With this being Teacher Appreciation week, as always I was stumped as to what to get for the teachers. I really like gift cards generally but sometimes I feel like it feels like a last-minute gift. So I wanted to show my thanks to our preschool teachers by making them an edible flower arrangement. You probably all heard me complain about how much edible arrangements cost, so I took it into my own hands and came up with a bouquet of watermelons, cantaloupes, and pineapple with blueberry metals and green grapes stems. Super simple as always, just by using an inexpensive glass vase, one cookie cutter, and some wooden skewers. The twist this time was that I added the melons so that the arrangement was a gradient of colors for a pretty burst of colors. To create the base of the flowers in the vase, I added blueberries to the bottom and grapes on top of those. The fluted neck of the vase held the flowers in place beautifully.
To finish the gift, I added a hand-lettered card not pictured here. I really hope the teachers like the treat!
I recently cleared up something with a friend: I do not make “pretty” bentos every day (the more elaborate ones I do about twice a week). I do make bentos every day because I have to make the kiddo lunch every day. But sometimes rather than looking like Super Mario Brothers or unicorns with rainbow fruit, they just look like this:
Some people say that’s a lot of work still but really this only took me five minutes. I use the sandwich cutter because my kiddo hates crusts and has me cut them off anyhow; the cutter just does it super fast for me. The grapes are stuck on a wooden skewer for fun and the strawberries are just stuck in the extra areas. I put little food picks for fun. Aaaaannnnd done. Five minutes because I took my time with the sandwich, what with helping small people get dressed and all. So bento doesn’t really have to take up much time.
Today’s bento, however, did take a bit of time because I’m trying out a new technique. I think one of my favorite themes in bento is flowers, just because almost anything can be a flower 🙂 I wanted to try my hand at apple carving but we had just gotten some pears in from our CSA box so I used those. I’m definitely going to be trying it with apples. My first try was just ok, I think. Not amazing, but cute enough for now. For the other flower, I used the trusted mandarin orange flower with strawberry center 🙂 This is not the main meal, as you probably guessed by all the fruit. It’s just a fruit side because the main meal was leftover pasta from last night inside a (deep, dark, hard-to-photograph-and-just-pasta-in-it-anyway) thermos.
(not pictured) Penne Alfredo with chicken
Carved pear with a blueberry on top (held with a toothpick); clementine orange with strawberry flower; blueberries; green grapes.
Today I used:
Today, we had a no-bread crisis at our house so tortellini it was for lunch! I will forever struggle with making tortellini look good so I decided to make the “side” a bento instead. So, to go with yesterday’s theme, a caterpillar garden it was.
Sides A caterpillar made of vanilla crackers and pretzel antennae as well as candy eyes (I’m kinda loving the candy eyes right now). The little guy is eating strawberry flowers and is surrounded by craisins.
Today I used:
Yesterday was the first day of spring but I never do bentos on Wednesdays, so today I made a spring flower bento. I’ve made a few before and will certainly make more– flowers are just so versatile!
And the details:
PB&J as always. I’m trying to get out of this rut, I SWEAR! I try other stuff but we always go back to this because it is requested… also, it’s the only thing that isn’t constantly sent back uneaten. Maybe I should just come to terms? LOL. The flower middle is a cantaloupe ball on top of a pink flower food divider.
Under the green grape flower is kiwi and a cantaloupe ball. Also, on top of the yellow flower food divider, another tiny cantaloupe ball. One of the little containers has pistachios in it and the other, yogurt covered raisins.
Today I used:
Super simple flower bento
Easier than fancy schmancy gumpaste flowers — starburst flowers 🙂
simple: roll out starburst chew (this pink is watermelon flavor), cut 5 petals with tiny circle cutter. Pinch bases, stick them together. Stick edible pearl in the middle (but could just as easily been a tiny ball of starburst in the middle too). Voila! fancy schmancy flower done.
Fascinator I made for myself to wear at a wedding (as a guest) made with ostrich feathers and cloth flower, all attached to a headband.