yum-yum bento box: retro girl bento

3 06 2010

today’s lunch is a re-mix of the adorable “retro girls” bento featured on p. 42 of “yum-yum bento box:  fresh recipes for adorable lunches.”

i actually wanted to use up some scraps from cutting veggies over the past few days, so i opted for an omelet-style bento, as seen in “early-bird omelet” (p. 106) and “sunny-side up” (p. 128).   my omelet is filled with fried rice, which used up all my pea pod, sweet potato, broccoli stem, hot dog and salami bits — i added gochujang and red onion for more flavor.  if you need a basic recipe for fried rice, try this one from one of my previous posts (i added meat this time, but the basic recipe there is vegetarian).

because of the size of my box/omelet, only one retro girl would fit — but she’s super cute!  just like in the book, i used nori eyes with sesame eyelashes, a nori mouth, and a carrot nose, but i replaced the ham cheeks with ones cut from fish sausage.  i also added some cheese-flower and herbal sprig accents, like the decoration for “early-bird omelet” in the book.  totally mixing and matching — dig it?

food-wise, i totally did my own thing, with a veggie meatball (music note pick to keep up the “retro” theme; after all, the book tells me that “cute retro girls love their . . . jukebox music”!), three flower-cut carrots, steamed brussels sprouts and broccoli, a few beet slices, half a strawberry and a cherry, and some pea pods to fill empty spaces.





shikai maki bento

23 05 2010

thank you all for sharing so many wonderful links in your contest entries!  i had a wonderful time this weekend browsing through them — some took me to blogs i already know and love, and some took me to totally new sites i had never even heard of.

tomorrow’s bento has a few sources of inspiration:  one is the luxirare shikai maki bento that brenda posted in the comments, and another is the beautiful work of my good bento pal jenn (bentobird).  i tried to echo the natural elegance that her boxes epitomize, and it seemed fitting to incorporate her style into this meal, since her boxes often include sushi.  for the sushi component, i tried my hand at this interesting square-format sushi (using a handy how-to video on youtube!).  my roll contains shiso rice, kiwi strips, cucumber, and fried tofu… i need some more practice (the kiwi layer, in particular, didn’t hold its structure because the kiwi was so slippery), but i have the general idea and am sure i can improve!

another source of inspiration this week was a long-postponed first trip to minamoto kitchoan, the fine purveyor of gorgeous wagashi (japanese sweets) located on manhattan’s chi-chi 5th avenue.  here is a photo from their display case (these are plastic, but do look just like some of the items they are selling):

alongside tomorrow’s box i have a shobumochi packaged to look like a beautiful iris.  this will cap off my dessert fruit section (kiwi slices, pomegranate seeds, two juicy blackberries and one ripe cherry), which will in turn balance my veggie section (peppery arugula, a tiny sweet red pepper, two asparagus tips, two carved takuwan flowers, and a quail egg). to fill up the empty space in the box, i placed a bottle of soy dressing and a pair of disposable chopsticks (both decorated with washi tape in complementary colors).  the box is packed in a pretty red-patterned furoshiki that i received from another sweet bento friend.

— ♥ —

getting back to the contest… i edited the entry comments in order to number them, and then used the random.org website to generate a random integer from 1 to 95:

the winning entry, number 79, is abby of totoro bento!  congratulations!  please get in touch with your mailing information and i’ll mail your prize package right away.





portobello slider bento

15 12 2009


yummy leftovers from dinner tonight with the boyfriend at counter, a vegetarian restaurant in our neighborhood.

top portion: portobello slider with rosemary mayo on a tiny cute poppy seed bun. purple carrot skewers, cherry tomatoes, and olive skewers, and two carrot-cheese flowers. bottom portion: leftover confit fingerling potatoes, red quinoa-and-fennel salad, roasted eggplant with pom seeds and cumin, and red saurkraut. topped with a few carrot music notes and cheese stars.

doily, kids’ chopsticks, and the last gummy cherry candy.





“brothers and sister” bento

1 12 2009

the top tier of this bento got a little cluttered, as i didn’t sketch in advance.  all i knew was that i wanted to use this new onigiri mold from daiso (makes three mini face-shaped onigiri), and then i kept adding more and more random stuff from the fridge and all of a sudden it was crazy.  oh well, at least i wasn’t drunk this time, haha!

top tier has two brothers and a sister (plain brown rice, too small for filling, nori hair and sesame eyes, cheese bow on the sister’s hair) sitting on top of some spicy korean tofu that’s completely hidden, and, clockwise from top left:  yellow cauliflower with cheese and veggie pepperoni flower, carrot sticks and baby orange tomato, red tomato half, tamagoyaki slices, and two edamame skewers on top of fried veggie dumplings (ajinomoto brand), and more carrot sticks (plus one more red baby tomato half to prop up brother #2’s chin!).

simple dessert tier has:  pomegranate seeds in a heart food cup from daiso, chocolate-covered almonds in a square food cup from daiso, asian pear fan, starfruit slices, kumquat slices and a cherry.

i’m really enjoying all of my new picks and cups from my trip to the west coast — this bento is a daiso bonanza!