10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for Halloween!

I was doodling recently whilst thinking about Halloween, and decided to see how many simple sandwich designs I could come up with based around a circle, as I think that a circle cutter is the most likely shape that your average person would already have available in their kitchen (if not, I do have some nesting circle cutter sets currently available in the Eats Amazing Shop!).  I then had a go at putting some of the sandwiches together – most of them were really simple and quick to make, always a bonus when you’re rushing around trying to get lunch packed in the morning! I think some of them are simple enough ideas to put together in bulk for a Halloween party too. I had loads of ideas but stopped at 10 – hopefully that is plenty to be getting on with!

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - Great for themed school lunches and for party food too A few tips before I begin:

1. I used various sizes of cutter from a nesting circle cutter set to make all of these sandwiches.  Most of them could easily be resized to make mini versions for party food – just use a smaller circle cutter. For some of the sandwiches I also used tiny circle cutters from my mini bento cutter sets.  If you don’t have circle cutters, you could try using different sized glasses, mugs, bowls or plates by cutting around them with a small sharp knife.

2. A good tip when making shaped sandwiches is to cut each piece of bread out separately and fill them after – this way you will get much neater edges.

3. If using ham or other sandwich meats, cut the meat into shape (in this case a circle), before adding to the shaped bread.  The same applies to slices of cheese – if using a hard cheese such as cheddar then cut into slices, lay them out together to make one large slice and cut into shape before transferring to the bread.

4. If your sandwich is going in a lunch box rather than being served up immediately, you can ‘glue’ any features or decorations in place using foods such as cream cheese, houmous, peanut butter, chocolate spread, honey or jam, depending on your sandwich filling.

5. For some sandwiches I used edible icing eyes, for others I made eyes from cheese using a mini circle cutter (you could also use the end of a plastic drinks straw) and an edible marker pen to dot them.  Both kinds of eyes are interchangeable, so you can swap in cheese if you don’t have icing eyes or icing eyes if you don’t want to use cheese.

6. I also used edible marker pens to add details to some of the sandwiches – if you don’t have any then food colouring and a fine paint brush will do the same job.

7. You’ll most likely generate lots of spare crusts of bread after making circle-shaped sandwiches, but don’t waste them! See this post for some great ideas for using them up.

Spooky Spider – This is very simple to make.  Cut out two circles with the largest size cutter that will fit your bread, fill and put together in a sandwich, add twiglet legs by poking them into the sandwich filling, and add eyes cut from cheese with a mini circle cutter to the top.  I dotted the eyes with an edible marker pen, and added a little ham mouth, which I cut out using the same small circle cutter that I’d used for the eyes.  Other foods you could use for the legs include vegetable sticks such as carrot, pepper or cucumber, mini bread sticks or ‘stick shaped’ crisps (I’d use Organix carrot stix).

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - Simple Spider Sandwich

Pumpkin – Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without a pumpkin or two! To make, cut out two circles with the largest sized cutter that will fit your bread and use mini cutters or the tip of a sharp knife to cut your face design into one of the pieces of bread.  Top the plain circle with your sandwich filling, then pop the face on top.  Press lightly with your circle cutter over the top of the sandwich to make the ‘lines’ on the pumpkin, and finish with a leaf pick and a twiglet stalk. You could also make the stalk from a stick of cucumber or green pepper.

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - Pumpkin Jack O Lantern Sandwich Mummy – this one went down particularly well with Small Child! To make, first cut your bread into a circle and fill to make a sandwich.  Brown bread works particularly well for this one so that you get a good contrast with the tortilla strips.

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - Spooky Mummy Sandwich To turn the plain circle sandwich into a mummy, cut some strips from a tortilla wrap.  Arrange the strips on a chopping board as you want them to be on the sandwich, leaving a gap for the eyes.  With the same sized cutter that you used for the sandwich, cut a circle from the tortilla strips.  Carefully transfer over to the top of your sandwich, sticking the strips into place with cream cheese or another edible ‘glue’ (see tips above).  Finish off with two edible eyes (I used icing eyes), popping them into the gap between strips.

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - Simple Mummy Sandwich using strips of tortilla wrap and a circle cutter Spider Web – I was really pleased with how this one turned out! At first I was planning on drawing with edible marker pen straight onto the sandwich, but they don’t work very well ordinary bread.  I then remembered that they work much better on tortilla wraps, so I cut a circle from the tortilla wrap using the same cutter that I had used for the sandwich and drew the web design on that.  I then ‘glued’ the piece of tortilla wrap to the top of the sandwich using houmous (you could use any edible ‘glue’ of your choice, see the tips above) and added a plastic spider to decorate.  The spider was taken from one of my spider cupcake rings, and was the perfect size for this project!

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - Edible Spider Web Sandwich You could use this tortilla technique year-round to add fun designs to the top of your sandwiches, and maybe even let your child doodle on their own designs with edible marker pens!

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - Create a draw-on sandwich by cutting a piece of tortilla wrap to the same size and sticking it on top Funny Monster – This was a very easy sandwich to make. First I cut two circles from bread, and one from ham using my largest circle cutter.  I added the ham to one circle to make the base of the sandwich.

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - Simple Monster Sandwich I then took the second circle of bread and cut a section off for the mouth using the same circle cutter (see below).  I took a slice of cheddar cheese, and using the same cutter, cut a rounded slice off so that it would sit flush to the bread. I cut some little triangles from the other side of the cheese slice to make teeth, and carefully put it, along with the slice of bread, on top of the ham.  I finished the monster off with an eye made from half a Babybel cheese, a single blueberry for the pupil and some polka-dot picks.

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - Simple Monster Sandwich using circle cutters Wizards Hat – This was Small Child’s favourite of all the Halloween sandwiches I made! First make the base of the hat by cutting two circles of bread and filling to make a sandwich. Don’t use the largest circle cutter for the base, use the next size down, or the base of the hat will be out of proportion to the point.

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - Edible Wizards Hat Sandwich To make the point of the hat, take a piece of tortilla wrap, and using your largest cutter, cut out a circle from it.  Slice it into two, making one piece slightly bigger than the other (see below).  Take the bigger piece, and with the flat edge at the top, bend the two corners towards each other. Pull together tightly to make a cone, stick the overlapping pieces together with peanut butter or another edible ‘glue’ (see tips above) and pop on top of your round sandwich to turn it into a hat.  I decorated my hat with a piece of a Bear yoyo (dried fruit strip) which I also glued on with peanut butter, and scattered over star shaped sprinkles.

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - How to create the point for an edible wizards hat sandwich Owl – This Sandwich looks more complicated to make than it actually is!  I think brown bread works particularly well for this, but you could use any bread.  To make, first cut two circles from your bread using your largest circle cutter.

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - Owl SandwichUsing a smaller circle cutter, cut a piece from the top of one of the bread circles.  Repeat with the second circle of bread, placing the first piece on top as a guide. Put the two pieces together and fill to make your sandwich.  Using your smallest circle cutter, cut out a piece of ham for the owl’s tummy.  Assemble, using the two extra pieces of bread as wings (you may need to trim these down slightly using the smallest circle cutter.  Finish with edible eyes and cut a piece of carrot into a triangle for the beak.

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - How to make an owl using nesting circle cuttersMini Boo! Sandwiches – These were very quick and simple to make.  I used my favourite alphabet cutters for these, but you could probably also give them a go using mini circle cutters and a sharp knife. To make, start by cutting out 6 smallish circles of bread. Cut the letters ‘BOO’ into three of the bread circles, making sure you hang onto the bread ‘middles’ of the letters.  Make up your sandwich with a brightly coloured filling – I used slices of red Leicester cheese, which I cut into circles using the same circle cutter I’d used for the bread.  Add a toy spider to the plate for extra Halloween creepiness (optional)!

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - Boo Sandwiches

Ghost – Probably the easiest sandwich to make, this is simply a circle sandwich with added eyes and a mouth cut from strips of Bear yoyo (dried fruit strip) using mini circle cutters (and an oval cutter for the mouth).   I did find that the Bear yoyos were too narrow for the circle cutters I wanted to use, so I tore two small strips off and stuck them together to make a wider strip before cutting.  You could make this sandwich in any size – lots of mini versions of this one would be quick and easy to make for a Halloween party!

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - Simple Ghost Sandwich

Fairy Bread Spider – Last but not least I made a spooky version of ‘fairy bread’, which is quite simply a sandwich with a shape cut from the top piece using a cookie cutter, and sprinkles added to the filling.  You need to use a spreadable filling for fairy bread, so that the sprinkles have something to stick to.  This sandwich was made to be eaten at home, so I used peanut butter, but any other spreadable filling would also work.  I used Red Non-Pareils for my sprinkles (I bought them because they’ll come in useful for Christmas lunches too!) but any colour or type of sprinkle would work.  After I’d finished all the sandwiches and photos for this blog post I then found some sprinkles in Halloween colours (orange and black) in Asda, so it might be worth checking your local supermarket for Halloween sprinkles!  I used a spider shaped cutter (from this IKEA set) and added edible icing eyes.  I finished the sandwich off with a line of web drawn on with an edible marker pen.  You could also use any other shaped cookie cutter you like to make your own fairy bread sandwich.

Eats Amazing UK - 10 Fun Sandwich Ideas for the Kids this Halloween - Spooky Spider Fairy Bread Sandwich

That’s it for now, I hope you’ve enjoyed my Halloween Sandwiches! Which is your favourite? Do let me know via the comments below if you try out any yourself!

Grace

4 Simple Halloween Bento Lunches

I’ve been falling behind a bit with sharing my lunches recently, so today I’m going to share four from last week all at once.  These lunches are all Halloween themed – Small Child has been loving his Halloween lunches this month! This is his last week at school before our half term begins, so I’m making the most of all the fun themes that Halloween supplies for my inspiration!

In the first of today’s lunches, Small Child had an eclectic mix of bits and pieces.  I tried flaked honey-roasted salmon as a lunch box food for the first time, which had a mixed reaction from him.  He said he wasn’t too keen on it, but he ate it all, so it can’t have been that bad! He also had a cheese string, cut in half and decorated with eye picks to make funny monsters (many thanks to The Boy and Me for this fab idea!), a Frankenstein Babybel, Ritz crackers in a silicone cup, raw red pepper sticks and carrot pumpkins, a celementine, broken into segments and some blueberries.  I added cat and frog fork picks to the salmon, a spider ring to the fruit, and finished the lunch off with some rainbow yoghurt covered raisins.

Eats Amazing UK - Fun Halloween Themed Lunch with Funny Cheese Straw Ben and Carrot Pumpkins

The second lunch was very simple, with a hard boiled egg moulded into a cute bat using the CuteZcute Animal Palz Set being a highlight.  As well as the egg, which I popped into an orange silicone cup, this lunch was made up of bread sticks, cucumber chunks, an orange mini pepper cut into rings, red and green grapes and some organic blueberry yoghurt, topped with chocolate sprinkles (I thought the sprinkles could be spiders legs!).  I decorated the lunch with a toy spider, bat cupcake pick and spider web cupcake ring, and finished it off with a treat of some orange flavoured chocolate buttons.

Eats Amazing UK - a simple Halloween Yumbox with Bats and Spiders - Bat shaped egg moulded using the CuteZcute Animal Palz Set

The third lunch made use of some leftovers (my favourite kind of lunch!).  I always make pizza whirl rolls from any leftover dough when I make home-made pizza (making home-made pizza is a necessity in our house, as Mr Amazing can’t eat normal pizza due to being dairy free), and pop any spare in the freezer for lunches.  I take them out of the freezer to defrost the night before they are needed so they are ready for a minimal-effort lunch! For this lunch, I decorated the rolls with eyeball cupcake rings.  On the side I packed rolls of ham, decorated with a Frankenstein cupcake ring, raw sugar snap peas (under the carrots) and carrot disks, decorated with a monster hand pick, and chunks of melon with blueberries, decorated with eyeball picks. I finished the lunch off with a jelly sweet eyeball, much to Small Child’s delight!

Eats Amazing UK - Simple and fun school kids bento lunch idea with eyeballs

Last but not least an owl themed lunch! This lunch had a cream cheese and ham sandwich, shaped into an owl (I’ll be sharing the ‘how to’ for this owl sandwich design in tomorrow’s post, along with lots of other fun Halloween sandwiches!), some twiglets, a purple carrot, cut into disks and topped with a bat pick, and some red grapes, topped with a black cat pick.

Eats Amazing UK - Bento school lunch with owl sandwich for Halloween

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Halloween lunches so far, have you made any fun food for Halloween yet?

Grace

Items used to make these lunches:

Yumbox Classic in Myrtille Blue from Eats Amazing UK - Thumbnail Yumbox Classic in Pomme Green from Eats Amazing UK - Thumbnail CuteZcute Animal Palz Set Thumbnail Eye Picks Thumbnail Round Silicone Cups Thumbnail Animal Faces Fork Picks Thumbnail Mini Bright Animal Fork Picks Thumbnail Glow in the dark spider on web cupcake rings Thumbnail Lettuce Silicone Cups and Dividers Thumbnail bright spider and web cupcake rings Thumbnail Eyeball Cupcake Rings Thumbnail Monster Zombie hands Halloween cupcake picks Thumbnail

Spooky Soup Ideas and Fun Food Friday #39

Good morning, and welcome to another Fun Food Friday! As usual, there is a linky in today’s post, so if you’ve written any foodie posts, whether it be toddler meals, creative cakes, lovely lunches or a yummy recipe you’ve blogged, do feel free to join in and add your link at the end of the post! I try to comment on and tweet every post that’s linked up, and I pin them all to my special Fun Food Friday Pinterest board too.

I have some more fun Halloween themed food for you today! Following on from the delicious Pea and Broccoli Soup cooked by Small Child that I shared with you yesterday, today I’m going to explore some fun ways that you could dress up a plain bowl of soup for your children at Halloween.

Eats Amazing UK - 4 fun and easy ways to dress up your soup -healthy kids food ideas for Halloween

First up is an easy way to add fun Halloween shapes to your soup – simply cut them out from a tortilla wrap using a cookie cutter and pop them on top just before you serve it.  I used a white tortilla to make ghastly ghosts, but any kind of tortilla or shape of cookie cutter would work – you could also use this idea year-around to add stars, smiley faces, animals, dinosaurs – whatever your child is into at the time! I added little dots for eyes to the ghosts using my trusty edible marker pen.

Eats Amazing UK - Fun Ghosty soup for the children at Halloween

Next up are cheesy pumpkin toasts.  I was really pleased with how these turned out, and Small Child loved them! He loves a tasty piece of cheese on toast and it’s extra delicious served up with a healthy vegetable soup!

Eats Amazing UK - Cheesy Pumpkin Toasts for decorating soup at Halloween

These were simple to make, I toasted a piece of bread, topped it with red Leicester cheese (its orange colour made it particularly good for pumpkins), and popped it under the grill until melted and bubbly.  Once the cheese on toast had cooled down a little, I cut pumpkin shapes from it using a mini Halloween cookie cutter.  I cut stalks from a mint leaf (any fresh herb leaf would work) using the same cookie cutter and popped them onto the pumpkins.  I finished them off by pressing the back of the knife blade into the cheese to make the lines on the pumpkins.

Eats Amazing UK - How to make pumpkin shaped cheesy toasts

Small Baby got to eat the next fun bowl of soup, which was full of edible eyeballs! The eyeballs were mozzarella pearls, which you can buy from most supermarkets (they come ready shaped).  I added the pupils by using a tiny circle cutter to cut a small hole in the top of each pearl, then the same cutter to cut into the side of a piece of cucumber, which made little plugs which I then popped into each hole, skin-side up.  If you don’t have a tiny circle cutter, the end of a drinking straw would do the same job.  I thought this fun monster spoon made the perfect utensil for eating this soup too!

Eats Amazing UK - Edible Eyeballs to float in a bowl of soup - fun and healthy food idea for the kids at Halloween

Last but not least was our favourite spider web soup! This is a technique I’ve used before to draw a spider’s web on soup, I think it looks really effective and it’s much easier than it looks!

Eats Amazing UK - Spiderweb soup with baked tortilla chip spiders - great food for Halloween

To draw the web, start by drawing a spiral with natural yoghurt on top of the soup.  I used a mini Sistema sauce bottle (I’ve still not managed to use them in a lunch, but I’ve had a lot of use out of them for my various creative food projects this month so far!), but you could also use a piping bag, or spoon the yoghurt into a plastic food bag and snip off the corner to use like a piping bag. Once you’ve drawn on your spiral, grab a cocktail stick, and working from the middle, draw it through the soup to create the lines radiating out.  Ta-da! One spider’s web!

Eats Amazing UK - How to draw a spiderweb onto any soup for Halloween

I served Small Child’s spider web soup up with some tortilla spider crisps.  I used a cookie cutter to cut spider shapes out from a wholemeal tortilla, brushed them with oil, sprinkled some of them with poppy seeds and baked them in the oven for 5 minutes or so. Small Child loved them!

Eats Amazing UK - Oven baked Spider Tortilla Crisps - fun party food for the kids at Halloween

Now it’s your turn to share! Have you been making any fun food recently? Please link up your foodie posts below and share the inspiration around. You can also link up Instagram, Facebook or Twitter pictures if you don’t have a blog of your own.

A few quick reminders before you link up; please visit some of the other blogs that have linked up and leave them a comment – we all love comments! If you are linking up from your blog, please grab the button below too, and put it either in your blog post or somewhere on your blog. Both old and new posts are very welcome, and do feel free to link up several posts if you’d like.

Eats Amazing Fun Food Friday

Thank you in advance for linking up, I hope you find some fun inspiration!


Cooking with Small Child – Pea and Broccoli Soup

It’s been a while since I wrote a ‘Cooking with Small Child‘ post, we have been cooking together, I just haven’t always got around to taking photos! Today’s recipe was something that Small Child cooked for a family tea at the weekend – ‘Green Soup!’ (or pea and broccoli soup, to the rest of the world!).  This is the perfect time of year for soups, and I’ve always found a hearty homemade soup to be a great way to get veggies into my children.  Small Baby is not in the slightest bit interested in eating peas or broccoli at the moment, but he wolfed this soup straight down, so well done to Small Child!

Cooking with Small Child ButtonAs with previous posts in my Cooking with Small Child series, I’ve attached a PDF copy of the recipe at the end of the post for you to print out if you would like to try challenging your own ‘Small Child’ to give it a go.  I’ve also outlined the recipe below, feel free to adapt it to suit your needs!

Eats Amazing UK - Simple Pea and Brocolli Soup - so easy that a child can make it - with free downloadable recipe sheet for cooking with your kids

Ingredients

  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Head of Broccoli
  • Small Bunch of Fresh Mint
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 250g Frozen Peas
  • 500ml Chicken Stock
  • Black Pepper

Method

Gather together your ingredients (and try to look happy!).  Peel and crush the garlic (I didn’t realised until he had started cooking that we had run out of garlic, so he missed it out this time).  Chop the broccoli into florets.  Tear the mint leaves from the stems.

Eats Amazing UK - Pea and Brocolli Soup cooked by Small Child - Step 1

Peel and roughly chop the onion (we only had red onions and they were quite small, so he used two).  Put all of the ingredients apart from the pepper into a large saucepan.  Stir to mix together.

Eats Amazing UK - Pea and Brocolli Soup cooked by Small Child - Step 2

Heat on the stove until beginning to boil. Cook for 5 minutes until the broccoli is soft.  This should be done under complete adult supervision, or for very young children an adult could do this part.  This was the first time that Small Child (aged 6) had used the hob and I used the opportunity to talk to him about stove safety and impressing upon him the importance of never touching the stove unless an adult is present.

Allow to cool a little, then add black pepper to taste.  Whizz up with a stick blender until smooth (Small Child loved this bit!).  Again, use your discretion as to whether you are happy to let your child use a blender and make sure they are supervised by an adult.

Eats Amazing UK - Pea and Brocolli Soup cooked by Small Child - Step 3

Serve up with crusty bread for a delicious family lunch or tea!

Eats Amazing UK - Simple Pea and Brocolli Soup - so easy that a child can make it - with free downloadable recipe sheet suitable for cooking with your kids

Small Child was once again very proud to have followed a recipe himself and to have made a meal that all the family could eat!  If you’d like to print off a child-friendly copy of this recipe for yourself, click on the link below to download the PDF file.

Pea and Broccoli Soup Recipe

Do your children like getting involved in the kitchen? What do they most enjoy cooking?

Grace

This post has been linked up at the following linkies:

BakedPotato Mummy
Casa Costello

Small Child Makes Lunch #5 – Halloween Theme

Small Child is always very enthusiastic about his fun lunches, and he often asks to make them himself too.  When we have a bit of extra time in the morning I’m always happy to let him – he’s learning great life skills in preparing food, learning about the food groups and how to make a balanced meal, which foods are healthy and which should be kept for the occasional treat and of course exercising his imagination and finding the joy in creativity.  For today’s lunch, Small Child raided my Halloween collection and had lots of fun decorating the lunch he had made.

For this lunch Small Child made himself a ham sandwich on granary bread, which he decorated with a plastic spider and an eyeball cupcake ring.  On the side he packed sugar snap peas and red pepper sticks, which he cut up himself.  I advised him to put something between the sandwich and vegetables to prevent the sandwich from going soggy, so he popped in a silicone lettuce leaf and a grass shaped silicone divider, then added a monster hand and skeleton cupcake pick to decorate. For ‘pudding’ he packed an apple, which I cored and sliced for him (we were running short on time by this point!) which he brushed with lemon juice to prevent browning and decorated with a wizard’s hat cupcake pick. He also packed a serving of organic peach and apricot yoghurt topped with a home-made icing ghost (we made some of these with icing leftover from making our edible eyes!).  He finished the lunch off with one of his favourite treats – rainbow yoghurt covered raisins.

Eats Amazing UK - Halloween Themed bento school lunch made by six year old Small Child Below are close-ups of some of the details – I think he did a really fab job of this lunch, if a little over-enthusiastic with the decorations!

Eats Amazing UK - Halloween Themed bento school lunch made by six year old Small Child - close up

Small Child ate every last scrap of this lunch, I think the pride in making it himself definitely helps his appetite!

Grace

Items Small Child used to make this lunch:

Yumbox Classic Pomodoro Red Thumbnail Lettuce Silicone Cups and Dividers Thumbnail Silicone Baran Dividers Grass Thumbnail Monster Zombie hands Halloween cupcake picks Thumbnail Eyeball Cupcake Rings Thumbnail

Leftovers Lunch and Polar Gear Lunch Pod Review

Following on from my review of the Polar Gear Bento Box last week, I have another product from Polar Gear to share with you today. This is the Polar Gear Lunch Pod, a round container that is designed to carry hot or cold food.

Eats Amazing UK - Polar Gear Lunch Pod Review

My first impressions of the lunch pod were very good.  It looks really smart, feels nice and sturdy and has some great features, like the fold down carrying handle built into the lid and the little compartment containing a handy folding plastic spork.  Inside, it has a divided bowl that can be lifted out to make one big bowl.  The pods capacity is 500ml, which means it can hold a decent amount of food for both an adult or a child.

Eats Amazing UK - Polar Gear Lunch Pod Review - inside and outside views

I’ve been on the lookout for something to carry warm food for Small Child’s lunches occasionally, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to try this one. I had a quick read of the instructions and warmed it up with hot water first, before emptying it out and filling it with some leftover curry from dinner the night before.  This was a homemade minced beef and potato curry, which I mixed with some leftover rice before heating in the microwave.

Eats Amazing UK - Warm curry leftovers for lunch in the Polar Gear Lunch Pod

I also packed some cold extras in a small bento box to go with it.  Along with the curry, Small Child had an onion bhaji, sliced in two and topped with a fun bear pick, leftover naan bread, which I cut into stars using a little bento cutter and separated from the bhaji using a lettuce shaped silicone divider, some raspberries, in a sheep shaped silicone cup, and red grapes and blueberries, which I decorated with cute panda and rabbit picks.

Eats Amazing UK - Side dishes in a small childs bento box to go with a warm curry - school lunch ideaI eagerly awaited Small Child’s verdict when he came out of school that day.  How was the curry? Was it warm? Sadly, Small Child was unconvinced, in his words “It wasn’t warm, but it wasn’t freezing cold either”. So either room temperature or lukewarm then, from the sound of things.  This was disappointing, but I wondered if user error might be to blame.  I went back to the instructions to see if there was anything I’d missed.  First off, the instructions state that the pod will keep food warm for 3 hours.  I’d filled it up just before 8.30, which made it 11.30 once three hours was up.  I doubt very much that Small Child had his lunch that early, I expect 12 or 12.30 is more realistic, so definitely longer than 3 hours.  Secondly, I wondered whether I should have heated the food to a higher temperature so that it would stay warm longer, and thirdly I only filled it up half way – this may also have made a difference.

I decided that I needed to test the pod further at home to give it a really fair review, so yesterday morning I filled it up with homemade soup with the intention of seeing whether it would still be warm for my lunch.  I read the instructions a bit more closely this time, filling the pod with very hot water from the kettle to let it warm through first and heating the soup to as hot a temperature as I dared in the microwave.  I also filled the pod right up, so there was more food in it this time. I waited two and a half hours then opened it up to see what the temperature was like.  This time it was vaguely warm, but not as warm as I’d hoped.  I had to heat it up again in the microwave before eating, so not ideal.

Having said that, when I sat down to eat it I did enjoy eating the soup straight from the pod – it was a far nicer experience than eating soup from a square lunch box for example.  The fact that it is microwavable is definitely a redeeming feature, so I am still very likely to pack soup or other leftovers in the pod for my husband to take to work, as he usually has access to a microwave.  The leaflet also says that the pod can help to keep foods cool – it’s not the ideal time of year to test this out but I think it would be great for carrying a nice healthy salad in the warmer months.

Overall, though I think it looks really great I was disappointed with the heat retaining qualities of the lunch pod.  I would only use it for warm foods if it was for a short trip out (a picnic for example, or to carry warm porridge for breakfast), and sadly it isn’t going to be the right solution for sending warm food for Small Child’s lunches. Setting that aside, I think the fact that it is microwavable definitely redeems it as a lunch container.  It looks smart, is easy to carry and most importantly is a pleasure to eat from.  I will be happy to use it in the future for my husband’s microwavable lunches and for cold salads in the spring.

The Lunch Pod comes in a variety of colours, and you can buy it direct from the Polar Gear website, or from Amazon UK. You can click on the pictures below to be taken to their Amazon UK listings.

     

Don’t forget, I have a fantastic giveaway of the Polar Gear Bento Box running on the blog at the moment, so hop over to this post to enter! The giveaway will finish this coming Saturday night, and there are six chances to win!

Grace

Disclosure; I received a free Polar Gear Lunch Pod for the purposes of carrying out this review, however all opinions expressed in this post are my own.  I have no affiliation to Polar Gear, and was not otherwise compensated for this review.  

This post contains Amazon affiliate links; I may receive commission on items purchased through the links.

This post has been linked up to the following linky:

We're going on an adventure

Simple Spider Themed Lunch

Today’s lunch was a really simple one to put together. With only two weeks left of school before we break up for half term I have started letting Halloween themes creep into Small Child’s lunches.  I had a couple of leftover bread rolls to use up and instantly thought that with the addition of some vegetable legs, one would make a great spider, and I think it came out rather cute!

In his spider themed lunch Small Child had a crusty bread roll, split and filled with cream cheese and German sausage slices.  I added slices of yellow pepper for the legs and cut out oval pieces of cheese for the eyes (he should probably have had eight of them, but two looked cuter!) which I ‘glued’ on with a little of the cream cheese.  I finished the spider off with an edible marker pen, with which I dotted the eyes and drew on a mouth.  On the side he had carrot sticks, a few more slices of German sausage, which were rolled up and held together with spider cupcake rings, and some blueberries and red and green grapes, topped with a spiderweb cupcake ring.

Eats Amazing UK - Spider Themed Kids Bento School Lunch for Halloween

Here’s the spider on a plate – I think he would make a great snack or even a fun party food – he was so quick and easy to put together!

Eats Amazing UK - Fun Edible Spider Bread Roll with Pepper Legs

Small Child didn’t leave a scrap of this lunch, so I’m guessing he enjoyed it!

Grace

Just a note: the spider cupcake rings that I used for today’s lunch and several other Halloween themed accessories are now available in the Eats Amazing Shop, so why not take a look and maybe give some Halloween themed lunches a try yourself?  All of the accessories can be used again and again, so they could be used for your Halloween lunches for years to come! Click on the pictures below to be taken to their listings in the shop.

Robot cupcake rings - Halloween version bright spider and web cupcake ringsGlow in the dark spider on web cupcake rings Eyeball Cupcake Rings Monster Zombie hands Halloween cupcake picks Cat Bat and Witch Cupcake Picks

Eyeball Sandwich Balls & Fun Food Friday #38

Good morning, and welcome to another Fun Food Friday! As usual, there is a linky in today’s post, so if you’ve written any foodie posts, whether it be toddler meals, creative cakes, lovely lunches or a yummy recipe you’ve blogged, do feel free to join in and add your link at the end of this post! I try to comment on and tweet every post that’s linked up, and I pin them all to my special Fun Food Friday Pinterest board too.

I’m getting well and truly into the Halloween mood now, and with my DIY edible eyeballs and eyeball themed treats posts, this week has been something of a gruesome ‘edible eyeball’ week on the Eats Amazing blog! As I mentioned before, I did a bit of brainstorming of Halloween ideas recently, and I seem to have got stuck on eyeballs, because I’ve been making endless eyeball themed food! I was really pleased with today’s idea – eyeball sandwich balls!

Eats Amazing UK - Eyeball Sandwich Balls - ideal for Halloween themed bento lunches snacks or party food

I’ve been meaning to try sandwich balls for a while now, as they looked a fun way to present a sandwich slightly differently, and turning them into eyeballs seemed a great way to take the idea a step further. You could fill them with any filling you like, but ‘wetter’ fillings like tuna mayo, egg mayo, peanut butter or jam all work particularly well. I used strawberry jam for my first attempt, it seemed like a suitably blood coloured filling for a gory eyeball!

To make the sandwich balls, first cut a circle from a piece of bread, using the biggest circle cutter that will fit on the slice. Cut a circle from cheese, using a mini bento cutter, then place it in the middle of a piece of clingfilm. Pop your circle of bread on top, taking care to ensure that the cheese is in the middle underneath the bread.  Dollop your filling into the middle of the bread.  As you can see below, I used a bit too much jam resulting in some of it escaping, so don’t use too much filling – it may take a bit of trial and error! Gather the sides of the clingfilm in your hand, so that the bread folds up on itself.  Tighten the clingfilm, taking care to let the air escape. Twist the clingfilm until the bread has formed into a firm ball.

Eats Amazing UK - How to make an eyeball sandwich ball tutorial - step 1

If you turn the sandwich ball over, the cheese should be in the centre of the ball.  Carefully unwrap the ball and pop it into a mini silicone cup, with the cheese facing upwards.  Decorate with edible marker pens (I used red and black) to finish the eyeball off.  You could also paint the rest of the cheese with food colouring or use orange cheese if you would like a more colourful eye.

Eats Amazing UK - How to make an eyeball sandwich ball tutorial - step 2

I made several eyeball sandwich balls, and served them up as part of an eye-themed lunch which we took to the park.  The lunch was made in a craft storage box – a really fun idea that I borrowed from The Boy and Me.  You could also use a box like this to pack snacks for several children to take out with you on the go.

In this lunch, Small Child had three jam-filled eyeball sandwich balls, a cheddar Babybel cheese, split and topped with carrot pieces to make eyes, more carrot disks, dotted with edible marker pen, some cucumber slices, topped with some of my homemade edible eyes (see here for my tutorial to make these), shredded roast chicken, topped with an eyeball cupcake ring, red grapes, topped with fun eye picks, and dried apricots and dried apple rings, which I also topped with homemade edible eyes.

Eats Amazing UK  - Eyeball Themed snack lunch served up in a craft box - fun Halloween food idea

This lunch was really fun to make and Small Child really enjoyed it – not a crumb was left!

Now it’s your turn to share! Have you been making any fun food recently? Please link up your foodie posts below and share the inspiration around. You can also link up Instagram, Facebook or Twitter pictures if you don’t have a blog of your own.

A few quick reminders before you link up; please visit some of the other blogs that have linked up and leave them a comment – we all love comments! If you are linking up from your blog, please grab the button below too, and put it either in your blog post or somewhere on your blog. Both old and new posts are very welcome, and do feel free to link up several posts if you’d like.

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Thank you in advance for linking up, I hope you find some fun inspiration!


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Eyeball Themed Treats and Desserts

Following on from my recent DIY edible eyes post, I had eyeballs on the brain, and decided to try out a few more ideas in preparation for Halloween.  Today I’m going to share three different eyeball themed treats, some healthier than others! Although I do try to share healthy ideas as much as possible here on the Eats Amazing blog, we all deserve a treat sometimes – I’m a great believer in ‘everything in moderation’, so I don’t mind my children having the odd sweet or chocolate as long as their overall diet is good.

Eats Amazing UK - Eyeball Themed Treat and Dessert Ideas for Halloween

First up are some yoghurt eyeballs, made from natural yoghurt, so not so unhealthy after all! I used a silicone mould from Lakeland for this project, but they seem to have discontinued them, so the bottom half of a cake pop mould like this one would work just as well. These were easy to make but just took a little thinking ahead, as the yoghurt was frozen in two parts.

Eats Amazing UK - Eyeballs made from frozen natural yoghurt - perfect snack or dessert for Halloween

To make, first gather together your supplies – raisins, natural yoghurt, gel food colouring (I used blue, but you could use any colour), a silicone mould and a squeezy bottle. Pick out the biggest raisins you can find and pop one in each section of the silicone mould. In a small bowl, mix some of the yoghurt with a few drops of the food colouring, then transfer to the squeezy bottle.  Holding the bottle directly over a raisin, squeeze a large drop of the coloured yoghurt into the silicone mould, taking care to get the shape as round as possible.  If you don’t have a squeezy bottle, you can do this step with a teaspoon, but it may be more difficult to get a round shape.  Repeat with rest of the sections.

Eats Amazing UK - Frozen Yoghurt Eyeballs made using a silicone mould

Put the mould into the freezer and freeze for an hour or so until the yoghurt has set.  Take the mould out of the freezer, and top up with plain natural yoghurt to make the whites of the eyes.  Return to the freezer and freeze until solid. When ready to eat, pop the eyeballs out of the mould and into a bowl, then serve immediately.  Small Child ate his using a set of children’s chopsticks, and really enjoyed the additional challenge of chasing them around the bowl before eating them!

Eats Amazing UK - Frozen yoghurt edible eyeballs - fun kids snack or dessert for Halloween

Just a note: If you are concerned about using food colouring, you could also try fruit puree or a fruit flavoured yoghurt to make the coloured part of the eyes.

Next up are some fun jelly eyeballs.  I made these using the same mould, but again a cake pop mould would work just as well.  I used sugar-free jelly to make these, but you can use whatever jelly you prefer.  Raisins could also be used in the place of the blueberries. I served them up by themselves in a bowl, but forgot to take a photo! I did also pop some of them into a bowl of natural yoghurt to make a fun dessert, and managed to remember my camera that time!

Eats Amazing UK - Halloween Treats - Jelly Eyeballs served up in a bowl of natural yoghurt - would also work with icecream

These were really simple to make – just make up your jelly according to the packet instructions, pop a blueberry in each section of the mould, then pour over the jelly and pop it in the fridge to set.  The tricky part comes when you try to remove the eyeballs from the mould.  After a bit of trial and error, I found the best way to do it was to pour some really hot water into a roasting tin, then dip the bottom of the mould into the water for 10 seconds or so.  The eyeballs should then slide out easily.  Take care to hold the mould steady as you lift it up so you don’t drop them into the water – this disaster befell most of the first batch I made as they were very slippery!

Last up was a yummy treat which I trialled last week in advance of a possible Halloween party I’m thinking of throwing.  These went down very well with everyone who tried them, and again, were very simple to make!  All you need for these are a bag of marshmallows (Sainsbury’s do sugar-free ones if you want to minimise sugar intake), a tube of smarties, a bar of white chocolate, black gel food colouring and a red edible marker pen.

Eats Amazing UK - Edible Eyeballs made from marshmallows topped with smarties - great party food or treat for Halloween

To make, break up the chocolate into a small microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave by heating in short bursts and stirring in between until just melted.  Carefully dip a smartie in the chocolate and stick to the top of a marshmallow.  Repeat until all of the marshmallows are topped with a smartie.  Using the edible marker pen (or a fine paint brush dipped in red food colouring), draw wiggly lines on the marshmallows radiating out from the smarties.  Finish by adding the pupils with a cotton bud dipped in the black food colouring.

Eats Amazing UK - Edible Eyeballs made from marshmallows topped with smarties - great party food or sweet treat for Halloween

Do you have any favourite Halloween treats? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

Grace

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Polar Gear Bento Box Review & Giveaway

As you may have noticed, I love to try out new lunch boxes, and when Polar Gear approached me recently to see if I would like to try some of their products, I jumped at the chance! I had seen their bento boxes and really wanted to try them, but I couldn’t justify buying yet another box to add to my rather ridiculously large pile, so I was delighted to be offered the chance to review one.

Eats Amazing UK - Polar Gear Bento Box Review

The Polar Gear Bento Box looks a lot like a traditional Japanese tiered bento box, with two main compartments which stack one on top of the other. With a 1.1 litre capacity, it holds a lot more than the Japanese ones designed for children that I have tried, which makes it great for packing western style foods which tend to need more space than traditional Japanese foods such as shaped rice and sushi.

The two main compartments are separated by a white cutlery tray, complete with a matching spoon and fork, which sits on top of the bottom compartment.  The cutlery isn’t particularly sturdy, but would be easily replaced if necessary.  The tray rests inside the bottom compartment, so you have to be careful not to overfill that layer, leaving a little space on top of your food for the tray.  The top box is divided into two, with the divider built into the box.

I was very impressed with the design of the lid – it has built in clips which hold the whole box together.  It does mean that you can’t use the layers individually, as the whole box needs to be put together in order for it to clip closed, but on the plus side there is no need for the bento strap that is normally needed to hold a traditional Japanese bento box closed (one less thing to lose!).  Six year old Small Child had a little trouble getting the layers stacked correctly in order to clip the lid back on the first time (they have to be ‘just so’ in order for it to work), so it would be worth getting a young child to practice a few times before taking this box to school.

Eats Amazing UK - Polar Gear Bento Box in Blue - Review

Small Child was delighted when I packed his first lunch in this box – he loves trying new lunch boxes and he really seemed to like the look of this one. In the bottom half of the box I packed tortilla wrap spirals (wholemeal tortilla wrap, cream cheese and ham, rolled and cut into slices), cucumber chunks (to get the flower effect, cut a chunk of cucumber in half by cutting a zig-zag pattern with a small sharp knife around the whole thing before pulling apart), and an orange mini pepper, cut in half and de-seeded.  I used a lettuce effect silicone divider and silicone cup to separate the foods, and decorated them with a silicone flower pick and some animal forked picks.

In the top layer of the box I packed an apple, cored, sliced into wedges, dipped in orange juice and arranged up and down in a row, green grapes and some organix animal biscuits in a square shaped silicone cup. I finished it off with a couple of bright animal fork picks which I added to the grapes. I didn’t need the cutlery for this lunch, so I would have had space to add a small cereal bar or similar in the cutlery tray if I had wanted to pack anything else, but the box held plenty of food so there was no need.

Eats Amazing UK - Simple School Lunch packed in the Polar Gear Bento Box

Small Child really enjoyed this lunch in his new bento box and ate the lot!

Overall, I am really impressed with this box.  It’s a great size for this style of bento box, and if packed well, would be suitable for an adult as well as a child.  It seems sturdy, looks really nice and would be great for a variety of foods. The only real downside I can find is that it can be tricky for a very young child to open and close, but a bit of practice should help there.  The clips hold it together well and the cutlery tray would be handy for extra bits and pieces.  This box is definitely a keeper – I can see myself using it regularly (despite my teetering lunch box pile!), as it would work well for every family member.

This box comes in four colours; black, pink, berry and turquoise.  It is available directly from the Polar Gear website or from Amazon UK. You can click on the pictures below to be taken to their Amazon UK listings.

Now it’s time for a giveaway!  Thanks to the generosity of Polar Gear, I am delighted to announce that six lucky readers will have the chance to try this box for themselves!  The prize will be one turquoise Polar Gear Bento Box each, and there will be six winners drawn in total.

Eats Amazing UK - Polar Gear Turquoise Bento Box Review and Giveaway!

If you’d like to have the chance to try this box for yourself, please enter using the Rafflecopter below.  With six prizes to be won, you’ve got a great chance to be one of our lucky winners!

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Please note the following giveaway terms & conditions:

The winners will be notified by email within 24 hours of the giveaway ending.  If no response is received from a winner within 28 days then a new winner will be selected.

If extra entries are earned by following Polar Gear/Eats Amazing on Facebook or Twitter, the winner must still be following Polar Gear/Eats Amazing when the giveaway ends in order to claim their prize.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only.

Disclosure; I received a free Polar Gear Bento Box for the purposes of carrying out this review, however all opinions expressed in this post are my own.  I have no affiliation to Polar Gear, and was not otherwise compensated for this review.  Polar Gear are also very generously providing the giveaway prizes.
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