Friday, December 19, 2008

Ho ho ho!

The final Christmas Bento for Annie's field trip to the art museum and
then I finally get to keep her at home for a while. It may sound sappy
(but really, is that new for me?) but I really miss her when she's
gone! So we have Venison Sausage Christmas Trees and Reindeer on a
bed of Feta snow. Rosemary Olive Oil Triscuits with grapes, carrot
candy canes, and some dipping sauce. Hope the field trip is fun, one
of these days I'll volunteer, but does that mean the hermit HAS to
become a part of the community?? :-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cranberries Covered in Snow

I love when the Cranberries are out! This is really the "snackiest" bento I've made for Annies lunch today but I've noticed how much Annie leaves in her lunches, so I'm downsizing a bit. So in this one, I put homefrosted crunchy cranberries, Annie's (the brand not the kid) Cinnamon Graham Sticks, Grapes and Bunny fish cakes.  No veggies today but that's okay, there is plenty of fruit!

The Onigiri Are Back!

Norby used his onigiri kit to put a few of the rice balls together, looks very professional! And the z-bar...well, it is professional!  With those, I put some flower carrots and flower fishcakes with grapes and some carrot dipping sauce.

Shining Star

This was Annie's bento from the day after we got all our Christmas stuff out so I was holiday inspired.  There's a shooting star cheese with carrot rays over a bed of lettuce with raisins.  Next to that are some gingerbread apples with a Hello Kitty container of dipping sauce for the carrots.  In the smaller side are some pistachios with fishcake ice skates over some more lettuce with a balsamic reduction container for dressing (Annie's favorite!).

Papa Bento

Norby took his long lost Bento to work the other day. He finished off
our venison stroganoff (I will never criticize his choice to buy the
whole deer again) and finally, I could pack something with nuts!

Wear Warm Clothes

I made this Bento just after Thanksgiving in honor of the genuine stick around snow that requires sweaters and mittens!  The sweaters are made out of poached egg yolk, one with ketchup added and the mittens are made from poached egg whites.  The mitten string is a mozzarella whip.  All of these are on a bed of lettuce with a fish container of balsamic reduction for dressing.  In the bigger container are apple tin soldiers with hello kitty containers of caramel dipping sauce.  There are also a few dumplings with a fish container of oyster sauce for dipping as well.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Snow Bunnies

I keep hoping it will snow! Maybe if I make enough snowish bentos, I can will the snow to come. So maybe this one isn't exactly snowy but the bunnies are white like the snow bunnies! That's what I thought anyways. Here's to wishful thinking!

Lots of dried fruit in this bento!  All around the edges there are dried apricots, dried cranberries and raisins.  The bunnies on the dumplings are made from fishcakes.  The three on top of the lettuce are made from cheese.  There is a fish container of balsamic reduction for the lettuce and oyster sauce for the dumplings.  And finally, there are some carrot hearts with a wine bottle of ranch for dipping.

The Day After Bento

It was so much fun to have the Howards over last weekend. Anetta and I bentoed, the men talked tech, and the kids played and played and then ate. Once we download the pictures, I will officially document the event. For now, here is Annie's bento from "the day after". Annetta and I did so many I was idead out, so I resorted to hearts.

On the left, are little chick apples with caramel dipping sauce in the Hello Kitty container and balsamic reduction in the fish bottle.  Next to that is some herring topped with cherry tomatoes and cheese hearts.  On the right is a salad topped with tomato flowers stuffed with cheese hearts and raisins.  Next to that is a small serving of egg salad with a paprika heart.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Playing in the Leaves

Sounds like we may be getting some accumulation of snow this week (yippee, I hear Trollhaugen has already opened) so this may be the last "fall" bento. Which also means it is the last day for the girls to play in the leaves! Therefore, I call this Bento, "Girl Jumping in Leaves", a modern arty kind of name!

On the left is a fruit pinwheel of grapes and oranges accompanied by homemade herbed focaccia and a container of ranch dipping sauce.  On the right the little girl is made from turkey bologna and cheese.  Her hair is made of dried fruit and she's laying on a bed of carrot leaves, they match the leaves on the tree outside the front door!!  Love Fall!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hogsqueal Bento

Annie chose the name for todays bento due to all the birds. If you are familiar with The Spiderwick Chronicles, then you already know why! Apparently, today, Annie is a Hog Goblin.

In the Hog Goblin's lunch today, we have three dumplings in a carrot nest topped with bologna and Cheese doves. Along side the nest is a chunk of homemade focaccia and three sauce choices - ranch, balsamic glaze, and soy sauce. On the other side, the little Hog Goblin should be happy with carrot chicks, pickled herring topped with another bologna cheese dove and a handful of grapes. Maybe today, she'll actually eat the carrots!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Bentos

Phew, no more campaign ads!! What a country we live in. Later on, I'll post Lindsay's pictures from Grant Park. So wish I could have been there!

Here are the bentos I did this week. Annie got to use my box this week. Thought it was better than letting it sit in the drawer!


On the left, apple flowers and a container of caramel dipping sauce.  On the right, a flower shaped egg topped with paprika surrounded by carrot flowers on top of a bed of a homemade pasta salad.

My heart was in the election today!  In the bottom are heart apples and dried fruit.  In the top are heart carrots and fishcakes surrounding a heart shaped homemade chicken salad topped with a dried fruit heart.  Hope the heart wins!


In case you don't know, I love bunnies!!  This is pretty straight forward but I'll tell you anyways.  On the left is a bunny cheese sandwich and half an orange.  On the right are Annie's (the company not the kid) bunny fruit chews nestled next to a bunch of bunny fishcakes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Muhahaha The Final Halloween Bento

Here it is. I call it "the Cheaters Bento" because I used so many "extras" instead of creating things. Still fun though!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween Bento and a Word on Overachieving Parents

Bento season has begun again. It was so much fun creating this Halloween bento for Annie. When I woke up, I knew I wanted to do something halloweeny but I didn't really know what. I've learned that it works best for me to just sort of do it when I'm making one rather than plan it out ahead of time. My favorite thing in this one is the white pumpkin. It's a pressed egg with nori features. Annie came and saw it and found two little spots on the mini apples that looked like eyes so even the apple has a face! Her favorite thing to eat was the olive eyes. Very fun!

Last spring, Krista found and pointed out a magazine mention of Bentoing! Yay!! When I read it, some commenter mentioned a website directed towards "overachiever" moms so, of course, against my better judgment, I had to go to it! So, according to this website, just about everything I do would be considered "overachieving" in the not so positive way. To that I say, "Woo Hoo" (yes, Cassie, I still say woo hoo) then call me an overachiever because I absolutely love doing Bentos, planning big parties (not extravagent... even if they look that way... because don't forget, I'm a cheapskate), and pouring my energy into making my girls room and playroom something unforgettable! I don't do it (at least I don't think I do) to compete with anyone (besides, I'm such a hermit that I don't really have anyone with whom to compete even if I wanted!), I do it because I find it to be really fun!

Phew, got that off my chest...

One time, when I didn't take a picture of one of the bentos I made, Annie asked, "How come you're not taking a picture?" I told her that I don't need pictures of all of them to which she said, "Why not?" I don't know, why not? So, now I try to take pictures of all of them! Here are a few from earlier in the year:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Fairy Tree

Annie spent the day at home yesterday with a little bit of a yucky tummy. She wasn't all that sick but enough that she might have had some embarassing situations in the bathroom at school. So we goofed around and had some fun. Annie drew a picture for the fairies who live in our fairy tree and brought it out to them. She was sooo cute! She put her drawing in a ziplock bag, added some candies, walked out to the tree, set the bag down, patted the tree while talking to the fairies and came back in. Throughout the day she kept checking to see if they had taken her bag. Much to both our surprises, there came a time when she looked out and the bag was indeed gone! Huh? I looked out and sure enough, it wasn't there. At first, I was a little taken aback but then realized that the dog must have smelled the candies and moved it. Later in the day, when Norby came home, he found it in the yard but Annie doesn't know that. She is now waiting to see if they will give her anything back... hmmm.... what will they give??

Also, Norby helped to create a Bento. He added something she absolutely loved! A mini-cheeseburger. What 7 year old wouldn't love that? She also had some low sodium almonds, raisins, carrots, pickles and... I forget but the picture will show. She ate most of it but the carrots. At least she eats some of those when they are cut into fun shapes. Still loving the bentoing. Oh yeah, in the picture you can see the new bag we got for Annie to carry her bento... gotta love Target!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wooden Heart and Bentos

Last night Annie was ruminating about hearts and their makeup and finally stated the following:

"I think my heart must be made of wood since its biggest desire is to be at the cabin"

I can relate! For the record, my heart, she decided, was made of "house" since I spend most of my time looking for our house to buy and Norby's was made of "chocolate"... for obvious reasons.

So, today was Bento day since Annie had cold lunch. Norby lucks out because if I'm going to do one, I might as well do both! Easter is almost here so the bunnies abound in these Bentos, as well as some chicks and, as always, some hearts for the papa.

Might need to try a new place for picture taking, or maybe some new skills!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Missed Bento

Doh! After getting Annie a new bag to carry her bento, after spending the time to get it all put together, after explaining exactly what she was eating and the extras to go with it... after all that, we left it at home!!

Oh well, Annie ate it later for a snack and ended up liking the school's hot lunch that day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

First (and Second!) Bentos!

Bento's from Last Week! Here are the first Bento's I made for Norby and me... well, mine was just more of a snack since I was trying out some things, but Norby's was a complete lunch. And Annie's second Bento! It is soooo much fun and I must say, kind of um... uplifiting? exciting? challenging? to create. I'm loving it!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Bento... Obento... Whatever you call it, we have jumped on the bandwagon.

Norby recently discovered Bentos. Not the kind you order in a Japanese restaurant but the kind that people in Japan use to carry their lunch to work or school on a daily basis. It is somewhat of an artform there, especially among moms creating their children's lunches. There is one mom's flickr site who has set the bar so now I must attempt to reach it too.

So here is a picture of my first attempt with Annie's bento. Norby took the picture with his phone so it's not the best but it should give the gist. The hearts and birds are separated eggs steamed. The orange part is yolk with ketchup mixed in... yum! The flowers in the corners are cut cherry tomatoes and they are all on a bed of lettuce. The other side has applesauce, bunny's cut from fish cakes on a bed of carrot grass and a hello kitty container of dressing.

Annie was so excited that she dropped the bento once this morning in the house but we were able to quickly reassemble it since it was the apple sauce side. In the car, she was so excited that she accidentally took off the strap and dropped her fork on the ground. Very cute. I think a bento bag is in order! Anyways, it was very fun.