Thursday, March 26, 2015

Totoro Calzone Bento

Aw, it's Totoro! You may have to use your imagination, though. I made pizzas for dinner, and always try to make some kind of cute calzone at the same time. You can see my past attempts if you do a search in the blog search bar. I know, I made his chevrons wrong. Shoots! He has a spinach leaf umbrella, and a tomato balloon. I hope he's happy! And I hope you are too ^__^

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Shoyu Chicken LunchBots Cinco Bento

Second time using the big-size Lunchbots Cinco, and like the first time, I packed chicken once again! This time it's shoyu chicken, with broccoli and potatoes on top of a few lettuce leaves. Pasta goes in the side (again!) with mushrooms and parmesan. Are you sensing a theme here? On top: chopped sweet red pepper, mandarin, and carrots. I like using this box, but for some reason I get nervous that I won't have enough to fill it. Maybe the third time we'll see something really exciting! Let's hope! ^__^

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mermaid Pasta Quinoa Bento!

Hi! This one is a "just for fun" snack bento that I made for a contest. I wanted to try making a mermaid using pasta for hair and quinoa for sand. I know now why I don't regularly make decorative charaben -- it is very time-consuming! At least for me. I knew I was going to use a quail egg for her face, and cheese for her body, and Okinawan sweet potato for her colorful tail and bikini, but the execution and cutting and placement took a lot longer than I envisioned. Luckily my miniature garden kale came in handy as seaweed stand-ins, and carrots and strawberries added color as other sea creatures. It was fun though, and the littles got a kick out of it. ^__^

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Paddy's Day Green(ish) Bento!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! In honor of this holiday, I've made a "green" Lunchbots Quad bento for TinySprite: okay, maybe half green. The right half. The green part: kiwi, pasta with pesto, and green pepper "shamrock." I also nearly every green pick I own, which turns out to be quite a few. Yay! The other half: tomato, mandarin, and sausage/mushroom. Fork/spoon/knife combo utensil by Light My Fire.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Banana Peanut Butter Pita Pals Bento!

Since using these tiny miniature pita breads (in this previous bento), I wanted to see how they would fare with peanut butter filling. Since TinySprite loves bananas, and I never use them in bento, I sliced some up and put them in too. They begged for faces, so that's what they got! This was an at-home snack bento, but if I were to send it to school I might replace the nut butter with sunflower seed butter, and maybe flatten the banana slice to make a kind of "seal" for the pita pocket. I added blood oranges, watermelon balls, blueberries and edamame in tiny silicone cups, and filled in the rest of the spaces with carrots. She thought it was pretty fun to eat!

In other news, I wanted to let you know that last week, my Kitty Has A Fish bento (that I posted here) won second prize in a contest sponsored by the Japan General Consulate in Los Angeles. There was a reception and presentation of certificates, and the 10 winning entries will be displayed in an exhibition at the Japan Foundation until March 28th, 2015. It is an honor to have been selected in the top 10 from among so many cute entries! If you would like to see the list of all ten winners, it is shown here

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Herby Chicken Lunchbot Cinco Bento

This is my first time using the large Cinco box from Lunchbots, and I was very excited to see what my middle-schooler thought of it! We are heavy users of the company's other boxes (Duo, Trio and Quad, as well as the Clicks series) and I heartily endorse the quality of those containers. I've been packing home lunch in these boxes their whole school lives, and they are all still in use after 6-7 years, none the worse for wear. I thought this larger size would be just right for my boy, who has a pretty big appetite. I took the opportunity to pack a whole chicken thigh and a serving of spinach pasta with potatoes and asparagus in the two biggest sections. That left me still with three more, smaller, sections which I filled with pickled carrots and daikon, sliced kiwi, and grapes, strawberry and tomato. He loved  it; had no problem finishing all the food. While the box is a bit larger in size than our other Lunchbots, it still fit nicely inside his insulated tote bag. I have a feeling this new box will be getting a lot of use in the coming years. Thumbs up!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bunny Riceball and Salted Salmon Bento

Salted salmon and rice for TinySprite today. Have you made shiozake before? The method I use is one from LovelyLanvin's recipe: I salt the fish overnight, then slice into small strips before broiling. It packs very well for bento and tastes delicious cold or room temperature. It's nice to serve with plain rice because the salmon itself has lots of flavor. I decorated the rice with nori into a bunny face, and using lettuce as a liner means she can either wrap the whole thing up or eat it with a fork. This cute divided box lets me add blood oranges and grapes in a separate section, alongside steamed Okinawan sweet purple potatoes, carrots, and cucumbers. Simple, but so delicious! This is one of my own favorite meals as well. ^__^

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Puppy Pals Mini-Sandwiches Ecolunchboxes Bento

These are the same Kings Hawaiian bread dinner rolls I used for the Hinamatsuri bento. Turns out they fit perfectly inside the Ecolunchboxes Solo Cube container too! Ham and cheese with lettuce sandwiches again for the little girl. This time I decorated the tops with cheese and nori for puppy faces. They are holding hands. Awww! The rest of the box contains: grapes, heart-shaped radishes, Okinawan sweet potato, blueberries, satsuma mandarin, and broccoli. I can get used to making these cute little mini buns bento. So easy and fun!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pork Chop and Shredded Veggies Bento

Today I made pan-fried Vietnamese style thin pork chops, which I choose because I can slice them into strips for the kiddos' bento. I lay them on a bed of shredded lettuce - I think it looks nice that way. If you like, you can drizzle some of the reduced sauce on top, but I omitted that. I also quick pickled some shredded carrots and daikon and added a couple sweet purple potato hearts. This fit nicely in the Zen box I got from Bento & Co.

In the side box: blood orange chunks, grape tomatoes, and a tiny cup of chocolate covered raisins. 

Happy Wednesday! This week is flying by!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hinamatsuri Girls' Day Bento!

For TinySprite this Girls' Day, I made her two mini ham sandwiches with lettuce and cheese. These rolls (King's Hawaiian sweet bread - so good) fit perfectly inside this two tier box that I think I got from Daiso many years ago. It even matches this fork with the same bunny design on the lid. Alongside the ham and cheese dolls with nori and pepper details, I have a purple sakura (Okinawan sweet potato), carrot flowers, blood oranges, kiwi, and a fan-cut radish. Happy Girls' Day to all the little (and big) girls out there!