Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bento (73) - First Peacock Bento

I was going to title this post "First Peacock Bento - Epic Fail" - but when I got to work and opened my lunch, I decided maybe it was cuter than I first thought. So what inspires one to do a peacock bento, you ask (or maybe you don't want to know - but I'm going to tell you anyway!). The sudden realization that you have no protein in your bento. And no plan. But you have fishcake. And if you cut the fishcake into triangles, it might make feathers. Insert hunt for onigiri molder and the vague hope that one of the shapes will prove usable as a peacock body . . . and voila! You've discovered the peacock bento.

The body is a heart shape onigiri, and the head is part of the flower shaped onigiri, poorly cut. The beak is a small slice of fishcake. I surrounded the peacock with cut grapes, and gave him two soy bunnies for company. The top level is yogurt with grapes, additional triangle onigiri, a panda sauce holder with dumpling sauce, and mashed potatoes with a pickled plum - which I have developed a taste for! Those things are YUMMY!

The boys got similar bentos, minus the peacock design.

And Goose got special fishcake star streamers. Oooooo. Aaaaahhhh. (He wasn't impressed either >.< Heh.

He also refused to eat the potato salad because I had made it into weird little balls, and he didn't like that. Of course, I made it into weird little balls because he won't eat it the normal way either. LOL!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bento (72) - Kamaboko Bunnies!

Kamaboko bunnies! And at long last - a pickled plum! It took me a while to figure out where to find the pickled plums - but I've always wanted to try one. And now that I've tried one - I still can't tell you if I like it. LOL! My western tastebuds are totally confused by a sweet fruit that has been . . . pickled . . . and so is now salty and vinegary. Wow. I think I need to experiment some more!

The pickled plum was sitting on top of mashed potatoes, and the bottom is the standard fried udon with sauteed carrots and onions. The green triangle container is filled with udon sauce. The separator is green lettuce. I've also placed an order for "The Manga Cookbook" - so I'm looking forward to some new recipes to try! Om nom nom!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bento (71) - My Noodles Are Happy to See Me

Wow. I actually got up and cooked two things . . . the fried udon noodles AND the mashed potato salad. I must have been particularly inspired. Though not overly inspired . . . or you would have seen a cheese topper or some such to help with the blinding white mashed potatoes. Green is kiwi. The noodles are udon noodles with sauteed carrots and onions, drizzled with diluted udon sauce. The noodle face is sliced boiled egg for the eyes and a red pepper mouth.
T.'s bento was the same ingredients . . . different layout. I call this . . . ABSTRACT NOODLE.

Though the mashed potatoes seem to be much more attractive in his box . . . hmmmmmm. And speaking of attractive ::drum roll please:: check out the BEAUTIFUL donburi bowls I purchased at Pacific Mercantile. SQUEE!!

And of course - to test them out - I had to make the noodle dish Sasuke's mother makes in Ponyo (Miyazaki's latest release). I think the noodles were a touch bland . . . but I wanted to try it with the base ingredients first. Next time I'll add a little additional seasoning . . . and I think I'll have a family favorite!

For those who haven't seen Ponyo . . . WATCH IT! LOL! I used standard ramen noodles (though next time I'll probably break one pack in half, since we had an overabundance of noodles) and then added torn up ham, green onions, and half a boiled egg - once the noodles were soft. The green onions ended up adding a LOT more flavor than I anticipated.

And coming soon . . . fun with lotus root and pickled plums! Two things I've wanted to try for quite a while. MMMmmmmMMMM. The bento adventure continues!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bento (70) - Pizza and Penguins!

To my friend whom I recently inspired to begin bento (the corruption spreads . . . MU HA HA!) - here is one of my easiest American bentos. Take pizza leftovers (you know you have them), cut into squares, place separators so frozen veggies do not soggify the crust, and pour in peas. You have created the main portion of this bento! To finish it out, I cut a boiled egg in half (shaped into a car - thanks to my egg molds) and added some blueberries and mandarin oranges. Nutritious, nommy, and EASY!

For myself, I got a little fancier - but this is also an example of bento-ing with tupperware (for those of you who don't have access too and/or don't want to spend money on bento boxes). Though just like tattoos . . . bento boxes are highly addictive. Once you have one, it suddenly doesn't seem like such a crazy idea to have 50 or 60 more . . .

I cut my pizza into triangles and used three silicone cupcake holers to keep my other items separate (I HIGHLY recommend the cupcake holders!). In the upper right, I have blueberries and a fishie boiled egg (once again - courtesy of the egg mold), followed by the lower right, green peas topped with cheese flowers, and the lower left, which is blueberry/kiwi salad. The penguin sauce holder is filled with ranch to add a little pizzaz to my pizza. Om nom nom!

And good luck!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bento (69) - Casserole Leftovers

No prizes for originality . . . but this bento was big on flavor! I had mandarin orange/blueberry salad accompanied by jalapeno poppers (MMMmmmmMMMMM - though my waistline is saying "AUuuugGGGHHhhh" lately) - and the bottom level was a hamburger/potato/corn/tomato sauce casserole that was warm . . . filling . . . and most importantly - not cooked by me! YAY! I brought home casserole leftovers from a family dinner on Sunday night.

Goose got a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, blueberry/mandarin orange salad, and peas with a carrot star. And he actually ate almost everything . . . even a few of the peas! WOW! >.< I'd like to claim this had something to do with my bento ability - but he informed me "I ate some peas, so now when I sleep, I'll grow big and strong." I'm not quite sure who he learned that from . . . but I hope he's not to disappointed if we can't measure his growth tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bento (68) - Soy Bunny Rumble!

Today's bento was mini-pulled pork sandwiches (the flower by the sandwiches is a green bean/baby corn/red pepper flower), strawberry/provolone cheese salad, and four soy bunnies ready to rumble on top of a bed of coleslaw. LOL! What do soy bunnies fight about anyway?!!