posted in Food | Leave a comment

Harry Potter Lunch

harry-potter-lunch

I made this Harry Potter themed lunch at the request of my 7 year old nephew. I was happy to also eat lunch with him.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Harry Potter peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wheat bread, crust, cheese (lightening bolt cut with a mini cookie cutter), and food coloring marker details, broom peanut butter and jelly sandwich (cut with a cookie cutter)

Top Right: Sorting hat caramel – This was quick to make

Bottom Right: Hedwig – apple cut with a small owl cookie cutter and dipped in water with lemon juice to prevent browning, blackberries

Posted in Bento / Cute Food | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Squirrel Pancakes for Lunch

squirrel-pancakes-for-lunch

I made this lunch for my pancake loving nephew. I find it easiest to make round pancakes first and then cut it with a cookie cutter. My nephew is happy to eat the scraps.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Mini Dippers with Maple Syrup, squirrel pancakes cut with a cookie cutter, sugar snap peas

Top Right: Acorn treats

Bottom Right: Peach slices with cinnamon

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Pokemon Lunch

pokemon-lunch

I made this lunch for my 8 year old nephew at his request. I love it when people in my life request a theme! It was also fun to be able to have lunch with him.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Charmander – Colby-Jack cheese slice cut into the shape with kitchen scissors, food coloring marker details, peanut butter sandwich on wheat bread

Top Right: Pokeball – I was inspired by this. I used white candy melts and piped chocolate around it (melted chocolate chips and put in a Ziplock bag and cut off a small corner). I could not find a small white candy so I just used more of the white candy melt.

Bottom Right: Pikachu pick – raspberries and blackberries

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | Tagged | Leave a comment

Nephews Favorite Lunches

taco-salad-back-to-school

For the second day of school (2 weeks ago) I made favorite lunches for 3 of my nephews. My back to school tradition is to make mini Jam tarts with their school year on them (grades 7, 10, and 11 this year). My 12 year old nephew wanted brownies instead of jam tarts so I made brownies and jam tarts for them. I still gave the 12 year old 1 tart with his grade on it.

This first one is for my 16 year old nephew. I have made many variations of these lunches for him over the years.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Tomatoes, Taco cheese blend, black beans mixed with some salsa, shredded lettuce

Top Right: Brownie

Bottom Right: Blackberries and strawberries

Above the box: Mini Dippers with Taco Sauce, and tortilla chips with a hint of lime

Not in Photo: Jam Tarts

back-to-school-waffle-lunch

My 12 year old nephew loves waffles and strawberry butter. I know it is not the healthiest lunch but I caved and made his favorite to celebrate back to school.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Homemade waffles (I made them in the morning and cooled them on wire racks before packing them for lunch)

Top Right: Pepper Jack cheese

Bottom Right: Mini Dippers: Strawberry butter – I mixed fresh chopped strawberries with softened butter and added a little bit of confectionery sugar 

Not in Photo: Brownie and 1 Jam Tart

lasagna-back-to-school-lunch

My 14 year old nephew has a microwave at school so this lasagna meal was made to be heated. I put the sides in silicone cups for easy removal before he heats the rest of the lunch.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Lasagna (I made it the night before for my husband’s dinner and this was a planned leftover)

Top Right: Pistachio nuts

Bottom Right: Blackberries

Not in Photo: Brownie and Jam Tarts

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

Power Rangers Lunch

power-rangers-lunch

I made this Power Rangers lunch at the request of my 4 year old nephew. I was fortunate to be able to make lunches and eat with him, his brothers and their Mom that day.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Power Ranger sandwich – peanut butter with strawberry jam on wheat bread, strawberry fruit flat details

Top Right: Raspberries and blueberries

Bottom Right: Power Ranger – Cheddar cheese

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | Tagged | Leave a comment

Cat Birthday Party

Cat Birthday Collage

I was thrilled to help my friend create cute food for her daughters 11th birthday party. We made cat themed ice cream sandwiches, cat shaped cinnamon tortilla chips with fruit salsa, giant cat cookies and decorated paper plates to look like cats. We also served walking tacos, a vegetable tray, and salsa layered dip with tortilla chips.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

cat cookies after baking

When searching for ideas for the birthday pool party I found this. When I heard that my friends daughter liked the idea of cat shaped ice cream sandwiches, I came up with three proposals. She choose the one that used the CuteZCute Animal Friends cutter set. She wanted mostly chocolate cookies with a few vanilla for people who don’t like chocolate. I used this vanilla recipe and this chocolate recipe. It was a bit of a struggle to get good imprints on the cookies. I had to use extra flour and a dry pastry brush to brush off the flour before baking. Also a lot of patience! You can make and freeze these cookies (without ice cream) several weeks before your party.

Vanilla and Chocolate Cat Ice Cream Sandwiches

The night before the party my friend, her husband and I assembled the ice cream sandwiches. We sliced the ice cream and used the same cookie cutter to cut the ice cream (it worked out great and fit the cookies exactly). When the ice cream started to melt we sort of pushed it into the cutter and then put it on the cookie. My friends husband was ready with pieces of plastic wrap and he individually wrapped the ice cream sandwiches. Then they went straight into the freezer.

Cat Chocolate Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches

We made vanilla with strawberry ice cream, chocolate with strawberry ice cream and a lot of chocolate with chocolate ice cream. By far the chocolate – chocolate combination was the most popular but everyone seemed to enjoy their treat. I loved watching everyone enjoy their cat shaped ice cream sandwiches. It was a highlight for me.

Cat Vanilla Cookie Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwich

Chocolate Cat Cookie Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwich

Cat Tortilla Chips

cat tortilla chips after baking

I used the same cutter set to make cat shaped cinnamon tortilla chips. It did take time to cut out the faces on the tortilla chips but I enjoy that type of work – it is relaxing for me. We used an olive oil mister to spray the cut tortilla chips and then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. I baked at 350 for about 7 minutes (but bake until lightly browned and crisp).  We served them with a fruit salsa.

Cat Cinnamon Tortilla Chip Close

Cat Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips

Cat Paper Plates

cat plates in progress

The birthday girl and I are both early risers so we decorated the plates first thing in the morning before everyone else woke up. It was peaceful and enjoyable to do this craft with her. I was inspired by these. I folded the pipe cleaners in thirds and cut with a scissors. We cut the ear pieces out of card stock. We then glued the pink parts to the gray ears and taped the ears and the whiskers to the paper plates.

cat paper plate

Giant Cat Cookies

Smaller Monster Cat Cookie

My friend made these gorgeous cat cookies! They were served at the family party which was held after the friends party. It is a monster cookie recipe and she frosted it using a silicone basting brush to make it look like fur. Her 11 year old daughter added the whiskers.

cat cookie outside

I enjoyed helping out with this party and hope that you now have some ideas for your cat themed party.

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