Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ice cream for breakfast!

Anyone know what happens when you accidentally leave an empty ice cream container on the counter overnight? Your 2 year old zeros in on it in the morning and inevitably yells, "Mommy! I want THAT for breakfast!!". Not the fight I have time for a half hour before school. So we made a compromise, I told her there wasn't anymore real ice cream (and showed her the empty container) but I would try to make her breakfast look like ice cream. Surprisingly, she didn't fight me, and agreed!

For the ice cream cone, I cut a piece of toast into an ice cream cone shape and spread cream cheese on the whole thing. Then I covered the "cone" part with crusts, trimmed to fit. And then added a skittle on top for a cherry and few sprinkles to decorate! I paired it with a cup of banana yogurt (the sprinkles were added when my back was turned, but they do pull it all together!).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Great Pumpkin!

I know I'm late with our Halloween lunch, but it was so crazy yesterday!  I hope everyone had a great Halloween (and all the parents survived!).  My daughter had a blast trick or treating for the first time to a few of the neighbors.  It was freezing but none of the kids seemed to care!  We did a Halloween themed lunch and as always, had a big pot of chili cooking away all day for a warm, hearty meal before spending the night outside.

Here's our easy pumpkin lunch

The pumpkin is a whole wheat pita with melted cheddar cheese on top, with a piece of pita for the stem and some green fruit roll ups for vines.  The bats are almonds with Oreo crisps cut in half and the moon is cheese.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Party!

Today we had our playgroup over for a Halloween party.  I had lots of fun making some festive food!  I couldn't wait to share it with all of you!  I only had a minute to snap some pictures before everyone dug in, if you want any further explanation of anything, feel free to ask!

Here's the table:

The decor was pretty simple, some pumpkin arrangements from the craft store that I had lying around, and a vase full of curly branches and sparkly sticks.  I made the banner using a pack of scrap Halloween paper.  I also used the scrap paper to make tags for the food which really brought it all together!

For the kids, I put out mummy hot dogs and fruit salad in oranges.

For the adults, I make chicken salad sand"witches" and deviled eggs.  I got the idea for the adorable sandwiches from Lisa Storm's blog {here}.

We also had some "witches' brew." It was punch made with equal parts lemon lime soda and orange juice and then top with scoops of orange sherbet.  As the sherbet melts it gets creamy and delicious!  I also froze some orange juice in little pumpkin molds and used them as ice cubes.  Very easy and delicious, always a hit at parties!

For dessert, we had chocolate covered oreo pumpkin pops.  I got the idea from The Idea Room.  I think I need a little more practice with them, but they came out cute and the kids loved them!

We had such a fun day!  I'm starting to get really excited for Halloween and then the holiday season to begin!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Fun!

I was going for a Halloween theme today and was thinking it would be fun to use my mini Halloween cookie cutters. So we decided to make some homemade cheese crackers! I've had the recipe forever, but never tried them. They were so easy and a good activity to do together! They are very rich, but at least they are not full of crazy ingredients. Let's compare...

Ingredients in Sunshine® Cheez-It® Original snack crackers:


Ingredients in my homemade cheese crackers:

Cheese, butter, and flour

Much better, right? So here's what you do:

Combine 1/2 Lb Sharp Cheddar Cheese (or 1 Cup, grated cheese), 5 Tbsp of butter, cut into cubes, and 1 cup of flour in a food processor and combine (dough may be a bit crumbly, but it will stick together).

2. Remove all the dough to a piece of parchment or waxed paper and shape into a thick flat circle. Cover with waxed paper and refrigerate for one hour or overnight.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

4. Open waxed paper and roll out dough on it into a 1/4 inch-thick piece.

5. Take small cookie cutters and cut out into shapes

6. Place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with a silpat or parchment paper) and bake for 12-15 minutes. Let cool on sheet for 2 minutes before removing.

7. Serve (or eat directly off the tray;) )

You need to make these just so you can smell them. Oh my, so cheesy and delicious.

With my extra dough I cut out some hearts and some twists.

If you make these, let me know how you like them!! I don't think they will last long around here:)

Here is Gianna's lunch from today. A pumpkin shaped sandwich (cream cheese and jelly), apricot pumpkins, and Halloween cheese crackers.

Have a fantastic weekend!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, October 20, 2011

An apple a day

Finally we're getting back to it here! We were so busy for the past week or so. On Monday, I took the kids apple picking and I've been wanting to do an apple themed lunch ever since. The apple cup was so easy and was a big hit! I just scooped it out with a melon baller.

The apple tree is cinnamon raisin peanut butter and apple slices on wheat bread with a crust trunk and cherry tomato "apples." The grass is broccoli. In the hollowed out apple is apple yogurt.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 7, 2011

Quick lunch for two

We had a very early morning here and Gianna spent the morning playing with her friend. So, even before noon everyone was starting to fade! So I made a quick lunch of PB&J and fruit. With a few cookie cutters, it's easy to put a little fun into a fast and easy lunch!

PB&J sandwiches, fruit roll up, pears and oranges.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In the clouds

Gianna has always loved airplanes, but has talked about them non stop since we went on one this past summer.  I've been wanting to surprise her with the airplane cookie cutter I found.  She was so excited!  Although she is now looking all over for planes that are pulling banners that say her name!

The plane and banner were cut out of a chicken and cheese sandwich. the clouds are apples, and the letters are alphabet pretzels

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Snail's Pace

I made the mistake of telling Gianna she was walking as slow as a snail on the way home from preschool.  She thought that was a fantastic game, "Look at me, Mommy!  I can walk slow like a snail!" And so we walked....very, very, slow.  And when we finally got home, she asked me, "can I see a snail?"  Since it was quickly approaching nap time and already past lunchtime, I told her I would make snails for her lunch instead of searching for some outside!  Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen an actual snail.  Have you?

The snails are tortillas with green fruit roll up antenna and pepperoni smiles, the snail shell is a cheese and turkey pepperoni roll up (she snacked on a few more roll ups while she helped me make lunch), the grass is green bean chips, the butterfly is green grapes and oranges (the rest of the oranges are on the side in a silicone muffin cup)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall Lunch to Go

We took a trip to one of our favorite places today, Longwood Gardens.  If you live in the Philadelphia area, you should check it out if you haven't already!  It so beautiful there, and so big that we can discover something new every time we go!  I knew we would be seeing lots of fall things today, so I wanted to pack a fall themed lunch to go along with our day.  I saw these leaves made out of apple slices on Pinterest (can't find the source, apologies to the original blogger!) and I've been wanting to try them!  I dipped them in orange juice so they would look just as nice when it was lunchtime (without the sour taste of lemon juice).

Leaf PB&J sandwich, pretzels, dried apricot and pretzel pumpkins, and apple slice leaves.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nuts about fall

We took a walk today and discovered lots of acorns.  We gathered them, looked at them, took them apart, and talked about what they are and who eats them.  Then we had a ball throwing them into the creek!  I wanted to keep it going and incorporate acorns into lunch today.  My acorn cookie cutter is pretty small so I had to expand the scene a bit!

The tree is bread crusts and leaves cut out of a cheese quesadilla (on a spinach/garlic tortilla), the squirrel is an avocado and tomato sandwich, the grass is more of the quesadilla, and the acorns and squirrel's eye are cut out from a flattened granola bar.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Baby's first food!

I'm going to take a break from our regularly scheduled program to share with you my son, Brayden's first food!  He turned 6 months today and we celebrated with some avocado!  The first thing Gianna did was go into my cookie cutter drawer and brought me one to "make Brayden's lunch pretty." :)

We do Baby-led Weaning (BLW) with our kids, which means skipping purees and cereals and starting with age appropriate table food at 6 months or later.  We had a fantastic experience with Gianna, and we are so excited to start Brayden's BLW journey!  If you are interested in reading about BLW, I would suggest Gill Rapley's book, Baby-Led Weaning

The way I prepared Brayden's avocado was I quartered it lengthwise and peeled it halfway down.  This gave him a handle on the slippery avocado.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Whoooo's hungry?

We love owls!  I was trying to think of something I could make out of the mini pitas and I thought owls would work.  I can't turn down anything owls, they are too darn cute! Brayden (my almost 5 month old) is sporting his owl babylegs today and Gianna went and changed into her fleece owl pants after lunch ("to match her plate").  Speaking of owls, I came across this today and I think this will be making it's way into my house soon.  How could I resist?? {ridiculously cute owl toy}

Sorry, getting back on track- here is Gianna's owl lunch!
The owls are whole wheat pitas with roasted red pepper hummus inside, the decorations are apple, yellow pepper, and chocolate chips.  The tree branch is a fruit twist and the leaves are kale.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Birds of a feather

It was a dreary, rainy morning here.  On our way to preschool we saw some ducks in a big puddle, and Gianna decided ducks are her, "very most favorite bird." :) I decided to surprise her with a duck themed lunch when she got home.  She really liked it, and while she was eating she saw a robin outside.  She exclaimed, "Mommy!  Robins are my favorite bird!" .....oh well, I tried!

The ducks are cinnamon raisin peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with raisin eyes, blueberry water, dried apricot fish, spinach tortilla plants, and yogurt raisin clouds.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lunch for a busy day

I got an e-mail from a reader (who found me on Pinterest, if you haven't joined- you should!) who asked me if I make scenes out of Gianna's lunches everyday.  Short answer is no!  We are pretty busy around here, between the toddler and the baby sometimes it's lunchtime before we know it with no time to make anything fancy.  Today we went grocery shopping and by the time we got home and I got all the groceries up a flight of stairs and put away, the baby was screaming and Gianna was whining for lunch (ahh! This mom thing is exhausting!!).  So I did a quick lunch, veggie pinwheels.  They are a great way to use up any fresh veggies that are in your fridge.  I mix some dry ranch dressing mix into cream cheese and spread on a tortilla, sprinkle some finely chopped fresh veggies over top (I used cucumbers and red peppers today) and some shredded cheese and roll it up! You can serve as is or chop it into pieces like I did.  I used some silicone muffin cups to put pretzels and blueberries in, and done!

I hope everyone is having a great start to their week!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ba ba black sheep

Ok, well I guess it would be ba ba white sheep:) I had some white bread in the house which is rare for us, so I thought I would make a sheep today! Gianna liked it and ate it all up:) Preschool is sure making her hungry!!

The grass is celery, flowers are dried mango, sandwich is ham , cheese, and tomato, clouds are cauliflower, and sun is mandarin oranges.

Do you follow Playing with Food on Facebook? If not, you should!! A little bird told me there is going to be a giveaway soon:)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A day at the beach

It's still warm out, but that fall feeling is starting to hang in the air.  Before we get into pumpkins and leaves, I thought I would do a summertime beach lunch!  Gianna had her first day of preschool today, and she was so hungry when she got home.  Excuse the cell phone picture, but she dug in before I could get out the camera! 

Sand is a cheese quesadilla on a wheat tortilla, the crab is red pepper, the ocean is blueberry greek yogurt, the fish are cheese, the beach umbrella is a green bean chip, mandarin oranges and red pepper, and the sun is a dried apricot and cheese.

Friday, September 9, 2011

In the garden

Gianna has a fever today, so no time for fun food!  I thought I would bring up an older lunch that I hadn't blogged about before.  This was a fun one!  Gianna loved the little butterfly, and she keeps asking me to make more.  They are really easy to do, I just used a heart shaped cookie cutter on the cheese and then cut that in half.  I think I will try to incorporate a butterfly into Monday's lunch! 

Green bean chips, peanut butter and nutella sandwiches, green pepper, cheese, and grapes

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Breakfast Tree

I will use today's post to emphasize my philosophy that I'm not out to create perfect pieces of art.  Ok, that's a cop out.  It was early.  Before my coffee.  Gianna wanted to help me make a tree after looking out the window, "like the ones that are outside, Mommy."  So somewhere between morning craziness, we made a tree.  Not my best work, but we did it together!  That's what matters, right? :)

The tree is toast with cinnamon raisin peanut butter, watermelon flowers, and tortilla leaves and grass (there's not many green breakfast foods!) 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Two by Two

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!  We were so busy, lunches were grab and go.  Now we can get back to it!  Today's lunch was Noah's Ark.  Gianna fed all her animals parts of her sandwich as she ate, and then she told me she couldn't eat her friends:)  Oh well, I guess a lesson in compassion is better than eating a few pieces of cheese!

The boat is a grilled turkey, cheese, and tomato sandwich, cheese animals, pepperoni door and windows, apple clouds and apricot and cheese sun.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Prehistoric Pals

Lunch for two today! I was trying to think of something that both Gianna and her friend would like, and came up with dinosaurs.  Second challenge was not to use any dairy, which Gianna's friend can't have.  Cheese is my go to for a lot of things, so it was fun to come up with something new!

Cinnamon raisin peanut butter and jelly dinosaur sandwiches, raisin eyes, kiwi grass, apple clouds, dried apricot and carrot suns.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

5, 4, 3, 2, 1....

Blast off!

Rockets are a big thing around here lately!  Between the constant playing of Laurie Berkner's Rocket Ship Run CD and an obsession with a certain red rocket on her favorite show, I feel like we are always counting down to blast off!  Needless to say, she was excited for her rocket lunch today.  Her only complaint?  "Mommy, "R" is for rocket, not N...A...S...A."  Instead of trying to explain NASA to a 2 year old, I opted to make her an R.  Silly Mommy for spelling it wrong....:)

Ham, cheese, and tomato sandwich, carrots, yellow raspberries, and star cookies.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Butterflies for friends

Well, we survived the hurricane!  I left my house (on a floodplain) to stay at my parents for the weekend.  Since all my lunch supplies didn't come with us, I'm sharing a lunch from last Friday.  Gianna had a friend over and they requested butterflies.  I hadn't restocked the pantry and fridge because of the impending hurricane, so I threw a few things together.  Here they are!

Hot dogs, watermelon and carrot wings, green bean chips antenna, and raisin eyes.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Under the sea

I have been wanting to use my octopus cookie cutter for a while now.  When I opened my cabinet today and saw blue potato chips I knew my plan was going to be under the sea! I got a little too excited and pulled out a seahorse, a whale, and a crab.  Unfortunately, I was only making lunch for a day, not a week:) I am already planning more ocean scenes! 

The octopus is a ham and cheese sandwich, the water is blue potato chips, the fish are cheese and the seaweed is...seaweed!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Eat a Rainbow!

We had a rainbow filled day today.  Gianna made rainbows with paint, playdoh, dry pasta, rocks, you name it, if she was playing with it today it got made into a rainbow.  I had something else in mind for lunch today but I knew I had to switch plans!  Here's her rainbow lunch today, she loved it!

The rainbow is blueberries, kiwi, mango, oranges, and strawberries.  The sun is cheese and the clouds are made of a cheese quesadilla.  She asked for extra clouds so she could decorate:)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Picnic lunch

I was going to skip making something out of Gianna's lunch today, because we were going to the lake and having a picnic.  But she insisted on a butterfly!  So, nothing special today but it was perfect for a picnic lunch!  We had a wonderful day at the lake:)

Peanut butter and honey sandwiches.  Fruit leather and veggie stick decoration.  Grapes and bunny graham crackers.

Simple lunch for a simple day:)

Monday, August 22, 2011

A few lunches...

Here are some of the lunches from this past week.  My daughter's favorite was one of the smallest things on one of the plates, the little grape and cheese butterfly.  Can you find it? :)

Let's get started!

Welcome to Playing with Food!!  I am a stay at home mom of two children, 5 months and 2 years.  Making 3 meals a day, every day, can get monotonous; so I like to create things with my daughters meals to make it fun!  I hope to inspire other moms by....

Playing with food!