Into the Woods… and Home Before Dark!

Into the Woods Bento |

Another beloved movie! I saw Into the Woods in a play as a teenager and I instantly loved it. I loved the tongue-in-cheekness, I loved the characters, I loved the less-than-happy ending. Loved. When Disney put it out this last year, I took my husband out on a date to see it. It was great! I talked about it so much that my kiddos started to want to see it, and they saw it with their grandma. They loved it, too! One soundtrack and many many many repeats later, it’s the only album the whole family can agree on in the car. So when the kiddo asked me for an Into the Woods lunch, I had to do it!

This lunch was inspired by the Witch’s curse which needs to resolve itself through:

One: the cow as white as milk,
Two: the cape as red as blood,
Three: the hair as yellow as corn,
Four: the slipper as pure as gold.

In this lunch:

Main A cream cheese sandwich (by request) in the shape of Milky White– in this particular lunch, I guess it helped that my child will only eat white bread (booooo!).
Sides The cape as red as blood (or as red as a strawberry) with a little bread face. I used sprinkles for the eyes and mouth and a few peels of blueberry for the hair. For Little Red Riding Hood’s dress, I cut up a little piece of cupcake liner! Also included was a banana with the hair as yellow as corn, and a piece of bread shaped like a foot and painted with yellow paint for the slipper as pure as gold (over a mix of nuts). Also, two little trees with blueberry leaves.
Also Included but not Pictured Yogurt

Today, I used:

Big Hero 6 Bento

Big Hero 6 Bento |

With Big Hero 6 out on DVD, my kiddos have been watching it over and over again. I personally haven’t seen it (erm, I’ve used it as a babysitter while making dinner, though!) but I caught enough here and there to make up a lunch based on the characters. So here we go, a Big Hero 6 lunch!

In this lunch:

Main Not a sandwich for once! My grandma has a recipe for no-syrup pancakes which is great for lunch, as there is no mess. They are only very slightly sweet and taste good with a little butter (although I didn’t add butter here). So a set of Baymax pancakes (so easy to make!)
Sides Lol, a mini sandwich (PB&J of course)– I painted Hiro’s face on it; blueberries with a suited up Baymax made from a couple of strawberries, a bit of bread and a teensy bit of food dye– kept together with peanut butter.
Also Included but not Pictured Bunny graham crackers

Today, I used:

A Simple St. Patrick’s Day Bento

Simple St. Patrick's Day Bento Lunch |

I was trying to figure out what I was going to do for St. Patrick’s Day’s lunch and thought up a few different themes. In the end, I decided to go really simple clover themed (with a couple of extra goodies in there!). I just love when a simple lunch comes together and practically anyone can make this!

In this lunch:

Main A PB&J heart sandwich with a cut out clover. The green under the cut out was a small spot of peanut butter with some green food dye. I cut out the clover with a tiny heart cutter.
Sides Trail mix with two little chocolate coins and green grapes cut into hearts (and held together with a toothpick) and arranged like a clover. The grape-clover sits on top of a piece of lettuce, but there are more grapes under that.
Also Included but not Pictured Yogurt and a banana

Today, I used:

Every So Often… I Get a Day Off

Ardenwood A |

It’s true that bentos are my main form of art at the moment. It’s a pragmatic choice to work with a medium I’m forced to use anyhow (I have to pack lunches, so why not enjoy doing it?) but sometimes, more often than I admit, I miss sketching and drawing. I’m a graphic designer by trade, so sketching tends to be part of my routine anyhow, but it’s often rushed and on post-its. Sitting with a detailed drawing takes delicate and delicious time, which I sorely lack between a houseful of kiddos and a job (although my job as a graphic design instructor is awesome because I get to talk design all day long, I am usually helping others with their work). Anyhow, every so often I get a day off. I took the kids to school this morning with the intent of having breakfast with friends and then spending precious hours sketching at my most favorite place, Ardenwood Historic Farm. We go there often, practically every week, but with toddlers underfoot it’s difficult to take time to soak it in. So today, I had every intention.

Except I forgot it closes on Mondays. Epic fail.

Regardless, I spread a blanket out on my lawn, took out my instruments and drew. And drew and drew. For a good three hours. And my Ardenwood “A,” instead of being a result of watching the eucalyptus trees for reference, was referenced by pictures I’d taken instead. The best laid plans…

What I learned was that it was nice to sit in my own home, by myself, grass under me with tiny insects occasionally trudging across my page. Felt nice to have the luxury of time and the quiet of the day. I finished a thought. It was good.

Today I used: Scotch Modern Swash Italic for its beautiful reference to 19th century typography, and in reference to the fact that Ardenwood Farm was created around the same time.

Butterflies, Again Bento

Butterfly Bento |

I never get tired of creating new butterfly bentos. I love Monarch butterflies… they mean a lot to me because to me they represent California (which I adore), and they overwinter near my home. I love the fact that they are immigrants here but at the same time natives; I love that they fly so many miles and die along the way but something instinctual urges them to keep on the path. They feel magical in the woods where we see them every year.

For this bento, I thought about those overwintering butterflies, clustered with their families and spanning California.

In this lunch:

Main A PB&J heart sandwich with little bread butterflies clustered and glued down with peanut butter. To give them a little bit of dimension to their wings, I used the wrong side of a butter knife to fold the middle inward.
Sides Trail mix, two mandarins with a wing cut out of each mandarin and squished together and almonds.
Also Included but not Pictured Yogurt and string cheese

Today, I used:

The Day After Grammar Day Bento: Conjunction Junction

Conjunction Junction Bento |

Yesterday, it was National Grammar Day. It’s a nerd-like-me’s dream day! Unfortunately, I had to leave my house super early yesterday and had to work the night before, so I didn’t get a chance to make a Grammar Day lunch for the kiddo. So today I made up for it. It’s sad that it won’t be for Grammar Day… but then again, grammar is good all year round :)

In this lunch:

Main  PB& J AND cream cheese mini sandwiches (see the conjunction?) with cheddar cheese words
Sides Carved banana with the Conjunction Junction engineer on it, kiwi go sign and a couple of mandarins
Also Included but not Pictured Yogurt and a string cheese

Today, I used:

Dr. Seuss Day Bento

Dr Seuss Day Bento |

Today is Dr. Seuss Day (AKA National Read Across America Day) and the kiddo’s favorite Dr. Seuss book is One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and one of her favorite characters is the (unnamed) girl. She’s having a fun school Read Across America event at school today (with pillow and blanky and stuffed animal) so I thought this would be appropriate!

In this lunch:

Main PB&honey with the girl from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish painted on. TIP! It’s actually pretty hard to paint on a piece of bread because of all the holes in the bread (even harder with healthier, chunkier bread), so I make it a double sandwich, using a two regular slices of bread and having the top one (the third piece) slightly flattened by a roller, just enough to make it a little more dense and flatten out the holes, so then when it’s painted, you don’t have inconsistencies in the painting.
Sides Goldfish crackers (one painted to be a red fish and the second, a blue fish) and half an apple carved with the “To There, To Here” sign from the book; it was outlined with the black dye.
Also included but not pictured Applesauce and an orange.

Today, I used:

Mr. Peabody and Sherman Bento

Mr. Peabody and Sherman Bento |

It’s official: this house is Mr. Peabody and Sherman crazy. We love this movie — I love the history of it all and the kids love the jokes. It’s really funny for all ages and we’ve been watching it over and over again at this house since it premiered on Netflix. So to commemorate the awesome movie (and because of the fact that I can’t stop saying “DOS SHERMANOS!” — from the movie, you have to watch it!) I made a Mr. Peabody and Sherman bento for the kiddo. I’m not sure who is more excited about it, her or me ;)

In this lunch:

Main A PB&J Sherman with edible dough glasses. The sandwich is super simple with the Fred Bread Head Sandwich Stamp. Just make the sandwich and fashion up some glasses with edible dough!
Sides Trail mix, blueberries, a carved banana (with some heart sprinkles that make up Mr. Peabody’s tie), and a Laughing Cow cheese WABAC machine with a yogurt covered almond inside painted with a quick little Mr. Peabody.
Also Included but not Pictured Yogurt

Today, I used:

Happy Lunar New Year: The Year of the Sheep

Year of the Sheep Bento |

Happy Year of the Sheep! :D It’s a simple lunch for the preschool kiddo today :) She wanted in on the fun. I thought a smaller Lunchbot box might be appropriate, since this one eats like a bird! Gung hay fat choy!

In this lunch:

Main Two mini peanut butter sandwiches
Sides Part of a banana carved with the year, a nut mix with yogurt covered almonds, and a couple of chocolate coins.
Also included but not pictured Probiotic strawberry smoothie

Today I used:

One in a Minion Valentine’s Day Bento

One in a Minion Valentine's Day Lunch |

Eventually the time comes when every bento-er must make a minion lunch! For me today is that day. I’ve been meaning to make a minion lunch for a while now, but when I saw a “One in a Minion” Valentine’s Day card, I knew it had to become a bento theme. What’s better than a silly declaration of love, in the form of a tiny, yellow henchman? And by the way, I was totally singing “One in a Minion” ala Boston More than a Feeling-style.

Main A PB&J sandwich with a piece of cheddar on top. Sounds a bit icky, but I attached it with peanut butter. My kiddo is happy to lick it off, lol. The way I made the main minion:
  1. I cut a smile out of the piece of cheddar and I use a tiny cutter that I have to make little teeth from leftover bread.
  2. I also used some crossed to back it and heart sprinkle for his tongue.
  3. I also took a large Wilton eye and I drew a brown iris around the black pupil for depth.
  4. I also took a heart sprinkle to make the eye highlight.
  5. I used a black foodwriter marker to draw the goggle strap and a few hairs on top.
  6. I also lined the eye with a little aluminum foil for the goggle.

Sides Minion graham crackers (with heart sprinkles on some of them — not all! I’m not crazy ;) ), one small banana cut into two with drawn on details. The eyes are just the smaller Wilton eyes with irises and (one) eyelid drawn on. I just cut into the banana for the little hairs on top (naturally browning) and cut the mouths in the same way.
Also included but not pictured An unusually large cutie mandarin!

Today, I used: