Lots of eyeballs today; To save time and avoid waste, I am using leftover Soot Sprite candies in this week’s Halloween menu. A coating of vanilla bark, some thinly sliced fruit sections and voila, magically, Soot Sprites become eyeballs. The fresh farmer’s cheese would’ve made great brains as well as ocular orbs, but our efforts to knead flavors into the curds caused them to lose some of their natural brain-like consistency. We wanted the cheese spicy for our upcoming “rats” recipe, so we sacrificed this batch to flavor. The idea of feeding my kids “brains”, however, while recovering from a brain injury is just too good to pass up. We have plenty of organic whole milk, lemon and white wine vinegar, so I will make a small batch of brains to go with Thursday’s lunch. I wonder if I can put Sriracha in the milk itself to color and flavor without sacrificing the curdling effect? Bento box science!
I am now in the >6 months segment of my recovery. The most dramatic improvements in my symptoms occurred at 3 months past onset. I also either began experiencing new symptoms, or simply became aware of existing symptoms. I stay optimistic that these conditions will be resolved at 1 year. Making gruesome lunches keeps me optimistic. That I make this a priority shows my kids that they’re important.
Let’s make a Purple People Eater sandwich, Goblin Eyes served with Troll Fingers, and Bloodshot Eyeballs Candy!
Bento ingredients: (Purple People Eater Sandwich) Buttermilk bread, cashew butter, organic strawberry slice, green and black grape slices, organic blackberries and Halloween sprinkles; (Goblin Eyes and Troll Fingers) L’il Smokies sausages, fresh farmers cheese spread recipe and sliced green olives; (Bloodshot eyes) Cocoballs recipe, sliced organic strawberries and black grapes, organic raspberries and blackberries.
I included Big Batch Pumpkin Patch cookies (see recipe in yesterday’s post) and a nori-decorated clementine for snacks. Today’s smoothie is Berry Bloody.
Goblin Eyes Fresh Farmer’s Cheese Spread
1 Gallon organic whole milk
fresh lemon juice
white wine vinegar
1/3 c Sick Day Chicken Broth (see recipe below; I keep on hand as we make soup often)
Sriracha to taste.
salt and pepper to taste
Sliced green olives
Pour milk into large pan and slowly bring to a boil, stirring often to avoid scalding. Remove from heat and alternate adding lemon juice and vinegar 1 tsp at a time until milk curdles. Line colander with cheesecloth and strain, separating curds from whey. Tie curds in cheesecloth and allow to drip for two hours. Remove cheese from cloth and place in mixing bowl. Salt generously and pepper conservatively. Add broth and Sriracha to desired heat and knead cheese, until it becomes malleable. Roll into 1″ balls and top with sliced green olives. Makes 12 Goblin Eyes. ( I made 1/2 of cheese spread into Goblin Eyes, and reserved 1/2 for making cheese rats later in the week)
Sick Day Chicken Broth
1 chicken carcass
2 quarts organic chicken stock
6 cloves garlic, pressed
1 medium onion, chopped
6 organic carrots, chopped with skin on
1 bottle Newman’s Own Light Italian Vinaigrette (Balsamic or Caesar are fine as well)
Place first 5 ingredients in medium stock pot and fill to 1-2 ” from top with water. Bring to a boil and simmer at medium-high heat for at least 2 hours, adding more water as needed to maintain liquid level. Remove from heat and discard bones. Pour broth through fine mesh strainer, retaining liquid only. Return to pan and add vinaigrette. Gently simmer broth for 1 hour, returning to a boil if adding noodles, vegetables or barley.
Bloodshot Candy Eyes
(This is actually just the Cocoballs recipe from last week with a vanilla bark coating. I had frozen a portion of last week’s recipe, along with a portion of Cashew Butter Balls and a portion of Coconut Balls-recipe to come-and coated 9 of each variety with vanilla bark, making three flavors of “eyeball” candies, with minimal effort)
7 oz shredded coconut
1 c chopped slivered almonds
1 c condensed milk
1 c bitter chocolate chips
1 pkg vanilla bark
fresh, organic strawberry and black grape slices
Combine coconut, almonds and milk and knead with hands to combine. Melt chocolate chips and add to coconut mixture, kneading again until color of mixture is uniform. Roll into 1 ” balls and freeze for 1 hour. Remove from freezer and place on lined cookie sheet. In microwave, melt bark, heating for 1 minute initially, stirring ,then heating in 30 second intervals, stirring in-between, until melted and smooth. Spoon over Cocoballs and as candy cools, top with strawberry “iris”and black grape “pupil”. Keep refrigerated.
Berry Bloody Smoothie
1 1/2 c strawberries
1/2 c raspberries
1/4 c blackberries
1 small banana
1 Tbsp agave
1/2 c coconut milk
1/2 c coconut water
Combine all ingredients in 24 oz Nutri Ninja cup and blend for 30 seconds. I poured into 3-8 oz thermoses and topped each with crushed raspberries.