Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bento Gadgets, and Molded Eggs (not moldy) :D

Someone had asked me how my molded eggs turned out. So I thought I would re-post this one from The Tiny Skillet and show you what I did with my bento gadgets that I have. I am going to try out my egg molds! I got a set from Ann at Anncoo Journal and Wendy from Wendolonia. I have already tried and used my picks and rice molds, and they work great and Maranda loves the rice balls anytime, for lunch or snacks!

For the rice balls in this bento I used a rice and grain blend, that I got the idea from sherimiya at Happy Little Bento. She had some red rice and white rice mixed with a few other grains. So when I found some red rice I decided to try it, especially since I've been buying several new rice and grains to try. We had this for dinner and I used the leftover for the rice balls. I really liked it, but Wade thought it needed a little more flavor...okay that's easy enough to do.

Back to the egg mold. One set was all in Japanese and I can't read that yet. The other had instructions in English too. I also checked the great directions that Maki had on her Just Hungry
blog, she also has a Just Bento blog that has a wealth of information if you want to start making bento box lunches.
First thing is to boil and peel the eggs. I hate peeling fresh eggs, they are so hard to peel! Ack!
Then place the warm peeled egg in the mold. (it looks all beat up) I placed it in warm water right before using the mold.

Okay... now I used a large egg in a large mold. I think I need an extra large egg here. These molds should work well for rice balls too, which is what Maranda wanted to use them for. Looks like this one will become egg salad!

The next mold is marked large too...but this was from the other set. A much nicer looking egg.

Close the lid and snap it shut, and put it in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes.
Ta-Da!! This one worked! That was fun!

I had these cookie cutters that will also leave and impression. I found that Publix brand wheat bread is soft enough to use for this. Usually you would have to use white bread, so this was nice.

I found this little boiled egg holder. They had a sheep too, but we don't always sit down and eat boiled eggs much so I just got one for photos. It did remind me of my childhood when we use to use egg holders.

Martha from Seaside Simplicity had once said that using ice cube trays are a good way to keep extra lemon, and key lime juice. I ran across these (on clearance of course $2). This will be perfect when our lemon tree has all those lemons I don't want to go to want it to go to waste. Also you won't have this happen to you when you get it mixed up with something else!

Then I picked up these handy storage trays half off at Michael's that work great for my food picks. The other one was for my baran (food dividers).

Best of all it fits perfect in the tiny drawer that I have for my lunch making supplies. I have a few more silicone cups and picks since the photo was taken, but it's nice to have a place to put things.
Ho hum...too much for you?
I think that's enough busy work for for now. Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Popcorn Bento

You know how I am about naming my lack of a better one...this one's called popcorn! Now this isn't just any popcorn, it's Ladyfinger Popcorn, this is the smallest of the hulless, and I made it stove top. If you want to see how I made it, you can check my food blog The Tiny Skillet where I posted my grandpa's secret to make the most of the kernels pop!

A lovely persimmon takes center stage, with a grape tomato and green grapes gathering close by. Basil flower want in on the fun. Kalua pork is here and there, and showing off my new silicone cups, in green is my orzo pasta salad with spinach and feta, in red is POPCORN :D All on a bed of baby greens!

Just something to wind you down a little...
Enjoy the rest of your week! I hope I can. Tomorrow we are have our annual Tiger Trot fund raiser, at the elementary school I work for. The kids run as many laps as they can. Lots of loud music, running, laughing and scraped knees...that's where I come in!
I will try to remember to take some pictures!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Old Bento #4

This was first posted on The Tiny Skillet im May of this year.
I found out about this give away that Wendy was having at her blog Wendolonia. I was on
I was thrilled that I was selected, because being fairly new to bento making (although I've been looking into it and checking out everyone bentos for awhile now). I really didn't have much bento gadgets. I had some lunch boxes that would work. I even got a large bento for Christmas from a co-worker, but it's so large for lunch. Anyway when Wendy contacted me and asked what I would like...I told her anything would be great! So this is what I won...

Two egg molds, a bunny and a bear. Now I have to learn how to use it. Rice molds, heart, star, and bear. A nice neutral bento box, that I could even use for my husband. Some dividers and "I tried something new" tags.

Then at I found these cutters clearance at Home Goods! I like when that happens.

They have small shapes that would work well for many things. Bonus, it has little chocolate molds too. Who knows what I could come up with with the letters!

I made some saffron sticky rice and I thought I would give the mold a shot. When Maranda saw it she said "Oh cool can I have one?" and popped it in her mouth. I guess that will work for her lunch. I did this one real quick this morning, just so I could use the bear. Didn't get the nori out to cut yet, but did use the star cutter on a spinach leaf to the star onigri under the bear onigri. She still likes to have sandwiches in her lunch.

Too quick on the photo, didn't get a clear picture, but you get the idea. She even said she like her lunch all on her own without me asking.

Thanks Wendy! You helped my bento box making a little easier and a little more fun! Next...I'm tackling the egg molds!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Finally A Bento!

Not much new in the bento, but I picked up this cute little pear, so I had to make sure it made it in a bento. I found some silicone scalloped cups in nice bright colors, I used purple for this one.
Look how the pear is half red and half green! A Cesar salad on the bottom and I sent along some dressing and croutons. Almonds and walnuts, grape tomatoes, steamed snow peas, and some crab stick that she can eat in her salad. Yaki soba noodles with dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, tahini, ginger-garlic sauce, and sesame oil topped with black sesame seeds.

I picked up some Durian candy at the Asian market because I have never tried durian before. I have heard plenty about it and really would like to try it. I am one who seems to like strong flavors or different things that many don't care for, like Marmite, Dutch salted licorice, strong Cuban coffee, and all types of blue cheese.

Some of those you either love it or hate it not much in-between. Well when I first opened the bag I was surprised at how bad the smell was even though I knew it smelled bad, but I thought in candy you might not get the bad smell. I did like the taste, and it reminded me of something even though I couldn't tell you what. I did keep tasting it throughout the day though. I would still like to try the real thing!

We've been having such clear dry weather lately, the sunset on Monday night was so peaceful and (they seems so early now). I couldn't get over all the gulls that were there watching it too! :D Every once in awhile we will see this.
Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Old Bento #3

I know it's pretty lame to post all my old bentos from my other blog, but the way my days have been lately I'm lucky to get this out. I have to now take some classes (forced to from where I work and don't get paid) after work for 2 hours 3 times a week for eight weeks! This is after I have worked all day, so if really digs into my cooking, bento making and blogging time. I sure miss it!
I made some Chicken Katsu last night for dinner and I had enough left over for Maranda and my lunch today. I packed my "tropical Bento box" it came with a cute cloth tote too. I love it. It's glittery too. This one you can even use in the microwave if you need to. Inside the large section I have rice with furikakae, chicken katsu, kumquat and green beans. The fruit side has pineapple, grapes and a strawberry.
I packed Maranda one too. I figured I was safe with it and she wouldn't mind eating it at school.

This is what came home, but in her defence I did pack her a chicken and cheese half sandwich too.

I made the chicken katsu a little different than usual, because I cut the chicken breasts up before frying them. I thought it would be easier. I don't know if that was the case though.

Panko bread crumbs with flour and grated parmesan cheese.
After dipping in egg beaten with spicy mustard and garlic ginger paste. Then dredge in the panko mix. I pan fried mine in a little grape seed oil. You can store extras in individual servings in ziplock bags and freeze. Pull them out when you need it for a lunch or snack.
When we went for sunset I saw these kids playing in the water. I just missed the shot earlier when they were both facing each other squatting down looking at the shells and treasures they found.
I couldn't resist. My daughter wears the same size shoe I do now!

It gives me a little peace just to look at these! Thanks for sticking with me!