Thursday, August 9, 2007

Monkey faces & sausage skewers

I haven't been feeling good lately, so everything has gotten behind. The following few bento posts are actually from a couple of weeks ago but I didn't feel up to posting. With these three I really wanted to have some fun and be creative.

Top tier: Vegetarian spaghetti, black olives, grapes, strawberries, Zoo Land crackers by Meiji.
Bottom tier: Boca bratwurst circles on bamboo skewers with swiss cheese stars, broccoli, carrots, Morningstar farms broccoli bite, potato and onion pierogies. Spaghetti cups inspired by Biggie, though I didn't freeze them as they were just leftovers from the night before. The next bento has exactly the same stuff in the same tiers...

I was concentrating on this one for some creativity and cuteness. I'm still not quite sure how I feel it came out. In any case, the monkey faces were inspired by Jason and Amanda on

Monkey faces: Morningstar Farms broccoli bites, swiss cheese & black olive details, pink sugar dot cheeks.

Other stuff: Boca Bratwurst circles on bamboo skewer with swiss cheese stars, strawberries, broccoli, potato and onion pierogie.

Stuff I learned:

I really need to remember not to close up the bentos before everything is cooled off! The crackers all got soggy and the cheese stars melted, lol.

Pierogies make excellent bento food!

I can actually change my husband's mind about food: he has rescinded his 'ew, I hate boca bratwurst' comments in favor of a new view where Boca bratwurst is recommended with swiss cheese.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Lunch Cuteness Experiment #I've lost count...

This is the first LCE that my daughter has helped with! She chose the strawberries and where to put them then sprinkled on the black sesame seeds. She was soooo proud of herself! Another boring lunch made more fun. (You may have noticed that we have the rice-peas-carrots combo rather often...)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Smiley Heart Bento

Left to right: Broccoli mac n cheese, swiss cheese hearts with origami paper face, elephant skewer with peas. Vegetarian hot dog flowers with pea centers, blueberries, baby tomato. The green doggie holds ketchup.

I have to say that I am still disappointed with the way the vegetarian hot dogs do for flowers and octopi. They just never seem to come out right. But maybe it's me? Or maybe I should try a different brand?

Flatpie Wedge Bentos

Toddler bowl: Mayo dip for the broccoli bites and carrots.
Bento: Carrot flowers with a baby bok choy leaf for a backdrop. Baby tomatoes, Scottish flatpie wedge, steamed broccoli, blueberries, broccoli bite, blue bear with half ketchup, half spicy mustard.

Top tier: Steamed broccoli, baby tomatoes, broccoli bites, Morningstar Farms Parmesan Chik Patty with swiss cheese shooting star, yellow elephant with half ketchup and half spicy mustard.

Bottom tier: Carrot flowers on a baby bok choy leaf back drop, scottish flatpie wedge, more broccoli bites, blueberries on a stick.

Top tier: 2 scottish flatpie wedges, steamed broccoli, broccoli bites, baby tomatoes.
Bottom tier: carrot flowers, MF parmesan chik patty halves, Taiyaki cookies, blueberries on a stick.

Scottish Flatpie is essentially a biscuit crust with layers of potato and onion slices. This version is a slightly non-scottish version with shredded cheese melted on top (found in one of my fav cookbooks: Biscuits & Scones by Elizabeth Alston). To be vegetarian friendly I use veggie stock instead of chicken stock, I also added some garlic and basil. It's sooo yummy! It's perfect hot from the oven or cold in a bento and it's easy to make one big pie or lots of little ones.

Sticks & Stickers: These are plastic toothpicks between 2 stickers. They are re-usable since the stickers will come off easily (too easily if you ask my daughter)! I've had all these really cute stickers sitting around for ever. Occassionally I just throw one in a bento to liven things up for my toddler, but I wanted to do something a bit more decorative.

The Shooting Star Chik patty needed to be lifted up off the bottom of the bento or it got lost in all the taller food. Solution - a star shaped cookie cutter as a platform underneath. (The star one was the only one that fit under it perfectly.) It created a nice area around the patty to put the other food without covering it up!

Taiyaki cookies: I got these from If you've ever seen Azumanga Daioh you'll be familiar with Taiyaki pastries (think Chiyo-chan eating them in her penguin mascot costume, so cute!). When I saw them at Jbox I had to have some, but had no idea what to expect. They were actually a do-it-yourself kit with a packet of chocolate sauce and some chocolate crunch sprinkles and lots of little fishie cookies. This is fun and somewhat messy, lol. They held together really well and didn't even melt in the summer heat and they were very yum!