Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lightning McQueen - Quick & Easy

No school this week but that doesn't mean boring food (at least, not all the time!).
John got a Lightning McQueen PB&J lunch thanks to race car & numbers cookie cutters.
In the little side compartment are Cars 2 fruit snacks.
The pretzels are cars & lightning bolts from Utz's Cars Pretzels.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Santa's Almost Here!

Only TWO DAYS will be left until Christmas when John will get this for his lunch tomorrow.

I was thinking of putting my own twist on one of the awesome Santa & Chimney lunches I've seen so far this season.

Like Keeley's ...

or Sherimiya's ...

but we don't even have a chimney to peek out of or fall down.

We have a front door...
with a Santa key.


When the Big Guy arrives he can just let himself in using his very own pewter key that gets hung with pride every year. Normally we wait until Christmas Eve but John decided we could put it out early. No one else will be able to use it, after all. You see, it's magic and the right-sized keyhole only appears for Santa.

So, no chimney for John this year. Or for Santa. Instead they both get the key.

(Close-up of the actual key.)
Mixed berry cream cheese sandwich for the key, Cherry AirHead ribbon,
with Star Cheese Crackers & mini Slim Jims on the side!
Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or something else or nothing at all except for the week (or two) off from school, I hope you have a truly blessed whatever. We'll probably take a couple of days off for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day ... and my extended family typically gets together the day after ... but it's highly unlikely that John will let me go the entire week he's off from school without something blog-worthy going into his belly!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Snowflake Pizza Quesadilla Thing!

Out of curiosity I wanted to see if I could successfully cut a snowflake out of tortillas much like one would do with paper.  

Luckily I cut two sets since John's first idea of what to do with them (cream cheese and jelly) turned into a soppy mess. Then I grabbed a skillet, pizza cheese, sliced (and cut up) pepperoni, and turned the remaining snowflakes into a sort of pizza quesadilla type thing!

A little container of spaghetti sauce for dipping (especially since by the time it gets to school it'll probably be more like a chessy pepperoni snowflake chip) and some yogurt raisins are included.

3 more days!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Way back when there were 19 whole days left until Christmas the marvelous Keeley made a reindeer lunch for Little Miss and I loved it! I don't have any mini-gingerbread man cutters so John is only getting Rudolph.

Rudolph himself is pickel loaf & cheese on wheat with a Holiday Skittel nose.  There are some more Skittels on the side with some grapes and a cheese "4" for the countdown.

I can't believe it's almost here!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

5 Days To Go! The elves are getting ready!

As of tomorrow there are only 5 days left until Christmas!!!

I bet the elves are feeling as overwhelmed as the parents ... and as excited as the kids!

One elf in particular was busy getting his hat and slippers laid out and ready to go when somehow they ended up in John's lunch. Whoops! Hopefully he has a back-up set!

The cheese sandwich hat & slippers are joined by pepperoni cut into the word "ELF," some extra pepperoni slices, and a small piece of gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

@Snoopy at Christmastime

If you hadn't guessed when Thanksgiving was upon us, I love Snoopy & Woodstock. Luckily, it didn't take much for John to appreciate their awesomeness as well so of course they need to make another lunch bag appearance!

Snoopy and his dog house are bologna and cheese sandwiches with an AirHead (of course) for the wreath.
Woodstock is drawn on a Nilla Wafer.
Also included will be a few more Nilla Wafers, a small handful of holiday Skittels, an apple and the always present juice.

Last week of lunches until 2012! Well ... last week of school lunches. I'll probably let him eat from time to time when he's off for the week, too.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

BONUS: Gingerbread Fun!

One of my favorite purchases for baking has been the square muffin pans I found on eBay years ago. They were originally rather large and held 12 per pan, but I've had to cut them in half so they would fit my Easy Bake Oven On Crack. After Tom went to work & before John got home from school I decided to bake some goodies. Cracked open the box of Betty Crocker Gingerbread mix, got it mixed up & then realized that there was room in the gizmo for 6 muffins and one of the small toaster-oven pans I just got!

The small sheet cake just got frosted with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles ... but the muffins?

First I cut two of them in half on the diagonal ... then I placed one triangle on top each of the remaining squares:

I bet you can guess where we're going now, huh?

I gathered together some candy bits, sprinkles, frosting, and John.

It's a Gingerbread Muffin House!

And, yes. I let him eat it as part of his dinner. 
Sometimes you just need cake for dinner.

Mooseltoe (Palatini/Cole) @Scholastic

Friday's Story Time lunch is another favorite thanks to the Scholastic orders from school -- Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini & illustrated by Henry Cole.

I have to admit I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to pull it off, but I think it came out pretty well!

Mooseltoe is pickle loaf & cheese on wheat with food gel decorations 
and a star-shaped cheese cracker on top (thank you, CVS!).
The number "9" was written on the cracker for the Countdown.

Also more star crackers, Gummy Life Savers Collisions, & an Andes Peppermint Candy.

<Lunch got repacked in a new KlipIt Sandwich Box with some added grapes!>

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas

This is such a sweet book -- especially for a 5 year old boy who loves dinosaurs! It's pretty much a cross between Night At The Museum and 'Twas The Night Before Christmas and is the perfect snuggle and read and giggle book!

The last time we read it, of course, I knew John was looking at each picture trying to see if it was lunchable.
And then he found it:

Of course, the snacks the dinosaurs had at their late night Christmas Eve party would be perfect!

The sandwich is cream cheese & jelly with a mini candy cane, peppermint nougat and applesauce on the side. It really did turn out well, if I do say so myself .... but John noticed already that there's significantly less candy in the lunch than in the picture. Oh well :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

John's Dream Lunch

This took a lot longer than some lunches.

Not because of it being complicated in detail because it's not ... but because I stood there for a long time trying to figure out just how to do it.

John loves helping come up with ideas for his lunches. Most of the time it's picking out a book or character he would like. Monday as we stood waiting for his bus, though, he said he wanted "the earth and sun in Santa hats with smiles just like in (his) dream." Uh-huh. I was asked to put his dream into a lunch.

The sun is cheese and the sandwich is pepperoni & cheese. The Santa hats are cut out of pepperoni slices. Gummy Life Savers surround the two. Hopefully it comes close to what he was thinking!

(Although unpictured, there WILL be the countdown. Probably written on the fruit cup or applesauce cup ... whichever one he chooses!)

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Hallmark Stowaways: Hoops, Yoyo & Piddles!

One of our favorite new holiday specials this year is Hallmark's Hoops & Yoyo Ruin Christmas. I won't tell the whole story in case you haven't had a chance to see it with (or without) your little ones yet, but it's very much worthy of a lunch!

Hoops, Yoyo and their pal Piddles are made out of AirHeads, of course. I'm telling you I love the stuff for small bursts of tasty color.
They're peeking out of Santa's bag made out of a ham & cheese sandwich.
Also included are some SunChips and, not pictured, a small container of grapes & the always present juice pouch.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Polar Express Lunch

This was not the original plan for Monday's lunch but I was getting so frustrated with the other I gave up and threw this together in a matter of seconds thanks to a train engine cookie cutter and quick thinking. 

And John loves it!

It helps that I brought home from work a jingle bell VERY similar to the one from the story/movie thanks to the groom from last night's reception who said I could take one of their gift bags home because I oohed and aahed over the bell.

The train is cinnamon raisin bread with pumpkin cream cheese riding on a track made of Turkey Bites. The jingle bell is a Nilla Wafer with a ribbon cut from a Cherry AirHead, Pretzel sticks are on the side just because.

And now we have to go watch the movie!

For the trillionth time ;)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Saturday Stocking

One would think that having my birthday fall on a Saturday would somehow get me out of making a fun shaped sandwich for lunch for Johnny. And it did because we went out for lunch ... but it didn't get me out of making one for him for dinner! 

The stocking & gift and good ol' peanut butter & jelly. A mini candy cane, gingerbread cookie, and fruited strawberry jello with green sprinkles round it all out.

No countdown pick because I totally didn't even think about it until the food was already devoured. I don't think he even noticed!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Big Yellow Bird


John has a half day tomorrow so will be eating lunch at home. Think that gets me off the hook? Not a chance!

Yesterday he brought his giant stuffed yellow Angry Bird and said he wanted it in a Santa hat. So here he is with grapes and a gingerbread cookie.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cheerio the Christmas Cat


Last night John proclaimed that Thursday he wanted his cat, Cheerio, in a Santa hat.

I'm real glad he clarified that he wanted a sandwich and not his actual cat!

The sandwich is ham. Also in the box are grapes and Cinnamon Cheerios, all separated by sticks of colby jack cheese.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Snowball Fight!


John can't decide if he likes marshmallows or not, but maybe he'll have a better idea after Wednesday's snowball fight lunch :)

The kids are bologna and cheese.
The snow is made up of mini marshmallows.
Go-alongs are pretzel sticks and cheddar twists and a clementine holding the countdown pick!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Santa & Snowman

Two little cheese sandwiches for lunch tomorrow with Turkey Bites, raisins & a jello/fruit cup on the side.

John picked out what he wanted for the sandwiches from the Advent calendar my Momma made for me when it was time for me to head off to college based on the one that we used when I was growing up. It's very much a family tradition as she made them for her siblings, as well, and then when it came time for my cousin (now John's godmother) to head to college we worked together to make her one of her own. After my mom passed I made them for some of my other cousins and I'm sure the day will come when I'll have to remember how to make John his own. Maybe I should start on it now!

In case you couldn't guess, the ornaments John picked for Tuesday's lunch:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Countdown Dilemma Solved!


No more worries about forgetting the countdown or trying to fugue out how to fit them in!

Thanks to some paper, frilly toothpicks, and packing tape I made a pick for each remaining day. If worse comes to worse I can just plop one in his box and voila! Instant countdown!

Snowy House


Simple lunch for Monday. We've had a busy weekend & I'm just not in a super-complicated mood.

The house is a Ritz Crackerful.
The snow is swiss cheese.
The tree trunks are Mini Slim Jims and Turkey Bites, with a watermelon AirHead cut for the branches.
Cinnamon Applesauce on the side for lunch!

(No countdown numbers because I initially forgot & John said we're just skipping it.)

Friday, December 2, 2011

BONUS: Snowman for Friday night


Too cute not to post :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hallmark's Jingle All The Way

Several weeks ago in our quest for fun holiday apps for the iPad, John and I came across an offering by Hallmark called Jingle All The Way. John immediately opened the app, read the book, played the games, and fell in love with Jingle.

As soon as the tv version hit the air we DVRed it and have watched it at least half a dozen times since. Hallmark really hit it out of the ballpark with this one!

Of course, it had to be made into a lunch.

I've had quite a few comments about how I get things so detailed and true-to-character. Well, here's how.

I start by finding and printing an image for whatever story/movie/whatever I want to make:

I cut out the most important parts (in this case we're focusing on the faces & the cardinal), and trace the outlines using food gel. I have been using mostly AmeriColor gel but just got some great jars of gel made by LorAnn Oils and used those for the majority of this lunch.

After the image is traced, transfer it on to the bread by flipping it onto the slice and pressing down.

(John almost NEVER has white bread but since Jingle is a white pup I decided to go a little crazy.)

After the transfer, fill in whatever details you want or that may have not transferred completely. For Jingle I used some watered down grey on a paintbrush for his fur detail and the red collar. (Watering down the gel not only stretches it out, but also makes it easier to dry and therefore less likely to get all over your little ones hands/face/everything!)

Since I already had the white bread out for Jingle I decided to also use it for Andrew's face:

I then cut the face part out of the picture and went to the normal whole wheat for his hair.

After detailing Andrew's earmuffs I placed all of the painted bread into the microwave for about 10 seconds on level 3. Heating the bread helps make the gel set and makes it a lot less messy for me.

I cut all of the individual pieces out of the bread and pieced them together on the slice of wheat that would be the bottom of the mini sandwiches.

I then cut each shape out using normal scissors (a lot easier than trying to do it with any kind of knife), cutting Andrew's head as a whole.

It's a Strawberry Cream Cheese sandwich day, so I smeared the bottom slices with the cream cheese and placed the tops, well, on top.

John really wanted me to include the cardinal that helped Jingle, so I grabbed a pack of AirHeads and molded the cardinal out of a cherry one using the picture I printed as a reference. (AirHeads are amazingly handy and versatile on top of being inexpensive! John also loves getting the little bit of candy since he really doesn't get any at home except of very rare occasions.)

Placed all together with some baby carrots that will probably go uneaten (a Mom's got to try, right?), here's the lunch:

(The 23 for the countdown ended up being drawn onto the bell on Jingle's collar -- also made out of a little piece of AirHead.)