spring butterfly bento

14 03 2010

tonight’s bento features a handmade cheese, soy paper, and nori butterfly.  the unexpected package i received on thursday also contained a package of these cool colorful soy papers, and over the weekend i had the brainstorm to apply cut-out pieces to white cheese to resemble the colored markings on a butterfly’s wings.  you like?  the white cheese was cut with a toothpick from a template i cut out of paper, and then layered on top of vegetarian ham that i cut with an x-acto knife.

i also used the yummy red shiso meshi i received in the same package to make some lovely purple rice for the butterfly to alight on.  the purple rice is layered over stewed tofu for some extra protein.

the “garden patch” in this box is separated from the rice by two sesame leaves (natural baran for hapa bento’s BOMB theme).  the butterfly is headed for those sweet potato flowers, which are growing out of the broccoli; there are also grape tomatoes, pea pods, blackberries on one of the “hairpin” skewers maki posted on flickr recently, a star-cut radish, and some takuwan strips in a paper food cup, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

did everyone remember to move their clocks forward an hour?  what a bummer to lose an hour of sleep, but at least it’s an official sign that spring is here!

here’s a close-up of my butterfly:

[as seen on craft gossip, stdandme, all about the cute, and thebaffled]

UPDATE:  this bento won the spring bento contest hosted by bento & co. / just bento / french bento!  congratulations to the other members of the top 15 and to all who participated, and many thanks to everyone who voted for me — i truly appreciate your support!  the best prize, though, was the opportunity to see the inspirational ideas in all the other contestants’ fabulous entries, and making some new international bento pals whose work i didn’t know about before.  what a great experience!





garlic birds bento

31 01 2010

my bento for tomorrow’s lunch was a quick and easy combination of leftovers from tonight’s nice dinner.  for an entree, we had whole wheat pasta with vegetarian meatballs and tomato-garlic-mushroom sauce, and on the side, we had toaster-roasted butternut squash.

sometimes brownish-red chunky entrees don’t photograph well, so i tossed the leftover pasta in the back of the box and topped it with some grated parmesan and parsley, as well as a few halved baby tomatoes and two yellow music note food picks.  in the front of the box, i fanned a few pieces of the butternut squash, added three crinkle-cut cucumber slices, a food cup with blueberries and kiwi flowers, and a few pea pods to fill in empty spaces.

for a fun accent, i made a family of garlic bread birds.  the birds are cut with cookie cutters from a pita flat that i brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with garlic powder, and then toasted; after the cut shapes had cooled, i added cheese wings.  have you noticed that i’m practically obsessed with birds lately (see exhibits A, B and C)?  not sure why that is… but birds sure are cute in bento!

all in all, this bento only took about 15 minutes to put together — no fancy cutting, no application of nori with tweezers, just a simple and easy work-night option.

by the way, the boxed beverage in the background of this picture is banana ooyoo (바나나맛우유) — banana milk.  it tastes like what’s left in the bottom of your bowl after you finish a heaping portion of sugary cereal with banana slices on top; in other words, it’s awesome.  you can become a facebook fan of banana ooyoo here (the fan page informs me that “girls generation are banana milk drinkers”!), and the company’s crazy webpage with tons of widgets is here.

my contest post is all queued and set to publish at 8:30am EST tomorrow… so check back then if you’re interested in participating!