Open Faced Pumpkin (Jack O’ Lantern) Cheesy Bread

Open Faced Pumpkin Jack O Lantern Cheesy Bread

This Jack O’ Lantern “Pumpkin” Cheesy Bread is another fun lunch idea to serve up in October!

I love playing with food and this is one of those things that makes my kids a little more excited about eating non-candy foods.  Granted, an open-faced cheese sandwich might not be the healthiest thing in their lunchbox, but it’s filling.  And you can make it with whatever kind of bread you like.  It looks better on wheat than white bread, and even better on pumpernickel.

I used the big pumpkins from this cookie cutter set to cut out the bread.  A regular loaf of sandwich bread may be a little small for the big cookie cutter, so you can either use the smaller pumpkin instead, or just flatten out the bread slice a little bit to make it wider.  Like with a rolling pin.  Or your hands, if you’re lazy like me.

Then, take your orange cheese (I used American but if your kids like cheddar, that’s awesome, too) and cut out a pumpkin with the same cutter you used for the bread.  You may have to put two pieces of cheese next to each other to be big enough for the pumpkin, but don’t worry – it’ll all melt together.

On a cutting board, after you’ve cut your pumpkin shape from the cheese slice, use a small knife to carve the face from the cheese.  Draw the face with the point of the knife and then use the knife to lift out the extra pieces.  Then gently transfer the cheese to the bread, lining up the pumpkin shapes.

Put the bread on a napkin and microwave it for 5 to 7 seconds – just enough to barely melt the cheese.  If it melts too much, the face will spread and get mushy.  Remember, you want it to melt just enough to make sure the cheese will stick to the bread and not fall off.

If you’re going to put it into a container for their lunchbox instead of eating it right away, make sure to leave it on the napkin for a minute before enclosing it in plastic, just in case there’s any errant moisture.  Then pack it off, or refrigerate it until the next day.

Happy Halloween!

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Oreo Ghosts

Oreo Ghosts

These are a super cute way to add a little Halloween fun to snack time!

Since a bag of Oreos is a dangerous thing, I don’t like to keep them in the house too often… but I’ll buy the small packs now and then for fun stuff like this.

To make the ghosts, first you need to open the cookies while trying to keep all of the icing on one side.  Then use a small paring knife to carve off a bit to give a swirl movement to the sides of the ghost, and then make circle shapes for eyes and a mouth.  Scrape up and off the extra pieces.  And, you know, “discard” them… somehow… ;)

Oreo Ghosts

Then serve up the ghosts to your excited Little Ones!

Happy Halloween!

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Make Cute Animal Shaped Mini Sandwiches and Cookies and Stuff

CuteZCute Animal Palz Mini Bento Sandwich Stamping Cutters

These little sandwich shapers are ADORABLE!

The full name for these cute, little sandwich cutters are CuteZCute Animal Palz Mini Bento Sandwich Stamping Cutter & Egg Shaper.

Which is quite a mouthful.

But they do so many fabulous things I can totally get why they had trouble giving it a shorter name!

I’ve used them for a bunch of different things and they really add a great element of fun to my daughters’ lunches.

You can use them to imprint on bread, tortillas, watermelon, cookie dough, and probably a bunch of things I haven’t even thought of yet.

Plus the set also has the tools to make pocket sandwiches.  I’ve found that you can actually get a little bit of both peanut butter and jelly inside of them, but my 4yo actually prefers just plain peanut butter.

Oh – and I have used them to imprint on slices of cheese.  But I don’t recommend that.

Here are some meals/snacks I’ve made with them:

CuteZCute Animal Palz Mini Bento Sandwich Stamping Cutters

And there are tools in the kit to also shape hard boiled eggs, but I haven’t tried that yet.

I do really love this Sandwich Stamping Set.  I’ve kept the box because everything has it’s place inside of it, the directions are on the back of the box, and it fits nicely in the pantry.

I have to keep an eye on the pieces, tho… they have a habit of walking off.  Especially when my 2yo sees me using them.  :)

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Spiral Cut “Confetti” Hot Dogs

Spiral Cut Confetti Hot Dogs

To add a little extra pizazz to a regular lunch around New Years, I made my kids’ hot dogs into confetti ribbons.

This is kind of the same concept as spiral potatoes, and it only takes a couple of minutes.

You’ll need:

hot dogs
skewers
knife

Insert the skewer into the hot dog, keeping it as close to the center as possible all the way through.  I found it easiest to put the hot dog on it’s end and push the skewer down through it.

Then lay the hot dog on it’s side and angle your knife a little.  Begin cutting through the hot dog at the very top, cutting into it until your knife hits the skewer.  Then turn the knife, cutting around and around the hot dog while making sure to continue cutting into it as deep as the skewer while moving in a pattern much like when you peel an apple in one piece.  Do this until you reach the other end, then gently push the hot dog off of the skewer.

Spiral Cut Confetti Hot Dogs

The best way to cook these is to boil them.  Microwaving can cause it to cook unevenly and baking would crisp it up too much.

So bring a pot of water to a boil, throw in the hot dogs, and gently simmer them for 4 or 5 minutes.

Then serve up the edible confetti!  Great for New Years and birthdays, or just adding some surprise to an otherwise ordinary day.

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Purple Pancakes

The weekend is almost here!  How are you going to celebrate it?

How about purple pancakes???

Now,  I do try to avoid adding a lot of food coloring into my kid’s diet, but every now and then, color just makes things fun.  Of course, these pancakes would also work without the color, if you prefer.

purple pancakes

purple pancake patterns

So, what you see in the photos is that I used Bisquick to make these pancakes.  I stirred in a little purple gel food coloring, and then poured the mix into a squeeze bottle.  To make this successful, you have to make the batter a little thin.  Otherwise, it will get stuck in the nozzle.  So use a small whisk or a fork to make sure there are no big clumps.

Then, heat up your pan or griddle and grease it like you normally would for pancakes.  And then:  the fun begins.

The squeeze bottles allow you to draw pretty much any shape you’d like.  As you can see above, I drew some hearts, but also some “swirls” in crazy patterns.  The swirls were especially fun to eat.  Especially with your hands.  :)

But, I also like to say that all food is finger food to toddlers.  Honestly, as long as my kids eat, I don’t care if they use their hands.  As long as they’re eating, they could use their toes.

Anyway, to achieve the best results for solid shapes (hearts, stars, etc), draw the outline first and then quickly fill it in.

And remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect.  Your kids will love you anyway.  Plus, older kids will probably want to get in on it.

To spruce up the pancakes, add a little cinnamon to the batter.  Or sprinkle some chocolate chips or small blueberries over them after you’ve drawn your shape on the griddle, but before you flip them.

Have fun!  And if you tackle this food art, please let me know what you make!