Cindy Lou Who and the Grinch Bento

I’ve been thinking about this bento for a while… I love How the Grinch Stole Christmas! It’s such a fun movie. My kiddos, however, are not so crazy about it. They watched the freaky live version (allowed by their dad NOT their mom) and now my middle kiddo calls it the “scary Christmas movie.” I can’t allow that! So today, to promote my love and convince the middley kiddo to watch the animated (TRUE!) version, I made her this bento yesterday for lunch.

Today we are also part of the Bento Bloggers and Friends’ Eat, Drink & Be Merry Holiday Hop! See the link below to check out the next lunch in the hop!

In this lunch:

Main PB sandwich of Cindy Lou Who with edible dough antennae ;) You can’t really see it, but I supported them with some toothpicks for presentation. The kiddo was eating at home, not at school, otherwise, I would’ve supported them some other (less fragile) way. Little bow food picks.
Sides A little Grinch made out of a green grape, a slice of banana and a strawberry (with a little bread ball pom pom on top), all skewered with a toothpick. Also, a carved apple of Max, the Grinch’s dog. The dog was a pretty intricate carve and I wish I had had a knife that made more slender cuts, but oh well. One thing that I advise when making a more intricate design on an apple is to draw it out with edible marker and then cut along those lines. MUCH easier than eyeing it.
Also included but not pictured Graham cracker bunnies, peanuts

Hop on over to the next blog on our Holiday Hop!

An Advent Bento: 9 Days until Christmas!

An Advent Bento: 9 Days until Christmas |

Time for another installment of the Advent bentos! After yesterday’s debacle and not getting it together (lunch money was given), I had a little more time today to make an Advent lunch. It was simple, quick but I think the kiddo will like it, given that she’s been asking for a special treat in her lunch for a bit now.

And today’s advent surprise? Mini candy canes!

An Advent Bento: 9 Days until Christmas |

Main PB&Jam triple stacked tree with blue sixlets for ornaments and (a bit hard to see) snowflakes.
Sides A mandarin orange on the bottom and a carved apple on top with large non-pareils for snowflake-y accents and two mini candy canes.
Also included but not pictured Graham crackers and yogurt

Today I used:

A Nutcracker Bento


This week we did some fun mom-kiddo bonding and I took the eldest kiddo to a truly beautiful production of the Nutcracker ballet. It was a Girl Scout event and it was really fun. She loved it, I loved that she loved it, and it spawned a really fun bento this week.

In this lunch:

Main Triple decker PB&J. For the red coat and a black hat and hair, a thin layer of edible molding dough, on top of the sandwich. A star sprinkle for a button and festive holly sprinkles adorn his hat. A graham cracker for the “fireplace” (with drawn-on flames) and a hanging cupcake topper stocking.
Sides Green grapes and a strawberry Mouse King with candy eyes (lids drawn on with edible marker) and almond ears, along with a licorice whip tail and sprinkle nose.
Also included but not pictured Yogurt, graham cracker bunnies


Gingerbread House 2014: Arendelle is in Deep Deep Deep Deep Snow

Sometimes it feels like I’m living in a perpetual winter. We are on year 2 of the snow queen’s domination over both Arendelle and my home. What can I say? The movie is beloved here… watched all the time. As an artist, I often take inspiration from my surroundings and as many of my followers can attest to, Frozen is in my surroundings A LOT! Also, I thought my kiddos would get a kick out of this next project.

Every year some friends and I plan a get-together to make gingerbread houses. Everyone brings tons of candy (and leaves their kids at home for some much-needed mom’s night in). Each year, I try to use the opportunity to learn a new skill. Last year, it was to practice piping :) This year, I wanted to sculpt and work gumpaste. So my gingerbread house was the setting I used for the snow queen.

Upfront, I’ll mention that I always use a gingerbread house kit. We don’t eat ours and I find that I’d rather spend my time on decorating rather than baking. Since I wanted a house with an Arendelle look/feel to the whole thing (long tall roof was a necessity), I chose Trader Joe’s Hexen House kit. (I realize that the Hexen House is actually German and not Scandinavian, but it was the closest I could find without actually making my own).

I pretty much just used some white candies and piping do the front. The front took a few minutes. I wanted the roof to look laden in snow so I used some mini-marshmallows cut diagonally and laid on top of one another. This part was TEDIOUS. It took me more than an hour to hand set these tiny tiles, but it was while talking with my friends and constantly laughing so it wasn’t so bad ;) I then piped icicles coming down from the roof. As you can see, I had tiny little pieces of frosting speckling the house, and I decided that it was an authentic representation of snow rather than the breaking off/smudging of the frosting. Perspective. It’s all about perspective:

Elsa and Arendelle Gingerbread House |

It was rather difficult to pipe with the house all set up, so if I were to do this again, I would probably pipe the pieces flat and then put the house together to do the roof.

Sorry that I don’t have many process picture but it was hard to hold the camera in one hand and my sangria in the other… perspective and priorities, of course.

I do have a pretty decent aerial shot though, that shows one of my favorite parts of the scene, the “expanding” ice ring, made with melted blue candy (Ring Pops!), rock candy “crystallizing” the edges of the pool and then the blue (and white, which are a bit hard to see) Sixlets that I used to try to give the idea of expansion:

Elsa and Arendelle Gingerbread House |

And now onto Elsa.

I created the gumpaste Elsa after the party because she herself took quite a bit of time. It was a fun challenge because it was a different kind of 3D work than I’m used to. I looked at a few tutorials and some fondant Elsas on Pinterest for reference and all of it was hand sculpted (although molds might have been easier, especially for the body which is pretty standard). Here she is right-side beauty shot:

Elsa and Arendelle Gingerbread House |

And here is her left side: Elsa and Arendelle Gingerbread House |

All in all, I’d say the gumpaste was a little different than working with fondant in that it hardens quickly (which is good in this case). A few tips for making the Elsa figure:

  1. The best tutorial I found (and the one I referenced the most) was this one: Yungjung Cake, although my Elsa was a mix of many different ones that I found, this had some good directions.
  2. Make the body in parts. Lower half, torso, and then head. I tried to make the body all one piece and it wasn’t working at all.
  3. I used a toothpick for the body structure. It went through the whole body and up through the neck and gave the head a secure spot to sit.
  4. Use what you have on-hand. I was going to make custom snowflakes, but used some snowflake sprinkles instead to put in her hair.

All in all, I’m happy with the way it came out. It’s so fun to see it come together and hanging out with my friends and crafting is always fun. Can’t wait for next year’s get-together :)

Today I used:

Advent Bento: 17 Days until Christmas!

Advent Bento |

Time for another installment of the Advent bentos! I got a tell you the truth, Mondays are hard lunch days for us. I usually buy groceries during the week, so by Monday, I’m usually at the end of the loaf of bread, or using up fruit before it goes bad, or making it a snacky lunch. Today was a day for snacky lunch! A do-it-yourself Lunchable, as it were… but still healthy and fun :)

And today’s advent surprise? A dulce de leche owl that we got from our Girl Scout fall nut sales :)

Advent Bento |

Main Round butter crackers, cheddar cheese cut into stars, little rounds of turkey deli meat.
Sides A Clementine orange and a surprise dulce de leche owl (from the Girl Scouts!)
Also included but not pictured green grapes and yogurt

Today I used:

Advent Bento for the Holidays

Advent Bento |

After doing bento for a few years, it’s hard to come up with new themes every year, especially for the holidays. There are some things that MUST be done for certain holidays: Santas, trees, reindeer, etc. are a must for Christmas (since we celebrate it), turkeys are for thanksgiving, clovers are for St.Patrick’s day… And in a way, it’s instant theme, but on the other hand a bit limiting. Well, every year I try to think of a new Advent activity for the kiddos, and I thought it would be a good idea to bring it into lunch :) So this year I’m doing advents bentos! I’m not going to be doing special bento every day, but I had the idea to do one every Monday, and for the lunches in between, I would give the kiddo one snack that would equal the number of days until Christmas. So for example, tomorrow she might get 23 goldfish crackers… I’ll send her a little note to count them!

But anyhow, for today, there are 24 days until Christmas and I thought it would be fun to have a little area with a surprise. So I just cut out a little piece of paper and taped it on top of the small section of our Easy Lunchbox. I had some extra Santa hat stickers from a kid craft we did, so I just stuck it on top to be festive. Can you tell what the surprise was? A little hard to tell, but I found some small coal-shaped pieces of chocolate for fun. I was going to put in a different treat, but honestly, the kiddos were acting up this morning and being difficult (it’s hard for everybody to get back into the swing of things after a week-long vacation), so I thought this was appropriate ;)

Advent Bento |

Main PB&J sandwich stamped and numbered cutouts. The holly decoration are just sprinkles.
Sides A mandarin orange and a half arranged like a wreath and coal chocolate pieces.
Also included but not pictured I thought this lunch was kind of light, so I included some bunny cheddar crackers, a mango fruit pouch and yogurt.

Today I used:

Happy Turkey Day! Bento

Turkey Day Bento |

Since there is no school this week, I made this bento at the end of last week. I meant for it to look like the turkey had a plaque behind him saying “Thanks” but it turned out that it ended up looking like a huge turkey afro, which, in retrospect, is really funny. That’s what happens when you’re dead set on using certain elements (the turkey is made out of pumpkin bread with all kinds of veggies in it) and end up with something that wasn’t quite in the plans.

In today’s lunch:

Main Turkey is made with pumpkin bread (loaded with zucchini, carrots, and squash). I baked the bread in a special round pan for cake pops, but they only came up as half-spheres. His beak is a cashew and his waddle is a craisin. His eyes are candy eyes and his tail is made from candy corn that I stuck into a slit in the side of the body (in retrospect, some peanut butter would’ve been good to secure the tail). Turkey afro is just a PB&J sandwich :)
Sides Cutie orange flower with a grape for the center. Trail mix with a mellowcreme marshmallow
Also included but not pictured Yogurt

Today I used:

Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman Bento

Ruff Ruffman Bento |

If you have elementary school kiddos and PBS on TV, you have definitely seen Ruff Ruffman’s Fetch! It’s a great show that I’m sad ended a few years back. It encourages learning and discovery and is an all around good show. My kiddo’s favorite, in fact! I’ve been asked for a Ruff Ruffman bento now for aaaages and today, I got it together! And for those of you who have no idea who Ruff is, here’s a clip on how a search engine works:

Anyhow, here are the details of today’s bento:

Main PB&J Ruff with a blueberry nose. Ruff’s fur is peanut butter on the top layer of the sandwich and the stomach part is just another piece of bread. For the eyes I used large Wilton eyes (backward, so that I could customize the pupil size and add the rim of his glasses around his eyes) and for his eyebrows and mouth, a piece of black licorice.
Sides Fresh blueberries and trail mix with a graham cracker dog house. I drew the “door” on with an orange edible marker.
Also included but not pictured Yogurt

Today I used:

Octopus, Octopus, lurking in the water bento



A friend of mine gave cookie cutters as a party favor for her son’s birthday and this awesome octopus was one of them. It’s adorable! So I had to make a lunch out of it. It’s not the first time I’ve done an under-the-sea type of lunch (and most likely not the last!) but it was simple and easy to do with a few little details to make it fun. I made a simple tutorial for the squid here, so that you too can recreate this lunch!

Main PB&J Octopus. His tentacle-suckers were little pieces of cereal that I stuck in between the sandwich. It was tasty and it gave a plain cookie-cutter sandwich some nice detail, along with the candy eyes. I just broke the little cereals in two to get such even suckers.
Sides Goldfish crackers (naturally) and strawberry squid (tute here) on black grapes. The eye on the squid was just a little piece of bread on which I colored an eye with an edible marker.
Also included but not pictured Yogurt

For this lunch, I used:

Monsters of Halloween Bentos!

Today, I’m part of the Bento Bloggers and Friends Hallowe’en Hop!  Halloween is an awesome time for bento makers because of all the fun themes that arise from the season! And today is also special because it’s a two-fer ;) I made one for my older kiddo to take to school and one for my preschool kiddo to eat at home, because she has very sweetly been asking for “pretty” lunches like her sister. She wants in on the fun too :)

The first one is for the older kiddo!

Halloween Monsters Bento |

In the bento above:

Main Really, the “main” is three PB&J mini sandwiches shaped like bats! I used these for Halloween last year but love them so much that I brought them back… also, it goes with the “vampire” theme of one of the sides.
Sides Pomegranate seeds for a bloody vampire grin :), green grapes, and a 1/2 pear Frankenstein. His hair and eyebrows are an avocado skin that was well cleaned out (I had avocado for lunch yesterday and kept the peel) and his eyes are pre-made candy eyes. Teeth are just some mandarin skins (I had mandarins, too) I tucked into his mouth. His “bolts” on either side are a bit hard to see but they are also green grapes.
Also Included but not Pictured Yogurt

And for the preschooler, I made a slightly younger version of the above, but with some snacky changes that she would like. This was lunch:
Halloween Monsters Bento |

Main 2 bone-shaped peanut butter sandwiches (no jam).
Sides A mandarin (with a jack-o’lantern face drawn on), a 1/2 of a pear Frankenstein (with smaller eyes and avocado hair), a banana ghost with chocolate chip eyes/mouth, six baby carrot sticks.

For more amazing Hallowe’en lunches, continue on to the next awesome bento blog on our hop! Just click on the image below!


Today, I used: