I made this “Hit the Books” themed lunch for my 15 year old niece on her second day of school. She is a great student so she does not need the subtle reminder in this lunch. But it was fun to make this simple theme. There is quite a bit of rice in this book shaped onigiri so I hope that this lunch is more filling than it may look.
At the bottom of this post you will see the Jam Tarts that I also included in my niece’s lunch. There are 5 kids in the family and I made 3 jam tarts for each of them with their school year decorated with pie crust.
Left Side: Book shaped onigiri with nori shaped hand and filled with black beans and salsa. I used a mini loaf pan to shape the cooked Nishiki rice into the shape of a book. I lined the pan with plastic wrap, put in some hot rice, pushed down with plastic wrap, added a mixture of black beans and salsa, then added more hot rice and packed down using plastic wrap between my fingers and the rice. I then picked up the plastic wrap to remove the packed rice from the pan. I painted on the book spine with a few drops of food coloring mixed with a tiny amount of water. Then I cut out the hand with some dried seaweed (nori). Salad surrounds the book.
Top Right: Cashews
Bottom Right: Green grapes
Back to School Jam Tarts: I was very pleased with these. After I took the photo I told my husband about this being a snapshot in time (the current grades of the kids). My husband said that someone (not knowing the meaning of these) may think that I could not count. I was impressed that he could joke so early in the morning.
I made the crust the night before but I rolled, filled and baked these in the morning before school. These could be made the night before and you can use store bought pie crust.
Roll out pie crust. Use a 2.5 inch round cookie cutter or similar sized glass to cut pie crust rounds. Carefully put each pie crust round into non-stick or greased mini muffin tin cups. Partially fill each pie crust cup with fruit jam. (I used black raspberry and strawberry jams but only the black raspberry is in the picture.) If you overfill, the jam will bubble up while cooking and while edible will not look as clean. Cut pie crust scraps into numbers with small cookie cutters. Place numbers on top of the jam.
Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes or until pie crust is lightly browned.