MisterMan and TinySprite get matching Studio Ghibli bentos today; and they're both almost totally non-cook. I initially wanted to do these for a roadtrip, because wouldn't it be fun for them to eat together and chat about the movie (My Neighbor Totoro)? But I couldn't wait. I really wanted to make another Totoro, and after bento numbers one and two, I think this one looks pretty neat and sharp (if I may say so myself).
It helps to have a very smooth bun to work with. I used my small paring knife to slice off just the top brown layer for his belly, and after pre-scoring his chevron stripes I actually cut around them. They are still connected to the bun, and that way I didn't have to worry about sticking them back on. His eyes are cheese and nori, and his nori nose is stuck on with a bit of honey. I cut his ears from part of the belly and stuck them into slits I cut at the top of the bun. The eyes are secured with rice sticks to the bun.
Okinawan purple potato, when steamed and refrigerated overnight, turn a very dark shade of purple the next day, which makes them quite suitable for soot sprites. Their eyes are also cheese and nori. The rest of his bento contains the usual: broccoli, carrots, strawberry, cherries, grape tomatoes and orange slices.
TinySprite's Catbus is made from a hot dog-in-a-blanket with a potato bread face. All the facial features (Okinawan purple potato, regular sweet potato, cheese and radish) were secured with rice sticks. I hand-cut thin strips of nori for the teeth and eyes, and used bits of spaghetti for whiskers. She got a piece of corn, steamed broccoli, carrots, strawberry, cherries, and rasp-, black- and blueberries. This turned out to be too much for her and she brought the corn home to finish. They loved them!
I am a former research scientist turned stay-at-home-mom of 2 who got started with bento in an effort to help my kids learn that eating healthy and nutritious foods can be fun and cute. I make a bento lunch for my 9yo (4th grader) son & my 5yo kindergartener girl every school day, and post the pictures on my sherimiya ♥ flickr photostream. Here in this blog is where I describe each bento, and you'll also get a peek inside our family adventures. Thanks for taking a look, and please let me know what you think ^-^!