Thursday, December 16, 2010

Brownie-Dipped Oreo Reindeer Treats

I got the idea for this from Picky Palate, who posted a method for making these cool brownie-coated oreos. I'm not a big oreo fan, but when you bake them in brownies, they become cakey and soft. So good! And with the holiday fillings, they look oh-so-festive too. I basically used her method, which is adapted here.

Mix up your brownie batter. One batch will make a whole package of oreos. Dip in your oreo.

Make sure it's coated all over.

I used chopsticks to do this. Take it out of the batter and place in cupcake liner in muffin tin.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Take out of oven and immediately press in cinnamon candy for red nose, mini chocolate chips for eyes, and poke appropriately broken pretzel pieces at the top for antlers.

Make enough for the whole class! Fun, and yummy too!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mini Snowman Bento

Mini Snowman Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
I wanted to make a mini bento for Christmas since I haven't made one in such a long time. I initally wanted to do a miniature Christmas tree, but then I thought a tiny snowman would be so cute! I planned to make little snowballs to go with him and everything, but after working with the snowman himself I think the microsnowballs would be too much trouble. As it was the "snow" stuck to the plastic wrap and thus doesn't look quite smooth. I made three balls out of cream cheese for the snowman, and decorated his face with nori, a carrot nose and a yellow carrot corncob pipe. He also has purple carrot buttons and a carrot top hat. His arms are dry somen. As you can see, just as real snowmen do he started to melt after awhile, and began to lean to the side. I propped him up for the picture but lay him down after I was done. He is on a tofu platform and there's a bare tree next to him as well as his watermelon radish mittens. I wanted to poke the mittens on his arms but then his arms would have fallen off for sure! The rest of the bento contains a satsuma mandarin, grapes, peapods and carrots. Merrry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Santa Egg Snack Bento

Santa Egg Snack Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
Another snack bento for TinySprite; this time a beet-dyed hard-boiled egg decorated with nori, radish and carrot to look like Santa Claus. Or Humpty Dumpty with a Santa hat and beard on. There's also bowtie pasta, steamed broccoli, grapes and satsuma mandarin. We're almost halfway through the last week of school for 2010, people! Woo!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hello Kitty On Ice Bento

Hello Kitty On Ice Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
This is a little snack bento I made for TinySprite. It's a sandwich on potato bread, topped with a quail egg Hello Kitty who is ice-skating on the bread lake. Her dress is made of turkey dog and pepperoni, and her skates are purple carrot. Her facial features are nori, cheddar cheese, and pink ume somen whiskers. There are peapods, a broccoli tree, carved carrots and grapes. This is the last week of school before Christmas break, and there are all kinds of parties and luncheons planned. I love this winding down of the school quarter. Christmas is coming! Is it cold enough to ice-skate where you live?
Posted at What's For Lunch!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gyoza and Wreath Bento

Gyoza and Wreath Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
I made gyoza today with whole wheat wrappers, which I'd never used before. I also picked up spinach wrappers too, but haven't used them yet. These wrappers are kind of chewy compared to the regular ones, but the kids didn't seem to mind. I used a ground pork filling with chopped scallions and shredded spinach, and seasoned with salt, sugar and shoyu which tasted pretty good. I pan-fried then pan-steamed, so they got nice and crispy on the bottom and stayed soft on top. After they were done I pan-fried some lightly steamed kabocha in the same pan, then drizzled with sesame oil and shoyu at the end of cooking. Sound familiar? I have been eating tons of kabocha this way lately. It's SO good, I'll eat it right out of the pan. To fill in the gaps I added steamed peapods. Other side has kiwi, grapes and my nod to the season: a satsuma mandarin wreath decorated with purple carrot "berries" and festive bow & leaf picks.

In other news, tomorrow is MisterMan's Christmas concert, where he'll be performing on the violin. He has been playing for only three months, but when I attended the rehearsal last night I was surprised to find that they all sound pretty good (no cat screeching). Whew! I never would have believed the director could get a bunch of first and second grader first-time players to sound decent, but I guess their method works. We'll see how the actual performance goes!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rudolph and Misobutterfish Bento

My favorite fish, butterfish misoyaki. So easy and so yummy! I added some red rice mini-musubi with cherry picks, carved carrots, steamed shoyu Brussels sprouts and a shoyu quail egg decorated as Rudolph with nori eyes, radish nose and ears, and the very versatile and useful bone picks for antlers. There's also a plum. I have no idea where it came from, but it's really not sweet at all. Luckily there are black grapes and satsuma mandarin to make up for it. Here's a closeup of Rudolph. Aww...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mac, Cheese and Christmas Tree Bento

I love mac and cheese. I love making it, I love eating it, and I love the way it's always an instant hit with everyone in the family. It's also a one-dish meal, which is my specialty (quick, easy, minimal thinking involved)! The great thing about mac and cheese is that it's a forgiving dish. You can make it pretty much any way you want, and it still turns out okay, to me anyway. I don't even really measure the cheese and milk and flour. Just put in what you have and keep adding until it looks good to you. Then, bake until everything meshes together and finish under the broiler for a crunchy top. Today I used mini penne pasta, two kinds of cheese, plus I chopped and added ham, spinach, some whole wheat bread slices and even... my favorite squash du jour: kabocha! I steamed it lightly, then grated it coarsely right into the mix. You could also puree it, but I like to see the little bits of kabocha. I don't remember if I even told the kids everything I put in it. It wouldn't matter anyway. They could eat the whole casserole quite happily. Good thing I reserved some for their bento. I don't show TinySprite's bento, but I made one for her too. Along with the mac and cheese, I squeezed in some carrots and peapods, a bunch of grapes, a satsuma mandarin, and a steamed broccoli Christmas tree with radish ornaments. I have a feeling I made this exact same tree last year, which I didn't realize until after I took the picture. Well, except for the star skewer, which completes the effect nicely, right?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Snowman Bao Bento

Snowman Bao Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
No-cook Christmas bento for MisterMan today. We got home late after TinySprite's debut Nutcracker ballet performance so there was no cooking to be done. They were so excited and wound up by the whole affair that they could barely get to sleep. Today started very grumpily, as a result. Let's hope the snowman lifts some spirits! It's a steamed char siu bao, which I thought was appropriate for a snowman, and all I had to do was add nori facial details, radish cheeks, a carrot nose (yes, I did cut a slot for it and stuck it in his face), and a crusty bread pipe. He's got a cucumber hat and even some broccoli earmuffs. Hello Frosty! There's also pork chow mein, some grapes and a satsuma mandarin. Whew! I'll have to get back into the routine again. Tomorrow. ^_^

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hello Kitty Ninja Bento

Hello Kitty Ninja Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
This Sunday, December 5, 2010, is Day of the Ninja, and Hello Kitty is celebrating in her ninja costume. Since she's a peaceful warrior, she doesn't have any weapons except a flower-adorned dagger and floral "throwing star". I used two hard-boiled quail eggs wrapped in nori to make her. She's surrounded by grapes, steamed broccoli and carved carrots. How will you celebrate? Happy Day of the Ninja!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reindeer Pizza Bento

Reindeer Pizza Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
This bento almost did not get posted but I figured why not? Lots of my bentos look like this, especially on Mondays. Hastily thrown together and not very CUTE. Plus it was late and there was basically no light on this dark rainy day. Ugh. The upside is that it only took approximately 2 minutes to make it, most of it trying to get the sesame seeds to stay on. Briefly, this is TinySprite's bento and MisterMan's looks similar. I cut some leftover tomato - pepperoni - greens - mozzarella "pizza" to fit the box, and added a tiny piece with skewered pepperoni to look like a reindeer. You don't see it, you say? Well you wouldn't be the first. Neither kid saw it, and MisterMan actually asked if I'd made the Millenium Falcon. This shows you how desperate he was to give it a shot, any shot. I think he may even have been looking at it upside down at the time. WHATEVER. Other side has pomelo (or jabong, or giant Chinese green orange) and grapes. We were out much of this evening so there wasn't much time for bento. MisterMan received his next level belt at his class tonight, and we went out to celebrate ^_^

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Snowman Fried Rice Bento

Snowman Fried Rice Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
I made a quick fried rice with the last bits of frozen shredded turkey stash and various veggies I had in the fridge, plus an egg. For my second Christmas bento I made a mozzarella cheese snowman with carrot and nori detail, and utilized versatile pick placement. Easy! Fruit side includes fall plum and satsuma mandarin. That's it for today!