Thursday, October 28, 2010

First Bentos for Others

We have a long weekend off of school, so I don't need any more lunches this week. I decided to use my new skills to surprise my parents at work with cute lunches just in time for Halloween. It was harder in some ways to make lunch for them because I didn't know exactly what they would like or want, but it was fun knowing they will be surprised when I show up at their workplace with a fun festive lunch.

For my mom (sorry about the ugly background) PB&J (believe it or not, that's her favorite sandwich) jack-o-lantern sammie, cheese ghost, peanuts in the little cup with an icing pumpkin, veggie straws, cheese pumpkins and crackers, applesauce, fruit leather on picks, brownie bites and an icing "Boo"

And for my dad (he has never seen photos of any of my lunches, so I think he will really be surprised) salami and cheese on a bagel thin with a pumpkin cut out of the middle, cheddar and pepperoni picks, cheese ghost, veggie straws, Halloween marshmallows (which I don't think he will eat but I needed to fill the space and they were festive) wheat crackers and cherry fruit leather pumpkins. I also added 4 flavored tootsie rolls... his favorite treat!

Catching up on bentos

I was having issues uploading pictures last week, so here I go, trying again...

This was from last week sometime... PB&H on whole wheat white bread, cereal bar, wheat crackers, cheddar and pepperoni picks, natural applesauce, Halloween cookie broken up to fit, Boo marshmallows

I made this one the night before going to the Packers vs. Vikings, so it's definitely not one of my best. Some kind of sandwich (I think PB&J), Halloween cookie, applesauce, peanuts and bunny crackers, cereal bar.

And probably my favorite one to date... Salami and cheddar sandwich with salami and cheddar pumpkins, cheddar cubes, peanuts, wheat crackers, cheese stick, cereal bar and fruit leather pumpkins.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Simple Lunch and Snack

Here is my lunch for Tuesday:
Cheese spread and wheat crackers; mini muffin; cookie pieces broken up to fit; a fruit leather in the wrapper to act as a barrier; mozzarella cheese whips; natural applesauce (my latest, greatest obsession); natural peanut butter and honey faux sushi rolls on whole wheat white bread; pecans.

And of course, I packed a snack too.

Mom's homemade puppy chow; puffy popcorn; homemade croutons; Halloween marshmallows. Sorry about the terrible photo quality... I had to use my phone!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2 lunches and a snack

Here is my lunch from last Wednesday. I ran out of time to post last week, Thursday was a field trip, so I had a boring lunch and Friday I took a personal day to spend with my family.

I had: PB&J faux sushi rolls, with a pumpkin icing decoration; bunny crackers with homemade croutons; pumpkin seeds; peanuts; puff corn; fruit leather leaves for decoration.

Tomorrow's lunch:
Cheese and salami sandwich with a 'boo' icing decoration and fruit leather leaves; glazed pecans; cheese and pepperoni on pumpkin and owl picks; natural applesauce (yum!); mini muffin; cereal bar; Halloween shaped mini marshmallows.

I also usually pack a snack for work. I teach, but I also run the before and after school care program, meaning I work from 6:45am-6pm. My lunch time begins at 10:50am, so by about 3:30, I am pretty hungry. Packing a healthy, satisfying snack holds me over long enough to have the patience to cook dinner... otherwise the drive through is just too tempting! Here is tomorrow's snack 'bento'

Puffy popcorn holding everything in place; my mom's homemade puppy chow leftover from the weekend; mini muffin; string cheese whips; homemade croutons.

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Bento Box

I found a new faux bento box at Woodman's today (a discount grocery store in my area.) I'm not in love with the round shape and its pretty shallow... but it will do until I get my set of Easy Lunchboxes, and it's definitely an improvement over the Gladware I have been using! Here's my lunch for tomorrow.

Starting from top left we have mozzarella and salami on pumpkin and owl pics; crackers and homemade croutons; cafe delights granola bar; cookie pieces; pumpkin seeds; cheddar cheese spread to go with the bread sticks below; Annie's bunny crackers and skewers with mozzarella and salami wraps. Plus 4 flavored tootsie rolls for fun. The leaves and pumpkins are made of cherry fruit leather.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

School Bento #1

I am very excited to bring my first bento lunch to school tomorrow!

Clockwise from top left corner: owl and pumpkin picks with mozzarella and cheddar cheese, crackers behind them; mini bagel with honey; mini chocolate chip cookie; stir fried chicken on a skewer; muffin cup with Annie's bunnies, peanuts and fruit leather leaves. After I took the picture picture, I added some pumpkin and leaf shaped croutons I made from this recipe from Another Lunch. So delicious!

I also ordered myself a set of Easy Lunchboxes last night. They are on back order right now, but I am very excited about easier lunch packing :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

First Ever Bento

I have a new obsession... reading food blogs, especially those of moms who make adorable bento lunches for their kids. Well, I'm not a mom, but I am a teacher who packs her own lunch 95% of the time. I do have the option to purchase school lunch for $3.00/day. Compared to some school lunches I have seen, we have it pretty good. I'm talking actual people doing actual cooking. Most days hot lunch features homemade bread, fruit, a hot vegetable and raw veggies with dip. Of course the good comes with the bad: most of the fruit is canned in syrup, the menu features processed chicken nuggets or patties at least once a week (sometimes both in the same week!) and the kids are allowed to eat what they like, meaning most of the kids choose to skip the fruit and veggies, in favor of second helpings of nuggets or french fries.

Sometimes, I do indulge in a hot lunch. Our cafeteria baker makes cinnamon rolls that are to die for, so I am a regular customer on the monthly "Taco Tuesdays" that feature cinnamon rolls as the dessert. However, being a teacher, I am definitely on a limited income, and I have discovered that I can make my own lunches that feature foods I enjoy for much less than $3.00 a day. I would never degrade our hot lunch program, this is just a new adventure I am taking on for myself.

Annnnd, with all that being said here we have it, my first ever bento lunch:
Natural peanut butter and grape jam pumpkin shaped sandwich on whole wheat white bread, with a mini leaf shaped sammie from the left overs; leaf and acorn sharp cheddar cheese pieces with wheat crackers underneath; in the muffin wrapper is a mix of Annie's organic sour cream and onion bunnies and peanuts; an organic granola bar; in the blue container is garlic croutons; with a mini chocolate chip cookie tucked in for good measure.

Hopefully more bentos to come soon!