Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Friendly little ghost!

Today I prepared two identical bentos for the boys, so I did not have to take lots of pictures like yesterday and the day before. They both want mini burger but I actually wasn’t sure if I could pull it together and make it into a Halloween bento, because I packed them mini burger so many time in the past couple of weeks and honestly I am getting so bored with the same bento display.
I actually haved planned to go to Asian market yesterday to pick some quail eggs, I tought I gotta  try to make a real ghost using quail eggs like the one piko made at http://www.advanturesinbentomaking/. But I decided to do laundry instead because the pile is just keep getting higher and higher it's like almost touching the roof ;-) seriously! I am so behind now because I've caught some cold early last week.
Well, anyway! I still thought I should give a little Halloween touch on this week’s bento, so I put this little friendly little ghost that I made out of Swiss cheese with some nori for the face, and put it on top of the burger. I made the RIP letter with some regular American cheese. After seeing all being put together I am quite pleased with the result, I think it wasn’t so bad after all!

Now for the burger patties, I always made the patties a whole lot at a time, freeze it, then thaw it whenever the kids requesting. It doesn’t take long at all to be thawed and It’s so easy to make. Believe me it will come handy for the busy mom who loves bento-ing.

Just mix 1 or 2 lbs fresh ground beef season it with some of your favorite BBQ sauce, worchestershire sauce, salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Scoope it with mini ice cream scooper so the size will be uniform, then flatten it with your hand. Put parchment paper in between of every patty so it would not be stacked together in one big piece once it froze. Store it in the airtight container then freeze it. It’s too easy isn’t?

As for the bun I always use 1/3 of the regular size hotdog buns. This time I use whole wheat hot dog bun. I also packed them some steamed asparagus, fresh lettuce, cucumber, carrots, cherry tomatoes and ketchup in a little monkey sauce container.
Now I can’t wait to pick them up and ask them how their day went.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's time to get spookyliciousss!!!

I am going to load lots of pictures this time.
Last Sunday we were invited by one of our good friends to the pumpkins carving party, the party was GREAT! I love the atmosphere, the food, the people, everything was awesome, and we really had a great time. It was so nice to see some of our old friends from Salmonberry Montessori School. And after seeing lot's of pumpkins and all the Halloween stuff I was so in the mood in making some Halloween bentos this week. Yeahh!! that's right! It’s time to get some spookyliciouss meal:

Let's get started! I pack a very thin layer of steamed rice for B, and I made the pumpkins from carrots, I use nori for the face and the bat.

For the side dish I put some beef teriyaki and one piece of teriyaki meatball in a tiger food picks. Next to it are some fresh cherry tomatoes, steamed asparagus and some fresh flower carrots.

This is the picture all together. I also pack him some fresh apples and gold fish for the snack time.

My next spookylicious bento is for D :

The menu is exactly the same with the one for B, only I packed it in a Zojirushi bento box. So instead of making the same pumpkins and a bat, I made him spider web using nori.

My next Halloween bento is just a sandwich, I pack 2 different sandwiches, chicken sandwich for D and PB&J for B.
B keep requesting me to pack him a PB&J sandwich, he probably sees some other kids at school having that. This is actually the first time I have a peanut butter after GOSH! like 7 years or so? we never have peanut butter since we knew D is allergic to peanut.
I was so worry that he would be bothered by the smell but thanks God he seems to be fine. I was very carefull using the utensil and make sure D is not expose to it. So anyway ... no biggy ... it’s just a sandwich, it would not be too long to prepare.

Let me start with the chicken sandwich one, I use a provolone cheese to make cute little ghosts and use some nori for the face. I wasn't quite happy with the result because the cheese on top of a whole grain white bread is not really visible enough. So next time I'll use whole wheat bread instead.
I use a tulip cookie cutter and turned it upside down, and it looks close enough to a ghost! (I think ;-)
The letter BOO is made out of some fresh carrots. Not bad huh?
Next to the sandwich is some steamed asparagus, sweet corn, fresh sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes.
Here's the picture including some fresh sliced apples and gold fish:

Now for the PB&J sandwich bento, I pack everything’s the same except for the sandwich and here's the picture :

Okay friends, enough for now, more halloween bento to come!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tuna sandwich bento

I pack tuna sandwiches quite often, not only because its super easy to prepare but my oldest son D is the biggest fan of tuna sandwiches, he actually wouldn't mind getting the same thing everyday!
Getting some idea from another bento bloger I put together this cute tuna sandwich that I know its gonna put a smile on his face.

Anyway, I shaped the tuna sandwich using empanada maker, but you have to flaten the bread with the rolling pin and then lay the bread in the middle of empanada maker, put some tuna filling in it then press it together,  WALAHH!!!! beautiful tuna sandwich is created!!! don't forget to cut the edges with the kitchen scissor.

I bought the alphabet cutter at michaels the other day, its actually for cake decorating, but I thought I can use it the bento. The letter O is kind a hard to get out because it is so tight as you can see on the picture its a little broken, well not bad for the frist timer, I'll have lots of practicie in the future.

So anyway, I put the sandwich on top of fresh lettuce leave, I arraged the word LOVE U that I made out of cheese on top of the tuna sandwich, and the rest are some grape tomatoes, sweet peas and steamed baby carrots.

Belows are just some pictures of tuna sandwich bentos that I made in the past :

Have a great FUN weekend everyone!

Simple spinach quichee

Here is a new delish dish that I put together for my son's lunch. It's very simple and super easy to make because I use a frozen pie dish, and frozen spinach leaves.
I mixed together some heavy cream, eggs, parmesan cheese, lil dash of garlic powder and pepper, I did not add any salt into it because the parmesan cheese is quite salty. Then add the frozen spinach into the mixture (don't forget to squize the excessive juice) stir it together and pour it into the pie dish, springkle it with more parmesan cheese then bake it in the 375F oven till done (it's about 40 - 45 minutes). Cover the edges of the pie skin with tin foil to avoid burn.

For the bento, I divided the pie with cute plastic elephant dividers and I stacked some fresh red and yellow bell pepper next to it, the rest are fresh lettuce leave and steamed baby carrots.

I also packed fresh oranges and apples in a separate box. I peeled some of the apple skin off using the X-acto knife to shape a diamond pattern.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tamagoyaki bento

This is one of my old bento picture :

I use my 3 tiers bento boxes, the size of the boxes are soooo small but its just perfect for my lil one. I made a simple fried rice with a sweet corn and fish cake and added just a lil soy sauce into it. On the 2nd tier is a tamagoyaki that I made using some receipe I found OL, sliced fresh tomatoes and soy sauce packed in a lil bottle.
On the last tier I have some sauted crimini mushroom, next to it is a fresh cucumber and carrots pickle relish pack in a cute little separate bowl. For a snack I threw in some cookies that I got from the asian market.
As I said earlier that this is one of my old bento pictures, I am now more aware and carefull on buying some snacks or some food product from asian market since the government and the FDA warnings about food safety issues on some imported products from China.

New bento kits ...yipppiiiiiieeee!!!!

I am a bento enthusiast!! ... I am always excited whenever I get some new bento gadgets. Here are some of them that I got a couple weeks ago :

This is a dreamland eggmold, haven't try them yet but the seller has included the instructions in english, so will see if I can make it as perfect as the picture ..*crossing my fingers*
I have to cook the eggs separately, as you can see the eggs would come out in 4 different shapes: heart, diamond, star and flower. It also comes with the egg yolk separator.

The seller is pretty generous to give me this extra bento kits, an animals food pics ... aren't they cute? Love them
Will add some more pictures later on because I have received some other bento kits, I just couldn't find the picture in my files right now.

Rice with roasted seaweeds bento

My boys are crazy about this korean style roasted seaweed. Sometimes they request it for a snack. But they also love to eat it with plain steamed rice. I don't blame them ... it tastes good!
I like to buy roasted seaweeds in a big package then cut it into small sizes, instead of buying the single serve one because its way much cheaper and also they would not struggle opening the plastic plus there won't be too much garbage at school.

I shaped the rice using a bear shape onigiri rice mold, and I put nori face on top of them. I arranged the rice with some steamed broccoli in between so they wont be sticking together.
On the next bowl as you can see there are fresh pears, apples and sugar peas laid in a lettuce bed :

For snack time I packed them rice crackers with seaweed flavor.

Mushroom rice

I am so excited when I got this thermal bento box from Zojirushi. The food really stays hot or cold for hours. The container is a little too big for my boys, but I always give them kids portion and sometimes I packed them lunch using 3 bowls only.

For this Bento I prepared mushroom rice, I got the receipe from the bento book by Naomi Kijima, love the earthy flavor from the mushroom and the boys seem to love it too. I did not use the rice cooker however because I added some sauted onion and garlic into it, so I use regular pan.

Here is the upclose image of the rice as you can see the bowl still pretty deep huh? :

For the side dishes I have lemongrass chicken (its a vietnamesse dish), the kids and hubby love this chicken, I make this quite often so you'll see a lot of them on my bentos. I promise I'll share the receipe in the future. I also throw some leftover shimeji mushroom when I sauted the chicken, next to it just a steamed broccoli and some hard-boiled quail eggs :

I packed shrimp crackers for a snack, and some fresh fruit (not pictured) in a separate bowl, here are all combine together and ready to be packed (exept for the fruit bowl):

I did not have carrots or any other colored vegetables at that day so I garnished the rice with some fresh parsley and red apples cut it into a flower shape using a vegetable cutter that I got from OL bento store.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yellow rice bento

Yellow rice or we call it Nasi Kuning, is a traditional Indonesian dish served with many variety of side dishes like pickled cucumber and carrots, traditional fried chicken, perkedel kentang (fried potato dough), egg omelete sliced into a thin noodle like, tempe kering ( a sweet fried tempeh with peanuts and salted dried anchovy), sambal (a chillie condiment just like ketchup here), and garnished with fresh cucumber and lemon basil leaves.

The rice it self is cooked in coconut milk with some lemon grass, indonesian bay leaves and some other spices, the color yellow comes from the turmeric, if you use a powder type of turmeric just a lil dash would do.

Many food vendors sell it only in the morning, most of the time the rice is already packed and ready for grab. It's very popular among Indonesians as breakfast on the go.
My version of nasi kuning is not always have to be served with all those yummy side dishes because to me the rice alone is alraedy yummy as it is, but eggs, sambal, and cucumber are always my top choice! simply because this is easy to prepare.
As for my kids I like to combine it with some dishes that are familiar for most kids like chicken nuggets and whatever vegetables I have in the fridge.

For this bento, instead of making an omelete I decided to made a marbled egg, its super easy to make and I know the boys love it, I normaly make a whole lot at a time, store them in an air tight food container and then put it in the fridge. It would be good for up to 4 - 5 days, but I know mine would be gone before that.

Welcome ....

Hi there ..
welcome to my lil corner ....
I decided to finally make my very own blog, after couple years of delayed due to the pregnancy and so on and so on. Yeah you heard it right!!! I blame it on the pregancy for my lazyness!!! ;-)
Well, let me started by introducing myself, I am a proud SAHM of 3 gorgeous boys, I love to cook (not an expert), I also love to bake once in a while, learn a new things, and have caught a bug of bento making like 2 years ago or so!
Back then my first son went to school for only a half day, so I only made bento when I feel like to, and have him enjoy his lunch at home after school. But as soon as he enter a full time Kindergarten, I started to take bento pictures and posted on my MP account.

But now that I have my bento blog, I will share some of bento pictures I make for my son D who is almost 7 and B who is 4 and just started PreK this fall, no bento for baby G yet coz he's only 5 months old.
And maybe here and there I'd also share some recipes I've tried from my kitchen. 

I started this bento hobby thingy by accident, I remember I was just blog-walking looking for some new recipes to try and this particular website has cought my attention. It was , I love the way she arranges all the food and fit them into a little container calls bento box, the food looks so appealing so interesting, the colors the portions and everythings is just make me want to learn more. And the most interesting part is that the food are mostly leftovers!!! Judging from the pictures you would've never guessed that.

Then I said to myself THIS IS IT!!! ... no more wasting leftovers, hence I can offer the boys so many variety of healthy home cooking foods. Less waste at school since everything is packed in reusable CUTE containers, long term benefit maybe will make my kids less picky and appreciate me more ;) and so many other benefits from bento-ing.
Another main reason why I am doing this is because my oldest son has a very severe peanut allergy, so I have to make his lunch as interesting as possible to him, that way he would not look at other's lunches, but all and all I know I am havin FUN doin it! ...

Another inspiring website that I visits regularly is
I got soooo many many ideas from that website. The more I read and learn the more I am become a bento enthusiast!! I then began to collect my very own bento kits from whatever I could find from a local craft store such michaels or joann, but mostly I bought them on line trough eBay or many other online bento stores.

Okay enough talking ;-)
I want to dedicate this blog for my beloved family, my husband DG who is always there for me, thank you so much for your never-ending love and support! ... I love you more and more everyday!
And my 3 sons D, B and baby G I love you so much like you can never imagine!

That's all for now ... have a wonderful day and see you on my next post!
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