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Remember the Rule of Odds (and I love my egg molds)

6 Sep

Fried Rice and Eggs

I have this quirky habit when I’m making my bentos – I try to follow the Rule of Odds. Basically, the rule states that to make a painting, picture, composition, etc. more interesting, you should have an odd number in the composition. I try, when feasible, to follow this rule. As you can see from my bento above, I tried to do it with most of the items, but the largest and most obvious item, the egg, is only in two. 🙂 My daughter doesn’t like the yolks of the eggs, so I cut it in two to take out the yolk. However, I did add FIVE carrot hearts to balance out the two eggs. LOL!

Speaking of eggs, these eggs were made using my egg molds. Another simple and easy must for any new bento maker. To make the eggs, I hard boiled them, peeled them while they were warm, placed them in the mold and put them in ice water for 8-10 minutes. And voila… heart shaped eggs. Super cool huh!

Sample Egg Molds

Contents: Hard boiled eggs, fried rice, carrots, pluots, pretzels, crackers

HapaBento – You Inspired Me!

3 Sep

Salmon Musubi

This bento was inspired by a fellow bento blogger – Hapa Bento.  Hapa Bento created a back-to-school bento contest with a similar Elpha Bento Box as the prize.  I saw her post and it inspired me to put a similar bento together for Ms. Little Bubbles.  This bento was super easy to put together and I did it in a flash.  No really… I did.  And BTW,  I love this bento box!  It’s the perfect size for two onigiri and can hold a lot, yet it’s so tiny.  🙂

For Ms. Little Bubbles, I made her two onigiri and placed salmon in the middle.  My mother-in-law made the salmon with honey, mayo and furikake.  I know, it sounds strange, but it was soooo good!  Even my Little Sweet Pea ate it!  The bottom tier contains fruit, carrots and Japanese biscuit sticks.

Contents: Salmon onigiri, plutos, strawberries, carrots and Japanese biscuits

Shiso Leaves – A Nice Alternative To Lettuce

1 Sep

Three Tiny Little Spam Musubis

I have to admit, this bento did take me longer than a usual bento.  🙂  Today was Ms. Little Bubbles first day of school, and I wanted to give her something special.  She loves spam musubi and I thought I’d let her have this bento as a treat.  We usually don’t eat spam (if you are not from Hawaii, don’t gross out! LOL!), but as a special treat, I thought why not.  I planned on prepping all the food last night and just assemble this morning, but I was so tired, I fell asleep.  So, I was summoned by the alarm clock at 5 a.m. to fry the spam and make the tamagoyaki.  Now, the tamagoyaki gave me some problems (notice you are not seeing a side shot).  I definitely think I need a new pan.

Last week I picked up some shiso leaves and didn’t have a chance to use them until today.  I usually use lettuce leaves as garnish, but I wanted to venture off and try something different.  Shiso leaves are typically used in sushi dishes and is commonly found in Japanese food.

Contents:  Spam musubi, shiso leaves, tamagoyaki, crackers, strawberries and plutos

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.

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