Panda Rice Lunch

panda-rice-cutezcute

I made this lunch for my 14 year old niece. She requested a panda themed meal with rice and I was happy to oblige.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Panda – rice inside CuteZCute Animal Friends cutter set, black olive details, broccoli

Top Right: Cherries

Bottom Right: Panda – donut hole with chocolate details (pipe melted chocolate onto parchment or foil and set in the refrigerator – when firm attach to donut)

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Polar Bear and Snowman Mashed Potato Lunches

polar-bear-mashed-potato-lunch

I met my 18 year old niece for lunch and made these lunches for us. The polar bear was for me and the snowman for my niece. We had the same sides and main ingredient (Cheddar mashed potatoes) to make it easy. I love making memorable meals and sharing it with loved ones!

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: Snowflake apple (cookie cutter), clementine

Bottom Left: Homemade holly shaped sugar cookie (cookie cutter)

Right Side: Cheddar mashed potatoes cooled then shaped using a polar bear cookie cutter, eye – black olive, scarf – red bell pepper, green peas

snowman-mashed-potato-lunch

Not long ago, a friend gave me this snowman silicone cup in a bento trade. It helped me make a cute and easy mashed potato snowman.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Snowman: Cheddar mashed potatoes in a snowman silicone cup, eyes – mouth – and buttons: black olives, nose – carrot, salad with lettuce, spinach, celery and carrot

Top Right: Homemade holly shaped sugar cookie (cookie cutter)

Bottom Right: Snowflake apple (cookie cutter), clementine

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A Year of Bento Lunches

a-year-of-bento-lunches

Happy New Year! One of my nieces came up with the idea to create a themed bento lunch for each month of the year. The beginning of a new year seems like the perfect time to share this set. Enjoy!

january-snowman-bento-lunch

January

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Snowman – Cheddar mashed potatoes, Hat – pumpernickel bread, Nose and Scarf – carrot, Eyes, mouth, and buttons – black olives, broccoli 

Top Right: Green Peas

Bottom Right: Hazelnuts

february-taco-salad-bento-lunch

February

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Heart Taco Salad – lettuce, taco cheese blend, salsa heart, black beans (under lettuce)

Top Right: Strawberries

Bottom Right: Greek yogurt with heart strawberry

Above the Box: Mini tortilla chips

march-pasta-bento-lunch

March

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Tricolor pasta, olive oil, garlic powder, bell pepper

Top Right: Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Bottom Right: Orange slices

april-bento-lunch

April

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Umbrella – wheat bread, peanut butter, snow pea, Sky – tortilla, peanut butter, food coloring marker details

Top Right: Flowers – watermelon (cookie cutter) with dried blueberry centers held on with small pieces of spaghetti

Bottom Right: Flower cucumber (cookie cutters)

may-flower-pizza-lunch

May

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Flowers – homemade pizza (cookie cutter) with tomato sauce, mozzarella, Cheddar cheese, olives

Top Right: Peanuts

Bottom Right: Mini sweet pepper rings

june-graduation-sandwich-bento-lunch

June

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Graduation Cap – pumpernickel bread with spinach details, spinach

Top Right: Brazil nuts

Bottom Right: Diploma – tortilla rolled up with Nutella, grapes

july-rice-stars-bento-lunch

July

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Stars – hot Nishiki rice mixed with corn or peas and packed into a star cookie cutter by pushing down with plastic wrap then carefully remove the cookie cutter, lettuce

Top Right: Cheddar cheese stars (cookie cutter)

Bottom Right: Grapes

august-sun-muffins-bento-lunch

August

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Mango muffins

Top Right: String beans

Bottom Right: Sun – mango, mango Greek yogurt

september-apple-bento-lunch

September

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Apple Tree – oakleaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes, baked tortilla, romaine lettuce

Top Right: Walnuts

Bottom Right: Snow peas

Above the Box: Apple

october-pumpkin-bento-lunch

October

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Pumpkin rice – cook rice in vegetable broth, add some pumpkin puree, pumpkin shape cinnamon (stencil)

Top Right: Pumpkin seeds

Bottom Right: Crinkle cut carrots

november-falling-leaves-bento-lunch

November

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Falling leaves – paint with food coloring on a cheese quesadilla

Top Right: Applesauce with cinnamon

Bottom Right: Pretzel sticks

december-birthday-bento-lunch

December

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Pretzel twists, lettuce

Top Right: Strawberries

Bottom Right: Candle – confectionery sugar (stencil), brownie

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Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | 2 Comments

Top 16 Bento of 2016

top-16-bento-2016-collage

The end of the year is a typical time to reflect on the activities of the year. I reviewed all of the lunches I made (there were a lot!) and selected the top 16 to share today. These lunches are particularly meaningful this year because in December my life drastically changed. I am glad to have this blog as a scrapbook of memories.

Cream Cheese & Olive Sheep

irish-sheep-lunch

I have made a lot of sheep/lambs and continue to find new ways to make them. I was proud of this cream cheese and black olive sheep plus it was tasty over a Zesty Lemon Quinoa blend.

Corduroy Mashed Potatoes

corduroy-book-lunch

I know that my mashed potato version of Corduroy looks a little goofy but he makes me smile. The peanut butter button cookies were delicious.

Waffle Ice Cream Cones

waffle-ice-cream-themed-lunch

I made these for my nephew who likes bell peppers, waffles, and kiwi. I enjoy making lunches for loved ones.

Seagull Rice

seagull-themed-bento-lunch

I made this lunch for myself and it received more reader attention than I expected. Sometimes simple is best for design and taste.

Mashed Potato Fish

mashed-potato-fish-lunch

I made this cheesy mashed potato fish as a meal for my husband to heat up after a long day at work. I hope that the fish made him smile.

Astronaut Toast

astronaut-salad-with-pizza-stars

I love my vintage astronaut cookie cutter! He looks so cute as toast on top of salad.

Cardinal Salsa Rice

cardinal-bento-lunch

I was very pleased with this Salsa Rice cardinal bento that I made for my niece.

Frog Broccoli Mashed Potatoes

frog-with-hat-and-diploma-graduation-themed-lunch

I made this adorable broccoli and cheese mashed potato frog for my niece before she graduated from high school. I love the carrot and celery string diploma!

Ladybug Salsa Rice

ladybug-rice-lunch

I made these ladybugs out of salsa rice and spinach. They sit on black beans mixed with salsa.

Canadian Flag Waffle

canadian-flag-waffle-lunch

This was part of many waffle flags I made for my nephew. The Canadian flag was my favorite.

Mardi Gras Rice

mardi-gras-bento-lunch

My Dad helped me make this colorful and fun lunch since it was during my recovery from shoulder surgery. He even strung the peas on the spaghetti and cooked it for me!

Cheese Pokemon

pokemon-lunch

I made this for a young nephew. I love it when I receive food or theme requests.

Salsa Rice and Beans Chess Board

chess-themed-salsa-rice-and-beans

I made many chess lunches this year but this was my favorite. I especially like the mini cherry tart.

Robin Hood Crackers

robin-hood-cheese-and-crackers-lunch

My nephews and I ate Robin Hood themed lunches during one of our summer camp days with Aunt Kathy – good memories!

Snowboarding on Lasagna

snowboard-lasagna-lunch

I am glad that I came up with the idea of not baking the mozzarella on the lasagna and adding it later (to melt when heated in microwave). It gave me new theme options for my nephews favorite lunch.

Mr. Mustache Taco Salad

mr-taco-lunch

I often take on the challenge to present the same food in different ways. I was delighted with the Mr. Mustache taco lunch I made for my nephew.

Happy New Year! May your 2017 include delicious and attractive food.

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | 5 Comments

Favorite Non-Lunch Posts from 2016

While a majority of my content in 2016 featured lunch, I am particularly proud of some of my non-lunch content. These are my favorites from 2016.

happy-birthday-fresh-watermelon-cake

It was enjoyable to create this fresh fruit cake with my niece and nephews and I am told that it was delicious and memorable to eat. It was a perfect gift for their Mom (my sister-in-law).

chocolate-bunny-diorama-easter-egg-ornament

My niece and I have a beautiful tradition of using a different craft technique each year to decorate eggs. This year was one of my favorites – Diorama Easter Eggs.

corn-husk-birdseed-angel

This birdseed covered miniature corn husk angel was time consuming to create but it paid off. I won a blue ribbon and best overall in the Flower Show Artistic division.

yoda-ice-cream-candy-melt-ears

Sometimes the second try works out best as was the case for this Yoda ice cream treat. My nephew and I enjoyed making and eating this fun treat.

3d-tree-gingerbread-deco

After making these 3D gingerbread table decorations for a house tour, I am interested in making more 3D decorations in the future.

chocolate-cat-cookie-strawberry-ice-cream-sandwich

I was very pleased with the cat themed ice cream sandwiches I made for a cat themed pool party. Adorable!

From watermelon cake to cat ice cream sandwiches, 2016 was memorable. I am looking forward to see which non-lunch posts I create in 2017! Any ideas for what I should make?

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16 Make Ahead Lunches or Dinners

16-make-ahead-lunches-or-dinners

I consider myself a vegetarian foodie. The meat eaters I normally make meatless lunches for are not. A majority of these meals I made for myself. They are wonderful make ahead lunches or dinners. I love the cottage cheese potato salad in this batch so much that I am thinking about making it again soon.

sundried tomato biscuits lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Sun-dried tomato scones, romaine with radish

Top Right: Broccoli

Bottom Right: Ricotta with basil and pine nuts

cottage cheese potato salad lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: Green grapes

Bottom Left: Pistachios

Right Side: Mixed lettuce, potato salad (instead of mayonnaise, this recipe uses a dressing that contains cottage cheese and milk).

polenta and vegetable lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Polenta with red bell pepper and zucchini – slice prepared polenta (from tube), put slices on baking sheet, broil on each side for 5 min, add mozzarella cheese, broil 2 min or until browned. Saute red bell pepper and zucchini in a little bit of olive oil

Top Right: Pumpkin seeds

Bottom Right: Orange

vegetables with coconut sauce lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Zucchini and cauliflower served with this coconut sauce

Top Right: Jasmine rice with cashews

Bottom Right: Pink grapefruit

Silver Dollar pancakes on skewers lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Silver dollar pancakes, strawberries

Top Right: Granola

Bottom Right: Blueberries with plain Greek yogurt

pb celery snack lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Celery with peanut butter, pretzel goldfish in Mini Dippers, Cheddar cheese

Top Right: Raspberries

Bottom Right: Saltines

taco salad lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: Raspberries, blueberries

Bottom Left: Mexican cheese blend

Right Side: Olives, tomatoes, black beans with salsa, lettuce

Above the Box: Mini Dippers with Taco Sauce, tortilla chips

pasta with blender sauce lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: Cucumber with romaine lettuce

Bottom Left: Strawberry and green grapes

Right Side: Bow Tie pasta instead of linguine from Garden Veggie Linguine with Cilantro Pesto

apple cheddar walnut toasts lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Apple, Cheddar and Walnut Toast

Top Right: Blueberries and plain Greek yogurt

Bottom Right: Mixed greens

strawberry-cheese-ball-snack-lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Strawberry cheese ball, carrots, mini pretzels, cucumber

Top Right: Blackberries, pineapple

Bottom Right: Focaccia 

fruit-with-romaine-corn-black-bean-lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Mixed Berry Salad with Orange Honey Dressing, romaine- in Mini Dippers

Top Right: Flower tortilla chips

Bottom Right: Corn and Black Bean Salad (without sugar and cumin)

pretzel-bites-snack-lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Broccoli, pumpkin seeds, carrots, hummus

Top Right: Blueberries

Bottom Right: Pretzel bites

taco-crepe-lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: Crepe with honey and berries

Bottom Left: Cucumber, carrots

Right Side: Taco crepes – black beans corn taco seasoning

Above the Box: Mini Dippers with salsa

cheese-zucchini-rice-lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: Strawberries

Bottom Left: Mixed nuts

Right Side: Rice with smoked paprika, cooked zucchini with broiled cheese

corn-salad-ricotta-lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Green olives with pimento, ricotta with dried seasoning mix, sugar snap peas, tomatoes

Top Right: Strawberries

Bottom Right: Corn, tomato, bell pepper, lime, salt, chili powder

pretzel-twist-lunch

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Pepper jack cheese, pretzel twist

Top Right: Cucumber

Bottom Right: Mixed nuts

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

Transportation Themed Lunches

transportation-lunches

Transportation themed lunches are fun for anyone to eat and easy to make using cookie cutters. Hot air balloon waffle, car shaped rice, mashed potato train, apple canoes and airplane pizza are sure to put a smile on your loved one’s face.

hot-air-balloon-waffle-lunch

I made this lunch for my waffle loving nephew. I enjoy finding new cookie cutter shapes to use with waffles.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Hot Air Balloon – waffle (cookie cutter), blueberries

Top Right: Hot Air Balloon – cucumber on bento pick, carrots

Bottom Right: Mini Dippers: Strawberry butter – I mixed fresh chopped strawberries with softened butter and added a little bit of confectionery sugar with a Hot Air Balloon cupcake ring.

car-rice-bento-lunch

I don’t use this book bento box often but many of the lunches I serve it in are often a favorite of mine.

Container: Book Bento Box

Contents: Car rice with spinach details, black beans, salsa, Cheddar cheese, blueberries, raspberries

train-mashed-potato-meal

I enjoy making Cheddar mashed potato shapes and most of my loved ones will eat it.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top: Cheddar mashed potatoes (cookie cutter), black olives and Cheddar details, green peas

Bottom Left: Watermelon train (cookie cutter), blueberries

Bottom Right: Cashews

canoe-hummus-lunch

This simple meal was made fun with mini canoe cookie cutters.

Container: LunchBots Trio

Top Left: Quinoa with Cheddar cheese

Top Right: Hummus, carrots

Bottom: Canoes – apples (cookie cutter) – dipped in water with lemon to prevent browning

airplane-bento-lunch

Fly away with cheddar airplane pizza and an cinnamon airplane in Greek yogurt clouds.

Container: ECO Lunchboxes

Contents: Airplanes – Cheddar cheese pizzas (cookie cutter), cauliflower, cherry tomatoes

Round Container: Airplane – cinnamon sugar (cookie cutter as stencil), Greek yogurt

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