totoro onigiri bento

13 04 2011

have you seen anna the red’s cool tutorial on inarizushi totoro-making?  she’s full of awesome ideas, and this one might take the cake.  i have never done a totoro before, and even though i didn’t have inari on hand, i was inspired to try my hand at our favorite neighbor.

my totoro is simplified — no arms, lower body, or whiskers.  but hopefully i’ve captured his essence, including his cheshire-like grin and slightly bugged-out eyes.  i mixed rice with ground black sesame to make the grey color of his coat, and added punched nori Vs from my emoticon puncher for his stomach markings.  the white part of his body is stuffed with a vegetarian meatball, left over from yesterday’s lunch.

the rest of tomorrow’s bento has steamed broccoli with fish sausage stars, tamagoyaki rolled with nori and topped with carrot stars, steamed brussels sprout halves, a few pieces of golden-fried tofu, and a nice vine tomato.  a tangerine for dessert, and i’m all set!





cucumber maki bento

29 03 2011

tomorrow’s lunch was simple and easy to speed pack — which was perfect, since i went to happy hour with a friend and came home ready for bed!

i have one fairly thick cucumber maki here, rolled with rice that i mixed with shiso powder. in the bamboo box i also have two fat slices of a tamagoyaki that i pre-made the other night. a few citrus segments in the side box and i’m all set for a light and refreshing mid-week lunch. they can’t all be kyaraben!

i may steal mils’ idea for miso-soup-on-the-go to add to this, too… wouldn’t a nice mug of hot miso be great with these chilled maki pieces?





scottie dogs bento

28 03 2011

tomorrow’s lunch has two “club-style” (triple decker) sandwiches made from health nut bread, garlic-herb cream cheese, vegetarian ham, and cucumber.  each sandwich is topped with a sort of scottie dog postage stamp.

in between the sandwiches is a steamed broccoli floret, a tamagoyaki slice, a purple potato dog bone, some pea pods, and one of the last of my israeli vine tomatoes with a yellow flower food pick.

if you haven’t done so yet, please check out the bento4japan charity auctions going on right now… i learned the hard way that i can’t bid on the cute shinzi katoh box that kir devries graciously donated and for which i’m hosting the auction (grrr)… but you can!  plus, there’s plenty of other great stuff for me to bid on!





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!





falling ginkgo bento

6 10 2010

i recently ordered a ginkgo leaf cutter, after more than a year of admiring its use by fellow bento-makers such as debra of hapa bento and sheri of happy little bento. the funny thing is, as soon as i got it, i realized that you can accomplish the same shape with a plain old round-fluted cutter and an x-acto knife (just cut a fluted round, and then trim away the profile of the stem — that’s how i made the smaller ginkgo leaves here).

anyway, i didn’t want to miss the opportunity to participate in the last week of hapa bento’s “fall theme” BOMB challenge, and i was inspired by sheri’s recent use of orange against black rice.  so i decided to use up my leftover forbidden rice with some simple falling leaves.

there are a number of gingko trees in my neighborhood, and these leaves remind me of my morning walks with ruby, who loves to chase, lick, or chew any leaf in her path!

my gingko leaves are cut from purple potato, sweet potato, and golden beet — all veggies that really feel autumnal to me — and the back portion of this bento has two vegetarian chicken nuggets, a zebra tomato and a red pear tomato, two pea pods, two carrot tamagoyaki slices, and a steamed broccoli floret.

this is the two-tier kyo bento from bento & co; in the other portion i have some leftover chili, which i’ll mix with rice when it’s time to eat lunch tomorrow.

happy fall!





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]





fried chicken sushi bento

10 06 2010

“fried chicken sushi”… that sounds weird, right?  well, i had leftover chicken, and i thought it might be nice to have a sushi roll in my bento, since that’s pretty rare for me (due to the fact that i don’t trust raw fish to keep fresh in the box at variable temperatures).  this maki includes vinegared rice, butter lettuce, thin slices of red onion, thin strips of jalapeno, and lime zest grated over the chicken just before rolling.  i think the combination is fantastic — try it and let me know if you agree!

the rest of my box contains quick-pickled cucumber slices (in a squished paper food cup), a puffy tomato “heart,” two tamogyaki slices, two steamed brussels sprout halves and a steamed broccoli floret, three carved carrot flowers, and a few pea pods.  i propped a juicy-ripe strawberry up in the background before popping it in my mouth!