Lizard Zucchini

This was planned for when a friend was supposed to come over but she was sick and stayed home. I ended up eating this alone. I found it a little gross to eat zucchini lizards.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Lizards – Zucchini cut with a cookie cutter and roasted, roasted potatoes, tomatoes, Asiago cheese

Top Right:  Pepero almond chocolate sticks

Bottom Right: Blueberries

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Mom’s Mac and Cheese

My Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese is very popular. When her kids and grandchildren visit, it is one of the most requested meals. I am including the original recipe from Betty Crocker here but over the years, my Mom has made it her own. She uses Seriously Sharp Cabot Cheddar Cheese. Mom adds onion powder and dried mustard to the cheese sauce. Also depending on who she is making it for, sometimes she makes it with a breadcrumb topping and sometimes without. When she uses breadcrumbs, she puts extra cheese on top of the elbow pasta then adds the breadcrumbs. I prefer the breadcrumb topping. We like a brown and crispy crust. Mom bakes it for 45 minutes. Delicious!

Betty Crocker’s Cookbook Eighth Printing 1989

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House Search Snack Lunch

I want to buy a house. I’ve been searching for nearly 2 years. A house that meets my requirements, lists less than once a month. Last weekend 2 houses that mostly fulfill my requirements listed on the same day. The last time a house listed for me was the end of April!. Last weekend my friend Renae went with me to see the houses. Since we had appointments at lunch time, I packed identical snack lunches for us to eat in the car.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Cabot Farmhouse Reserve Cheddar, Sugar Snap Peas, Skinny Pop Popcorn Mini Cakes Sea Salt

Top Right:  Pistachios

Bottom Right: Red Grapes

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Alligator Quiche

I made this Alligator on a quiche themed lunch for my Dad. I don’t make quiche very often since I don’t eat it. My Dad loved the quiche!

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: Fish – Radish cut with cookie cutters, blueberries

Bottom Left: Toasted pine nuts

Right Side:  Alligator – Zucchini cut with a cookie cutter, Ricotta, Pea, and Leek Quiche

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Mashed Potato and Smoked Paprika Sheep

I made this mashed potato and smoked paprika sheep for myself. It was delicious and fun to eat.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Sheep – Cheddar and garlic mashed potatoes cut with a cookie cutter, broccoli

Top Right:  Pistachios

Bottom Right: Flowers – Apple cut with a cookie cutter, pink sanding sugar, blueberries

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Skunk Themed Lunch

I made this skunk themed meal for myself. It is my first time to use this cookie cutter. I have no idea why my skunk is orange and has no stripe. Next time, I should make one that looks more like a skunk. But I enjoyed eating it.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Skunk – Cheddar cheese cut with a cookie cutter, Italian Broccoli and Quinoa Pilaf

Top Right:  Brazil nuts

Bottom Right: Chocolate bread

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10 Year Blogiversary

Today is my 10 year blogiversary! To celebrate, I made this meal for myself.

Container: Cloud box from Japan (set of 3)

Large Box: 10 – Cinnamon tortilla chip –  flour tortilla cut with a cookie cutter, spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with cinnamon, put on cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp, popcorn

Medium Box: 10 – Cinnamon tortilla chip –  flour tortilla cut with a cookie cutter, spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with cinnamon, put on cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp, romaine, cherry tomatoes

Small Box: 10 – Blueberries, Greek yogurt

I show my love for the people in my life by making fun food for them. I aim to please so I often ask their food and theme preferences. People usually don’t like that question. I am happy when I know what they like and can make them especially pleased with my efforts. I love being challenged with a new theme. Sometimes people inspire me to try something I would not have thought about on my own. Such as tapping maple trees, wood burning in a fireplace, historical weapons, or field hockey. It is also fun to see how many different versions of elephant meals I can make (elephant is my most requested theme).

Over the past 10 years my life has changed; relationship status, jobs, dwellings. Throughout it all I make cute food for the people closest to me at the time.

I looked at past posts to see how many different people I gave my cute themed food. Over the past 10 years, I prepared themed boxed lunches for 49 different people!!

Of those 49 people, I looked at the top 10. I am actually number 1. The other 9 are not a surprise (ex-husband, nephews and niece from marriage, both my parents, friends Carol and Dennis).

I don’t show many photos with recognizable people. I show parts of faces and lots of hands and arms. My image only appears in 3 posts (Hans, Easter, Helicopter).

Having my blog and what I create for it makes life more fun. I have a tradition of announcing a new companion with a photo of the back of his head while about to eat one of my cute themed bentos. In the 4.5 years after divorce, the backs of 2 mens heads appear on my blog (here and here). There was a 3rd new man I made a meal for (between the 2 pictured) but we broke up before I was ready to post. This is life and I can see the humor in it.

I am grateful for the 49 people who were close enough to me to eat my fun food. It gives me so much joy!

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Gorilla Themed Meal

I made this gorilla themed meal for myself. I wanted a gorilla cookie cutter with 4 legs that was not 3D. My friend Renae made it for me with her 3D printer. I think that it turned out very cute. Looks more like a gorilla than this one I made last year.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Gorilla – cheddar cheese cut with a cookie cutter, Eye – spinach cut with a mini cutter, lentil salad (I loosely followed this but did not use the onion, bell pepper, bay leaf and parsley. I cooked the lentils in vegetable broth.)

Top Right:  Toasted walnuts

Bottom Right: Palm trees – celery cut with a cookie cutter, mango, blueberries

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Zucchini Rice Casserole Dinner

I made this zucchini, tomato, rice and cheese casserole for my friend Dennis and myself. It was a last minute dinner and easy to throw together.

Zucchini Tomato Casserole – I used the recipe as a guide but did not exactly follow it. I used spring onions and zucchini from my CSA. I baked the casserole in individual portions and sprinkled Asiago cheese on top.

Sliced Strawberries with Ricotta – My portion has plain ricotta. Dennis has sweetened ricotta with sugar and vanilla.

My critique of the meal: We both enjoyed this meal. This is an easy meal and it has a lot of different flavor possibilities. I don’t use these individual dishes very often but I should. They are very attractive and fun to use. The only problem was that I should have served it after cooling down awhile. It was very hot in temperature!

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Loon with Baby Lunch

I made this loon and baby themed lunch for my Mom. I enjoy seeing and hearing the loons on my parents lake.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Loons – Cheddar garlic mashed potatoes cut with cookie cutters, sprinkled with paprika, dried blueberry eyes, blueberries

Top Right: Pistachios

Bottom Right: Loon – apple cut with a cookie cutter, sprinkled with cinnamon, mixed berry Greek yogurt.

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Star Ravioli Dinner

This year I am enjoying making different themed ravioli. I made these cute ravioli stars for dinner with my parents at their Lake House. It is not obvious in the photos but there is a black bean sauce under the ravioli.

Star Salad – Cucumber stars cut with a cookie cutter, tomato, black olives, romaine

Star Ravioli – I used my favorite pasta dough cut with a cookie cutter, filled with a mixture of ricotta, corn, basil, Asiago, black pepper, and parmesan cheese

Black Bean Sauce – I did not use the cilantro

My critique of the meal: This was delicious! The only thing I would change is maybe the plating. I find it difficult to make a plate of ravioli look great.

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Star Themed Chips and Dip Meal

I made this simple meal for myself. It was fun to serve it on my Great Grandmother’s snack plates (Indiana Milk Glass White Orange Blossom Snack Plate).

  • Black Bean Dip with cheddar stars – cut with a cookie cutter
  • Star tortilla chips – cut with a cookie cutter, lightly brush with olive oil, put on cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp
  • Green beans
  • Orange
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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

I made these festive tacos for my parents and myself. They are easy to make. The only part that takes some time is cutting and roasting the sweet potatoes. I enjoy cutting food with cookie cutters. Its relaxing for me.

Ingredients:

  • Corn Tortillas
  • Sweet Potato cut with a cookie cutter and roasted until tender
  • Canned black beans, rinsed then mixed with some smoked paprika
  • Feta cheese
  • Lime

How to Make:

  • Prepare all the ingredients.
  • Heat the corn tortillas using a method of your choice.
  • Assemble the ingredients on top of the tortillas.

Enjoy!

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Red White and Blue Ravioli Dinner

My parents and I had a delicious 4th of July themed meal at their Lake House.

Red, White, and Blue Appetizers – Red Stars – red bell pepper cut with a cookie cutter, White Stripes – blueberry white cheddar, White – this onion dip but with dairy sour cream, Blue – blue homemade potato chips.

Red, White, and Blue Ravioli – I added butterfly pea flower powder to 1/2 of my favorite pasta dough, the filling was ricotta, parmesan, garlic powder, salt and pepper. 

Red, White, and Blue Dessert – Sliced strawberries, blueberries, fresh whipped cream.

My critique of the meal: We all love my homemade ravioli. Everything was delicious.

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Mount Rushmore Potatoes

I made this Mount Rushmore themed meal for myself. My friend Renae was kind to make a 3D cookie cutter for me!

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Mount Rushmore – Cheddar and garlic mashed potatoes cut and imprinted with a cookie cutter, snow peas

Top Right:  Pistachios

Bottom Right: Watermelon and blueberries

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New House Themed Meal

This week, I visited my 22 year old niece at her new house. I made this meal for her to celebrate her buying a house! It was delightful visiting with her and her sweet dog.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  House – cooked Nishiki rice pressed into a cookie cutter with plastic wrap, Heart – red bell pepper cut with a cookie cutter, black beans, corn, salsa

Top Right:  Key – tortilla chips cut with a cookie cutter, lightly brush with olive oil, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, put on cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp, pistachios

Bottom Right: Dog – watermelon cut with a cookie cutter, blueberries

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Woodland Themed Dinner

I made a woodland themed dinner at my parents Lake House when my Aunt and Uncle were visiting from Atlanta. I am sorry that my Aunt was not feeling well and could not join us for the meal. But the rest of us enjoyed.

Woodland 3D Appetizer Plate – Fresh mozzarella balls and tomatoes with basil, tortilla chip bear, fox, and deer – cut tortilla chips with a cookie cutter, lightly brush with olive oil, put on cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp

Fresh Mushroom Salad with Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette   

Tree Ravioli – I added spinach powder to my favorite pasta dough, the filling was ricotta, parmesan, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I cut the tree shapes with a cookie cutter. Since I did not want it to look like Christmas trees, the sauce is a cheddar cheese sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Forest in a Cup – Chocolate cups, Greek yogurt with peanut butter powder, cinnamon tortilla chip trees – cut tortilla chips with a cookie cutter, lightly brush with olive oil, sprinkle with cinnamon, put on cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp, miniature peanut butter cups

My critique of the meal: I think we all enjoyed everything. I especially liked the 3D Appetizer scene and hope to make different scenes in the future. I don’t eat mushrooms but my parents and Uncle enjoyed them. As usual, I want to improve my ravioli plating but the trees were cute and delicious. I was concerned that my parents and Uncle would think that the dessert was not sweet enough but the sweetness of the chocolate off-set it. I used unsweetened yogurt and peanut butter powder in the filling. The tortilla tree had only cinnamon on it. I think it was a perfect complement to the chocolate cup and peanut butter cups.

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Airplane Lunch for My Uncle

I made this lunch for my Uncle while he visited my parents at their Lake House. It was the first time I made a themed meal for him. During his employment days, he worked on airplanes. This theme was a natural choice for him. He was excited that I made a 3D carrot airplane and said that it even had landing gear!

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: Airplane – 3D carrot airplane cut with a cutter set, blueberries

Bottom Left: Mixed nuts

Right Side: Airplane – Cheddar cheese cut with a cookie cutter, Ricotta, Pea, and Leek Quiche

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | 2 Comments

Monkey Chips Snack Meal

I made this meal for my friend Renae’s 13 year old daughter Elizabeth. I am happy with how the cheese bananas and celery look together. I attached the bananas to the trees with spaghetti and left one at the bottom on purpose.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Monkey – tortilla chips cut with a cookie cutter, lightly brush with olive oil, put on cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp, Bananas – cheddar cheese cut with a cutter cutter, celery

Top Right:  Cherry tomatoes

Bottom Right: Strawberries

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Sloth Themed Meal

I made this sloth meal for my friend Renae’s husband since I wanted to use a different cookie cutter. It was on a day I made themed meals for each person in their family.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Sloth – cheddar cheese cut with a cookie cutter, Eyes & Nose – spinach cut with a mini cutter, Tree Branch – celery, lentil salad (I loosely followed this but did not use the onion, bell pepper, bay leaf and parsley. I cooked the lentils in vegetable broth.) Asiago cheese is under the lentils.

Top Right:  Toasted walnuts

Bottom Right: Cotton Candy grapes

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Birthday Cupcake Lunch

I made this lunch for my friend Renae to celebrate her birthday. I also gave her chocolate bread and sliced strawberries but forgot to photograph.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Cupcake – Cheddar cheese (cut with a cookie cutter), lentils inside a cookie cutter, Candle with flame- cheddar cheese with food coloring marker, Italian Broccoli and Quinoa Pilaf

Top Right: Pistachios

Bottom Right: Cupcakes – carrot (cut with a cookie cutter), celery with almond butter

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Elephant Snack Meal

I made this meal for my friend Renae’s 13 year old daughter Elizabeth. I asked her what food she wanted. Since most of it is a similar color, I used a fun silicone lettuce cup to add some contrast.

Container: U Konserve

Contents: Large Elephant – cut with a cookie cutter, lightly brush with olive oil, put on cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp, Small Elephants – cheddar cheese cut with a cookie cutter.

Container: ECO Lunchboxes

Contents: 3D Elephants – carrot cut with a 3D cutter, cherry tomatoes, strawberries

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Eye Doctor Themed Meal

I made this themed meal for my friend Renae. Awhile ago she came up with the theme idea to help me use some letter cookie cutters. I enjoy using my collection and am on a continued quest to use all of them.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Big E and other letters – cheddar cheese cut with cookie cutters, lentil salad (I loosely followed this but did not use the onion, bell pepper, bay leaf and parsley. I cooked the lentils in vegetable broth.) Asiago cheese is under the lentils.

Top Right:  Eye Glasses – tortilla cut with a knife, brush with olive oil and bake at 375 until lightly browned. Prop up on some foil while baking (see image below), toasted pecans

Bottom Right: Eye – apple dipped in water and lemon juice to prevent browning, Eyeball – skin of the apple, blueberries

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Hug Your Cat Meal

To celebrate Hug Your Cat day, I made this meal for my friend Renae’s 15 year old daughter. Natalie was a natural choice to make this meal for since she eats a variety of food and often hugs / holds Joy, her Russian Blue cat.

Glass Containers with Lids

Left Container: Hair – peanut noodles, Head – water chestnut, Eyes – spinach (cut with mini cutter), Mouth – radish, Body – cheddar mashed potatoes with garlic, Cat – cheddar mashed potatoes with butterfly pea flower powder (cut with a cookie cutter), green peas

Right Container: Hug Your Cat – carrot lettering (cut with cookie cutters), cream cheese, celery, blueberries

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Bird Theme for Picnic by Waterfall

Awhile ago, I came up with the idea that I wanted to have a meal by a waterfall. My friend Deborah was happy to join me in this adventure. We met at the Holley Canal Falls. I made this vegan meal for Deborah. I made a similar but themeless meal for myself with nuts instead of the cookie nest. I think it was my first time to make a carrot salad. I loved the flavors, especially the curry and maple syrup! Deborah brought along a tablecloth and flowers. It was the first time for both of us to visit this waterfall. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed it so much that we stayed there for 3 hours! Now we are planning our next adventure.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Birds – Kohlrabi cut with a cookie cutter, Eyes – spinach cut with a mini cutter, Bombay Carrot Salad with Cashews and Almonds with maple syrup

Top Right:  Blueberries

Bottom Right: Nest – No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Nest, Eggs – Cotton Candy grapes

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Pontoon Boat Christening Party

My Mom had a boat christening party for my parent’s new Pontoon Boat. The weather did not cooperate as we had planned. It was cold and rainy. We adapted and still held the christening ceremony and party but instead of having the boxed meals on the boat, we had them in the house. My Mom had a small speech prepared and broke the special ceremonial bottle. She allowed me to participate by pouring a small amount of red wine into the water. I enjoyed attending this special ceremony and look forward to many rides in the boat. It is very comfortable!

They named the boat, “The Smiling Fox”. The name was a secret and I did not know it until the ceremony. It has special meaning for my family.

We toasted with Asti and enjoyed these appetizers. I mostly used the idea from this but filled it with vegetable hummus and garnished with mini green pepper anchors cut with a cookie cutter. Everyone enjoyed!

7 people attended the party. Before the ceremony I gave the guests their meal choices. My Mom and I prepared bento boxes with their choices. I labeled the lids with their name written on masked tape.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Sandwiches:

  • Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella, Homemade Pesto on homemade Focaccia
  • Egg salad (my Mom made) with lettuce on Trader Joes freezer mini croissants that I baked before the party

Sides: (guests had a choice of two)

  • Mixed nuts
  • Cherry Tomato, Black Olive, Fresh Mozzarella Ball
  • Fruit (choice of mango, blueberries, red grapes, strawberries)

We had blueberry cheesecake as dessert. I did not get any photos of it before my Mom cut it into slices.

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Buddha Bowl with Tortilla Chip Buddha

In honor of Vesak day, I made a Buddha bowl with a tortilla buddha. I love this Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl recipe! I made it several times. I make three servings at a time and eat it three days in a row. Healthy and delicious!

If I don’t have chickpeas, I switch out with another type of beans. I use broccoli instead of broccolini. Also I use raw spinach leaves instead of kale and serve the spinach raw.

Buddha tortilla chip – flour tortilla cut with a cookie cutter, place on cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray, spray cut-out with cooking spray and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp, 

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Dove Rice

I made this cheesy rice dove lunch for my Mom. She enjoyed this meal, especially the asparagus!

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Dove – cooked Nishiki rice pressed into a cookie cutter, cheddar cheese broiled on top of the rice. Eye – spinach cut with a mini cutter, roasted asparagus

Top Right:  Toasted hazelnuts

Bottom Right: Blueberries

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Emoji Sunglasses

I made this meal for myself as part of my emoji rice series.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Sunglasses Emoji – cooked Nishiki rice pressed into a round emoji cookie cutter, cheddar cheese broiled on top of rice. Sunglasses & Mouth – spinach cut with a mini cutter and free-hand, peas

Top Right: Toasted hazelnuts

Bottom Right: Blackberries

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Daffodil Dinner

In October 2020, my parents and I planted over 100 daffodils at my parents lake house. The three of us made quick work of the planting. My Dad used my bulb drill bit to drill the holes and my Mom and I planted the daffodils. I loved the idea of a special daffodil dinner to celebrate our planting. For a few months, I enjoyed planning a daffodil themed dinner. My friend Renae was awesome and agreed to make a daffodil cookie cutter for me with her 3D printer! I was excited to see the results of our efforts this spring. The daffodils opened up just in time for Mother’s Day. This was a memorable Mother’s day meal.

Daffodil Cheese Ball – mix cold cream cheese with shredded cheddar, garlic powder and freshly ground pepper. Shape into petals. Mix a small amount of the cheese ball mixture with some turmeric. Shape into small balls and make a cup to resemble the center of a daffodil. Arrange on a small plate with snow peas.

Daffodil Onion Feta Tart – I made these larger than the recipe indicated and added a pastry daffodil garnish.

Daffodil Cream Dessert – soften 8 oz cream cheese, whip a small container of heavy cream with some vanilla and a little sugar, whip cream cheese with some sugar, fold cheese mixture and whipped cream together with a spoon. Put some blueberries on the bottom of each individual container, spoon the cheese / whipped cream mixture on top, garnish with lemon cut in petal shapes, roll thin pieces of lemon for daffodil center and hold together with a piece of wooden toothpick. Sprinkle green sanding sugar on top.

Note: most people will probably not eat lemon zest but warn your guests that there is a small piece of wooden toothpick in the lemon garnish.

My critique of the meal: We enjoyed everything. The onion feta tarts were a nice change from other tarts I have made. My parents already requested that I make them again. The daffodil desserts ended up being cute but they did cause me some stress. Originally my plan was to make mango daffodils but I was unable to make them look right. My Mom suggested that I use lemon peel. It is not edible for most people but looked very cute. I am already thinking about other flower themed meals to make.

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food, Party Planning | 2 Comments

Thistle Themed Food

I made these cute thistle pesto pizzas for myself. My Mom bought the cookie cutter for me when my parents when to Scotland in 2019.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Thistle – pizza cut with a cookie cutter, with homemade pesto and butterfly pea flower powder, spinach

Top Right: Hazelnuts

Bottom Right: Greek yogurt with frozen berries thawed

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Koinobori over Noodles

I made this Kodomonohi (Children’s Day Japan) themed meal for myself.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Koinobori – cucumber, radish, carrot with food coloring marker details, peanut noodles

Top Right:  Dried soybeans

Bottom Right: Strawberries

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Mashed Carrot Camel

I made this camel themed meal for myself on the night I made a soft dinner for Carol.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Camel – mashed carrots (shape made with a cookie cutter), Eye – spinach cut with mini cutter, garlic cheese mashed potatoes

Top Right:  Pumpkin seeds

Bottom Right: Cottage cheese with blueberries

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Cream Cheese Flowers Lunch

I made this lunch for my Mom. She likes cream cheese. I think maybe jam cream cheese with mashed potatoes is a strange combination but she did not complain.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Flowers – cream cheese with raspberry jam (put in zip lock bag and snip off a small corner), dried blueberries, snow peas, garlic cheddar mashed potatoes

Top Right:  Pistachios

Bottom Right: Strawberries and blueberries

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Spring Flowers

I made this meal for myself to celebrate spring flowers.

Container: Prep Natural Glass Meal Containers

Top Container: Spinach with toasted pecans, mandarin oranges

Bottom Container: Flowers – red bell pepper cut with a cookie cutter, dried blueberries attached with spaghetti, roasted asparagus, Broccoli Quinoa,

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Stamp a White Horse Lunch

White horses remind me of my Grandpa. When I was a child and we saw a white horse, he said it was good luck. He showed me the custom of stamping to get the good luck. My Grandpa is the only person I ever knew who licked his thumb when he saw a white horse. I am guessing he learned it when he was a child in Illinois.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  White Horse – cheddar garlic mashed potatoes cut with a cookie cutter, Eye – dried blueberry, roasted broccoli

Top Right:  Pistachios

Bottom Right: Blueberries

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Butterfly Waffle

I made this meal for myself. I used a cookie cutter to cut the butterfly from the center of the waffle. I also ate the waffle scraps (not in photo).

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Butterfly – waffle cut with cookie cutter, carrot

Top Right:  Butterflies – cucumber cut with a cookie cutter, blackberries

Bottom Right: Butterfly – cinnamon (used cookie cutter as stencil), Greek yogurt

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Bicycle Lunch

I made this lunch for myself. The theme was part of my continuing quest to use all of my cookie cutters.

Container: Cloud box from Japan (set of 3)

Large Box: Bicycle – black radish cut with a cookie cutter, black olives, peanut noodles

Medium Box: Cucumber, cherry tomatoes

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Baked Eggplant Parmesan Stacks Dinner

Not too long ago, I had my friend Renae over for dinner. I am glad that we were able to spend time together and I always enjoy cooking for other people.

Note: The daffodils are from my friend Carol’s garden.

Romaine Salad – romaine with raw broccoli and carrot

Maple Vinaigrette – Olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup whisked together (I did not measure).

Baked Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

Strawberries with Dark Chocolate – I melted Endangered Species Chocolate, Strong + Velvety Dark Chocolate 88% Cocoa and made round disks.

My critique of the meal: It was good for an easy meal but I am more satisfied when I make a bigger effort. I would not make this eggplant recipe again since I like other recipes better but Renae liked it. I enjoyed the chocolate better in this form than from the chocolate bar.

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Garlic Lunch

Happy National Garlic Day! I made this featured ingredient garlic lunch for my mom. She is a big fan of garlic! Also she loved the roasted artichoke hearts.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Roasted artichokes with garlic, cottage cheese with paprika

Top Right:  Mini bagel with fresh garlic added before baking

Bottom Right: Celery with Boursin Garlic cheese

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Diamond Lunch

I made this lunch for myself. The diamonds are because I discovered that I had never used my diamond cookie cutters.

Container: Prep Natural Glass Meal Containers

Left Side: Diamonds – orange and white cheddar cut with a cookie cutter, baked asparagus and spinach risotto

Right Side: Grapefruit

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Storm Clouds Lunch

I made this meal for my Dad at his request. I seldom ask him what theme he wants. I usually make whatever I want. This time I thought that weather was appropriate since he often talks about the weather. I asked him which weather theme he wanted. He said, “clouds with lightning bolts”.

Container: Cloud box from Japan (set of 3)

Large Box: Clouds – cheddar cut with cookie cutters, Lightning – carrot cut with cookie cutters, cheddar mashed potatoes with garlic and Butterfly Pea Flower Powder

Small Box: Blueberries, pistachios

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April Showers Bring May Flowers Meal

I made this colorful and delicious meal for myself.

Container: Cloud box from Japan (set of 3)

Top Box: April – carrot cut with cookie cutters, clouds – cheddar cheese cut with cookie cutters, blueberries

Bottom Box: May – carrot cut with cookie cutters, flowers – yellow and red bell pepper cut with cookie cutters, dried blueberries attached with spaghetti, rice mixed with roasted broccoli and Asiago cheese, more roasted broccoli under the rice

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Soft Cats Meal

Awhile ago, I made this meal for my friend Carol. She had recent dental surgery and needed to eat a soft food diet. I made and delivered this meal and then we both ate and visited over video. It was a simple meal but I hope that it added some fun to eating a soft food diet.

Container: Prep Natural Glass Meal Containers

Top Container: Cats – Mashed carrots – shape cut with cookie cutters, Eyes – spinach cut with mini cutter, Whiskers – cut carrot, cheddar garlic mashed potatoes

Bottom Container: Applesauce with cinnamon, roasted strawberries over cottage cheese

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Easter 2021

I went to my parents house for Easter this year. Pre-Covid, we used to go to a fancy buffet Easter brunch. This year we enjoyed all our meals at home.

My parents have a traditional Easter Basket bread that they make every year. I am surprised that this is the first time to share it here!

BREAKFAST

  • Easter Basket Bread – see the end of this post
  • Bunny Butter (Keller’s)
  • Ricotta with Orange Zest
  • Bunny Fruit Kebabs – cut melon with cookie cutter, grapes

MAIN MEAL

  • Asparagus Tart – spread garlic Boursin cheese on a thawed sheet of puffed pastry, add cut asparagus, sprinkle with fresh parmesan and lemon zest. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.
  • Cappuccino

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EASTER BASKET BREAD

My parents have made a version of this for many years (probably at least 35 years). Over the years they make it slightly different – sometimes with candied fruit, sometimes orange zest, sometimes lemon zest, sometimes nuts on top, sometimes an icing drizzle. They used to make a large one but now with only a few people, they make half the recipe. I included a photo of the original recipe but they do it their own way. They make the bread the night before and leave in an off oven until morning. They usually put dyed hard boiled eggs on after baking.

As usual, we had a nice time with a beautiful table, delicious food, and gifts from the Easter Bunny.

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Cheese Chicks Lunch

I enjoy using my cookie cutter collection. This meal was cute and easy to prepare.

Container: Prep Natural Glass Meal Containers

Left Side: Chicks – orange cheddar cut and imprinted with a cookie cutter, rice with roasted zucchini

Right Side: Mandarin oranges

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Sweet Potato Bunnies

I made this fun meal for myself on a snowy winter day. It is a little different from most of the others in my themed potato salad series but it follows the same pattern.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Bunnies – roasted sweet potatoes, orange cheddar cheese, white cheddar cheese cut with cookie cutter, spinach leaves

Top Right:  Toasted hazelnuts

Bottom Right: Mandarin oranges

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Bunny Peanut Noodles

Awhile ago, I made this meal for my friend Carol. I delivered it to her home and we ate our meals virtually in our own homes.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Bunnies – carrot cut with a cookie cutter, snow peas, peanut noodles

Top Right: Peanut Butter Balls

Bottom Right: Orange slices, blueberries

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Mashed Potato Peeps

I made this Purple Bunny Peeps themed lunch for myself. I don’t eat Peeps but I think they are cute and was happy to use my Peeps cookie cutter.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Bunny Peeps – cheddar mashed potatoes with Butterfly Pea Flower Powder cut with a cookie cutter, Face – spinach cut with a mini cutter, strawberries

Top Right: Almonds

Bottom Right: Snow peas

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Spring Mashed Potato Wagashi

What are Wagashi? Wagashi are traditional Japanese sweets usually served with green tea. Most of the ones I made here are in the Nerikiri style. Traditional Nerikiri Wagashi are soft and smooth. They are made by hand from rice flour and white beans and are often filled with red bean paste. Wagashi are made to represent the seasons.

What are my imitations? I decided to make food that looks like Wagashi but are really savory food. My bird, flower, and balls on a stick are cheddar cheese mashed potatoes. Green has finely chopped fresh spinach leaves. Yellow has tumeric. Red has tomato paste. Purple has Butterfly Pea Flower powder.

Why I made these? Inspired by Fukuyadou Honpo (Kyoto Love Story) drama I watched on Amazon Prime in the winter. The drama is set in Kyoto at a traditional Japanese sweet shop. I only have a little experience eating actual Wagashi and not the Nerikiri type I imitated here. I used one potato and ate these as part of my dinner.

How to make? Probably the most difficult part is getting the mashed potatoes the correct consistency to shape by hand. I got lucky with these (I did not add butter or milk). But I have experience with shaping mashed potatoes. The strawberry is covered with Greek yogurt. I also include a spinach pancake leaf with potato ladybug at the end of this post.

My Spring Potato Wagashi Set:

Bird – Cheddar mashed potatoes with Butterfly Pea Flower powder, candy eye

Hanami DangoGreen – cheddar mashed potato mixed with finely chopped fresh spinach leaves, White – cheddar mashed potato, Pink – cheddar mashed potato with tomato paste, wooden skewer cut to size

Flower – Cheddar mashed potato with tomato paste, Center of Flower- cheddar mashed potato with tumeric, Leaf – spinach. Use the side of a chopstick to press into a mashed potato ball to make the petals. Make an indent in the center with the larger end of a chopstick.

Strawberry Daifuku – Strawberry dipped in plain Greek yogurt. Freeze.

Leaf with Ladybug – Leaf – pancake with finely chopped raw spinach, cheddar mashed potato ball, Ladybug – cheddar mashed potato with tomato paste, black sesame seeds, black food coloring

Dishes: The small leaf and flower plates are from Natural Kitchen (100 Yen store in Japan).

I enjoyed making this Wagashi set for spring. I am already thinking about ideas for the other seasons.

Examples of Wagashi for each month.

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