Archive | August, 2011

Another Must For Me – A Quail Egg Nori Punch

31 Aug

Family of Happy Sandwiches

I think this is an easy bento that anyone can do.  I made simple sandwiches and used a sandwich cutter to make them into flowers.  I then cut a small circle of cheese and put happy little faces on them.  However, the challenge of this bento is the facial features.  I searched high and low for a nori punch that had small enough features that would fit just right when I made this type of bento.  And you’d never guess what I found – a quail egg nori punch! 


I won’t include a link to this as it’s hard to find, but do a search online for “quail egg nori punch” and a listing of possible sellers will pop up.  But this is a punch that I love and use all the time.  So, in my opinion, it is a must.

Contents: Sandwich, raisins, strawberries, crackers, carrots, cheese, nori





How I Learned How to Make Tamagoyaki

30 Aug

Miss Musubi and Her Little Ones

The world of blogging is fun and exciting, but I’m still trying to figure out the best way to post pictures and posts.  The easiest way I can think of is from my iPhone.  But I can’t figure out how to add the “” on the picture in an easy way.  I have to admit, I’m a bit of a lazy bento blogger.  LOL!  I’m sure there are bloggers out there that bring out their big gun cameras, but I just don’t have time for that.  My kids Christmas pictures are still on the camera, and it’s August!  So, all the photos you see on this blog have been taken from my iPhone, thus it’s the easiest way for me to post things.  Now I just need to figure out a fast way to put the words on the picture.

As for this bento, it’s Miss Musubi again.  Although, this time she has little babies made out of hot dogs wrapped with an egg and nori sheet.  The eggs were made in a tamagoyaki pan and right after I was done, I put a nori sheet on it and then rolled it around a hot dog. I learned how to make tamagoyaki by watching You Tube videos and looking at other bento sites.  🙂  I find that it’s a fine balance between putting too much oil and not enough.  If you don’t put enough, it sticks to the pan really badly, but if you put too  much oil, it’s kind of gross to eat. Although, as with everything else in life, practice makes perfect and patience is a virtue.

Contents: Rice, hot dogs, egg, nori, carrots, crackers, strawberries

How Many Bento Boxes Do You Have?

25 Aug


This is my “small” collection of bento boxes. I consider it small as I know know there are some bento makers out there that have more. But I’m limited in space and I’ve only allotted myself this much space and refuse to outgrow it.

In this space, I have some some single tiered bentos and two tiered, some fancy and some that are plain and simple.

When I have a chance, I’ll try to take a picture to show you what they all look like. I also need to show you my bento accessories. And the accessories is really out if control.

A Rainbow of Color Makes a Pretty Bento

23 Aug

Happy Musubi with Gyoza

Looking at this bento makes me laugh.  The nori punched faces are so funny.  🙂  I think this bento is a good example of a bento that has a nice palette of color.  To make your bentos pop, try to have a wide variety of color to your bentos.  I use to include blueberries in all of my bentos for Ms. Little Bubbles because I liked the balance of color.  But she doesn’t like blueberries and would never eat them.  (go figure… they use to be her favorite as a toddler…) I stopped including them because at $5 a basket, it was an expensive item to include to make the bento look pretty.  So, you’ll rarely see blueberries in my bentos nowadays. I’ve tried to find a replacement for the blue, but it’s hard!  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Contents: Gyoza, musubi, carrots, blueberries, orange, strawberry (oh, the juice is a treat.  I usually don’t include juice, but once in a while, it’s a nice surprise for Ms. Little Bubbles)

The Gift of a Bento (and I always start with rice)

22 Aug

A Simple Birthday Gift - A Bento Lunch

Earlier this year I made my co-worker a bento for her birthday.  Of course that morning, it took me longer than 15 minutes to make my bentos, but it was well worth the time.  Each bento is made of the same food, but they each look so different.  Ms. Little Bubbles’ bento is on the bottom and is in one of my favorite bento boxes, a two-tiered elephant box.  The other two bentos are also two-tiered and are my personal favorite bento boxes.  I got them at Shirokiya in Hawaii and they were 20% off!  Whoohoo!

A bento tip based on these bentos – start with rice.  I put the rice in first and flatten it to one end of the bento.  I then sprinkle some furikake on it for taste and design.  If you look at Ms. Little Bubble’s bento on the bottom, I started with the rice, then layered the chicken next to it, and then added the veggies.

Contents: Teriyaki chicken, rice with furikake, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches

Recycle Your Take Out Containers – They Make Great Airplane Bentos

21 Aug

Field Trip Bento

This bento was created using a recycled container from a take out place. I tend to save containers that are rectangular in shape and have lids – they make perfect on the go bento boxes, especially for airplane trips (cheaper than buying a meal on the plane) and field trips for the little ones.

I took this picture earlier in the year, and honestly, I can’t remember if it was for me or Ms. Little Bubbles. I kind of think it was for my daughter as it has a sweet treat in it (the little pink wrapper), but if it was for a field trip, I don’t know if I’d pack meat and noodles. Usually for her field trips I pack a sandwich or musubi as it doesn’t need an ice pack. I may have made this for one of my trips. Well, either way, the same concepts apply to making this bento. I used leftover food and made sure they were tightly packed in the container. I kept it simple as I knew I would have to recycle the container and not bring it home.

Contents: Noodles, chicken, musubi with furikake, carrots and a sweet treat

Colored Rice Makes This “Pot of Gold”

18 Aug

Okay, so this bento took more than 15 minutes, but I wanted to do something special for St. Patrick’s Day for Ms. Little Bubbles. The colored rice in this bento was made via little packets that I picked up at Marukai. The colors are a bit pastel, but that’s okay. I don’t use this food coloring often, as I don’t have a lot of packets and they are sometimes hard to come by. But for other ideas on how to color food, check out Just Bento’s Blog.

As for the rest of the bento, I was at a loss on how to make the “pot”, but I remembered I had bologna and cut it by hand. The “gold” is made from cheese, again cut by hand. The second tier is made of leftover food. Although, I really liked how the flower kamaboko turned out. The swirls add a bit of color.

Contents: Colored rice, kamaboko, noodles, tofu, steamed carrots, grapes, apples.

#1 Bento Tool to Have – A Nori Punch

16 Aug

A Pair of Happy Bentos

Little Ms. Bubbles doesn’t have summer camp or school for the next few weeks, so I’ll be posting some old bento that haven’t made it to this blog yet.  The above bento was made for Little Ms. Bubbles and her Cousin T.  I usually don’t include a cupcake or super sweets in my lunches, but Cousin T was visiting and I wanted to give them a special bento for their picnic.

The pair of bentos above illustrates a perfect example of why everyone needs a nori punch.  If there is only one bento making item that you need to get, please make it a nori punch.  I promise, a nori punch will make any lunch look cute instantly.  Yes, the picks add cuteness too, but the nori face gives the bento a personality.

I purchased my nori punches online.  I did a quick search for “nori punches” or “nori cutters” and stumbled across a few sites.  In a future post I show you which punches I have.

BTW, this bento uses a fake lettuce foil instead of real lettuce.  I found it at Daiso and thought it was kind of unusual.  I generally don’t use it, but if I don’t have any real lettuce on hand, it’s a nice stand-in.

Contents: Ham and cheese sandwich, orange cupcake, carrots, kamaboko and apple stars.

No Frills Bento – Just a Cute Hello Kitty Bento Box

13 Aug

Hello Kitty Soy Nut Butter & Jelly Sandwich


Yesterday was a rough morning for me.  Little Sweet Pea got up at ~4:30am, which is insanely early for me.  I tried to get him back to sleep but then Little Ms. Bubbles woke up with the noise and then everyone was up.  Whooohoo.  🙂

When it came to putting together Little Ms. Bento’s bento, it was thrown together with little thought.  I like this bento box because it’s an easy standby that requires little decorating of the food because the box is so darn cute.  I made her a soy nut butter and jelly sandwich, cut off the edges and placed it in half of the bento.  The other side is strawberries cut into slices and carrots that I cut with my vegetable cutter.  Another reason why I really like this bento box is that it comes with a divided container section.  Therefore, I’m able to put “wet” stuff on that side and the liquid won’t run into the other section.  By no means is it leak proof, so I won’t put soup or anything it it.  But if I had tofu, it would have been perfect for that.

Contents:  Soy nut butter and jelly sandwich, strawberries and carrots

Food Dividers Serve a Purpose Other Than Being Cute (but mainly they are just cute!)

11 Aug

Tofu Patty Bento


Last night we had tofu patties for dinner.  Little Ms. Bubbles smashed her tofu patties with her corn and rice and called it a masterpiece.  I’m not sure she will have enough room in her bento to do the same thing, but she did say it was the best thing she’s ever eaten.  🙂

When I thought about putting this bento together, I had a good idea of what I was going to do on the top tier.  But for the bottom tier, with the veggies and fruit, I had no idea.  At first I was going to just throw the peas in, but then thought it would be too messy.  So, I found a heart container that I usually use for sauces on the side.  I then placed the strawberries in the bento and was left with a tiny space on the bottom.  I really wasn’t sure what I was going to put there.  If I had time, I would have put some carrots, but I was rushing out the door.  So I looked in my cabinet for anything that would fit.  I decided on pretzels, but didn’t want them to touch the strawberries because they’d get soggy.  Hence… the elephant food divider (although, you can’t see the elephant).  A lot of times I put these colorful dividers in a bento to add a bit of cuteness, but this time I actually used it for a purpose.  The musical touch was added at the VERY last minute (right before I took the picture) because the peas looked too naked.  It was sitting on my counter so I threw it in.

Contents: Tofu patties, rice with furikake, peas, strawberries and pretzels.

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