November 6, 2012
We got our oven door fixed today! Yay! (Hmmm…if you don’t already know, the glass door of our oven went into pieces a month ago. So weird. )
It took quite a while… The glass replacement had to be ordered and the repairing service was schedule for this morning, lunch time.
Knowing I couldn’t cook or use the kitchen properly, I prepared bentos for the whole family, wisely using some “extras” from last night´s dinner ^_^ (thumbs up for leftovers!)
Contents of the boxes (for my girls): lettuce, cucumber slices, mini plum tomato, mini carrots, steamed broccoli, strawberries, red grapes and pork schnitzel. Onigiri polar bear head with nori details, catchup ears and cheeks and a pack of furikake.
My husband´s bento: plain onigiri, pork schnitzel with tonkatsu sauce, steamed broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, kimchi and moyashi (bean sprouts) aemono (with ponzu sauce, lemon juice and sesame oil dressing). A juicy strawberry and grapes.
Hah! The onigiri needed to be rearranged so I could close the lid :P.
May 24, 2012
Coming back and cleaning up the dust (*cough cough* look out for the allergies!) from the blog! I disappeared for a while, yes I know… too much of everything happening at the same time.
But hey! I am here and with a new bento! Wow!!!!
My 6yo had a “Spring celebration” at her pre-school today, lots of outside activities for the kids and parents. Mr Mies joined her and I stayed home to take care of little daughter who was still sick from flu she caught earlier this week from her big sister (ha! complicated stuff! Well hmm, we´ve been sick…). I prepared these bentos for us to eat when they´d get back home. You can notice the portions are quite big, to be shared properly among four not-so-hungry people :).
And… the theme: Pokémon! As for normal children, my girls keep changing what they like every now and then. They had seasons of adoring Anpanman, Kirby, My Little Pony and lately it is Pokémon… partly my fault this time… I allowed them to play my DS game “Pokémon Diamond Version” and they were introduced to the world of the pocket monsters… (blame me blame me). Their favorite ones at this moment are Pikachu, Jigglypuff and Squirtle.
So Pikachu bento, that is!
Contents of the boxes: Round onigiris (rice balls), tamagoyaki, raw carrot sticks, steamed broccoli on a lettuce bed. Nectarine slices, cucumber, green grapes, strawberries and raspberries. Pikachu made with cheese, nori details, carrot cheeks and pepperoni mouth. I also crafted a pokéball sticker to decorate the onigiri wrap ^_^, nice isn’t it?
* Gotta Catch ‘Em All!!!*
Oops, no ketchup this time! ;)
March 28, 2012
Yep, the first Spring bento that I make after a long “bento-break”! Actually… I can’t even consider we have Spring yet! *lol*
There is still plenty of snow everywhere but surprisingly it is melting relatively fast. Uh, I really hate this time of the year… everything is still so brown, dusty, slushy and all kinds of ugly stuff gets uncovered when the snow goes away. I am totally looking forward to see green, sprouts and flowers :)
Until the time comes, we need to cheer up ourselves with imaginary bunnies and chicks >_< …
Inside the boxes: Lettuce bed with a bunny onigiri (cheeks made of carrot and nose made of sausage), tamagoyaki chick with carrot beak, steamed broccoli, mini plum tomato, spinach with ponzu sauce, nitrate and msg free pan fried hot dogs. Smaller box contains sweet corn, raw carrots, broccoli, red grapes and a clementine.
Note the cute new bunny pick I got! Thanks to a special bento friend ^_^.
How´s the Spring / Autumn where you live? Hope nice!!
February 7, 2012
February has arrived! And inspired by a sweet Valentine´s card my girls received today from their great-grandparents, I made a bento with the love theme ^_^.
Contents: Iri-dofu (tofu scramble), mini plum tomato, steamed broccoli, nectarine slices, mandarine orange and a cute cup (ありがとう M!) with carrot sticks and red grapes. The brown puppy is made with rice mixed with shoyu and the white one is a plain onigiri with nori details. *SMOOOOOCH*
Pikkusiili said I should have put more ketchup on the puppy´s cheek, because it was too “pale”. Did she mean no blushing enough? XD
Ah yes… some friends have been asking how are we doing with all the news about the severe winter in Europe. We are doing fine :), there is indeed plenty of snow and some very cold days… I guess we are used, it doesn’t bother us so much.
When the girls can’t go outside to play we try to do some activities at home. They got mini baking equipment toys on Christmas from my in-laws and grandmother taught them to make salt play dough to use with the stuff.
I made the dough again, it is a very easy no-cook recipe. So simple but surely delivered a few hours of entertainment to my daughters! Our “fake bakery” was a success then ^_^.
Taikataikina / no cook salt play dough
adapted from here . Taikataikina means “magic dough” also called suolataikina in Finnish (suola=salt, taikina=dough)
- 6 dl wheat flour (about 3 cups)
- 3 dl salt (11/2 cup)
- 3 dl warm water (300ml , warm enough to dissolve the salt)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used canola)
- food coloring if desired
Combine the salt and flour in a mixing bowl. The coarser the salt, the more the granulous effect.
Make a well in the dry mixture and gradually add the water, kneading until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Add the vegetable oil and combine everything again.
For the colored dough, I divided the neutral dough into 4 pieces and added food coloring (red, blue and yellow) to each, kneading until getting an even color. For the other colors, I just let the girls mix the basic balls and have fun with the discoveries.
While playing I recommend covering the unused dough with plastic because it tends to dry very fast.
The salt dough can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
Happy week friends!
January 23, 2012
After a long break I am back :).
I hope you all had a great beginning of new year ^_^. As for myself, I was sick again… it feels much better this week, I am done with the flu for now. YAY!
Today for the first time during winter, LV went to pre school with her pulk (sled). We usually don’t allow her to because the most of the time, the snowy sidewalks are covered with a layer of sand, which damages pretty much the bottom of her sled. It has been snowing constantly lately in Helsinki and for some reason, the snowplow didn’t clear up the sidewalks this morning.
In the afternoon, big sister was so enthusiastic about playing with the sled, she convinced Pikkusiili to go out to play too. The result was having two hungry little girls coming home :). I prepared two bentos, my attempt to celebrate the Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year). It is the Year of the Dragon!!
(Lau! Feliz Ano do Dragao ;)
Contents: Farfalle pasta with spinach, feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, red onions, walnuts and pecans, mini plum tomato, lettuce, red grapes, cucumber and a tiny mandarin orange. The dragon girl is a dessert-sandwich made with whole grain bread, nutella, green soy wrap, details made with cucumber, cheese, nori, wakame seaweed and jam for the cheeks :).
Ok… it is embarrassing, the girl should have looked like this (my earlier sketch-fooling around):
Hmm.. does the bento-girl look like a dragon at all?
Hmm.. ok… maybe a frog… Ahahahahah!
Happy Lunar New Year for my friends who celebrate it!
December 6, 2011
Finland celebrates Independence Day today, December 6th. Besides being a holiday, the day is marked by many events everywhere and it is closed with the annual President´s Ball which is broadcasted on tv every year.
For us, this tuesday was a day to relax. I was very glad we had this long weekend (LV didn’t need to go to pre school yesterday), to recharge our batteries and prepare for the Christmas Holidays.
We woke up very late and got surprised when we opened the curtains. Land outside was all covered with a white layer ^_^ ! The first snow of the year in Helsinki :)!! Too bad it melted away already, but it was beautiful in the morning.
I thought about making a bento featuring only Finnish food today, but in the end, I only made this little meal for my girls. Just to celebrate!
- Karjalanpiirakoita – mini Karelian pastries
These little “pies” are traditional pastries from the region of Karelia, eaten all over Finland nowadays. Consists usually by a rye crust filled with rice porridge or potato mash. Barley used to be its filling in old times but not anymore. My mother-in-law taught be to make karjalanpiirakka years ago… her pastries are the best I ever ate! However.. those “mini” ones were store bought, pre-baked (yes I know, not the same as homemade…)
- Small container with munavoi
Butter mixed with boiled eggs (muna translates to egg, voi is butter), a usual spread for the karjalanpiirakka.
- Leipäjuusto “hearts” with mixed berries jam
Leipäjuusto translates to “bread cheese”. It is a fresh cheese which origins comes from Ostrobothnia(area from Finland which once belonged to Sweden), Northern Finland and Kainuu.
This kind of cheese is prepared into flat round disks then baked and grilled (or charred) for the dark marks. Usually eaten with cloudberry jam and coffee. They “squeak” nicely when you chew them ^_^!
- Mini yoghurt dessert with crushed gingerbread (piparkakku), thick yoghurt with vanilla, topped with Finnish bilberries (mustikka). The berries were collected from the forest in late Summer and they are an important source of vitamins during the Finnish winter.
- Muumipeikko or Moomintroll made with a fluffy slice of pulla (Finnish sweet cardamon bread). Eyes are dashes of melted chocolate
- Cherry tomato, cucumber slices, green apple flower and for a treat, Fazer sininen chocolates. The most loved milk chocolate of Finnish people ;)
Hope you didn’t get bored while reading my post today… I really enjoyed writing about a bit of the Finnish food culture ^_^
Hyvää Itsenäisyyspäivää kaikille!!
(Happy Independence Day Finnish friends!)
December 1, 2011
A bento to celebrate the Christmas season!
It was so good to return making bentos again… but it is weird to get back to the habit :/. I am totally needing some practice… not only on making the meals, but also… taking pictures of them! Gosh… I was so used to my previous settings in the old apartment I found challenging to take photos in my new kitchen. I will get better, I hope :P!
And yes, I confess I stole the idea of using the star picks for the Christmas trees from Sheri, the lovely owner of Happy Little Bento Blog. Her use of picks is brilliant, she will always be my bento-heroine inspiration of all times :).
AH! And before I forget!!! New bento boxes in this post! I got them before our moving from a sweet bento friend of mine. Thank you ^^, my girls loved the HK ♥!
Contents: rice with furikake, grilled chicken breast pieces, steamed broccoli, cucumber slices, pearl tomatoes, purple carrots, orange wedges, red grapes and Christmas shaped pasta. The tree is a mini onigiri wrapped with wilted spinach decorated with carrots “balls”.
Must say they enjoy eating spinach nowadays! Wohoo!!!
May 12, 2011
Yea… I know… I haven’t posted for a while. So much has happened… all I can say is changes are (perhaps) coming in our lives (and for good I hope! *fingers crossed*)
Blogging, friends and readers are still very important to me, *big hug*. It´s just that right now I don’t have much time for the internets :( … for cooking… or crafting… time to myself and the girls. Weeee… sounds like busy huh?
Anyhow, I don’t know when I’ll be capable to write here again… please bare with my inconstant appearance online :P. I will try hard to keep doing something!
I made these bentos to my daughters couple of days ago ;).
Contents of the boxes: mini raw carrots, cherry tomato, tamagoyaki with spring onions (under the tomato), turkey hot dogs wrapped in egg sheets, cucumber slices, lettuce and juicy cherries. Little dogs made with zakkoku mai (mixed grains) rice, nori details and ketchup for the cheeks.
Those cherries were the first ones I spotted this year. Actually, Luonnonvoima spotted them first and asked me to purchase them. She really loves cherries… (can someone eat too much of them and get belly ache? Omigosh, that little girl can eat big amounts every time! >_<)
April 18, 2011
Wow! Another “monday bento” ! I said “wow” because my mondays are usually so busy I don’t even think about making any bento to the girls…
But this time was special. I promised myself I was going to make an Easter-theme bento this year and I had to hurry to make it today. We will be traveling for the Easter holidays and week will be short… not sure when I’ll be having time, I made an effort to post something today.
My girls went all “aaws” “ooohs” when they saw their meal ^__^! “Pääsiäistipu!!” (Easter chick in Finnish) … Luonnonvoima added also that the girls look like them :)
By the way, to make the chicks I used the same design from a felt magnet I crafted years ago, when my youngest daughter was born.
Inside the boxes: romaine lettuce, homemade chicken meatballs braised in yakisoba sauce, tofu with caramelized onions (under the meatballs), steamed asparagus spears (briefly fried with the meatballs), raw baby carrots, pearl tomato, grapes and clementines. Onigiri “chick” made with rice, soy wrap, nori, cooked carrot for the beak and a little ketchup for the cheeks.
That´s it! Have a great week friends!
PS: my Bento Box Toy set is still being auctioned! Please check the eBay page ;)! Happy bidding!
April 4, 2011
Can you guys believe is April already? Wow, time goes fast…
I had a busy week and I hope this one is going to be calmer….
Anyways… remember that every month a group of friends on twitter pick a food item/theme and agree to show a picture of the meal we are having? The #twitterfoodparty happens every last monday of each month… (hah? It went already!). Yes… but it was postponed for today! YAY!
The theme this time is… Apples!
I must admit I wasn’t that prepared to make anything… so I came up with these while preparing my daughter´s bentos.
Husband and I had Brie toasts with apple for dinner together with soup. Hors d’œuvre?? well… I don’t know, should I call this an appetizer or dessert? :P
Apple, brie & honey toast
Not a recipe actually but I will write how I did: toast gently two slices of bread, rub butter on tops. Slice thinly half green apple and cut 4 slices of brie cheese. Arrange the cheese and apple slices on the toasted bread, drizzle a bit of honey and sprinkle cracked nuts on top (pecan the best but I used almond praline). Grill until bubbling and serve.
Alternatively, make it “savory” seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
See? Simple… but it was very good!!
The bentos for the girls today consists of last night´s leftovers. Pikkusiili wanted pizza for dinner and I usually make a bigger batch enough for snacks later. ^__^
The contents of the boxes: homemade pizza “bolognese”, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, clementines, apple slices and lettuce. Little bees made with cheddar and white cheese slices and nori details.
I so love leftovers :P
Have a great week friends!