octobre rose bento

11 10 2010

october is breast cancer awareness month.  like those of my fellow bento bloggers, my life has been touched by this disease, and so i was moved by bento blog’s invitation to participate in a “pink october” awareness-raising project. check out the lovely themed bentos by jenn of bentobird, susan of hawai`i’s bento box cookbook, lia of my bentolicious, debra of hapa bento, and chantale of skinny mini kiki. did you participate? if so, please add a link in the comments!

my “octobre rose” bento is simple — two pale pink onigiri (the rice is mixed with ume vinegar powder, and each one is stuffed with an umeboshi) topped with breast cancer ribbons (made from the outer layer of a kamaboko log), a stamed broccoli floret and purple potato flower, two pieces of veggie tamagoyaki, two pea pods, a vegetarian chicken nugget with a cheese heart, and a two-tone tomato pick with a pink flag.

i should note that the ribbons were inspired by pikko’s cool egg sheet ribbons from her breast cancer awareness bento last year. thanks for the bento-spiration (as always) pikko!





fall hens bento

10 10 2010

yet another quick one — tonight we were busy watching the giants-braves game!

tomorrow’s lunch has two onigiri (made from rice mixed with vegetable fried rice seasoning mix, each stuffed with an umeboshi), some steamed broccoli, a yellow tomato, pea pods, simmered pumpkin (topped with chili flakes and sesame seeds), and a purple potato hen (with radish beak and cockscomb).

all packed in my new, lightweight bamboo box, which i’ll close with this cute cross-stitched hen napkin (used like a furoshiki).  plus a cute mini-pear for dessert!





giants pennant bento

3 10 2010

WOO HOO!  in their last regular-season game, against their division rivals, the padres, my boys clinched the pennant.  we’re headed to our first post-season since 2003!

in the bottom half of my new iro-iro argyle bento box, i packed two panda-shaped onigiri, waving orange flags (black and orange are giants colors).  the pandas have nori stripes and facial features, cheese arms, and black bean ears.  this box also contains two vegetarian chicken nuggets, two pieces of carrot tamagoyaki, a lotus-cut baby carrot, a zebra tomato and a baby pear tomato, some steamed broccoli florets, and a slice of star fruit.

the tightly-sealing top half of this handy new box (not pictured) contains a little bit of pad ka prow with mock duck, leftovers from thai food we ordered this weekend.

everyone getting ready for the work week ahead?  hope you all had a fabulous fall weekend!

[as seen on cute food]





two bunnies bento

7 09 2010

hey bento friends!  it’s been forever — my bad!  after a long summer “off” (and full of great stuff — an old friend’s lovely wedding, a fun surprise camping trip, a milestone birthday, and our adoption of a new puppy), i’m back to work this week at a brand new job, which also means back to bento.

adjusting to my new work schedule has left me completely exhausted, so just a short post tonight to get me back in the swing of things.  for tomorrow’s lunch, i have two wasabi-salmon onigiri topped with cheese bunnies and trimmed in nori.  i thought i was being clever, and modeled the facial features after what i remembered marshmallow peep bunnies as looking like, but it turns out i forgot their noses — oh well, next time!  (this cutter really is perfect for peep bunnies, so i’m sure you’ll see it again come easter.)  also in this box are champagne grapes, a cute tiny lady apple, some bamboo-shaped baran and carrots cut into a similar shape, steamed broccolini and corn, and two colorful tomatoes with carrot picks.  the bunny and flower-shaped cutters, as well as the carrot picks, were gifts from a sweet bento pal — thanks dear!

i haven’t been as active in the comments sections of all my favorite bento blogs, but i have been quietly enjoying all the fabulous “back to school” bentos — as usual, you bento ladies are full of great decoration tips and healthy, delicious meal ideas for your lucky kids.  thanks for inspiring me, as always; i hope i can “get my act together” and make my “back to work” bentos as fun and appetizing!





fruit and onigiri snack bento

29 06 2010

just a quick one today, as i’m running around preparing for a dinner party tonight (and will be munching while i cook!)…

three small onigiri made with my favorite chunky ume/sesame seed furikake, and wrapped with ooba leaves; three vegetarian chicken tenders and a piece of okra wrapped in vegetarian ham (you’ll be seeing a lot of that until i run out of my okra!), a bit of steamed broccoli with a clown pick, red grapes, and some perfectly plump blueberries…

the blueberries are from a GINORMOUS bucket of blueberries that we got (along with a small carton of precious golden raspberries) as this week’s share of the CSA we joined when we moved to williamsburg.  tonight i’m making blueberry crisp, but i’m in the market for other blueberry recipes (especially bento-friendly ones), so holler if you’ve got ideas!

[as seen on fada moranga]





yum-yum bento box: walruses bento

4 06 2010

today’s lunch is based on the “walruses” bento featured on p. 52 of the book “yum-yum bento box: fresh recipes for adorable lunches.”

again, i tried to faithfully copy the character idea, while substituting ingredients as necessary.  so for instance, in the book, the walruses are brown rice.  my boyfriend isn’t a huge brown rice fan, so i mix our brown rice with white rice… the resulting onigiri is a lighter color, but i think it’s still ok for a walrus!  as another example, i didn’t have the mushroom caps or lentis recommended for the walruses’ noses, so i used edamame beans.  green noses are cute too!  finally, i don’t have a nori punch that makes small enough dots for the walruses’ whisker holes, so i just used sesame seeds, pushed into the rice with the pointy sides down.  the nori eyes, cheese “tusks,” and ketchup cheeks are all just like in the book.

the point is to make do with what you have!  if you use the basic character ideas from the book and put your own spin on them, you are sure to come up with something cute.

the rest of my box contains broccoli with corn kernels (like on p. 32), half a steamed brussels sprout, two cherries and a strawberry, two pieces of vegetarian chicken, some takuwan-and-carrot rosettes, a salami rosette, and pea pods to fill empty spaces.  my brown-and-white rice onigiri are stuffed with umeboshi.  yum!

i hope you have all enjoyed my take this week on various yum-yum bento boxes, and that you’re eager to try your own interpretations of the wonderful characters and recipes from this book… have a wonderful weekend!





yum-yum bento box: little red riding hood bento

2 06 2010

today’s lunch is based on the “little red riding hood” bento featured on p. 70 of the book “yum-yum bento box: fresh recipes for adorable lunches.”

again, i tried to follow the design of the character pretty exactly, but swapped out some of the food items based on my preferences and of course on what i had in my fridge/pantry.

little red riding’s hood and cheeks are made from salami; her hair, eyes, and mouth are made of nori; and just like in the book, her nose is cut from white cheese.  i’ve kept the strawberry section pictured in the book, but didn’t have mint leaves on hand, so i added green grapes for a bit of extra green freshness (and to fill up space).  i copied the ume-vinegar-powder/basket weave onigiri pictured in the book as well, but replaced the japanese veggie salad and tempura with some vegetarian meatballs and a grape tomato.  i replaced the quail egg from the book with a takuwan rosette, and added a few pea pods to fill the final gaps around little red riding hood.

see how easy it is to use the book’s ideas as a spring-board, while substituting your favorite foods?

here’s a closeup of the flower on the hood — i used cheese and salami but swapped out the chervil for cilantro.  that’s an uncooked somen noodle “pinning” the flower down to the hood.








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