Archive | November, 2011

The Extremely Last Minute, “What am I Going To Make?” Bento

30 Nov

Bunny Egg and Trader Joe's Onigiri

Thanksgiving weekend came and went in a flash.  The past few days I made soup bentos with leftover food (I’ll post those tomorrow).  I was extremely happy to CLEAN out our refrigerator last night because I swear I couldn’t fit another thing in there.  But much to my dismay, I woke up this morning in a panic that I didn’t have anything to make a bento.

All the leftovers were gone and we used most of the staples over the weekend.  I sat there for about 15 minutes, waiting for my coffee to kick in, and wondered what I was going to do.  No sandwich because I had no cheese and I ran out of soy nut butter.  I had no butter, because we used it all during the weekend. I didn’t have rice made and didn’t have time to make rice.  Oh my goodness…. what am I going to do? I honestly wondered if I was going to have to run to Togo’s for Ms. Little Bubbles lunch.

Thankfully I found a Trader Joe’s frozen onigiri in the freezer, and saw that I had eggs.  So, I hard boiled the eggs, threw them in a mold to at least make them cute, cut some apples and carrots and called it a morning.  Phew… I survived another close call.  🙂  BTW, I steamed the carrots in my cute bear silicon microwave steamer.

The bento box I used is a “new” box.  I’ve had it for a year, but never used it before today.  It’s a REALLY cool box.  It’s called Gel-Cool.  You freeze the top the night before and voila… your bento is kept cool for hours.


Contents: Hard boiled egg, Trader Joe’s onigiri, apples and carrots


Gobble, Gobble. Here’s Lookin’ At You Turkey!

22 Nov

Gobble Gobble

Okay, here is my second attempt at a turkey. I hope this doesn’t become an obsession. Although, I’m determined to get it right. The example I went off of had another layer of white cheese on the top and yellow feet. Much to my dismay, I ran out of white (swiss) cheese and didn’t know until I went to look for it. And I ran out of time to make the feet. Mr. Sweet Peas woke up early and needed some attention. It’s always hard when he wakes up before I’m ready for him. Those darn garbage trucks. They need to invent silent ones that won’t wake up the kids. 🙂

To ensure that the nori on the eyes stuck to the white kamaboko, I “glued” it with mayonnaise. The mouse eating the strawberry was added at the last minute because I had a naked spot between the apples and cutie and it bugged me. LOL.

Tomorrow is a short day for Ms. Bubbles, so I won’t be making a bento until after Thanksgiving. I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Be good to each other and have fun shopping!

Contents: Ham and cheese sandwich, apples and a cutie

Happy Thanksgiving – My 1st Turkey

21 Nov

My 1st Turkey

Well, it’s okay, you can laugh. LOL! This turkey is horrible and looks like a big mess. I contemplated putting it up on the blog, but thought, that’s what a blog is for – to share the good and the bad. So, here is my first attempt at a turkey, and maybe my last. LOL.

When I woke up this morning, I didn’t plan on doing a turkey, but for some reason, I thought “why not?”. Well, planning on the whim is not a good plan, as I didn’t have much in my refrigerator to make the turkey, and I didn’t really know what tools to use. I looked over a parenting website for some ideas, tried to follow and example, but ended up with this sad looking turkey.

Under the turkey is some of Ms. Little Bubble’s favorite food – edamame rice, furikake salmon, roasted butternut squash and a cuttie. I hope she at least enjoyed her food, even though the turkey is a bit scary. I followed this recipe for the furikake salmon, but baked it at 350 degrees rather than frying it. I also skipped the added salt on the salmon. The furikake I used has a lot of salt in it already.

Contents: edamame rice, furikake salmon, roasted butternut squash and a cuttie.

How To Make Pretty Apple Flowers

19 Nov

Another Cute Hello Kitty Box

Ms. Little Bubbles recently got this Hello Kitty bento box as a present. It’s a standard sized bento box and is perfect for my little one.

Last night I decided to fancy up the rice and use a Japanese beans and seasoning packet in the rice.  I added the mixture to the rice cooker right before it started to cook.  Now, my Japanese s a little rusty (to say the least), but I think it said to put 2-3 cups of rice and then add the packet, but truly I was just winging it.  Luckily, the rice turned out okay, and Ms. Little Bubbles loved it.

Now, I made the rice earlier in the afternoon, without a clear thought on what the main dish was going to be.  Unfortunately, the chicken dish I made didn’t really go with the rice, but that’s okay.

For fruit, I added apples cut into flowers and added sesame seeds for the centers.  Sesame seeds is an easy way to complete a flower.  However, I do have to say that I had to use tweezers to place them.  And using tweezers early in the morning, without coffee, can be a challenge sometimes.  🙂

Yummy Rice

Contents:  Chicken, onigiri, kamaboko, and apples

Hello Panda!

18 Nov

Hello Panda!

Yesterday was a sandwich day, but I decided to jazz this sandwich up with a Japanese sandwich maker kit that my sister-in-law gave me earlier this year.  The kit is really cool.  It comes with a spoon to correctly proportion the food for the sandwich, a stamp to impress the panda with, and a cutter that seals the edges.  I decided to put egg salad in the sandwich, but you can put anything you want.  I used my normal whole wheat bread, but I think a truly square Japanese bread would work better as the sandwich cutter was slightly bigger than my slice of bread and thus it didn’t correctly seal the sandwich together.  To help the panda stand out, I toasted the bread.  Without toasting the bread, you can still see the panda, but it’s really faint.

As for where she got the cutter from… I’m not sure, but I’m thinking Marukai.

Panda (or bear?) Sandwich Making Kit

Contents:  Egg salad sandwich, kamaboko, carrots, and a cutie

Kamaboko Flowers and ” Can you name the white balled candy?”

16 Nov

Flower Bento

I haven’t had time to really explore my new bento books, so I had to go with an ol’ standby bento – the sandwich! 🙂  Although, I did manage to jazz them up a bit with the kamaboko flowers.  I’m trying to think if there are any tips to be given from this bento, but it’s pretty much my fast and easy bento.  To make the sandwiches, I make one normal sized sandwich, cut off the crusts because Ms. Little Bubbles doesn’t like the crust, and then cut it into four. I then line the middle of the bento with lettuce, cut the kamaboko, peel a cutie and then added some Japanese cracker/candies.  Okay… I just realized that I do not know the name of the small round balls in the bento.  I’m sure my Japanese bento blogger friends can help me out with this one!  Wow… I can’t believe I’m forgetting the name.

Contents:  Ham and cheese sandwich, cutie, kamaboko, and the mysterious white balls 🙂

Rainbow Bread Bento

12 Nov

Rainbow Bread

During our recent trip, we stopped by a bakery that featured some really good pastries and food!  Oh my… I think I gained five pounds by just walking into the bakery! One of the breads that attracted my kids was the rainbow bread.  It’s very colorful, but I have to admit, I can’t help but think this bread is not very healthy.  I mean really, how can it be, it must be filled with a lot of food coloring.  But, ah well, vacations are about having fun and getting things/food you usually don’t.  So… we got the bread.  Although, I’m not sure if my daughter likes it that much.  I think it’s too bland for her.

For this bento, I made a quick rainbow bread sandwich filled with ham and cheese.  I cut the sandwich with a flower sandwich cutter (I got it as a gift, but I think it was from Williams-Sonoma).  I thought the flower looked bare, so I added a small cheese flower in the middle and added black sesame seeds.

Contents:  ham and cheese sandwich, granola bar, cutie

Tamagoyaki (egg) Hearts – BTW, I love my new tamagoyaki pan!

11 Nov

Tamagoyaki Hearts

A few posts ago I complained about my tamagoyaki pan.  Yes it was awful, but I was always so stubborn to go out and buy a new one.  Well… I finally did buy a new one and all I can say is WOW!  What a difference the new pan makes.  It’s wonderful and so easy.  The egg doesn’t stick to the pan, even with little oil.  I love my new pan!  🙂

Thus, in honor of my new pan, I made tamagoyaki hearts for Ms. Little Bubbles bento.  Fried rice is one of her favorite meals, so that is the base of this bento.  I then added tamagoyaki for an added protein.  I think I made one egg with an additional egg white.  I can’t remember exactly what I used.

Contents: Fried rice, tamagoyaki (egg), a cutie, broccoli, carrots and grapes

Mickey Mouse Bento

10 Nov

Mickey (Minnie) Mouse Bento

In October our family took a trip to Disneyland. Our first in many years. The kids had a blast, and by the end of the week, we were all exhausted. To celebrate our recent trip, I thought I’d make Ms. Little Bubbles a Mickey Mouse onigiri. Shaping the rice was easy, as I had a onigiri rice mold. The nori facial features were made using a nori punch, so again, it was easy. But the ears were not so easy. I had to free form that and I’m not exactly the best artist. I wish they were a bit bigger so they would cover the entire ear, and the big nori part that is supposed to frame the face isn’t perfect (thus the bow and transformation into Minnie Mouse), but I think we all get the gist of who this is supposed to be. 🙂

In the small dish is some leftover chili, with some cheese hearts for accents.

Contents: onigiri with nori accents, chili, grapes and a cutie

Oh the Bento Goodies!!

8 Nov

Love this book!

October was a CRAZY month.  It passed with a blur and I can hardly believe it’s November.  I sadly didn’t have time to make bentos for Ms. Little Bubbles and by the end of the month she was asking when she would have pretty lunches again. This, of course, brought a smile to my face.


At the end of the month, Christmas came early for me!  I’m excited to say that I got the best present ever… a box filled with bento making books, accessories and other fun stuff!  Oh, I’m in heaven!  The book above is so inspiring and it came with the cutters that are on the right.  The book tells you how to use the cutters and it’s just awesome. I must say, the packaging was absolutely ridiculous and absolutely not green (the cutters came in a box the size of the book, of course wrapped in plastic), but I love this book.

Below are a few other goodies that came in my goodie box!  Ahhhh….. I don’t need anything else for the holidays.  🙂

Below is the best bento bag ever!  It’s so cute!  I haven’t used it yet, but I can’t wait!  So cute!!

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