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!
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!
March 3, 2011
It is bizarre but it seems I always have trouble during this time of the year. I still remember the 2010 Hinamatsuri day… we were going through a very delicate situation here and I was so uninspired I tried hard to make an effort and come up with a Girls´day bento (ah, yea, forgive me the terrible
picture everything) to my little ones.
After all, they ALWAYS deserve a celebration ^__^ ! My girls are usually the main reason I actually do something instead of complaining all the time :P.
Explaining the Hinamatsuri: it is held on every 3rd of March in Japan. Originally it is the “Doll Festival” (hina is doll) but it is also called “Girls´Day”.
The doll set displayed during the event represents the Japanese Imperial House and there are very traditional food to be served in this particular day too (I have none here. Wish I could get some arare.. :P).
Inside the boxes: lettuce, mini plum tomatoes, mini carrots, steamed carrots, edamame, spinach tamagoyaki, grapes, cucumber slices, apple wedges. “Emperor and empress” mini onigiris made with mixed cereal rice, spinach and paprika soy wraps. Details with nori, cucumber and carrot. I had a turkey ham flower that I forgot to put in the bento …
The greeting card you see in the pictures was sent by a precious friend of mine. Written behind, she wishes health, success and prosperity to my little ones. I wish the same to all girls out there too! Happy Girls´Day!
February 10, 2011
Not exactly a Valentine´s day bento, but I think it fits the theme :P. In Finland there is what we call “Ystävänpäivä” (translated to “Friend´s day”), celebrated on Feb 14th. According to Wikipedia, it seems to be the second most important reason to send cards and postcards (Christmas is the 1st) in Finland, but to tell you the truth… I didn’t get much since I moved here.
Well… I remember making Valentine´s cards at my English school when I was a kid and that was it… XD
I prepared the bentos in the morning so the girls could eat them after coming home, at lunch time. (And I just noticed I don´t have heart decorative picks! How non-romantic I am…)
Contents of the boxes: whole wheat bread sandwich with sun-dried tomato cream-cheese, turkey ham and cheese. Bear made out of rye bread (taikaruis-leipä), cheese and nori, “bird” made with cheddar, a tiny carrot piece and nori. Lettuce, steamed carrots and edamame pods, cherry tomatoes, clementines and apple slices.
Ehehe, yep I noticed the bear on the left has weird eyes ^_^. It is the love ♡♥ ! :D
January 25, 2011
For yesterday´s bentos I used leftover gyozas (Japanese potstickers) I made on the weekend after a fun Sunday out with the girls. We went to do “pulkkamäki” (downhill sledging) nearby and hubs and I ended up pulling the sled uphill couple of times :P… ehehe, I must admit, my thighs are still hurting today ^_^!
And because gyoza is by itself a good portion of protein and carbs, I added only small onigiris to their bentos. Bunny shaped =).
So, the contents of the boxes: homemade gyoza (with pork and beef meat, spring onions and chinese cabbage), cucumber sunomono with ham and omelet strips (under the rice), cherry tomatoes, steamed broccoli, lettuce, dark grapes and clementines. Bunny-onigiri made of rice, nori and turkey ham (almost unnoticeable! It is so pale pink… :/ )
hmm… I am sorry about the “shiny” photographs. It was already very dark when I prepared the bentos… *waiting for winter to end*