Grilled chicken and purple potatoes (Bento #132)



Can you tell this bento came straight from dinner? We had grilled chicken, purple potatoes, and baked beans. For the bento I added pickled vegees and kiwi.

Now that hubs has defended his dissertation we have to get all of the paperwork and formatting issues in order. I swear, this is almost as much work as the dissertation, lol. I think they try to make this process as difficult as possible, just for the fun of it.

Don’t forget to look at the Bento4Japan auctions! There are lots of new things being posted.

Today is the last day to buy something from the Ohayo Bento store where 100% of the profits go to charity! And, since this is the last day, I’ll throw in a free gift with every order received before midnight Eastern Time!

Added to What’s for Lunch Wednesday!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Good news and a sale

I have to brag, hubs is now Dr. Hubs! He passed his dissertation defense and has now completed all of the requirements for his PhD in Physics!!!! It’s going to be so cool to see him graduate in May, I can’t wait! It’s been a long and hard road, but finally it’s over!

OK, enough bragging :)

This week’s sale is on the new bright bento box bundle.



What I really like about this set is that they are all the same size so you can mix and match the colors and they’re nice and bright for springtime.

Individually they are $3.00 each and the set of 4 is normally $9.00 (buy 3 get one free). But, for this week the bundle is on sale for 10% off, making it a grand total of $8.10 for 4 bento boxes!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Simple tonkatsu (Bento #131)



Hubby is doing his PhD dissertation defense tomorrow morning. Hopefully by this time tomorrow he will officially be Dr. Hubs!! I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I had resigned myself to the idea of hubs and I being professional students, lol. But, he might actually make it out which gives me hope that I might actually make it out one day too. :)

Needless to say there is a lot of busy stress at the house. I needed a dinner that would be fast and delicious so I made some pork tonkatsu, zucchini, and rice. Of course I made enough for lunch too ^_^

Maki of Just Bento put a gorgeous megewappa bento on the Bento4Japan Ebay auctions. I wanted this one so bad, but the bidding is already over $200!!!! Maybe one day..... If you can’t afford a $200 bento box, check out the other amazing charity auctions!

Happy Bento-ing!
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His and hers pink bentos (Bento #130)



Hubs and I have matching bentos today. Awww how sweet! I packed them in the long black 1-tier bentos we have in the store.

Of course, it’s made out of leftovers. Since it’s the end of the week I wanted to clean out the fridge a little so I made pasta topped with a smorgasbord of vegees. I sauteed onions, garbonzo beans, and chopped carrots in a little bit of butter to get them cooked. Then I added corn, a chopped plum tomato, cilantro, and squeezed a lemon in it. It needed a little more sauce so I added some chicken broth, let it simmer and then ever so slightly thickened it with a little corn starch. After I took it off the heat I added some chopped up beets, hence the pink color.

I was actually really impressed with how good this tasted. The lemon really added a lot flavor, but it wasn’t sour at all. Yum! When I plated it I topped it with a slice of tomatillo.

It is still the month of March so all profits from the Ohayo Bento store will be donated to the Red Cross for disaster relief in Japan! If you want to have more of an impact, but still get sweet bento goodies, check out the Bento4Japan Ebay charity auctions! We can all make a difference!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Mango adventures (Bento #129)



I don’t remember what it was that I saw, but something made me want to make a tomatillo salsa yesterday. By the time I got to the grocery store it had morphed into a mango/avocado salsa with tomatillos, lol.

Getting these groceries was quite an experience. See, my mom is highly allergic to the oils in the skin of a mango. It’s not a food allergy, more of a poison ivy type skin allergy. So I was trained from a very young age to not touch the mangos in the store! For that matter, don’t touch anything next to the mangos in the store!

Poison ivy, holly trees, and all of the other plants that really effect my mom have never bothered me, so I was pretty sure I wasn’t allergic to mango.

I am so well trained at “Don’t touch the mangos” that there I was at the mango counter leaning over them and bending every which way, so that I could get a good look at which one I wanted... without picking it up. Lol!

I finally realized I was being absolutely crazy and people were starting to give me “those” looks. I held my breath, picked my mango, put it in my basket, and my heart was racing as if I just ran to the car.

I actually called my mom from the store to congratulate her on the effectiveness of her lifelong training and she laughed at me... I think she’s still laughing at me, lol!

I cut up the mango yesterday, so according to the mango allergy queen, I should find out sometime around tomorrow if I’m allergic. *crossing fingers*



The salsa turned out fantastic! This is my first time having fresh mango, wow that’s good stuff! The salsa was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. I think I found a new kitchen staple. I didn’t even put it on my tacos, just ate it by itself.

Here’s what I put in the salsa, all chopped: 1 mango, 2 tomatillos, 1 avocado, 1 plum tomato, a few nice sprigs of cilantro, and 1/2 of a lime squeezed and I pulled most of the leftover pulp out and threw it in too. Oh, and some salt. I cut everything up, put it in a bowl, and mixed it as gently as I could with my hands because I didn’t want to smoosh the avocado.

It was so good!

Hubs’ bento today is leftover yellow rice with taco meat and cheese, the mango salsa, kiwi, and grapes. I packed it in the Lunchbots Eco. Speaking of Lunchbots, there are some Lunchbots in the #Bento4Japan charity auctions! Go check them out!!

I was so excited about the new tamagoyaki pans so I made my first one yesterday. Then I completely forgot to put it in the bento! Go figure, right? I made this one using inspiration from Lia over at Bentolicious. I cooked 4 different egg sheets seperately, layered them on top of each other, then rolled it up. Awesome! The picture turned out really yellow, but I was too tired to shoot it again ^_^

Happy Bento-ing!
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Bento: 2 ways (Bento #128)



Hubs and I both needed a bento for today but I didn’t want to make 2 of exactly the same thing. So, I made 2 bentos with the same ingredients but they look totally different.

The bento at the top is for hubs and it’s made in the Lunchbots Duo. It has cucumber, steamed cabbage, ginger chicken, roasted sweet potato, and grapes.



My lunch is much cuter than hubs’! I’m not much of a cute bento decorator but a few sweet potato flowers every now and then never hurt anybody. For my lunch I used the 3-tier sakura bento, which is finally back in stock and at a lower price :) I cut the grapes in half because I could fit more of them in there that way. This box’s tiers are so small and cute that you can only fit one layer of whole grapes.

I check the Bento4Japan charity auctions every day and I continue to be amazed. Every day there are new items up for auction and every day more and more people come and bid, and 100% of all of it goes to Japan. I’m so honored to call myself a part of Bento4Japan and it’s not too late to join us!

Happy Bento-ing!
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New Bento Products!

We got in so many new bento products today and they are all posted in the store. Here’s an overview...

5 new bento boxes



tamagoyaki pans



animal themed cutters



and round silicon cups.



Speaking of bento supplies, have you checked out the Bento4Japan charity auctions lately? There are new items every day!

Also, for the month of March 100% of the profits from the Ohayo Bento store are donated to the Red Cross for disaster relief in Japan!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Serenity (Bento #127)



Lately, life has been, well, a little crazy. There are so many things that need to be done just to try to catch up, that sometimes I wonder, why do I bother? Why do I take the time to make bentos day in and day out, when most of the time I’m so rushed that I don’t have the time to make them the way I want? Why do I keep disappointing myself with substandard photos, bad food color choices, and overall blandness?

This is why.

Every now and then, I manage to make a little box of serenity. Then in this one little box it all becomes worth it. I don’t know what the difference is. This bento is so simple, but at the same time, for me anyway, it’s perfect.

Added to What’s for Lunch Wednesday.

Happy Bento-ing!
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Grass baran sale



The grass baran went on sale last month, but I was asked to put it up again, so here it is! This box of 200 pieces of grass baran is on sale for $2.70, originally $3.00.

Don’t forget to check out all of the new items on the Bento4Japan charity auctions, they’re amazing!!! It’s still March so 100% of all of the profits from the Ohayo Bento store will be donated to the Red Cross for disaster relief in Japan.

I’m so excited about all of the new products we have coming tomorrow! We’re getting tamagoyaki pans, solid color non-character more ‘adult’ bentos (even a pure white one!), new silicon cups, and restocking of a few items. I feel like a kid on Christmas, lol!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Miso butter chicken (Bento #126)



Today’s bento is pretty simple: chicken, rice, fruit, carrots, and steamed taro.

What makes it special is the chicken! Sheri over at Happy Little Bento posted a miso butterfish bento and recipe the other day and I’ve been drooling over it ever since. I didn’t have any butterfish but I was really wanting the buttery miso flavor so I improvised and made miso butter chicken.

I made the marinade by heating mirin, a little soy sauce, miso paste, and butter in a pot just so the butter would melt and everything combined. Once it cooled a bit I marinated the chicken in it for about an hour then dumped the whole thing, sauce and all, in a pan and let the chicken simmer in the miso butter goodness. Wow! This was so good! Thank you Sheri!!!

Every day more and more Bento4Japan charity auctions are begun on Ebay. I’m even bidding on some myself! Remember to check back often to see all of the new goodies! Also check out the Bento4Japan headquarters for more info on European raffles!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Super orange snack bento (Bento #125)



There are so many wonderful Bento4Japan charity auctions running right now. If you haven’t looked at them yet, I urge you to do so! This way, not only can you donate money to disaster relief efforts in Japan, but you will also get amazing bento supplies in the process! This is the link to the Bento4Japan headquarters. From here you can find all of the bento-centric ways of donating to Japan and get a list of verified sellers.

Today’s bento is just a 2 minute snack box. The coleslaw and pasta were leftovers so all I had to do was cut the fruit. The oranges we have right now are amazingly sweet! I could eat 5 a day! Lol!

I’d also like to announce price drops on the 4 round small silicon cups from $3.00 to $2.75 and the popular 3-layer cherry blossom bento will be back in stock Monday at a lower price of $5.00 (used to be $5.50), you can order it now but it won’t ship out to you until Tuesday March 22nd. We are also getting some exciting new items in on Monday including tamagoyaki pans!!!! Don’t forget that 100% of the profits from the Ohayo Bento store for the month of March will be donated to the Red Cross!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Yaki-spaghetti bento (Bento #124)



First off, I want to say how amazed I am at how well the #bento4Japan charity auctions are going! We have raised so much money for disaster relief in Japan. I feel so proud to be able to contribute. It’s not too late for you to contribute either! This link will take you to the #bento4Japan ebay auctions.

Today’s bento is for me ^_^ which is probably obvious to some of you due to the massive amount of carbs and lack of meat, lol! We had spaghetti the other day and I wanted to use the leftover thin spaghetti noodles, but I didn’t want spaghetti again. So, I made yaki-spaghetti!

The rest of the bento has coleslaw, strawberries, apples, green olives, and carrots.

I added this bento to What’s for Lunch Wednesday!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Bento4Japan Fundraising Auction

Hi everybody! A group of us bento-obsessed crazy people are organizing a fundraiser for Japan!

I listed a bento starter kit on Ebay and 100% of the proceeds are directly donated to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund!



The more money we raise, the better!

There will be more items to come, just search for Bento4Japan.

The amazingly wonderful Mils of Not a Brown Bag has made us a home page for the Bento4Japan movement! Be sure to check back often for bento related donation news.

Also remember that all profits from the Ohayo Bento store will be donated to the Red Cross at the end of March! And, if you place an order at the Ohayo Bento store and show me a donation receipt I will also throw in a free gift!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Good to be home (Bento #123)



After being away from home for a week, it’s nice to be back. Just being in my own space doing all of my daily tasks makes me happy. Having such a clear appreciation for ‘home’ makes watching the quake/tsunami aftermath in Japan even more heartbreaking. I was only away from home for a week, it’s hard to imagine not having a home to go back to.

There is a lot of misinformation and speculation flying around on the news here in the US. If you really want to know what’s happening follow @makiwi on Twitter. She is the author of the Just Bento blog and the Just Bento cookbook. I swear she stays up 24 hours a day translating information straight from Japan to English.

Back to bentos...

The bento at the top is mine, and the one below is for hubs. I’m also sending both of us with a banana as an afternoon snack.



Most of the bento is self-explanatory except maybe the sweet pepper, parmesan cheese, and the awesome plum flavored sesame seeds on my rice. Why the plum sesame seeds? Because while I was out of town hubs threw out my last 3 pickled plums. He claims that he thought they had gone bad. I say this is grounds for divorce, lol! It does give me an excuse for a mid-week trip to the oriental market though. ^_^

The meat is left over from dinner. It turned out pretty good and had an interesting flavor that we aren’t used to, I really liked it though. I found some Kikkoman Ponzu sauce at the grocery store and of course I had to use it as soon as I got home. So, I put a london broil in a baking dish, doused it with ponzu sauce, sprinkled with Vegeta (vegee bouillon) and sesame seeds, and added some chopped onion and carrot. I baked it with the lid on for a few hours at low temp.

When it was done I poured the sauce into a small pot, added some soy sauce and garlic, and thickened it with a little bit of corn starch. Then I sliced the beef and put everything back into the baking dish and let it sit in the oven for another hour to soften up the beef slices.

The ponzu sauce gave it a really good citrusy flavor. Yum!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Japan

Ahh Japan. What does one say about Japan? We all find so much inspiration from Japan and it’s people. Not just in our bentos but in our everyday lives. In the wake of the crisis I was left wondering “What can I do to help?”. I don’t have any spare money to send, I’m a poor grad student, but what I do have is a little store that makes a tiny bit of change every now and then. They say every penny counts, right?

So, for the rest of March, 100% of all profits from the Ohayo Bento store will be donated to the Red Cross to go to disaster relief in Japan. Why the Red Cross? Well, frankly, I trust them the most.

I urge you, if you have the spare money it would do much more good being sent straight to the Red Cross, and not spent at the store. But, if you were already planning on buying bento supplies, feel free.

To try to encourage donations I’ll throw in a free bento gift, with your purchase, if you show me a donation receipt. That way, you get to send help to Japan twice!

Please keep the people of Japan in your thoughts and hearts.

Happy Bento-ing!
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First in-flight bento (Bento #122)



Well, I made it to Baltimore! I can’t believe I actually managed to get all of my stuff done before-hand but I made it.

I even managed to make my first ever in-flight bento. I saved this blueberry container a few weeks ago in anticipation, and I’m glad I did, it was perfect for the plane.

I didn’t have any lettuce so I lined it with plastic wrap to cover the holes. I also packed it tight enough that it sat sideways in my bag without anything getting jostled around.

I had 2 triangle onigiri, a pickled plum, a little ball of miso, red and yellow sweet peppers, green beans, parmesan cheese, and blueberries. Delish!

I’m going to try to find some time to eat at some cool places and have a few adventures while in Baltimore, so stay tuned. In the meantime have a great weekend and great week to come!

Added to What’s for Lunch Wednesday!

Happy Bento-ing!
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The ultimate salad (Bento #121)



Hubs is a strange creature. He is such a meat-a-saurus most of the time but every now and then he starts craving salads. The other day I packed him a salad and he loved it.

So today, what we have is a big salad bento, the ultimate salad! I packed it in the Lunchbots Eco because it’s the biggest bento I have, and if all hubs has to eat is a salad, it better be a big one.

So, what’s in it? Everything but the kitchen sink: romaine lettuce, green olives, blueberries, purple cabbage, fresh raw green beans, sweet red and yellow peppers, imported Italian parmesan cheese, and potato and egg salad.

Don’t forget about the free birthday bento items with every order until midnight March 4th! Just mention Happy Birthday in the notes to seller.

The next few days are going to be insanely busy. Friday is my birthday and we are having a dinner at my mom’s and Saturday morning my flight to Baltimore leaves at 7AM. Between now and about noon tomorrow I have to do all of my laundry, pack, go shopping, finish my presentation poster, submit the poster to be printed, get my new fancy pants hemmed, finish about 5 hours worth of grading, and run up to school and get scantrons read. Oh yeah, I also wanted to pack myself an in-flight bento!

Phew, what a week!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Lunchbots Pico sale

The new sale for this week is the Lunchbots Pico. This is the smallest of the Lunchbots bentos that we have.

The Pico is a great snack sized container with non-movable inner divider. The box measures 5.5" X 4" X 1.5".

Originally it is $12.99 but for the next 2 weeks it will be on sale for $11.70, thats 10% off!



Friday (March 4th) is my birthday! Yay! So to celebrate, all orders received by 11:59PM ET March 4th, that include “Happy Birthday” in the notes to seller, will receive a free bento gift! What are we giving away? Anything from silicon food cups to cute cutters to actual bento boxes! Don’t forget the “Happy Birthday”!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Kielbasa and cabbage (Bento #120)



Well, this is definitely a hubby bento, there’s no rice! Hubs is very much a meat and potatoes kind of guy.

Once again the main portion of this bento is leftovers. We had this kielbasa and cabbage for dinner last night. I browned the sausage and a ton of onion in a pan, then threw in some garlic and the cabbage. It’s so basic but I think that’s what makes it so good.

For the bento I added some strawberries and blueberries and a hard boiled egg.

The egg isn’t just a plain old egg, I made it suing this idea from Just Bento. Once they cooled in the soup I put them in the fridge to continue marinating. I don’t know if they were good or not yet. Hubby loves hard boiled eggs so I’m sure I’ll hear all about it if he doesn’t like them.

I’ve been eating my twitter cookie party cookies all day today. They were good last might, but today, they’re fantastic! They got insanely chewy! So good!

Happy Bento-ing!
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