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Cute Happy Musubi Bento and My Cool Eco-Friendly, Resuable Paper Towels

25 Jul

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OMG!  A cute bento.  I haven’t made a cute bento in awhile.  And as you can see I’m out of practice.  LOL!  I was struggling to think how I should arrange this bento.  I guess making cute bento’s is like anything else, it take practice and imagination.  🙂  This is a really basic bento, nothing fancy, I didn’t even make shoyu hot dogs, just plain hot dogs.  Poor Ms. Little Bubbles. 

The highlight of this bento (for me anyway) isn’t the actual bento.  It’s the fabric beneath the bento.  In my effort to be green and conscientious, and thanks to Pinterest, I found a reusable, eco friendly snapping paper towel set.  I know strange sounding but it’s actually pretty cool.  Luckily, my family is humoring me and using them.  I only purchased one “roll” from Mamamade on Etsy so I have to wash them with the laundry in the middle of the week.  But I’m loving how much I’m saving. They are actually pretty durable, and given I don’t have paper towels in my kitchen now, I don’t have an excuse not to use them.  I know, many of you are probably thinking “why don’t you just use towels from a drawer”.  Well, I do have towels in a drawer.  But it was still easier to rip a paper towel off and not use a towel.  So this method forces me to use them.  Plus they are pretty! 🙂

The upside to using these… I’m being eco-friendly and I will eventually save on the cost of paper towels.  The downside, if I use them with something that could stain, I need to spray them with a stain remover and if I don’t take them out of the dryer promptly, they will wrinkle (and not look as pretty as the picture below).

On a side tangent, but related to being eco-friendly, I stopped using OxyClean and other cleaners as my carpet and stain remover. Instead I started using white vinegar, water and hydrogen peroxide.  As crazy as it sounds…. it works so much better and I don’t feel guilty putting chemicals in my carpet.  The downside (because there is always one) the vinegar smell.  It’s stinky for a few minutes, but it eventually passes.  Although, I kinda like the smell.  It reminds me of my grandpa.  Growing up, vinegar was my grandpa’s cure all.  So, I’m kind of use to the smell.  LOL!  🙂

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Amusement Park Bento

18 Jul

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My kids love going to the amusement park. Although they can’t ride the big scary rides (scary to me!), they love going on the kiddie rides and coasters. The one thing I hate about going to amusement parks is the cost to buy food or drinks. I try to pack food for our family but don’t always have the discipline. But I woke up Sunday morning with enough time and energy to make a fresh batch of rice and easy eggs for a quick bento. My kids love furikake and these cute Hello Kitty furikake packets complimented these bentos perfectly. Although, when my daughter opened her bento and saw eggs, she asked for ketchup. She loves ketchup with her eggs, probably because I do. As a child, I looved ketchup on anything and everything. I hope you do think we are crazy. 🙂

I hope everyone’s week is going well! Happy summer!

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Wholly Cow… Its been awhile

5 Jul

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Sorry for the lack of posts! I feel bad! The last few months have been nuts. 😦 I can hardly believe that it is July…my summer is almost gone. As with most summers, I take it easy on bento making given my daughter is in summer camp and I try to make lunches fast and easy. This summer is no different. Although, having to plan two snacks and a lunch is stretching my mind a bit.

In May I took an early summer vacation with my family to attend my sister-in-laws wedding. Which by the way, the food stations at the wedding were outrageously awesome! Once we returned home, Ms. Little Bubbles still had two weeks of school left and given how tied and exhausted I was from the trip, I got lazy and ordered her hot lunch from school. Which by the way, she sees as a treat and looooooves it.

On Tuesday I made my first bento in awhile and planned on taking a picture of it. But much to my dismay, my daughter packed her lunch pack herself (great, right?!?) except she put her bento box in sideways! Eiya! Nonetheless, I didn’t bother taking a pic of that.

Above is today’s bento. Most of it is leftover from 4th of July. The grilled peaches were great, as was all the meat my hubs BBQ’d. But the kiddos prefer their simple mac and cheese, go figure. 🙂

Oh, by the way, here is a pic of the gigantic squash my friend grew in her garden! Nuts-o big!! We grilled it on 4th of July.

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So… Here’s to more posts and blogs. I have a few more to post to catch up and will work on those. 🙂

Disney Cars Cake

1 May

I’m nervous and excited to show you the very first decorated birthday cake I’ve ever made.  It was Mr. Sweet Pea’s third birthday and I decided to make him a Disney Cars cake. I’m not sure what got into me, but I think it had something to do with me being on vacation, feeling really relaxed and thinking I could do (and have the time to do) anything.  I found an inspiration cake on the web (I will post the link as soon as it’s back up.  It’s broken right now.) and thought “hey, I can do that”.  I chose an inspiration that had clean lines and seemed simple to do.  I was fortunate and so grateful to my good friends for giving me a cake decorating set last Christmas.  It is seriously the grand daddy of all decorating kits.  Included in the kit was everything I needed to make the borders and grass.  The grass tip is the most awesome tip I’ve ever seen!

The cake was a mix by “Duff”, the Charm City Cakes dude.  I contemplated making a cake from scratch, but the mix was on sale and decided to go the easy route and use a mix.  The mix was actually really good, but that’s probably because it called for 3 eggs AND oil!  I did however decided to make my own fondant.  I found a marshmallow fondant recipe and it was relatively easy to make.  The hardest part was adding the gel coloring.  The directions say to add a little bit at a time to get the desired color you want.  But given I wanted a deep black and green, I should have just dumped the container as the little by little method took much longer.  I did plan enough time to let the fondant sit overnight which made the colors deeper.

I have to mention that my son’s name was written in yellow on the road leading up to Lighting McQueen, but I’m showing you the one without the name.  The cars are his actual die cast cars.  As soon as my son blew out the candles, my husband made sure he washed the cars immediately after they were taken off of the cake.  The fondant did stick to the wheels and some of the “grass” got on the cars.

All in all, I’m happy for my first cake.  I’m not sure how many more cakes I’ll make, but it was fun making this one.  🙂

Bunny Bait

10 Apr

Are you on Pinterest?! Well, if you are not, it might be a good thing because it’s very addictive.  I love Pinterest as I’m a visual person and it’s so nice to see different ideas.  Although I have to say, I do a lot more pinning than doing.  However, I took the opportunity this past weekend to make something I found on Pinterest – BUNNY BAIT.  This is so easy to make and is so good.  Probably as addictive as Pinterest!  🙂

Bunny Bait (adapted from SingForYourSupperBlog)

2 bags microwaved popcorn, popped
12 oz. bag Wilton White Candy Melt
1/2 bag Easter M&Ms
pretzel sticks, broken into small pieces
colorful sprinkles

Place the popped popcorn in a large bowl with the broken up pretzels and M&Ms. Heat the candy coating in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each time, until melted and smooth.

Drizzle the candy coating over the popcorn mixture and stir to coat. The pretzels and M&Ms will sink to the bottom, so make sure to get those stirred in and coated with the rest of the popcorn.

Spread out on a large piece of wax paper, top with a few sprinkles and let cool. Break into pieces and serve in a large bowl.

 

 

Easter Bento Bunnies

9 Apr

Wow, is it April already?  Easter kinda caught me by surprise.  I didn’t plan on making a bunny bento for Ms. Little Bubbles, but I was inspired by Happy Little Bento.  Sheri is talented and her bunny made me wake up to Easter and think “hey, I got the stuff to make that!” This bunny is totally inspired by Sheri!  The bunny is made from swiss cheese and the flower is made from a fruit rollup.  Totally cute and simple.

This is my second Easter bunny.  This was a last minute bunny.  I woke and remembered that I had a bunny mold that came with a bento kit my husband bought for me.  I molded my hapa rice into a bunny, made deli meat features and then nori eyes and nose.  Under the cheese is taco meat, which we used to make taco rice the night before.  Yes, I said taco rice.  To me, taco rice is the epitome of Asian Americans eating anything and everything with rice.  I have to admit, I eat rice with almost everything.  I think most people that I grew up with do.  Eggs… YEP.  Spaghetti… YEP YEP.  Taco salad… YEP!  My husband and I first discovered taco rice in Okinawa.  I have to admit, I thought it was WEIRD. And it kinda is.  But once you get past the weirdness, it’s actually very good.  LOL.  (You’ll have to comment if you think I’m crazy! LOL!)  Here is a picture of taco rice from In The Wabe

St. Patrick’s Day Lucky Bento

20 Mar

Lucky 4 Leaf Clover Bento

It’s four days late, but I finally made Ms. Little Bubbles a St. Patrick’s Day bento.  I had the concept in my head for a few days, but didn’t have a chance to make it until this morning.  I’m happy to say that my green egg sheet was a success.  If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve seen my past egg sheet attempts/disasters, but this time it turned out perfect.  Not runny, not oily, just right. 🙂  (Bentolicious has an awesome egg sheet tutorial.) The clover leaves are made from a heart shaped cutter (very handy, remember I used it to make my butterfly too?).  I free form cut the stem and leaves and the rainbow, butterfly and star are bento food dividers.  (The Japanese name for them is escaping me this morning… oh, getting old!)

So, although I’m not Irish, I made Ms. Little Bubbles happy and celebrated St. Patrick’s Day.  🙂 Oh, and did I mention I used my favorite Lunch Bots box?  Love this box.  I haven’t tired their new items (as reviewed by Happy Little Bento) but I love the original box!

 

Pancake and Eggs Bento

16 Mar

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Breakfast for lunch? Why not? I can’t say I made these pancakes, but Ms. Little Bubbles loves them. I was trying to come up with a fast lunch to make and decided to just do a breakfast bento. The eggs are hard boiled and put in an egg press. Unfortunately, they were small eggs and didn’t fit the egg mold, so the bear has no ears and the star (you can’t see it) doesn’t have clearly defined points.

I love the green pea shaped container the strawberries are in. It is perfect and adds cuteness. 🙂 The container between the eggs is a furikake container that I used for maple syrup.

Ahhh… TGIF!! Happy Friday everyone!

Happy Butterfly Bento

14 Mar

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Oh, that bear char siu bao gave me the cute bento bug. I tried to think of the simplest cute bento I could make with the limited food I had in my refrigerator. The butterfly is made from white and yellow cheese. I used my heart cutter, but cut the points off.

Again, this bento brought a smile to Ms. Little Bubbles. Which made my day!

Hi Mr. Manapua Man *wink* *wink*

10 Mar

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This manapua man cracks me up. 🙂 He looks like a triangle and has a rather big head. Oh, and he is balding! LOL!

I made this bento a few weeks ago and I think I woke up tired and a bit stressed out because of work. So, I tried to make it as cute as possible, but am not sure if I hit it on the mark. Although, my daughter said she loved it. So in the end, that’s all that mattered.

My absolute favorite thing about this bento is the hat. LOVE my hat bento picks!

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