Monday, June 27, 2011

Experimental Onigiri

Here are three experimental onigiri. I've never done much with filled onigiri. Mainly because that seemed akin to a booby-trap for a small child that would end in disaster and a bunch of mess. Yes, I am sad to say that I let fear dictate my onigiri choices. But no more! For here are onigiri with three different fillings that A-chan loved and were eaten without catastrophe befalling us.

In the bento: Two apple bunnies, slices of lemon, purple grapes on star and heart picks, one teriyaki tofu and green pea filled onigiri, one scrambled tofu filled onigiri, one onigiri with tofu soboro mixed with the rice, carrot flowers with sugar dot centers and green bean leaves, a few waffle fries.

There is still time to enter the give-away! You have until June 30th to comment on a post or to follow this blog to be entered. Two really cute bentos from Bento & Co. are the prizes - two winners will receive a bento and hopefully be persuaded to do a guest post in early August.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Out of This World

I absolutely love this bento! It's a pancake bento where the pancakes aren't the star focal point which is always a challenge. But even better I managed to use these strange little picks for the first time. I've always assumed that they were from Anpanman, but I'm not absolutely sure. Can anyone tell me what they are? A-chan enjoyed the little 'alien' guys stealing her green peas, though.

In the bento: A moon apple, fried potato rocket and UFO, orange wedges, steamed cauliflower, soy sausage links, miniature pancakes, and tiny provolone stars.

To make the moon apple I used a metal moon cookie cutter from Wilton's. (I've tried doing apple cuts with plastic cutters and it never works for me.) Then I carved the peel from the inside of the moon using a small knife.

The rocket and UFO were cut from raw slices of potato and then shallow fried in a mixture of olive oil and butter until browned. The black sesame seeds seemed to be a perfect decoration for them and were just held on by the grease.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nori cat onigiri

Another simple bento from the bento backlog. A-chan loved the nori cats on the onigiri and I loved the easy 10 minute morning bento! These two onigiri were from the freezer and I should have taken some time to smooth them down a bit, but I didn't notice until I was taking the picture.

In the bento: Two plain onigiri, soy sausage links, a container of carrot ribbons, a cherry tomato, a few random green beans and a tiny clementine.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Slightly Melted Panda

This bento is a lesson in what not to do. I was too impatient and put the cheese panda on top of food that was still too hot. Poor panda, he started sweating and his black fur curled up! So, always remember to let food cool before putting something that melts on top. (Unless you want it to melt, of course!) As you see here, decorating the cheese ravioli with cut outs is now high on my list of ultra cool things for bento.

In the bento: Black bean, rice and soy sausage bake with a provolone and nori panda on top and bamboo made from broccoli stems, two cheese ravioli, steamed broccoli, a cherry tomato, purple grapes on a pick and a few carrot flowers.

To the left in the background is the nori punch that I used to make the panda face. It's not ultimately necessary, I could have cut it out by hand. But it makes things so much faster!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Pasta Simplicity

Because I've never done a Give-away online before I am a bit muddled about it. I keep thinking that I should extend until the end of June since I haven't been posting a lot of put up very much information so far. So here is the official announcement of that, lol. I am doing a give away with two bentos from Bento & Co. at the end of June. It will be totally random. To get entered into the randomness you must either be a follower of my blog or have posted a comment between May 27th and June 30th. Now here's the kicker - in late July and early August I will be on a massive camping trip. What I would really, really, really love to have are the winners of the two bentos do guest posts for me to put up while I'm gone camping. That's voluntary and not a condition of winning!

In the bento: Tomato parmesan pasta with a tomato flower and cucumber leaves, two baby tomatoes on cute animal picks with cheese stars, a container of sweet corn, veggie hot dogs and a bunch of purple grapes on the side.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cute cute teddy bears

Here is another bento from the deep dark backlog files from the end of the school year. A-chan has been going to summer camp (Star Wars gymnastic camp - how awesome is that?) this week so now I'm starting to get a backlog of summer bentos as well! I need more hours in a day, lol. To explain my continued turtle pace of posting and not tweeting (how I miss twitter!) - in addition to my normal work load I'm transitioning to teaching dance class in a new studio where all the details are handled by me instead of the front office. I've also added a third class per week which is great! And my students are preparing for their student recital which is happening next week. We're in the midst of sewing like crazy, rehearsing like crazy and just being crazy in general. It's all good stuff but it's taking up a lot more of my time and I can't obsess over bentos as much. *cry* But soon I'll figure out how to balance all this new stuff and the recital will be over and I'll have a little bit more 'free' time, yay!

Anyway, back to bento stuff :) In the bento: Two peanut butter and sugar sprinkle sandwiches with teddy bear faces on top and a corn croquette between, a babybel cheese round, a small bunch of purple grapes and a Tuscany Italian flavored 'rice meatball' and lots of tiny carrot stars.

The teddy bear faces are made with soy turkey, provolone and nori with sriracha cheeks. I used the Thomas part of my Hello Kitty onigiri kit to cut the soy turkey slice and the provolone slice for the heads and then used the nori punch from the kit for the facial features.

To cushion the tiny corn croquette and make sure the sandwiches stayed put I rolled up a little extra piece of lettuce and stuck it in place to keep the three things secure.

A-chan didn't like the rice meatball at all. I'm not sure if that is because it was so different or because she just doesn't really like 'meatballs' in general. It was worth a try though and I was very proud of her for eating half of it to try it out!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ravioli Girls

For this bento I used a technique inspired by The Cute Food for Kids blog. An exacto knife made it very easy to carve the cooked ravioli, leaving the cheese exposed to make the cute faces! I used black sesame seeds for the eyes and nori for the smiles. I loved the way this turned out.

In the bento: On the left was a bed of Jasmine rice sprinkled with black sesame seeds, three cheese ravioli girls and a few tiny red cabbage flowers. To the right was a container of corn with a red cabbage flower and cut lettuce leaves, two soy sausage links, steamed broccoli and 3 tomato and cheese picks.

Another thing that I liked about this bento was being able to use the cow-head shaped container. It's extremely difficult for me to find ways to use that particular container, believe it or not!

Monday, June 6, 2011

OMG kitties!

I apologize for the double post of the Turtle bento! I'm not sure exactly how it happened. The first one disappeared so I did a re-post. Today was the first day that the original post actually appeared for me, it's bizarre.

To everyone who came to the site recently, followed or commented - Thank you!! I love to get feedback and reading all of your comments brightens up my day! Some of you already know that I am doing a give-away at the end of next week in appreciation of all of you. If you are a follower or comment on any post during the last week and continuing into next, you will be entered into the hat for the give-away. It's not a very big thing, but I wanted to do something, especially since I've been so busy and not been posting recently. One person will receive a Zoony bento box from Bento & Co. and another will receive a Bento Donburi!

In the bento: Three cheese and mayo sandwiches cradled by lots of lettuce with Provolone and nori kitty faces on top. In the second tier is a strawberry pudding with a provolone kitty paw print, plum slices, a baby tomato, black olives on a pick and a container with carrot ribbons.

Now that we're done traveling for a couple of weeks (we went to San Francisco, L.A., back to SF, home to Georgia and then spent most of last week in Atlanta, whew!) I'm going to have time to start working on the bento backlog again and posting more! Thanks for hanging in there and not getting too irate with my lack of posts recently :D