Archive | December, 2011

Cereal Almond Snack Recipe (sinfully delicious!)

22 Dec

Cereal "Almond" Snack

With Ms. Little Bubbles on winter break, I’m taking a break from bento making and have shifted focus to simple and easy baking.  🙂  Ms. Little Bubbles has a few friends in the neighborhood and I wanted to make them a tasty treat.  My sister-in-law raved about the “Cereal Almond Snack” that our aunt made for her.  Unfortunately, I’m allergic to almonds and my version turned into “Cereal, Cereal and More Cereal Snack”.  It’s a nice change up from the typical Chex Mix cereal snack.  Here’s my version of cereal snack goodness (and it’s addictively good!)

Cereal (Almond) Snack


  • 2 cups Cherrios Cereal
  • 2 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal
  • 2 cups Rice Krispie Cereal (I added this to the original recipe)
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (I took this out due to my allergy)
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup real maple or maple-flavored syrup


  • Heat oven to 300 F. Line one large (17×14 inch) cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, mix all the cereal, oats and almonds together. Set aside.
  • In a 1-quart saucepan, heat butter, brown sugar and syrup over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the butter is melted.  Pour over the cereal mixture and stir until well coated.  Spread the mixture evenly on the foil lined cookie sheet with a rubber spatula until it’s about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the almonds are golden brown.  Cool completely (about 15 minutes).  Break into pieces with fingers and store tightly in a covered container.

Simple Gifts for the Neighborhood Kids


Furikake Salmon Recipe as a Holiday Gift

19 Dec

Furikake Gifts

Every year I try to find a nice simple gift for my co-workers. This year I decided to give a bottle of furikake along with a salmon furikake recipe.  As I handed out the gifts, I realized that I worked with many people that didn’t know what furikake was and I had to explain the beauty of this little bottle.  And then I realized I didn’t really know how to explain what was in furikake, and why it’s a staple in my house.  LOL.  By the end, I was calling it “Japanese Seasoning”.  Which, I suppose, isn’t that wrong.

Below is the recipe I gave with the bottles of furikake:

Salmon Furikake Recipe

BTW, I think I took ALL the bottles of fuikake from the store.  LOL.  On a completely random note, at my work holiday party, my boss wanted to do something different and hired a paella caterer to come on location to make a paella for ~200 people.  About 45 minutes into making the paella, IT FELL OVER!!!!  With no back up paella maker/food, we ended up with pizza!  🙂

Spam Musubi Bento

17 Dec

Spam Musubi

On Wednesday, Ms. Little Bubbles went on a field trip with her class to see a Christmas play.  As parents, we are instructed to send our children to school with brown bag lunches (meaning, it can easily be thrown away after the kids eat their lunches).  In the past, I’ve put her lunch in plastic take out containers and put it in a brown paper bag.  But, for some reason the containers still came home.  :-/  So, this time I thought I’d make her a simple spam musubi with eggs and use an onigiri wrapper to jazz it up.  The onigiri wrapper is cute because it features an animal, and comes with cute animal ears.  🙂

Contents: Spam musubi (the bag also included applesauce and crackers, but I didn’t take a picture of that.)

Quick 5-Minute Breakfast Bento

16 Dec

Breakfast Bento

Today’s bento for Ms. Little Bubbles is a bit different.  I thought I’d change it up a bit and give her a breakfast bento.  (Plus, I thought she would not be happy with the leftovers AGAIN).  If you put this bento on a plate, it would be a basic breakfast – waffles with strawberries, syrup and eggs.  The syrup is in the blue heart container. Nothing fancy, super fast and hopefully it was good.

Contents: Waffles, strawberries, and a hard boiled egg

My “Cheat” Christmas Bento

15 Dec

My "cheat" Christmas Bento

LOL!  So, I’m cheating when it comes to my Christmas bento.  This is really a simple sandwich bento with a holiday cookie in it!  Oh, and a holiday fabric on the bottom.  LOL!  But, it’s all out of holiday love.  At work we had a holiday cookie exchange and the cookie that I put in Ms. Little Bubbles bento is from that cookie exchange.  I usually don’t put cookies in her bentos, but I thought a holiday exception was in order.  Plus, I really think this is all she is going to get for a Christmas bento.  I know, so sad!  The Christmas tree fabric is from a jar of jam that I received from a friend.  It looks so good – homemade organic strawberry jam!

BTW, I wanted to thank the bento lovers out there that have added me to their blogs!  Very sweet and kind of you.  I love you too, and trust me when I say I get so much inspiration from my fellow bento bloggers!  You guys are great!

My holiday cookie exchange box. Yummy!

Contents:  Sandwiches, holiday cookie, strawberries and kamaboko

Chicken Stew???

15 Dec

Chicken Stew?

Sorry, it’s been a busy week and I haven’t had time to post Ms. Little Bubble’s bentos.  This is from Monday.  On Sunday I made, what the recipe called, chicken stew in the crockpot.  I don’t think it’s stew, but I’m not sure what else to call it.  I was a bit disappointed by the chicken as it called for chicken breasts and it was super dry, even after being in the crockpot for six hours.  The flavor was good, but soooo dry.  That recipe gets a thumbs down for me.

Putting Monday’s bento was pretty simple.  I started out with rice, then I made a ditch in the rice to put the chicken and veggies and then I poured gravy over the top.  I added strawberries and given I still had a hole, I filled it raisins and a fruit roll up.  I considered steaming some carrots and putting it there, but I ran out of time.

Contents: Chicken and veggies, strawberries and a fruit roll up

Petite Sandwich Presses

10 Dec

Petite Sandwiches

After my Christmas tree disaster, I went to an ol’ standby – sandwiches.  You always find comfort in what you know.  However, this time I thought I’d try my petite sandwich makers that have a press on them.  In theory, you should see the cute little animals on the sandwiches, but you couldn’t, so I decided to toast them.  But that didn’t help much either.  I’m wondering if it’s because I’m not using the right bread.  I’m using a wheat bread. Perhaps I should try a fancy square Japanese bread and see if that works??

Finished Sandwiches - Toasted or not-toasted? That is the question.


Contents:  Mini sandwiches filled with soy nut butter and jelly, strawberries and edamame/carrots sticks

Mac and Cheese with Edamame (but a story on my Christmas disaster bento)

9 Dec

Simple Leftover Bento

I’m back!  Sorry for the week long break.  I have been making bentos this week, but I had a disaster of a bento on Monday and just couldn’t bring myself to post it.  I tried to make a Christmas bento, and just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do.  I ended up deciding to try a colored egg sheet tree.  OMG!  It was awful.  There was too much oil, the pan was not hot enough, my first try ended up with a gloppy mess and my second sheet was too shiny (due to the oil).  And then I decided to get all fancy and put sprinkles on it to act as “lights” on the tree.  Well… the sprinkles melted once it hit the oil on the tree, and I ended up with black smudges on the tree.  Oh, I was so sad.  Maybe if I have the courage, I’ll post a small picture of it at the end of this post.

Well… that has nothing to do with the bento picture above.  Besides the fact that I decided I need to stick to good ol’ standbys until I can perfect a christmas bento.  But I only have another week, so I better get crackin’ on that one.

The above bento is a leftover bento.  My motto is that I don’t like to fuss with my bentos, thus the Christmas tree bento is steppin’ out of my element.  Today’s bento is made from leftover mac and cheese from California Pizza Kitchen.  They already mixed it with edamame, I just added the carrots.  You can’t tell, but mixed in with the carrots on the right are sweet potatoes.  I had a large gap next to the carrots/sweet potato cup, and quickly searched in my cabinet for something to throw into the other cup.  I luckily found snack peas.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Contents: Mac and cheese with edamame, strawberries, carrots, sweet potatoes and snack peas.

😦 my sad Christmas trees

Tamagoyaki and Nori Rolls With a Baseball Player Cutie :-)

5 Dec

Tamagoyaki and Nori Rolls with my Baseball Cutie

LOL!  It’s late and my sense of humor is a bit off, but I think the baseball “cutie” is cute.  But do you get it… it’s a cutie orange.  LOL!  Okay… I’ll spare you my humor.

I made the tamagoyaki rolls with a tool my hubs got for me.  It’s a silicon rectangle that you can put in any pan.  It’s suppose to allow you to make tamagoyaki without a special tamagoyaki pan.  But I learned that you need a REALLY flat pan.  My pan was not completely flat and the eggs leaked out on the sides, and it was hard to continue the tamagoyaki layering process with this “tool”.  So, I had to improvise and give Ms. Little Bubbles a tamagoyaki “roll” with nori.

After putting this bento together, I felt (as usual) that something was missing.  So I quickly got out my new nori punch and a cute baseball pick hat, and that made the bento complete.  I can’t help but smile when I see my baseball cutie.  LOL!  It makes up for the tamagoyaki mishap.

Contents:  Rice with furikake, tamagoyaki, broccoli, carrots, kamaboko, and a cutie

Good ol’ 5-mintue Bento (Teri Chicken)

4 Dec

Good ol' Standby Bento in a Hello Kitty Bento Box

This was from Thursday.  I didn’t have time to post a picture. 😦  It’s pretty much a good ol’ standby bento in a Hello Kitty bento box.  I timed myself on this bento, and it took me 8 minutes.  I think I could have done it in 5, but it took me some time to figure out what to do with the apples. LOL.  So, you got the apple flowers again.  I need to get more inspiration from my recent additions to the bento book collection, but with the holidays here, I seem to be concentrating on gift, cards and Santa pictures.

Not to digress (and not related to bentos) but today we stood in line for an hour to take a picture with Santa.  When Ms. Little Bubbles was a baby, we were casually shopping in a mall and saw that Santa was free, so we decided to have her take a picture with him.  Then when she was two, I was at the same mall with my friend and we again saw that Santa (the same Santa) was not busy.  So, we took her picture with Santa.  Well… little did I know that I was going to get sucked into this Santa thing.  I now refuse to take Santa pictures at any other place because I want the same Santa in all my pictures.  And according to my kids, that’s the REAL Santa and all the other Santas we see at other malls and stores are fake. 🙂  LOL.  I usually like to take my Santa pictures before Thanksgiving to avoid the crowds, but life got busy and we didn’t have time.  Thus…. today we stood in line for 1 hour!!  My goodness.  Thankfully, the kids were all happy and smiles when it was their turn.  I guess they knew they had to be “good” for Santa.  In fact, now that I think about it, all the kids that were waiting in line were amazingly calm and good.  It must be the holiday spirit!

Contents:  Teriyaki chicken, rice with furikake, carrots, kamaboko broccoli and apples

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