Thursday, August 19, 2010

BLOG has been RELOCATED!!!!!!!!

please visit MyFirstBento. All the same material plus my newer posts. See you guys there!!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bento Lunches for Monday and Tuesday

I am behind on posting my Bento lunches, I am working on a new blog and will be unveiling it soon!
Evie and Ethan both LOVE Kirby from Nintendo. This was actually extremely easy to make, just make a ham sandwich, cut out with circle cookie cutter, cheese feet, ketchup cheeks, seaweed eyes and mouth, mayo for the whites of the eyes. Easy Peasey! Mad die and I made chocolate chip mini-muffins and that is what is holding his cheese feet up. The kids were delighted with this one!!

Monday was Ethan's first day of school! So I made him a special (time consuming) Bento lunch. I flavored the rice with curry to make it yellow, and cut stripes for the tiger out of seaweed. I used meatballs, cut them and half and then "filled" them with cheese cut with a flower cookie cutter. We had leftover spinach and some chicken breast so I mixed them together with some salt. Then I just surrounded the tiger with veggies. You can see the ice on some if the frozen veg still!

Evie wasn't too keen on the curry rice so I just made a tiny bunny with ketchup cheeks. I made the ham flowers and they were SO easy! I'll have a tutorial on my new site soon! She also didn't want cheese between her meatballs.

Can you tell I was getting tired Sunday night?! Maddie was stuck with a simple Bento. Grapes, chicken strips, and cheese cubes. There are also frosted cookies in the little container.

By the way.....I bought the little square containers in the dollar aisle at Target. The tops don't stay on very well but there were 6 in the pack so I just decorated the tops with puff paint. Cute!
The white bento boxes pictured in the first two pictures came from IKEA. They were like $3 for 3 boxes and the boxes are perfect for Bento. I think part of the fun of Bento is finding cheap things that work well for you.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bento Snack Idea- 2 year old class #5

I was so loving this Crab! Check out his cool sunglasses and big smile. Just chillin' on top of some grapes. Ah yeah.....

PB&J sandwich, red grapes, celery mouth and mango sunglasses. Cool.

Bento Lunch for Preschool #3

Whoooo has a cute lunch? Evie does! Celery with cream cheese, and a jelly owl sandwich. Goldfish and a cute gummy I found on sale at WalMart. And of course, the ever present grapes. Oh yeah, I made the eyes and nose out of dried mango strips! I hadn't even considered the use of dried fruit but now I have visions of Dried Blueberry eyes and Dried Cranberry mouths dancing in my head......

On a side note, Evie and Ethan's school is a peanut free school this year so I'm going to start naming the things that I use that are "Peanut and tree nut Free".

Nature's Own Whole Grain White Bread
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bento Lunch for Preschool #2

Evie told me she opened her lunch today and said, "Oh my god! My pizza has a cat face!" and that she "died because it was so cute". I knew making these lunches would be fun for her! My little drama queen.
We had homemade pizza for dinner last night so I just cut it into three tiny slices. I made the face using nori (seaweed) and an exacto knife. Not easy! I think it's time to invest in a hole puncher with a face design. Then cucumber slices and in the top of her Bento box I put a little salad with ranch dressing. She ate EVERYTHING!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bento Snack Idea- 2 year old class #4

This is a simple snack for Maddie. Meatballs, cherry tomatoes from the garden, cucumbers i cut with a heart shaped cookie cutter and cheddar cheese on top. I just like how how the cheese site perfectly on top. By the way, I believe this is going to be the last cucumber from our plant in the garden. The plant looks totally wiped out, all dried up and squishy at the same time. Ew. And blue onigiri balls. Yummers!

Bento Lunch for Preschool #1

Evie went to Preschool today! I admit I'm a little nervous because this is the first day she'll have school until 3pm! But at least she'll have fun....right?! I showed Evie her Bento lunch for today so she would be excited for lunch. Mini hot dog octopus and hot dog crab along with some hot dog medallions on a shell toothpick. I made her favorite, turkey sandwiches and broccolli with Ranch dressing to dip in. Also some salted sushi rice with paprika. I used a Hello Kitty stencil to make the face. Kawaii!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Meet Evie!

Evie is such a funny girl! She's really excited about going to the same school as Ethan (our ten year old) this year! I can't wait to make fun bento boxes for Evie because she will definitely be the child who appreciates them the most. She'll be five in November so she starts a full day of Pre-K. Sniffle. It's so strange when they start having a little life away from home....

Bento Snack Idea- 2 year old class #3

I feel like all of Maddie's snacks have been green and orange. Hmmm.......
Raw broccoli and Scrabble Cheez-its. They have letters on them! Educational and delicious! The little Joyful Rabbit box has Ranch Dressing in it. Only two more days until Maddie and Evie will both be going to school!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bento Snack Idea- 2 year old class #2

Today's snack was not very exciting but trying to get out the door this morning was VERY exciting...a little too exciting........

Goldfish, grapes, and a Hello Kitty marshmallow with chocolate inside!

Fantastic Bento Giveaway!

Just stumbled across this blog the other day and it's fabulous! She's also giving away a really cool set to help you get started making Bento lunches for back to school!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Meet Maddie!

Sweet Maddie Moo! She is our youngest child (look at that sweet face!) And this year she is starting 2 year-old class with Ms. MaryKay and Ms. Tonya. She only goes 3 times a week for a couple hours but it gets her away from the computer. Maddie is definitely in her terrible twos but turns three September 1. Who's hoping for a magical transformation?! Me!!! I really look forward to doing her little Bento snacks and seeing just what she'll eat! Out of our three kids she is the least picky when it comes to food. I love her!!

Bento Snack Idea- 2 year old class

Maddie started "school" yesterday!! And I've already gotten in trouble with her teacher (sorry Ms. MaryKay!!). First person to comment on this post and guess what I got in trouble for will win:

A mini- Bento box perfect for preschool lunches or snacks! make sure you leave your email address in your comment. Good luck!
By the way: the answer has to do with her snack.... ;)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bento Lunch Box #13

Lucky number 13! I made the best homemade mac and cheese tonight, so although Melanie says she's "on a diet" this bento lunch is filled with mac and cheese and a brownie for dessert. Yum! I soaked the apples in lemon juice and water so we'll see if that holds their color. I decorated the mac and cheese with ham cut into flowers with lettuce centers. I just use a hole punch to make the lettuce circles. I bought letter bento cutters from TJ Maxx today. Only $4.99!!! Thanks Nana for my gift card. xxoo

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bento Lunch Box #12

Ah, leftovers. The bottom of this bento lunch features a bed of brown rice with chicken and garden vegetables on top. Decorated with sesame seeds.

The top of the bento box is the best part! Shortbread cookies with a little box of Nutella, Hello Kitty marshmallow, and blueberries with sugar. I'm not sure why this picture seems grainy to me (no pun intended!). I just can't seem to get the camera focused....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bento Snack Idea

I am doomed! It is 8:00 am and I am soooo tired! How the hell am I going to drag myself out of bed at 6:00 am in two weeks when school starts?! I need to formulate a bento plan for the night before. This bento snack box is seriously lacking in cuteness!

Whole wheat pretzel sticks, grapes, and little apple trapezoids. Also a fantastic Mango juice box. Healthy bento!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bento #11

This is a pretty healthy bento box for Melanie! Ham and cheese sandwich on 12 grain bread. Blueberries (we have about 1000 of them in the freezer from blueberry picking last month!) with sprinkles. Naturlich. Pastel colored Onigiri. Cherry tomatoes from the garden and a cauliflower tree.

Now I am off to a PTO meeting I completely forgot about! How many new Moms will I meet tonight wearing jeans (forgot to shave my legs. For a month.) no makeup and ponytail. Yeesh.

Bento #10

Ethan (my 10 year old) starts Camp Quill today!! It's a writing camp taught by journalist Meg Ferrante. I think he's a little nervous about making new friends so I packed him a special snack! Sour Cream and Butter Biscuit, grapes, and bunny egg. Hmmm...nothing says "Beat me up." like a bunny egg from your Mom....... Maybe I'll put something manlier in it's place.....

Sour Cream and Butter Biscuits

This recipe is the only reason I even have Self-rising flour!

2 sticks butter at room temp.
2 cups self-rising flour

1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the flour and butter together; add the sur cream and blend well. Place spoonfuls of the batter in greased mini muffin pans. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden.

Bento #9

Charge up those defibrillators! This yummy Bento for Melanie's Monday Lunch contains my favorite biscuit recipe: Sour Cream and Butter Biscuits! Also stashed in there is a Reuben Sandwich made with leftover corned beef and cabbage. Some baby carrots that were cooked with the corned beef. Grapes. And a salad with Sesame Ginger dressing. Tad got the same exact Bento.

Also I have been practicing my camera work! Let me know how I'm doing!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bento #8

Mandi is coming over to babysit the girls tomorrow so I decided to surprise them with a special lunch! These Onigiri ladybugs were SO easy to make!! I got the recipe and idea from Yum Yum Bento Book. All it is, is sushi rice with a little salt (no rice vinegar). You put a dollop on some Saran wrap and shape it into a ball. Think of the possibilities!! I also made some pizza rolls out of flour tortilla, cheddar, pizza sauce, and pepperoni. Flower shaped carrots, an egg in the corner (it's hard to see!), some chicken and broccoli casserole, and edamame to make it look pretty and for some extra "green".
You can buy Yum Yum Bento Book from Amazon or you can try to win it at Maisie Eats Bento.

Bento #7

This one was a challenge. I had to come up with something quick because I was tired. So no cute animals today! After I fixed the meatballs with pizza sauce (in the box), I remembered one of the biggest "rules" of Bento boxes is keeping them colorful, therefore healthier. So I whipped up some rolls with flour tortillas, broccoli, red peppers, and medium cheddar. Perfecta! Boiled egg which I colored in with food coloring, carrot sticks and medallions (you can't see the sticks), and a Hello Kitty marshmallow treat.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bento #6

Healthy and scrumptious Dumplings!! Pork and cabbage dumplings with spicy sauce in the Panda. (It's just chili oil mixed with soy sauce!) Brown rice with ham teddy bears. Broccoli and heart shaped sharp cheddar. Melanie will squeal with delight when she's sees the new Bento box it's in! I bought it from Killer prices!!

My First Dumplings!

OK! I had a major success today! I was able to make Chinese dumplings with more than half of them coming out properly and they were DELICIOUS!
This recipe made about 70 dumplings and I was able to get everything at the local grocery store.

I cheated and bought premade dumpling skins. It probably saved me about two hours worth of work.

You need a Dumpling press (if you have one), egg white wash, steam basket.

  • 1 head of cabbage, blanched, and cut up small
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 3 Tbl green onions
  • 1 tsp ground ginger 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbl soy sauce
  • 1 Tbl Rice wine (I used Rice Vinegar)
  • 1 Tbl Dry Sherry (I used Cream Sherry >hic<)
  • 2 tsp Sesame oil
Mix the filling ingredients together.

Swipe a little egg wash on one edge of your dumpling skin.

Then put about 1/2 Tbl in the middle of your dumpling skin.

Fold your circle in half and gently press. If you don't have a dumpling press, pinch hard and crimp your dumpling together.

If you do have a dumpling press (they sell for $1 online) use it to crimp your edges together.

Then steam in a bamboo basket or metal steamer for 12 minutes.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bento Book Giveaway!!

One of my favorite bento blogs is Maisie Eats Bento. This week Maisie's Mom is having a giveaway for one of my favorite Bento recipe books! Go to her website to sign up!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bento #5

Melanie and Tad got the same Bento today so I'm just showing one. I made California rolls and sushi rolls with smoked salmon and cream cheese. In pastel colors of course! Kawaii!! Cucumber, cherry tomato, and carrot salad. Edamame on picks. For dessert strawberries with powdered sugar, mini chocolate chips, and sprinkles. The little box has Wasabi horseradish sauce (blech!) and of course mini animal filled with soy sauce.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bento Box Lunch Idea #4

I may as well practice my Bento lunch box skills on Tad. Once the kids go back to school it'll be cans of Lima beans for him again! ;)
Squirrel shaped pimento sandwich (yak!), and no squirrel is complete without some nuts (cashews)! Blueberries with froggie gummies, boiled egg, Greek olives, and secret Indian curry chocolate bar! Delicioso! The squirrel was cut using a regular cookie cutter.

Bento Box Lunch Idea #3

Yummy! Octopus hot dog surrounded by hot dog flowers in a sea of mac & cheese. And they were SO easy to make! Sugared blueberries, cherry tomatoes, fish shaped with a bento egg mold, and some string cheese. Melanie will be so surprised when she finds this in her fridge! Who's the best sister ever?......ME!

Octopus Bento Recipe

* Cut about 2" off each hot dog end (I cut them at a diagonal so they would sit nicely). Then slice 4 to 5 legs. Boil them for 30 seconds and the legs will flare out! I added eyes to the bento hot dogs with nori and cheese. You can use the end of a straw to get little circles.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bento Lunch Box Idea #2

This one I made for Tad! I made WAY too many sushi rolls........
The dinosaur sprinkles on the blueberries make them manly.

Look how tiny the mini- bento container is in the palm of Tad's hand! Kawaii!

My First Bento

So I decided about a month ago that I was going to send my children to school with a Bento lunch box. Cute, edible representations of my love for them. The Bento box fever usually hits me about two weeks before school is in and inevitably I run out of time/energy/money and so I have never gotten around to making Bento boxes for the kids' lunches. This year (hooray!) the urge swept over me the first week of summer vacation. After multiple trips to eBay and some great links I found on Google, my Bento accessories, bento boxes, bento egg molds, and bento recipe books started pouring in from Japan and Hong Kong!
Although the kids aren't in school yet, my sister Melanie goes to work as a nurse everyday so she will be my guinea pig for the next two months! Lucky girl......

Bento Box Lunch Idea #1
Purple sushi rolls, mini panda of soy sauce, grape tomatoes from my garden, slices of Roast Beast, boiled egg (shaped like a fish!), cucumber (from my garden!), blueberries with star sprinkles for extra cuteness.