three lil’ bears bento

21 03 2011

i’m baaaaack!  no promises for daily posting, but i feel refreshed and ready to get back on the proverbial bento horse.

tomorrow’s lunch was relatively quick and easy — leftover fried rice from m noodle shop, three mozzarella ball bears with almond ears, cheese muzzles, nori noses and eyes, and ketchup cheeks, some steamed broccolini, a steamed carrot flower, a pretty mini-pepper and another israeli vine tomato.

this sturdy and slender box was a holiday gift from my parents, and is still available on bento & co.  if you’re in the mood for bento shopping, though, why not head over to ebay and run a search for “bento4japan?  the same box (in turquoise) is among the many lovely items being auctioned to raise funds to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami… if you want to help the cause, bid early and bid often!

[as seen on epicute]





bento4japan

19 03 2011

i’m a bit late to the party on this, but some of the wonderful people in the bento community have started a project called bento4japan, whereby donations are being collected for the japan earthquake and tsunami relief fund through ebay auctions of bento gear and accessories.

many thanks to the people behind this project — such a wonderful way to pull together and contribute to helping our friends on the other side of the world to rebuild after a terrible tragedy.

i have two “starter kit” auctions up on ebay (my seller ID is “gamene”), but please check out all of the goodies up for grabs by clicking over to ebay and searching “bento4japan”…  your generosity would be so appreciated, and you will get some fun bento stuff out of the deal!





5 minute bento

8 03 2011

hi bento pals!  i know, it’s been forever since i last posted.  i won’t bore you with my excuses and the changes to my schedule that have resulted in mornings where i often throw some pitiful leftovers in a tomato-stained plastic container (the kind you get free with takeaway food) and call it “lunch” — suffice it to say i am still adjusting to the new job/commute/office situation and am looking for ways to get bento back in my life.

one way i may be able to do that is with speed-packed bentos.  i’ve gone back to the basics here, relying on some of the original tips i learned from biggie’s lunch in a box site way back when i first started bentoing.

the main portion of today’s lunch is just brown rice, a small piece of leftover salmon (i actually cut this lunch-sized portion off of the filet before i cooked the fish to prevent the jagged edge and flakiness that often happens when you cut a cooked filet — i cooked it all at the same time, and immediately refrigerated the lunch portion), and an umeboshi.  the other section has a baby pepper stuffed with egg salad, an israeli vine tomato, and a container of chimichurri sauce (what i originally served over the salmon), all sitting on a bed of arugula.

nothing cutesy here (save for the quick addition of a pick and a baran — but i mean no punching or decorating with tweezers, no faces, etc.), but i am looking forward to a yummy and semi-traditional lunch.  this is also the first time i’m using this beautiful magewappa box that a friend recently brought back for me from a business trip to japan.  it’s fairly similar to this model from bento & co., and it’s divine — thanks, yasu!





japchae frogs bento

17 11 2010

sorry for the sporradic posting, there have been a lot of random salad-in-tupperware, sandwich-in-ziploc-bag, and overpriced-to-go-from-the-concourse lunches lately.  nothing wrong with the first two though they’re not particularly photogenic; the latter is one of the main reasons i started making bento in the first place ($12 for a vegetarian sandwich and soup is just outrageous!).  so i’m really trying to get back into the swing of things, and tomorrow’s lunch is a start.

i had leftover japchae from sunday dinner that needs to be used up before it turns, so i decided to use that as a bed for two kiwi “lily pads” and quail egg frogs, inspired by these cute guys i saw a while back on luckysundae’s blog.  i used peas and sesame seeds for eyes, whereas hers appear to be cheese, but i hope they’re similarly cute.

in the back section, i have some lovely winter plum slices, a vine-ripe mini-tomato, one takuwan gingko leaf, a steamed broccoli floret, some pumpkin sections (i had roasted a whole bunch and then threw some in the freezer, so i all i needed to do with these was defrost), and a frozen product from the korean grocer that i’m trying for the first time — it’s called 김 마리, and it’s some sort of glass noodles mixed with veggies, wrapped with nori, and then deep fried (i am a strong subscriber to the philosophy that a little deep fried once in a while is good for the soul!).

this will probably be one of the last times i get to use this nifty metal box — i’ve used it so much that it’s been banged against hard things in my bag, and the lid has become a bit dented, meaning that it doesn’t seal as tightly anymore.  that makes me nervous when it comes to saucy (or in this case, sesame oil-y) foods, and so with my next paycheck i’m hoping to spring for one of the beautifully-made aizawa stainless boxes at bento & co., like this zen 01.





bibimbap onigiri bento

8 11 2010

tomorrow’s lunch is leftovers from tonight’s dinner, slightly rearranged:  instead of just packing the leftover black-and-brown rice into the tiffin (or a section thereof), i shaped it into two triangular onigiri, which i then partly coated in sesame seeds, and partly wrapped in sesame leaves.

i put a little bit of each of the namul (radish, carrot, mushrooms and pickled cucumber, plus some sprouts, ferns and sesame spinach buried underneath), and then fried up a few little quail eggs instead of one the big hen’s egg we used for each bowl at dinner.  finally, i packed some gochujang in a tiny mayo container, and added a vine-ripe tomato for color.

rearranging normal, eat-at-home dinners (whether using mini-versions of ingredients, or mini-portions) is one of my favorite bento past-times!





farm sandwich bento

4 11 2010

did i mention how excited i am to eat bread again?!

this past weekend during our hudson valley jaunt, we visited the farm center at blue hill at stone barns, where we checked out turkeys, hens, pigs and sheep, and ate delicious open-face sandwiches at the cafe.  the crisp autumnal setting and seasonal farm-to-table fare at the cafe inspired this farm-style lunch.

my sandwiches are made on some hearty whole-grain/pecan bread, with farm-grown tomatoes (which we picked up at stuart’s fruit farm), frilly lettuce, and thick slices of creamy brie.

alongside this rustic sandwich i have a petal-cut deviled egg half, and a cute baby apple with a lemon slice.

happy weekend everybody!





little post, big news

1 11 2010

hey everybody!  my apologies for going off the grid during the past couple of weeks… i was on a crazy wedding diet, and i couldn’t eat delicious bento, so looking at all of your mouth-watering creations became torture for me, and i had to just bow out of the bentosphere for a little while.

i’m back, and i’m a mrs.! woo hoo!  my stomach is still regaining its full capacity after the home stretch of basically starving myself to try to fit into my wedding dress, so i’m still packing fairly small lunches this week.  but it’s so nice to have carbs again!  rice, pizza, noodles, potatoes, yum!

tomorrow’s lunch has two brown rice onigiri mixed with vegetable furikake and topped with takuwan maple leaves, as well as a vine tomato and some mixed fall veggies (eggplant, pumpkin, and mushrooms).  we saw so much beautiful fall foliage on our mini-honeymoon this past weekend, so the maple leaves were inspired by those views.   i hope to be able to post some city hall wedding and hudson valley honeymoon pictures soon!

p.s. HOLY SH!T GO GIANTS!!!!