So I haven’t been making very many bentos. I know, I know. But it’s summer and hardly any take away lunches are needed. But this week has been a week of simple bentos (I didn’t photograph them) for summer camp culminating in this! I didn’t see the Lego movie but my kiddos did and they yelled “Everything is AWESOME!” for a really long time after that. And then this past weekend we went to a lego birthday. I ended up saving one of the cupcake toppers (hehehe) for my best bento of the week but lo and behold, it got smushed. Anyhow, since my friend was the party host, she lent me her mold and I made another little lego man for the last day of camp lunch. Anyhow, I ended up making the girly main character Wyldstyle and Unikitty. My kiddo loved this lunch and it was pretty easy to make — just cut the head with a knife and some straight cuts. Also, the hair! I had planned on making my own modeling candy clay from this tutorial for the hair but ran out of time. I, once again, have to give the credit to Lunchbox Dad’s WyldStyle lunch for inspiring me to use Wilton’s Edible dough for the hair. I’ve been trying out several different doughs out to see what works (marzipan, bread dough, etc.) and this stuff is great — just like play dough but edible! I have it here in black and dyed up some white in pink and blue for the hair. On to the lunch!
Main PB&J with edible dough for the hair, eyes, and mouth. Dragees for the eye highlights.
Sides Goldfish crackers, blueberries, a candy lego minifig, and a marshmallow Unikitty. I used a stacking smore marshmallow, which comes in a rectangle shape) and used foodwriter markers for the face details. Some more edible dough make up her mouth, nose and horn. Candy eyes doctored up with edible markers for the eyes. Little bits of marshmallow for the eye highlights.
Also Included (but not pictured) Two mandarins
Here is a nice closeup of Unikitty, too, which I particularly loved!
And today I used:
Every year, my playgroup gets together in a herculean effort to raise money for Relay For Life (an event for the American Cancer Society). We are super into the relay’s dress-up races, funny costumes and general silliness. And we’re a really competitive bunch, too, so we do all kinds of fundraisers and parties and such things getting ready for the event. My amazing friend, Alisa from Sweet Party Treats, is multi-talented and makes over Cozy Coupes to raise money for the event. This year, we are shamelessly riding the Frozen wave and thus was born the Elsa Coupe. Alisa painted the base color of the coupe and prepped it completely for me, and I spent a fun day at her house just painting, chatting, and generally being happy that Kiddo 3 adores my friend, so that I could paint in peace. This is how it came out. Sorry for the phone pictures; I didn’t think to take my camera with me… I strictly had painting on my mind.
The side (it wasn’t completely done at this point, the steering wheel and the gas cap were being painted to match):
The Queen of Arendelle herself:
And a fun detail we added: A curtain in the back of the coupe, that kind of looks like the bottom half of her dress.
Hopefully this Cozy Coupe will go to an adoring Frozen fan and raise some money for a great cause. Hope they like it!
It’s the last week of school and the fervor for Frozen has only *minimally* died down here. We’re almost in summer and the kiddos can’t get out of winter So today, I made my last Frozen lunch of the (school) year, inspired by “In Summer,” the song by Olaf the snowman. If you’ve never seen it, DO SO. It’s hilarious.
If you still want to see more bentos, come back during summer! I’ll still be doing some for my kiddos who hang out at home for the summer — some really fun ones!
In today’s lunch:
Main Chicken salad sandwich in a whole grain white bread pocket. I used this awesome tutorial to improvise my pocket sandwich. All the outlines are made from nori, while the whites of the eyes and the tooth are made from some flattened pieces of bread I had left over from cutting off the crusts. Nose is a real carrot!
Sides Strawberry flower on blackberries with cheddar bee. I used nori for the black stripes on the bee and almond slivers for the wings. Also, green grapes.
Today I used:
So I’ve been watermelon crazy for a bit now, which is funny, because I don’t really care for watermelon (I’m more a berry type of girl), but I am really loving carving it! It’s actually a skill that doesn’t come easy to me and I really like the challenge of a completely new medium and working with a totally foreign tool (I don’t use knives much in my work). It’s been really fun to do potluck watermelons so far.
Yesterday our elementary school had an event for parent volunteers and asked us each to bring a dish for six people. I brought these little cups full of blackberries, grapes, watermelons, and golden honeydews (with blueberry middles), in the shape of flowers. Super easy to do and a little fun for the kids. I think they might be great for a fairy, garden, or butterfly themed birthday as well.
- Using a melon baller, make watermelon balls (my baller has two sizes, I used the smaller one)
- Layer blackberries, grapes and watermelons on top.
- Use flower cutter to cut out flowers from honeydew melon. Err on the side of thicker slices/flowers.
- Using a skewer (or long toothpick), use the blunt side to skewer the flower and then stick it into the fruit. I used grapes to anchor the flower, since they were the firmest fruit in the cup.
- Cut a blueberry in half. You don’t need anything to stick them on, just place them in the middles… the suction of the berry and the melon is enough to keep them on.
- Cut a green grape in half and trim them so they have a leaf shape.
- Place grape “leaves” at the base of the stem, using other fruit to prop them up.
I had bought personal watermelons for this, and part of the melon was just big enough to fit in the middle compartment of this (dollar store!) platter. So I carved a small rose with some leaves. A note about personal watermelons: they seem to be quite soft and easy to carve… which is good and bad. Good because you don’t need a lot of pressure, bad because sometimes it’s quite easy to slip and cut something you don’t want to cut.
I *think* people liked them because they were gone in less than five minutes (or however long it took me to get my and the kiddos’ plates of food ready).
The watermelon below was actually one I bought just for practice. I wanted to see what I could do if I dedicated the time to carefully carve without the pressure of getting everyone ready to go to a party. It came out better than they previously had and I took time to learn how to really carve with some great tutorials on youtube.
The watermelon below is one I brought to our family’s Mother’s Day celebration. It was supposed to be a rose… but it went downhill fast right after I started carving the middle, so improvisation! It ended up a much easier daisy. It was my first attempt at a rose and when I found out it was a LOT harder than it looks. Not the worst design, though.
For these projects I used:
My kiddo’s birthday is coming up and I’m all about special birthdays. The one thing she asked for was a butterfly cupcakes for her class. I’d done the Hello, Cupcake butterflies before for her first birthday but wanted to try out a new technique. This one was super challenging as the wings kept breaking, but I finally managed to get them done. I present the daintiest butterfly cupcakes I’ve ever done.
They ended up looking gourmet, but I kid you not, that’s Pillsbury Funfetti cake there (from a box). So yellowish cake with some sprinkles in it and plain ol’ vanilla frosting. The butterflies were done with this technique with melting candy wafers. They turned out lovely but really, I should’ve practiced more. Some tricks and tips for these cupcakes:
- Pipe enough on the outlines so that they don’t break at the edges and thin on the inside so that they make the lacy effect. It takes some playing around and careful hands.
- As soon as you’re done piping and you are folding the wings together, make sure you aren’t pushing down hard to get the mirror impression (for the other side of the dainty wings). I got a bit of a technique down by doing half the wings, folding them, flipping them to the other side and just lightly tapping on all parts of the wings so that they stuck to the other side of the wax paper (and then opening them, as the tutorial goes).
- I let the wings set three ways: Open air, in the refrigerator, and in the freezer. The freezer worked best. Since the wings were so thin, sometimes they wouldn’t set correctly on the counter. In the fridge they took a bit of time (and I was in a hurry) so I put them in the freezer and that seemed to work best.
- It also helped to peel them in the freezer (me standing outside an open freezer door, holding the butterflies in the freezer).
- Food tweezers! Again, so thin, these butterflies were melting at the touch of my hand… so to set them in, I used food tweezers/tongs. Much easier.
- I think next time, I’ll probably try the dual color ones or perhaps adding non-pareils for a more delicate touch.
Today I used:
Will the Frozen mania ever stop? It’s been ZERO days since someone hasn’t sung a Frozen song, asked to see Frozen or thought a Frozen thought in this house. I am not against it, but instead ran with it for today’s lunch. Also my younger kiddo was so super sad that I only made the Elsa lunch for her sister that she asked me pleadingly for a lunch for her. So here it is, inspired by Frozen (and participating in Wendolonia’s 3 Tools, 4 Lunches series) Today’s lunch is all about Sven. The challenge with the 3 Tools, 4 Lunches was to use an Easy Lunch Box, the Ikea woodland cutters, and a edible markers. This is what I came up with!
Main Cheese sandwhich (Mozarella on whole grain white). Ok so the Ikea cutter is a moose. I know that. I believe, though, that there are certain little bits that make a reindeer silhouette different from a moose silhouette:
Problem 1: The Dewlap. The flappy thingy at a moose’s neck makes it look very moose-like, but a reindeer doesn’t have one. Solution: Cut it off.
Problem 2: The antlers on a moose look pretty even (or at least, on the moose cookie cutter). Solution: Push and prod the back antlers forward until the bread gives and stays so that the back antlers are higher than the front of the antlers.
And BOOM. Reindeer.
For details, I added some crust to the brown part of his brow (with a little hair cut into it) and used it to shape his eyebrow, which is just drawn on with black edible marker. His muzzle is also crust, with edible marker. His eye is a little piece of mozzarella, also colored with edible marker and accented with a white non-pareil for a highlight. The rest of the eye is just outlined in black edible marker. The white fur around his neck is also mozzarella.
Sides Mini marshmallows cut into snowflake shapes (just cuts straight into the marshmallow all around its circumference) and carrots!
Also Included but not Pictured Grapes and a yogurt
Today I used:
Today is World Turtle Day! A day to celebrate our fine chelonian friends in the sea and on land. Today’s bento was much simpler than yesterday’s, but I’m kinda loving the way the baby turtle turned out Happy World Turtle Day!
PB&J cut up with a cookie cutter that does custom messages. Also, on top, little turtle sprinkles.
The little turtle is made from a cantaloupe ball (used a melon baller) and green grapes. His eyes were just parts of the grape stems to make them a little bulgy. Also included were blueberries and strawberries.
Also Included but Not Pictured
More melon and grapes and a yogurt
Today I used
Catching up with some of my favorite shows last night, I was getting a bit restless for some creative time (watch shows/do something with my hands) and so today’s slightly complicated bento was born. I chose Elsa, the snow queen from Frozen because my kiddo, like every other kiddo under the age of 10 has been singing “Let it Go” for about six months straight now (I won’t even get into how we duet “Love is an Open Door.”) Anyhow, I have been wanting to do an Elsa lunch since Frozen came out, but Lunchbox Dad beat me to it, so I gotta give him credit for the great hair idea (he used Yummy Dough, though, while I used marzipan).
I must admit the hair and the eyes took the longest because the marzipan needed to be done in layers and the marshmallow is sticky to work with. It was fun to see her come together though. Next time, Anna
Main PB&J sandwich, details drawn on with a foodwriter pen; eyes are cut marshmallows with blue M&Ms. The pupils are drawn on with the foodwriter, and the white highlights are just bits of marshmallow. Hair is marzipan, dyed with a little food coloring.
Sides Blueberries with snowflake shaped marshmallows (used a cherry blossom cutter on a marshmallow and then drew a snowflake on top) and snowflake sprinkles; green grapes on “crystal ice” food picks.
Also Included but not Pictured Applesauce, yogurt
Today’s theme was chosen at random by my kiddo. Yesterday morning I had a little extra time (woke up too early!) and decided to do a bento and I asked the kiddo to pick a theme. She happened to be holding “Fly Guy Presents Dinosaurs” in her hand and she loves him, and so I went to work.
Main PB&J Dino sandwich. Fly Guy mini sammie: PB&J for the body and black antennae made with black licorice; eye detail made with a teensy bit of black icing and wing detail with a food marker.
Sides Blackberries and blueberries
Also Included but not pictured Applesauce
Today I used:
Watermelons are back in season! Summer+potluck = watermelon carving. I used to take cupcakes to potlucks but I like bringing fruit because I know my kids will eat it (I know they’ll eat cupcakes too, but I kinda feel better about them eating the fruit) and because it takes a lot less time to carve one large watermelon instead of decorating 25 little cupcakes. So for a friend’s housewarming, I thought I’d do a fun summer shark, which I’ve never had an excuse to do before. In it, I put watermelon balls, cantaloupe balls (and big and tiny fish), and grapes.
I am particularly digging the big fish in his mouth. It was silly, but totally necessary. Here is a detail shot.
All in all, it’s totally fun to do these watermelons. I expect to do more through the summer!