Sunday, November 21, 2010

Beachy Lunch

For you who may live in the north, or colder states, what could cheer you up more than a day at the beach?  Okay, so maybe that not in your budget, but how about making a little beachy meal for your little ones while sipping a virgin daiquiri?  Or, makes yours real, totally your choice.  The boys were surprised with this lunch when they returned from their Sunday trip to Home Depot with Daddy.  I am not going to lie, it is not something I would do for the boys daily, but when I have some extra time and helpers to entertain the boys, why not?

First, I cut the hot dog into thirds.  The parts that included an end were turned into octopus and I tried to make crabs out of the middles, but went back to more of a squid instead, because my crabs did not look very crabby.  To make the legs, lie the dog piece on its side and cut it half way up (not through the head so-to-speak), and then turn it a quarter turn and do it again.  You’ll have four legs at that point.  Then I found it easiest to stand the dog upright and cut each leg individually in order to help keep the legs equal thickness. octopus legs - how to cut them

Below, the eyes were being prepped with a little help from a straw. I stuck some processed cheese in the freezer for a  few minutes to help firm it up and be less melty when I put it on the hotdog. I used ketchup and mustard to help stick the eyes on.

cheesey eyes

octopus, eyes out of cheese, cut with straw

I used an edible pen to draw on some pupils and smiles, and let the squid and octopus play amongst the “sea beans.” The leftover piece of cheese was used to make a dock of sorts.  The finishing touch, if you don’t count the water spots on the plates courtesy of my dishwasher, were the cute umbrella toothpicks I picked up cheaply at Wal-Mart.octopus in sea beans and cheese dock, don't forget the umbrella! (2)octopus in sea beans and cheese dock, don't forget the umbrella!

Gus was happy to eat the octopus head first, hilarious!  And, in case you were wondering, yes, they ate it all, except the green beans, they only ate a few…I don’t think they liked my garlic salt addition…just means more veggies for dinner!

g showing how to eat an octopus



~ Brooke

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gobble Gobble!

So, this is not really my full idea.  I am sure moms for years have been making apple turkeys.  Right?  Fall, turkeys, making food fun.  I got the idea from my friend Sara’s suggestion to check out this site.  Very cool one for wicked clever ideas.

Any way, I skipped the paper faces on her version, took the inspiration, and made my own turkey faces out of mini-chocolate chips “glued” to the apple with peanut butter, and a wedge of a peach that I attached with a toothpick. Then I put in the plumage with four toothpicks out the top rear of the apple.  It was much easier to stick the toothpicks into the apples first and then slide the food onto the picks.  I used purple grapes and a special treat of mini marshmallows.  I like the original site’s mandarin feathers, but I thought the variety of colors and textures was fun.  I also loved the acorn sammies that I put with the turkey apple, just feeling a bit Fallish!  Check out the turkey sandwiches on the Cute Food for Kids site as well, so adorable and truly easy to do!

turkey apples (3)turkey apples (5)turkey apples (6)turkey apples closeup

We’ve been busy, lots of sickness around our house since Halloween, so we are getting back on track with eating and venturing out into the world.  Here is one cute meals the boys enjoyed at the zoo…but I am hoping for a little more inspiration now that the sickness seems to have the building!  These bamboo skewers have really made eating our grapes really fun lately.  Pretty much at least once a week we take these to a play date.  They help cut down on “escapee” grapes around the playground, and for that, I am thankful!


lunch out!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Easy, simple, and delish!  Right up my alley. Here kitty, kitty!  This sandwich, or sammie, since it is pretty tiny and just an addition to the full dinner, is a peanut butter and honey Panini pressed sammie.  I like to press the sandwiches if I am going to do some cookie-cutting to them because they cut much cleaner, but that is just my opinion.  Maybe someone else has a hint to get it to cut cleaner.  I try to let the sandwich cool about 10 minutes before cutting so it does not just ooze out the sides…but if the boys are hungry, I’ll certainly cut quicker! meow (3)


The eyes are raisins, the nose is my trusty chocolate yogurt covered raisin, and the whiskers are cucumber peels (using a trusty zester/stripper tool, similar to this one)


Augustus below, is loving checking it out, and even though he tends to freak out when food is “broken” – or cut in half, falls off, half eaten - this cat was too yummy to be upset about it not staying whole…whew!meow (2)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cookie Cutters are for More Than Just Cookies

Don’t get me wrong, using cookie cutters for cookies is a great way to use them!  This week, we’ve done sandwiches out of cookie cutters (see bat shaped sammies in the last post), but how using a cookie cutter as a rice mold, or an egg mold? 

Unfortunately, the boys did not like the rice dish – I know better than try a mayonnaise based dish, but heck, I'll keep trying.  However, they were impressed to have pumpkins on their plates at lunch time.  They just love Halloween. 

Tonight, Rals asked for “eggies” for dinner, so that is what we got. In the spirit of Halloween and making food fun, I figured I would try the mold idea again.  Scrambled eggs in the shape of a pumpkin and Frankenstein courtesy of our newest cookie cutters.  Then, I stuck a few veggies on as faces, and voila, dinner!  I put the eggs in the cookie cutter hot, and let them cool a bit, and they stayed together really well.  While putting together dinner, I made up some banana ghosts, or something sort of Halloweenie.  Heck, throw candy corn in it and just about anything looks Halloweenie. I wish the pictures were better…the boys were hungry and they were not about waiting for me to take pictures of their food!
banana ghostspumpkins out of rice (2)eggs in the moldeggs in a mold two thumbs up!eggs in a mold two thumbs up! (2)

Friday, October 22, 2010


Today’s creativity centered around caterpillars.  Feeding four, yes, count them four two and a half year olds every other Friday needs creativity, right?  So today, I sliced some cucumbers in rounds and then in half.  Stacked them up and put a toothpick through the stack. The toothpicks went through just enough to stick chocolate covered raisins and little broccoli spears between the first two slices of cucumber with a bit of hummus to help them adhere.  On the second set, I used black beans for the eyes…probably a better taste combo – but they kids all seemed to like both combos just fine.  Too cute!  Enjoy!

  catapillarscatapillar (2)    

For lunch, we also enjoyed bat sandwiches, and owl snack “sammies.”  Best part was that ALL the food was gone!  Even the green bean rail road sticks.

what's for lunch - bat sandwhiches, etc

what's for lunch - bat sandwhiches, etc (2)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Eat, Love, Play

I am no food expert, as a matter of fact, if you really know me, you know I don’t cook anything but a few easy meals.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE food.  Love it!  Just don't want to cook it!  Except, for the boys; I really try to make all their food.  We, my husband and I, have made almost all of their food from the beginning.  The boys just turned two and a half last month. I think our adventure into making all our own baby food has made the boys truly great eaters.  However, all kids present a challenge of some kind when it comes to mealtimes, right?  Please tell me you answered “right” – if no, then, buh-bye.  Not trying to be rude, I just don’t want to waste your time! 

Our latest food challenge is getting the boys to eat while we are at play dates.  How mean, I want to make them eat while they are in the middle of trying to have fun!  So why not make the food part fun, too?  I belong to an amazing moms group.  Thankfully, one of the moms shared this web site with us recently.

The ideas sparked something in me and I have kind of been taken over by making food cute, fun, and easy for our toddlers to eat.  So much so, that I have decided to start yet another blog.  My first one is all about our boys.  I am mom to identical twin boys, a pathological photo taker, a ridiculously active mom, and a lifelong picky eater.  Not wanting the boys to eat like me, I strive to instill great eating habits.  My mission is to continue their healthy eating habits, so they will eat better than me and stay healthy.  It seems like everyone who hears that the boys are awesome eaters always come back with "yeah, mine started out that way, too, but now they won't eat anything" or "just wait, you too will suffer the picky eater syndrome!"  Hopefully, this journey into making food fun will help divert the dreaded picky eater habits!  Enjoy the blog and feel free to leave comments and suggestions if you too, are on this journey, or have been here before! 


Fruit not included on this plate...they got it as a special treat after lunch!
BTW - the dinner above also included a banana as an appetizer while I was putting the face together:)