This bento is one I made for myself, and it was also meant to be my entry for the annual Bento & Co contest. The theme was onigiri, so I made two Hello Kitty mini-onigiri using my mold. I decorated their faces with nori, corn, and radish bows. I think this is the first time I've used this mini-onigiri mold, which was a gift from a dear friend. It's so cute! I added some oven-baked mochiko chicken pieces to the side, and then squeezed in some sweet fresh steamed corn off the cob, edamame, broccoli, carrots, and grape tomatoes. The second tier contains cherries, a homegrown apricot, raspberries, white peach, strawberries, blueberries and a few slices of steamed Okinawan sweet potato. I think I represented just about all the rainbow colors in this one! I packed it all inside my favorite stainless steel boxes. Each comes with its own gasketed lid, which don't have latches but which will stay leaktight if bound with elastic. You can use only one oblong box if you like, or stack two together and bind them with one larger band, which is what I did. There were 237 entries to the contest this year, and sadly I didn't make the final 10. But you can click over to see the ones that did, and cast a vote for the one you like the best (you have until Monday, July 16th). There are some unbelievably beautiful bento crafted by folks from all over the world; I was amazed and so inspired! Contests like these just go to show you how widespread the bento culture has become, and it's heartwarming to see all the healthy, delicious bento created by people influenced by this meal tradition from Japan. Very cool^_^
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 ^-^!