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!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Shichimi Chiken Bento

It's a nice Autumn day! A bit chilly this morning though. The town is colored over with ginkgo yellow and other red/orange leaves. It's a real bummer I'm always driving when I can see such a beautiful streets. I can never take pictures of them. Meanwhile, it looks like the beautiful season ends soon... Yuppi doesn't need bento today as she has a cooking class at school. They call in a soba instructor for the class and will be making soba noodles for lunch themselves. I'm jealous! I wish I could join it. By the way, she requested chicken karaage yesterday. Actually she was a bit unhappy with the mock karaage (that I mentioned in the last post the other day) lol! Because chicken karaage is her always-favorite. I liked the mock one better than real one though! So I had to make tons of *real* chicken karaage last night. I saved some of the seasoned chicken for bento before powdering and frying it. I had seasoned it with syoyu, grated ginger and garlic powder. This morning I pan-fried it along with konnyaku slices that I had in the fridge. I topped brown rice with them, scrambled egg, umeboshi and nukazuke (homemade rice bran pickle). Then sprinkled shichimi (Japanese 7-spice powder) generously.



Okay I have to go off for the next task. Have a happy day all!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Sakuraebi Onigiri and Veggie Karaage

For today's bento, I made sakura-ebi onigiri, tamagoyaki and a *meat-like thing*. I mixed sakura-ebi (teeny tiny shrimps), a little of salt and brown sesame oil into fresh-cooked brown rice, then shaped it by hand, then wrapped with nori as usual. Last night I made mock chicken karaage using soy meat made out of soy protein. The texture of the mock karaage is just like meat, and still has a bit of soy bean flavor. But if you season soy meat richly nobody would believe it's soy protein. Last night, for bento, I seasoned some of the mock karaage with syoyu and umeboshi paste (because I added too little seasonings to the soy meat), then kept it in the fridge. That is the meat-like thing! And I put a cup of soy milk yogurt (I made two days before) with yuzu honey in the bento. Gee, it may not so long until I become a vegetarian???


homemade soy/cow milk yogurt

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Omrice Bento

I made omrice bentos the other day. Omrice -- omelet & rice -- is one of Japanese comfort foods. I always used to order it at a restaurant as a child. It was originally ketchup-flavored, fried chicken rice wrapped in a thin omelet with plenty of ketchup on it, but there are some styles of them nowadays. Mine is really simple (as always). I stir-fried cut chicken thigh and onion, then seasoned it with ketchup, salt, black pepper and butter. And then mixed it into fresh-cooked brown rice, then put scrambled egg (or an omelet) on it. I sometimes do a wrap version. I actually like it better.





Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Shoyu Chicken Bento

This bento contains furikake rice, syoyu chicken, kanikama (mock crab) omelet, veggie salad, mikan segments (mandarin) and a blueberry yogurt cup for dessert. I simply pan-fried chicken thigh, then dressed it in only syoyu. Didn't come up with any names for it so I decided to call it syoyu chicken... how random haha. I think shichimi (nanami) tougarashi goes well with it, but I forgot to sprinkle it on the chicken, bummer!


In the meantime, as you see, I've been using this magewappa in a row. I expect that rice and dishes won't so cold in a wooden container. I'm not sure if it works though. Sadly all the magewappa bentos I've made lately look like the same... In fact, I've made similar things lol! If I bake bread or something, I want to make no rice bentos. By the way, I love this cloth on the back ground. One of bento buddies sent me way back. It's so cute I still wonder what to make with it. Thank you K! I miss you!


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Healthy Bento



Hallo hallo Hallo Ween! Too bad I didn't make any Halloween bentos. Crafting a bento sounds like a pain to me. Instead I enjoyed looking at everybody's. All were so much fun! Anyway my first bento this month (it's November already... sigh. Isn't it too fast?). This morning I made some hotdog onigiri, veggie salad and almond dressing for the salad, that's all. It's healthy huh? I've actually had a hard time taking enough time for bento and other stuff lately. Maybe I've been going through the second busiest time in my life. So I'm probably not supposed to consume time for blogging and the internet, but still I love taking shots and writing stuff. If I don't do that for a while I would feel sort of discouraged. However I feel that I have to focus on one thing, or I can't catch up with anything. Ah well, those of you who celebrated Halloween, I hope you had a super creepy... no, super happy one haha!