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!





year of the tiger bento

11 02 2010

i have seen so many wonderful tiger bentos in the past two months — some of my favorites are at mothering corner, hawai`i’s bento box cookbook, just bento, bonito’s cooking wonderland, and happy little bento — but i have been biding my time, brainstorming my own perfect tiger bento for the lunar new year. 

well, best-laid plans aside, this week was pretty busy (what with unpacking from iceland, catching up on work i missed, and various social engagements), and while i did manage to dye my orange rice in advance, the bento didn’t turn out exactly how i sketched it — i think it looks a little disorganized and haphazard (though it is nicely colorful!)  oh well, hopefully i’ll have more time for a better CNY bento in 2011, year of the rabbit!

my tiger cub onigiri is made from rice (2 drops of red food coloring and 2 of yellow – it came out REALLY bright, maybe just one drop of each next time?) with nori stripes and facial features, and kumquat ears.  he’s stuffed with wasabi salmon (tigers eat fish, right?).  the “2010” is made from blue egg sheet layered over cheese and then cut with my x-acto blade.

the rest of the box contains broccoli (underneath the “2010”), purple potato slices (steamed and salted, as the purple potatoes i can get in NYC aren’t sweet-tasting), a veggie croquette fried lightly and cut in half, grape tomatoes, strawberry halves, a clementine in a blue silicone mini-food cup, snow peas, yellow carrot sticks, and a lettuce border.

and i saved my cute japanese tiger candy for this bento, as promised!

wishing all my bento friends a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

[as seen on bentoboxlove]





tamagoyaki chicks bento

21 01 2010

tomorrow’s lunch has a musubi (yes, another musubi!), this time with brown rice and wasabi-mayo salmon filling.  the box is lined in cabbage, and in the bottom right-hand corner is a piece of the garlic-pepper salmon we had for dinner tonight (pan seared and then finished in the oven).  the “space fillers” in this bento are snow peas, grape tomatoes, a few cherries and raspberries, baby carrots, and a piece of steamed broccoli.

you may have noticed my musubi is decorated with another of my new pre-cut nori shapes — i love these!  i added a few hearts made with a different punch, just to fill up the rest of the musubi’s surface.

for a cute touch, i added two chicks made of tamogayki slices.  these are super easy to do — just use the non-cut side of the tamagoyaki slices (so that the swirl made by the filling doesn’t distract from the chicks’ faces), stick a pick in the top of their head to approximate the cocks’-combs, and add features of your choice (i did nori eyes and carrot beaks made from two different sized triangles each).

i definitely didn’t make this idea up, but i can’t remember where i saw it.  so, hey bentoists out there — if you’re reading this and want to be credited for this idea, please let me know!  i’m happy to update this post to link to your fantastic work!  UPDATE:  i found it!  i have been a fan of lucky sundae’s blog for a while, and i saw this entry months ago.  but then today i noticed it’s also on the cover her upcoming yum yum bento box book with pikko, and seeing the cover triggered my memory.  so thanks for the inspiration, lucky sundae!

here’s a close-up of the chicks’ faces:

the beak on the left one is a little bit jacked up, but maybe he’s just mid-tweet… yeah, that’s the ticket.

anyway, most of the CSS-related funny business i alluded to yesterday has been resolved, thanks to my awesome, life-saving, technology guru friend.  thanks vivi!

you may have already noticed my sweet new foodbuzz and j-list banners, and now i’ve also put together an amazon store filled with bento goodies hand-picked by me (some based on having used and loved, others based on still wanting — hint hint, boyfriend, if you are reading)… anyway, if you’re in the mood to feed your bento addiction, check out some of my selections!





cat and birdies bento

12 01 2010

first of all, a big WELCOME to any new readers who clicked over from bento central — thanks for stopping by, and i hope you like what you see… as my dad would say, take off your coat and stay a while!

tonight i made garlic-ginger salmon filets and sesame-sauteed broccoli for dinner. i flaked the leftover salmon, mixed it with wasabi and mayo, and made a MONSTER-sized onigiri (i swear it’s mostly salmon, not that much rice!)…

the kitty onigiri’s ears and nose are made of fish sausage, and her eyes and mouth are made of nori. because i had some quail eggs, i wanted to do a whole cat-and-bird theme. i dyed the eggs in a little bit of turmeric, cut beaks from carrots, and stuck on some nori eyes. the birdies are sitting in an orange silicone food cup on top of some leftover orange bits from the “twist cut” carrots towards the lower left corner. i also had a birdie baran, so i stuck that in.

filling up the rest of the box are some cherry tomatoes and enoki mushrooms, some slices of peach, three ripe raspberries, a sesame mochi, and a piece of broccoli that didn’t make it into the sautee pan for dinner.  two fish sausage flowers and a cheddar flower accent the broccoli.  if i had to make up a story about this bento, it would be about a kitty taking a nap in a garden, dreaming about the birdies she wants to catch.

here’s a shot of the sleepy kitty from a different angle:

happy hump day (wednesday) — hope your week is going well!

[as seen on dannykitty]





onigiri bear bento

3 11 2009

bento 32

top tier:  pomegranate seeds, foil-covered chocolate leaf, pear fan, plum fan, takuwan cloud, purple potato and sweet potato leaves, blueberries in silicone cup, and grape halves.

bottom tier:  onigiri (salmon and wasabi mayo filling) with sweet potato muzzle/ears and nori eyes/nose/mouth, tamagoyaki slice with tiny green tomato, takuwan flower with red tomatoes on a bed of enoki mushrooms, spicy korean tofu with scallion garnish.

[as seen on “cute food – the adorable, edible art of kawaii cooking”]





spooky cat onigiri bento

30 10 2009

bento 28last halloween bento, as we are away this weekend for a friend’s wedding…

another salmon-and-wasabi mayo onigiri, this time in the shape of a spooky cat, with purple-food coloring-dyed egg sheet, cheese head, takuwan-sesame eyes, and nori nose/mouth.

from top left: carved jack-o-lantern mini pepper, simmered kabocha squash with edamame on a pumpkin food pick, two fish pajun (korean pancakes), carrot-sesame flowers, “BOO” quail eggs (nori letters), snow peas, and purple broccoli in a silicone food cup.

[as seen on just bento]





jack-o-lantern onigiri bento

29 10 2009

bento 27

onigiri stuffed with salmon and wasabi mayo, topped with an orange-food-coloring-dyed egg sheet and nori cut-outs.  surrounded by yellow wax beans and yellow tomato, enoki mushrooms, radish “mushroom,” veggie croquettes with carrot-takuwan-sesame flower accents, purple broccoli and purple cauliflower, edamame in a food cup with takuwan and red grape tomato on a spider food pick, and snow peas in the bottom right.

clickety click chopsticks and a strawberry-choco lolly for good measure.