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.
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!
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!!!
April 15, 2011
Update on 27.04.2011: The box has been sold for $107,50! I am so happy it reached such price :). Thank you very much for everyone who got interested about it and specially, to the auction winner! The set is already on its way to WA ^_^!
As I posted here before, a group of bento lovers across the globe got together to raise funds for Japan. My fabulous fellow bento bloggers have been working hard keeping the Bento4Japan alive and at full steam.
The charity auctions on eBay have been terrific! Lots of bento boxes and gear had found new owners and I can only thank to the beautiful people´s generosity.
Everyone knows that I wanted to offer something to be auctioned for the cause. The problem is that I really can’t find anything suitable for the theme where I live. Bento gear is rare, most of my personal purchases were made online.
It is true I selected stuff from my own collection to offer in the Bento4Japan raffle (by the way! The winners had been picked already, just give us a little more time and we will announce them :). My contribution is already traveling to the lucky one!).
So I thought… would it be bad to offer something handmade? Inspired by my friends who always support and keep me going ahead, I decided to craft my offering for Bento4Japan ^__^.
Bento box food play set – eBay auction
I handcrafted this lovely take away style bento box meal, perfect for pretended play or for display. The items are about life-sized and hand stitched with love and care for details.
I really try my best to make things in a way they last but felt and yarn creations are not as plastic ones, they won´t probably last as much as they would have been made from another “long lasting” material.
This set will be a joy for your little one to serve you obento anytime! (And you can also sneak to the play and practice making your bento too ;))
Most of the items which belong to the box were featured in my previous post , with addition of these little ones:
So… without further ado, what is inside the box!
- 1 lettuce leaf
- 2 onigiris (rice balls)
- 1 shiozake piece (salted salmon)
- 1 lotus root (renkon) slice
- 1 kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) wedge
- 1 broccoli floret
- 1 shiitake mushroom
- 2 tamagoyaki (omelet) slices: spinach and traditional
- 1 carrot flower
- 1 edamame pod
- 1 cherry tomato with wooden pick
- 1 usagi ringo (apple bunny)
- 2 grapes
- 1 strawberry
- 1 orange slice
- 2 food cups (paper and felt polka dot)
- 1 pair of bamboo chopsticks – not disposable type
- 1 origami chopstick “envelope”
The full description of the materials and other important information can be read in the auction page for the bento box.
I hope this can raise some money. Remember, 100% of the proceeds will go to to GlobalGiving’s Japan Relief fund. If you win, be sure you are getting something made from the heart.
Please take a look, this is the auction page! Check out the other Bento4Japan auctions too ;).
March 25, 2011
I made these speedy bentos for the girls today. Not much cuteness factor but they were happy to see the little tomato ladybugs. I must admit you, results are not so good when you are in a hurry…
Thanks everyone who had asked about our flu/cough/sickness. We really appreciated the well wishes ^^. Girls are much better, coughing once and a while, so I (almost) consider them all healthy again.
As we got better, I could finally go out and check the fruits and veggies nearby. Happy to find good clementines… they were juicy and sweet… my last purchase was a total failure (dry with that yuck-flavor). Looking forward to Spring and the fresh produce it brings…
The contents of the boxes: chicken stir fry with mixed vegetables and noodles (I usually put a handful of cashew nuts but I forgot this time :/. Pikkusiili is a huge fan of nuts ^_^ ), lettuce, raw baby-carrots, cherry tomato ladybugs with nori details, dark grapes and clementines.
AHA! So you thought I don´t “obento” anymore ;). I can surprise you sometimes :P.
Talking about bentos…
As I mentioned before, me and my friends in the bento community all over the world have come together to establish a fundraising event for the Japanese quake victims, what we call “Bento4Japan“.
In 9 days of its operations we managed to raise $2000 (so far), which makes me extremely happy and thankful to all people involved. Contributions and bids on our bento auctions have been exceptionally good and we still keep going on. For european friends who cannot bid for the gorgeous bento gear offered on ebay, we have a raffle available for you to participate. Please take a look if you have time ^^.
Actually… it is a favor I ask. Everyone knows I´ve been following the news about the earthquake in Japan and the devastating results that came after it.
I try to get as much information as I can, reading news mostly (I am not much a tv-person anyways) and I noticed there have been many absurd articles, here and there. Some texts tend to emphasize topics in such way that lead to terrible misunderstandings.
Maki from Just Hungry/Just Bento wrote a very good message to the bento community, pointing out ways how we can help Japan, not only by donating… but also, by keeping our minds open for learning and educating ourselves. I explain… with so much doubtful perspectives and sensationalism, it is quite easy to fall on hysteria and misinformation.
Please head to her blog and read the message. It serves not only to the bento community, but for everyone. We need to keep rational (and reasonable, right?) ;)