Friday, April 29, 2011

Huge Onigiri Bento

Hi there! How is your day? Our work week is about to end. A long holiday will start tomorrow inatead! I don't have any plans for the holiday yet though. Maybe I'm going to make some bentos in the meantime. And I hope we can go on a sakura picnic!

Yuppi has made bento dishes straight recently as I wrote earlier. So I can be somewhat lazy every morning. All I have to do is pack my own bento and take bento pictures, wheee! Today's bentos only consist of scraps from the fridge. Mushroom/pork/edamame stir-fry, spinach/corn salad (our late favorite) with sesame dressing, a nori/tamagoyaki swirl, a mini vanilla cheese cake and usual fruits for dessert. I mixed *ume nameshi* -- kind of a furikake (made out of umeboshi and green veggies) into rice, and made a flower atop the rice using pink ginger pickle. I like it much better than pink fish sausage or kamaboko to be honest. This time I took a thermal bottle of hot hoji tea with this bento. I really liked today's lunch, simple yet tasty and satisfying. Though it was rainy and chilly today, the hoji tea warmed my heart.

These bentos below are Yuppi's arrangements. They contain sauteed bacon-wrapped cherry tomatoes besides the same food as mine. Who ate this huge onigiri?! You compare it with the two mini onigiri in the red container. (Maybe she didn't want to make more than three onigiri ha!)

Happy weekend all my pals!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Teriyaki Pork Bento

Today's shots all stink! Okay I won't make excuses. Bentos themselves were neat!
Today we had teriyaki pork, potato stir-fry (curry flavored), spinach/corn/chicken salad, dekopon  orange. I'm too much worn out now to babble on here. Hopefully I'll post bentos tomorrow too. I hope y'all have a nice weather and day!!




Friday, April 22, 2011

Sukiyaki Bento

I didn't have enough time this morning so I incredibly speedily turned and worked in the kitchen. I threw all ingredients into a pan and dashed off!

Store-bought-looking bento series part 2!! (Just *looking* -- not store-bought lol). This sukiyaki bento contains rice underneath sweet/salty-cooked ingredients --- pork slices, shirataki, onion slices, shimeji mushrooms, green onion and boiled quail eggs. A fruit cup for refreshment. Easter is coming soon but I came up with nothing for an Easter themed bento. But after shooting this bento I noticed that this one incidentally had two must items for Easter yay! Ummm I think Easter bentos are supposed to be cute or pretty. So can't this be counted as an Easter bento?? But anyhoo I sure did this year also hehe!!


Make your Easter/weekend a fabulous one!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

BLO Sammy and Subuta Bento

Man, it's amazing! We made a lot of bentos today. Although you can only see 5 here, Yuppi and I made total 7 bentos this time... phew! I felt as if I were a bento shop staff. All of today's bentos are themed *takeout lunch*. Yes, they are shamming store-bought haha! It was fun to pack store-bought-looking lunches. By the way, I'm going to wash these throwaway packaging clean and reuse again and again. I've been trying to create less waste for the environment but I want to play around with bento props at times. I actually don't want to buy bento stuff anymore but I do find my self grabbing cute or interesting goods (even if it's non-for-bento) here and there ahhh.

BLO sammies (not BLT) -- bacon/lettuce/omelet, chestnut cream, cherry jam. A pork/chicken burger (leftover from last night).


This is for Yuppi (she packed herself).

We were all so busy and had to go out tonight so we needed a bento dinner so that we could eat dinner fast. Yuppi made all the dishes below after school. Then I packed myself this bento. She'd been craving for subuta (Chinese sweet/sour pork dish) so this one contains it. The rest of the bento are tamagoyaki slices, daigakuimo (candy-coated sweet potato), a grilled saba (mackerel) fillet, a dekopon orange wedge. I rarely buy furikake because don't like it too much, but I found a bag of pretty furikake the other day, which was tasty yay!

Yuppi packed herself this one. It contains pretty much the same dishes as mine.

I found tiny springs around my house.

Trumpet narcissuses



Happy warm Friday all!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nori Bento


Sorry for the gloomy shot. It's due to overcast. Well today's bentos are featuring NORIBEN! Noriben is a bento of rice covered over with nori that was lightly soaked in syoyu. It is one of the traditional bento styles. I loooove noriben! It is a lot easier to make than onigiri. I used to take it to kindergarten when I was wee. I was quite a picky child and had very few dishes I could eat by the way. You could eat up a noriben without being bored even if it doesn't have enough dishes next to. However, I've probably never seen before bento buddies outside of Japan make a noriben. It may be unpopular... Anyway I love noriben!

I toppped usuyaki tamago (thin tamagoyaki) flowers and ginger pickle petals on noriben to a bit liven up. The rest of this bento are sweet/salty/sour chicken tender pieces (super yum), potato salad (as usual), tamagoyaki slices, and a cup of milk kuzumochi with choco syrup for a little treat. I love chicken tender. It's literally tender even when it's cold. So I think it's perfect for healthy bento okazu (dishes). I'd like to write some variations of flavoring for chicken tender when I get to have time!

Here is Yuppi's bento. She made all the dishes and packed this one.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Three Happy Bentos and Fruit Crepe

Yuppi's no-school-lunch-days have started. She's been so much into bento lately. Now I can hardly believe that she was not interested in bento-making at all a little while back. She got up pretty early that morning and prepared all of these dishes here. She made penne arrabbiata, German potato, a seared chicken thigh and cheese omelet. As you see she prefers western food. And she's been on a tamagoyaki-making spree so that she polishes her skill. She packed herself this bento. She really enjoys making and packing bento but I have to clean up all the mess afterward each time, sigh...

This one is for hubby. Yuppi also packed it.

This is the bento I packed myself, which contains all the same dishes as Yuppi's and hubby's. How great to be able to have bento someone else made. Though I do give Yuppi credit for her cooking skills, she was sort of bummed and jealous that I'd packed more neatly than She had done. She wants to get a chance to knock my socks off. So I can no longer be comfortable haha! I think her bento beats mine and nobody won't notice the difference though.


Some of you may wonder if these bentos didn't have any desserts, but no worries, I made quick (as always) crepes for this lunch. I put on some custard cream, cut strawberry and dekopon orange, and then wrapped them into a portable and easy-to-eat shape. I'm crazy about custard cream. Not to mention I'm going to write my lazy recipe sometime.
Hope y'all have a happy start of the week!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pocket Sandwich and Nikumiso Onigiri

I meant to bake whole wheat breads but the dough didn't rise well for some reason. I wondered how I should make it. Then devil babykins said *Throw it in the garbage! It's no longer useful.* Meanwhile, angel babykins said *No! It's a shame to waste food!* Of course I made a good choice. I decided to make the most of the dough and I thought it hopefully might come out chapati or pita.

I made pocket sandwiches using MOCK pita breads. I stir-fried chopped chicken tender and onion, then seasoned with a little curry powder and usuta sauce (kind of a tonkatsu sauce) and ketchup and salt. And the other pita pockets have some salt-boiled cut potato and cheese slices. I was a bit surprised and excited with the taste! I think normal breads also go well with a combo of simply boiled potato and cheese. Simple yumminess. Give it a try!!

Today's bento is simple. I made two nikumiso onigiri, crispy chicken, pan-fried potato and a cup of fruit custard for dessert. This time I'd like to share my nikumiso recipe. *Niku* means meat, so niku-miso is meat-miso, which is very salty and kind of a filling for onigiri. You can put it in onigiri or directly put it on hot rice and eat. For those vegetarian, you can use vegetables (garlic, ginger, onion, bellpeper, carrot, burdock, etc..) instead of meat. It is called *yasai-miso* (vegetable miso).

By the way these onigiri are inspired by one of my sweet bento pals, Gamene's vege meatballs (Bento Zen). Her meatballs have turned out really pretty, tasty!

babykins' nikumiso recipe
1/2 teaspoon brown sesame oil or your favorite vegetable oil
2 chicken tender fillets or your favorite meat (chopped or ground)
About 3 tablespoons chopped scallion
4 tablespoons miso (salty bean and/or rice paste)
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon sake (if you have)
A little chili pepper (if you like)

1) Put the oil, chopped chicken and scallion in a frying pan and stir-fry over medium heat for a few minutes.

2) Add all the rest of the ingredients and stir-fry for another few minutes until the excess liquid is gone. Adjust the taste as you like. Done!!
Note: This could keep in the fridge for awhile.

Nikumiso would go great with various veggies as well -- especially cuke!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Yakiudon and Purple Salad and Oyakodon

Haaaahh look at these! Edible sapphires! Seriously I'm thinking that I want to wear pieces of these purple potatoes as accessories. I'm getting lately a purple addict, purple woman or purple monster?!? No no I'm just a purple-eater lol! As a matter of fact, it's not that I love all of purple things. I only love purple vegetables.

purple potatoes

This time I grabbed odds and ends together from the fridge and made yakiudon (stir-fried noodles). And a purple veggie salad with a tiny pouch of sesame dressing. (You can stick a pick into a dressing pouch then squeeze it onto your salad.) A cup of very berry yogurt for dessert.


These are today's our lunches. Oyakodon!! I love oyakodon. And I had a purple potato salad (as usual) and a custard tiramisu for dessert.


Tadaaaahh!! Krisi of Japan und die Bentobox gave me a lovely award. I'm so happy and honored. Thank you so much Krisi. It means a lot to me!

Golden Blog Award

Friday, April 08, 2011

Three Spring Bento Sisters

The title doesn't have any special meanings haha. But as you see, spring has come here at last woo hoo!!

Tofu/chicken soboro bento. I'd like to share my healthy yummy soboro recipe sometime. I'm ready for a sakura picnic. However it looks like I have another few weeks to wait. I just can't wait!!


Chicken nanbanzuke with tarutaru sauce, potato salad, tamagoyaki slices, and a candy omusubi. I *remade* karaage (fried chicken) that I'd made the night before into nanbanzuke. Nanbanzuke is a combo of tarutaru sauce and fried chicken marinated in a mixture of shoyu and mirin and vinegar. It's so tasty that I hope to write the recipe also.

Rice sammy bento. Rice sammy is easier to make than onigiri and norimaki. And also much easier to eat. I put pork soboro, thin tamagoyaki and tarako in them. It's okay to put in whatever you like that goes well with rice.

fluffy butter chocolate cupcakes-3
I baked chocolate cupcakes the last weekend. Fluffy and flavorful. I'm so happy with the result, but I need to complete this recipe. Then I'll share it!

Fabulous weekend!!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Rice Gratin Bento


I made this bento a while back but I've been saving it up for the time I'm ready for writing its recipe. Now it's time for it!! Gratin is heart/body-warming. It may be surprising but I think a gratin bento is perfect for lunch on a cold day if you can use a microwave at lunchtime. (It's now almost spring or summer here in the northern hemisphere though haha). Yeah it's okay, hot foods and roomheating are still needed here. Well my white sauce does not contain butter or cream so this gratin is light and tastes relatively good without reheating. So I put a mini gratin in my bento every now and then. Although general white sauce recipes need flour and a lot of butter, I use rice flour instead. Since rice flour is gluten-free, it's hard to get lumps. Besides another advantage is that it has no *flour taste* no matter if you don't stir-fry it with butter. So you could make a white sauce a lot more easily and quickly using it.

Sandwich Bento-6
shrimp/ chicken gratin

potato/cheese gratin

potato/cheese gratin

babykins' quick gratin recipe
White sauce ingredients
5 cups (or 4 and 1/4 American cups) milk --- (about 1000ml)
6 level tablespoons rice flour
1 level teaspoon salt
Note: If you like your white sauce more light you can replace a part of milk with chicken soup stock. If you don't have rice flour on hand you can use plain flour instead. In that case, you need to mix well and dissolve flour completely before heating not to make lumps.

Other ingredients (whatever you like). For example...
Braised (or stir fried) chicken & onion, shrimp & onion, mushroom & bacon, and so on
Boiled potato, egg, pasta, spinach, and so on

white sauce for gratin

1) Put all the white sauce ingredients in a heavy saucepan and mix well.
2) Cook it over medium heat stirring constantly until thick and smooth. Be careful not to make it burn in the pan.
3) Prepare other ingredients. Then mix it into the white sauce.
4) Add extra seasonings according to your taste. (Such as salt, pepper, cheese).
5) Pour it in a casserole or heat-resistant container. Sprinkle Parmesan or buttered panko (breadcrumbs) on top if you want.
6) Bake it in the oven until the surface is golden brown. Done!!

This time I made a rice gratin. I stir-fried chopped onion, cut chicken and mushrooms then mixed it into hot rice with a little salt and ketchup together. Then poured some white sauce over the mixed rice and put a little of sliced cheese on the top and baked. Why not try an effortless but nummy yummy gratin??


Sunday, April 03, 2011

Teriyaki Pork Bento and Chicken Katsu Bento

Aaahh how much I love the natural colors of food! Especially purple veggies! I'm always appreciative of the gift from nature.

Rice topped with teriyaki pork slices, purple potato/edamame/corn salad, mineola orange wedges. Purple cabbage sprouts atop the teriyaki pork.

Rice, chicken katsu skewers, tomato/cheese omelet slices, mashed purple potato, and boiled veggies.

Chicken katsu slices, rice underneath it, a boiled egg wedge with mayo, purple potato salad, a milk/iyokan-orange kanten for dessert. You can check out my kanten dessert recipe on the previous post.

I found cow-printed mini plastic jars at the fancy goods store the other day. Aren't they pretty cute?? I like them so much hehe. When I bought them I decided I'd sure make a milk dessert.
Happy Sunday!!