Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Noodle Bento

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bento 2015-08-30 0710
The time I make noodle bentos, it's when I sleep in or run out of rice. The first one above, salad men (cold ramen noodles with a salad dressing), I first boiled shrimp, pork slices, eggs in order, and then prepped veggies. Then I boiled ramen noodles, rinsed, drained, then dressed with a bit of sesame oil and made it into mini swirls for easy eating. I added a mini container of creamy sesame dressing later. This is not a quick bento, it takes some time to prepare all the items, but each of them is so easy to make. You can prepare everything except noodles the day before.



bento 2015-08-26 0708
For this one, I thought I'd make yakisoba, but I only had spaghetti. With that, these are *yaki-spa* bentos. I seasoned the noodles, veggie and pork with oyster sauce, shoyu and usuta sauce (Worcester sauce). Thin pasta is a healthier alternative for yakisoba noodles, because yakisoba noodles are usually coated in oil, while pasta has no oil or additives. What's more, it doesn't get as soggy.



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At this time I didn't have time to cook rice in the morning and decided to make naporitan pasta for bento. Unluckily I only had a bag of fusilli, but good thing, short pasta is much easier to eat than long one when it's cold. Especially fusilli is hard to stick together because of that shape. You know spaghetti (and other noodles) tend to get clumpy or mushy unless you eat it immediately after cooking. So that means short types of pasta are bento-eater-friendly, right?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

End of Summer 2015

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Just wanted to say Hi and let you know I am doing well. It looks like the short summer is over and we are heading to winter already, how time flies!! Today I made for bento, sweet salty shoyu chicken, corn and red potato tossed with salt and butter, cabbage and carrot tossed with ume and mayo. These white-rice-looking things are noriben (nori layered rice). Just as always only simple dishes included.



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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Home Alone

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I'm now at home all by my self as the family is out of town. I am officially free free, woo hoooo! I'm so happy, but at the same time I feel kind of sentimental, thinking that in 3 years, Yuppi might leave home for college. This is the first time I feel this way. I never felt lonely when she wasn't home for a while for school trips or something. Child-raising time is much shorter than you think. Many thoughts and emotions are coming into my mind. I wonder how many bentos I can make for her in the future? Though, I really want to avoid a situation that I have to make her bento (and meals) forever haha!

Anyway I gotta make the most of ME TIME. Happy summer break!



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Monday, August 03, 2015

Keep on Bento

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The calendar has turned into August. Can you believe it?! Christmas is coming soon?? We are still having humid, rainy weather and it feels like the rainy season is still lingering around here in Hokkaido. I'm so missing the crisp air. In the meantime, I keep on bentoing, yes, keep on making, keep on packing, keep on eating of course haha! Hmmm maybe I have a lot to speak, but for some reason, don't know where to start. I'll be back soon. Happy summer!!



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Saturday, July 04, 2015

Pork Donburi

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Are there often those days you sleep in and feel like making nooothing? Plus you don't have any bento stashes, either. As for me, that's yesterday. Anyway I did my best. I first cooked rice, and then boiled some water in a pan and sliced half an onion. Then I parboiled pork slices in the boiling water and drained it. Placed it back with the sliced onion into the pan and dashed a little mirin, sake, shoyu and sugar over it and simmered for a while. Sitting in a chair, having a glass of iced latte I was spacing out in the meantime lol. Now that the rice and pork were done, I first put the rice in my favorite enamel container and waited for it to cool off. Then I topped the rice with the simmered pork, benishoga (red ginger) and half a shoyu egg that I'd made a few days ago. Phewww, voila!
2015-07-02
Although I thought there had been no bento stash, I just noticed that I'd had the last shoyu egg, fortunately.



While, today I made shoyu chicken (sauteed and quick-marinated in shoyu and mirin), and a cheese omelet. I found something veggy and jazzy was missing so I improvised carrot and common bean salad. Hubs didn't need his bento today and I only needed a little bit of salad for Yuppi's bento. I'm not a microwave cooking person, but I like how microwave ovens are good at cooking small amounts of food. I seasoned carrot and common bean julienne with salt, sesame oil and sesame seeds after microwaving. Most veggies turn out good with these three seasonings if you're a fan of the sesame oil flavor.
2015-07-03
Since I had cute, tiny cherry tomatoes, suggested that Yuppi get some of them in her bento. Unfortunately, she refused it. Geez...



Yuppi's roll cake. I'm now craving roll cake for some reason. I thought I'd post these pictures today. :)
Yuppi's roll cake



Yuppi's roll cake 2

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Tempura and Omusubi Dog

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Since I didn't go shopping yesterday I tried to figure out what to make for bento with only stuff I had on hand. There were some chikuwa and a sweet potato in the refrigerator and we all love tempura with them. I added black sesame seeds into tempura batter for sweet potato, and dusted chikuwa tempura with a bit of curry powder after frying. The rest of this bento, broccoli stem and chicken salad, an omusubi dog. I peeled broccoli stems and thin stalks, sliced and microwaved for a bit, combined with steamed chicken tender I had made last night, and then seasoned with ume, wasabi and usukuchi (light-colored) shoyu.
2015-07-01



Clinging



Lovebird couple



Blue bouquet

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bento Care in Summer

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In this bento are chicken karaage, fried sweet potato, cherries, asparagus tossed with ume and shoyu, shoyu egg halves and konnyaku. These days, I prefer simple karaage seasoned with only salt, black pepper and lemon juice to normal one with shoyu, garlic and ginger. Yuppi really is a big fan of karaage and always like this. *Mama, get me some karaage at konbini!* Since I'm not a fan of convenience store's karaage, I often need to make one for her. Every kid loves fried chicken, don't they? Yuppi is not a kid anymore though.
2015-06-29



For this one, I made tompeiyaki (okonomi-styled omelet), daigakuimo, broccoli stir-fried with ume, sesame seeds and salt, and a wakame omusubi.
2015-06-25



Asparagus and egg stirfry, pork slices tossed in shoyu and karashi, satsumaage (kamaboko) sauteed with shoyu, mirin and butter, and broiled mayo-cheese chicken tender.
2015-06-30



Of course, I didn't forget to put ice packs on these bentos. Today I want to write what I try to do besides ice packs to keep our bentos from spoiling.

1). Not to put raw vegetable (especially greens) on bento foods without dividers.
2). To use antibacterial foods and spices.
3). To drain liquid of foods well before packing.
4). To pack foods in bento boxes after cooling.
5). To use insulated lunch bags. (On a very hot day.)

These are not new and are common, but I still tend to forget to do. I decided to write down here as a reminder for myself.
As to antibacterial items, I sometimes use wasabi, karashi, umeboshi, mustard, vinegar, honey, etc as seasoning too.
It is said that the antibacterial constituents of karashi, mustard, wasabi, horseradish are so powerful and volatile a little addition of one of them to a bento food can cover the whole bento. By the way, for bento foods, I rarely use strong smelling stuff such as garlic.

So what are things you try to do for bento safety?



Our local Rilakkumas. Featuring the local products, ika (a squid) and marimo (a green moss ball).
Our local Rilakkuma and Korilakkuna



Adorable twins.
Okame twins



Primula juliana and lilly of the valley. From May.
Juliana and Lilly of the valley