Tag Archives: Halloween
26 Oct

 

Kicking off the first day of this week’s Halloween lunches is this blurry witch lunch!

In her Yumbox Panino, Camryn has two witch sandwiches made with cookie stamps and corn chips that look like witches’ fingernails (probably).

She also has grapes, a broccoli monster, and for a sweet treat, a few pieces of cereal that kind-of, sort-of look like little monsters.

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22 Oct

Halloween Bentos

Can you believe that Halloween is almost here?

Where did this year go!?

If you’re a lunch-packer in need of some spooky lunch inspiration, I’ve got you covered.

Most of these lunches don’t require anything more than inexpensive cookie cutters, stickers, and a few Halloween-themed treats easily found at your local grocery store, but you certainly don’t even have to go that route.

All you really need is a little creativity. Just use your imagination and maybe some things found around your house to create your own creepy lunches for your little creepers!

Here (in no particular order) are my ten favorite Halloween bentos to get ya thinkin’!

Halloween Lunch Ideas for Kids

  1. This ridiculous lunch that I made for the Mr. that turned out to be a huge hit at work. Go figure!
  2. Bat and blood snack box. Pomegranate arils make great edible blood drops… just sayin’.
  3. Exuberant Pumpkin Bento! I still say they look more like bell peppers.
  4. A Vampire-themed bento is a must!
  5. Skeletal Bento. Super cool and only slightly spooky!
  6. This Bat-tastic Bento complete with peeled grape eyeballs, bat sandwiches, bat carrots, bat pretzels and even a chocolate bat! Give me a theme and I’ll run with it! 😉
  7. Witchy Bento with homemade tortilla cats, a cheesy broom and guacamole potion!
  8. Creepy Crawly Buggy Bento. Ew!
  9. Monster Mash Bento. I still love how this one turned out. I mean, Gummy toes. Come on.
  10. Last but not least, one of my personal favorites, Last Year’s Halloween lunch.

And if you’re in the mood to make your own Halloween food picks, I’ve got you covered there too. It’s easy, promise!

Halloween bento picks

4 Nov

Halloween Collage

Happy Monday!

How was your Halloween?

I hope it was full of lots of treats.

We had a very low-key situation at my house. I made a few little things just for us to enjoy.

I made popcorn balls for the first time and I figured why not go all out?

Go big or go home right?

Unless you’re already home and then, well… never mind.

I added white chocolate and mini m&m’s to them. Big hit. Big.

You should totally do that.

I also made Rice Krispies Treats and added Reese’s Pieces.

Holy yum.

That’s a game changer folks.

I’ll never make plain Krispies Treats again.

Unfortunately Cam was so sick that she couldn’t get off the couch for most of the evening. Once her Advil kicked in and brought her fever down below nuclear she was able to get her costume on but the poor thing never did eat or drink anything that I made.

Thank goodness for teenage boys. They never stop eating.

We only had two trick or treaters this year.

TWO.

I think we had about 1,173 of them last year.

And each of them wanted a piece to take home to their brother or sister or cousin or whoever so we blew through the candy in no time.

This year we had quite a bit left.

I’m assuming you probably have some lying around your house too.

You could totally just eat it as is (I’m a big fan of that method of candy disposal) or you could bake it in a cupcake!

candy cupcakes

I was going to post each of these cupcakes separately.

Then I realized that there was no reason to keep you guys in suspense like that.

That’s just rude.

So the plan was to get this post up the day before Halloween.

Then the little one came down with a raging case of strep and all bets were off.

She’s finally feeling better thanks to several doses of antibiotics and mostly back to her normal self. So I finally had time to finish up this post and get it out on the internets for you.

I just want to mention before we get into stuffing leftover Halloween candy inside of cupcakes, that you could totally apply this idea to cookies, brownies, regular sized cakes, Rice Krispies Treats, pies, homemade ice cream, popcorn balls, pretty much anything.

I’ve stuffed a lot of different kinds of candy (and cookies) into cupcake batter over the years and I can tell you that pretty much any candy (except for hard candy) works.

You can leave the candy whole or chop it up and fold it into your batter.

Fun-sized candy bars, caramels, Nerds, Pop-Rocks, Peanut Butter Cups, York Peppermint Patties, Reese’s Pieces, truffles, mini M&M’s, chocolate covered cherries, Hershey Kisses.

Been there. Done that.

And if I couldn’t stuff the candy inside of the cupcakes, I probably used it in the frosting or as decoration.

Candy that is flat and round, like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and York Peppermint Patties work extremely well inside of a cupcake. Their shape ensures that you get candy in every bite!

A perfect example of this are the chocolate mint cupcakes I made for my Son’s 15th birthday.

What you see up there might look like an average, run of the mill cupcake. But looks can be very deceiving. I wish I had a picture to share with you of the inside of this cupcake because if I did, you would see a York Peppermint Pattie baked inside. The cake is chocolate with mint extract added, mint buttercream, and a Junior Mint on top.

My son loves the chocolate/mint combo so to him, this cupcake was perfection.

Alas, another cupcake that I don’t have an inside picture of to show you.

I can promise you that there is a big ‘ol Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup baked inside of it though.

I can also promise you that it was delicious.

This one was chocolate cake (with the peanut butter cup baked inside), peanut butter buttercream, and a mini peanut butter cup on top.

I think I made this one for a random Sunday a few years ago.

That’s more like it!

This cupcake has a chocolate truffle baked inside of vanilla cake. It was topped with chocolate buttercream, and drizzled with chocolate ganache.

You could just as easily add those tiny candy bars and get the same result.

This cupcake was a huge hit at my house.

Notice my official cupcake taster in the background anxiously waiting for me to hurry up and take the picture so she can eat it.

She loves her job. 😉

This was dulce de leche baked inside of a vanilla cake with dulce de leche buttercream on top.

I used dulce de leche straight from the can but you can also use regular caramels if you prefer. Those work just as well. I just like the creaminess and the deeper caramel flavor that you get from the canned stuff.

Wondering exactly how I made all of these yummy cupcakes?

Well get ready because I’m going to tell you.

Okay, now pay attention because here’s where it gets tricky.

Ready?

I filled my cupcake liners about halfway up with cake batter, then I laid the candy on top, and covered it with the rest of the cake batter.

That’s pretty much it.

Small candies like mini M&M’s, Pop-Rocks, and Nerds get mixed into the batter at the last-minute and then spooned into the cupcake liners.

For the dulce de leche cupcakes, I filled the cupcake liners about half of the way full with the batter, added a spoonful of the creamy caramel goodness, and then covered with more batter.

Ironically, the actual cake recipe doesn’t matter too much here. So just use one that you like. Boxed mixes work just as well as those made from scratch.

Just be sure to keep the cake flavor fairly neutral so that it doesn’t compete with the candy. Chocolate, vanilla, yellow cake, and strawberry are all good cake flavors to use.

I usually stick with a simple buttercream recipe and then jazz it up a bit with extracts, peanut butter, Laffy Taffy, caramel or dulce de leche – pretty much whatever I’m feeling at the time.

To make my favorite simple buttercream:

Cream two sticks of room temperature butter using a stand or hand mixer.

You really want the butter to be light and fluffy so beat the heck out of it for at least 2-3 minutes.

Add 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar and two tablespoons of heavy cream. Yes, you can add milk but I really like the final texture you get as a result of using heavy cream.

Continue whipping the buttercream until it is light and fluffy.

Add a teaspoon of your favorite extract, any food coloring, and a teeny tiny pinch of salt if you used unsalted butter. Whip until completely incorporated.

If the buttercream seems to wet, add powdered sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and whip until it is the consistency you want. If it is too dry, add milk or cream, a teaspoon at a time, and whip until it is the consistency you want.

Once the cupcakes are frosted, I like to add a little candy to the top of each cupcake. Just to give a little hint as to what might be inside.

A Monstrous Bento

30 Oct

monster mash bento

 

This might just be my favorite Halloween lunch ever.

I’m really trying to use all of my cutters and stamps this year so I figured why not combine a few and make a monster mash lunch?

So that’s what I did.

I used the Frankenstein and Skeleton head stamps to make four chocolate hazelnut sandwiches on whole wheat.

Underneath the monster heads, Cam has monster fingers which are just carrots that I cut a little notch out of to hold an almond finger nail.

The medium-sized section holds Frank N. Stein’s tomb, a few apple ghosts, and some gummy body parts which were probably left over when Frank N. Stein was created.

Last but not least, there is a creepy ghoul in the smaller section and it looks like he’s trying to steal her monster crackers.

I have a feeling he won’t get too far (he has no legs). 😉

No Tricks. Just Treats.

29 Oct

halloween treat bucket

My kids don’t trick or treat.

They prefer to do Halloween at home.

No need to feel bad for them though. They get more than enough sweets and treats.

We wear costumes, play games, watch Halloween shows on t.v., and Cam usually hands out candy to the other kids in the neighborhood.

My son lost interest in trick or treating a long time ago. He’s nearly 6 ft tall and over 180 lbs, so people always thought he was a grown man in a mask approaching them for candy. And most people aren’t cool with that.

Then, not too long ago, my daughter figured out that walking around from house to house in the dark asking for candy from strangers just wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and perhaps her brother was on to something.

So every Halloween I make them their own special treat bag or bucket filled with their favorite candy, and some fun little treats. Just so they don’t feel like they missed out on anything.

Last year the kids got cauldrons because I was a witch:

This year they get buckets because I couldn’t find the cauldrons.

I found my buckets in the $1 section of my local Target.

All of the candy came from Walgreen’s.

The Nestle Crunch and 100 Grand bars are all .49 this week at Walgreen’s if you use your Register Rewards card. Those are just taped onto some long lollipop sticks and stuck down into the bucket.

The Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins were .69 each. Those are also taped to lollipop sticks.

I also bought 3 bags of Snickers fun-sized bars for $1.99 each. I used this coupon and paid $3.97 out of pocket for all three bags. I also got $1.50 in Register Rewards back to use towards my next purchase. I used the Snickers bars to fill the bucket and keep the lollipop sticks from sliding around.

The embellishments are just stickers that I found on sale for 50% off yesterday at Michael’s. I attached toothpicks to the backs and stuck them wherever there was a space that needed to be filled.

If anything was too wobbly for me, or was sliding around a little too much, I just added a little tape to the back and attached it to whatever was behind it to stabilize it. The 100 Grand and the Reese’s Pumpkins are both taped in the back to the Crunch bars but you can’t see that from the front.

From the front it just looks like I’m on top of my game.

The hardest part of making these buckets is keeping them hidden from my kids for the next couple of days.

Daily Bento

29 Oct

witch bento

 

If you’re still in need of a few things for Halloween, I highly suggest going to your local craft store. If you have a Michael’s anywhere near you, that would be my first suggestion.

I had to run into Michael’s yesterday to grab a birthday present for my oldest who is now 17. I’m not sure how that happened but I did the math and sure enough, it checks out.

Anyway, all of their Halloween stock is on sale. Some of it has been marked down as much as 60%. So if you need any decorations, party supplies, or costume accessories, I highly suggest you head on up there before it’s all gone.

I found a set of four witch themed cookie cutters on clearance for .99. So those came home with me.

As soon as Cam saw them she said “so you’re making me a witch lunch right!?”

So a witch lunch it is today.

I made her three salami sandwiches on whole wheat bread with Applegate Farms provolone cheese accents. I also just want to mention here that my Target gives you a 1/2 lb of any deli cheese for free when you buy 1 1/2 lbs of Archer Farms lunch meat from the deli counter. If your Target has a deli counter, you may want to see if they offer this special too because it’s FREE CHEESE! Any free cheese, so go for the good stuff. I do.

She also has “witch skin chips” which are actually spinach and kale chips, strawberries and pineapple, apple cats, and witch hat and cat gummies.

 

Daily Bento

28 Oct

vampire bento

 

In her vampire themed lunch today, Cam has organic strawberries, a snack cake coffin, some cheesy vampire teeth, three vampire bat sandwiches, and a few cheesy crackers with a vampire bat on top.

 

Buggy Bento

24 Oct

creepy crawly bento

 

In her bug-filled bento, Cam has two pb&j sandwiches, some Halloween gummies with spider gummies on top, organic strawberries, and some cheesy crackers.

The hubs and I had to run over to Wal-Mart yesterday for bread and printer ink. I went right for the Halloween section where I found a set of pumpkin silicone cups (pictured above) and a set of Halloween cookie stamps for under $3. I used a couple of those stamps to make the sandwiches.

Don’t you just love multi-taskers?

Bony Bento

23 Oct

bony bento

For lunch today, Cam has two pumpkin-shaped chicken sandwiches on whole wheat bread with skull cut-outs in the middle, apples and carrots cut with the same skull cutter, cheese crackers, frozen yogurt skulls that I made using my nifty silicone mold I found at The Dollar Tree last year, and a few candy bones thrown in for fun.

Another Batty Lunch

23 Oct

batty bento for daddy

 

I made a batty bento for the hubs to take to work last night.

He doesn’t need a full lunch, just a little something to keep him going.

He thought Cam’s lunch yesterday was pretty cute so I couldn’t let him feel left out could I?

He has an adorable bat egg using this super fun new egg mold/pocket sandwich maker. He also has some tiny crispy baguette crackers and sweet bbq relish (which looks like coagulated blood to me) from our Graze box. I used my small bat cutter to cut a couple of carrots into bat shapes for him and I tossed in some pomegranate arils because I think that they look like little drops of blood.