Sunday, August 9, 2015

Bento (183) - Sweet Soy Broth Bento (Again)

This is one of my favorite bentos (and the appearance doesn't change much, so maybe I should stop posting it :P) -- but, behold -- the sweet soy broth bento.  The main dish is soba noodles and small chunks of steak that have been marinated and cooked in a mixture of sake, mirin, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.  Mmmmmmmmm.  Upper left was blueberry/mandarin salad with cute bunny food pick.  Lower left was edamame with carrot star and more sweet soy broth to pour over the noodles before merciless devouring.

My bento was similar to Goose's, with the addition of store-bought mini-mochis.  Yum!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bento (182) - The Art of Arranging Leftover Chicken

Have I ever mentioned how hard it is to artfully arrange large chunks of meat?  I attempted a slice and feather approach...and while it doesn't look terrible...I'm not sure how well it worked out either.  :P  Ah, well! 

Goose's bento was chicken, rice, and lettuce divider.  Blue sauce cup holds bbq sauce for dipping the chicken bits.  Upper left  is raspberries and store-bought mini-mochi, bottom right is sweet bell peppers stuffed with cream cheese surrounding a broccoli floret.  Orange stars are carrot stars.

My  bento was similar.  I think I over-starred.  I REGRET NOTHING!  :P

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bento (181) - Meat, Cheese, and Cracker Bento - Pepperjack Bears

Aaaaand continuing the series of homemade meat, cheese, and cracker bentos....  I'm still working out how to get a good balance of fruits and vegetables (not to mention proper cheese and cracker position).  LOL.  The first time I gave Goose colby jack cheese giraffes they apparently got warm and melted, so he didn't eat his crackers because the cheese was gooey.  O.o  This time I gave him less crackers and we added a cold pack to his insulated lunch box to make sure the cheese behaved itself, and he complained that he ran out of crackers....

Left side is ham circles topped with carrot stars, pepperjack cheese bears, and blueberries.  Right side is Ritz crackers, raspberries, and a stack o' carrot bears.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bento (180) - Egg Salad Sandwich with Cheese Giraffe

Here was a highly successful lunch of egg salad sandwich (shaped by a flower cookie cutter) surrounded by blueberries and topped with a cheese giraffe.  Upper right is two pickled sweet red peppers stuffed with plain cream cheese.  Lower right is store-bought mini-mochis.  Goose ate EVERYTHING.  O.O

So, I've fallen behind in posting (surprise surprise).  In my defense, July has been an exceedingly busy month for me O.o, including a kitchen renovation, which means I currently have no kitchen.  And yes!  Yes, I am still trying to bento without a kitchen.  LOL.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bento (179) - Make Your Own Lunchable - Cheese Giraffes

After paging through my new bento cookbook Everyday Bento by Wendy Thorpe Copley, I decided to set out on the long, arduous (okay, maybe not so arduous) journey to make my own Lunchables.  Not that I have anything against the Lunchable brand, but it is essentially meat, cheese, and crackers (all of which I have on hand).  I purchased a few cheap (or rather, cheaper than my bento boxes :P)  Sistema containers that are divided into two parts.  Then...I had to open a Lunchable to see how all the items fit.

Yep.  That's everything that's in a a Lunchable folks.  By comparison, I bought a pack with slices of four different cheeses, some deli honey-ham, and a pack of Ritz crackers.  A few minutes with my cookie cutters made Goose's home-made Lunchable adorable!

Orange stars are carrots, giraffes are colby Jack cheese (which melted...I had to actually explain to Goose that real cheese melts O.o), and the multicolored balls are store-bough mini-mochi.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bento (178) - Mini Cocktail Sausages Octopi Bento

Confession time...I've been afraid of the mini crab/octopi hotdog bentos because I could never get my cutter to work properly.  I finally found a suggestion in Yum-Yum bento to slice a cocktail dog in half diagonally and then make two to three slits to create the little legs...and amazingly, it worked!  (You will need to toss the little boogers in boiling water to get their legs to splay out.)  Octopi eyes are nori cut-outs.

I tried giving Goose a "grown up" bento box...which I found out later went disastrously as he pretty much threw his lunch all over the ground.  O.o  Ah, well.  What can you do?  Lower level is Neapolitan noodles (noodles with ketchup, carrots, and onions) topped with broccoli and mini cocktail dog octopi.  Upper level left is minced pickled garlic with bunny food pick, sweet soy mushrooms (MmmmmMMMMmmm), and mandarin oranges with a pickled plum in the center.

 On an amusing side note, J. offered to assist with bento preparation and learned the first rule of noodles--don't overpack.  At lunch, we both shared a laugh over our "pasta bricks." 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Bento (177) - Velveeta Mac & Cheese Mouse and Butterfly Bentos

I would love to take credit for the below Velveeta/baloney mouse...but it's an idea I stole from the bookYum-Yum Bento Box by Crystal Watanabe and Maki Ogawa.  Their suggestion of using the single serve mac & cheese cups if you are short on time worked brilliantly--and much to my surprise, cold Velveeta noodles weren't half bad...especially with peas!

 Of course, Goose ate the mouse, but refused to eat the mac & cheese.  LOL.  Upper right is half a boiled chicken egg soaked in soy sauce, broccoli, carrots, and a naruto slice for color.  Lower right is strawberry/blueberry salad.

J. got the leftover noodles from my last bento, complete with naruto slices and piggy container holding more soup base.  Yum!

I decided to suffer the mac & cheese experiment with Goose, but made mine a garden, complete with cheese butterfly and naruto flowers.  :)   I also have half a chicken egg soaked in soy sauce, broccoli, and carrots (lightly cooked).  Yum!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Bento (176) - Naruto Noodles

With this bento, Goose has confirmed that he doesn't like potato salad.  :P  Even freshly hand-made nommy potato salad with mayo and carrots and salted cucumber bits.  Personally, I think he's crazy--but then again, I remember hating potato salad until I was an adult. 

All three of us had similar bentos, with potato salad (upper left), blueberry/strawberry salad (lower left), and a main course of fried noodles with peas and carrots, soaked in a tablespoon or two of udon sauce (I was out of udon sauce--so I used a few tablespoons of a different soup base, but it didn't have as much flavor.  :(  Must...add...udon shopping list).  To add a little color (and protein), I topped the noodles with naruto slices.  These bentos were a little protein-light.  In the future, I would likely recommend replacing the potato salad with a second serving of protein and a simple veggie (like cooked carrot stars).

Monday, June 29, 2015

Bento (175) - Return of the Ham Sandwich - Or Three-Tiered Alien Monster

Can you believe I actually forgot how to properly size the sandwich for Goose's bento?  O.o  I stuffed some grapes and blueberries into the extra space (and Goose reassured me he wasn't hungry at the end of the day), but I still have this niggling feeling that I was a bad bento-mommy.  LOL.  I ended up sticking a blue elephant pick in the blueberries, but that photo turned out no elephant pick for you!  It surprised me when I went to pack a fork and Goose demanded a cute food pick instead.  I have corrupted my child.  MU HA HA. 

Upper right is a single sweet pepper with chopped garlic, and the multi-colored rainbow bits are store-bought mini-mochis.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bento (174) - Quail Egg Tulip Bento

It's that time of year again....when Goose has returned to his summer camp and I must dust off all of my bento equipment and remember how to make absolutely adorable lunches.  I bought a new bento book yesterday and added it to my library--and realized I should either bento more or stop buying books!  LOL.  :P

For Goose's first day of camp, I decided to be ambitious and make quail-egg tulip bentos.  Given that I was making three (one for Goose, one for myself, and one for J) it meant peeling 10 quail eggs and coloring several of them (for the flowers).  My advice--if you are adventurous enough to try making these....give yourself an extra hour and a half for peeling, coloring, and cutting those *$%&^ miniscule eggs.  :) :) :)

Tulip leaves are snap peas cut diagonally.  Top left is blueberry/grape salad, and bottom left was mini hamburger bites, a piggie container with soy sauce, and carrots cut into flower shapes (which I also boiled for a few minutes and coated lightly in honey....since Goose informed me he doesn't like raw carrots).

J.'s bento was essentially the same thing--but instead of adding hamburger bites for extra protein, I added quail eggs soaked in soy sauce. 

My bento was identical to J.'s....just in a different shape box!