Pirate Mac 'n' Cheese

I slept in a little late this morning and had to rush to put Jon's lunch together--I really need to make my carrot sticks ahead of time. He sent this picture from work:

Leftover mac 'n' cheese, some carrot sticks, a clementine, and some cherry cake. The cake is one of the German foods I picked up at World Market, it's kind of dry so I thought it would handle being in a bento pretty well (a lot of things end up soggy). There's way, way too much orange going on here, but I expect that it tasted just fine. :)

This is Jon's new bento box; the hardcover book, while Jon probably did not intend it for this purpose, shows its size pretty well. It was a lot more fun to pack into than a sandwich box, though I do need to get used to it being a little shallower. The decorations are all things I picked up at Michael's: The cheese cutouts were made using mini butterfly and tulip shaped cutters (I need to start keeping some white cheese on hand) and the pirate flag and cupcake paper came as a set.


His & Hers Lunches

I've been making bento lunches for Jon just about every day, but this Wednesday was the first opportunity I had to make one for myself (it seems a little silly to pack one when I'm not going anywhere, after all). I had a lot of fun putting these together, though I put way, way too much time into getting everything perfect, and it would have been better to make the pancakes ahead of time. The apple bunnies took a while, too, though they turned out pretty cute--it was my first time making them, and I really should have practiced earlier.

Jon's is the larger sandwich box on the top, mine is the little blue one from Dollar Tree. (It has a picture of Bob the Builder on the lid, but it's pretty much the perfect size for me, so I just ignore that.)

Jon's lunch: Rolled omelet, baby carrots, mozzarella and grape tomato mini-kabobs, apple bunnies with sliced apple underneath, pancakes with butter (syrup is in the sauce cup), and a couple peppermints left over from Christmas.

My lunch: Rolled omelet with soy sauce and bacon bits (yummy! Jon wants his this way next time), clementine segments with an apple bunny on top, a baby carrot and one mozzarella and tomato mini-kabob, jam and pancake sandwiches, and a peppermint. I ended up hiding a slice of sharp cheddar under the pancakes to keep them from moving around once I put the lid on.

As for why I needed to pack myself a lunch, Jon's mother and I went up to Portland to visit the Container Store and pick up new lunch boxes for Jon and his dad--here's what we decided on. We also stopped in Keizer on the way back, and I got some mini cookie cutters at Michaels that I think will be fun to use for lunches, along with some cute picks and other goodies. (We also visited the World Market store... Jon was very pleased to discover that I'd picked up a big jar of German pickles for him.) Anyway, it was a fun day, and I can't wait to try out the new lunch supplies I seems like there are only going to be a few things I'll end up buying online, so maybe I'll sneak a few snacks into the order as well. (If I could get it more often, I would have a serious addiction to Pie no Mi.)


I made Jon a bento...

but he eated it.

Back before I met Jon I became fascinated with bento lunches, ordered a bunch of extremely cute supplies online, and then decided it was far too much work to make cute lunches just for myself. Now that I have a test subject... er, audience... I once again find myself wanting to experiment. Luckily Jon is a good sport about it (or has been so far--he gets to try my first attempt for lunch tomorrow, so we'll see what he thinks after that). The idea of a tasty, attractive boxed lunch is very appealing to me, and I admit that while I've been making sure my darling husband gets a good breakfast and dinner, I've been leaving him to fend for himself on lunches, which means he either comes home hungry or ends up buying lunch at work. If I can get the hang of this, it'll be a great way to use up leftovers, keep Jon fed, and save us what he would have spent on burritos and sandwiches. Besides, it's a great excuse to look at cute bento accessories online (not that I really need an excuse, of course).

My old bento box is just a little bit small for Jon, so for this Lolcat lunch I just used a basic sandwich-sized container. I used lettuce for dividers since I don't have any plastic ones; I have no idea if Jon's going to eat it, but it looks pretty and keeps things neat. I tried to stick with what I know about proper proportions for this kind of lunch--3 parts rice (leftover), 2 parts fruit and vegetable (cucumber, tomato, and carrot mini-skewers with a layer of red grapes underneath), and 1 part meat (leftover meatloaf). Actually, come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that's supposed to be 2 parts just vegetables, but given how many carrots this guy eats, I'm not going to stress over it. ;) With the lid on, nothing moves around (except a lone, rebellious grape) so I'm feeling pretty good about the whole lunch.

I wasn't planning on decorating it, but once I'd finished, everything but the veggies did look a little plain. I cut a slice of cheese with some vague notion of adding a bit more color, then realized it was roughly cat-shaped and knew just what I was going to do. :) I managed to get the cat shape and all of the letters out of just one slice of cheese (the paws, for instance, are each half of the triangle from between the ears), the cat's eyes are coriander seeds, and the nose is a carob chip. Pressing the nose into the cheese made it crack, but I covered that up by making a few extra cuts to show whiskers--I'll have to be more careful next time. And there will definitely be a next time, I'm already having fun thinking of what I'll make for Jon's lunch on Wednesday!