Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Last Bento

The last bento of the year and the last time I'll do a single one for school! We stopped at United Noodles so Annie could get a snack to bring to school tomorrow and lo and behold, the star fruit were out! When we cut it open, I reminded the family that it can be a number of colors but it was still surprising to see white. I like how it reflects the sesamed leftover rice from our dinner at Obento-Ya. With the rice is a leftover chicken skewer and some cream cheese and chive blossom stuffed tomatoes. I also have leftover Japanese potato salad with a few stemmed chive flowers and grape grapes with the dragon fruit. Ah, and so life marches on as my kids get older. Funny thing is, I don't!! ;)

Perfect Score

Nissa took the preschool screening test today and didn't miss a single question, got 20/20 vision and perfect hearing. Yep, she's ready for school! To celebrate, we ate asian food twice today, she got a new bike helmet as well as a new bell for her bike and I made her a bento of her own. She picked the chive blossoms herself. There is a mini rice ball (onigiri) leftover from dinner at Obento-ya, some pickles, grape grapes and some of the beloved dragon fruit. I love watching this precocious kid grow.

Satsuki and Mei

A My Neighbor Totoro reference. Can you tell which box is Satsuki Annie's and which is Mei Nissa's? I forget to show the closed boxes so from time to time, I'm trying to include a picture here and there.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

T-Minus 2

Second to last bento and then I'll have a fifth grader and a brand new kindergartener! There are three mini sandwiches made of cream cheese, meat, and cheese. Each one is adorned with a nori decoration in accordance to its shape. I threw in some chopped tomatoes to be eaten with the sandwiches and a whole variety of herby garnishes. Finally, I threw in some more cherries and grape grapes. This time, I'll include a cliff bar and a water bottle since it's track and field day too. And just for the record, we could get down into the 50's tonight! Looking forward to summer but not really having it be the last one with Nissa home. Oh well, she's beyond excited to be in school so I am too.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Beat the Heat!

It officially hit 103 degrees today and we did everything possible to stay cool including keeping Annie home from her non air conditioned windowless classroom school. Of course, it takes almost nothing for me to keep her home since I miss her when she's gone. I'm always one step away from home schooling but as long as she's still happy, I'll keep her out there. It's supposed to be much nicer tomorrow so I made a bento, similar to my last but more easily eaten with fingers. I used the fresh oregano and the chive flowers from my garden again to make cream cheese tomato flowers. This time, threw in a couple of hard boiled quail eggs with nori flowers on them too. The other side has a container of grape grapes (who knew there are still grape colored grapes out there) flanked by cherries. In the cover, I slipped in a couple packages of snacking seaweed and I'll probably throw in a z-bar. After all these years, I'm still trying to get the right amount of food in each lunch but with her constantly changing appetite, it's usually just a guess!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Almost Summer

One week left of school which means I'll be cutting back a lot on bento making for the summer. It's a tough week to feel motivated for all of us but we'll make it through. This weekend was our first weekend of the year to really feel like summer, even the chives have blossomed. I decided to stuff Annie's lunch with them since 1. They're pretty; 2. They're tasty, and; 3.They are a sure sign it's summer! With the chives are tomato flowers stuffed with an oregano leaf, cream cheese and a single petal of the chive flowers as well as a grilled pork loin adorned with fresh oregano. I love that my garden herbs are full and ready to eat without me having to lift a finger! They grow like weeds... which, I guess, they are. The other side has a tin of fresh blueberries along with a dried pineapple, goji berry and granola mixture. You know, I kind of really want to keep this lunch for me!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Annie's Academic Bento

Today are Academic Performances at Annie's school. She left the one sheet of paper she needed to study at school. So, after a frantic email to her teacher for help, with a bit of a scolding and "is this becoming a habit?" tone, we got the paragraph she needed to memorize: 穆罕默德在公元年,出生在阿拉伯半岛的麦加。在他四十岁的时候,穆罕默德自称他在洞穴中默想时遇见了天使长加百列,他说加百列启示:他要他自创一个宗教,也就是我们现在所知道的伊斯兰教,穆罕默德被称为是神的先。追随他的人叫做穆斯林。Of course, I am totally unable to read it but Annie was relieved. Poor Annie, we've been so busy this spring that all of us are losing any sense of normalcy. Oh well, only one more week! So in Annie's bento, I swapped out pickles for tomatoes (last of the mini heirlooms) and went solo in making this one. We're off in a couple of hours to see her performance and then have a bit of a chat with Lin Laoshi to see what's up with Annie (by we, I mean me. Norby is busy with work and tennis and can't make it :( )

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Helper

Nissa is going to be a chef sooner or later, and head chef at that. When we make Bentos together, it's definitely a collaboration and more often than not, her ideas turn out better than what I had planned. In this bento, she wanted faces on the tamagoyaki or no nori decorations at all. She also said the dividers had to be a part of her bento and she chose every piece of food that went in it. It's fun and very different than when I make Bentos with Annie. So we have nori decorated tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette) and kamaboko (pressed fish, like imitation crab meat) in one tier, carrots and dill pickles with an elephant kawaii divider peeking out and finally, a sliced apple with a flower kawaii divider adding a little decor. Designed mostly by Nunu.