Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Another Giveaway!

This must be the time of year for bento giveaways! Kitchen Cow is giving away a great prize package:

All she asks is that you answer one simple question: what would you put in this bento package if you won it??

I am pretty sure that my answer would have to be cute food! After all, isn't that what goes in every bento? Hmmm... specifically, I would have to make a different mini-bento in each of the four containers, sort of an Old MacDonald theme, with a different animal in each box. I think that would be fun!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Toddler Involvement

Ellie loves, I mean, LOVES, to make bentos. She asks to make them. But what do you do with a busy toddler who wants to be involved when you're creating food art?

Some people let their kids make the bentos. Right now Ellie is better at eating the pieces of the bento I've already cut than she is actually helping. But I want her to be a part of it, so.... this is what *I* usually do. =D

Bento Making

I give her a cutter or two or three and a slice of cheese. We usually make bentos right after breakfast, so I just count that slice of cheese as part of her breakfast.

Bento Making

She loves creating! She feels like she's a part of it! And I get to make cute bentos without too many of the pieces getting eaten before I can place them. =D

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tweet Salad

I am on the South Beach Diet right now, so I thought I'd try a grain free bento for a change. Here is my bento from the other day:

Bento - Tweet Salad

I used my rice molds to mold chicken salad into little bird shapes. It didn't turn out as crisp as rice does, but I like it! I also have lettuce in the bottom, peas, a few olives, and half a tomato in each half. To eat this bento I cut up the tomato, broke apart the chicken salad, and ate the whole thing as a salad. It was really yummy!

Bento - Tweet Salad

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A chance at greatness

Wendy over at Wendolonia has a great giveaway going on right now. And if you don't already subscribe to her blog, I love her bentos for her preschool son. They are easy and cute and practical! She has given me tons of inspiration, so check her out!

Tutorial: Cheese Fish

Step 1: Cut a rectangle from cheese about the size you want your fish.

Bento Tutorial - Cheese Fish

Step 2: Use moon cutter to cut the first crescent.

Bento Tutorial - Cheese Fish

It should turn out like this:

Bento Tutorial - Cheese Fish

Step 3: Use the moon cutter to cut another crescent to form the fish body.

Bento Tutorial - Cheese Fish

So that it looks like this:

Bento Tutorial - Cheese Fish

Step 4: Use moon cutter to cut a crescent tail.

Bento Tutorial - Cheese Fish

Here's what it should look like now:

Bento Tutorial - Cheese Fish

Step 5: Use heart cutter to cut a notch in the crescent tail.

Bento Tutorial - Cheese Fish

And here's your finished fish!

Bento Tutorial - Cheese Fish

Under the Sea Bento

Monday, May 11, 2009

Under the Sea

Under the Sea Bento

This is Ellie's bento from last week and I think it's my favorite so far! I have wanted to do this one, but had a hard time figuring out how to do blue water. Then I remembered my blue silicone cups and this idea was born!

It's a really simple bento, but simple is good, right? I put 3 blue silicone cups into the bento first, then filled them partway with frozen peas. Then I placed the spaghetti dog squids, who are swimming freely and having a grand time, and cut little cheese fish to swim with them. =D

Ellie doesn't like the taste of nori (seaweed), but it does make nice facial features and I had some on hand, so I gave them all faces of nori. Nori is like paper, so you can punch it using paper punches, even if you don't have nori punches. I do not have any nori punches yet, so I used this:

Bento Tutorial - Cheese Fish

for all of their faces! Oh, except for the fish eyes, which are poppy seeds. I'm a big fan of just using what you have if you don't have all the "proper" tools! It's one of the reasons I love bento!

Tomorrow I will give you a tutorial on how to cut the fish without having a fish cutter, since I don't have a fish cutter. =D

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rapunzel... the Robot?

I saw this idea somewhere last week and I had to give it a try. I don't remember what the originator called it, but I call these "Spaghetti Dogs." =D Here's how it works...

First, you stick dry spaghetti noodles into a hot dog, however you'd like:

Spaghetti Dogs

Spaghetti Dogs

Then, you boil the spaghetti-speared hot dog pieces:

Spaghetti Dogs

They sort of "swim" around the pot of boiling water, which is especially fun for the ones that look like little squids. =D

Once you pull them out of the boiling pot, the spaghetti is soft and has swollen to fill the hole it is in, so it doesn't fall out. It's pretty cool!

I really wanted to use this technique to make a head with hair, so that's what I did for this one. She ended up with really long hair, so I thought it would be fun to make a Rapunzel bento, but it didn't really turn out that way. Really, she ended up looking like an evil robot, I think. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

Robot Rapunzel

Still, it was fun to make the Spaghetti Dogs. We'll have to do that again. And I think it would be fun for kids to make their own designs with the spaghetti.