Archive for December, 2012

Holiday Lunch Round Up!

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

I am a little behind in blogging due to sick children and the holidays so I am hitting you with a round up of holiday lunches! Most of my lunches are not really that complicated. I generally try to work in one detail and most of the time that is enough! Sometimes it is with cookie cutters, sometimes a food pick, sometimes a silicone baking cup but most of the time I just like to work with the natural color combinations of food!

Candy Cane (above) - This lunch has a couple of easy details. First the striped apples which I made by taking my apple wedges and slicing stripes through the skin with a sharp paring knife. I then simply slid the tip of the knife under the skin and removed every other stripe. I then took my bread and cut 2 circles with a round cookie cutter. On one circle I used a mini candy cane cutter. I assembled my sandwich after cutting. I added Trader Joe’s veggie sticks and yellow cherry tomatoes. I complete with a birdhouse food pick. Note there are 2 layers of apples and that they were soaked after cutting in cold citrus water. This is served in Brendan’s Lunchbots Trio container.

Simple Snowman (below) – This one is very simple actually! The snowman is a ring like you would use to decorate a cupcake. It is simple inserted in the middle of a mini bagel sandwich. The snowflakes are yogurt covered pretzels (I have no illusions that they are all natural so a slight rule breaking here). That compartment also contains the Trader Joe’s veggie sticks and 2 Pistachio Power Clusters from our Naturebox subscription. Finally Brendan’s Lunchbox Trio also containes strawberries and canteloupe.

Santa’s Staff (below) – Trevor’s Lunchbots Duo contains some members of Santa’s staff. The elf is a sandwich cut with a spring-loaded, cut and press, cookie cutter from Nordic Ware. I always cut and then assemble sandwiches because it is much easier! He is peeking out from behind a silicone cup containing Trader Joe’s Cheddar Corn Puffs. Above Santa’s reindeer is playing in a stripes of strawberries, canteloupe and English cucumber coins.

Elf in the Box (below) – Brendan’s lunch also contains the same items as Trevor’s does above but the strawberries were swapped for raisins in this Lunchbots Trio. There is also a Christmas Tree food pick (instead of a reindeer) sitting in the cheddar corn puffs that I thought looked like snow.

I have had some lighting challenges as we move through the winter season. I do not get much morning light before I leave the house each day and if it is overcast I am forced to use indoor lighting as opposed to natural lighting. I attempt to edit the lighting on each photo but placing all the photos in one post you can really see the differences! The snowman lunch is treated with a frost filter as well!

Happy holidays!


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Gluten-Free Friday 12/14/12 and Tasterie Giveaway!!

Friday, December 14th, 2012


I am so excited this week to launch something special for my gluten-free friends! A Giveaway opportunity just for you! As many of you know my family is not gluten-free but we have many friends who are! For them and for YOU I attempt each Friday to come up with lunch ideas that are free from gluten.

This week instead of lunch we are going to discuss Tasterie! What is Tasterie you may ask? Well it is a monthly subscription food delivery service. You see I receive a number of these types of subscriptions but NONE of them are gluten-free. I was really disappointed that I could not recommend them to any of my gluten-free friends who asked about my deliveries. Determined to find one that I could recommend I set out on a search. I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled to find Tasterie and even more thrilled that it is headquartered a mere hour or so from where I live! So I contacted them about doing a giveaway and they graciously agreed! Yay! Thank you Tasterie!


What is included in a TasterieBox?

  • SignatureBox - You will receive 8-10 healthy and safe foods. The selections might include delightful ideas for Sunday morning breakfast, a quick lunch at work or a relaxed meal at the end of the day. You will also find some great recipe ideas and something to satisfy that sweet tooth! This option is $20 per month with shipping included!
  • SnackBox – You will receive 6-8 yummy goodies just for you! You will always have a healthy safe snack nearby to keep you energized and satisfied! This option is $15 per month with shipping included!

The box arrives in beautiful, brightly colored packaging. It is like receiving a wonderful gift of surprises each month!

How does this work?

  • First you go to the Tasterie website.
  • You select which box you would like to subscribe to, the SignatureBox or the SnackBox (both boxes described above).
  • You will also select your “type” of box. This box will be customized to your specific needs. Choices are: (Top 8 allergy), (dairy allergy), (dairy & egg allergy), (dairy & soy allergy), (gluten & wheat allergy), (gluten, wheat & dairy), (gluten & wheat allergy vegan), (healthy & nutritious), (nut allergy), (soy allergy) or (vegan).
  • You will checkout completing your shipping and payment information.
  • You are now subscribed to the Tasterie delivery service. Each month you will be billed for the box level you selected and then receive your choice. You can discontinue anytime by contacting Tasterie.


How do I know it’s safe?

Tasterie follows a rigorous multistep verification process to verify each product and vendor that includes, but is not limited to, vetting of manufacturers to check for allergen free raw materials, manufacturing processes, facility overlaps, supplier analysis, & allergen testing protocols. Our Nut Allergy and Top 8 Allergy TasterieBoxes only use products reported by the manufacturer to be made in nut-free facilities, but these facilities may also process coconut. None of our Nut Allergy and Top 8 Allergy TasterieBoxes contain coconut as a listed ingredient. Tasterie wants you to feel safe and comfortable, while enjoying delicious new tastes in the comfort of your home, office or on the road.

Tasterie searches the globe to find the most amazing foods and snacks that fit your food allergy and dietary needs. Lama Rimawi, Tasterie’s owner, is a food allergy mom herself. She places safety as a top priority. Tasterie has a rigorous selection process developed by physicians and industry experts. This quality controlled, multistep process has been peer reviewed to make sure that it is as thorough as possible. The Tasterie team and Lama are out there doing their best to bring you and your little ones safe ,tasty foods. Did I mention Lama is a board certified pediatrician?

For more information please refer to:

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact

Finally I will say that my experience with Tasterie was very pleasant and enjoyable. Lama was a joy to deal with and I can tell that their customer service is wonderful! I look forward to further exploring my box!

I know I have carried on in my excitement so now to get to the best part – the giveaway! For a chance to win a one month SignatureBox of your very own, please follow instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below. You will receive some of the items shown in this post.

Terms & conditions do apply!

  • Tasterie will only ship to addresses within the US. Winner must be complying with the entry terms of the contest below at the time of the prize drawing or forfeit. Winner will be contacted via email and has 24 hours to respond (we want to get that box right out) or a new winner will be drawn. This prize is for a gluten-free SignatureBox and cannot be substituted for another prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are my own done through my research. Tasterie did provide complimentary product so that I may give an honest assessment and take photographs for this review. Tasterie has generously agreed to sponsor this giveaway. This blog is not an affiliate for Tasterie and earns no commission on any sales resulting from this promotion.

Ho Ho Ho… Santa is Coming to Lunch!

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012


Tis the season! Right? Yeah for coughs and colds unfortunately! The children and I have been a bit run down over the past few days (ok maybe weeks) so my blogging has been a bit slowed down! I completely missed Gluten-Free Friday this week in favor of needed rest so I have much to catch up on! I have a GREAT Gluten-Free Friday coming up this week so I promise it will be worth the wait!

Speaking of waiting. It is hard to believe that in 2 short weeks from today it will be Christmas! Today’s lunchbox has a nod to the big guy in the red suit! Santa himself makes an appearance reminding my son Brendan that Christmas is not too far away so he better stay on the “nice” list. I hope you are all staying on the “nice” list too!

Santa was made with a spring loaded cookie cutter. First you press down on the cutter to cut the outside shape out of the bread (or dough if making cookies). Next you press down firmly on the spring loaded handle to depress the stamp plate down onto the bread to leave the impression, in this case of Santa’s face and hat. Then use the cutter to cut another outside shape without the impression so you can make your sandwich. It sounds a lot more complex than it really is, I promise!

Santa is sitting on top of a box of raisins. I placed a small piece of foil under Santa just so he wouldn’t stick to the box! A fruit salad of kiwi holly leaves and snowflake strawberries is topped with a reindeer food pick. Finally the slender compartment contains peanut butter pretzel sandwiches, a piece of broccoli and some Pirate Booty snacks. This lunch is served in a Lunchbots Trio.


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