Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Simple Bento Meat Meat Meat

My bento 2011 is coming to the end. I'm probably going to make a few more bentos until the end of the year though. Looking back, most of my bentos had chicken or pork. I rarely use sausages or ham or something like that in bento, and my family like meat. Plus meat comes in handy especially in the busy morning. You really just saute or fry it in a frying pan. That's why I use meat very often. But I secretly think I want to be vegetarian someday... It would be a hard road for me haha. Hopefully I will use less meat next year. We'll see.

This bento contains jako & sakura ebi onigiri, ketchup chicken and homemade yogurt for dessert.

This one is a very teriyaki chicken bento. This day, I didn't have anything (that could be bento dishes), egg or vegetable but chicken thigh. This mikan barely made up for the lack of fun. But sometimes you feel like a simple bento like this one is also best hehe.

To liven up my bento, I scattered ginger pickle slices around the teriyaki. Ginger pickle not only gives an accent to bento, but also goes well with teriyaki stuff.

For this bento, I made sweet salty sour sesame chicken, grilled mayo egg halves, and a sweet potato cup which I mixed boiled-sweet potato, dried cranberry, walnut, a bit of salt and butter all together. I don't know why but these foods in this bento look not tasty. I think it's because of the sunlight and my camera setting. The foods were really good, I swear lol. I think I need a lot more tries to get pleasing pictures.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Fried Chicken Bento and Ginger Pork Bento and Totoro

This bento contains two fried chicken drumsticks, macaroni salad, plain omelet and two onigiri. I rarely use drumsticks for bento because they are a bit hard to eat. I think bentos should be easy to eat. However I didn't have any decent stuff other than them in the fridge haha.

I seasoned the drumsticks with herb salt, then dredged in potato starch, then deep-fried (not as usual) them.

For these bentos, I lightly dredged pork slices with starch, then sauteed, then tossed them with a little of syoyu/mirin/grated ginger/water in a frying pan. Also I mixed shirasu (teeny tiny fishes) and umeboshi, then put it on rice as with the ginger pork.


What does this look like? As soon as I found this baby, I said *KUMA CHAN!!* I thought it just looked like a bear's head. But Yuppi said *TOTORO!!*

Yeah I know, it is Totoro as you say! Red Little Totoro!?!?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bento and X'mas Prep

Happy Saturday night!! It's so nice to be relaxed sitting in front of the computer. I want to somehow post this year's bentos before the new year comes. These bentos are the ones I've made recently.

Patatas bravas (Spanish crisp spiced potato), chicken bacon rolls and cheese omelet.

Loco Moco -- chicken/pork patties with sauce and an egg sunny-side up on rice.

Chili shrimp on a bed of rice and julienne lettuce. And scrambled egg and a cup of sauteed chicken tender and bacon.

This one is for myself. The tiny pink things are ginger pickle by the way.

Is your Christmas prep going well? I've been making tons of cookies this week. We've already given the first batch away to some of our friends. It's always great to see (hear) people saying *wahhh, kawaiiii, oishii!* with what I made for them. I still have another batch to bake and pack and pass out. Though it's just self-satisfaction, it's always so much fun, isn't it?

Whoa somebody is shouting... *Let me ouuut!!*


Monday, December 12, 2011

Ebi Fry Bento and Chicken Rice Bento and Birthday

Ya Hooooi! Maybe... it's been a while!?!? I finally get around to writing a post whooo! I've got so many bento photos to post but I think I will only up three this time. I made ebi (shrimp) fry, boiled egg salad and onigiri for these bentos.



The other day, I thought I would make a omrice bento, but I ran out of eggs so this bento turned out chicken rice. In Japan, *chicken rice* means fried rice with ketchup and chicken in it. So you can probably say chicken rice is *omrice without an omelet*... Maybe I'm getting things complicated again? haha. Also I made potato milk soup along with the chicken rice.


In the past week, we had two birthdays. 6th is mine, 9th is Yuppi's. Not only this year was a terribly tragic one for everyone in Japan, but it's actually rough for us two also. However I am thankful that we are all healthy and great! And above all, that I've been able to continue fun bentoing! I really want nothing other than them.

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas

Yuppi wanted a PlayStation Portable or 3DS or Smartphone for her birthday, but I talked her into waiting it until she finishes her entrance exams next February because she now has to study very very hard. So I made her a little flower arrangement and gave a cute cupcake-shaped jar instead.



This cake is from my favorite cake shop. Not only is it darn cute but scrumptious!! With a wonderful harmony of strawberry mousse, custard cream, raspberry jelly and sponge cake, mmm... melting!!


I can never believe it's been 12 years already! She is still a giant baby though haha! I am glad that she is a loving girl now. The only one on earth who loves me this much, and my best friend. She was really happy with all the little surprises I'd prepared.



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quick Menchi Katsu Bento


This bento contains quick menchi katsu (breaded meat patty), tamagoyaki -- green onion and pink kamaboko, daigaku kabocha (fried and glazed kabocha) and two mini onigiri. Actually I don't really like putting tomatoes in a bento, but the one I put in the bento looked so tasty that I couldn't resist. Though tomatoes are not in season now. By the way, if you have some tag ends of kamaboko on hand, you should make a tamagoyaki with them. I finely cut my kamaboko and green onion, then beat egg with them, then made it a tamagoyaki, which was yummy! Menchi katsu is one of my favorite home cooking. For bento this time, I made it in a pretty simple way. I mixed some panko, grated onion and a bit of salt into minced chicken breast (also beef and pork both work well). And then made it into mini burgers, then put panko on both sides of them. Then pan-fried with a little oil as usual. I like to eat menchi katsu with tonkatsu sauce or syoyu.


I heard that many of my friends came down with a bad cold. It's because of the shift of seasons? I hate getting a cold or flu. Who loves it?! For prevention, I've tried to eat ginger and allium vegetables (such as negi, garlic) as often as I can. They are said to keep you warm and help to get rid of germs. Also I guess eating brown rice everyday helps us stay healthy. Are you okay? I really hope y'all and me stay well!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Quick Ebi Fry Bento

Hey everybody! Another week has started! Today I made quick ebi fry (panko shrimp) and quick tsukune (chicken patties). I seasoned some shrimps with herb salt and breaded both sides of them. Then pan-fried them with a little oil as usual. I put boiled egg with mayo next to them instead of tarutaru sauce. And for the tsukune, I mixed some tofu, starch and a bit of salt into chicken breast that I had minced in a food processor last night. Then made it into mini patties, then pan-fried and seasoned them. Whip-up bentos are done! It seems like my bento dishes are in a rut these days. Okay I don't mind so much, that's how daily bento-making is, I think. It's probably the best way to make or pack foods you want to eat the most in a timely fashion.



By the way, I found a newcomer chocolate at Daiso! Which has strawberry marshmallow in it. Of course I immediately became a fan of it! Oishiiii.

Finds from Daiso-3

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mini Omusubi Bento


I didn't want to make bento at all this morning and had no idea what to put in bento. You also have those days, don't you? I did devote most of efforts for making some mini omusubi haha! I tried to a bit jazz bento up with them and cover up the blandness. Yuppi made tamagoyaki and I had simmered pork in a pressure cooker last night. I just reheated it with some syoyu, honey and grated ginger this morning. It turned out great! And I like the way the tamagoyaki kind of looks like a butterfly. Isn't it cute??


It feels like everything doesn't go well and I'm spinning my wheels having a lack of concentration. Today was one of those days. Oh well, thank goodness, at least I got home safe and sound despite the snow falling heavily. And yes! It's Friday today! That means... a happy time and something yummy to me!

I'm jealous of those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. And happy weekend to you all (ahead)!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Kabocha Salad Bento

Today's bentos look boring. I don't feel like making bento today for some reason so I only made salmon onigiri and kabocha squash salad this morning. I braised kabocha slices then tossed it with a little salt and mayonnaise, and some crushed walnut. If you like kabocha this salad is perfect as a sandwich filling. I'm not a big fan of kabocha, but usually saute kabocha slices with a little oil in a frying pan until brown, and season it with salt and garlic powder. It comes out savory and not soggy. I like kabocha this way the best, it matches the mild sweetness of kabocha. If you have a chance to get a kabocha squash, give both a try!



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sammy Bento

I saw sammy lunch boxes on the shelf at my favorite bakery and they were so cute that I had to recreate my own. Today's bentos have some kinds of sammies and panko chicken, which I dredged chicken tender slices in herb salt and panko, then pan-fried it. I find my self using chicken tender pretty much everyday! Maybe I have to send it a testimonial lol! Chicken tender really comes in handy for bento, it's skinless, low calorie, tender and tasty cold, besides cheap!! I actually used to hate it before because it was bland for a young girl babykins haha. Now I love it! Well, I think I got to make my sammy bentos a bit cuter than the bakery's ones, I made it!

Yuppi had egg salad sammies which I minced boiled-eggs and ham, then mix them with mayo. The others are a simple combo of ham slices and mayo. She also had curry flavored chicken soup, and a mikan for dessert.


Mine has my favorite combos. Butter and ham slices, cuke and oilless tuna and mayo. I had a cheddar cheese wedge and milk coffee too. By the way I always use low fat mayonnaise because regular one is super oily for me. Since Japanese low fat ones are great you can use them for bento without worry.


This Sanrio bento box is one of my childhood-bentos. I rarely use aluminum wares, but I like the retro feel of this box.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Here Comes The Winter

first snow 2011 winter

Finally winter has come! Woohoo! But to be honest I hate this weather, it's too cold to be active out! Plus too bad we have to go out this evening, though I want to stay cozy at home. Oh well, the landscape around the town had turned into the white world in the morning. At least, to brighten up my day, I bought myself these at my fave bakery! uhaha♥



For today's bento, I made onigiri, panko shrimp, easy chicken tsukune and boiled eggs.


I directly breaded shelled-shrimp then pan-fried it in a little oil. And for the easy tsukune, I roughly chopped chicken tender and green onion, then added some starch, a bit of water and salt. Then pan-fried it. Both are super easy and quick to make, and of course healthy oithy yummy!


Have another great week everyone!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Happy Friday

Whew my bento tasks this week are done, yea yay. I made a lot, and ate a lot! I found that my bentos were getting even simpler these days as I was looking at my past bentos. Staple food and a little something. What else is necessary in a small bento box world? Love? Hehe. If there is anything missing it is definitely dessert or refreshment! I actually don't care nutrient balance for bento. A balanced lunch is of course much better than an unbalanced one though. I think taste balance and easiness to eat are more important for bento. I've been trying to eat the same one as bentos I made for the lest of my family so that I can find out if they are OK. There would be a lot of things you never know unless you eat.

These are bentos I made earlier. Nori onigiri, ume-braised chicken and konnyaku, syoyu tamago, and butter-sauteed kabocha squash slices.

A mini omelet on bacon yakiudon, mashed kabocha and mikan segments.

Sandwiches (egg salad, blueberry & creamcheese), apple bunnies, that's all. Awawawa they are pecking Yuppi's favorite sandwich...!!

Mini Burger and Salmon Onigiri and Happy Thing

I now feel happy! Do you remember that I had a giveaway a while back? As soon as the bento gear arrived, the two winners made a bento with them! That has me grinning! Here is the bento from Aleksandra at Diary of a Liveaboard. How pretty!!
Aleksandra's bento

Meanwhile, Heather at Ohayo Bento has also shared her lovely bento, check it out!

I am so glad that they both liked the giveaway goods and used them! Thanks so much for being wonderful bento comrades, Aleksandra and Heather!!

In the meantime, at last, it snowed here two days ago! It's getting colder, but such a gorgeous day today. You know what, it's the latest record of the first snow in 89 years in Japan. While, the earliest one I've remembered is September 14, which I clearly remember because it is my sister's birthday. Okay I'm ready for the winter, bring it on lol! Although it has nothing to do with snow, I discovered a super cute and nice bakery the other day! They have all kinds of bread and all of them look tasty. I couldn't resist buying some mini bun cuties. So yesterday's lunch inevitably turned out bread bentos.

I made bacon/onion omelet and stuffed it into the buns. By the way the teeny green on the omelet burger is survivor of rucola on my window gardening. And I rubbed on cream cheese and blueberry jam inside the other one, which is Yuppi's favorite combo. She got potato chicken soup as well, you can't see it though.

This bento is mine, I sometimes have to have lunch in my car by the way, which contains the same omelet burger and a milk cream one. I love milk cream bread, but bakeries' ones are too greasy for me. So I make milk cream myself with butter and sweetened condensed milk. You just mix them. If you are a fan of milk cream bread like me give it a try!

These bentos below are today's ones. I made salmon onigiri, potato salad and tamagoyaki (mock crab and green onion). I put purple daikon pickle (nukazuke) and a mini sausage into my bento. I actually like the look of this one.

This is for Yuppi. I've had no time to shot hubby's bento lately. No worries, he also sure gets his bento everyday only if I don't oversleep in the morning wahaha!