Friday, October 28, 2011

Soup and Simple Bento

Such a crisp morning! It should be a nice happy Friday today! Today's main dish is chicken soup... you can't see the way it looks delicious though lol! Last night I cooked chicken drumsticks in a high-pressure cooker. Pressure cookers are very handy and helpful for cooking. It only takes a few minutes to heat any foods. With good soup, I don't have to fix that many bento dishes. It's okay to even have only onigiri or bread besides hot soup, isn't it? Let's enjoy SIMPLE bento!! Yes I'm trying to involve you in my lazy world haha!

I just braised purple sweet potato and seasoned it with a bit of salt and mirin and honey. It's nice to have a bite of sweetness in lunch. And I put ketchup and powdered cheese on boiled egg halves (leftover), then baked them in the toaster oven. And two usual onigiri.

Have nice weather and a happy Friday and weekend ahead!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Panko Chicken and Nori Paste

I saw Heather having baked panko chicken in her bento yesterday, which made me crave it! So I decided to copy her. Last night, I made panko chicken -- Mine was chicken tender katsu this time, and herb potato. For bento this morning... I sliced the leftover panko chicken, made tamagoyaki (carrot, negi), sauteed hot dogs, made some onigiri, made potato gratin using the leftover herb potato. I mashed the potato and added milk and cheese, then baked it. I also sent Yuppi a thermal jar of wakame soup today. Since it's getting colder these days she wants hot soup for lunch.


Speaking of onigiri, I made onigiri filling using wilted nori. I mixed nori, some syoyu, sugar, mirin and water all together, and then cooked until it's pasty. Sweet salty nori paste (aka *Gohandesuyo* -- nori no tsukudani) is one of my favorite rice friends. It would keep for a while in the fridge. I sometimes mix umeboshi or wasabi powder or shichimi/nanami tougarashi into nori paste. Today's onigiri has wasabi flavored one in it.

nori paste

Happy Thursday!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lazy Bento and Treat

Yuppi had a fall field trip today. She decided to make bento by herself. She made simmered chicken thigh, shoyu tamago and mashed squash last night. And she put her favorite gratin cup in her bento.

All I did this morning was making some onigiri, and putting already-done-dishes in this magewappa. How nice I'm allowed to be lazy in the morning. You can have a cup of cafe au lait on the couch feeling comfortable. Ah there is another thing I did! I wrapped Yuppi's onigiri in baking paper like candies as her bento box had no room for onigiri. They look cute, don't they?

Today's shots!! I had a burger for lunch today, which has salty sweet fried chicken and lettuce. I actually eat this burger for the first time in ages. I always get a chili shrimp burger at this shop. I wanted to eat the fried chicken burger somehow, but regretted a bit not ordering a shrimp one.

Did you know? Santa Claus has already come to the burger shop!!


This is today's treat for myself. Milk & mango gelato, yeahow!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Yakisoba Bento and Odds and Ends



I had yakisoba noodles and rice for only one person each. Plus I didn't have decent stuff in the fridge so I rounded up odds and ends and made yakisoba and onigiri. Whew I think I managed to make decent bentos, no? One of them is boring though. I think I forgot to put something else in it haha!

Today's shots! We went to my favorite park a few weeks ago. I discovered an anachronistic shop. It's a rental boat house. I felt like I was time-tripping back in around the 1950s at that time. And as always, we fed ducks and played a lot. Then we enjoyed scrumptious gelato!! They are insanely yum, mmmm







More photos on flickr.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Onigiri Bento and Things about Myself

Onigiri bento continues. I'm big on onigiri these days, especially umeboshi one. Speaking of onigiri, I mentioned the difference between onigiri and omusubi on the last post. You can't remove *O* from *ONIGIRI* because *NIGIRI* is short for *nigiri-zushi* (hand-shaped sushi). I think Japanese is a confusing language. But I guess that's how most of human languages are. What else I made this morning are shrimp tamagoyaki and sweet salty chicken sticks, that's all. hehe


Today's shot!! I made chili oil using the red chili peppers from my garden. I'm going to use it for gyoza. Okay now I decided to make gyoza this evening so that we'll warm up because it's windy and cold outside today. It should have snowed somewhere else last night. Well, which am I going to make... Regular gyoza or boiled one??

Following the Tell me about yourself award, I'm finally sharing *7 things about myself*.

My favorite places --- The public library and the public park beside it. And fancy goods stores. I can hangout in these places for ages.

My favorite food --- Comfort food and simple homemade sweets. And all kinds of noodles.

My favorite homemade stuff --- Bento, bread, yogurt, pickled vegetable, soap, beaded accessories.

My dream --- Study abroad with my little buddy one day. Getting a Harley motorbike.

Things I love --- Coming up with a new recipe, blogging, yummy food, cook books, food photography, kawaii kitchen tools, travel, the Internet.

Movies I want to see at a theater now. --- Kung Fu Panda 2 and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Lastly, about the blog title and my online name.
At first I thought this blog would be a soapmaking blog because it was one of my hobbies. However, contrary to my expectation, this eneded up being a bentomaking blog lol! But I meant to write about my interests and all that jazz. I likened entertainment (such as music, books, films and so on) and spiritual things to *soul*, meal to *soup*, daily necessities to *soap*. All of them are absolute essentials for my life.
My online name --- *babykins* is from Richard Scarry's books. I love the world of his books and the adorable and naughty little cat boy, *Babykins* who is one of his characters.

These are all I came up with so far. I hope I haven't written too much haha!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spam Musubi and Chahan Bento

Yesterday I made spam musubi for bento. To be exact, pork sausage musubi though. The rest of this bento contains tamagoyaki (negi, crab kamaboko) and chili shrimp. By the way, do you know the difference between omusubi and onigiri? As a matter of fact... There' no difference between them lol! But omusubi feels sort of gentle and sophisticated to me. So when I want to put on airs, I'd prefer to say *omusubi*.

This one is a bento the other day, which has a nori omusubi, tamagoyaki, leftover chicken fry tossed in onion syoyu sauce, and orange, and a teeny tiny ichigo from our garden.

These are bentos I made a little while back. Simple fried brown rice with bacon, egg and negi in it. Chahan (fried rice) is really simple to make, but that actually makes it a bit difficult to make delicious one. It looks like there is a need to get the hang of it. But I think brown rice is great for chahan. It would help you make healthy and nice one!
Chahan Bento

Chahan Bento

I'm into making yogurt these days. It costs less than store-bought ones do, and is easy to make. Above all, homemade one is super yummy!
Homemade Yogurt

Today's shot! I love Pénélope! I have a lot of Pénélope story books. This is a bento cloth Yuppi has used since she's gone kindergarden.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Onigiri Bento and Handy Goods

Today's bentos contain baked chicken tender, mochi mochi cheese potatoes, syoyu tamago halves and onigiris. I wasn't really happy with how the chicken and cheese potato turned out. I'll try them again so I can share the recipes. Syoyu tamago is our always-favorite. You just soak fresh-boiled/shelled eggs in some shoyu for a while (about 10minutes). My method is very simple. It's okay because it's tasty enough. You can reuse the used shoyu for other cooking so don't discard it.



Today's SHOTS!! I decided to share my favorite photos besides bento ones each time. I bought some goods from Seria (100yen shop). They have many more cute goods than Daiso does. I was looking for inexpensive stainless-steel mini loaf pans for a while. It's not that I bake loafs very often so I don't need expensive ones. Yes I finally found ideal ones!

Cooking timers come in handy not only for cooking but also for chores. It's so helpful when you don't have much time, or you have to do something in haste. Isn't this one so cute??

I've been using this onigiri mold almost every day. I like this shape and it's much easier to make an onigiri in it than by hand.

You can buy any of them for just 100 yen! Can you believe it? I can't!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Nanbanduke Bento and Award

Today's bentos feature Nanbanzuke --- Fried chicken marinated or soaked in a sweet-salty-sour mix of syoyu, vinegar and sugar after frying, with tarutaru (tartar) sauce. It's so good for a rice bento or sandwich filling. The rest of these bentos have walnut potato, pickled celery. For the walnut potato, I stir-fried potato (that I'd boiled the night before) without oil in a nonstick frying pan, then seasoned with salt and some spices, and added crashed walnut. For the tarutaru sauce, I minced boiled eggs, fukujinzuke (pickle), onion, parsley, then mix them and a little lemon juice into mayonnaise. You could use various pickles instead of fukujinzuke. This sauce goes well with fried anything and sandwiches as well.




This is nanbanzuke Yuppi made the evening before.

In the meantime, Melonpan at my little japanese world passed along a cute award to me! Thank you so much Melompan! I appreciate it.

The award rules:
1). Post the award with a link to the award post of the sender.
2). Tell of 7 things about yourself.
3). Pass along the award to at most 15 other bloggers.
4). Let them know.

Is this correct, Melonpan??
Well what am I gonna write... Mmmm about myself. Okay maybe I should let everyone learn a bit more about myself. However, time is up now awww. I have to postpone it until the next post. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Congratulations to The Giveaway Winners

HELLOOO! Finally It's time to announce the giveaway winners WOO HOO! Waay more-than-expected people entered it, I appreciate it! Although I've got countless bento/foodie friends all around the world, it was SO nice meeting another bunch of great fellows. But I'm sorry I can't send the prize to you all. Thank you so much for entering the giveaway, and the encouraging and inspiring comments! All of you made this giveaway so much fun! As I mentioned earlier, I felt bad that only one person could win the prize so I put up the second prize afterwards.

Make sure your name is not missing.

This time I drew the two winners by a extremely primitive yet impartial way lol! I was so thrilled! Guess who I drew...
003 (2)

Ta dahhhh!! Here are the world's luckiest winners at this moment! Congratulations!!!


The first prize to Aleksandra.

The second prize to ohayobento.

Aleksandra and ohayobento, I'll ship the prizes once everything is set up.
Those of you who missed the prizes this time, thank you for taking your time to enter the giveaway. Hopefully I can do my 200th post giveaway in the near future!

Let's enjoy BENTO!!