Thursday, December 31, 2009

Furikake Mahi Mahi Bento

Furikake Mahi Mahi Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
Furikake mahi mahi, brown rice, kimchi, cherry tomato. Pineapple and sliced grape. All my Hawaii bento are non-cooked by me! (so far)
We're still in Hawaii on vacation, and that is my excuse for another ready-made bento. I love furikake mahi mahi. You have to use lots of mayonnaise to get the furikake to stick while you cook the fish, and so it's not super healthy. Plus, I can't ever get it to cook without burning. But it's very yummy! I got this one from Loco Moco. Have you been eating healthy over the holidays? I am definitely eating more than usual, and more sweets than usual too. I know the new year has nearly started (a few more hours here), but I will go back to cooking healthy bento as soon as we get back! Til then, maybe this one and another local grinds bento to fill in the blog?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kimbap Bento

Kimbap Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
We are spending the holidays in Hawaii with family this year. I was born in Hawaii and lived here until I went to California for college. Lots of my family are still here, so there's plenty of reason to visit as often as we can. Here is my first bento in Hawaii, using local eats that were already hanging around the house: kimbap, long rice, smoked tako, Kahuku cherry tomatoes, pickled daikon-carrots-bittermelon-cabbage-cauliflower-red onion.
Packed in my lovely Japanese field-worker's bento, happily the perfect size for a hot weather appetite.
It's so good to come back home to the familiar local flavors again! It might look like a mishmash of stuff, but to me it's just a mix plate bento :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Lights and Rudolph Bento

Here is MisterMan's last school bento of the year! So I decided to throw in the rest of the holiday cheer.

I made 5 spice chicken, baked a la hapabento's recipe. Of course, I changed it a little, but still it came out okay! It's pretty tasty, and the kids seemed to like it. I used skinless thighs, since that's all I had, and browned and baked it after marinating in shoyu and 5 spice. Quick and easy! Giant lights, actually made of mini sweet peppers and a cucumber, lay atop a bed of furikake rice. Tofu cube Rudolph with cucumber, red pepper and nori detail. There's a rogue broccoli, and fruits include overripe plum and raspberries.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Tree Bento

Christmas Tree Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
Sticky rice, the sequel. When you make a big batch, it lasts a couple days! I formed a bowl of rice, putting the "fillings" underneath so I would have a plain rice top to decorate. I made a steamed broccoli Christmas tree, decorated with tiny carrot disc cutout ornaments. They aren't stuck on, so they'll probably scatter all over by lunchtime :) Tofu circles and halved tomatoes surround. Fruit bowl has kiwi and raspberry "holly" atop satsuma mandarins.

Merry Christmas, it's coming!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sticky Rice & Wreath Bento

Sticky Rice & Wreath Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
Made yummy sticky rice! Love to use sticky rice for bento. All the goodies are already in there, and the kids really like it. I added a small salad with marinated artichoke heart, carrot sticks, peapod vase with flower, and cherry tomato "wreath"! It's just a circle of tomatoes, but I'm calling it a wreath, and it's my festive Christmas detail in this bento :)
Plum and yellow carrot flowers for dessert.

Do you have any favorite "one-dish" meals you like to prepare because it's a fast and easy way to get the protein and veggies on the table all together? As you may have seen, I do... and I am always on the lookout for more!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Teriyaki Salmon & Asparagus Bento

Wild salmon teriyaki with roasted asparagus thrown in there too. Baked purple potato "chips", cherry tomatoes and cucumber. Fruit side has satsuma mandarin, kiwi and raspberries. Yellow carrot added a bright punch with flower and star cutouts. The stars are cut out by hand, very simply with a knife tip. I am really liking the bright intensity of the yellow carrots -- I think I'll be using it quite a bit during these dark days of winter.
No holiday details here (too tired to think of any)! Maybe tomorrow...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Snowfuman Bento!

Snowfuman Bento!, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
Get it? Tofu-Snowman? Snow-tofuman? Hm. Okay, nevermind.
One more snowman bento -- I forgot to add him into the last post, but it's okay.. I think he may be my favorite. Doesn't he look happy? Maybe because he's making his final appearance in a long week full of snowman bento? Or because I finally managed one that looks kind of cute rather than "interesting"? Trouble is, since I have been in snowman mode so long I may have a hard time remembering other Christmas theme possibilities for this week's bento... Well. Anyway.

For this one I made ma po tofu using ground chicken, fermented mustard greens, green onions, black bean sauce and a little guilin chili garlic sauce ('cuz I love it, but the kids can't handle too much). Also, I roasted some asparagus in olive oil and garlic powder. I made the tofu snowman face with nori and carrot facial detail and purple potato hat with yellow carrot buckle on a bed of white/brown/black (Forbidden) rice mix. Raw carrot stars. Fruit section has kiwi flowers with blueberry centers, satsuma mandarins, strawberry and raspberries.

Is it cold where you are too? Snowman is happy about it, but I'm not! I am counting the days until we are on vacation.. to a sunny and warm spot on the globe where we can thaw out ^_^

Friday, December 11, 2009

Snowman Bento 'R Us!

Snowman Egg Toddler Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
I have finished up a week of Snowmen bento, as a kind of fun challenge for myself! I did a similar thing during Halloween, with jack o'lanterns. I think the results here were mixed, with some snowmen turning out cute and others, more - well - interesting. I'll post the series here, and you can decide for yourself! Which one do you like the best?

In this first one, I made TinySprite a snack bento featuring a snowman egg wearing a purple carrot scarf, and with nori facial details and a mini carrot stick nose!
Along with him, she gets a fruit selection of satsuma mandarin, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. Also, some edamame skewers.

This guy is made of roasted baby potatoes, and goes with lemon garlic salmon and brussels sprouts, along with purple potato "chips" and starred fruits :)

This happy snowman is made of spinach ravioli with purple potato and purple carrot detail. There are those purple potato chips again!

Okay, the cauliflower snowman isn't quite as cute, but perhaps I can get some props for being adventurous? The fried egg sandwich and 4-bean salad was a hit, though!

The minestrone seemed to call out for a little riceball snowman.

I tried for a nashi (Japan pear) snowman this time, surrounded by fruit! He went with chicken and pickle wraps.
Are all these snowmen starting to make you feel like singing? Go ahead! I know you are, hapa bento ;)Happy winter!
("Frosty the snowman...")

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mochiko Chicken Bento

Mochiko Chicken Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
Mochiko chicken using hapabento's recipe. Well, based on it...I deviated a bit, but I think it came out okay! The kids loved it, and since it was baked instead of deep-fried, it really wasn't that greasy. Thanks hapabento!

I used chicken thighs, and cut into smallish pieces, easy for kids to eat.
For the sauce, I mixed all together: equal amounts (4T each for my small batch) shoyu, flour, cornstarch, mochiko flour, sugar. Plus I added an egg, salt, minced garlic and finely chopped green onion (white part). Then I added to the chicken pieces and marinated for a few hours. As for the baking, I didn't get the pan super-hot like hapabento advised -- my olive oil was burning, and I should have used a different oil, with a higher boiling point, like peanut oil. So as a result it didn't "sizzle", and I was disappointed. It just quietly baked. Next time I will be sure to get the sizzle.

My boy also gets a rice "cupcake" with lavender purple potato "snowflakes" on top. The rice is actually just a thin layer of white on top -- underneath it's mixed with nori furikake. I also made more roasted brussels sprouts, and there's a "snowflake" satsumaimo and a cherry tomato. I know. It's just a star with holes in it. But I'm calling it a snowflake. Fruit square has grapes, a black plum, strawberries and blackberries.

A tip for really yummy roasted brussels sprouts: make sure you cut a deep "x" on top, toss in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and make sure the vinegar gets into the heart of the sprout. Mix around a bit during roasting too, to make sure they are all well-coated. You will find that the brussels sprouts get nice and soft-crispy, with a yummy rich flavor. Even kids will love it! Try it, you'll see!

A kind of wintry-themed bento, with the snowflakes and all, esp. since the weather here has been very frosty! Though there are really few cute details in this bento, it was extremely tasty, which made up for it :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Floating Bento

The Floating Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
I have powers of levitation that I put to use in my magical bento today...what do you think? Actually, the light blue background I used just makes it appear as if there's no background at all! Also, it must have been a particularly bright day. Now that the days are getting shorter, I find my pictures might be getting darker with more shadows. Since I have no professional lighting equipment, this lack of natural light must be reflected in my photos, *sigh*. Do you use high-wattage lamps? Or like me, is the quality of your photo dependent upon the weather?

MisterMan has standard vermicelli noodles with grilled chicken, cherry tomato, cucumber baran, broccoli, purple potato wedges and bursting yellow carrots. Fruit side has satsuma mandarins, grapes (underneath), kiwi, blackberries and raspberries.

This bento is so simple, but it includes my boy's favorite kind of food: noodles, so I know it will be a hit. As for the rest of it, as usual I just throw in whatever I have in the vegetable crisper, making sure there is representation of most of the color groups. This is for nutritional balance as well as aesthetics. Starting after this bento, I am trying to put a festive touch into each one. There are only a few weeks left until Christmas, so we might as well make the most of it, right? Happy holidays, friends!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Chow Mein Bento

Chow Mein Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
Chow mein with various veggies, satsumaimo flowers, broccoli, peapods, roasted sweet peppers, garlic roasted purple potatoes. Fruit side has grapes, one whole satsuma mandarin, and purple carrot discs. I wanted some contrast to the orange, and wished I had blueberries. Oh well -- the purple carrots seemed to do a sufficient job.

This is a handy Monday bento, when after the weekend I am too tired to cook anything. A quick chow mein can be supplemented with onions and mushrooms, then roast a few other things on the side and add them too. Even decoration is minimal, with only simple florettes. Still, the effect may be pleasing, especially since the boy loves fried noodles (his favorite food, I think!)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Turkey Bento

Turkey Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
This was the requisite leftover turkey bento! Did your leftovers make it to a lunch or two? Along with a few slices, I packed gravy in a yellow container, a little square of cornbread, potato croquette (not homemade), purple and yellow carrot skewer, pear tomatoes, satsuma mandarin, grapes (underneath), blackberries, raspberry and chocolate persimmon.

Have you ever seen this kind of persimmon? I've only seen it recently for the first time. It looks the same as a regular persimmon on the outside, but the flesh looks darker. Seems to taste quite similar to me. You might like to try it if you happen to see it at your local farmers market.

I find most of the unusual produce I use in my bento at the handful of farmers markets I try to explore each week. The food there is fresher, more recently harvested, and more genuinely delicious. Also, if you're not sure how to prepare something, the vendors are happy to share their suggestions with you -- an added bonus :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Eggplant with Pork Bento

Eggplant with Pork Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
For this bento I made eggplant with pork, since I happened to find the cutest tiny eggplants at the farmers market on the weekend!

Besides that, MisterMan gets a veggie section with purple and gold cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, peapods, flower-shaped purple carrot & potato skewer, and romanesco (underneath). Fruit section has grapes, satsuma mandarins, strawberry, blackberries and raspberries.
Also, I put rice under the eggplant; it has a nice sauce so he is sure to like it together :)

To see the making of the eggplant recipe, see this post. It's a nice, tasty dish -- would you be surprised to learn that my kids wolfed it down?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Purple Potatoes

So many people have wondered about these purple potatoes, I thought I would post some pictures to show what they actually look like. These are not the Okinawan sweet potatoes, which also have purple flesh (though with white skin) -- those are completely different (as they are sweet potatoes). I have come across two different kinds of purple potatoes. The one on the left is a lighter color, although you can't really tell from this photo, and the one on the right is much darker, almost black.

These are the same potatoes. I cut them in half, raw, to show you what the uncooked flesh looks like. Pretty cool-looking! You can see that the "black" ones on the right have better, darker and more uniform color.

After cooking. I roasted these, for about 30 minutes with olive oil. The "black" ones have a nice dark rich purple color, which intensifies over time! If you keep the cooked potato in the fridge overnight, it will be even darker the next day. The other purple one has a lighter lavender color; also very pretty in its own way. Strangely, I haven't noticed that this color changes over time.

Here they are the following day after cooking and storing in the fridge overnight. The light ones actually got lighter, while the dark ones got darker!

So there you have it: my very unscientific comparison of the two purple potato types available in my neighborhood. In case you were interested. ^_^
Almost forgot to mention: they look super pretty in bento!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ninja In The Fruit Bento!

Ninja In The Fruit Bento!, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
This snack bento is for my 2 year old TinySprite ~ a nori-wrapped hard-boiled egg ninja standing guard with his various weaponry. Watching over the satsuma mandarin, sugar plum, black grapes, strawberry and raspberry. Sword, dagger and throwing star shaped cucumber.
Inspired by fellow flickr bentoist MAHOUTAKE's egg man, and a challenge! Come eat the fruit! Dare you!

Little snack bento for toddler usuallly consists of fruit and cheese -- her favorite foods -- but I usually try to add some protein and veggies as well. Eggs and peanut butter are good stand-bys. She loves hard-boiled egg, which she will eat yolk and all, but for some reason she is not a fan of scrambled eggs or omelet, unfortunately. If your child is picky about certain foods, perhaps the stubborn one may come around if you present the food in a different form. Beans and peas are another specialty food; she prefers them deshelled. Don't bother to deshell them first; little kids love to "play" with their food and may even end up eating more if you let them pop the peas out themselves. My girl may be picky, but I can be sneaky too :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Three Flowers Bento

Three Flowers Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
This round bento box always seems to call out for flowers, for some reason. It's also my favorite "box", because the food seems to look nice with minimal effort at arranging.

MisterMan has chicken lettuce wraps, red (Bhutanese) mixed rice with furikake, sweet potato maple leaves, purple and gold cauliflower, romanesco, yellow pear tomatoes. Fruit section has satsuma mandarins, strawberry, blackberry and raspberries. The lavender flowers are steamed purple potato with steamed purple carrot centers.

These purple potatoes seem to be different from the black-skinned purple potatoes I get from the farmers market in that the flesh is much lighter in color. Both types taste just the same as regular potatoes (to me), and perhaps next time I'll cook both together to compare. Maybe you have noticed that I like purple hues... if there is a purple food to be had, you can be sure I will be determined to obtain it :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Omelet Wrap Bento

Omelet Wrap Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
Mushroom onion spinach omelet in whole wheat tortilla wrap with spring greens and avocado. Other veggies include: cucumber, sweet potato, purple and gold cauliflower, tomatoes, peapods, romanesco and satsumaimo. Fruits include tiny strawberries, blackberry, satsuma mandarin, and black grapes.
I was so happy the wrap fit so perfectly in this box, yay! Too bad the skewers had to come out, but the lid pressed down on the wraps very securely so they wouldn't unwrap before lunchtime :)

I always forget how useful and versatile eggs are. Besides hard-boiling and shaping into cute molds, or spreading as egg salad, they can be cooked into a healthy and filling omelet by adding your choice of veggies and / or meat. Here, I should have added tomatoes or red peppers for a nice color. Adding a tortilla and turning it into a wrap makes the omelet neat and easy to eat for little ones. I personally really like the wrap idea, as it can be used with lots of different fillings; cream cheese, smoked salmon, leftover chicken or other meats, cold cuts, even PB&J or other traditional sandwich spreads. The only limit is your imagination!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Yakisoba Bento and Happy Mama Blogger Award

Yakisoba Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
I made yakisoba for this bento, with (store-bought) spinach noodles, baby bok choy, mushrooms, chicken, carrots, garlic and green onion. A huge batch, for dinners and lunches - yay! Cucumber baran, yellow carrot skewer, peach (!?), star radish, purple potato slices, strawberry, blackberries and raspberry. MisterMan will love this bento; he had thirds for dinner!

Yakisoba is a great go-to quick and easy meal (I have lots of these; have you noticed?) especially when you use readymade noodles. I use spinach noodles for the nice green color. You simply toss in whatever veggies you have available (sound familiar? It's the same with fried rice!). We're running low on the fresh fruit, but I can still find a nice strawberry here and there. Not sure where this peach came from, but it is definitely past peach season! I'm happy to still have purple potatoes around, for that jolt of color. It'll be a challenge to keep the bento "happy and fresh" throughout the coming winter months. We'll see if I can manage it :)

And finally, thanks to Lia of MyBentolicious for passing this award to me! Lia's blog is full of cute and adorable bento ideas. She never seems to run out of sweet little touches to make the bento look nice. I get lots of ideas from her. I would like to pass on this award to some other fun and happy mamas:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Shiso Honey Pork Bento

Shiso Honey Pork Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.

In MisterMan's bento: Shiso-honey pork with broccoli, sauteed green beans and little "cupcake" onigiri with furikake and tiny cherry tomato. Satsuma mandarin, grapes, kiwi and strawberry for dessert.So happy with the satsumas these days!

For this recipe you can use pork chops, but I used thin pork slices since it's easier for kids to eat this way. For 1 pound of meat, make the following sauce and marinate the meat 4 hours or overnight. Reserve 1/4 cup for basting.

1 cup honey

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup finely julienned shiso leaves (recipe calls to marinate in it, but I opted to add mine later)

1t. kosher salt

1t. fresh ground black pepper

Brown the meat on the grill or pan, then add reserved sauce. I added shiso at the end, cut into little pieces with kitchen shears. It has a nice sweet taste with sharp contrast of shiso. I forgot to take pictures, but you can see my boy's bento here. I forgot to add the shiso to his portion, oops :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Eggplant with Pork

I found these baby eggplants at the farmers market last weekend, and they were so cute! I picked up a bunch so I could make eggplant with pork. It's supposed to be a spicy dish with chili peppers, but I call it Eggplant with Pork because, as you'll see, I omit the chili.

First, make the sauce with the following:
2t. minced fresh ginger
2t. minced garlic
3T shoyu
2t. sugar
2t. vinegar
1t. cornstarch
(crushed red pepper, to taste)

Then, cut the eggplant into 1 inch slices. Heat oil in a frying pan until hot, and add the eggplant and fry until tender. I kind of browned mine a bit, but it's okay. Remove from pan and blot excess oil. Then add 1/2 lb. ground pork to the pan and cook, remove and drain oil. Heat the sauce in the pan, then add back the eggplant and pork. Mix together until thoroughly mixed.

It would look redder if I added the chili! But with my kids, I have to leave it out, and add it to adults' portions later. Serve over rice. Yum! See it in my boy's bento today.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Vinegar Chicken and Rice Bento

Vinegar Chicken and Rice Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
A simple yet brightly colorful bento lunch for my boy. Red wine vinegar chicken (recipe from maki at, 2-color carrot skewer, roasted tomato & artichoke with feta, brown rice makizushi with 2 color sweet potato detail, peapods and a tiny yellow pear garden tomato balloon. Fruit side has dinosaur egg plum, black grapes and blackberry.
If you ever find yourself out of ideas to beautify your bento, perhaps you can take a tip from me: sometimes just a small flower or leaf cutout is enough to draw the eye to a corner and bring a sense of nature and serenity. I will often not take the effort to cut any fancy characters or themes, due to lack of time or energy! But I think the bento still looks nice this way. I also like the contrast of an organized skewer of vegetables amidst the general randomness. You may notice that many of my bento look similar to this one. I think a simple presentation shows a calming kind of respect to the natural beauty of the food. Just my opinion.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Blog Award

I received this award from Lia of Bentolicious. Thank you Lia! She has a wonderful blog showing the adorable bento she makes for her kids and teaching us tips on how to use her ideas. I love it!
This award came with requirement to state 7 things about myself and after that I will have to nominate 7 others bloggers.

7 Things about myself:
1) I am a diehard swimmer. I like to swim every day, rain or shine; I alternate my favorite strokes: freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke. It's where I can relax and think about the day's bento.

2) My favorite comfort food is ramen, esp. miso ramen with kim chee. Or, sansai soba.

3) I get altitude sickness at relatively low elevation (around 7000ft). Once when I visited my brother at the telescopes atop Mauna Kea (14,000ft), I had to use their oxygen tank. (Embarrassing!)

4) I don't have a fear of heights, though, and I love roller coasters and gravity drops. One really good one is GhostRider, a wooden coaster at Knott's Berry Farm, if you get a chance. I love coasters on boardwalks (esp. Santa Cruz and Jersey shore) too, for the view and the nostalgia.

5) I love animals. Before having kids, I used to foster baby orphaned puppies in my home, playing with them and house-training them until they finished their vaccinations and could be adopted by other families. It was very hard to give them back after all this bonding. The dog I currently have was one of these pups.

6) I was born and raised in a small town on Oahu, Hawaii, went boogie boarding as a kid in my backyard, and kept a saltwater aquarium the simple way -- using a bucket to fill with water and catching the fish/crabs/eels by hand. I can still bait a snail on a hook to catch a blenny.

7) I have been personally targeted by birds 3 times in my life, which I've heard is supposed to be lucky, though it didn't feel like it.

This was fun! Now for the others...

7 other bloggers:
1) Jenn of Bento for Kidlet
2) natakiya of Bento Anarchy
4) Angi of Bento Junkie
5) Michelle of Foodie Footsteps
6) Karina of Bunches and Bits
7) Eilismaura of Honey, She is Twisted!

Looking forward to learning 7 interesting things about all of you ;)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Making Fried Rice

There are lots and lots of recipes for fried rice. The one I use is highly dependent upon whatever happens to be in the fridge at the time :) You don't have to be traditional; you can use whatever you like. Today I decided to make fried rice with the day-old rice I had leftover. First I sauteed chopped onion, mushrooms, and baby bok choy. Perhaps that sounds strange to you, but I like this vegetable -- it's so cute!

After the vegetables get nice and soft, remove from the pan.

Then, I add the cold rice into the pan and fry it up, breaking up the clumps with the spoon. Some people fry the egg separately, but I just add the fork-beaten eggs directly onto the rice and scramble it all together. Then I add the secret ingredient.

I know, it's really untraditional. And we don't really eat a lot of soy "meat" products. But this tastes really good, and gives a nice spicy flavor to the rice. And, it hides the bitterness of the choy, which is a plus for getting the kids to eat it. If you wanted to make it Mexican rice, you might skip the mushrooms and choy and instead use cilantro and green onion, and you could garnish with avocado. We have done that, too. Soyrizo is also great with scrambled eggs or macaroni and cheese. But today it was fried rice.

Yummy! Kids ate it all up. See its use in my boy's bento. ^_^

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tiger Bento

Tiger Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
MisterMan gets a tigerrrr, since this pumpkin sage ravioli (from Costco) is ready-made with stripes and everything. Facial details are cut from red lettuce using tiny scissors. He also gets roasted asparagus, sweet potato and new potato sun and clouds, & steamed broccoli and peapods to add to the jungle effect. Fruit side includes green plum, rasp- and blackberries.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Butterfly Cutter

I got a new butterfly vegetable cutter! I love it! I had no butterflies at all, and this one is so detailed and pretty.

It has lots of crimps around the edges of the wings, as well as interior shapes.

See its first use in my boy's bento today :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bunny Pancakes Bento

Bunny Pancakes Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
MisterMan gets bunny-shaped zucchini-squash 10 grain pancakes, vinegar chicken, little rice "cupcake" with furikake and red pepper "cherry", colorful cauliflower and romanesco, peapods, cucumbers. Fruits include grapes (underneath), strawberries and tiny sugar plum.

For the veggie pancakes, I used Bob's Red Mill 10-grain mix, and added wheat germ as well as quick-cook oats. I shredded one zucchini and one yellow squash, and added this to the mix along with an egg, 1T oil, and some milk. I use only enough milk to moisten the batter; this makes the pancakes fluffier and cuter... Also, easier to form into shapes :) I tried making bears too, but the bunnies looked better to me.
It's a veggie pancake, and I didn't serve it with syrup (or anything), but the kids still loved them, ha! For packing, I had to rearrange the ingredients slightly. But I think it still packed okay. ^_^

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tortellini Bento, and Bento Leftovers: What To Do With Them?

MisterMan's bento has tortellini and sausage leftover from an Autumn Party with friends. Roasted sweet peppers, purple potatoes and beet-dyed cauliflower. Yellow pear tomatoes and peapods. Fruits include clementine, blackberries, and raspberries. November is made for roasting stuff, I think!

I have been tagged by Susan of Hawai'i's Bento Box Cookbook to discuss what I do with bento leftovers after packing. Well, for me, the decorative touches are often minimal, so scraps do not always occur... the most likely leftovers for me would be after making cutouts from veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, radish or cucumber. My method is simple: I almost always eat them myself! But I'll also put them in the bottom of the bento too. They'll add height to other items in the box.

1) Bread –I don't often make cute cutout sandwiches, but if I do, I'll put the extra bit in the bento too-- underneath. My girl will eat all kinds of bread bits.

2) Nori seaweed – Probably like others, I keep the sheets I use for cutouts in a zipperlock bag, and reuse them until gone. No extras there!

3) Cheese – I usually only use cheese for my girl, and leftovers go in with the box of grated cheese that is always in the fridge. I'll use cheese from this box throughout the day for quesadillas, pasta, sandwich melts, omelets, etc.

4) Cold cuts or cooked ham – Don't use this often, but very easy to simply eat up!

5) Fruits – Eat them myself, or save for kids' snack after school.

6) Vegetable or fruit peels – We compost these, or sometimes give to the dog (he really does like them! :)
Gonna tag Karina of Bunches and Bits next and ask her to share what she does with her bento leftovers!

Once you accept the tag, the rules are simple.
Please link back to the person who tagged you and add your name to the ‘tagged list’ below.

When you have answered the question (which can be in any style/format you like), nominate another (one will do) fellow blogger (who is not already on the list) and pass the tag to your nominee.

If you (the selected nominee) has already answered this question in an earlier post (well done), then your job is very easy - just link the tag to your earlier post and pass the tag on as per item nos. 1 and 2 above. Alternatively you can update it (if you wish).

Have fun :)


1. javapot

2. susanyuen

3. sherimiya

4. karina

[Ps. No cute picture with this tag unless someone can generously suggest one which would be most appreciated! Hint, hint…anyone wanna sponsor or is just creative?? All credits will be given.]

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kimono Girl Bento

Kimono Girl Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
Tomorrow is Veteran's Day, and kids are home from school to honor those who served our country. I made a little snack bento for TinySprite ~ a peanut butter and jam mini sandwich with a girl in a kimono. The kimono is made of sweet orange pepper with peapod as the obi; her face is swiss cheese and hair and eyes are red lettuce. Her hairbows are sweet red pepper. The flowers are cheese and purple potato. Underneath are black grapes, with raspberries and blackberry as well. Here is the inspiration for this girl:

This is one of the designs of greeting cards that my mom and I have made. This one was made by my mom and it's called the Shy Girl. Though TinySprite does not epitomize "shy" by any means, I thought it would be a cute one for her :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Teriyaki Salmon Bento

Teriyaki Salmon Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
Teriyaki salmon for MisterMan, lightly steamed peapods, plus 2 kinds of carrot skewers: purple & maroon, and yellow half-moons. Sweet potato oak leaves. Dinosaur egg plum, strawberries and blackberries. New potato flower detail.
Now that it's fall, I will have less color in my boy's bento :(
In this one, I like the bright yellow of the carrot skewer. I wish I could find more of these carrots for that focal punch! But often I will rely on a small cutout floral (or other) detail as a last resort as well. Even a tiny bit of effort will go a long way toward beautifying a "plain" bento :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mini Bento Mania!

I made a bento today, but I got this bento too, and this one is cuter than mine, so that's why I'm posting it...
Isn't it adorable! Mini bento keychain! You know I will want to make this one for real... :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Musubi Lunch Today

I don't usually make much of an effort for my own lunch, but sometimes I am inspired to make something happy and fun. I happened to have some teriyaki salmon leftover from yesterday, and some fresh rice, so I decided to make a yummy musubi for myself.

First, I started with hot, fresh rice. To make a rice ball, I use wax paper, or sometimes plastic wrap. The rice shouldn't be too hot, or the wax will melt. Place the rice in the middle of a small piece of wax paper.

Use the paper to mold the rice into a ball shape.

Flatten it out a bit and make an indentation for the filling. Today, I used teriyaki salmon. Put the salmon, with its yummy sauce, in the rice ball. Don't heat the salmon, just put it in cold.

Add more rice to cover it and form a ball.

Decorate if you like. I decided to make a bunny, one of my favorite kyara! I used cucumber for ears, nori for facial detail, and a plum hairbow. Also, every bunny needs a carrot. :)

I ate him right away. If I had stopped to take a photo of the inside, you would have seen that the salmon was just heated enough to spread flavor to the rice, and create a delicious handheld meal. You can use any filling you like; salted salmon is excellent too. But sadly (or happily, I suppose), I ate it quite too fast, and forgot the pic ;)