Cream Cheese Snowflake Lunch

I made this snowy lunch for myself. So far this year we have less snow than usual.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Snowflakes – cream cheese piped (imprint in potato with cookie cutter, cut corner off of small plastic bag and pipe shapes, blue mashed potato

Top Right: Macadamia nuts

Bottom Right: Blackberries

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Happy New Year 2021

I made this simple meal for myself. Happy New Year!

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: 2021 – Carrot (cut with cookie cutters), rice with peas and cheese

Top Right: Mixed nuts

Bottom Right: Pomegranate seeds

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Top 10 Bento 2020

I am happy to share my favorite bento meals from the year.

I made this Daisy Vegetable Potato Salad for my friend Carol.

This Cheese Helicopter over a blue potato sky was for myself.

My friend Renae ate this Cheese Witch flying over a lentil sky.

I enjoyed this Tooth Pizza meal.

I made this Woodland Snack lunch for my Mom.

I enjoyed this Day of the Dead sugar skull rice.

I made this cute Cheddar Fox meal for my Mom.

I enjoyed this Carrot Eiffel Tower meal.

My Mom enjoyed this polenta and cream cheese Owl.

My Dad ate this mushroom themed lunch.

Happy New Year! May your 2021 include delicious and attractive food.

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Carol of the Bells Dinner

I love the song, Carol of the Bells. This year it was my inspiration for Christmas dinner. When I first told my Mom the theme, she seemed confused but planned beautiful table decor. I made the menu cards and we used bell napkin rings that I made for this dinner. We played various versions of Carol of the Bells during our courses.

We decided to space out the courses throughout the day. It was fun that my niece who was not able to join us, figured out the spacing since my Mom sent her a photo after each course.

Cracking and eating nuts at the end of the meal is a family tradition. We used a historical wooden nut bowl that I remember from my Grandmothers house when I was a child.

Hark How the Bells

Onion Rings with Sour Cream Ranch Dip

Sweet Silver Bells

Pumpkin Ricotta Cocoa Ravioli with Pecans, Blue Cheese, and Brown Butter

Bringing Good Cheer

Leek Potato Galette with Pistachio Crust

Merry Christmas

Lemon Cake with Raspberry Filling and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Nuts

My critique of the meal:

I liked having my Dad’s onion rings as a course. He made them so it gave me time to do other things. This was my first time making bell shaped cocoa ravioli. I was concerned that my Mom would not like it. Both of my parents loved the ravioli. I was on the fence about them. But I thought they looked beautiful especially with the combo of the brown ravioli and orange pumpkin filling. We all enjoyed the Leek Potato Galette with Pistachio Crust. The cake was delicious. My Mom made it in 6 inch pans and frosted it. She used Raspberry Jam from France. My only contribution to the cake were the decorations. I wrote “Merry Christmas” in leftover frosting dyed green (snipped the corner off a zip lock bag), and used mint leaves, pomegranate seeds, and raspberries. My Dad made cappuccino which is always appreciated. It was a special meal.

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Christmas Meals 2020

We decided on a Snowman theme for our traditional Christmas breakfast table this year. I love the snowball lights my Mom found! This was at least our second time making a citrus snowman but this year was the best. I made the chocolate hat and my Mom did everything else. A wooden skewer holds the grapefruit, orange and clementine together.

This year we did something we never did before. You don’t have to have children around to have fun. We wore matching pajamas.

I don’t know when I first started making Pig Scones but it could have been as long as 1992. I make them most years but I don’t usually blog it. Including this year, the pig scones are in three blog posts – 2014, 2018, 2020.

Traditional Christmas Breakfast

Pig Scones with Shaped Butter

Roasted Potatoes with Dijon Dip

Citrus with Mint Sugar

For lunch on one of the days before Christmas we had a beautiful and delicious soup.

Cauliflower Feta Soup

Tree Wonton Crackers – we used olive oil and fresh herbs instead of pesto

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food, Party Planning | 6 Comments

Europe Inspired Christmas Meals 2020

I was fortunate to spend 5 days at my parents house for Christmas this year. When my Mom and I planned the meals, she wanted to have themed nights celebrating different countries. My Mom planned the tablescapes for each of the meals. My parents researched traditional Christmas celebrations in each country. It inspired the table decorations. Also they prepared fun facts about the holiday celebrations. The table decorations were special and added to the atmosphere. The German wooden winter pyramid was a huge hit. We delighted in watching the scene spin around from the heat of the candles.

The first night was inspired by France.

French Onion Soup with Homemade French Bread

Palmiers

The second night was inspired by Italy.

Eggplant Rollatini

Broccoli with Garlic

Italian Cookies from Carlo’s Bakery

The third night was inspired by Germany.

Spaetzle

Red Cabbage (we reduced the sugar and increased the vinegar)

Toasted Pecan, Coconut and Chocolate Clusters

The three of us enjoyed our holiday meals this year. We made it special and it was memorable.

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

Pesto Pizza Christmas Tree

I made this pesto pizza tree for myself. It was delicious!

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Tree – homemade pizza dough cut with a cookie cutter, pesto, Star- yellow bell pepper cut with a mini cutter

Top Right: Hazelnuts

Bottom Right: Cotton Candy Green Grapes

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Angel Carrots Mashed Potato Lunch

I continued my challenge to find ways to use my angel cookie cutters.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Angel – cooked and mashed carrots inside an angel cut-out (cookie cutter), cheddar mashed potatoes

Top Right: Pistachios

Bottom Right: Angels – mango cut with a cookie cutter, blueberries

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Angel Vegetable Potato Salad

Continuing my popular series of vegetable potato salad, here are some angels.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Angels – orange cheddar, white roasted potato, yellow bell pepper cut with a cookie cutter. Face – paprika (put on with a toothpick)

Top Right:  Pumpkin Seeds

Bottom Right: Angels – melon cut with a cookie cutter, Face – cocoa power (put on with a toothpick)

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Angel Tortellini Lunch

I made this angel lunch for my Mom. As usual, she enjoyed the meal!

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Angels – Cheddar cheese, tortellini, cherry tomatoes, spinach, black olives, olive oil and red wine vinegar

Top Right: Pistachios

Bottom Right: Raspberries, blackberries

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In-Person and Virtual Thanksgiving

This year my parents came for Thanksgiving. We shared the same food and ate together virtually with my friend Carol. I delivered the food to Carol and gave her instructions to cook the main course the same time I cooked ours. I am glad that she lives nearby. I was distracted by actually having people at my place and I forgot to bring the wellington sauce to Carol. It worked out fine. I drove it over to her between courses and it gave my parents time to talk to her without me around.

Table: I borrowed my Mom’s plates, place mats and napkins. (I sent a place mat, and napkin with cornucopia ring over to Carol with the food. She used her families China.) My Mom made the flower arrangement. She filled her ceramic pumpkin with fresh flowers. I bought and used the cornucopia napkin rings in NYC in 1999. This may have only been my second time to use them since my family did not remember them.

Appetizer: Corn Fritters with Maple Syrup (This is an old family favorite.)

Vegetable Course: Sweet Potatoes with Blue Cheese and Candied Walnuts (I used mild Wegmans creamy blue cheese.)

Main Course: Vegetable Wellington (I used assorted bell pepper, zucchini, and asparagus. I put the vegetables, goat cheese, and homemade pesto in store bought puffed pastry cut into rectangles that I folded over), Citrus Beurre Blanc sauce

Dessert: No Bake Pumpkin Mousse Pie (I made these individual in bowls with the crust on the bottom), Apple Crisp in Oatmeal Cookie Cup

My critique of the meal: I think that all involved enjoyed this in-person / virtual meal. I enjoy doing virtual meals. The sweet potato vegetable course was a huge hit! It was a wonderful combination and I am sure I will make it again. It was my first time making candied nuts. They were easy to make and delicious. I think this was my third time making this vegetable wellington but the first time making it individual. It enjoyed making it this way. I think I was the only one who did not like the apple filling for the oatmeal cookie cups. We all liked the cookie cups.

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Turkey Quesadilla

I made this Turkey themed cheese quesadilla for my Dad. I was inspired by this.

Body: Apple

Eyes: Raisins

Nose: Carrot (attached with spaghetti)

Feet: Carrot

Feathers: Cheddar cheese quesadilla, carrot sticks

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Gingerbread Castle

This year I made a gingerbread castle for Sweet Creations at the Eastman Museum. I used a slightly smaller board (14 x 16) and created an easier to assemble design. In the past I relied on an extra pair of hands from friends. Because I am limiting time I spend with people indoors, I did it alone. I had a wonderful time! When my castle was done, I wished I could actually go and visit it and walk on the bridge.

Gingerbread Recipe: I used this recipe.

Royal Icing Recipe: I love using this recipe which uses Meringue Powder. It hardens fast and in works very well.

Castle Flat Roof – Red sanding sugar attached with royal icing

Turret Roof: Ice cream cone with Wrigley’s Spearmint gum shingles (cut with cookie cutter)

Flags: Gum painted with red food coloring, linguini poles

Tower: Round gingerbread cookies (cut with a cookie cutter), glue cookies with royal icing, wrap in fondant, roll stone texture roller over fondant. Larger gingerbread cookie round on top of tower – decorated with green balls.

Wreaths: Royal icing dyed green, piped with pastry bag, small red round decorations

Doors: Gingerbread with red decorating balls

Present: Peppermint candies with red fondant bow

Bridge – Gingerbread covered with strips of brown fondant, holes made with toothpick.

Cables: Shoestring licorice

Brackets for Cables: Black fondant

Pillars: Spearmint leaves

Dragon Body: Red fondant

Dragon Wings: Used swan wings mold

Dragon Eyes: black fondant

Castle Land: Rice Krispie Treats (2 batches pressed separately into a Springform pan, glued to base and to each other with royal icing

Snow Covered Land: White fondant, royal icing, unsweetened coconut

Rocks Around Land: Royal icing and assorted candy stones

Swans: White fondant, Black Paste Food Coloring, swan wings mold 

Moat: Royal icing with blue sanding sugar

Ice Around Moat: Rock candy pieces

Windows: Black fondant

Candles: White gum, Sour Streamers

Stone Walls – I used a stone texture roller on dough before baking, after assembling castle, I sprayed the castle with edible glitter. Caution: I would not recommend using edible glitter. A lot of glitter gets into the air and you could breathe in edible glitter.

New techniques I tried this year: Rice Krispie Treats, created a fondant dragon, fine coconut for snow piles, icing wreaths with pastry bag, edible glitter, towers (I tried baking two different types until I ended up using cookies covered with fondant.)

My Gingerbread Collection: Go here to see most of my gingerbread creations.

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

2020 Gingerbread Sweet Creations

For the 4th year in a row, I made gingerbread for the Eastman Museum’s Sweet Creations gingerbread show. Things are different this year because of COVID-19. The museum allowed less gingerbread creations. I received a letter in August inviting me to participate because of my history with the show. All of the pieces have gallery covers. For the first time, the auction to benefit the museum is now online. Go here to see all of the creations and to place a bid. To see the gingerbread in person, visit the Eastman Museum by December 13. Reservations are required.

Here is a sampling of some of my favorite gingerbread creations from this year.

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

Sheep Themed Pizza

I made this for my friend Carol on a summer evening we had dinner in her yard. When I make themed pizza, I like to make several themes at once. I gave this to her as planned leftovers for the next day.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Sheep – homemade pizza dough, cut with a cookie cutter, sharp cheddar cheese, Eye – pistachio, Feet – black olive attached with piece of spaghetti, pistachios

Top Right: Flowers – radish cut with a mini cutter, broccoli

Bottom Right: Sheep – apple cut with a cookie cutter (dipped in water with lemon juice to prevent browning), blackberries

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Daruma Bento Lunch

I made this salsa rice Daruma for myself for a workday lunch.

Container: U Konserve

Contents: Daruma – Nishiki rice mixed with a little salsa shaped with plastic wrap, cheddar cheese, radish, spinach, grape tomatoes, blueberries, edamame

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Tanuki Polenta Lunch

I made this odd looking Tanuki meal for myself. I am fond of Tanuki; the animal and folklore versions.

Container: Wooden box purchased in Kyoto at Bento&co.

Contents: Tanuki – homemade firm polenta cut with a Teddy Bear cookie cutter, spinach, black sesame seeds, radish, carrot cheddar cheese, black beans with salsa

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Halloween Themed Food

Happy Halloween ! This is my collection of Halloween themed meals.

JACK-O-LANTERN

Jack-o-lantern grain lunch

Cheese Jack-O-Lantern

jack-o-lantern-mashed-potato-halloween-lunch

Mashed Potatoes Jack-O-Lantern

Jack-o-lantern quesadilla lunch

Quesadilla Jack-O-Lanterns

Jack-o-lantern calzone lunch

Calzone Jack-O-Lantern

Jack-o-Lantern Pizza Lunch

Pizza Jack-O-Lantern

Pumpkin Orange Dessert

Orange Jack-O-Lantern with Fruit

Pumpkin-Dessert

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Jack-O-Lantern

Blintzes-Roasted-Pumpkin

Potato Blintzes Jack-O-Lanterns

Pumpkin Shaped Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs Jack-O-Lantern

Rice Jack-O-Lantern 

Cheese Ball Jack-O-Lantern

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Polenta Jack-O-Lantern

GHOST

ghost rice lunch

Brie Rice Ghost

ghost-rice-halloween-lunch

Rice Ghosts

Ghost Taco Salad

Cheese Ghost Taco Salad

Ghost Quesadilla Lunch

Ghost Quesadilla

Ghost Pizza Lunch

Ghost Pizza

Ghost Salad

Apple Ghost Salad

WITCH

Halloween Witch Meal

witch stamped sandwich lunch

Pumpernickel Sandwich Witches

CANDY CORN

Candy Corn Bread Lunch

Candy Corn Cheese

Candy Corn Lunch

Candy Corn Quesadilla

BAT

Bat themed food

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bat Sandwich

Bat themed lunch

Pumpernickel Bat Sandwiches

BOO

Boo Eek Halloween Lunch

Boo Eek Sandwiches

Halloween Themed Lunch

Cheese Boo

SPIDER

Halloween Hop 2013

Spiderweb Pita with Hummus

Spider bread

Bread Spider

Spider lunch

Spider Web Quesadilla 

Spider Web Sweet Potatoes

Black Beans and Sweet Potato Spider Web

BLACK CAT

Black Cat Halloween Lunch

Sandwich Black Cat

black cat lunch

Black Bean Black Cat

SKULL

Skull sandwich lunch

Sandwich Skull

Skulls and bones lunch

Pizza Skulls

skull tortilla chips

Tortilla Chip Skulls

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is day-of-the-dead-rice.jpg

FRANKENSTEIN

Cheese Frankenstein

TRICK-OR-TREATING

Domino-Halloween

Domino Costume Sandwich

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Frankenstein Lunch

I made this lunch for myself on the same day I made the Mushroom meal for my Dad.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Frankenstein – cheese cut with a cookie cutter, painted with food coloring and water, paprika details put on with a toothpick, Brown Rice and Wild Rice Pecan Stuffing (I used vegetable stock.)

Top Right: Pistachios

Bottom Right: Blackberries

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Jack-O’-Lantern Polenta Lunch

I made this pumpkin polenta lunch for myself. The smiling pumpkins made me smile.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Jack-o-lantern – homemade polenta made firm, cool on a plate, cut polenta with a cookie cutter, imprint face details with a cookie cutter, Eyes and Mouth – cut spinach, lima beans

Top Right:  Hazelnuts

Bottom Right: Jack-o-lanterns – cantaloupe cut with a cookie cutter, melted chocolate faces (cut the corner off of a snack size plastic bag)

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Witch Flying by the Moon Meal

Halloween Witch Meal

I made this for my friend Renae on a night we meet for an outdoor dinner and walk. She likes Halloween and is used to my making themes ahead so she did not question that it was the end of August.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Witch – white cheddar cheese lightly painted with food coloring and water, Moon – orange cheddar cheese, lentils cooked in broth, black beans, carrot stars (cut with mini cutter), Asiago cheese and fresh spinach leaves (under the lentils)

Top Right:  Pumpkins – cinnamon sugar homemade tortilla chips (cut flour tortilla with cookie cutter, brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.)

Bottom Right: Cantaloupe and Blackberries

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Day of the Dead Lunch

I made this fun and colorful lunch for myself.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Sugar Skull – Nishiki rice shaped by hand with plastic wrap, broil cheddar cheese on top then decorate. Eyes – spinach cut with a cookie cutter. Nose – radish cut with a cookie cutter, Teeth – almond slices, peas

Top Right: Pistachios

Bottom Right: Mango and blueberries

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Sesame Sriracha Horses

I made this meal for myself on the same night I made this for my friend.

Container: U Konserve

Contents: Horses – Nishiki rice shaped with a horse shaped rice mold, Sriracha flavored sesame seeds, Asian Cabbage Salad (I did not use cilantro)

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Pumpkin Tortellini Dinner

I am thrilled that I now know how to make homemade tortellini! I made pumpkin tortellini for dinner with my parents at their Lake House. When researching how to make it I found directions for squares or circles. I decided on circles. It was actually quite easy to make and delicious!

Dough: I made my favorite pasta dough and cut it with a round fluted cutter.

Filling: Roasted pumpkin mashed, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, pepper. I followed these directions to form the tortellini shapes.

Sauce: Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Garnish: Maple Pumpkin Seeds

Spinach Salad: Spinach, apples, toasted walnuts, blue cheese with a Dijon vinaigrette (Dijon, vinegar, olive oil)

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Havarti Dill Elephant Lunch

Awhile ago, I had some leftover dill cheese and thought it would be fun to make elephants. I enjoyed eating this simple meal.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Elephants – Dill Havarti cheese cut with a cookie cutter, Eyes – smoked paprika, brown rice, purple cauliflower (CSA)

Top Right:  Hazelnuts

Bottom Right: Elephant – honeydew melon cut with a cookie cutter, mini chocolate chip

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Peacock Quesadilla

When I was a child, a friend’s grandparents had peacocks. For a long time, I had a beautiful peacock feather that they gave me. I am a little surprised that this is my first time making a peacock out of food. It was a concept on my mind for a long time. I made this peacock quesadilla for my Mom’s lunch.

Peacock Body: Zucchini (a different type from my CSA)

Feet and Beak: Carrot

Eye: Dried blueberry

Feather on Head: Parsley

Feathers: Spinach Garlic Pesto tortilla quesadilla with cheddar cheese, carrot, pimento stuffed green olive slices attached with spaghetti

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Cactus Tortellini Lunch

I made this lunch for my Dad. There was no reason for the theme other than my continued quest to use new cookie cutters. I did not realize that he prefers red grapes to green so he shared some with my Mom.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Cactus – Havarti dill cheese, tortellini, cherry tomatoes, spinach, black olives, olive oil and red wine vinegar

Top Right: Pistachios

Bottom Right: Green Grapes

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Homemade Apple Pie

As part of my CSA share, I can pick 2 pecks of apples from their orchard. When I checked-in to get my apple bag, the woman said, “Have fun!” It was my first time apple picking solo. I took some photos and enjoyed myself on a beautiful day with loaded apple trees. It was easy picking.

I asked my parents what they wanted me to make with some apples. My Dad wanted an apple pie with a lattice top. We made the pie together at their Lake House. I made a basic pie crust, my parents peeled the apples with this, my Mom then cut the slices in half and plumped some raisins. I sprinkled the apples with some cinnamon and nutmeg. We did not use any sugar. I made a lattice crust and decorated with braids and some leaves cut with a cookie cutter. After about 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven, we had a beautiful pie.

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Earth Wind Fire Water Bento

This was for my friend Deborah on a night we had dinner in her garden. She made delicious fruit popsicles for dessert.

Container: Wooden box purchased in Kyoto at Bento&co.

Contents: Rice balls Nishiki rice shaped with a cookie cutter and plastic wrap, black sesame seeds, Asian Cabbage Salad (I did not use cilantro)

Earth (Tree): cucumber cut with a cookie cutter

Wind (Cloud): radish cut with a cookie cutter

Water (Water Droplet): purple carrot cut with a cookie cutter

Fire (Fire): radish cut with a cookie cutter

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Fall Themed Food

Happy Fall! This is my collection of Fall / Autumn themed meals.

PUMPKIN

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

Pumpkin Shaped Bread

Pumpkin Shaped Bread

Tiger Halloween Lunch

Sandwich with Cheese Pumpkins

october-pumpkin-bento-lunch

Pumpkin Rice with Cinnamon Pumpkin Stencil

Sweet Potato, Bell Pepper, Cheese Pumpkins

Pumpkin Themed Bagel Lunch

FALL LEAVES

Oak Leaf Lunch

Vegetable Potato Salad Leaves

Leaf Polenta Lunch

Polenta Maple Leaf

Leaf Onigiri Lunch

Cinnamon Leaf

Dog in leaves lunch

Cheese Dog Playing in Carrot Leaves

Cheese Leaves Pasta Lunch

Cheddar over Pasta

Fall Leaf Pizza Lunch

Pizza

Leaf Shaped Carrot Rice

Carrot Rice

Ginkgo Leaf Bento

Leaf Quesadilla

Leaf-Bento

Leaf Sandwich

Leaf stencil lunch

Hot Paprika Stencil

leaf pasta lunch

Leaf Pasta

Fall leaves snack lunch

Snack Lunch

november-falling-leaves-bento-lunch

Falling Leaves Painting on Quesadilla

Leaves-Lunch

Leaf Tortilla Chips

Fall leaves cream cheese naan

Oak Leaf Open Sandwiches

SQUIRRELS

squirrel rice lunch

Squirrel with Leaves

squirrel-pancakes-for-lunch

Squirrel Pancakes

Squirrel bread lunch

Squirrel Bread

Acorns and Squirrels

Squirrels with Acorns

Squirrel in Tree lunch

Squirrel Quesadilla

OWL

Polenta and Cream Cheese Owl

owl lunch

Owl Cheese

owl-rice-lunch

Owl Rice

Simple Owl Lunch

Owl Sandwich

MUSHROOMS

Cheese, Apple, Marinated Mushrooms

Mushroom bread cheese gnome

Mushroom Bread

TBentoOpenW

Mushrooms in Terrarium

APPLE

Apple Pie with Caramel and Walnuts

Apple & Cheese Tarts

Apple Salad with Apple Muffin

Apple Turnover

Apple Strudel Muffins

Apple Cheddar Walnut Toasts

Apple Tree Salad

Apple Dumpling

Batter Apple Rings

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | 4 Comments

Mushroom Lunch

I was inspired by the art of Tanya Marcuse to take this photo in my Mom’s rock garden.

When I see mushrooms I think of many things, but one is my Dad and his stuffed mushrooms. I don’t like mushrooms but my Dad is known for his delicious stuffed mushrooms. It is a popular winter holiday food for my family. Since I don’t eat mushrooms, I rarely cook with them but I have made sauteed mushrooms with butter and mushroom soup. I made this lunch for my Dad. This was my first time making marinated mushrooms. I was told that they were delicious.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Mushrooms – cheddar cheese cut with cookie cutters, paprika details, Brown Rice and Wild Rice Pecan Stuffing (I used vegetable stock.)

Top Right: Mushrooms – apple cut with cookie cutters, dipped in water with lemon juice to prevent browning, then sprinkled with cinnamon, frozen blueberries

Bottom Right: Marinated mushrooms

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | 2 Comments

Owl Bento

I made this lunch for my Mom. She enjoys honey cream cheese with nuts and she also likes owls. She ate this meal at her Lake House. I should have taken a photo of the new wallpaper in the laundry room. It has owls.

Container: Wooden box purchased in Kyoto at Bento&co.

Contents: Owl – polenta cut with a cookie cutter then frosted with a mixture of cream cheese and honey, Eyes – cucumber with dried blueberries, Ears – sliced almond, Beak – carrot, Body – sliced almonds and pecans, lettuce (CSA)

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Dinosaur Pasta Salad

I made this meal for my friend Renae. I drew sheep when I was a kid, she drew dinosaurs. I enjoyed making a dino meal for her. We had an outdoor dinner at my place, then we went for a long walk in my neighborhood. It was a beautiful September evening and wonderful to connect in person!

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Dinosaurs – cheddar cheese cut with a cookie cutter, Snow Pea and Tomato Pasta salad

Top Right:  Dinosaur – apple cut with an imprint cookie cutter, dipped in water with lemon to prevent browning then sprinkled with cinnamon, blackberries

Bottom Right: French bread

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Cloud Tortellini Lunch

I made this tortellini lunch for myself. The cute cloud boxes and cloud shaped cheese elevated the meal to make it more special. I often think that I should make more cute food for myself but most of the time the fun meals I make are for special people in my life.

Container: Cloud box from Japan (set of 3)

Large Box: Clouds – cheddar cut with cookie cutters, tortellini, cherry tomatoes, spinach, black olives, olive oil and red wine vinegar

Medium Box: Green grapes

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | 1 Comment

Hands and Feet Lunch

I made this hands and feet themed lunch for myself in my quest to to use some cookie cutters for the first time.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Hand and Foot – polenta, pesto

Top Right:  Almonds, Walnuts

Bottom Right: Hand and Foot – melon, frozen blackberries

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Outer Space Bento Meals

I made this meal for my friend Deborah on an evening we ate dinner in her garden. When I asked for theme ideas, she said planets/space. I enjoyed using my Saturn cookie cutter for the first time.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Saturn – sweet potato cut with a cookie cutter then roasted, black beans, corn, tomato, lime vinaigrette

Top Right: Stars – radish cut with a mini cutter, olive tapenade (I didn’t use the capers and used ordinary black olives)

Bottom Right: Blackberries and pistachios

Mini Dippers: Stars – flour tortilla cut with a cookie cutter, brush tortilla stars with olive oil, place on cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.

I made this spaceship meal for myself with the same ingredients as the planet bento for Deborah. Most of the friends I showed this photo to did not know what it is supposed to be.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Spaceship – sweet potato cut with a cookie cutter then roasted, black beans, corn, tomato, lime vinaigrette

Top Right: Stars – radish cut with a mini cutter, olive tapenade (I didn’t use the capers and used ordinary black olives)

Bottom Right: Blackberries and pistachios

Mini Dippers: Stars – flour tortilla cut with a cookie cutter, brush tortilla stars with olive oil, place on cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.

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Watermelon Lunch

I made this for my friend Carol on an evening when we ate in her garden. It is pizza that is supposed to look like watermelon. Another friend and my Mom both said that it does not look like watermelon, it looks like pizza.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:   Watermelon – homemade pizza dough, pesto, Asiago, tomato sauce, black olives

Top Right:   Pistachios

Bottom Right:  Watermelon

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Moose Rice Lunch

moose rice bento lunch

I made this cheesy moose for my Mom to enjoy at her Lake House. As usual she smiled when I gave it to her.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top: Moose – hot cooked Nishiki rice press into a cookie cutter with plastic wrap, carefully push rice out of cookie cutter, cheddar cheese broiled on top in toaster oven, eye – hazelnut skin, peas

Bottom Left: Cherries

Bottom Right: Hazelnuts

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Fresh Cantaloupe Cake

Fresh Cantaloupe Cake Blueberries

Fresh “cake” made entirely from fruit is delicious, healthy, and fun to eat. Other years I made one from watermelon and honeydew. This year I  made a beautiful “cake” with fresh cantaloupe. It was a tasty and beautiful dessert for my parents and myself at their Lake House.

Cake – fresh cantaloupe (slice off the top and bottom and cut off the skin with a knife), remove the seeds and then fill the melon with fresh blueberries

Decorations – fresh blueberries (giant and normal sized), cantaloupe flowers (cut with a cookie cutter), ricotta cheese.  I attached the cantaloupe flowers and blueberries with toothpicks and warned the eaters that there were toothpicks in the food.

Cantaloupe Cake

Inside of Melon Cake

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Smiling Corn

Smiling Corn

I received beautiful corn in my CSA share. My Mom thinks the mouth looks like a beak. I was trying for lips but regardless, we think these are cute.

Container: Wooden box purchased in Kyoto at Bento&co.

Contents: Corn – zucchini and tomato details (bento food cutters), broccoli, (CSA), cabbage leaves (CSA)

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Smile Emoji Lunch

Smile Emoji

I made this for myself. It was simple but very cute. Maybe it will end up being the first in a series of different emoji.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Smile Emoji – Niishiki rice shaped with plastic wrap in a cookie cutter, Chrddar broiled on top (before putting in this box), Eyes – peas, Nose – hazelnut skin, Mouth – raspberry, frozen peas

Top Right:  Hazelnuts

Bottom Right: Cherries

 

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Crab Vegetable Potato Salad

Crab Vegetable Potato Salad

I made this meal for myself. Recently I am fascinated with my potato vegetable salad series. I keep thinking about new ways to present this theme. Fresh cantaloupe makes cute crabs and is especially delicious this time of year.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side:  Crabs – Cheese (cut with a cookie cutter), paprika put on with a toothpick, roasted potatoes (cut with a cookie cutter), red bell pepper (cut with a cookie cutter), ricotta with dried basil and garlic powder

Top Right: Hazelnuts

Bottom Right: Crabs – melon with mini chocolate chip eyes

 

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Italy Flag Lunch

Italy Flag Lunch

I made this lunch for my Dad. He did not know what it was supposed to be. I tried to make it look like the flag of Italy. Regardless, I was told that it was tasty.

Container: Book Bento Box

Contents: Nishiki rice with homemade lemon basil pesto, salsa, raspberries

 

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Corn Flowers Lunch

Corn Flowers

I made this meal for myself with fresh vegetables from my CSA. It may not look like much, but it was delicious.

Container: U Konserve

Contents: Corn, carrots (cut with a cookie cutter), cabbage, broccoli, tomato, Asiago

Small Round Container: Frozen blueberries, blackberry, Greek yogurt, cinnamon

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Birthday Lunch 2020

Beet Tarts with Spinach Salad

Today is my birthday and I took the day off from work. My parents came to visit me today. They arrived in time for lunch and I made this for us. The flowers are birthday flowers from my parents.

Menu

beet tart with spinach salad lunch

Peanut Butter Mousse

My critique of the meal: This easy meal looked impressive and was delicious. All 3 of us enjoyed this meal. My Dad joked that the chocolate looked so good he thought it was plastic but he knew I would not serve something non-edible. The only thing I would change about this meal is the vinaigrette. I did not measure and my splash of vinegar was too much.

Posted in Bento / Cute Food | 2 Comments

Bee Themed Lunch

Beehive Lunch

I made this bee themed lunch for my Dad. He loved it, especially the honey walnut cream cheese.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Beehive – focaccia cut with a cookie cutter, honey walnut cream cheese (softened cream cheese with chopped walnuts and a drizzle of honey)

Top Right: Bees – cucumber cut with a cookie cutter

Bottom Right: Bees – apple cut with a cookie cutter, dipped in water and lemon to prevent browning and sprinkled with fresh ground cinnamon

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Birdhouse Lunch

Birdhouse Themed Food

I made this lunch for my Mom. She loves birds and I was happy to use some cookie cutters for the first time.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Birdhouse – cheddar mashed potatoes cut with a cookie cutter, Birds – carrots cut with a mini cutter, peas

Top Right: Birds – carrots cut with a mini cutter, snow peas

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

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Butterfly Snack Lunch

Butterfly Snack Lunch

I made this fun snack meal for myself and served it with mixed nuts.

Container: ELB Snack Boxes

Contents:

  • Butterflies – carrot cut with a cookie cutter
  • Butterflies – tortilla chips – flour tortillas cut with cookie cutters, (place on cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray, brush with olive oil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp)
  • Butterfly – cucumber cut with a cookie cutter, hummus,
  • Butterfly – cantaloupe cut with a cookie cutter, watermelon,
Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | 5 Comments

Bamboo Themed Meal

Bamboo Vegetable Potato Salad

I made this meal for myself on a night I brought individual dinners to Carol and we ate in her garden.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Bamboo – green bell pepper, roasted potato with basil, zucchini, (cut with a cookie cutter), over a homemade pesto with fresh lemon juice

Top Right: Celery with hummus

Bottom Right: Bamboo – apple imprinted with a cookie cutter, walnuts

Bamboo Vegetable Potato Close

 

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Bunny Pancake

bunny pancake

I made this for my 18 year old niece. She selected the theme and styled the chocolate chips. It follows a similar concept as this.

  • Bunny – Pancake cut with a cookie cutter, chocolate chip eye
  • Tail – Fresh whipped cream
  • Droppings – Chocolate chips
Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | 2 Comments