Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spooky Lunch for Halloween

After having today off due to Super Storm Sandy, we're ready for a fun and spooky lunch for Halloween tomorrow.  I had this great idea to do a lunch that was all body parts.  Sometimes things sound better on paper.  Still, I'm pleased with the result.
Our main entree is brains.  Well, at least that was the original thought.  I mixed up some Heart Healthy Bisquick with milk, added a decent amount of shredded cheese and shaped the brains.  Then, I put them in the oven with great excitement about my creation.  The timer went off, I opened the oven door and BLAH!  These look nothing like brains.  Even using a red food safe marker to try and recreate the brain didn't work.  Oh well, that's what fun picks and rings are for.

Our vegetable side is baby carrot fingers.  We used whipped cream cheese to put the sliced almond finger nails on them.

Our fruit side is eyeballs.  We used canned pear halves (in pear juice) and cut them into a more circular shape.  Then, we added a maraschino cherry with a chocolate chip in the middle for the pupil.

Our dairy is green slime.  We added a few drops of green food coloring to vanilla yogurt.

Finally, our dessert for Halloween is a homemade chocolate chip cookie with some fall sprinkles in it.  Our Trick or Treat is postponed until Saturday so we figured that a mid-week treat would be fun.

*We found a great idea on Pinterest for a healthy Halloween treat to give out at school.  C.J. is handing this out to his friends at preschool tomorrow.  Just clementines and a Sharpie marker for a great treat.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Awareness Lunch in Honor of a Friend

Several months ago I was involved in a great opportunity to lose weight and train for running in the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.  During this training I met a bunch of wondeful people that I am still in friends with.  It was fantastic.  One person in particular became a fast friend.  She is one of those people that I felt like I had known my whole life.  We instantly bonded over crazy motherhood things and working hard to lose weight while training to run an awesome race.  She is a guidance counselor at an elementary school and has even written a book (link below) about helping your child to cope with death.  Lori is an amazing person all around and I consider myself to be so blessed to call her my friend.

In August, I got a message from her.  I knew that she had a history of breast cancer in her family and that she was going in for a biopsy.  The message read, "Well, got my results back yesterday.  I do have cancer - but the good news is that they caught it early!"  She is handling it all amazingly well and her prognosis looks really good.  She is even blogging about her journey and you can read her amazing story here.

Here's a special lunch for my girls, in honor of my "Irish Sister", Lori.  We pray for you daily!  To everyone reading this, be smart and get checked.  Early detection is key, just ask Lori.
Our main entree is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that have been cut with awareness ribbon cookie cutters.  We used pink food safe markers to make them into breast cancer awareness ribbons.

Our vegetable side is carrots.  We nickled them and put them into a triangle shaped silicone mold.

Our fruit side is strawberries and raspberries.  We added a breast cancer awareness ribbon pick to them.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is vanilla yogurt with breast cancer awareness ribbon sprinkles.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Skeleton Lunch

With Halloween only a few days away we're rounding our some of our favorite characters with the skeleton the star for tomorrow.
Our main entree is a skeleton muffin.  We mixed some shredded cheese with refrigerated crescent rolls and flattened them out with a rolling pin.  We then used our gingerbread man cookie cutter to make our body shape and used pieces of salami to make the skeleton bones and baked them off.

Our vegetable side is some cucumber bones.  We used a small bone cookie cutter to cut them out.

Our fruit side is a skeleton face carved apple.

Finally, our Fun Friday treat is a skeleton snack mix.  We have Scooby Snacks graham crackers, mini marshmallows that we put skeleton faces on with food safe markers and finally, we added a few skeleton themed candies.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spooky Spider Lunch

We were inspired by something that we saw by our friend Michelle at Creative Food.  This is an easy way to bring some Halloween fun to lunch.
Our main entree is a waffle sandwich.  We used two whole grain waffles, toasted them, added whipped cream cheese and thinly sliced strawberries.  Then, we added eight pretzel sticks for the legs and some candy eyeballs.

Our vegetable side is a couple of spider carrots.

Our fruit side is a spider kiwi.

Finally, our dairy dessert is vanilla yogurt with a couple of chocolate spider webs on them.  We the spider webs made by melting a small amount of chocolate chips (probably around 1/8 of a cup) in a ziploc freezer bag in the microwave at half power for about a minute and a half in 30 second increments. At each increment we mixed the chocolate and made sure that it wasn't getting too runny.  *Microwaves vary so check your manufacturer's instructions.  We then snipped the corner off of the bag and piped the webs onto a piece of parchment paper, let them harden and peeled them off for our decoration.  *If you do not want to use a plastic bag in the microwave, simply melt the chocolate the same way in a microwave safe glass (Pyrex) container and use a parchment piping bag.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sports Team Day

The girls are having a Say No To Drugs Spirit Week this week. Tomorrow is "wear your favorite sports team jersey or colors".  We are huge Pittsburgh fans all around, so that's what inspired our lunch.
Our main entree is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  We used a Hello Kitty cookie cutter and tried to create some black and gold fans.  I think they look a little more like polar bears but, fun nonetheless.

Our vegetable side is yellow peppers and cucumber slices with a Pittsburgh Steelers pick.

Our fruit side is strawberries, raspberries and pomegranates with a Pittsburgh Pirates pick.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is vanilla yogurt with a Pittsburgh Penguins pick.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Easy Halloween Lunch

I was way too tired to blog last night.  Daddy and I ran the Hershey Half Marathon yesterday morning and then drove home to Pittsburgh, got stuck in some crazy traffic and finally made it to our house just before it was time to put the kids to bed.  Not to worry, I made lunches for the girls but didn't take photos.  Nothing too fancy but still made with love.  Tonight, I'm still a bit sleepy but had enough energy to muster up some creativity.  These lunches are an easy way to make something simple but extra fun by using a few tools.
Our main entree is a salami and cheese sandwich.  We used a cookie cutter to make the pumpkin shape and our food safe markers to embellish it.

Our vegetable side is cucumber slices and shredded carrots.  These are in a silicone cupcake liner and have a spider and witch ring attached.

Our fruit side is kiwi slices and fresh raspberries.  We added a jack-o-lantern pick to them.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is vanilla yogurt with some Halloween sprinkles.

Items used to make this lunch:
Food Decorating Pick 3D Jack O Lantern Pumpkin

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Witchy Lunch

Our Halloween Hop on Wednesday inspired today's lunch. 
We're ready for some great Halloween Fun!
ps - Bean is going to be a witch. 
Our main entree is a salami and cheese sandwich.  We used some fun witch cookie cutters and a mini witch cookie cutter to make these.  We used our food safe markers to embellish them. 

Our vegetable side is witch's broom celery.  We cut a piece of celery and made slits in the bottom then soaked the end in cold water to have it spread.  Finally, we added a little bit of peanut butter to the center.  If you have a peanut free school, you can use cream cheese.
Our fruit side is a Kiwitchi!  We used a pear for her nose, candies for her eyes and sprinkles for her hair and mouth.  Finally, we added a fun hat decoration.

Our dairy/dessert is vanilla yogurt with mini leaf sprinkles. 

Our Fun Friday treat is Horizon Organic chocolate milk. The girls already had candy earlier in the week but this is still a yummy treat.  
Food Decorating Topper Party 3D Witches Hats

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Happy Halloween Hop

The Bento Bloggers and Friends are all very excited to share their awesome Halloween lunches to get everyone in the spirit of the season.  Follow the hop at the bottom of this post.

Our main entree is a Halloween pasta salad.  We used Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Halloween pasta
(saved the cheese packet for popcorn) and added a little bit of food coloring to the water when cooking.  We added some light Italian dressing, orange peppers, black olives and a cheesy provolone ghosts to the top.

Our vegetable side is golden beets cut into pumpkin shapes with a mini cookie cutter.  (yes, the girls like beets...Mama too!)

Our fruit side is a clementine that has been peeled and embellished with our food safe markers to make it look like a jack-o-lantern.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is vanilla yogurt...made into a scary spider eyeball with a chocolate ball and some strawberry pieces.  We also added a few pieces of candy corn and 2 mini candy pumpkins to the fruit compartment as a special Halloween inspired treat.

ps - we used the orange lids on our Easy Lunch Boxes to make it even more Halloweenie!

Hop along to see what Bobbi has stirred up at Bobbi's Bentos!
Japanese Bento Cute Food Pick 12 pcsJapanese Bento Box Accessories Silicone Food Cup size 8 Colorful

Monday, October 15, 2012

Leftover Pizza

A super fun and busy weekend resulted in a pizza night on Sunday.  We had plenty of leftovers and they are perfect for lunch.
Our main entree is leftover cheese pizza.

Our vegetable side is a green salad.  We put a side of blue cheese dressing in Molly's and ranch in Bean's lunch using our Easy Lunch Boxes Mini Dippers.

Our fruit side is apple slices.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Chobani Champions Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Greek yogurt.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fun Fall Lunch

We had a very full weekend with lots of fall traditions.  We did our annual trek up to McConnell's Mill State Park and had a blast running around and piling up leaves, then jumping in the leaves.  We got some great photos for our memory book.  Then, we went to Brown's Country Kitchen (a little hole in the wall joint with awesome food) for some lunch and homemade pie.  Finally, we stopped at Baldinger's Candy store on the way home.  We let the kids each pick out 10 pieces of candy since Halloween is right around the corner.  If you are interested in checking these places out, I have more details about them in this post.
Our main entree is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that has been cut into leaf shapes to reminisce about our fun weekend.

Our vegetable side is cucumbers and carrots.

Our fruit side is strawberries and pomegranate arils.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Very Berry Chobani Champions Greek yogurt.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halloween Simple Lunch

We're doing another Fun Friday Halloween themed lunch.  We found a great sandwich cutter at the grocery store and the girls requested sandwiches for tomorrow.  Bonus!  This lunch is nice and simple, only embellished by a sandwich cutter and a few Halloween picks.
Our main entree is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that has been cut with our bat sandwich cutter.

Our vegetable side is cucumber slices.

Our fruit side is strawberries.

Finally, our Fun Friday treat is Trader Joe's Halloween Gummy Tummies.
Like this stuff?  Win it by sharing a photo of your lunch on our Facebook page!!!  See below.
Have you seen our giveaway on Facebook?  We want to see your lunch!  Just post a picture of any lunch that you've made on our Facebook page, tag Molly's Lunch Box in it and get your friends to like it.  You could win this sweet Halloween prize pack to make some fun lunches.  Contest ends 10/17 at 1pm EST.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lots of Veggies

Molly had two requests today.  1. To use one of the "cool new lunch boxes" that Bean used today and 2. To have some veggies with hummus.  That was our jumping off point.
The girls' lunches are exactly the same but in two different containers.

Our main entree is lots of veggies with Trader Joe's 3 Layer Hummus.  Bean's hummus looks a bit nicer since it was scooped out first.  It's cilantro, regular and red pepper hummus all layered so nicely in the container but not so pretty scooped into a smaller container...but still delicious.  Our veggies are zucchini, carrots, cucumbers and red peppers.

Our fruit side is apples slices and pomegranate arils.

We added some crackers and a cheese stick to round out our meal.

Finally, our diary/dessert is Chobani Champions Very Berry.
Food Decorating Pick Fall Leave Scarecrow 10 pcs

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

All Request Lunch

Usually when I suggest something the girls are quick to agree with a "sure, sounds good Mom" but tonight they both wanted different things.  Luckily, their requests were an easy fix or Mama might have tried to sway their choices.
Bean's lunch is leftover pasta with a little bit of butter and Parmesan.  We will heat it up in the morning before school.
Her veggies are cucumber slices, pepper rings and shredded carrots.  Her fruits are strawberries, fresh figs, kiwi and pomegranate arils. These are in a Lunchbots Duo.
Finally, her dairy/dessert is Chobani Champions Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Greek yogurt. (we love their new design!)
Molly's main entree is a super cinnamon raisin sandwich.  Trader Joe's makes this amazing cinnamon roll bread and we spread Peanut Butter and Company Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter.
Her veggies and fruit are the same as Bean's.We also put Chobani Champions Vanilla Chocolate Chunk in Molly's lunch.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Quick and Easy Lunch

Mondays are busy at our house.  Today was no exception.  This means, pizza for dinner and in turn, pizza for lunch.  This was a very easy lunch to toss together.
Our main entree is leftover pizza.  We cut it into pizza "sticks" to make it more manageable.

Our vegetable side is cucumber slices and yellow pepper slices.

Our fruit side is a GoGoSqueeZ applesauce.  Apple Strawberry for Molly and Apple Banana for Bean.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Trader Joe's apricot and mango Greek yogurt.  The girls loved the yogurt today and asked that it be added to their lunch for tomorrow.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Columbus Day Lunch

There is usually no school on Columbus Day but for whatever reason, we have school this year.  We're taking the opportunity to make a fun lunch in honor of Christopher Columbus' journey across the ocean blue in 1492 and proving that the Earth is actually round and not flat.
I only took one picture because the girls' lunches were exactly the same. 
Our main entree is a pepperoni and cheese sandwich that celebrates that awesome year when Columbus discovered America.

Our vegetable side is cucumber slices and some red pepper on a boat pick.

Our fruit side is an apple that we have made into a ship to represent one of Columbus' three ships.  I've told the girls about the toothpick so that they know how to pull the ship apart.  

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Trader Joe's Strawberry Greek yogurt.  This stuff is SO good.  It's full fat so it is really creamy and delicious.  We only get it once in a while (probably because Trader Joe's is on the other side of town) but it's a great treat.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Halloween Inspired Lunch and a special giveaway!!

Are you a fan of ours on Facebook? We are running a little contest for our fans.  Make a lunch (any lunch), take a photo of it, post that photo on our Facebook page, tag Molly's Lunch Box and get your friends to like it.  You could win a bunch of awesome Halloween themed fun for your lunches. :)  (See the photo below)
Tomorrow's lunches are inspired by Halloween and a few of the fun things in our giveaway!
Our main entree is a pumpkin shaped salami and cheese sandwich.  The girls both requested this for their lunch.  We used our food safe markers to make a jack-o-lantern face.

Our vegetable side is cucumber slices and a mini orange pepper that we carved a jack-o-lantern face out of.

Our fruit side is kiwi slices.  We think that they look kind of like monster eyes...if we stretch it a little.  haha!

Our dairy side is a Babybel cheese.  We used some mini cookie cutters to cut an acorn and a leaf out of the red wax.

Finally, our Fun Friday treat is S'mores drizzled mini crisps and we added a few Halloween sprinkles.

We used a candy corn and Charlie Brown Halloween napkin from our friends at Red Poppy Crafts.

We've got some great accessories to make a fun Halloween lunch.  Take our Facebook Challenge and all of this could be yours!
Cookie cutters, cupcake liners, food picks and napkins.

World Animal Day Hop

The BBFs are at it again.  We are celebrating World Animal Day with a hop of fun animal lunches.  We chose to do a cat lunch because Molly LOVES cats but is allergic to them.  This is our way of letting her have fun with one of her favorite animals.  (Bean likes cats too...especially Hello Kitty!)
Our main entree is a CuteZCute cat sandwich.  We used Peanut Butter and Company's Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter and some thinly sliced apples for our filling.  YUM!

Our vegetable side is a cucumber "yarn ball".  We used a spiral vegetable slicer (link below) to cut our cucumber into a pasta shape and then curled it all together to make the yarn, because cats like to play with yarn.  

Our fruit side is red grapes, kiwi berries and some apple pieces.  We attempted to make a cat face with the kiwi berries and apple pieces.  There are also a couple of grapes on a cat pick in the main compartment.

Finally, our diary/dessert is vanilla yogurt with a couple of Hello Kitty sprinkles.

I know that Marie always has something fun.  Can't wait to see what she's cooked up over at Healthy Eating Starts at Home.  Hop on over to continue your animal experience!
Japanese Bento Decoration Food Pick Cute Animal 10 pcsJapanese Bento Accessory Food Pick Hat 3D food picks 8 pcs

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Salad Lunch with Homemade Applesauce and Recipe

We love the fall in our house.  The windows are open, cool air is flowing through the house and the smell of fall fills every room.  We have so much fun going to the pumpkin patch, hiking through park and picking up the multi-colored leaves that are amazingly gorgeous.  We also like that there are tons of great apples in season.  This is why I'm sharing one of our favorite recipes with you.  See below.
Our main entree is a "big salad".  This was Molly's request after dance tonight so it made my decision really easy.  Our base is butter lettuce and we topped it with cucumbers, peppers, olives, turkey pepperoni and a Babybel cheese.  We added a little bit of Italian dressing for Molly and Ranch for Bean on our Easy Lunchboxes Mini Dippers.

Our fruit side is our homemade Baked Applesauce.  YUM!

Finally, our dairy/dessert is vanilla yogurt with some cute little flower sprinkles in it.

Baked Applesauce

7-8 large apples peeled, cored and cut into chunks
a sprinkle of cinnamon

*yep, that's it.

Preheat your oven to 350° F.

Wash and peel your apples.

Core your apples.  (I find it easiest to cut the apple in quarters and then core the apple by cutting the center out on a slant.)

Cut your apples into chunks.

Place the apple chunks on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon.  We like Saigon Cinnamon.  Use as much or as little as you'd like.

Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until tender enough to mash.

While still warm, use a potato masher to smash them into sauce. (great stress relief!) Or put into a food processor if you prefer smoother applesauce.  We like it chunky like apple pie.

That's it.  Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.  It's great cold or warm.  My favorite way is warm with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream.