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Archive for the ‘Halloween’ Category

The Quinoa Corporation makes packages of premade polenta.  They’re perfect for a last minute dinner or snack.  The polenta they make is USDA certified organic, kosher, gluten free and fat free with no funky additives.  It comes in all different types, plain, flavored with garlic.

They also make yummy pastas with corn and quinoa and fun shapes for kids.  For today’s lunches I used their blend of corn and quinoa for added protein.  I like to cut shapes for the kids out of 1/2″ slices.  I also cook the leftover scraps for me to eat.  I either bake or grill the polenta on the stove top.  It’s pre-cooked so there’s no worry about it not being cooked long.  I cook it long enough for it to be firm and picked up by little fingers without falling apart.  Below are quinoa polenta hearts baked in a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat for about 10 minutes on each side.  In her mini dippers container is barbeque sauce for dipping.  next to the polenta hearts are a cup of raspberries and a pick of yellow grape tomatoes.  At the top left are heart shaped watermelon pieces and at the top right are cantaloupe hearts packed in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

For her snack today, Miss G has a LunchBots Uno with a sweet potato pumpkin shaped muffin at the top left, 2 Crimson Gold mini apples, slices of local Florida oranges with a lion pick and snow peas.

Miss A has mini leaves in her LunchBots Quad.  From the top left are watermelon leaves, cantaloupe leaves, quinoa polenta leaves and a peeled clementine surrounded by dried apricots.

Things I used to make this lunch:

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Happy Monday, everyone!  Hope you all had a safe Halloween.  I packed some post-Halloween pasta today for the girls’ lunches.  I cooked some farfalle (butterfly) pasta and added orange grape tomatoes and black olives for the fall/Halloween look.  In Miss G’s Goodbyn Bynto, I added a small blue container of vegan parmesan for sprinkling over the top.  Next to that in the bottom compartment is a peeled clementine orange and coconut date balls for a treat.  Her ice water fits in the middle compartment.

In her Happy Tiffin stainless bento is half of a d’Anjou pear surrounded by red grapes.  In the round container is cinnamon applesauce for her snack.

Miss A usually has a smaller version of what everyone else is having.  In her LunchBots Duo is a peeled clementine at the top left surrounded by red grapes.  Below that is a coconut date ball surrounded by dried apricots.  On the right side is her farfalle pasta with halved grape tomatoes and black olives.  Hers is already sprinkled with a bit of vegan parmesan to minimize mess.

For her small snack today, she has cashews and a mini box of California raisins.

Don’t forget to enter my CuteZCute giveaway!

CuteZCute Giveaway

Things I used to make this lunch:

I am excited to share the new CuteZCute cutter with my readers!  One lucky reader will win a CuteZCute kit of their own.  This contest is open to readers worldwide.  This tool takes the guesswork and time out of detailed cute lunches.  I was given a kit to try out and review.  I have received no other compensation for this review.

The CuteZCute Food Deco Cutter kit comes with 6 pieces.  There is a face frame for the template, 4 animal feature cutters including a panda, frog, pig and cat and a great pick for poking out small pieces from the templates.  My favorite feature aside from the awesome possibilities and ease of use is that each facial cutter has a side for cutting through on one side and for simply imprinting on the other which takes the guess work out of hoping you don’t ruin a bunch of bread.  Many cutters also come with intricate designs but don’t offer a way of getting the pieces out without ruining what you’ve cut.  This Panda Assistant poker makes it very simple to get out the eye, ear, nose and mouth pieces without poking small holes in what you’ve cut.

This panda lunch was the first lunch I made with the CuteZCute cutter for a lunch.  I used whole wheat bread and cut the face features from Stretch Island fruit leather strips.  For each creation, you simply cut the face shape from whatever you’re using.  I’ve seen pizzas, rice, cookies, english muffins, bread, tortillas cheese and you could even use pie dough for individual pies.

I also did this almond butter and jam pig lunch with the cutter.  I can tell you after a couple of years hand cutting shapes, this kit is a dream.  I spend about 10 minutes tops making the lunches with the CuteZCute.

The above frog quesadilla was made with green tortillas and Daiya brand non-dairy cheese shreds.  The frog is on a Wholly Guacamole lily pad.  From start to finish this took me less than 10 minutes.

Some examples of the different faces you can make with the cutter are below.

My blogging friend also has a link up party on her blog of dozens of cute ideas for the different uses of all the possibilities with these cutters.  Click below to see all the fun CuteZCute lunches:

Lunch With Eyeness CuteZCute Ideas

I decided to come up with a few holiday ideas for the CuteZCute on my own just to show how quick and easy it can be to have fun.

Now that Halloween’s over, there are still fall festivals happening so I thought a scarecrows would be fun.  I used the face template for the face.  I hand cut the hat and used the bread crust scraps to make hair.  The facial features are the frog eye cutter made from fruit leather. I used the pig ear cutter on a mini carrot slice for the scarecrow’s nose, the pig’s eyes are the cheeks made from apple skin, and the frog’s mouth cutter is the scarecrow’s mouth from fruit leather.  I used 2 pretzel rods for the scarecrow’s arms.

I made a reindeer out of pumpernickel bread and the face template.  The eyes and nose were the panda bear’s eye cutters.  The reindeer eyes are the bread scraps from the scarecrow as is the reindeer’s mouth made from the panda mouth cutter.  The red nose is also using the panda bear’s eye cutter used to cut a small piece of apple.   I used the bread scraps and the panda mouth cutter to make the antlers for the reindeer.

Other reasons to love the CuteZCute:

*It’s owned and operated in the U.S.A.

*It’s made from durable, food safe plastic and packaged in recyclable packaging.

*It’s so simple your kids can use it.

*It’s a perfect birthday gift, holiday gift and stocking stuffer.

*At $8.99 it’s affordable to almost everyone considering how many options the kit gives and available for sale at both my favorite bento supply site All Things For Sale and on Amazon.

The Rules:

Contest opens 11/2/2012 and ends at 12:01am on 11/9/2012. Winner will receive one CuteZCute Food Deco Cutter Kit.

Contest is open to all people worldwide.

One entry for each item:

1.”Like” CuteZCute on Facebook

2.Pin a photo from this giveaway to Pinterest, and leave a comment with the URL to the Pin in my blog comments.

3.Tweet about the giveaway and leave your twitter username in my blog comments.

Winner will be chosen by random.org and posted on 11/10/2012.  Winner will have 72 hours to respond to request by email.  If first winner doesn’t respond in the given time, a new winner will be chosen.  Please make sure you leave me a way to get a hold of you.  Good luck!

Double, double toil and trouble
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Hoping that you have all the craziness behind you by now (except for tonight, of course).  I stayed up late making homemade Stitch ears for my 2 year old’s alien costume and planning the last of the Halloween food until next year.

Ahh, the last of the Halloween lunches!  Miss G, the 4 year old, has a LunchBots Quad with raspberries and an RIP headstone pick, a seckel pear with sticker, dragonfruit pieces with a skeleton pick and at the bottom left are mango pieces with a dragonfruit witch.

I found these little wooden coffins in Michael’s, and I finally put them to use.  I decorated the lids with Halloween stickers for fun.

I hand cut the sandwich to fit inside, and added a Wilton googly eye pick and a fruit leather mouth.

I also found these paper boxes for crafting at Michael’s, and I used them for snack bentos today.  Miss G’s is a jack-o-lantern face.  I filled it with cashews, dried cranberries and moon shaped dried apricots for her morning snack.

My 2 year old has a smaller wooden coffin for her sandwich.  Hers is a light activated box.  It cackles loudly when it opens which she loves.

She also has an almond butter & jam sandwich with a Wilton eye pick and Stretch Island fruit leather mouth, eyebrows and fangs.

Miss A has a pumpkin cup with mango pieces and a dracula pick with cashews above.  On the right are a seckel pear, raspberries, dried apricot crosses and a skeleton hand.

For her morning snack is a small coffin with dried cranberries and a handful of bone shaped candies.

Need quick & healthy last minute Halloween snack ideas?  Here are a few that your store won’t be out of if you need something fast.

Raisins-They’re like nature’s sugar, you can use them to make eyes on just about anything.  Raisins are full of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.  Eating raisins can help your energy levels.  They’re high in the best kind of natural sugars.  They also promote healthy bones since they contain high levels of calcium.

Clementine oranges or mandarin cuties-Mother Nature’s fast food.  Grab a box or bag and a few Sharpie markers or a pack of fun Halloween stickers & get creative.   A basket of these are more appealing to little ones than you may think.  For some reason stickers and fun faces make it enticing.  The best part is that they’re packed with nutrients like calcium, potassium and vitamin C.

Popcorn– NOT the microwave kind, the real no additive kind.  Pop up some corn in an air popper or a paper bag.  Here are the paper bag instructions:

Microwaving popcorn in a paper bag

We like to sprinkle a light dusting of sea salt or sometimes a bit of cinnamon on top for an afternoon snack.  For my kiddo party later today, my neighbor and I are putting popcorn in witch hand shaped bags as a snack.  Popcorn has more antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables so skip the heavy butter & oil and dig in!

Pumpkin Seeds-Roast a few lightly salted seeds at home, and you’ll be snacking on these minerals: phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper and zinc as well as vitamin K and B.

Wishing everyone a fun, safe & happy Halloween!

Thanks to a recommendation from a few blogging friends a few months ago, my kids watched the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch for the first time.  They are officially hooked.  In fact, even though the original movie was in 2003, the girls decided they had to be Lilo and Stitch for Halloween.

Scrump (Lilo’s doll) and Stitch

Miss A is loves her little alien Stitch.   I made her this little Stitch bento for school this week.  I received the Stitch bento from one of my generous blogger friends and found the cookie cutters, picks and small containers through eBay.  All the Stitch baran are available at All Things For Sale.  The links and photos are listed at the end of this post.

The mini Stitch sandwiches are made from Rudi’s Whole Grain bread with SunButter.  Underneath the sandwiches are apple slices.  To the left are red seedless grapes, mango slices, raspberries and a piece of kiwi.

A project I volunteer for is a Pack A Sack food program at my church.  The program feeds kids at a local elementary school each weekend that would otherwise go hungry.  Last year I helped bring fresh fruits and vegetables to be added to their packed meals.  For Halloween I did a decorated clementine for each child in their meal before Halloween.  They were a huge hit with the kids.

These are a small sample of the clementines I did this week.  My husband even helped draw them and enjoyed the project with me.    Each one is different.  I used a non-toxic Sharpie marker.  The oils from the fruit dry them out quickly, but it’s worth the fun.  It’s even a great, healthy idea for your trick or treaters.  Hope everyone has a relaxing weekend ahead!

Stitch items available at All Things For Sale:

EYE love pasta!  I really do, and so do my kids.  What’s even better is that this stuff is homemade.  Not by me, but my local pasta place here in Sarasota, Florida, Peperonata Pasta.

They make all their pasta here in town, and it’s sold at Whole Foods stores all over the state.  I usually pick some up from the owners themselves at the local Sarasota or San Marco Plaza farmer’s markets on the weekend.  They make Vegan pasta that is incredible and loaded with healthy grains like quinoa, flax seed and millet.  There are never leftovers in our house!

Above is Peperonata’s tagliatelle vegan pasta topped with 2 eyeball rings and grape tomatoes.  Underneath the sliced  strawberries at the top are golden grapes packed in her Easy LunchBoxes.

For her snack this afternoon, Miss G had sliced apples and ants on a log (celery with SunButter and raisins on top).

So I spotted this glow-in-the-dark container at the store.  It was filled with Skittles.  Of course, I dumped the Skittles and filled it with trail mix.  The mouth twists open and shut.  I love this for raisins, seeds, etc to make healthy snacks fun.

My husband had a container of soup (not shown) and this fruity bento to go along with it.  At the top left are mango chunks, the top right is a clementine with Jack Skellington drawn on it.  My kids are still to young for movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, but I love it.   Who doesn’t love a good Tim Burton movie?  In the bottom compartment are green grapes, sliced dapple dandy pluots, and d’anjou pear sections packed in an Easy LunchBoxes container.

Some of my bento blogging friends also did Jack Skellington lunches.  Click on each one to find more Halloween ideas!

*BentoMonsters

*What’s In Our Lunch Bags?

*Bent On Better Lunches

*Lunch, Snack and “Sninner”

*What’s For Lunch At Our House?

*What The Girls Are Having

*Family Fresh Meals

Things I used to make this lunch:

It’s finally cooling off here at night in Florida.  And by cooling off, I mean that it drops below 70 at night.  I grew up in the Midwest in Minnesota so I do have weeks where I really miss the cool weather, crunching of leaves under foot and the smell of fall in the air.   Hope you’re enjoying the fleeting cool weather and changing leaves wherever you are today.

Miss G, my 4 year old, has a Halloween lunch again today.  She wanted a plain hummus wrap but I snuck in some julienned cucumber strips in the middle.  I have these neat silicone bands that keep the wraps from coming unraveled while she’s eating.  I wouldn’t recommend these for any kids under 4 ,but she manages them well.   Another trick is to put the wrap in the freezer or fridge for about an hour before sending it off.  It will stay put longer this way.  In the main compartment with the wrap is a seckel pear, a couple of grape tomatoes and a date coconut ball on a skeleton pick.  At the top left are pumpkin shaped mango pieces with a spider ring and poison bottle pick.  At the top right of her Easy LunchBoxes container are some tiny golden grapes with a jack-o-lantern face of Stretch Island fruit leather on top of the silicone pumpkin cup.

For her snack today, Miss G, the 4 year old, had sliced strawberries and below is a mixture of dried cranberries, pistachios, caramel apple coated almonds and cashews.

One of my favorite things to draw on and create food art with this time of year are the mandarin oranges and clementines.  They’re perfect for little fingers and fun!  I just grab a Sharpie marker (they’re non-toxic) and color away.  You can also just put stickers on them if you’re not inclined to draw.  This one is in honor or my new bento friend Erin over at Feeling A Little Lunchy. She’s just a tad moustache obsessed, and who doesn’t love a cute handlebar moustache?  Bonjour! and Happy Halloween to you too!

Little Miss Picky Eater, the 2 year old, has a LunchBots Quad full of Halloween fun today.  This is the perfect bento box for wee ones, in my opinion.  Just enough space for variety, keeps foods separate and hopefully less food wasted.  From the top left are a clementine peeled, jack-o-lantern sandwiches with pumpkin butter, sliced strawberries, and golden grapes with a pumpkin shaped mango on top.

Things I used to make this lunch:


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