Friday, December 31, 2010

7th day of Christmas: seven swans a swimming

I can't help but feel I sort of cheated to do this bento. Seven swans couldn't have been easier, with these perfect picks to help me out. :)

7th day of Christmas

On the left side of the bento is are purple grapes, a small clementine, and golden delicious apple chunks. On the right side is a turkey and cheese sandwich on white-wheat bread with two apricot fruit leather hearts.

This bento is packed in a Sassy box with just one of the small inner dishes used.

I ordered these bento picks a long time ago for this 7th day of Christmas bento and squirreled them away for this day to come...and when I plucked out the swan picks this morning I was bummed to see there were actual little squirrel picks in the package too! Those would have been perfect for the squirrel bentos I did last month! Doh!

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone!! Stay safe! See you next year. :)

This is part 7 of a 12 part bento series on the Twelve Days of Christmas! :)
See also:
6th day of Christmas: six geese a laying
5th day of Christmas: five golden rings
4th day of Christmas: four calling birds
3rd day of Christmas: three french hens
2nd day of Christmas: two turtle doves
1st day of Christmas: a partridge in a pear tree

Supplies used to make this bento:

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

6th day of Christmas: six geese a laying

It was a couple months ago that I came up with the idea to do a little bento series for the Twelve Days of Christmas, so I've had awhile to brainstorm specific ideas for each one. A couple ideas were immediate - a partridge in a pear tree? Easy peasy. Two turtle doves? A no brainer! But there were a couple that have been tricky for me, and six geese a laying was one of them.

At one point I asked Ethan if he had any ideas for the goose bento. Boy did he! He drew a diagram to illustrate his goose vision:
Ethan's big goose idea

I was very impressed! He's always been very creative and I loved his take on sculpting geese. I really considered following his blue print, thinking I could put the geese in a muffin pan, one goose for each muffin cup space - their nests where they are a-laying! I even had just bought some organic kiwis, which are conveniently packaged six to a bag! It looked like all the stars were aligning... until further prodding in the pantry revealed that the only "chocolate covered pretzels" (he meant pocky sticks!) were the fat almond crusted ones...and our only marshmallows we had were the big fat ones... and then found that one of the kiwis had been eaten by Paige and another one squashed and mauled by Tyler. Boo.

Emergency plan B. Make a goose shaped cookie cutter. I remembered an old post on my friend Wendy's blog, where she writes about how she fashioned a batman cutter for her son Wyatt.

So I dug out the mini duck-shaped cutter that I had bought for 50 cents at a local hobby store for the ChemoDuck bentos.

Gathered some tools. I needed needle nose pliers, a thin Lego, a K'nex stick and a drumstick (don't mind the grime).
cookie cutter tools

The end product looked something like this:
(well, okay, it looked exactly like this):
goose cutter-1

And the resulting six geese a laying bento:
6th day of Christmas

In the top tier tray of an ultra awesome stainless tiffin box is a snack of Ritz crackers, custom-made goose-shaped cheese, a blue silicone cup "nest" full of mint M&M "eggs".

geese a laying

The geese are cut out of provolone cheese and decorated with food-safe markers. The little feet are cut using an itty bitty bento cutter and fruit leather. Both my husband and Ethan were baffled as to why some geese had two feet and others had one. Simply, some of the geese are laying in such a way their 2nd foot is obscured from view, of course. ;-) (really, I thought it looked a little crowded when they all had two feet showing so I took a few out).

The bottom of this tiffin box held leftover pizza and apple wedges and was not a pretty sight, so I'll spare you the photo. ;-) I'll be sharing more about this neato tiffin box soon!

This is part 6 of a 12 part bento series on the Twelve Days of Christmas! :)
See also:
5th day of Christmas: five golden rings
4th day of Christmas: four calling birds
3rd day of Christmas: three french hens
2nd day of Christmas: two turtle doves
1st day of Christmas: a partridge in a pear tree

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

5th day of Christmas: five golden rings

Fiiiiiiive goooooollldennn riiiiiiings!!

When I was a kid singing "The Twelve Days of Christmas" song, this verse was always my favorite to belt out. :)
5th day of Christmas - 12 days of christmas

Five golden rings bento:

Packed in an EasyLunchbox:
- five golden pineapple rings in the large section
- low-fat cottage cheese in the smallest section
- two mini sandwiches and some cheddar crackers in the middle sized section

This is the only Christmas days gift that isn't a bird or a person. Interesting, huh? :)

This is part 5 of a 12 part bento series on the Twelve Days of Christmas! :)
See also:
4th day of Christmas: four calling birds
3rd day of Christmas: three french hens
2nd day of Christmas: two turtle doves
1st day of Christmas: a partridge in a pear tree
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

4th day of Christmas: four calling birds

It's the fourth day of Christmas, the day True Love gifts four calling birds. The bento lunch documentation of this momentous occasion...

4th day of Christmas - Four Calling Birds

Packed in a PlanetBox, this lunch contains:
- turkey sandwich on multigrain bread
- four calling bird shaped cheese pieces
- fruit leather phone
- two small clementines
- golden delicious apple and grapes
- baby carrots and ranch
- peanut butter filled pretzel dipped in chocolate

4 calling birds closeup 12 days of Christmas

The calling birds (cut using the smallest of these nesting bird cutters from J-List) and are decorated with a few easy strokes with a food-safe marker. The telephone (they are calling birds, afterall!) was meticulously cut out of fruit leather. Whew! The phone was a bit time consuming, but I thought it was too funny to pass up. :)

This is part 4 of a 12 part bento series on the Twelve Days of Christmas! :)
See also:
3rd day of Christmas: three french hens

2nd day of Christmas: two turtle doves
1st day of Christmas: a partridge in a pear tree

Supplies used to make this lunch:

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Monday, December 27, 2010

3rd day of Christmas: three french hens

The third day of Christmas brings us a bento of three french hens. :)

3rd day of Christmas

This little bento lunch holds:
- three hen-shaped turkey sandwiches
- heart-shaped cheddar cheese
- a couple cream cheese spritz cookies (my pal Wendy's recipe)
- yogurt covered raisins in the little silicone cup
- a few grapes to fill in gaps

The hen sandwiches were made using my chicken ice cream mold/press. The chicken details are made with strawberry fruit leather (for the crown) and apricot fruit leather (for the beak) and sprinkle eyes. :)

This is part 3 of a 12 part bento series on the Twelve Days of Christmas! :)
See also:
2nd day of Christmas: two turtle doves
1st day of Christmas: a partridge in a pear tree
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

2nd day of Christmas: two turtle doves

It's December 26, also known as the 2nd day of Christmas! :)

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, two turtle doves.

2nd day of Christmas

This bento has two "turtle doves" on a pb&j sandwich and flocked by mini-sized fruits: tiny apple, mini banana, little clementine, bitty box of raisins and some crunchy veggie sticks.
The "turtle doves" are turtle-shaped cheddar cheese decorated with food safe markers and wearing bento pick wings. :)

I had originally planned to carve turtles out of cucumber, but that didn't work out so well. LOL

If you missed yesterday's post, don't forget to check out the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me: a partridge in a pear tree bento! :)

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

1st day of Christmas: a partridge in a pear tree

Merry Christmas, bento peeps! :) I sincerely hope everyone is having a lovely day!

Awhile back when I was brainstorming Christmas themes for bentos, I came up with the idea to do the 12 days of Christmas. I originally thought I'd start on December 13, and continue until the 25th, Christmas Day, which I assumed was supposed to be the 12th Day of Christmas. I was surprised to find out (after a quick visit with google) that the 12 days of Christmas actually begin on Christmas day! Who knew?!

So today marks the official 1st day of Christmas, in which my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree.
1st day of Christmas - Partridge in a Pear Tree bento

This little snack bento holds a little cheddar cheese partridge in a pear tree. :) That being, a half pear with a tree trunk bento pick. Some Wheat Thin crackers and clementines round out the bottom. The music notes (and partridge hangy doohicky) are fruit leather. Ethan enjoyed this as an after school snack a couple weeks ago. :)

Happy holidays, everyone! :)
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

winter themed sandwich bento box :)

Another little winter themed bento. 'Tis the season, afterall! :)

Sandwich box winter bento

This sandwich box holds:
- sunflower butter sandwich
- pretzel sticks
- cheddar cheese gingerbread guy and muenster candy cane
- clementine
- grapes
- pickles, because Paige insisted "I must have pickles!"

The sandwich has an impression of a gingerbread man on it. I used a toast-press thing on it, but you could get the same effect with a regular cookie cutter too. :) The front is decorated with tiny icing eyes and star sprinkles...if my last gingerbread guy looked deranged, this one looks downright scary (to me!). No, matter, Paige loved it. :) Her preschool does the cutest gingerbread man series theme this time of year and she's wholly obsessed with gingerbread people now, hence their appearance in several lunches already. :)

The cheese shapes were decorated with food-safe markers.

I am so excited for the winter break!! The bento posting may slow down, but will not completely stop while the kids are out of school. I have some catching up to do, but also, I've been working on a really fun series of posts that will start up on Christmas day! I'm really excited about them! :)

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The PlanetBox Decorating Disaster

You know how there is always a house in every town that tries really hard to pull off a festive holiday appearance with the Christmas decorations but it really is such an eyesore with the mismatched hodgepodge of lights and displays that it becomes almost a neighborhood joke?

Um, well this is the bento counterpart. Packed in a PlanetBox.

PlanetBox Christmas disaster

Yeah. I don't even know where to start with this mess.

Hmm. Okay, well there's the Big Dipper of mini wagon wheel pasta. When I was making a fresh batch of pasta the other day I was musing to myself how they sort of looked like little ball ornaments. That's what "inspired" this disaster theme. To top off the pasta are a couple cheese ornaments. I used food-safe markers to decorate them. I obviously did not do a very neat job. I think Paige could have done better.

Moving to the left are some clementine halves and blueberries. For some insane reason I tried to put stripes on the clementines to make them look more "ornamentish". Yeah, that looks ridiculous.

In the top side section is a Little Dipper of sauce for the pasta and some turkey pepperoni. Another crazy insane notion on my part. My messy 3 year old girl with a pot of marinara. What was I thinking? Clearly I wasn't. Good thing she was wearing a navy shirt, that's all I have to say.

Across the top are some cucumber chunks and a little cocktail fork to eat the pasta with.

The tiny treat section holds little ornament icing decorations. My kids just love those things.

After I finished orchestrating this lunch I realized things had gone terribly wrong. In a last ditch effort to make it look a wee bit better I tossed around some vintage-looking Christmas light bulb cupcake picks. I really don't think they are going to fool anyone though. This lunch is a bento Don't, for sure. ;-)
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Goodbyn goodness

On the same day my little miss Paige had her Laptop Lunches Winter Wonderland, Ethan had some yummy goodness in a Goodbyn. He was pretty happy to have it since I haven't used the Goodbyns in quite awhile.
Goodbyn snackiness

In the "head" section of the Goodbyn is a frozen yogurt push-up (simply fill a silicone pop mold with yogurt and freeze), a string cheese, and a clementine orange.

In the "body" section is a silicone bowl of strawberry granola, the side sections hold grapes and pickles. There is ice water in the Goodbyn bottle and a few carrots are in the tiny section.

The silicone bowl (Kinderville Storage Jar) comes with a nice lid that contains the small granola bits from falling out.
Goodbyn snacks

The frozen yogurt pop works great in the Goodbyn because it is nice and cold and helped keep the cheese and clementine chilled. Since one of the biggest downfalls of the Goodbyn is that it can be difficult to keep the contents cool, this worked out really well. :)

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

gingerbread guy & smorgasbord bento

Little bento for a day spent on the run!
Gingerbread sandwiches bento

- gingerbread man shaped peanut butter sandwich (run, run, run! fast as you can!)
- mini basil tortellini in a silicone cup w/ a sprinkle of parmesan
- Sunchips
- gingerbread man shaped fruit leather
- itty bitty lady apple
- clementine orange "ornament" & blackberries
- little sauce cup of marinara (for the tortellini)
- tucked in back is a minty marshmallow from Trader Joe's (Heavenly good!)

Whew! That's a lot in such a small space!

The gingerbread sandwich was made with an ice cream mold/press. It's hard to tell in this photo, but there is an impression of all the gingerbread details pressed in the bread. I popped two little icing eyes on his face for a slightly endearing deranged appearance and some small sprinkles down his front for buttons.

The clementine has a little hat pick in the middle. I thought that would make it look like an ornament. But it actually just looks like a clementine with a hat pick stuck in the middle. Huh. Go figure. ;-)

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

PlanetBox lunch - snowman sammy

I actually hate the slang/nickname/abbreviation of "sammy" for sandwich, but it just seemed to fit here. Forgive me. ;-)

PlanetBox snowman lunch

In this wintry themed lunch we have:
- snowman sandwich
- Goldfish holiday mix
- cucumber pine trees
- clementine orange pieces and Honeycrisp apple chunks
- dry roasted edamame (because the snowman already had enough treats on it!)

To say Paige was thrilled with her snowman would be an understatement. :)
PlanetBox Snowman Sandwich

The "body" of the snowman was made with just a plain little circle cookie cutter. I had planned to use an actual snowman shaped cutter, but I couldn't find it! The face is made with icing eyes, a candy corn (I looked through the bag to find one missing the white tip!), and a fruit leather smile. The buttons on the snowman are from a candy bracelet and the scarf is a strip of sour candy. I tried to fringe the ends, but I don't think you can really tell. All this candy is leftover from Halloween. I don't toss it out until after we are done decorating our gingerbread house(s) and gingerbread men. So that scarf candy was a bit on the stale side and not very pliable. It didn't want to lay down flat, so I stuck a little bow bento pick in it to hold it down. The hat is from the same pack of winter hat cupcake picks I used on the snowman egg fellow (purchased from an online baking supply store), I just stuck it into the middle of the sandwich. The rest of the candy pieces are "glued" on with tiny dabs of peanut butter. :) Oh! I almost forgot - the stick arms are almond-chocolate Pocky! Yum!

This lunch is packed in a PlanetBox. I hear they are having a sale on the green lunchbag sets and just added some new magnet designs. Cool beans! Will there be any shiny PlanetBoxes under the Christmas tree this year? Or bento picks and other bento goodness filling Christmas stockings? :)
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Lock & Lock bento lunch and snack: it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Pressing upward and onwards with the Christmassy spirit. 'Tis the season!

Ethan's snack for today is packed in a small Lock & Lock box:
Lock & Lock box Christmas snack
He has Honeycrisp apple slices and holiday Goldfish crackers.
We usually buy our fishies at Costco, but when I saw this holiday themed box at the grocery store I had to have it. :) Besides the usual fishie shapes there are also Christmas stocking and tree shapes. Fun!

His lunch is also packed in a Lock & Lock box, the "4 square" version we are so fond of.
L&L Christmassy bento lunch
Clockwise from top left:
- Trader Joe's strawberry cereal bar and a granola bar, both cut in half so they will fit in the small box.
- clementine orange pieces with a candy cane cupcake pick for decoration
- Wheat Thin crackers and cheddar cheese, cut with mini holiday cutters
- pickles

Anyone else out there having fun with holiday bentos? :)

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Laptop Lunches Winter Wonderland

This weekend we had a little (tiny) snowfall happen and the little flurries certainly made it clear that winter is here! The "high" temp for today is said to be 36 degrees. Brrr!

My hubby and I are trying to squeeze in the last bits of Christmas shopping, so my kiddos spent a few hours at their beloved drop-in childcare place so we could get those errands finished up. With our arctic front upon us it was a no-brainer to make a wintry bento lunch for the occasion!

Paige had a little Winter Wonderland in a Laptop Lunches box. :)
Laptop Lunches: Winter Wonderland

Teal box: clementine oranges (my kids are obsessed with these!) and green grapes.
Orange box: "snowballs" - popcorn with snowflake sprinkles
Green box: dinner roll
Pink box: a boiled egg "snowman", turkey bologna rolls and cheddar cheese mittens. :)

The little snowman is decorated with a hat-shaped cupcake pick, and the face is made with food safe markers and a little carrot nose. The mittens are also decorated with food safe markers (I find these ones the easiest to work with). Fun! Paige was ecstatic over the little snow fellow. (Not to mention she loves boiled eggs and I haven't made any in awhile!)
snowman egg

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lunchbots Trio giveaway - winner announcement!

Whoo hoo! Who's gonna win the ultra cool Lunchbots Trio?
Trio inside

You know when you are entering a blog giveaway, but hardly anyone else has left any comments yet so you think you have no shot at winning because it seems the numbers in the middle are the ones drawn? (talk about a random run-on sentence!)

Well, this time the ole random number generator picked a super low number!
Lunchbots Trio winner.bmp

Woot to Christina! Congrats! I hope you love your new Trio as much as I love mine! :)
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beary yummy PlanetBox lunch

I am so disorganized and scatterbrained these days. How I make a lunch, take photos for the blog, manage to get the photos on my computer and then forget to actually POST it is beyond me, but it seems to happen regularly.

I found this lunch that I never posted! It was from a couple weeks ago.

beary nice PlanetBox

In the big section is a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. One side was white-wheat bread and the other side multi-grain bread. After I cut the sandwich in half I just flipped over one side for a little color variation. There are two bears cut from fruit leather on top. :)

Other sections:
- clementines & blackberries
- pickles (a little piece of press n' seal was used over that section, like I showed before)
- Snyders multigrain cheese puff thingies (Paige and Tyler are kookoo for these!)
- cheddar cheese teddy bears
- some mini marshmallows for a treat

This beary nice lunch was packed in our super spiffy PlanetBox. :)
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