Saturday, October 31, 2009
The sandwiches were artifical crab with a tablespoon of mayo and provolone cheese bits (and just wait until you see my new sammy idea - coming up this week >.< !! Of course, if it doesn't turn out, I'll deny every having made this comment.) The soy bunnies are on a bed of edamame (as usual), and the brown things are mushrooms sauteed in butter and wine. The middle portion is blueberry/strawberry salad with provolone cheese flower.
I may have to try an artful arrangment of fruit and soy bunnies for the Holiday potluck this year . . . hmmmmm. It's either that or partridge cupcakes. We shall see!
Have a Happy Halloween!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I think a lot of my time issues in the morning have to do with making THREE bentos. T. had to go to work early and Goose had no school due to inclement weather (by which I mean power outage, tree-limb snapping, wreck inducing snow) . . . so I only made one bento - for me. And it took about 15-20 minutes instead of an hour. Imagine that! LOL.
In my top level, I had the crab avacado/salad and edamame with carrot stars. In the bottom, I had stawberry/kiwi salad (which I ended up topping with some errant blueberries), a commercial heart-jelly (think Jello-O with strange floating white squares), and a boiled egg cut into thirds (of which only two went in the box). I also discovered sprinkling sesame seed in an attractive pattern is harder than it looks! I'm chalking it up to the same expertise needed to make attractive ketchup flowers - a skill which I have mastered to Level 3 - but cannot advance to Level 5 until I master my fear of the mostly-empty ketchup bottle and it's potential for raining red destruction on the rest of my carefully arranged bento.
My only complaint about this bento was the lack of carbs. I was thinking about cutting down on rice/noodle consumptions, but by 3:00 I was getting the urge to go find munchies around the office. Must remember carbs = energy in the future.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Let's see - the fancy balls are surrounded by carrots. To the right is strawberry kiwi salad with a provolone star and corn with an edamame/ketchup flower. For my bento (and for T.'s) I was playing with making quail egg tulips. YAY protein!!
Monday, October 26, 2009
I had curry chicken leftovers. (Note the blue kitty - he made the whole box for me!) Unsurprisingly - I've discovered that if you keep your liquid foods (in this case, the curry) away from your rice until lunchtime, everything stays much tastier! The kale makes a great divider, even though it isn't waterproof.
As finishers, I cut up a kiwi and added carrot stars to my bento. T.'s was very similar, except he had beef and broccoli. And a techno-color pepper.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
T.'s bento was almost identical . . . but no jelly for him! Hah!
I spent a little extra time on my bento since I was going to show it off at a book club lunch. In a shocking twist of events, no one came (:P :P :P) - so my lunch and I spent some quality time together. And I discovered soy bunnies are nummy - with or without company!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The second compartment is filled with multi-colored cheese-filled tortellini, a small forest of green beans, and a silicon cupcake holder with spaghetti sauce for dipping (and cheese flower for accent). Since a lot of this bento consisted of fruit, I took a hard-boiled egg to make sure I had enough protein for the day.
Goose had pasta (with a carrot topper in his sauce), mandarin orange/blueberry salad, and a fishie egg resting on a bed of green beans. Poor little green beans. They looked awful sad when his bento box returned and they were the only thing left in it!
T. didn't eat his crab bento from yesterday, so I sent him off to work with his aquarium bento. About noon, my phone rang, and T. said "Um . . . yeah. Okay. That bento was really cute." Score another point for me! YAY!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Aquarium bento! I'm still learning how to use my crab cutter, so we had a few crab casualities. Apparently the artificial ocean is a very dangerous place! (And yes, they are crabs - NOT LOGS.) The ocean is white rice with blue food coloring, the "sand" is brown rice, the seaweed is kale, and the two white objects are shell noodles - though you can't see their cute little lines in the photo. The yellow and pink "urchins" are a sugar candy I found at Pacific Mercantile. And the gold fishies are goldfish crackers! (I probably put too many things in - but I couldn't help myself!) The green triangle is a sauce holder that has ketchup and mustard for Goose's crabs.
T.'s bento looked just like Goose's - except I gave him a serving of edamame and carrot flowers instead of extra crabs! The right lower container has sweet potato/apple salad - which I overcooked and ended up with sweet potato/applesauce salad. Still nummy. I topped the salad with a fishie filled with dumpling sauce for the technocolor rice.
And to make my bento special, I had a penguin sauce holder to put my ketchup in! I love the penguin, but it is slightly large for the two tier bento boxes and makes it hard to put on the lid. Overall, I was very pleased with how cute these turned out (although I definitely need to practice with my crab cutter!), but the flavor was fairly bland. I'll have to think of more "textured" items that I can add that will compliment the way an aquarium bento actually TASTES. Goose ate all the toppings, but left his blue and brown rice - after he mixed it up and it really did look like the gravel in my aquarium. LOL!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Goose got an imitation crab flower. And he ate ALL OF IT too! Score one for the mommy! Of course, it could also be mistaken for some bottom-dwelling sea critter - so I think I'll have to work on my flower capabilities.
Unfortunately, after I made the boys their bentos, my creativity ran dry. So I added a little corn for color, stuffed a few tomatos with cream cheese, topped my rice with edamame, and called it good enough for 7:15 a.m. bento work (I have to leave by 7:30 a.m. :P :P :P).
The good news is: I'm getting faster! And I'm getting the hang of it - so more and more of these bentos are my creations and don't come straight from a book. YAY!! >.<
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
It's a good thing my rice was happy - 'cause I had a rotten day - and it really helped brighten my lunch hour!
After I made Goose's bento I suddenly realized I forgot protein. OOPS! So I asked Goose to take a bite of artificial crab - which he loved! So I tore some artificial crab into pieces and stuffed it in between the grapes.
And just to add fuel to the fire of your imagination as you wonder what my kitchen-life is like in the morning . . . we shall NOT discuss the Frosted Flakes explosion. Good grief!
Monday, October 12, 2009
The blueberries are a little sour :( :( :( In fact, T. was thinking of using them as a dare at work - so I may let them sit for a day or two and hope they ripen a little more. T.'s bento was intentionally non-cute today (with the exception of the panda sauce holder). He has brown rice topped with edamame, imitation crab and avacado salad, blueberry/apple salad, and a boiled egg cut in half and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
I have no bento today as, for some odd reason, my work actually gives us Columbus Day as a day off. Which gives me time to catch up on some housework, blog posting, etc. And I must say I'm surprised that I'm already on Bento 20. Given the amount of work and the ungodly hours I have to wake up in order to bento, I wasn't sure I would make it this far! Let's hear it for perseverance! (Or obsessions - because there is no way in heck I would wake up at 5:00 a.m. to EXERCISE ::grin::).
Friday, October 9, 2009
They are mud wallows for the piggies!!!!
I was about to leave my bento uncompleted as well . . . when I remembered I had a book club over lunch, and my bento skills would be on public display. ACK! There wasn't much I could do about the taco sandwiches . . . but I could finish my piggy and add a baby chick!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
In retrospect, I would put a little more greenery under the fruit salad (so it could be easily lifted out for microwave purposes later) - but overall, I was very pleased with this simple lunch. In fact - tomorrow's lunch will probably share a pretty close resemblace - so I may not post. This also proves that you don't need the fancy bento boxes to make attractive bento lunches - unless you've been bitten by the kawaii bug like me >.<
Monday, October 5, 2009
1) Rice cookers are WONDERFUL.
2) Brown rice does not stick to itself. Not without all sorts of saran wrap and tape, at any rate.
3) Tape has joined the hole punch in being reclassified as a cooking tool
How could I not smile when I saw the following in my bento box today?
The rice balls are sitting on top of a fresh yellow pear tomato and leftover roasted zuchinni and squash from last night's dinner. The yellow stuff is corn egg drops - with an edamame and ketchup flower. Goose didn't seem overly impressed (and ignored the ranch in his new dipping cup - which was meant to make the brocolli more palatable. . . grrr). But apparently cooked carrots can go on the list of veggies he will eat. The fruit is mandarin oranges and grapes. And "oh!" - I stuffed the rice balls with a hamburger/onion/ketchup concoction. I'm still trying to get used to the idea that you only need microscopic amounts of food for bentos.
T. apparently caught heck from his co-workers for the smiley rice balls. I defy you brown rice! With the assistance of tape - though shalt make a smiley ball shape!! (If you notice the ketchup . . . it's HARD to squirt ketchup with precision.) T. mentioned he's not so sure about corn and eggs - so the bulk of his veggies are edamame.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Having said all that . . . my shipment is HERE. I have NORI PUNCHES! WOOT!!!! My rice can be officially happy to see me!
I also ordered a full set of alphabet cookie cutters (what better way to teach your child his "high frequency vocabulary words" than to spell out messages in ham and cucumber on his lunch?!), new sauce containers (for dipping), a penguin spice/sauce holder ('cause he was too cute to resist . . . his little beak is a mini-spoon ::squeal::), animal picks, and a wiener cutter (for HOTDOGS you goofballs!) It will allow me to turn hotdogs into cute little crabs (and isn't that a frightening image?). I repeat FEAR ME!!
I know . . . I know . . . I should have known better than to put a milk jelly in Goose's box . . . but I couldn't resist dinosaur chicken nuggets drinking out of a milk jelly pond. Of course - Goose's description of them as "goobery" after the inevitable spill has made the final determination that milk jellies are good weekend food, but too messy for school bento. Plus Goose didn't care for the green beans or cucumbers, so the little critter was having a blood sugar melt-down when I picked him up from school. No worries . . . Applebees fixed all :P :P :P