She has a Fruit salad in the thermal container in the center
Side cup 1 - Sundried tomato hummus, peanuts and cashews w/ a melon gummy on top
Side cup 2 - Dried banana chips and dried papaya
She also had pita in a sandwich bag for the hummus
Next week we will be going camping, so it'll be another sparse bento week :)
Aug 6 --
Bottom Tier: Mixed greens w/ the usual ham turkey and swiss pinwheels, carrot flowers and hearts and a star shaped boiled egg
Top Tier: another Mitsuwa snack cake, sundried tomato hummus, macaroni salad w/ naruto kamaboko and yummy peach wedges (I ate the rest of the peach - it was a good one :)pita in the lid for the hummus
I have been getting lazy w/ the bentos - haven't been packing as regularly and have been getting bored w/ the same old things - need to change it up a bit!
Aug 4 --
Bottom Tier: Same ol' chef's salad w/ pumpkin shaped boiled egg - I'm getting a little tired of packing the same things all the time, but that's what Rob likes - lol
Top Tier: Mac salad w/ naruto kamoboko on top, baby carrots, snow peas and strawberries
2 Japanese snack cakes from Mitsuwa in the lid
Aug 3 --
Top Tier: Cucumber slices, carrot sticks, kiwi flowers and cherries
Bottom Tier - Mixed Greens w/ baby carrot flowers and cherry tomatoes from our garden, ham turkey and swiss pinwheels and a bunny shaped egg that I just couldn't get to show up in the picture very well - I still need to get around to making that light box...
Some sort of japanese cake thing from Mitsuwa market and a mango gummy in the lid
July 29 -- Perhaps the fastest bento I've ever packed...
Tier 1 - leftover antipasta salad from Little Italy
Tier 2 - Baby carrots, Strawberries and cherry tomatoes from our garden, mac salad, black bean corn salad stuff Rob made (leftovers) and seafood salad, topped w/ naruto kamaboko
July 24 --
Tier 1 - Macaroni Salad, Snow peas, Seafood Salad (also packed crackers in his bag for this), Pitted Cherries, Kiwi flowers and Strawberries
Tier 2 - His usual Chef's Salad of Mixed Greens w. Ham Turkey and Swiss Pinwheels and a sliced boiled egg in a star shape this time and cherry tomatoes from our garden
Hidden Valley Ranch Light for his salad and peas
July 23 --
Tier 1: Macaroni Salad w/ nori decoration :), cherry tomatoes from our garden :), snow peas, cucumber and red pepper
Tier 2: Kiwi flowers, strawberry slices, blueberries, plum slices, Asian jelly treat, peanuts w/ chocolate covered sunflower seeds and cashews w/ mor sunflower seeds
Side Car: Mixed Greens w/ car shaped boiled egg, ham turkey and Farmer's Gouda pinwheels, red pepper and another cherry tomato from our garden
(he was at a dealership that day too - up in CT so I made his lunch a little large knowing he wouldn't be home until late)
July 21 --
Bottom Tier: Mixed Greens w/ car shaped boiled egg, ham turkey and farmer's gouda pinwheels and carrot flowers
Top Tier: Mac Salad w/ Cucumer and carrot flowers, strawberry and melon gummies and greek olive hummus
Side Car: Pitted Cherries (love the cherry pitter Kat got me for Mother's Day - or was it Xmas?), Pineapple, strawberries, plum, Kusagi Peanuts (I think I'm remembering right - I love these things, but the bag's gone to double check...) and a babybel light
He also had a piece of pocketless pita in the lid for the hummus
The egg was already boiled, shaped and in the fridge from the night before - As I've mentioned, I often boil 2 eggs to save time the next day. I would only boil one extra egg for this as the shelf life for peeled boiled eggs is much shorter than that of an in shell boiled egg and that is shorter yet than raw egg in the shell as boiling removes the protective oil coating from the outside of the egg. On one web source I perused, a responder claimed that coating the boiled egg (unshelled that is) in oil or parafin would keep it fresh longer - not something I have ever tried...
June 30 --
Bottom Tier: Mixed Spring Greens w/ star shaped sliced boiled egg, carrot flowers, radish slices and ham turkey & swiss pinwheels
Top Tier: Macaroni salad w/ kamaboko & green onion flowers, sundried tomato hummus, blueberry mochi, green tea candy and chocolate covered sunflower seeds
Side car: Pickled veggies (Giardiniera) in lettuce leaf 'cup', pineapple and blueberries
He also had some rosemary garlis triscuits in the lid for the hummus and of course his light ranch dressing.
I happily managed to use 4 of the items I picked up at Mitsuwa last week, though they were all small contributions :) I started to use the carrot flowers on the macaroni salad yet again and then remembered the naruto kamaboko and seeing it used as a flower on an onigiri in my review copy of Kawaii Bento Boxes :) It does make a simple and pretty flower, doesn't it?
This evening I plan to get back into walking with my neighbor when she walks her adorable dog Beau, so we'll see how much time I feel like spending on tomorrow's bento after the walk (it's been at least 2 weeks since I was so sick). Hopefully the thunderstorms will have all passed by then (though I do love a good thunderstorm!)
You've seen this box before, but again, it is from VeryAsia.com and is one of my favorites and the single tier came from Pikko - she sold it on one of her blog posts a while back :)
And here is the new bento box all closed up :) I mentioned the new box on Friday, but hadn't posted a photo - It is still out of stock on VeryAsia.com - Again, this was purchased at Mitsuwa in Edgewater, NJ (595 River Rd - is it scary that I have the address memorized? ;P hehe)
My oldest daughter, Ahmetia, has been volunteering in the NJ Renaissance Kingdom, which just wrapped up yesterday. Kat also decided to attend yesterday and they each packed themselves a bento:
June 29 --
And here are bird's eye views of each tier:
And Ahmetia's Bento:
I would have liked to have added red pepper or grape tomato roses to the salad for more color, but I didn't have either - it wasn't until today that I realized I could have used radish again - Oh well...
June 24 (now for June 25) --
I am slowly improving on the antibiotics and am trying to get back into the swing of things - in the meantime, I have two bento for Rob and one Kat packed the week of the convention that I didn't get a chance to post with all the preparations and I, of course, have to tell you how the bento workshop went :)
June 9 --
Top Tier: Pitted cherries, snow peas, baby carrot sticks, blueberries, macaroni salad w/ carrot and green onion flowers and black sesame seed 'ground'
Bottom Tier: Mixed Spring Greens w/ grape tomatoes, radish slices and carrot flowers, car shaped boiled egg and asian fruit jelly
June 10 --
Top Tier: Mixed spring greens, carrot flowers, ham and swiss pinwheels and pumpkin shaped boiled egg
Bottom Tier: Pitted cherries, Blueberries, Macaroni Salad w/ carrot & cilantro flowers
And Kat's bento:
June 10 --
Top Tier: Kamaboko, Cherries, kiwi, blueberries and tamagoyaki - a little broccoli filler
Bottom Tier: Radish, baby carrots, onigiri
Once again, we forgot to take pictures during the workshop :o It gets so hectic doing a workshop, this time with 37 people, that we didn't even think about it until we were done cleaning up and were on our way back to the hotel room :(
I did the eggs in the egg mold the night before and we ran to Shoprite and got the rest of the produce the afternoon before. I had bought a hotplate so that I could do the eggs in the hotel room, which was a real pain - the water did not want to boil and the eggs were horrible to peel - it was impossible not to tear off pieces of egg while trying to peel them, no matter how carefully we tried :( On the second batch, Rob thought to use a carefully placed hand towel over the pot and we were able to get a good boil going. Even though every boiled egg tutorial will tell you not to place the eggs into already boiling water, we did it anyway. And although the eggs cracked a bit while boiling, they came out great and were a breeze to peel :) Batch 3 was more like batch 1 but not quite as bad as we tried putting the eggs in and then covering - the water just took too long to reach a boil, so for batch 4 we made sure to do them as we did on batch 2 and again they were much easier to peel. I was just happy when all 4 dozen were done (minus the unusable eggs - we needed to have 40)
We were lucky enough to have plenty of time for setup and having the sign-up sheet ahead of time made things so much easier this year - and we learned a few things yet again to change for next year to make it even smoother :)
Kat gave her presentation while Rob and I put out plates of produce etc. on the tables and rice as soon as the rice cookers were done - we put the hot rice into plastic disposable bowls and put a bowl to about every 4-5 people - and then we got to packing bento! We handed out various ingredients and gave a few quick tutorials on things like making a grape tomato rose as everyone was packing the food into their bentos.
Everyone made onigiri in the mini mold each received and each received an egg inside the egg mold to keep, along with their bento box, bag, some picks etc. We even drew names for prizes - we were originally going to vote for the best, but since not all the eggs came out great, I felt that would be unfair...
They all seemed happy and the only question we had at the end when we asked was "Why are you so awesome?" - That, of course, made my day :)
I would have preferred to post about it while everything was fresh in my mind, but that just wasn't going to happen while I was so sick.... Hopefully the bento posts will get back on track!
By the time I got back from my walk w/ my neighbor last night and finished watching Slumdog Millionaire, it was getting late and I really just wanted to pack a quick bento. I was going to make pasta salad since we're out of his usual Macaroni salad, but I changed my mind and just threw in the deli spirals from Sam's Club.
June 8 --
Top Tier: Pineapple, Snow peas, baby carrot sticks, deli spirals
Bottom Tier: Mixed Spring greens, ham and swiss pinwheels and grape tomato balloons
Strawberry and melon gummies in the lid
Edit - forgot to list the bear shaped boiled egg - must have been my subconscious since it didn't turn out that great - the egg was a little too small (and I buy large eggs!)
Kat finally did a Charaben! :D This is Deady, from a comic by Voltaire.
June 8 -- Top Tier: Spinach Namul, Bean Sprout Namul, quail eggs, kamaboko, baby carrots and coconut gel w/ strawberries (which she said was yummy together)
Bottom Tier: Rice w/ furikake, Sugar snap peas blanched & tossed w/ a little olive oil and salt & pepper, broccoli and Deady made from Nori, cheese and roasted red pepper
And a close-up :)
Rob's box from VeryAsia.com - Kat's from HappyMall.com
Balloon picks from a set of picks from ichibankanusa.com - I have also seen them on jbox.com
Happy Bento-ing! :)
I got the new bento toy I ordered from jbox.com, so we had to try it out!
I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this new bento tool :) It was like Christmas when it arrived, along with new Hello Kitty Mayo cups for Kat and a set of cute small silicone food cups.
Next time we'll know we need to spray the reservoirs w/ cooking spray because they stuck a bit when we tried to get them out. I love new toys!
Planning still continues for next week's Bento workshop at AnimeNext. I realized 2 nights ago that I forgot I had ordered silicone cupcake cups for the bento sets too, so I ordered some heart shaped ones and hope and pray they arrive in time - but I am not holding my breath. I have yet to receive a shipment notice and have found this company to sometimes be a bit slow in getting things shipped, so if it hasn't shipped by Monday, I may have to cancel the order and either leave them out or pay more for them somewhere else... :(
My neighbor knocked on the door earlier than expected last night for our walk, so I just stuck the bento in the fridge until I got back and then just threw in the last bits, so it isn't the prettiest bento I've ever done...
Top Tier: Bold Chex Mix, Sundried tomato hummus and macaroni salad
Bottom Tier: Mixed Spring Greens, ham and swiss pinwheels, grape tomatoes and egg slices w/ fun yolk shapes :D
Side Car: Strawberries, pineapple and checkered apples
Top Tier: Strawberries, Blueberries, spinach namul and apples
Bottom Tier: Crab sticks, Egg slices w/ fun yolk shapes :D, baby carrots and rice w/ furikake
And where we got our boxes etc!
Rob's main box came from veryasia.com and the side car came from ichibankanusa.com
Kat's box was purchased at Mitsuwa in Edgewater, NJ
And that awesome Egg Yolk shaping 'toy' came from jbox.com :D
I'm not happy about how the egg came out. The shell stuck to the egg and then the slicer caught and the egg was torn a bit more - Grrr... I think the egg is more difficult to slice when it has been in the fridge and is no longer as soft and pliable. Next time I'll slice it before I put it in the fridge when I do an extra egg for the next day and then place it back in the mold and into the fridge. I like to store the egg in the mold to ensure that it keeps its shape for the next day.
We are down to a week until we go up for the AnimeNext convention here in New Jersey. This is really for our daughters. Rob and I don't dislike Anime at all, but we're not Otaku either (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otaku
So, Kat and I are gearing up for our Bento workshop and trying to make sure we have a plan and everything we need, aside from the food we'll purchase next week. We're really getting anxious for it :D
This is one of the utensil sets I send w/ Rob's lunch each day along with the salt and pepper filled fish bottles :) Just thought I'd share :)
Top Tier: Mixed Spring Greens w/ ham and swiss pinwheels, carrot flowers and a car shaped boiled egg
Bottom Tier: Pineapple, Strawberries and Macaroni salad w/ carrot and snow pea flowers
One of the reasons I debated whether or not to start blogging, aside from the fact that I'm really just plain boring, is that the bento I pack for Rob are mostly very similar, except for those times that I get to feeling like I really wanna do something more fun - Like the Simpsons Bento :) Today's is one of the typical bento days...
And here is Kat's for today:
Bottom Tier: Umeboshi Onigiri, Baby carrots, bear shaped boiled egg, mushrooms, a little iceberg and broccoli for filler
Top Tier: Blueberries, strawberries and pineapple
( Bird's Eye View of Kat's BentoCollapse )
And now for where I got the boxes :)
The utensil set and fishy bottles came from ichibankanusa.com
The butterfly box is from Happy Mall: http://www.happymall.com/japan/lacquer_
The bunny box Kat used for today is from VeryAsia.com: http://veryasia.com/bentobox.htmlTh
For today, I wanted to use an example of a bento packed in a regular container. This one is very fruit heavy and a little light on protein I think, but very healthy w/ lots of different colors :) I read an article just the other day on phytonutrients and how different colored produce contains different phytonutrients (not that I didn't already know that, but it was a good reminder!). What I didn't know, or more to the point, realize, is that the darker and deeper the color, the more phytonutrients the produce contains - so always look for the darkest orange carrots, the brightest red strawberries and the greenest cucumbers :)
I don't use food picks all that often - mainly because I just don't think about them. Besides, Rob probably doesn't find them quite as cute as I do - lol :) But they are a fun way to add some cuteness when you don't have the time, or even just the energy, to do any other cute touches.
Tier 1 -- Pineapple, Blueberries, kiwi, Cucumber slices, carrot sticks and macaroni salad w/ nori flowers all decorated w/ some food picks :)
Tier 2: Mixed Spring Greens Salad w/ strawberries and walnuts - He has raspberry vinaigrette in a container for the salad
The outer design of the strawberries was lost as I did the inner flower design, but I didn't have the patience to redo it last night - I decided it would do as it was :P
June 3 -- Top Tier: Cajun Catfish chunks (leftovers), rice w/ an umeboshi, spinach namul
Bottom Tier: Blueberries, Pineapple and strawberries
( Bird's Eye View of Kat's BentoCollapse )
The box I used for Rob's bento came from organize.com and is a great value: http://www.organize.com/lunchbox.ht
Kat's box is yet another from ichibankanusa.com from the Natural Lunch line: http://www.ichibankanusa.com/natural_lu
Happy Bento-ing :)