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Wednesday, November 1, 2023

How to Make A Thanksgiving School Lunch With Cookie Cutter

Every year, the Thanksgiving holiday brings with it a whirlwind of festivities and celebrations, but for our family, it holds a double significance. That's because Thanksgiving Day marks the birthday of our son, Nikolai, who was born almost nineteen years ago. While our Thanksgiving is always a time of joyful gatherings and party preparations, creating a festive turkey-themed school lunch has often taken a backseat in the midst of all the excitement.

Unable to find a turkey shaped cookie cutter? No problem! I fortunately remembered an idea I had seen on Pinterest using a hand shaped cookie cutter for a turkey! Here is what I came up with.

How to Make A Thanksgiving School Lunch With Cookie Cutter

In this bento school lunch:
  • Turkey shaped sandwich (cut using a hand shaped cookie cutter), sweet peppers for feather (free hand cut), icing eyes, sweet red pepper wattle, yellow sweet pepper beak and cheddar feet.
  • Bugles.
  • Cucumber slices with a turkey cupcake pick.
  • Seedless red grapes and strawberries. This lunch is packed in an Easylunchboxes container.
You can find more Thanksgiving school lunch ideas that I've created over the years here.
As we wrap up our journey through creating the perfect Thanksgiving turkey school lunch, remember that it's not just about the food; it's about the love and effort you put into it. These festive lunches can create wonderful memories and add a touch of magic to the Thanksgiving season. Happy Thanksgiving and happy lunch-making! πŸ¦ƒπŸ‚πŸŽ‰
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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Easy Pumpkin Pancake Muffins Recipe : A Delicious School Lunch Treat

As you may already know, fall is my favorite time of year. I love the striking colors of the leaves and the cooler temperatures. Of course, it is also the season of pumpkin.

We found some pumpkin pancake and waffle mix during a recent visit to our grocery store and my wonderful hubby made some pancakes with it for breakfast the other day. I used the same mix and made some of our favorite pancake muffins! These bite-sized pancake muffins are not only delicious but also quick and easy to prepare.

I love the idea of baking several batches at a time and freezing the extras for those super busy mornings when we need to grab and go. These particular ones were baked the day before and I'd left some out for the next morning, the rest went into the freezer. They are very simple to make, and you get the ease of a muffin with the deliciousness of a pancake. They make for a portable, nutritious, and tasty treat.

Easy Pumpkin Pancake Muffins Recipe : A Delicious School Lunch Treat

  • 2 cups Pumpkin Pancake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • Pam non-stick cooking spray or muffin cups.
  1. Preheat oven to 350ΒΊ.
  2. In medium bowl, stir together pancake mix until moistened. Do not over-mix.
  3. Spoon batter into greased or paper lined muffin pan, filling ¾ full.
  4. There is enough batter to fill one dozen muffin wells.
  5. Bake at 350ΒΊ for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  6. Enjoy!!
In this school lunch: A pumpkin pancake muffin, string cheese, granola bar, crackers, nitrate free ham roll-ups in my favorite silicone cup, organic baby carrots and an organic apple. Packed in an Easylunchboxes container.

Happy baking, and happy fall season!

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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

How to Create Halloween Themed Lunches with Cookie Cutters - Spooktacular Creations

Halloween is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate than by adding some spooky flair to your kids lunchbox? In this post I will share several Halloween themed lunches that I've created with cookie cutters. Here is a link to many more Halloween themed lunches.

Here are some supplies that you may need:

  • Cookie cutters in various Halloween shapes (bats, ghosts, pumpkins, cats, and witches, to name a few).
  • Fresh ingredients for your desired lunch, such as sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, and cheeses.
  • Condiments and spreads (cream cheese, ketchup, honey, etc.). We usually use honey as our food 'glue'.
  • Cute food picks or food-safe markers.
  • A dash of creativity and a spooky spirit!

How to Create Halloween Themed Lunches with Cookie Cutters - Spooktacular Creations

Below is how I created these four lunches.

In this lunch: Main compartment contains a Jack-O-Lantern sandwich and a baby seedless cucumber. For the Jack-O-Lantern I used a two sided cutter to cut the shape of the components and then used the other side for the cut-outs only on the top slice. A bit of crust serves as a stem. I used our lettering cookie cutters to leave a faint (spooky?) BOO impression on the cucumber. In the upper right section there is a mandarin orange with a small celery stick as a pumpkin and stem and below them are some strawberries. In the center I included some fruit snacks. Packed in our leak-proof Yumbox.

In this lunch: For these I used my larger bat shape cutter and added eyes and mouth cut from fruit leather ( a dab of honey to glue the features). Above these bat sandwiches there are organic carrots and celery sticks with a BOO pick, and to the left of those are some bat shaped pieces of mild cheddar and mozzarella cheese. I used the same small cutter for both the cheese and the cut-out of the apple half. In the center are Annie's organic fruit snacks. Perhaps dark pumpernickel bread might have been more typically bat like, but what I used here seems to make the little red eyes a bit more startling. This lunch was packed in a Planetbox Rover.

In this lunch: For this lunch I have a sandwich topped with a mozzarella cheese ghost which I shaped with a cutter and decorated with bits of raisin ( tiny dab of honey used as glue for the features), and using another small cutter, I included a tiny headstone shaped piece of crust and also a "BOO" pick. On the right side I have included some strawberries, cucumber slices, and some chunks of cheese. Packed in our leak-proof Yumbox.

In this lunch: Above a bagel with cream cheese filling I put a flying witch on a broom. The witch was shaped with a cutter, the hat was made from nori, and the broom from a bread crust. For the sides I included some apple slices, some green grapes and some M&Ms. Packed in our leak-proof Yumbox.

These lunches were all very easy and quick to make, but most of all they were really FUN to make!
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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Halloween Ghost Pizza with Recipe

Any pizza lovers out there? My hubby and Nikolai love pizza and they can eat them served hot or cold. We baked a batch and saved some for the next day's lunch.

  • One tube refrigerated Pillsbury biscuit dough
  • 1 bottle of organic pasta sauce
  • 2 slices part skim mozzarella cheese (for the ghosts)
  • Sliced olives
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°.
  2. Roll or pat biscuits into 2-1/2 in. circles. Place on greased baking sheet or non-stick sheet. I love our baking sheet which has wide handles!
  3. Add pasta sauce on top of biscuits.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and remove.
  5. Using a small ghost-shape cookie cutter, cut a ghost out of each cheese slice.
  6. Immediately place a ghost over each pizza; add pieces of olives for faces.
  7. Pack in his Laptop Lunches after the pizzas cool down.
You can recreate something similar with different cheese cut outs for sure. I've also made Pizza Mummy and Jack-O-Lantern Pizza with English muffins that you can find here.

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Friday, September 15, 2023

How To Cut String Cheese Ghosts For Halloween

We are back and it's almost October which is my favorite month of the year. This will be a short post, but I'll have another longer post coming up soon. We are doing well and I hope the same for you :-) It's "College Time" for Nikolai and many others. We are naturally very proud of our son's achievements as he goes off for his junior year.

I've created several ghost themed lunches over the years that are very easy and great fun. Cutting the string cheese to look like ghosts is my favorite part. I'll be sharing with you the method I used for the string cheese.

You can make some cute ghosts similar to the ones I made quite easily.

You will need:
  • String cheese
  • Paring knife
  • Toothpick, food safe marker or sunflower seeds

  1. Cut the string cheese into half.
  2. Using a knife, make a slit in the middle and almost 3/4 way down.
  3. Make a few more additional slits till you get 8 legs or less.
  4. I used a toothpick for these particular face accents. Just poke the toothpick on the cheese to create the eyes and mouth. I've used food safe marker before and I've seen sunflower seeds being used. These are just some ideas, you might have others.
How To Cut String Cheese Ghosts For Halloween

Below are just a few Halloween lunchbox ideas with these string cheese ghosts.

How To Cut String Cheese Ghosts For Halloween

In this bento lunch (packed in a Planetbox): I used a ghost shaped cookie cutter for the sandwich and raisins for the facial details. Honey was used as glue for the raisins. Sides were dye free choc sunflower seeds, Annie's organic crackers topped with a couple of ghost string cheese, seedless green grapes with a ghost cupcake pick, organic baby carrots, organic granola bar and seedless red grapes.

How To Cut String Cheese Ghosts For Halloween

In this bento lunch:
  • Grapes and strawberry slices watched over by a ghost pick.
  • Sweet bell peppers carved into jack-o-lanterns above bed of lettuce.
  • Ghost shaped sandwich topped with provolone cheese, eyes and nose are made from nori with fruit leather letters. Smaller ghosts are from mozzarella string cheese cut into half with sharp paring knife and food safe marker for eyes and nose. Packed in an Easylunchboxes container.
How To Cut String Cheese Ghosts For Halloween

BOO is the first word of the Halloween season and the theme of this lunch. The main compartment of this lunch contains three mini pumpkin shaped sandwiches which I used a small pumpkin cookie cutter to cut out. I used the letter cutters to cut mild cheddar cheese to put on top of these and a couple pieces of string cheese to make the ghosts by first cutting it into half and then making cuts lengthwise for perhaps a little more than half their length and then spreading them apart to give a bit of a spooky look. I simply used a toothpick to make some indentations for the eyes and mouth, but you could also use a food safe marker. I included a piece of granola bar upon which I added letter cookies from IKEA, and in the smaller sections below I have celery sticks and organic baby carrots on the right and a silicone pumpkin shaped cup holding some grapes and a ghost pick. This lunch was packed in an Easylunchboxes container.

Below is my first ever string cheese creation in 2011 (12 years ago)! Wow, how quickly time flies.

How To Cut String Cheese Ghosts For Halloween

In this bento lunch:
  • Ghost shaped sandwich with turkey ham and Colby cheese. Topped with Asiago cheese and candy eyes
  • Ghost shaped string cheese
  • Seedless black grapes
  • Cheddar crackers behind ghost marshmallow
  • Organic baby carrots
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

25+ Lunches In LunchBots & Features That We Like

Hello there, I truly hope all of you are doing well and remain so. For us, it is again back to school with Nikolai already in college. Normally he would be a high school junior this fall, but during the past year he completed his virtual high school classes, and this year expects to complete the requirements to graduate with his Associates degree (he is 16 years old). Of course we are very proud of the way he adapted to all the recent changes with a positive goal and a usable plan. 

Early in the spring each year we begin thinking about summer holiday. Almost always we entertain several ideas regarding geography, cultural and historical attractions and routes. We did so again this year, and again we changed it all by departure time. Some how it all works out so that we return mostly pleased with our excellent adventure. This year we visited twenty five states and we enjoyed the local cuisine along the way.

While it isn't rocket science, there are some tips, techniques, and tools that make providing a good lunch easier than many might think. One item that comes directly to mind is LunchBots  which is quality stainless steel lunchbox that we really love.

We personally own both the LunchBots Duo and Quad which can be found on Amazon. LunchBots are made of stainless steel, come in various sizes and styles and with lids in cheerful colors. Nikolai has always been a small eater, and he prefers a little bit of of this and a little bit of that in his lunchbox. I have a few lunchboxes which I go to whenever I am in a hurry and one of them is our LunchBots! The main reason is that I LOVE their divided compartments! Also, we have had our LunchBots since Nikolai was in Elementary school, and it's still in perfect condition. It's easy to pack, easy to wash, very durable and I'm confident it will last for many years to come!

25+ Lunches In LunchBots & Features That We Like

Features that we like:

- Divided compartments to keep food separate and not touching.
- The lids are easy to remove even for small hands.
- They are easy to clean, will not retain stains, odors or residues since it is stainless steel.
- Will last for a long time with proper care.
- Lead free, plastic free, BPA free, phthalate free, non toxic and waste free.

You can view my gallery of lunches packed in LunchBots by clicking HERE.

Lunchbots also have insulated containers which are great, and we have been using them a lot for packing hot lunches. When you have prepared a great lunch, it is always nice to know that you can keep it at the best temperature.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Review: Modes4u Cinderella Bento Lunchbox and Cinderella Wallet

The nice people over at Modes4u generously offered us the opportunity to review some of their products, and I'm excited to bring you this post. We received these wonderful items before we had the stay at home order due to coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). I picked these two Cinderella themed items for myself this time - initially, we planned a Disney trip for this summer, but that will have to be postponed to some other time for sure.

Modes4u have a wide assortment of bento boxes, one of which I used to pack this lunch for myself. They also offer a great collection of cute stationery, fabrics, wallets, accessories, stuffed animals. and more in addition to their very cute bento items. Their site is a great wonderland and I recommend it as one of those must see websites!

Review: Modes4u Cinderella Bento Lunchbox and Cinderella Wallet

This Cinderella bento box is made in Japan and I love the quality and durability of it. It can be used in the microwave (without the lid), is dishwasher safe and BPA free.

Review: Modes4u Cinderella Bento Lunchbox and Cinderella Wallet

I packed a snacky lunch for myself in this cute bento box. It contains organic celery sticks, organic apples and organic baby carrots with ranch dressing in the small container. Sauce containers, like the little pink bunny one that I used for this bento, food picks, baran dividers, cutters, and much more are awaiting your visit to their accessories pages.

Review: Modes4u Cinderella Bento Lunchbox and Cinderella Wallet

This bento box is easy to open and close, the snaps on the sides are durable and high quality.

Now, lets scroll down and look at this super cute Cinderella horse and carriage wallet which will be perfect for me to use at Disney.

Review: Modes4u Cinderella Bento Lunchbox and Cinderella Wallet

I love this half zip around wallet and it's functionality! The front and back of the wallet is super cute with all the detailing.

Review: Modes4u Cinderella Bento Lunchbox and Cinderella Wallet

Interior has four card slots, two open multi-function full length pockets, two wall long pockets (one on each side) and a zipper coin pocket in the center. It's spacious and it's a slim wallet which is totally my favorite kind of wallet.

Since we are all under stay at home order here in Florida, I may be packing more bento lunches to enjoy without leaving home. Why not make eating lunch at home fun?

Stay safe and stay well, everyone!

Disclosure: Modes4u generously provided me with the products for review without cost to me. All opinions are my own.
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