Archive for July 2010
I remembered posting that I won’t be able to make that many bento this week because the schedule for the week is quite pack at work. But miraculously, I think I’ve made more bentos this week than the previous weeks.
I was inspired by Lia Chen of Bentolicious (http://www.mybentolicious.com/) onigiri post yesterday and the day before. Love her ideas and all her creativitiy in bento making. Don’t know when I’ll be able to get to her master level! Anyway, I tweet-ed yesterday that if I can wake up early this morning I shall try my hands on making onigiri. And surely enough, I woke up early and made these bentos. One for hubs and one for myself, of course!
I cooked the rice the night before because I was afraid that if I cook it this morning it will be too hot to handle. I used a three shaped onigiri tool that I bought from Daiso (http://www.daiso-sangyo.co.jp/english/). There’s the heart, teddy bear and star shape. I filled the onigiri with tuna mayo and decorated with cheese, nori and some dashes of sakura denbu for colour. I actually tried making some crabby sausages with the cutter too but the effect was not there. This is the 2nd time I tried using the cutter and still failed to get the crab. Sigh. Don’t know if it’s because I boiled the sausages and didn’t pan fry it.
Besides the onigiri, there are some mangosteen, dragon fruit, cherry tomatoes, sugar apricot and some cucumbers. Mine has a little bit of extra dried cranberries and raisins in replacement of the not so “crabby” sausages.
Looked at mine and looked at Lia’s, mine is still far from perfect like hers. Sigh. But once again, I shall continue to persevere!!!
Since I know I may not be making bento that often this week, I made 4 this morning!! Made two little bentos, one for my daughter and another for my nephew. My nephew is a great supporter, eating everything in the bento box but my daughter being the pickier one took out almost the entire content and ate only the sandwich. Sigh…Hope she’ll learn to add eat a little bit more varieties especially greens. Here are their bentos consisting of a cheese top sandwich cut into a bear and a duck each, tiny tomato for my nephew coz he just loves them, a sugar apricot for my daughter, and ham rolled sausages top with a star carrot and some corns. Oh and a little reddish nutty bean that I bought at the Hokkaido fair in Isetan.
The other two bentos were made for my hubs and sister. I bought this Hello Kitty boxes that came in 4 different sizes that are stackable and so used it this morning for my sis and my little girl. Hubs and Sis bento content are slightly different. They had ham and cheese sandwiches. Use the leftover cut out bread from the tiny bentos made for the little ones. In the bentos, there is also corn on cob underneath the sammies and they each had two cherry tomatoes each. Here they are!
Made the above for a little picnic outing on Sunday morning but only have the time to post it now. It’s a small little serving coz it’s only for me, my little girl and my maid. Hubs was still snoring in bed coz it was 830am! It was great weather outside so told my little girl that we’re going to have breakfast outside at the little playground in front of our home. She was indeed jumping up with joy with the change of scene for breakfast.
Made the above in about 20 mins. Used a tiffin carrier that my mum bought for me from Thailand. It’s really useful coz that’s how I ferry dinner home for my hubs every night from my mum’s. We had a fruit tier with the entire ducky family picks. The fruits include sweet sweet south african pears, sugar apricot, little dragon fruit and oranges. My little girl only ate the pears.
On the 2nd tier, we had ham and cheese tortilla rolls. Some had lettuce inside and some not coz again little girl don’t eat lettuce. I made a sweet tortilla too for variety. It’s made of PBJ and some dried cranberries. That was quite delicious! This picnic was less stressful as we did not have to carry so many things and drive out to the park. My little girl got to play on the slide and our neighbour joined us with her little girl too.Maybe next round will do it at the pool side but will have to check and see if it’s okay to have food near the pool.
There’ll be less bento this week as my morning schedule is packed with events. But hopefully I can squeeze in time to make one before the week ends. And I’ll submit this for the picnic BOMB contest too!
I don’t know if its because of the heart-shaped eyes, but for the first time my hubby text-ed me from work and told me he “LOVE” this morning’s bento!! Yeah! Yeah! That sms really made my day! He said thank you for the “koala bear”?!?! I didn’t intend to make a koala bear but since he said it is a koala so it is a koala lah! Haha
This koala is made from the burger patties that I was inspired by Sheri of Happy Little Bento (http://happylittlebento.blogspot.com/). I stuffed it into the toasted pita which had some of the leftover cheese bits from the eyes and tiny mouth, mayo and lettuce. I used a small little grape for the nose and I guess it’s the nose that made it look like a koala. The burger patties formed the ears and had did a free form cut out of cheese to make it look more like a pair of ears. Not to brag, but those patties were quite yummy.I also tried the sesame trick for eyelashes and it was so fun!! Some of it actually dropped into the box coz I only thought about making the eyelashes when I was assembling the box.
The rest of the bento were made up of lettuce, sugar apricot, cherries and grapes and three pieces of cucumbers. It seems like the koala is looking down at those cucumbers.
Oh and I finally got the promotion letter!!! Yeah! Yeah! Can go stock up on my bento gears already!!!!!
This morning I had a special request from my MIL. It’s her colleague’s birthday today and she asked if I could make her a cute bento to bring as a present. Of course I willingly and happily agreed to it. This morning’s bento was inspired by Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches.(http://www.yumyumbento.com/) I made the mini piggy hamburger Of course mine was not as pretty and kawaii as the one featured in the book. Am still learning.
Anyway, I made the beef patties the night before. Mixed minced beef with some garlic and carrots and pan fried them. They were delicious and this is all thanks to Sheri of Happy Little Bento (http://happylittlebento.blogspot.com/). Am really thankful to have all of these kind mistress of bento that had provided loads of guidance and inspiration in my bento adventures. Again, I hope to learn more from all of them!
This morning I woke up a 6am, toasted the mini buns, steamed the corn and warmed up the patties. Then it was assembly time. Realised that I didn’t have any ham for the piggy features so had to resort to my cheddar cheese which turned out alright but not as “define”. Will attempt again and make sure I have ready stock. And I missed one step during the making that is to melt the butter before spreading on the bun to stick the nori and so here we have the smudged piggy. Held the pieces together with the biggest longest pick that I have which were gifts from Carmen of Bentocraft (http://bentocraft.com). Here are my piggies:-
The picture is kind of orange-y and the details are not so clear. And yes, there are 4 boxes this morning. Made one for MIL, one for MIL’s friend, one for a colleague who had kindly requested for it and one surely for myself. The rest of the bentos were made up of sweet corn, sugar apricot, grapes and slices of oranges. I put in a few green macha beans that I got from the Hokkaido fair at Isetan. These beans are sweet with some milky macha on the outside and crunchy on the inside. Love them!
There seems to be a lot of coincidences when it comes to my bento ideas. One was the rainbow and now it’s the picnic theme. Discussed with my MIL on doing a picnic this weekend and then stumbled upon hapabento’s (http://www.hapabento.com/) BOMB theme for the month and it’s PICNIC! So I made mine this morning for my in laws and my little girl who wanted to bring her new bike to the park and learn to cycle.
I’ve wanted to get this Hello Kitty picnic bento set for a long while but have yet to coz it’s quite expensive but told myself that if the promotion do come along end of month that will be the first thing I’ll get for myself!! So this morning’s picnic bento came in assorted boxes.
And here’s all of them.
We finished all the yummies especially those little beef and potato curry puff purses that were quite delightful and not too spicy. And for once, my little girl ate those cheese “clasps” and like it. She use to hate cheese and I don’t push her because she has a bit of issue with lactose intolerance but after this morning, no complains on tummy pain but instead she kept asking for the “clasps”!!! She did not succeed in learning how to cycle though.Haha!
Here’s a picture of her on her Rock Bike, posing for the camera.
According to WikiAnswers, it takes 30 years to build a pyramid. I build mine in 30 mins.
This morning I made my pyramid from dumpling and nori. The dumpling is home-made by an aunt of my hubs and its simply delicious. Its actually a symbolic food for some historical event in China but am not really sure of the real story. Only know that it’s an event celebrated every 5th month of the Lunar Calendar. Aiyah, so embarrassing. One thing for sure is that I love the time of the year when these dumplings are in abundance. It’s made of glutinous rice, shaped into a pyramid and wrapped with bamboo leaves. The fillings are different depending on the different Chinese region. My favourite are the ones with pork, salted egg yolk, beans, mushroom and chestnut. And this is what I had!
Was fortunate had got this box that has a bit of space at the top when closed so that the dome of my pyramid will not be squashed! The box is actually a free gift from purchasing vitamins for my little girl. Haha! The rest of the bento are made up of slices of green apples with persimmons, prunes, alfafa and sweet corn.
My pyramid didn’t last as an iconic structure as its all in my tummy now. Yum Yum!!
Don’t know what super power came to me this morning but I managed to make 3 bentos!!!! One for myself, one of hubs and another for my sis. Have not made any for the little one yet coz she has her brekkie at her “Por Por” a.k.a. grandmama’s house. Anyway was amazed that I could make three bentos at one go. Of course I would have to thank my maid for helping out with the cleaning after as well and she had some fun too cutting out the cucumber clouds that I used to as eyes on the bagels. Here are my creation this morning.
Putting it up like this looks like a three tier cake! Haha. Anyway the contents of the bentos from bottom up:-
This was made for my sis’s lunch today. There’s the yummy spicy “mee goreng” with a few bits of edamame and three little carrot stars for colours. There’s three little teriyaki sesame drumlets for protein. And there’s a colourful array of fruits comprising mango, blueberries, cherries, tomatoes and red dragon fruits. Am sure she’ll be really stuffed and sleepy this afternoon.
Next is the bento made for hubs. He’s been a good boy these days taking my bentos to work , and that’s after I gave him the silent treatment for two whole days since he made a hurtful remark on my rainbow bento. And I also got a little Olympus compact camera from him and had been using it to take my bento pictures. Silence treatment worked wonders but don’t really want to use it again.
Hub’s bento consist of a PB cream cheese with alfafa sprouts bagel. Used cheese for the smiley and two cloud cucumbers as eyes. Remembered reading Susan Yuen’s (susanyuen.wordpress.com) tip in the Week 5 Bento Summer School post to put a little PB to stick the cucumbers to the bagel and it worked!! Though the World Cup is over, but Paul the Octopus is flooding Facebook posts and all. So here I am joining the crowd by making hubs two little sausage octopus together with a little octopus pick! Haha The rest of the bento consist of the blueberries, cherries and tomatoes. And also three little pretzels for snacks.
My bento is slightly simpler. I had the same bagel and fruits as hubs. Also had two little pretzel snack. The only thing I didn’t have are the octopus sausages. Actually I made myself some crab sausages but I guess I boiled it too long and it looks kinda ugly so my maid ate it all since she loves the sausages. Also I think it’s time for me to get some of those baking papers or the kawaii looking ones to line my sandwich box. Have gotta wait for month end and see if there’s any good news on career advancement from the Company and if yes, he he can go bento shopping crazy!!!!
I had wanted to make bouquet wrapped mouse and intended to put today’s post title as Peekaboo Mouse but failed to make it the way I wanted. But I guess there’s always the first failure so as to ensure you’ll learn the mistake and succeed the next time. Wish me luck!
Anyway, I bought some frozen naan (a kind of Indian leavened oven-baked flatbread bread). I love the garlic butter naan that we get from the mamak store especially when it’s still piping hot. Your breath will smell for awhile after but it’s all worth it! So I popped the two pieces of the naan and some leftover nuggets from McD into the oven and started preparing on the rest. One of the naan was soft out of the oven and was the one I used in this two breakfast bento this morning but the other piece was kinda hard so I left it in the oven. Fortunately the one soft piece was enough for the creation this morning.
So there I have naan-wrapped peekaboo mouse. I had some cucumber skins and strips of carrot tied around it and the ears were made from kamaboko. As advised by all the pro bento bloggers out there I used spaghetti strip to put in the ears but it was not easy because the nuggets were also a tad bit hard and crispy. Sigh…The eyes are from cheese and nori.Oh I made kamaboko ribbons too coz originally it was to be used for “bouquet” look but instead now its a “blanket” look!
This morning fruit portions has got cherries, blueberries, pineapple (for me), jackfruit (for hubs) and persimmon on a bed of alfafa sprouts. Here in Malaysia, the price of cherries and blueberries are really steep. Managed to get the blueberries at RM 10 from the night market compared to RM 15 from the supermarket. Had been contemplating in getting them from my bento for a while now and finally could not resist since its RM 5 cheaper! Haha..
Okay here are the bentos this morning.
Bought this frozen bagels for about two weeks already. Hubs tried it and said it’s yummy though a bit chewy. Finally, I get to try it for my brekkie this morning. Toast it spread some cream cheese, PB and added a bits of dried cranberries for deco. it’s heavenly, and yes, it’s quite chewy. I made a little Hello Kitty hard boiled egg too to complement the Helllo Kitty Sandwich Box.
Made a big flower with some prunes we bought over the weekend. Those prunes were really expensive!! RM 40 per kilo and we bought 3, not knowing the price. 3 prunes cost us a whopping Rm 18!!!!! Worse of all these prunes though look really nice but it’s kinda sour. The little yellow pieces are mangoes and these were sour too. So is the little grape. Sigh…
Overall, this morning meal is really filling!!!