Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I've been playing around with filled onigiri lately.  What I have been told about rice balls is that if they are plain they are technically called musubi and if they have flavorings or fillings they are onigiri.  (If this is not correct, please let me know!)  I tend to use onigiri to describe rice balls all the time.  Filling rice balls is fun!  It can sometimes be a messy game, but practice is your friend.  So is cling wrap.  When A-chan was much smaller I rarely used fillings in onigiri because it was harder for her to eat and she abhorred getting messy at school.  Now that she is older it happens much more often which makes me very happy.

In the bento:  Kitty onigiri with teriyaki tofu filling, lemon slice, sesame carrots in a toasted bread bowl, steamed broccoli, blackberries and a checkered apple slice.

The kitty is composed of two large onigiri for head and body and two small onigiri for the paws.  The smaller rice balls are plain and have black sesame seeds for claws.  The larger onigiri both have filling.  Her face is decorated with black sesame seeds, nori, white egg sheet and pink egg sheet.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Little Bunnies

We are getting back into the swing of things!  Bento prep is vastly less complicated when I plan the night before.  I review what I want to make - both recipes and characters - and check to make sure I have the ingredients.  Being surprised in the morning by not having any egg sheets made is less fun than one might expect.  While I can make emergency egg sheets in the morning, I really prefer not to!

In the bento: Two cute rolled sandwiches, raspberries, blackberries, tiny carrot strips, sweet corn on the cob, potato salad and steamed broccoli.

The sammies have shredded cheese and mayo inside and are held together with toothpicks.  Even though the toothpicks were pretty obvious, A-chan was warned about them as we drove on the way to school.  The ears and mouths were cut from egg sheets and the other details from nori.

A-chan is enjoying her new dessert-themed picks that we purchased in San Francisco this summer.  They are cute and handy so I'm loving them too.

Friday, August 22, 2014


It's time to go back to school again.  And that means bentos every day!  We had a lovely summer with lots of travel but not many chances to play with food.   I'm very excited about all the bentos that will be created this school year.  A-chan requested a complicated charaben for the first day of school.  Surprise, surprise - it's another Fairytail bento.  It took six different egg sheets to make Lucy.  My bento skills got a little rusty over the summer so there isn't as much detail as I would prefer.

In the bento: Sushi rice with egg sheet and nori character, carrot flowers, corn on the cob, a cherry tomato, steamed broccoli, fried tofu, raspberries and blackberries.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fairytail Bento

Two bento posts in two weeks?  Yes, it's true!  This bento is a rendition of the main symbol from one of our new favorite animes, Fairytail.  It's a lot of fun to watch with outrageous characters and tons of destruction.   I had originally tried to make the Fairytail symbol with nori but my dull exacto knife was not very cooperative.  Switching to provolone cheese on top of a piece of nori was the only way that I could get the symbol to work and I'm happy that it finally coalesced.  (Egg sheets would have been better, but I was totally out of eggs.)  A-chan was delighted.

In the bento:  A cheese sandwich with nori and provolone cheese symbol on top and carrot letters, Morningstar Farms chik nuggets, strawberries, checkered cucumber and carrot stars.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Butterfly Lunch

Just a quick post to prove that I'm alive and still making bentos.  School is eating up all my time with essays, tests and homework.  Bentos are getting made like normal.  Photo processing obviously isn't, lol.  A tiny bit of beauty can make a tough day so much better.

In the bento:  The bottom tier holds rice with black sesame seeds, a carrot flower with mustard seed detail, edamame pod leaves, a cheese and nori butterfly.  The top tier contains a checkered apple, fried tofu, steamed broccoli, steamed edamame, a cherry tomato, blackberries, orange slices and oven roasted potatoes.

I love the stark color difference between the rice and the sesame seeds (and they are tasty).  This has become my favorite way to eat rice!  Hopefully I'll be able to post more soon.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pandas in Hoodies

Brrrrr!  It was 27 degrees last night.  That's cold, y'all!  A-chan was desperately hoping for snow but the powdery white stuff did not make an appearance in our area.  Still - really cold.  And I thought these cute pandas could use some snuggly hoodies to keep warm in.

In the bento:  Panda inari zushi, an apple bunny, steamed broccoli, a carrot musical note, tofurky slices and cream cheese rolls,  and lovely chunks of plum.

The panda's faces were punched from nori and provolone cheese.  I used a tiny bit of ketchup for their cheeks, but not enough to affect the flavor.  The plum bits were arranged in a silicon container so that the juice didn't mix with everything else.  One of A-chan's new fav snacks is soy-turkey and cream cheese rolls.  They look so pretty in a bento!

I can't believe it's so cold already.  Stay warm out there!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lovely Little Mushrooms

We all get stuck in a rut sometimes and feel like we don't have any creativity to pull out of our hats, right?  When that happens I ask A-chan what she would like in her bento for the next day.  Rarely has this backfired but in this case...yeah.  She asked for mushrooms, one boy and one girl.  What the heck?!  That was really no help, but thanks.  So now I needed to come up with an idea for 'shrooms and I had nothing.  Really.  Zip.  Ah, but I have books.   Inspiration found, I thought, and pulled out all of my charaben books.  They are all in Japanese which I can't read to save my life but hey, I can still look at the pictures and get ideas! mushrooms.  Gah.  In desperation I turned to Pinterest.  And there a beam of light came down from on high to illuminate one of AkinoIchigo's bentos with some cute mushrooms.  I loved it and had a great time coming up with this bento which is totally inspired by hers. Crisis averted.

In the bento:  Rice with homemade furikake, blackberries, carrot leaves, tofu and broccoli stirfry, feta chunks and an apple bunny.

The mushrooms were made from provolone cheese and a pink egg sheet that I distressed a bit with a toothpick to look more 'shroomish.  They have nori faces, more pink egg sheet for cheeks and the girly mushroom has a bow cut from carrot.  I think they came out really well.  More importantly A-chan loved them!

We are having a blast at the NanoWriMo challenge.  A-chan has around 450 words out of the 900 word goal that she set for herself.  I can't believe she's already half way there!  My word count is around 17,000 out of a total 50,000 to meet the challenge.  The biggest surprise so far has been the fact that my grammar and punctuation skills are not as good as I'd thought they were!