Miso Soup (Bento #134)

Mils over at Not a Brown Bag made a miso soup bento the other day. What made it awesome was that she put all of the miso soup ingredients in a bento then added hot water when it was lunch time. I immediately fell in love with idea.

Hubs has a leftover baked savory apple from last night with all of the fixings so it wasn’t too interesting to look at. I wasn’t going to make myself a bento, but I started thinking about Mils’ miso soup and I couldn’t help myself! ^_^

I packed it in the 3-tier Sakura bento because I thought it was the perfect size to hold the miso soup ingredients. For the soup I have miso balls, tofu, and green onion. The vegee tier is pretty self-explanatory. The dessert tier is special though. It has mango (so excited about not having mango allergies!!!), grapes, and a little sweet treat I found at the market this weekend.

The treat is an ooey gooey chewy sweet rice cake with mung bean filling. YUM! The only problem is that it makes me want to make more almond butter mochi.

I have to ask for some advice. What do you think of the styling in the photo??? I’m trying to venture away from my white background comfort zone. I’d like to find a better light source too if you have any suggestions. I wish I could use the gorgeous Florida sun but I always make my bentos at night or early in the morning before the sun comes up :(

There are still new items being auctioned off for Bento4Japan!! Including some amazing wooden bentos! Go check them out!

Happy Bento-ing!

Valentine's Day cake pops

Ahh... cake pops. What can I say about cake pops? They are adorable. They sound delicious. I’ve been wanting to make them for what feels like forever. I was so excited to make cake pops for Valentine;s Day! I had so many design and decoration ideas, they were going to be awesome!

The reality of cake pops... *sigh* ... all of my best laid plans flew out the window, I couldn’t get an even coating of candy on the outside, the shells cracked, the filling is a little too ooey gooey, I cannot roll a sphere to save my life, and boy did I make a mess!

I have a feeling that this will be the last time I make cake pops. I don’t know what went wrong. I started out in a great mood and I was really excited, but by the end I didn’t care if they all crashed to the floor! Lol! Here were my troubles...

I don’t really like canned frosting so I decided to make the cake pop “batter” with this recipe. I knew I was using Wilton’s candy melts, which are super sweet, so I didn’t want to add 2 whole cups of powdered sugar... I should have. The batter was a little too gooey, I think the sugar would have stiffened it up a bit. I do think they would have been too sweet though.

I rolled my ooey gooey batter into lumpy masses that I’m pretending are spheres and refrigerated them for about an hour so that they would harden up enough to dip in the candy melts. Yeah, that worked out horribly. I read somewhere that the sticks hold better if you dip the end in the candy melts first, then spear your pop. So I did. But, the pops were so gooey that as soon as I tried to dip them they broke apart and fell off the stick. There I was picking big cakey lumps out of my pristine melted candy.

I decided that the only way this was going to work was to freeze the little balls of evil and then dip them. The sticks held on fine and I was able to dip the pops without them falling apart. Then all of a sudden I heard a menacing mwuahahahahahaha coming from my pops. See, I had totally forgotten that I’m a physicist. I am supposed to understand things like temperature, expansions, and a little thing called gravity.

The problem with dipping frozen, or nearly frozen, cake pops into warm melted candy is that you now have a ticking time bomb. See, what they don’t tell you on the glorious cake pop sites is that when your cake warms up again it will expand. Since you have completely coating the thing in a hard candy shell..... it’s going to crack open. Or, it might find a weak point in the candy, bust it’s way through, and ooze out.

Once I realized this tragedy, I won’t tell you how many I lost, I started leaving a little bit around the stick open so that the cake could expand and not crack my shell. Yeah, that fixed one problem..... but when the pops heated up, I realized the candy was the only thing keeping them up-right on the sticks so they flopped all over the place and fell off.

I also had a hard time getting an even coat of candy on the pops. I swear, the candy would start to set before it was done dripping so I got the awful tectonic plates style ridges where the semi set candy part was sliding around on the liquid part. *cry*

I blame most of my misfortune on the batter. I was just too gooey to make cake pops out of without freezing it, then freezing it cropped up it’s own issues. I say I won’t try cake pops again but every now and then I get to feeling a bit masochistic so I can’t promise it won’t happen.

The finished product does look pretty though.........

Twitter Pancake Party!

If you all aren’t already on Twitter, you have to come and join us! The last Monday of every month is the #twitterfoodparty and this month’s theme is pancakes. Any style of pancake, be it sweet or savory.

I took the opportunity to make one of my favorite desserts: bananas with sweetened cinnamon cream cheese wrapped in crepes! Yum!

This time I threw in a little twist and made a second kind of banana crepe...... can you guess what the green filling is????? It’s sweetened cream cheese with matcha! It was definitely a different flavor but worth trying. I liked the combination of the matcha and cream cheese but I had to dilute it down with more cream cheese, it was too strong at first.

I ended up making a ton of crepes so I might repurpose them again tonight if I have time.


Almond butter mochi!!

No bento post today, just some eye candy. I have been drooling over Hapa Bento’s butter mochi for a while now, so I decided to give it a try.

I really wanted the dessert but I wasn’t really in the mood for all of the measuring, and I didn’t have coconut milk or coconut flakes. *sigh* So, instead of coconut milk I used condensed milk and instead of coconut extract I used almond extract. I’m actually a little surprised that it turned out because I didn’t have quite enough rice flour, so I guestimated the amounts of the rest of the ingredients. Lol!

To be honest, I don’t know accurate the texture that I got is, but it is airy and chewy all at the same time, with a crunchy top to boot. As far as the taste ..... buttery almond heaven!

If I had to do it again, and I just might have to, I would use a larger baking dish than the one I used. The crust is fantastic so I’d like to make it a little thinner with more crust. :) Yum!

Happy Bento-ing!