My first Foodie Penpals!

This month was really exciting for me. One of the most notable additions was my very first ever participation in Foodie Penpals! It’s a penpal program created and run by Lindsay of the Lean Green Bean. The nitty gritty is that you are paired with a penpal to send a $15 box of foodie goodies to. You end up meeting a few new people because the person that you send a box to is not the same person that sends a box to you.

Anyway, it’s a lot of fun and I’m really glad I participated. Now I can’t wait for next month!

My box was sent by a wonderful woman named Raven from Surely There’s an Instruction Manual. I was so excited I almost couldn’t get the pictures finished before I broke into the chocolate, lol!



Raven sent me some amazing goodies. I’ve been wanting to try the almond crush pocky for months but never actually got any. The ginger beer was intense! Hubs and I had to share it because I couldn’t drink it all by myself. See those flatbread crisps? Yeah, they were gone in a heartbeat!

Even though I have a black thumb I’m trying my best to grow the basil :) I hope it grows for me, lol!



I haven’t had a chance to use the drunken chicken marinade or somen yet... but I’m seeing a drunken chicken bento in my near future. Thank you Raven!!!!

I sent my box to The Single Nester. I was originally going to send a Japanese themed box, but ended up getting a bunch of different things... which turned out to be a really good thing! It turns out that she didn’t eat any of the Japanese and Chinese treats I sent because she couldn’t read the ingredients... oops! I felt so bad... I also had no idea.

At the beginning of the FPP process you email your penpals and ask about dietary restrictions, allergies, and dislikes. I learned a lot from this experience. Mostly that my questions need to be more specific, lol. When she said that she ate everything I didn’t think that the ingredients would be an issue. I included a description of every item but I didn’t translate the ingredients. Live and learn right?

I can’t wait for next month’s FPP!! I’m already planning a themed box :)

Happy Bento-ing!

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Ginger roasted chicken (Bento #257)

I’m so excited that I almost can’t write this post! My takoyaki maker finally got here! Guess who’s having takoyaki today? Don’t worry, there will be plenty of photos and takoyaki bentos to come.

Well, back to business. I was in the mood for very simple home cooking the other day. Nothing fancy. No crazy flavors. No difficult techniques. Just simple tasty food. The ginger roasted chicken breasts that eventually came out of the oven were nothing short of delicious.



I roasted the chicken over a bed of onions, ginger, and garlic. Oh my wow. Have I ever mentioned that I love ginger? Cooked this way, the onions got very sweet and everything was infused with delicious ginger.

In order to not take away from the sweet simplicity of the ginger roasted chicken I paired it with rice and sauteed zucchini, carrots, onions, and celery.



Of course it all made it to the bento as well. To brighten it up for lunch, both flavorfully and visually, I packed it with a bunch of fresh berries, thick greek yogurt with Florida Tupelo honey, and tomatoes.

Those amazing raspberries were given to us at TECHMunch by one of the sponsors, Driscoll’s Berries. I have to say, they are some of the sweetest raspberries I’ve had in a long time. Thank you Driscoll’s!

I’m off to make takoyaki!

Happy Bento-ing!

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Snack bento for the Hubs (Bento #256)



Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I had one myself because I was lucky enough to attend TECHMunch in Tampa on Saturday. I’ll talk more about it later, but I had a great time and got to meet some amazing people.

Poor old Hubs was going to end up with just a ham sandwich for lunch today. As I was staring at the sandwich and bag of chips my guilt kicked in. Next thing you know I’m over at the stove cooking up a tamagoyaki with cheddar cheese in one pan and zucchini in another. He still got the ham sandwich, but he also got this snack bento instead of a bag of potato chips.

In the bento: tamagoyaki with cheddar cheese, zucchini, blueberries, campari tomato slices, a mini-Babybel cheese, carrots and celery.

Happy Bento-ing!
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Easy peasy 'no-cook' bento (Bento #255)



We ended up with a bunch of leftovers for dinner last night. Being that we’d ate the same thing for a couple of days, I couldn’t bear any more chicken for lunch. I threw together a really quick ‘no-cook’ bento to hold Hubs over until I got back in the kitchen.

The top tier has a salad with purple cauliflower! It looks really cool but tastes just like normal cauliflower. The bottom tier has mango, a Babybel cheese, carrot salad, blueberries, tomato, and ham rolls.

The 2-year birthday of Ohayo Bento is coming up next month and I want to celebrate! I’m not sure what to do though, so I made a little Facebook poll to allow you guys to decide for me! Tee-hee-hee. If you don’t mind, click here and head over to the Ohayo Bento Facebook page to cast your vote. Voting will end on May 1st.

Happy Bento-ing!
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Chicken and lotus root stir-fry (Bento #254)



Hubs and I were overdue for some good fried rice and stir-fry. Mmmmm comfort food! The stir-fry has chicken, lotus root, mushrooms, onions, and zucchini and the fried rice has onion, carrots, peas, corn, and scrambled egg.

Speaking of scrambled egg, I made another tamagoyaki. This one was a bit more difficult because I added a layer of ham and it made it a little tough to get the roll going. But, it turned out pretty and delicious in the end. I filled up the rest of the Lunchbots Eco with caprese salad, a Mini Babybel cheese, and orange wedges.

Happy Bento-ing!
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Feels like summer (Bento #253)



Yesterday was a wonderful day to cook out on the grill. It was so bright and sunny that I couldn’t bear being stuck in the kitchen for too long. So, Hubs and I trekked out the back door and grilled some pork chops and corn on the cob for dinner. I did manage to stay in the kitchen long enough to make a caprese salad and green onion tamagoyaki.

This is probably the best tamagoyaki I’ve ever made. Izumi from Soul Soup Soap posted a video on how to make tamagoyaki. And... it works!

Added to What’s for Lunch Wednesday!

Happy Bento-ing!
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The bento that almost wasn't (Bento #252)



I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! Hubs and I had a great time hanging out with family and taking it easy. But, taking it easy meant I didn’t go to the grocery store. Luckily, my mom sent me home with some potato casserole and I scrounged up just enough vegees and chicken to round it out for a nice dinner.

I hadn’t planned on making a bento, due to my lack of bright fresh fruits and vegees, but at the last minute I caved and made one anyway. My fridge is now officially empty! In the bento: chicken strips, steamed cauliflower, sauteed zucchini, potato casserole, strawberries, and cucumber slices.

Guess what? I ordered a takoyaki pan! I ordered it from Jlist (see link on the right) and I can’t wait for it to get here. Get ready for some takoyaki bentos!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Octo-dogs to the rescue! (Beno #251)



I had the craziest craving for octo-dogs yesterday... and I don’t even like hotdogs! I don’t know what it is but as soon as you turn a hotdog into an octopus it suddenly tastes better. Along with the octo-dogs I made some quick spicy cucumber pickles, a hard boiled egg, steamed asparagus, tomatoes, orange slices, and rice with furikake and a pickled plum. Yum!

In other news, I opened up an Etsy shop! I only have a few things up so far. There’s a link in the sidebar to the right or you can click here to check it out. So far I have a couple of quilted bento bags that look more like purses than lunch bags, lol. But, I’m working on some more traditional bento bags that will be a lot less labor intensive, and thus a lot cheaper :)

Anyway, if any of you have an etsy shop or profile let me know because I would love to friend, like, circle, love (or whatever the proper Etsy term for it is) you!

Happy Bento-ing!
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It's about time! (Bento #250)



Wow, one week without bentos feels like an eternity! I spent all of last week volunteering at a conference on campus and didn’t have the time, or the need for that matter, to make myself lunch. It’s nice to be back to bento.

After reading Makiko Itoh’s posts on sakura, I’ve been wanting some preserved flowers and leaves. OK, want isn’t the proper word. I think obsessed is more appropriate. I’m going to make a pilgrimage out to our local Japanese market to see if they have any. If not, the online hunt continues. If any of you know where to order some preserved sakura blossoms and leaves please let me know.

In the meantime I had to satisfy my sakura fancy with a cookie cutter. For today’s bento I have sakura shaped honey glazed sweet potato, flower shape ham and swiss sammies, a hard boiled egg, cucumber, asparagus, and a strawberry and pineapple fruit salad.

Added to What’s For Lunch Wednesday!

Happy Bento-ing!
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