Hurricane Bento Lunches

Hurricane lunch with blackberries

Awhile ago I ended up making two different versions of hurricane themed lunches (on two different days) since I was not satisfied with the first one. I considered making a third one combining my favorite elements from each lunch. Instead I am sharing both. Maybe in the future I will revisit this theme. These were healthy and delicious lunches.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Cold peanut noodles (in a hurricane shaped cookie cutter), blackberries

Top Right: Sliced strawberries

Bottom Right: Broccoli

Hurricane lunch with veg noodles.jpg

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Cold peanut noodles with peanuts on top (in a hurricane shaped cookie cutter), diced cucumber

Top Right: Carrot noodles

Bottom Right: Cherries

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Trees in the Snowy Woods Dinner

Trees in Snowy Woods Dinner Table

A few days before Christmas, I hosted this easy meal for my friend, her husband, her two daughters (12 & 9), my parents, and myself. It was a fun evening! I put Reese’s White Chocolate Trees at each place.


  • Tree shaped rolled biscuits (cut with cookie cutter), snowflake shaped butter
  • Snowy Trees Salad – daikon radish trees (cut with cookie cutter, lettuce, cherry tomatoes – served with homemade vinaigrette or ranch dressing
  • Angel hair pasta with butter, broccoli, and Parmesan cheese
  • Tree shaped frosted sugar cookies

Tree rolls with snowflake shaped butter

tree salad

Trees in Snowy Woods Dinner Plate

tree cookies

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6 Course Boughs of Holly Dinner

Christmas 6 Course Meal Menu Card

This year I hosted 6 for Christmas – my parents, my friend, her two adult sons, and myself. As usual, I wanted to try something different so I created a 6 course meal. I consider this one of my epic memorable meals – along with Dumplings Around the World that I hosted several years ago.


Course 1: Appetizer – Spinach & Artichoke Puffed Pastry – I prepared this a week before, put in my freezer and then baked before serving

Course 2: Salad & Bread – Baby Romaine & Grapefruit Salad served in a Grapefruit Cup, Rolls with Holly Shaped Butter

Course 3: Vegetable – Baked Zucchini Caprese Stacks – I made my own pesto with walnuts

Course 4: Pasta – Pumpkin Ravioli with an Apple Cider Reduction or Three Cheese Ravioli with Garlic Olive Oil

Course 5: Cheese – Cheddar, Brie, Blue Cheese, Caramelized Walnuts, Marcona Almonds, Raspberries, Apples

Course 6: Dessert – Chocolate Cheesecake Squares, Mini Citrus Cakes with Whipped Cream, Strawberry Gelato

Course 1 Christmas Dinner

Appetizer – Spinach & Artichoke Puffed Pastry

To make my 6 course menu manageable, I started with make and freeze appetizers. I baked them just before serving.

Course 2 Grapefruit Salad in Grapefruit Cup

Salad & Bread – Grapefruit Salad in Grapefruit Cup with Rolls and Holly Shaped Butter

I liked the idea of serving the salads in grapefruit bowls. I doubt I will do it again but it was something different.

Holly Shaped Butter

I love making shaped butter for various occasions.

Course 3 Christmas Dinner

Vegetable – Baked Zucchini Caprese Stacks

I know that these do not look like much but these vegetable and cheese stacks were a hit! Attendees kept raving about them afterwards.

Course 4 Pumpkin Ravioli

Pasta – Pumpkin Ravioli

I made two different ravioli for the pasta course a week ahead and put them in my freezer. I offered 2 choices but allowed attendees to have both choices (separately) and many took me up on the offer.

Course 4 Ravioli 3 Cheese

Pasta – Three Cheese Ravioli

Course 5 Cheese Course

Cheese – Cheddar, Brie, Blue Cheese, Caramelized Walnuts, Marcona Almonds, Raspberries, Apples

I know this does not look beautiful but it was delicious and everyone enjoyed! I really should make the cheese course a more frequent feature of dinner parties.

Course 6 Holly Themed Meal

Dessert – Strawberry Gelato, Mini Citrus Cake, Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Square

I once went to a fancy restaurant dinner in NYC where all guests were given a trio of desserts on a plate for the last course. That was my inspiration for this. All of my guests enjoyed this dessert and the entire meal. I hope that this meal was a memorable for all attendees.

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Happy New Year 2018

2018 Mashed Potatoes

Happy New Year! I made this meal for my Mom. She is always happy when I make lunch for her. She especially enjoyed the cheesy mashed potatoes.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: 2018 – Cheddar mashed potatoes cooled then shaped with cookie cutters, green peas

Top Right: Cashews

Bottom Right: Clementine

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Top 10 Bento 2017

Top 10 2017.jpg

It is that time again when I love to share my favorite bento lunches from the year. It was a wonderful year for me and I am looking forward to what 2018 will hold.

Toki Mashed Potatoes


The inspiration and this meal were one of my most memorable of the year. I was inspired by a day trip to Sado Island in Japan. Making the meal was memorable because my Dad ate my radish and I needed to make another trip to the grocery store before completing this meal.

George Washington Rice


I was pleased to use my George Washington shaped cookie cutter to make an easy and satisfying cheesy rice lunch.

Camel Mashed Potatoes

Camel Mashed Potato Lunch

This year I made a lot of ordinary lunches that I did not photograph (I know, unbelievable) but I did make this for my new companion this year.

Falling Leaves Quesadilla


For some reason, this year I made less quesadillas but I was pleased with this simple food coloring painting on a cheese quesadilla.

Alien Pasta


As usual, I used my extensive cookie cutter collection to make a simple but cute lunch.

Elephant Salad

Elephant Salad Lunch

Towards the end of 2017, I felt that I was lacking inspiration so offered to make lunch for a coworker. I am very pleased with how this turned out.

Dog Bread

dog bread lunch

I made this cute dog shaped roll for my nephew. It is always special for me when I am able to make food for loved ones.

Bunny Rice

Easter Bunny rice lunch

I made this lunch for my niece around Easter. The chocolate peanut butter egg was delicious!

Polar Bear Mashed Potato


I am not sure how I came up with putting a scarf on a polar bear but the red pepper scarf makes this meal special.

Shamrock Potato Salad

Saint Patricks Day Potato Salad for lunch

I enjoy making themed vegetable and potato salads and I think that this one is my most attractive so far.

Happy New Year! May your 2018 include delicious and attractive food.

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Tree and Snowflake Potato Salad Lunch

tree snowflake potato salad

I made this meal for my companion to take to work for lunch. It is part of my series of themed potato vegetable salad meals. This is not my favorite of the series but he enjoyed the meal and I had fun trying something new.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Tree & Snowflake Potato Salad – peel white potatoes and cut with a snowflake cookie cutter, boil potato shapes until tender with a fork, cut green bell pepper with a tree cookie cutter, add chickpeas and the vinaigrette of your choice (I used a mixture of olive oil, Dijon mustard, dried basil, and white wine vinegar).

Top Right: Cashews

Bottom Right: Kiwi (cut with a tree cutter) and raspberries

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Christmas Tree Mashed Potatoes

Christmas Tree Mashed Potatoes Lunch

I enjoy challenging myself to see how many different themes I can make with cheesy mashed potatoes. While this Christmas tree is not my favorite, it was fun to eat.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Christmas Tree – cheddar mashed potatoes cooled then shaped with a cookie cutter, green peas, black olive, cherry tomatoes, black olives

Top Right: Pistachio nuts

Bottom Right: Sweet and Salty Chex Mix

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