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Simple Trader Joes Chicken Teriyaki #Bento for Summer Camp

3 Jul


I admit it… I cheat sometimes! LOL! There is no way I can make all my food on my own. Although chicken teriyaki is relatively fast compared to other dishes, I did cheat on this and used Trader Joes Chicken Teriyaki. It’s fast… Easy and tastes pretty good.

The kids are now in summer camp and are enjoying a lighter schedule. 🙂 w
Which is nice for me too.


And the winner gets…. a Panda Bento! :-)

30 Apr

Last month a mom in Ms. Little Bubbles class bid on my bento for our school’s silent auction.  Every Monday and Friday in May I feel honored to make her daughter a bento for lunch.  I love seeing how excited she is to receive her lunch and it makes me energized to make them. And I think it makes my Ms. Little Bubbles appreciate them a bit more too.

Today’s bento was a fun panda bento.  My sister-in-law surprised me with a panda mold and punch, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them!  What a wonderful surprise. They are really easy to make, all I had to do was put rice in the mold, and punch the ears and facial features out.  And ta-da!  A panda!!  To compliment the panda, I made shoyu (soy sauce) hot dogs, added strawberries and blueberries and steamed carrots.  I’m happy to report that both girls ate everything.  Humm… now that I think about it. Ms. Little Bubbles didn’t even have a blueberry in her bento left.  I wonder if she ate them or gave them away?  For the longest time she REFUSED to eat blueberries.  hummm….


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!!

Blueberries! They add POP! to a bento

21 Oct

Humm... My First OK Bento

Okay, so this is what I consider my first “OK” bento.  After my pudding mishap, I searched for a bento box that would separate my food with inner containers.  I found this box online at Marukai and love, love, love it!  I was so paranoid at the time that I would never find another bento box like this, that I ordered two!  I still have a spare in my pantry.

When I got this bento box, I remember studying (call me crazy) other bloggers and bento books trying to see and understand the style that I like and how I would like to present my food.  One thing I really liked about this bento was the color.  For the longest time, I insisted on putting blueberries in Ms. Little Bubbles bentos because it made for a much more beautiful bento.  But she hates blueberries!  And given the cost of a small box, I had to give up my blue.  😦 This particular bento had too much food for my Little Bubbles, but she did like it.  🙂

Contents:  Onigiri, teriyaki chicken, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, carrots and edamame

Gasp! My Second Bento and It’s Not Pretty

19 Oct

My 2nd Bento

This is the second bento I ever made, and I look at it in horror now.  The biggest mistake I made here is the pudding in the uncovered cup.  When I made this for Ms. Little Bubbles, she was young, and thus the small amount of food.  But still, there is little substance and it just looks a bit unbalanced to me.  I think I just had my Little Sweet Pea, and I’m sure I was a bit tired when I made this.  Or at least that’s the story I’m sticking too.  However, there is an important lesson to be learned from my mistake, don’t include a pudding or a liquid type of food within your bento without a lid.  It could have spilled, contaminated other food and just made a big mess of things.

Contents: Imitation crab sticks (it was her favorite at the time), small hot dogs, edamame, strawberries and pudding

My Nori Punch Collection

29 Sep

Nori Punch Collection

I have a rather simple nori punch collection.  I feel like I have a lot, or at least it takes up a lot of space.  But, I’m sure there are bento bloggers out there that have a lot more than me.  🙂  You may wonder why I need so many punches, but each one serves a different purpose.  I started my collection with the ones on the top.  They are great for larger onigiri, but if you try to make a small onigiri, the faces are too large.  If I want smaller features on my food, I’ll usually go for the quail egg punch (the bottom row, third from the right), or the green and yellow, multi-purpose punch (the bottom row, third from the left).  These are great punches that punch out smaller features. I do have a preference for punches that use metal cutters because the cut is cleaner. The Hello Kitty punches are cute, and I use them, but they are made of plastic.

For tips on how to care for your nori punches, visit Bentolicious‘ blog.

Another Bento Must – Vegetable Cutters

25 Sep

Vegetable Cutters

I feel like it’s been awhile since I made a bento post.  Last week the family took turns passing around a cold, so I decided to go the easy lunch route and packed food in Ms. Little Bubbles thermos.  Fast and easy, but homemade.  On Thursday, she asked if I was going to make her a “pretty lunch” that day.  I ended up make her a quick sandwich bento, but didn’t have the energy to make it fancy.

While I took a one-week hiatus, a reader asked me how I added star carrots to my bento.  The picture above shows a few of my vegetable cutters.  They are stainless steel and have plastic tops that can be taken off.  The plastic tops are great because if you are trying to cut a raw carrot, they allow you to cut them without hurting yourself.  Each cutter came in two sizes – small and large.  Below is a picture of how I store them. I take off the plastic tops and store them in a stackable container. The flower cutters in the middle of the container are actually cookie cutters.  And although they are pretty, I rarely use them because they can’t cut through vegetables.  I have used them on cheese and softer types of food, but it won’t work on vegetables.

I purchased my cutters at a local Japanese grocery store.  However, if you do a search online, you’ll find numerous stores selling them. It’s probably easier to find cutters that don’t have the plastic tops, which is okay.  I just like the added convenience of the tops.  🙂

Vegetable Cutter Storage

Ten Minute Hello Kitty Sandwich

14 Sep

Hello Kitty Sandwich

Just like the day before, I had no idea what to make this morning.  😉  Thus, another sandwich day for Ms. Little Bubbles.  Making this Hello Kitty sandwich is really fast and easy (you just need the right tools) and requires little brain power at 5:30am!  I did watch the clock and it only took me 10 minutes to make this bento.  My brain was a little fuzzy, so I added the additional hearts without really thinking about the “layout” and feel like it might be a bit too much.  But that’s okay…. 🙂

Hello Kitty Bento Kit

Contents:  Ham and cheese sandwich, Swiss cheese for the Hello Kitty, strawberries, kamaboko, crackers

Simple Cheese Flower Brings A Smile To This Hamburger

13 Sep

Hamburger Bento

This is a perfect leftover bento.  This past weekend we had some friends over and BBQ’d.  We have so much left over I don’t even know what to do with all the food.  I will probably have to freeze a bunch tonight, and am officially over hamburger and chili.  🙂  This is a bento I made yesterday for Ms. Little Bubbles.  It has a small hamburger slider, made with a Hawaiian Sweet Bread Roll.  The hamburger my husband made was really moist and good – he for the most part followed this recipe.  As I mentioned in another blog entry, the apples in the bento were dipped in salty water to keep them from browning.

For this bento, I have a simple tip – cut out a cheese flower, put a cute face on it (made with my quail egg nori punch) and tada – a simple cheese flower that will make your little one smile.

Contents: Hamburger slider on sweet bread, apples, carrots, strawberries, all fruit gummies.

Shoyu (Soy Sauce) Bear Egg

7 Sep

Shoyu (Soy Sauce) Bear Egg

This bento features another hard boiled egg.  But rather than using an egg mold to decorate it, I dipped it in shoyu.  This idea was inspired by Sheri, a fellow bento blogger.  I rolled the hard boiled egg in shoyu and then let it sit for a bit in a bowl as it dried.  I don’t think I let it sit in the shoyu long enough as my brown bear is not as dark as Sheri’s.  But I love the idea!  The ears are part of another hard boiled egg that I attached with tiny hard spaghetti noodles. I read in a bento book that they will get hard as the day goes on. But I’m not 100% sure. I’ll have to ask Ms. Little Bubbles if they were soft when she ate them.

BTW, the strawberries were recently picked when we went to an organic strawberry field.  They are so ripe and juicy!!  Love them!

Contents: Shoyu hard boiled egg, fried rice, carrots, strawberries and crackers.

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