Turkey roll-ups and apple pie cupcakes (Bento #302)

10_31_12

I am so proud of this bento! Not so much for the bento, but for those gorgeous slices of tomato. It’s the first tomato off of one of my tomato plants. I was so excited watching it grow that I would go outside to check on it about 4 times a day. Now that the weather is cooling down, I’m starting to get a lot of blooms in the garden. My cucumbers have actually started producing too! There are 4 baby cucumbers out there just waiting for a bento!

Other than the fantabulous tomato, this Steeltainer bento has Boar’s Head jerk turkey, lettuce, and pickle roll-ups, cucumber slices, yellow squash slices, and a Babybel cheese.

I blame the following photo on my mom. It’s all her fault. She had to go and mention ‘picking up some cupcakes’ if I didn’t have time to make my normal Halloween mummy pops. Yeah. It’s her fault. I woke up this morning wanting cupcakes something fierce. I’ve had a hard time finding really good cupcakes (even in the specialty shops here) lately and have had a craving for weeks.

After tearing apart the kitchen I found just enough ingredients to pull these together. They’re cinnamon cupcakes filled with apple chunks that were simmered in brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then piped with fresh cinnamon buttercream and topped with more apples. But, what makes them really good is that I strained off the sweet syrup from the apples and brushed the tops of the cakes with it. Oh my heaven!

Over the next month or so I’ll try developing a real recipe for them, because yeah, they are that good.

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Happy Halloween!!!!

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Tamagoyaki and a sweet little pear (Bento #301)

10_29_12

Do you see that sweet little pear in the top right corner? Isn’t he cute?!?! I found these little seckel pears over the weekend and they’re perfect for bento. I needed to make this bento really quick this morning, so I couldn’t do much cooking. In my smallest pan I made some tamagoyaki (rolled omelette) with colby jack cheese, quickly rinsed the pan, then sauteed some butternut squash. Everything else only needed to be washed and sliced.

Simple and easy doesn’t have to be boring!

Happy Bento-ing!

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Beef stew and 300 bentos! (Bento #300)

10_23_12

I just realized that today I hit 300 bentos! Wow, I can’t believe 300 have passed already. It’s been so much fun sharing all of these lunches with you. Thank you for stopping by to see them!

It’s finally starting to cool off and I thought we should celebrate the new temperatures with some beef stew for dinner. For the bento, I drained the liquid off and just packed the meat, potatoes, carrots, and onions. Even without all of the stew liquid, they still taste delicious.

The rest of the bento has yellow squash slices, asparagus, zucchini ribbons, grapes, one of the rubiest ruby-red grapefruits ever, and a tomato, black olive, and parmesan salad. Seriously though, that grapefruit was amazing!

Thank you all so much for hanging out with me for 300 bentos! I hope you hang around for 300 more :)

Happy Bento-ing!

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Sakura rice (Bento #299)

10_16_12


This is definitely a “me” bento! Hubs would be so disappointed if he saw that much rice in his bento. Haha! I love it though! Especially because I brought those nori sheets with me. I hate soggy nori so instead of making nori wrapped onigiri I made little crispy nori, rice, and beef ‘burritos’ at lunchtime. Yum!

In the bento: rice with preserved sakura and green onion, bulgogi marinated beef, apples, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, and the tiniest little tomato.

I am happy to say that after two Rapidweaver crashes yesterday, I finally was able to upload a whopping total of 20 new bento boxes to the store! I’m really excited about this batch because they’re super cute. My favorite is a tie between Rilakkuma and the grey polka dot bento. Too cool!

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Happy Bento-ing!

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Simple star soboro (Bento #298)

10_15_12

I know this bento seems super simple, but that’s what I love about it. All it has is brown rice, soboro, scrambled egg, apples, cheese, and snow peas. Like I said, super simple. But, insanely delicious.

Along with a super simple bento comes a super simple post. Have a great Monday!

Happy Bento-ing!

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More ham sandwich love (Bento #297)

10_11_12

We’re trying to eat up all of the black forest ham I bought at the store, so here is another ham sandwich bento. I’ve tried to make them look a little different every time, so we don’t get bored (see the bread-less ham sandwich and classic ham sandwich bento posts). Even though the basics in our lunches are the same, small changes here and there make a big difference.

Along with the sandwich I packed some snow peas, a Babybel cheese, yellow squash slices, cucumbers, grapes, and a few little mushrooms.

Happy Bento-ing!

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Breadless ham sandwich (Bento #296)

10_8_12

Simple. Low-carb. Healthy. These are the qualities I’m striving for in Hubs’ lunches this week. I think this one hits the mark, but I am a little concerned about it not being enough food. It has to be enough to keep him from going hungry, but not so much that he’s stuffed. Today he has: ham, lettuce, and pickle rolls, cucumber slices with hummus, a hard boiled egg, a grape, and apple slices.

Packing low-carb isn’t easy, but I’m trying! :) Do you guys have any low-carb staples that are good for bentos?

Happy Bento-ing!

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Classic ham sandwich (Bento #295)

10_3_12

Oh this poor bento. As soon as I went outside to take it’s picture it started pouring down rain. Luckily I ran back in before everything got soaking wet, lol!

In my Lunchbots Eco, I packed a ham, cheddar, lettuce, and mayo sandwich, cucumber slices, apple bunnies, radish slices, broccoli, a Babybel cheese, and a little leftover chicken with garlic sauce that we had for take-out the night before. I haven’t made a sandwich for myself in quite some time, so it was a nice treat.

Happy Bento-ing!

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Bento demo for the USF Japanese Club

A while back, I was asked to do a bento demo for the Japanese Club here at USF. My instructions were to “do the most awesome demonstration possible” with a $100 budget to a local supermarket. “Most awesome” is a pretty tall order, lol! What we ended up settling on was a ‘Make Your Own Bento Box’ event.

My task was then to figure out how in the world 40 people are going to make their own bentos in a room with no kitchen! In other words, all of the planning, washing, cooking, and cutting had to be done before I got there. I found some styrofoam takeout containers for them to use as bento boxes and prepped everything so that all they needed to do was assemble and decorate.

Ever wanted to know what 88 octo-dogs looks like??

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All in all I prepped:
88 octo-dogs (yeah, they had to be cut by hand and cooked)
45 onigiri (also formed by hand)
washed and sliced 5 cucumbers
washed, peeled, and sliced a daikon radish
boiled and peeled 48 eggs
cut 42 radish stars
filled 40 soy sauce fishes (half were fishes and half were adorable tiny little bottles)
wash and pluck a gazillion grapes off the vine
steam some edamame
and get everything else together (carrots, bags of apple slices, boxes, ketchup, little ketchup containers, nori, all of my punches and cutters, miso and furikake for the onigiri, etc.)

All we needed then were people! I think quite a few more than 40 people showed up... this is a picture of just over half of the room... half!

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To get everybody excited and motivated I turned it into a deco-ben contest and the winner, by popular vote, got to take home a bento starter kit. This definitely got everybody motivated! I was truly impressed with the amount of creativity in that room!

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This fountain cracks me up! :) Love it!

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We ended up getting a bunch of entries for the deco-ben contest, this is just a few.

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The winner was an adorable Hello Kitty bento.

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It was a lot of work putting this together, but it was worth every second! I had a blast hanging out with these guys and playing with bentos. It was really cool to see so many young college kids get excited about playing with their food, lol! Hopefully I was able to inspire some of them to start packing their own bentos.

If you’re interested, you can find a lot more photos of the event and more information about the USF Japanese Club at their Facebook page.

In the meantime, I’m going to take a nap. :) And as always...

Happy Bento-ing!

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