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! ;)
April 4, 2012
I did a couple of fun guest posts for my sweet Brazilian friend Nathy from Bistro Pregui. The blog is in Portuguese but please take a look, we are currently talking about onigiri! (I even made clumsy pictorials showing how to make them ;)
I love her blog (she is very talented with graphics!) and being invited to write there made me very happy ^^.
Oi gente!! Eu fui convidada pela minha querida talentosa amiga Nathy do blog Bistrô Pregui para fazer alguns posts sobre oniguiri e com muita honra eu os fiz :). Passem lá para dar uma olhadinha, estamos falando sobre o famoso bolinho de arroz japonês. Tem até passo-a-passo com fotinhos para vocês verem, aqui e aqui :) !
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!
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 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 ;).
April 13, 2011
Yes… I know, I haven’t posted in this blog for about a week. It hasn’t been intentional, but I have been lacking time to do so…
But hey! I am still here ;)
Aside from the normal chores… Today I show you what I’ve been doing lately, on late nights, children´s nap times and squeezed times of freedom: crafting… and creating. It is just madness, ideas keep popping in my mind all the time and I can’t keep on with them in normal levels.
Crafting what? Toy food! I must admit there´s a reason behind these … and I’ve been working on the items for about 2 weeks already.
Many alpha versions got kidnapped by my girls (also some beta ones…). I needed to repeat doing same stuff many times until I got a result that I found acceptable (HAHAHA, am I this weird).
Just to mention… my girls really adore when I make toy food. They kept asking me every second “is it ready?” ” can we take it now” “are you going to end the onigiri today”. To the extreme they arranged a little box and left it by my side, demanding “here mama, you can put the ready ones”.
….wondering if they are spoiled little ladies… >_<
You will notice that most of the foods have a Japanese-style tendency (*hint* *hint*)…
Japanese nimono anyone?
Lotus root, carrots, shiitake, broccoli…
Pan fried shiozake (salted salmon)
Traditional tamagoyaki and spinach filled one
Little fruit cup
Apple bunny (usagi ringo), grapes, strawberry and an orange wedge
These were really fun to craft ( ok.. ok.. I had some nervous breakdowns during the process :P ). I liked the results… there´s room for improvement but I am very happy anyways :).
(Hope you like them too!)
March 16, 2011
Today´s simple bentos were an attempt to encourage my daughters to eat a bit better. With this flu, their appetite have been quite poor… oldest daughter practically stopped eating since weekend and just drank juices and tea.
I also decided to spend more time with them today (instead of staring the computer for news). Dedicating time to the girls, cuddling them and making these meals affected me positively. I need to get well too so I can be a good mother for them.
Contents of the boxes: “Hinomaru” onigiri with an umeboshi portion (I didn’t have smaller umeboshi), spinach tamagoyaki, chicken meatballs, steamed broccoli, romanesco and cauliflower, carrot flowers, mini plum tomato, orange and grapes.
Although the portions were tiny (the onigiri is quite small), Luonnonvoima left quite a lot untouched. She ate the fruits and the omelet but couldn’t eat all the rice. I think it was enough for now ^^.
I made the onigiri in this shape on purpose. I took the idea from the “Hinomaru bento”, a very simple bento consisted of plain white rice with an umeboshi in the centre. “Hinomaru” is the Japanese flag.
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“.
There are auctions in this theme already listed on eBay. All the proceeds go to GlobalGiving’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief effort. Use the search term “Bento4Japan” to find the auctions for bento boxes, incredible books, accessories and bento kits.
Encourage your friends and family to bid to help raise money! You satisfy your bento shopping and help a good cause at the same time ^_^!
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!